DISCLAIMER: I do not own The Sound of Music, and the use of its story, music, and characters are merely just for fun.

Enjoy!


PAST
Chapter III

MARIA
We were soon approaching the black iron gates of the Nonnberg Abbey. Kristine and I stopped just in front of those gates. She then started approaching a rope tied to a bell and pulled it.

We waited.

Nothing happened after a while, so Kristine pulled the rope again.

After a few moments, a figure was approaching the gates. It was night time and so the figure wasn't really visible in the darkness, but once the figure was behind the gates itself, the moonlight helped identify the figure- and I saw that it was a nun.

"Good evening, how may I help you?" the kind-faced nun said to my cousin. Her voice was showing hints of tiredness, probably because she just woke up.

"Yes, good evening Sister Margaretta. I am sorry to interrupt you at this time of the evening, but I've come to bring my cousin," Kristine said to the nun.

There was a look of confusion on her face, which slowly changed as she seemed to understand.

"Oh, Kristine! Yes, the Reverend Mother did tell me about your plans. Come, come inside," she said in a soft voice, as she opened the gates and ushered us in.

"Hello there," Sister Margaretta said I passed by her. She closed the gates and approached us.

"I see you're Kristine's cousin. I am Sister Margaretta," the sister said, outstretching her hand. I shake hers. "How'd you do, Sister. I am Maria," I reply politely. Sister Margaretta smiles at me warmly. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll just have a word with your cousin," she said, squeezing my hand before going to Kristine.

They were talking in hushed tones, and so I couldn't make out whatever they were saying. I watch as they were talking while my mind was thinking about one thing- this is it.

I'm leaving Kristine.

Kristine's leaving me.

I'll be alone.

Kristine was now approaching me with what looked like a sad smile on her face. I took her hands.

"I'll miss you," I mutter, giving her a weak smile. She looks at me sadly.

"I'm sorry, Maria. I'm sorry that I made you leave, even if you didn't want to," she said.

"I…understand," I replied.

"But…don't worry, I assure you that I'll visit whenever Father's not home, or when I go to the market, or just when I have the time!" she chuckles lightly. I smile, feeling my mood brighten. "I'll like that," I said in a much more happier tone.

"I assure you that you'll be taken care of here. The sisters will make sure that you'll be safe, healthy, and of course, closer to God," Kristine said. I nod at her. Kristine then gives me a hug, and I hold on for who knows how long, savoring the moment.

"I love you Maria, always remember that," she said before breaking away.

"I love you too, Kristine," I replied. She then nodded at Sister Margaretta. "Thank you," she said to the nun. "It would be our pleasure to take care of your cousin. Surely, with the grace of God, I assure you she'll be in good hands," she said to Kristine.

"I'll be going," Kristine said, looking at me. She then gives another hug before opening the gates and closing it as she ran 0ff into the night, back to the dangers of her father. She looked back, waving a hand.

I felt on my shoulder. "Come now dearie, let's go, I'll bring you to your room. You'll meet the Reverend Mother tomorrow- she would love to see you," Sister Margaretta sweetly said, as she led me to turn around. I didn't move, still looking at the direction where Kristine ran.

"Maria dear, it's time to sleep. It's a new day tomorrow," Sister Margaretta said again, guiding my body to turn around. I forced my body to move, while my face still looked at the road. I finally found myself turning my eyes away from the road, and towards the Nonnberg Abbey- towards a future I do not know.


It has been two weeks since I arrived in the abbey, and three days since Kristine's last visit to me. Speaking of Kristine, I found out that she was once a postulant in the abbey in her teenage years, before she decided to quit to get a job, for she needed to help her mother, who had a disease. She had to buy the medicines and pay for a doctor. Her recent status also helped her have connections in the abbey so that she could safely bring me here.

But anyways, in her visit, she brought one of my favorite snacks- apple strudel. I asked one of the Sisters at that time if I could go out with Kristine, so we could walk around at the park. They allowed me, and I had a joyous time with my cousin.

Thinking about that day, I realize how much I miss her. I miss being around her all the time, making dinners with her. I remember her sharing stories about my mother and I when I was but a child. I remember her giving me the dress my mother wanted to give me before my eighteenth birthday- a white dress with a blue satin sash. I remember all the times she'd taken the beating for me. I remember her kindness, her love, her care.

My heart swelled with longing for my cousin.

