The little girl was sitting on the small bench in her parents' garden. The weather was surprisingly nice. A warm wind touched her young, little chubby for a six years old, cheeks. Her green, always curious eyes with a gleam, looked around to find a boy, who always came to see her. He was late today. She felt nervous, as he is never late. She ran her hand over her long, blonde hair, thinking of what could have happened.
The kid looked up, hearing the steps. A big smile went on her lips when a tall, blonde 16 years old boy, came out from behind the hill. She stood up, ready to go and hug him, as she always did, but something was different. His blue eyes, always giving her a calm look, now seemed absent.
She turned her head and looked with astonishment at the woman at his side. It was rare when Mrs Smith came to visit. After the death of her husband, she did not like to socialize. Especially, with people of lower social class.
It was surprising that a woman like that did not marry again, after becoming a widow. She was a beautiful and well-behaved woman. Despite a fairly dry attitude to the world and people, she could easily find a husband. But she decided to stay alone, raising her, too serious for his age, son, according to her rules and principles.
Despite the fear she felt for the woman, the girl decided to approach her friend who always smiled at her lightly. This time, however, she did not throw herself at his neck, but as befits a young lady, she bowed low.
"Mrs Smith, it's nice to see you" she started giving her one of her sweetest smiles.
The woman, however, weighed the kid up, after a warm welcome, then passed her and headed to the building next to them. Waiting for the door to open, she looked around. Her face betrayed everything. She did not want to be here. But she promised something to her husband and, with the agreed agreement, she had to come here, along with her only son, who was about to enlist in the army tomorrow, to her great disapproval.
"Mrs Smith!" A small, slightly chubby woman, looked with surprise at, how she liked to call, 'friend' and then smiled slightly. "Erwin- good to see you both. That is quite a surprise, please come in!" She looked at her little girl, and, with a small sign by the hand, made her come in. "What can we do for you, Christa?" She asked the guest when they made their way inside.
"Where is your husband, Helen?" The woman asked in a serious tone. Apparently, she was in a hurry not even trying to hide her impatience. Her eyes were cool when laid down on a little girl at her son's side.
"Annie, honey, please go for your father!" her green eyes looked at mom, with a small concern, but nodded her head anyway, leaving the room. "What is it, Christa? You seem stressed today, well, at least, more than usual."
"Well as you know, my son turned 16 a week ago, and he just decided to tell me today, that he is going to be a soldier. So before he does that, I need to make sure that everything is settled."
"Settled, for what?" They turned around, hearing a deep voice of a tall man, with a weekly beard on. Comparing to his wife, he was a well build 30 years old, factory worker, with an always serious look in his eyes. Even though looking quite scary, he was, as often described by his own daughter, 'a cute teddy bear'. "Welcome Erwin, good to see you." He approached the boy and shook his hand, never taking his eyes off the woman. It was no secret that he didn't like her much. Perhaps his wife tolerated her humours, but he had no intention to. Perhaps, she was beautiful, but her moody character drove him crazy. He never understood how his best friend could have married someone like that.
However, young Erwin was different. He was a reflection of his father. Calm and composed. And incredibly smart. A brilliant kid who always had something to say and was not afraid to make his point.
A 16-year-old who was not afraid to talk about the world outside the walls. The kid who gained his respect when he happily talked about joining the Scouts. He was happy, that his little daughter could call him her 'older brother'. But today something was wrong. He saw it after his gaze. Always warm and joyfully looking at the little one, now it seemed absent and as if ... Was he ashamed?
"Well, I think it would be better if we sit down." She began, not even waiting for the reaction of the hosts, taking a seat at the table.
He did not want to come here. He tried to talk to his mother out of it, so she would forget about it and just let it go. But her anger at him turned on them. He looked with the pain, at the little girl who was standing by. He saw that, despite her young age, she sensed something. She was intelligent, and the knowledge, taken from his stories, absorbed incredibly quickly in her little head.
He liked her, seeing her as a younger sister, that's why he felt bad now. He could not help anything. He looked at the old man hopefully, being the only one who could make his mother change her mind.
