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Life was at least starting to mimic normality with more force:
Hans and Rosa Hubermann were arguing in the living room, even if it was much quieter than it used to be.
Liesel, in typical fashion, was an onlooker.
The argument originated the previous night, in the basement, where Hans and Max were sitting with paint cans,
words, and drop sheets. Max asked if Rosa might be able to cut his hair at some stage. “It’s getting me in the
eyes,” he’d said, to which Hans had replied, “I’ll see what I can do.”
Now Rosa was riffling through the drawers. Her words were shoved back to Papa with the rest of the junk.
“Where are those damn scissors?”
“Not in the one below?”
“I’ve been through that one already.”
“Maybe you missed them.” “Do I look blind?” She raised her head and bellowed. “Liesel!”
“I’m right here.”
Hans cowered. “Goddamn it, woman, deafen me, why don’t you!”
“Quiet, Saukerl.” Rosa went on riffling and addressed the girl. “Liesel, where are the scissors?” But Liesel had
no idea, either. “Saumensch, you’re useless, aren’t you?”
“Leave her out of it.”
More words were delivered back and forth, from elastic-haired woman to silver-eyed man, till Rosa slammed
the drawer. “I’ll probably make a lot of mistakes on him anyway.”
“Mistakes?” Papa looked ready to tear his own hair out by that stage, but his voice became a barely audible
whisper. “Who the hell’s going to see him?” He motioned to speak again but was distracted by the feathery
appearance of Max Vandenburg, who stood politely, embarrassed, in the doorway. He carried his own scissors
and came forward, handing them not to Hans or Rosa but to the twelve-year-old girl. She was the calmest
option. His mouth quivered a moment before he said, “Would you?”
Liesel took the scissors and opened them. They were rusty and shiny in different areas. She turned to Papa, and
when he nodded, she followed Max down to the basement.
The Jew sat on a paint can. A small drop sheet was wrapped around his shoulders. “As many mistakes as you
want,” he told her.
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This note was uploaded on 01/17/2014 for the course ENG 99 taught by Professor Michal during the Winter '13 term at CSU Sacramento.
- Winter '13