Light and Dark

During the middle 1800s in the southern United States of America, black people were forced into slavery due to the belief of white people having superiority over them. Not all white people felt this was right, however. This story is about a young slave named Anna and the friendship she develops with her new master's son, Jacob. The two look out for each other, and learn the value of true loyalty, especially when one of them is put to the ultimate test.

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3. Arriving at Estate

I have spent the past two nights dreaming only of Christa. My parents weave in and out of my thoughts, but Christa remains plastered there, as if by paste. Is she all right? Can she survive without me? These are just the beginning of my worries for my darling younger sister. She is so frail and delicate. What if Cook cannot protect her? After all, Cook cannot always be there. She has a job to do. If Christa dies, it is my fault entirely for not fighting harder for her safety.

Silently, I cry. Only Robert remains awake, though I do not know of it. He is sixteen, and quite observant. "Anna, why are you so sad?" Startled, I gasp quietly. I was not aware of him watching me. He was so silent and still.

"I'm fine," I lie. He cannot know my true fears and regrets.

"No, you're not," Robert insists. He can hear the sorrow in my voice, I am sure of it. Knowing that I cannot lie to him, I reveal my troubling worries. Once I finish, all is quiet. Wondering if he fell to sleep, I begin to turn to my side to do so likewise when he responds. "Perhaps something has happened, but she is probably fine. Cook and the others shall look out for her as they did for you. She is not entirely alone, although you were the only remaining family in her life. You must have hope. You must try to let go some, or you shall slowly rot away until you are nothing."

He is right. With that, we both turn to sleep with not another word between us. Nothing needs to be said.

I awake when the sun rises. The others are awake already, discussing only such topics that teenage boys can understand. We are parked, probably for Master James to sleep. Within hours, we are off again, with tremendous speed. Wondering why he is such in a hurry, I long to beg for the horse's speed to decrease. Then, I remember that the journey is supposed to take little more than two days, and today is the third day. We must be quite near Master James' household. I am very excited to rid myself of this horridly hot and foul-smelling crate.

The path becomes smoother, and I feel that we are on a road. Eventually murmurs are heard, and minutes later the wall which none of us lay against is being taken down. In front of us, three slaves stand: an old man, a young woman, and a girl about the age of fifteen. The only other people are rushing down the steps to greet Master James: a middle-aged woman who can only be Master James' wife and their son(I can tell since he looks just like her). "Caroline, Jacob: this is our new service." He points to the crate, into which his wife and child peer inquiringly. While Master James looks quite proud, Madame Caroline and Master Jacob look quite disturbed.

"James, please. Why must these people be treated so harshly? Can we not simply pay them minimal wage for little work and do what we, ourselves, are capable of doing?" Madame Caroline asks.

Master James rolls his eyes with frustration, as if he has heard this quite often. "Caroline, we have discussed this several times, we cannot afford to pay so many and are far too busy to do any meaningless work ourselves. Besides, they were raised to do this. Some of them even enjoy it. Please, Caroline, simply allow the situation to take place."

With that, Master James strolls into the house, followed by the old man, as if the debate is over and dealt with. But I can see by the look in Madame Caroline's eyes that this argument is not over.

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