I am grateful for the Sisters- they have been nothing but kind to me. They feed me well, make sure that I'm okay, give me clothes, let me go out when I want to. I gladly repay them by helping out in the chores and the orphanage. Sometimes, I even volunteer to help in the barn, just to see the animals. I also enjoy their music the most. I remember climbing up the walls of the abbey and watching the sisters as they sing on their way to vespers. Now, I'm seeing and hearing them face-to-face and it is much more beautiful.

"Maria?"

I turn around to see Sister Sophia.

"Oh my, I have been looking all over for you," she said jokingly, panting. I stood up and approached her. "I'm sorry Sister Sophia," I said.

"It's alright, just please try and follow my advice at times? I know you do ask permission to go here and there, but when you don't- it's hard. We should be keeping an eye on you, you know. It's kind of worrying that we don't see you right away," she said. I nod apologetically.

"Now come, Maria, the Reverend Mother called for you."


It can't be.

No, it just couldn't!

"H-How? What happened?" I said as panic rose in my chest.

"Maria, do calm down. You are, once again, in the abbey. I understand that if anyone learned that their cousin or loved one has just died, they will react the same way as you do- but please, do lower the volume of your voice," the Reverend Mother scolded me gently. I nod at her slowly, still shaken by what I've just learned.

"Now, Frau Bauer, please relay what you have seen," the Reverend Mother told my Aunt Susanne, who was the woman…he and I always go to whenever we want to eat after we play on my mountain. She wasn't really my Aunt, but we treated her like one. She left for Innsbruck before, and now…I guess she's back.

But the only thing that I don't like about her being back is that she's back with bad news.

"Y-Yes…so I did come to Maria's house to visit…"

Knock knock knock.

Kristine heard the knock at the door, and fixed herself to look more presentable before opening the door.

"Kristine! Hello there!" Susanne said, smiling brightly as she greeted Kristine with a basket of apple strudel in her hands.

"Oh, Frau Bauer! How'd you do? Come, come in! You came at the right time- father's not home yet," Kristine said as she let her and Maria's favorite "aunt" in the house.

"Please, dearie, you keep forgetting! Call me Susanne. Anyway, when's your father coming home?" Susanne asked. Kristine invited her to sit on the sofa.

"Oh, that's too kind of you, but to be more polite I would insist to call you Frau Bauer. Father's coming home in four hours- he's still at work," Kristine said. "Oh, and this is for you and Maria- I know she loves apple strudel," Susanne said, giving the apple strudel to Kristine. Kristine took the basket and smiled at Aunt Susanne.

"Thank you but…Maria's not here anymore," Kristine informed Susanne. She furrowed her brows.

"What? Where is she?" Susanne asked, confused.

"She's in the Nonnberg Abbey. I brought her there to…keep her safe," Kristine replied, putting the basket on the coffee table.

"Oh…I see," Susanne said sadly. The air had shifted into a gloomy atmosphere.

Kristine coughed.

"Um…since when have you returned from Innsbruck? Maria did mention to me that you went there," Kristine said matter-of-factly.

"About two days ago. I just went there to assist my sister who was pregnant, until she was with child, as she requested, and now…I'm back!" Susanne replied cheerfully, changing the mood.

Kristine hummed happily in response, moving so that she could sit on the chair beside the sofa- but she hit the guitar case that was leaning on the chair for support in doing so and with that she picked it up.

"Oh…Maria's guitar! I really have to be more careful with this or else it will be broken when I give it back to her in the abbey," Kristine said, carefully placing it on the floor.

"You'll visit her? Oh, that's wonderful! Do you mind if I come with you? I do miss that child," Susanne said. Kristine smiled at her. "No, not at all."

I let out a huge cry. The Reverend Mother came to me and started rubbing my back. "There, there, Maria," she cooed.

"She was supposed to visit me! Oh, Kristine!" I sobbed.

"You may go on now, Frau Bauer," I heard the Reverend Mother say.

"All right, so then there was another knock at the door…"

"I'll get that," Kristine said excusing herself from the conversation. "Who could it be? Father wouldn't be home this early," Kristine muttered to herself for the second time since Susanne knocked on the door moments ago.

Kristine opened the door to reveal a tall man with a great, chiseled face, a beard, and sparkling blue eyes.

"Good morning, err…Frau…"

"Kristine, Kristine Rainer," Kristine filled in for him.

