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Am I Home?
Author's note: What inspired me for writing this piece by placing my inner thoughts, a place that I would be mostly afraid of to express and place
Sitting here crying as the strings slide through my fingers. Bit by bit of my blood drip on the loom as I grip onto the pole to tighten the strain of string, pulling the pole as strong as I can. I was 6 at that time when my parents sold me and my siblings off to a stranger. I didn't know I was sold until the next day I woke up in a land full of cherry trees beside my siblings. My father told me that one day, he would sell me off for marriage, but I did not know it would be now. Do my parents know where I am? Do they remember how I look, smell, laugh, and talk? Do they remember me at all? I look back at the blanket, brown, yellow, orange, and red.
"Almost finished?" Emma whispered while looking over her shoulder
"It looks beautiful. Are you planning to sell that, Julieanna?"
"I'm not quite sure yet. How much do you think it is worth?" I said while wiping my blood on my cloth apron.
"Hmmm. About $10." Emma looked at me,
"But with those blood stains, 6 at least. Make sure you wash out the blood stains before Mr. Stevenson sees it."
I looked down at my apron. What can I do with six dollars? All of a sudden I heard screaming
"LET ME GO! LET ME GO!!!" a familiar voice shouted
"COME WITH ME NOW!!!" a man's voice yelled.
Emma and I stood up from our stools. It was Mr. Stevenson pulling and dragging Janessa by her pig tail.
"PLEASE LET ME GO!!! I BEG YOU! I PROMISE I WONT DO IT EVER AGAIN!! PLEASE LET ME GO MR. STEVENSON! PLEASE!" She said while screaming and crying.
I quickly pushed my way past the other children and pulled Janessa by her legs.
"MR. STEVENSON! PLEASE LET MY SISTER GO!!" I yelled as I held onto Janessa legs.
"WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING" Mr. Stevenson yelled as he began to pull Janessa's hair harder.
Strands and strands of her hair quickly plucked off of her scab as if they were flowers being picked from the ground. Janessa’s cry and scream became louder and more violent, war cry to be exact. A man in his late 40’s early 50’s stood behind Mr. Stevenson. Appropriating me and lifting both Janessa and I up. We both hung on his shoulders like bean bags being carried to the back room. The room that I've always walked past every morning wondering what wasn't in there. I thought it was a private bathroom, but it really wasn't It was an empty room with woven bags on the ground. The bags for picking cherry picking outside the barn. Is this where all the bags and cherry sat after we were finished picking them? Whoosh the strong movements of air rushed past my hair and arms. I laid there on the cold cement floor with Janessa beside me. I grabbed her hands and held onto her, as the man who held us grabbed me and dragged me into the dark corner. I tried my best to reach out to Janessa but she was already at the opposite corner with Mr. Stevenson. Her screams begin to get louder, as I saw her from the corner of my eyes as her apron and dress rip apart, I can see the sadness and pain in her eyes as tears streamed down her face. I couldn't help it, I wanted to help her. I tried to release myself from his grip and struggled but nothing seems to be working. I could not do anything for Janessa nor I with what was happening to the both of us. Tears flowed down from both of our faces as we tried releasing ourselves, the laughter and grunts Mr. Stevenson and the man on top of me were making. I couldn’t help but scream and kick. I tried reaching my hand out towards her screaming her name. JANESSA, JANESSA, JANESSA. Is this what I get for helping?
I woke up with my clothes in the middle of the room, and I noticed Janessa across from me, naked and badly beaten. I slowly limped towards Janessa to check if she's okay.
"Are you okay Janessa?" I asked.
"HOW DO YOU THINK I FEEL?! DIDN'T YOU SEE WHAT HAPPENED?" Janessa yelled, as she raised her arms and wrapped them around my neck crying.
I limped towards the center of the room and grabbed my clothes; I slowly covered her burse body with the ripped dress. I gently held her up and limped towards the door, it slowly creaked outwards. No one was there. The barn was dim, no lights near. I held onto Janessa, and grabbed the lantern next to the wall. We head back to the living quarters, and limped slowly to the back to our mattress.
"I don't want to be here anymore; I'm sick of working for a fool that barely knows me and take control of me. I just want to get out of this hell." Janessa wimped.
"And how do you suppose you're going to do that?" I ask.
"I don't know, I'll think of something, anything."
"I couldn't help but over hear, but I think I might know a way to get help, and a way to get out" Emma whispered.
Janessa and I slowly turned our head towards Emma.
"What do you have planned, Emma." Janessa asked.
Janessa and I sat on the cold cement floor and listened as Emma told us her plan.
