Jamila Hines is 17 years old . She is an African American slave who lived in Virginia since birth. In the early stage of her life, Jamila's mother passed away on her ninth birthday, leaving her only child to be the slave of the house. Cooking, cleaning and taking care of the young all by herself, the owner and his wife often abuses the slave girl, Jamila, and forces her to eat only one meal a day and to sleep on a hard bed with a single blanket.
Within the suffering, the slave owner's oldest son, Drake Jones accompanies and comforts the lonely slave girl who is praying for her freedom from bondage.
His parents are extremely racist and never approved of Jamila and Drake being close friends since they were little. However their bond grew stronger, and there is something his parents do not know about. If they find out, Jamila Hines and Drake Jones would be in great trouble.
I knelt down beside my hard pine bed, as Drake taught me to pray silently.
"Dear Lord, strengthen me each day. Make me not afraid, and grant me freedom from bondage, in Christ's name, Amen."
I said a prayer each night, after all the lights went out and I knew for sure the Jones family was asleep. I would not want my master and that miserable wife of his knowing of my religious practices which they disapprove of me. Just as I was about to rest my head after a long day of laboring in the house, I heard footsteps coming towards my room door. I hurried into a sleeping position, closing my eyes shut, as I thought it was the harsh wife of my master coming to knock me beside the head a few times for accidentally breaking one of her fine china's earlier today while cleaning the dining room.
The door silently opened , a hand vigorously shook me. I let out a frightful scream.
" It's okay Jamila, It's just me. You ought to be more quiet than that. You don't want to wake them up, do you?" chuckled the soft voice.
I opened my eyes, It was Drake.
"That isn't funny Drake, you scared the soul out of me. I almost thought I was dead." I said in anger
"Here, I brought you something special" said Drake
"Something special for me?" I said with a shocked expression
"Jamila, you are very close to me, I've done a lot for you your entire life."
He did not lie, Drake was the only person that treated me like a human being. He was there for me after my mother's death and before. He comforts me, listens , taught me many things and gives me hope. Also, he often brings me well portioned food I was not allowed to eat.
Drake sat at the edge of my bed handing me something, It was a journal and a pen.
"Why did you give me this?" I said.
"All these years, I taught you how to read and write for various reasons. Besides for knowledge, I wanted you to record all your memories in this book I kept, for you, and keep it safe with you till death." said Drake.
I nodded my head and hid the journal under my bed without asking any further questions about it.
"I should be going now, Good night Jamila." he said softly as I drifted to sleep. I felt his hand run through my hair, he then left the room.
TO BE CONTINUED.......
The next Sunday morning I woke up very early , still tired from my hard work yesterday. I prepared breakfast for the family, it is apart of my daily duties. My master, his wife, Ethan which is the youngest son about the age of 5 came out of their rooms about an hour later, all freshened up and ate their meal at the dining table. As for Drake, he is an early bird like me. He sometimes offer to help, but I resist. "I can do all the work myself" I say.
After the meal, Ethan with his adorable innocent face came running to me "Mammie!" he said. His little arms hugged my leg and tried to climb up on me. Ethan was a cheerful little boy, he was almost the same as Drake when he was that age, so full of unbiased and pure thoughts. But nothing but pure evil and hatred their parents had in their grown hearts.
"Good morning my boy" I said with a big smile.
"He ain't your boy, he's my boy. He ain't no ugly nigger." whispered my master's wife.
I glanced over to her, pretending I did not hear what she said " What did you say, Mistress?"
"The breakfast was delicious as always, too bad you don't eat nothin' but the scrapings" she said trying to switch the topic.
I ignored her ignorant statement and continued my duties. As I was about to step out of the dining room , she got up and yelled.
"I'm not finished with you! Come back here now, I know you broke one of my china's yesterday Mammie!" Ethan ran upstairs, disturbed from his mother's loud demanding voice.
I knew she would of noticed , since she is a woman of vanity and narcissism. She easily got angry at every little thing, punishment was given very frequently.
I turned around, walking towards her. "Yes, Mistress. I am sorry, It was an accident." I said softly.
She gazed me in the eyes for three seconds then raised her hand, slapping me hard against my face. The knock was so powerful that I fell hard upon the cold ground. I wanted to sob but I was not weak, crying would not solve anything. In this moment, I could hear my mother's voice "Be strong my girl, the Lord is with you". I picked myself up and ran to the bathroom.
"I am sorry for that too." said my master's wife sarcastically.
In the mirror, I saw my cheek was bruised. I stared for a solid ten minutes. "What have I done to deserve this treatment?" I said to myself.
Later in the afternoon, the Jones family returned from Church. I finally got to talk with Drake out in the backyard where we meet and chat in the daytime while I am tending to the garden with no one around.
"Did she hit you in your face again?" asked Drake
I nodded as I broke down sobbing. I hate crying, I did not want to look weak in front of anyone, if I cried it would be in my lonesome but I was comfortable with him. Drake held me close and kissed my forehead. "Do not despair Jamila, I'm sorry I was not there to protect you" he said. Drake would only have an opportunity to save me once in a blue moon. He can not stop his parents from punishing me all the time. Drake too, has the power to beat me, but of course, he never did or will. It was obvious Drake had always shown affection and care toward me ever since we were children, and I felt the same too, which is why we never had hatred among each other. "Remember what I taught you, darling, trust in the Lord! and write all of your thoughts and memories in the book I gave you. Whether it is happy or sad." said Drake.
My head on his chest , sobbing harder. "Mistress calls me an ugly nigger. She doesn't like when I call Ethan 'my boy', why must she be so racist and cruel?" I said. Drake raises my chin, gazing seriously into my eyes "Jamila, You are beautiful. Do not listen to them. These people can sell your fellow blacks, and use them as cattle but they can never own or enslave the souls of the blacks, No matter how much they whip, chain or make them work. They don't own you, you are not property. You are going to be freed one day, even if I have to free you myself" said Drake.
I wiped my tearful face and believed in his words. "I must continue my work now." I said.
If I don't finish by sun down, master will beat me this time and his punishment is worse than Mistress'.
Drake walked away into his room, whispering a prayer. He prayed a lot. Drake was a religious young man , his heart forever joyous, no evil comes from it. As for his parents, they are considered to be "Christians", yet they worship vanity and Satan uses them for corruption.
END OF CHAPTER 2...
TO BE CONTINUED....