December 1943, Dalmatia

“I’m sorry about Mišo, Raphael” Raphael looked up and he seen Father Jovan “I know he was your best friend and it’s also sad that his child will never see their father” the priest said again. “You aren’t concerned about the child being illligament are you Father?” asked Raphael “Of course not, you know I’m not conservative, why do you think I’m fighting a war for communists” replied Jovan. “Ah comrade priest” Nikola came up “A partizan was killed, we need you to give him the last rights” he said “I’ll speak to you later Raphael” Jovan said.

“Here Raphael” said Marija-Elena handing Jovan a bag “What is it?” he asked “Just some salted pork, Ivo’s wife is making them” answered Marija-Elena. “Tastes good, you had some?” said Raphael “I had a little” replied Marija-Elena. “So how does it feel to be in your native Dalmatia?” asked Raphael “This isn’t by native place baby, you know I’m from Split” replied Marija-Elena laughing “But it is in Dalmatia, regardless” said Raphael trying to deny her but she just smiled at him. “After the war, Raphael do you think we should get married?” wondered Marija-Elena “Of course, the child is going to need a father. Even if he was only their father’s best friend” responded Raphael “Anyway, goodnight Marija” said Raphael.

Raphael woke up and got some breakfast, he sat beside Nikola. “Cold isn’t it Nikola?” asked Raphael “Not as cold as Belgrade at this time” replied Nikola “You’ve never been to Vukovar at this time then” said Raphael. “When is Marija-Elena due?” asked Nikola “Next month” answered Raphael. “Anyway” said Nikola “We must continue, we need to expel the fascists from our lands and bring freedom to our people” he continued. They sat a minute or two eating before Raphael spoke “War is a terrible thing isn’t it Nikola? It took so many; Mišo, Boris, Viktor, Ante…” Nikola continued Raphael with his own words “My brother, my wife’s brother, your cousin and two of mine’s. It really needs to end Raphael”. “I remember how things were, bad but not this bad. I remember though times were similar. My mother would tell Marija-Elena everyday of me and my father…” Raphael ended “Is there something wrong?” asked Nikola “Just my father” answered Raphael “What about your father?” responded Nikola “My father was killed by a Serbian nationalist in front of our house when I was boy, only nine years ago” answered Raphael “I’m sorry” condoled Nikola. “Papa, papa” Nikola’s son ran up to him “Look” and he pointed a group of German SS in the distance

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