Previously in A Secret Grave, Nicole travels to Brasov, Romania, for a pleasant visit with her doppelganger, Maria. But the mood changes drastically when...
We met our guide the next morning, a very scholarly woman named Ana Albu who, it turned out, had been trained as a librarian.
Our meal consisted of cold lamb, salad, bread, cheese and melon, but Maria kept offering me little gifts. Dark chocolate, marmalade, a cake of soap.
“Hands feel better?” she asked. Which was weird when I thought about it. I’d never told her my hands hurt in the first place.
As I entered the room I saw it -- a portrait painted by my mother, a painting I knew well as it also hung in my living room.
Maria had grown up in Bucharest,. She’d studied medicine, but her career had been side-tracked when she got a bit part in a film and became an actress.
“You are my twin, but I have no idea who you are.” I just stood there looking at her, which was the same as looking at my own self emerged from the mirror.
Should we have brought her flowers, a bottle of wine, pastry? But it was too late for that. As we pulled up I felt singled out, doomed.
I was traveling in a country that had a dismal past regarding what had been done to the Jews. This woman might easily have prejudicial views of my tribe.
Previously in A Secret Grave, Nicole takes a trip to Romania to visit with her cousins, but everywhere she goes people stare and point.