“Okay, first we go through the farm, through the farm you will see a Well of DiCaprio, behind that Well, you will see a road, a road will lead you to a hidden forest, and inside that hidden forest, there will be a boat, a boat where the boys use to sail out to the sea for fish. Use that boat and cross it to the other side of the city. And there, you will meet an elderly lady that will take you in as her granddaughters.” Emma explained as she drew out the routes and directions on where to go. As Emma explained, I saw the look on her face as she was making all these up, but I can’t leave my sister out of my sight ever again, I have to leave this hell hole with her too. This is what sisters are for.
“Hey, Janessa, we’ll talk about this more tomorrow morning, you should get some shut eyes, you too Emma.” I said finding another pair of outfit for Janessa and I. Emma rolled her eyes at me tsst her teeth and walked away to the far end corner of the room. I slipped on my dress; and helped Janessa put on hers. I slowly laid her onto the mattress and held onto her.
“You know I love you right?” I told her.
“Yes. I’m sorry I yelled at you earlier” she replied.
“It is okay, no need to apologize, go to sleep now. We have a big day ahead of us if you want to get out of this hell hole.” I smiled, kissed Janessa’s forehead, and rest my eyes. I just hope no one catches us.
As I stood up from the mattress, I walked out towards the loom I am assigned to and sat at the stool. I forgot to wash out the stains; I hope Mr. Stevenson would not notice. I placed my hand onto the pole and pulled. I worked for an hour until it was time for breakfast, I released the pole from the loom and grabbed the blanket, fold it, and brought it with me to the farm where each and every child were, running around happily, and eating. I looked around for Janessa. No sight to be seen, I limped towards the house quarter, and there Janessa was, packing my clothes into a bag.
“What are you doing?” I asked while limping towards Janessa.
“Aren’t you leaving with us?” Janessa asked.
“Yes, but its morning. Why are you packing now?”
“So we don’t need to pack later on tonight. We’re leaving as soon as lights out.”
“Don’t you think that’s a bit too early?”
“If you don’t want to leave then that’s fine, you can stay here. I’m leaving this hell hole, with or without you.”
“Can we at least talk about this?”
“I already made up my decision, you’re either going or not, your choice. I know for a fact that I’m leaving.” Janessa said as she slid her bag of clothes near the dresser and limped out towards the barn. I don’t know what to do, should I go? I don’t want her to go alone. I don’t know!! I grabbed my bag and placed it next to Janessa’s with the blanket I made over the bags and limped out.
After breakfast, we had a 15 minute break to either, shower, play, work, or eat- like recess. I on the other hand was back at the loom working on another blanket a smaller version for Janessa.
It was night time and everyone was getting dismissed for bed, bathroom, shower, etc. I saw Emma from the corner of my eye lock her arms in Janessa’s’ as they walked back into the head quarter, I followed.
“Are we all set for the escape?” Emma asked
“Not quite yet, still waiting for my sister.” Janessa said
“Are we really going to make it out of here?
“I hope so; I have you and my sister. I just want to get out of here. Even if I only make it out myself, I’ll make sure I’ll think about you two everyday”
“Just make sure you get out of here safely, okay!”
I looked at the clock placed on the wall, 11:15pm. I sat up from my mattress and tapped on Janessa.
We quietly got up grabbed Janessa’s and my stuff, and limped towards Emma’s mattress. She wasn’t there.
“Do you think she left without us” Janessa asked.
“I don’t know, but let’s get going before we get caught.”
We limped towards the barn, and quietly opened the door towards the farm, and limped through the farm towards the Well of DiCaprio, gasping for air, we continued. Straight ahead were the road, and a sign that read “Hidden Forest” we walked and walked until we saw a lake, a beautiful blue lake, with the white moons reflection on it. I saw the boat near the lake.
As we reached the boat, we heard footsteps behind us crunching on leafs, we walked faster and faster till we heard the footstep run. We ran towards the river and saw a man and a young child next to him standing at the dock, the man had his head down, legs spread apart, and arms behind his back, and the child were standing beside the man with its arms crossed. Janessa and I were trapped. Two grown men wrapped their arms around us and laughed. The man slowly walked towards Janessa and me raising his right hand and taking off his hat, and stared at Janessa, and I. It was Mr. Stevenson and Emma.
“Thank you Princess, you saved me a lot of money.” Mr. Stevenson said.
“You’re welcome daddy.” Emma replied.
I jumped from my sleep causing me to wake up and opened my eyes; it took a couple of seconds for my vision to focus. I sat up to quickly, my head spun like crazy. I did not know what to do; I don’t remember how I got here, whose foot is this? Where am I? I looked around the cube room, beautiful painted bright peach room, a man and women on the sofa sleeping peacefully, I looked towards the floor. Janessa and James sound asleep on the floor, side by side for body heat. I realized it was all a dream. I looked over at Jessica her body looked perfectly fine, I looked around the room and smiled. This is my family, those are my siblings, and they are my parents. My name is Julieanna-Rose Fields, and I am happy to say ‘I am finally home.'