"Yes," he cleared his throat, "Good morning, Frau Rainer. I have come here for Maria Kutschera?" the man said.

"Excuse me first but…who are you, sir?" Kristine asked, confused.

"Ah, yes, forgive me. My name is August von Trapp. The father of Georg von Trapp. But please, call me Herr von Trapp," he said.

I gasped.

"I saw him holding a box, and Kristine let him in. They started talking in hushed tones so I couldn't make out what they were saying- but it looked serious. Later on, Herr von Trapp bid us a goodbye, but before he went out of the house, we heard shouts coming from outside the house," Aunt Susanne said.

"KRISTINE!"

Kristine stood, frozen with horror.

"Oh my goodness- I forgot all about the time! Herr von Trapp, Frau Bauer, please, hide now- upstairs, I'll take care of this," Kristine said.

"Who is that?" August said.

"He's…my father," Kristine said.

"I should stay here, he seems dangerous-"

"No sir, please, I appreciate the offer, but I believe it's best if you stay out of the way," Kristine said with a finality in her tone, making August von Trapp head up the stairs with Susanne.

"Herr von Trapp and I hid by the top of the stairs, making sure we're not seen, but I saw him creep up closer to get a better view of Kristine. I simply followed him."

"YOU HAVE BEEN LYING TO ME FOR WEEKS! WEEKS!" he roared.

"Father, whatever do you mean?" Kristine said boldly, but with a hint of fear in her voice.

"OH DON'T YOU PLAY COY WITH ME! YOU INTOXICATED ME SO THAT I WOULD FALL ASLEEP AND FORGET ABOUT MY SUSPICIONS THE NEXT DAY BECAUSE I GO TO WORK EARLY!"

"I did not intoxicate you! You asked for one whole case of beer! Is that my fault?"

"BUT WHERE IS MARIA?"

"SHE'S NOT HERE ANYMORE!"

"YOU STUPID PIECE OF CRAP! DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH TROUBLE I'LL BE INTO?"

"Oh yes, I know how much trouble you'll be into," Kristine retorted. August and Susanne craned their necks to get a better view of them. Her uncle looked very angry, standing across Kristine, who was standing tall, defiance in her aura.

"You know very well that when you and your mother took in Maria after my sister's death, authorities made sure that she would be well taken care of, as they do with every orphan in this town. They check on her once a month and they'll be checking on her tomorrow! I'll be sued!" he said through gritted teeth.

"Well it's about time they did! I'm tired of hiding your cases of beer and pretending that you were the sweetest uncle to Maria- because you aren't! You are one horrible relative and guess what- you're also a horrible father," Kristine said, releasing all her pent up anger.

"Why you little-"

"We saw him then grab a vase and throw it at Kristine. He was screaming about how useless she and Maria was, until he went up to her and slapped her in the face. August started to stand up to go to Kristine and I followed. Your uncle kept beating her up until the unspeakable happened."

"I'VE DONE EVERYTHING FOR YOU! I MADE YOU GO TO SCHOOL, I'VE GOTTEN A JOB TO SUSTAIN US, AND YOU REPAY ME WITH THIS?" he screamed as Kristine was pinned down to the floor. Kristine was crying, whimpering and pleading for him to let go of her. Her face bore bruises as well as her body. He then grabbed a shard of the broken vase and raised it to the air.

"YOU THINK YOU KNOW BETTER THAN ME, HUH?" he said repeatedly as he started drawing cuts on her skin, and at times stabbing her. Kristine screamed in agony.

"Sir, you stop this at once!" August said with authority.

He stopped as he heard the voice. Kristine's crying was heard.

She was lying on the floor, a pool of blood forming on the floor with the amount of cuts that were on her skin.

"Father…please…" Kristine pleaded weakly.

"I am Fregattenkapitän August von Trapp, and I command you to stop torturing this woman," August said, staring down at Kristine's father.

He started standing up, seeing his daughter, then he looked back at the people.

"What the hell are you two doing here?" he said, fear evident in his face.

"We've come to rescue this girl from the likes of you," August retorted, and started to walk towards the man.

He then opened a drawer from the dresser behind him and produced a pistol. "Don't…don't come near! I'll…I'll shoot you!" he said. August stopped walking, and Susanne's eyes widened.

"Lukas, please," Susanne said, motioning for him to calm down. Lukas slowly put the gun down, and started to move to pick up his daughter.

