The Jewish people have long desired to have a home of their own. Spread across Europe, they are looked down upon and rarely welcomed in their communities. After the end of WWII, they are ready to fight for the promised land once again.
Returning to a land overrun with hostile inhabitants would prove to be difficult. Many are left without passports or traveling papers. Others have nothing left as their homes were destroyed or seized. Coming together as a people will require a God that is bigger than all these obstacles.
Piotr and Ania have both survived the war. While Ania has come to know God personally and is moving on with her life, Piotr is embittered and ready to take on the world. This is the story of their journey to find one another and a love only God could give.
Here is a small excerpt from We Once Were Lost:
(In Piotr and Rachel’s home)
(Fade out and into stage)
Rachel – (Peeks her head around a corner — or whatever works for setting — and says in a perky voice) Dinner is ready!
(Both Piotr and Levi are sitting with IBC bottles littering the side table — to look like they’ve been drinking)
Old Piotr VO – (The two men get up and get situated at the table while Old Piotr has his VO)
My mind was always on the war at hand and on my past troubles. I had no love, as I said, but I had no joy either. I drank away my days to numb the thoughts. It was like I could never escape them, you know?
(Levi and Rachel are laughing at something that was said. Piotr gives a fake smile and takes a drink to cover his lack of laughter.)
Rachel – Did she really turn you down so quickly? I swear, Levi, you will never settle down!
Levi – Settle down? Ha! Why would I do such a thing? I mean, nobody can cook like you, Rachel! Why should I settle for anything less? No, Piotr took the only woman that could steal my heart! (Said in a joking tone as friends do. They laugh and look at Piotr. He just nods at Levi and raises his drink a bit.)
Piotr – I assure you, Levi. You have the right idea. Don’t get yourself tied down.
(An awkward silence hangs between them.)
Rachel – (Clears her throat) So, tell us what else you have been up to. Have you been on any missions with Piotr? He never tells me anything!
Levi – Missions? Hmm. I have no idea of what you speak.
Rachel – Oh, come on, Levi! You know exactly what I’m talking about.
Levi – Well, here’s the thing… (Leans in dramatically to whisper) If I told you, I’d have to kill you.
(They both laugh)
Rachel – I suppose I don’t want that…
Old Piotr VO – (Actors on stage continue to talk and laugh and carry on silently)
I remember that night so vividly. Commander Sedah has passed away a few years prior and the Palmach disbanded even before. I had been serving in the special forces Unit 101 – which was not something I could discuss. Even Levi had no idea that I was involved. We served together in the IDF, Israeli Defense Force, but I would be called to other missions that people did not even know were taking place. When Rachel asked him about the special missions, he really did not know what she meant and opted to cover for me. I never did ask him why. He just gave me a look of disapproval and I knew he believed I was cheating on my wife.
Rachel – Where did you live before the war, Levi?
Levi – I have lived in Israel since I was a boy! My family has been here longer than most. I didn’t have to face the troubles like many of my brothers and sisters. I suppose we had our own war here. Not officially, but war nonetheless.
Rachel – I lived in Austria when it all began.
Levi – And your family?
Rachel – I am the only one left. At least, I think so. I heard that my brother may be still alive, but I have not found him. I’m slowly giving up hope. But, here! See… (Gets up to grab a picture from a drawer and brings it over to show Levi.) Here we are. This was two years before it began. I was 15 and my brother, Otto, was 19.
(She touches the picture fondly.)
We were so happy then. (Looks up with a tear) It is the only thing I have left.
Levi – How were you able to keep this through all of the camps and checkpoints? I thought that the guards didn’t allow any personal items, no?
Rachel – (Smiles) After the war, I returned home and it was still safely where I had stored it. There was a loose board in my room and I stored my little treasures there. Most of my little trinkets had been destroyed by mice and bombings, but this picture managed to survive. It’s a little worse for wear, but, like I said, it’s all I have left.
Levi – Wow. (Clears throat) I’m so sorry. I can’t even imagine what you guys lived through.
Piotr – Well, I, for one, would like to forget those times. We all lost those we loved and there’s nothing that can be done about it now.
Rachel – He never wants to talk about it. He likes to leave it all bottled up inside. It’s not good for him!
Levi – Yeah, he is a pretty private person.
Piotr – What’s the point in talking about it? Nothing good can come of it. It was all a nightmare and I don’t want to revisit it.
Rachel – (Puts hand over his) But it would do you good to let it out.
Levi – I don’t know, Rachel…
Rachel – Seriously though! He never wants to tell me anything. I try and try to get him to talk, but he never does. I don’t know what I’m going to have…
Piotr – (Interrupts) You want me to open up, huh? Think it will do some good? (Slams hand on the table)
Fine, as you wish! I lost EVERYTHING in that war. I lost my family, yes…so what! We all did.
(Leans forward into Rachel’s face and says menacingly) You want to know what I really lost? I lost the love of my life. That’s what. My world. My life. She was everything to me. When she died, I died. Is that what you wanted to hear? Is that what you hoped I would say? Are you glad that I am sharing with you?
(Rachel tries to hold it together and runs out of the room.)
Levi – Woh, brother. Harsh.
(Piotr shrugs and takes a drink.)
Levi – Maybe I best be seeing myself out.
Piotr – If you want. She shouldn’t badger me so. She knows I don’t like talking about the past.
Levi – Yeah, but….really? “She is everything. You are nothing”…Kind of harsh, don’t you think? I mean, gosh, Piotr. She’s your wife for crying out loud!
Piotr – Do I interfere with your love life?
Levi – Touché. (Puts hands up) I surrender. I think I’ll leave you to it though. If you can find it in your heart to be nice to the poor girl, please thank her for dinner.
Piotr – Sure.
(Levi leaves and Rachel emerges to clear the table. Piotr is watching her.)
Rachel – So, I’m a burden?
Piotr – What? (Said harshly)
Rachel – You told him that he had the right idea not getting tied down!
Piotr – (shrugs) Wish I would have listened to my own advice and I wouldn’t be sitting here listening to you cawing at me.
Rachel – (Let’s out a shocked noise) How could you say such things? Did you really mean them?
Piotr – (Shrugs) It’s not like I enjoyed sitting there watching you moon all over my friend.
(Says in a mocking, girl voice) “Oh, Levi!!”
Rachel – (Yelps in disbelief) What are you talking about??? I was only trying to make your friend feel welcome! You sure don’t! You just sit there not saying a word! You leave the entire conversation up to me!
(tempers rising and them getting louder and louder through this conversation)
Piotr – Well, if I knew you were going to throw yourself at him…
Rachel – (Interrupts) THROW MYSELF AT HIM? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? (turns to storm out)
(Piotr quickly catches up and grabs her arm)
Piotr – Don’t you walk away from me! (Seething)
Rachel – (she tries to pull away) Let go! You’re hurting me!! (Swings at him and misses)
Piotr – (Forces her into her chair and lets go of her arm but is still talking angrily) SHUT UP! I’ve had enough of your mouth for today! You are the one that wouldn’t drop the subject! I told you I didn’t want to talk about it! That past is the past. So just shut up about it!
In fact…(reaches over and grabs the picture of Rachel and her brother)
Rachel – NO!!!!!! Please, PLEASE! NO! PIOTR!!!! (as he tears it up in front of her face and throws the pieces onto the ground)
Piotr – Maybe now we can let the past be in the past!
(He finally lets out a growl and storms off. She sits there for a moment shaking. She slides down onto the floor sobbing and tries to gather up the pieces in a panic as the scene fades out and back to the older couple.)
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