"I was looking through Erik's things and I found this." The man shivered when he saw a familiar document. His eyes narrowed automatically and sweat appeared on his forehead. How did this woman find it? No ... it can not be true! He looked with horror at his wife and then at his daughter. His little innocent girl was to pay for his stupid mistakes, made a couple of years ago. He was on a verge of mental health and did it only to make sure, that his best friend would take care of his family if something happened to him. But now, that this woman had this document... This was seriously bad.
"Come, Annie, what do you say about reading something to me?" Asked the blonde, taking a small hand, leading her outside the room.
"Wait, Erwin. You must stay here", his mother interrupted, never taking her eyes off the terrified man. She was a serious woman who took such contracts seriously.
"No, mother." She turned away with anger, looking at her son. "You will not do it in front of her." After which, without saying anything, he left the room with the girl by the hand, leaving the adults alone.
"What is this?" Helena asked, taking the document to her hand. Her face grumbled with every newly-read sentence. "Darling, what is that?" She asked in a trembling voice. "What the hell is that !" She cried, rising hurriedly, glancing at him with an icy stare.
"This, my dear Helena, is paper that connects our two children with a marriage vows." The woman explained slowly, apparently doing nothing to the terrified deuce. "A document that your husband signed with my husband. A document that protects you financially, in the event of any situation in during which you may be in danger." Her eyebrow flashed with satisfaction seeing the horror in the man's eyes. She was glad that someone so proud, looked like a terrified child. And thanks to her alone. She made him this aspen. That coward who now had tears in his eyes.
"Why are you doing that? Why now?" The father asked, looking at her in cold blood. He was really close to getting rid of this woman from their lives. "Erwin is your son! You are destroying his life in this way, as well."
"My son was stupid enough to bring my husband to death." She interrupted him stoically.
"But Christa, you will not get anything from that." The chubby woman breaks into the conversation, still trembling with horror. "You will only be on a losing side!"
"You're wrong!" She stood up slowly with a smile of satisfaction on her lips. "Erwin goes to the army tomorrow, and I am away to Sina. I'm not going to stay in this hole. Of course, what belongs to this brat will be his, but nothing more."
"You're robbing your own son!" Jan shouted, rising hurriedly, leaning toward her." From his money and his future."
"That brat robbed me of the man I loved!" She said with contempt, turning slowly.
"Do not do it, Christa. You are the only person who can invalidate this document! Even Erwin himself will not be able to do it." Helena stopped her by the arm, but squealed in horror as the woman pushed her away with all her strength.
"That does not interest me anymore." And then she left, leaving the terrified two, standing over the paper.
"What have you done!" She looked at her husband with hatred in her eyes. "How could you!"
"I thought I would protect you, protect you both..." He whispered, feeling his heart break slowly, into a few hundred small pieces.
"What's going on?" The blonde girl asked, turning the next page of the book.
"Nothing to worry." He murmured, stroking her head. So she did it? He expected it. He felt her hatred. She hated him even more, since yesterday, when at the last moment, he informed her that he would join the Survey Corps to explore the outside world like his father always wanted. If he knew about this document, he would have told her earlier, he could have done something.
However, it's all his fault. If he would keep his mouth shut, his father would still be alive and that stupid marriage would be annulled.
"Erwin?" He looked at her, feeling her small hand on his shoulder. "Is it true that you will join the Scouts?" she asked, with her eyes sparkling.
"Yes," he answered casually, smiling sadly.
"Then I will join as well, and we can see the outside world together. That's a promise!" He looked at her with astonishment and laughed lightly, stroking her hair slightly.
"Forgive me, but play for a moment alone, okay?" And then he moved to the living room. He had to see them. Apologize. Do something ... they ... Forced marriage? It's too cruel.
"Forgive me, Erwin!" the man looked at him with pain in his eyes "forgive me I destroyed your life" the blond looked at his 'aunt' and felt a growing anger.
"I'll think of something! She must firstly turn 21, then we will worry." Then he left them, feeling the same anger towards the mother, as he felt, to the soldiers who murdered his father. He decided. He will become a Scout, and he will come up with a way to take care of it. Fix what his mother screwed up.