"Don't you touch her," August said, moving to pull the man away from her. Lukas quickly picked up the gun to point it at August, but August just took his wrist and they battled on who would get the gun- punching, kicking, and fighting for dominance.

August was winning after a while, and the gun was somehow pointing at Lukas' chin- then Lukas moved it away from him and pulled the trigger.

The bullet hit Kristine.

Susanne gasped, August punched Lukas in the face, and Lukas just looked at his daughter- stunned.

Lukas then bolted out the door.

"You scoundrel! You…You coward!" Susanne shouted at him as he took of. She then turned around to the the state Kristine was in, and gasped.

"Kristine! Where were you hit?" Susanne said, rushing to her side. August started observing the girl and her wounds- primarily surveying her for first aid.

"The bullet is just below her right lung. She is also bleeding horribly. We have to get her to a doctor quick," August said, before moving to find a cloth for bandaging.

"Aunt…Susanne…" she said weakly. "Oh, Kristine," Susanne said, tears forming in her eyes.

"Bring Maria the guitar for me," Kristine said, smiling. "And…the box, bring her the box," Kristine said, coughing. "B-Box? What box?" Susanne asked.

"This box," August said, showing her the box he brought a while ago. "Okay, Frau Bauer, please bring the desired items to the Nonnberg Abbey, Kristine tells me Maria is there. In the meantime, I shall bring her to a doctor, and report this case to the authorities" August said, finishing bandaging Kristine before carrying her.

"I then volunteered to come with him there, but sadly she died upon arriving at the clinic. Fregattenkapitän von Trapp is now arranging a funeral for her, and afterwards planning to tell the authorities about your uncle, Lukas," Susanne finished her story.

I was stunned. Tears were no longer streaming down my face, and I was silent, as I was staring at the space ahead.

"He…He killed her," I muttered.

"Yes- he was a horrible beast, I don't even know how he could do that to his own daughter," Aunt Susanne said angrily.

"But…" she stood up, grabbing the guitar case containing my guitar, and gave it to me.

"She did want me to give this to you…and she also wanted to-"

Aunt Susanne turned around, and started frantically searching for something.

"Oh no! The box!" she said. She turned to me. "I'm sorry, Maria, but I guess I have to find the box. I must have left it in the bus on the way here," she explained, an apology in her tone. I simply nodded.

"Thank you, Frau Susanne. I assure you, Maria will be at her wake, and we will pray that justice will be served for Kristine," the Reverend Mother said.

"You are most welcome. Now, I must be going. I am very sorry for your loss, Maria," Aunt Susanne said, patting my shoulder before leaving the room.

"Maria, I will have you escorted to your rooms, as I understand you will need some time alone," the Reverend Mother said.

I stood silent, and simply nodded at the kind woman. I suddenly felt her hands on my shoulders.

"Maria, I know that you have experienced a very rough life. You were orphaned, abused by your uncle, and now you are mourning over the loss of a loved one. But I hope that you will not turn away from God. He is always there for you- always. Maybe you can't understand why this is happening, but I assure you, things will be fine- soon," the Reverend Mother said.

"Also, I want you to never forget that there will always be good, Maria. Even if there's bad, there will always be good."


AUTHOR'S NOTE

I know, I know, I said soon, but a lot of things came up this week, so I wasn't able to finish and finalize in the desired time I wanted. But...I updated! Yaaay! And phew! This was one long chapter. Now, I'll just be making a few explanations: Fregattenkapitän means "Commander," as I've gotten from Wikipedia that August von Trapp was a Commander before Georg was born, just in case anyone was wondering. I've also used Maria Kutschera, as that was really her last name (also since I keep seeing Maria Rainer in the site, although that's accurate, I also wanted to be a bit accurate as well HAHA), and gave the Rainer to Kristine and Lukas, for they were the relatives of Maria's mother.

I just really hope that this was emotional or shocking enough, and I hope you were at least a bit comforted enough by the Reverend Mother. It's actually hard to fill the shoes of a very, very, very, wise woman, so I hope I got her spot on.

Finally, I really hope you are enjoying this story and thank you thank you thank you for the reviews, follows, and favorites. Speaking of reviews, do leave me one? :)) Stay tuned for the next chapter because we are now going to get some Georg von Trapp! :)

Love, ClimbEv'ryMountain