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Written By: Hurricane1714
My name is Lacy. For 'bout twenty six years, give or take, I've been worried about my daughter, Ana Maria. Then again, I suppose it's natural for a mother to worry about her child. Right now I'm worried she's a slave again, dead or some other fate neither of us wanted has come upon her.
I keep tellin' myself, 'She's been gone for ten years and she ain't ever comin' back.'
It doesn't stop me from missin' and worryin' 'bout her.
I can still remember the day I figured I was carryin' her, as though it was yesterday. I think I was about seventeen or eighteen then. Me, my husband Danny, my sisters Annie and Beth, my brother Paul and most of our friends were taken from the sugar plantation we had been workin' at and taken to the nearby town. There, we each took our turn on a wooden platform. White men placed bids on us. I watched my loved ones sold to different masters, with the exception of Paul and Beth. They were lucky enough to be sold to the same man. I was last.
After a long bidding process, I was sold to a man named Mathew Lee. When I got to my new plantation home, night was falling. A woman named Mary led me to the cabin I was to share with her and her large family. She gave the feeling of a woman who loved all.
"What's Mister Lee like?" I asked as we walked over to the cluster of log cabins where us slaves lived.
"'E's fair enough," said Mary. "Lets us marry and have church services, but 'e'll beat you if he thinks you're bein' lazy or disrespectful."
I nodded. Mister Lee didn't seem too bad.
"Here's our cabin," said Mary. It was crowded. It felt like a blur as I was introduced to Mary's husband and her five children.
That night, I lay on my straw mattress, trying not to think about the family I had left behind. I told myself the stories my mother told me, the ones her mother told her when she was a little girl, somewhere in Africa. I counted the scars on my hands. Then I remembered. Well, I remembered I had forgotten somethin'. When I had my monthlies last? About two full moons ago. How could I have forgotten?
I sat up, shocked at my finding. Did this mean I was could be expecting Johnny's baby? Or was I just barren? Slowly I lay back down. Against my will, I started to cry. How could I be given such a wonderful blessin' on such a horrible day? If the blessin' was even real.
Nine months later, I gave birth to the most beautiful baby I had ever laid my eyes on, I swear to the Lord Jesus. She had big brown eyes, silky back hair, a button nose and chubby cheeks. I christened her Ana Maria, after my sister and the woman who had helped me so much.
The years flew by much to fast for my likin'. She grew up into a free-spirited, stubborn, clever girl. A bit to smart, high and mighty for her own good, that's what most of the people who knew her said. Her stubbornness had earned her a lot of beatings.
As for my self, I married the plantation blacksmith, Henry. We had two boys together, Jimmy and George. We were as happy as it was possible to be happy.
Then, when Ana Maria was around sixteen or seventeen years of age, that fool, Jack Sparrow, came along.
He was a captain of an EITC ship called The Wicked Wench. She'd been damaged in a storm and had made port in the nearby town for repairs. He was handsome, with a quick tongue and, most importantly, single. Came around the plantation 'bout once every seven days to talk. Said he was interesting company. He told stories about himself. Most of them involved him battling sirens, ghosts, gods or some other hocus pocus and him triumphantly winning over them, saving the day, getting the treasure or a mix of the three.
His charm and love of life resulted in the feeling of a party whenever he came over to talk. All the girls fell under the spell of his dashing looks and his witty stories. They giggled when ever he spoke, watched his every move and made sure they looked nice when he came over. Even Ana Maria fell for that fool. Although, I'm proud she disguised her feelings better than the other girls.
Unfortunately, Sparrow and Ana became friends. More than once I saw them sittin' together, talkin' about freedom, liberty and other claptrap.
One night, Ana asked me for a private word. We went outside the cabin.
"Jack wants me to run off with him," said Ana, not meeting my eyes.
I stared at her, shocked. "Are you serious, child?"
"Are you goin' to go?" Daft question. Who wouldn't take this opportunity?
She nodded again.
"What are you plannin' to do?"
"Join the crew of Jack's ship, disguised as a boy."
"Sparrow is gonna break your heart," I warned.
"If he does, I'll hunt him down and break his face," she said.
I wanted to be selfish. I wanted to threaten to tell Mister Lee. I couldn't let her go. She was my only girl. I needed her. But I had to let her go. Like I said before, it would be selfish and this would most likely be the best thing that ever happened to her.
Besides, as the late Mary (May she rest in peace) said, "Children are gonna go, whether they marry, are sold and maybe, if they are lucky, they'll find away to escape. There's nuthin' you can do 'bout it, 'cept give 'em your blessin.'" She was right, as always.
I looked into my baby's eyes. "I hope you realize, that if you go, you can't come back."
"I know, Mama."
I hugged her. "I don't want you to go." I fought the tears that were comin' into my eyes.
"I'm sorry," she said, huggin' me back.
"Don't be sorry, I'd do the same thing if I was you."
"I love you, Mama."
"I love you too, Baby."
She broke the hug and walked off into the night, towards her freedom.
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