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Jump Into Forever
The handsome slave and the pretty heiress, jumped into the land beyond, where they were free from the chains of people's opinions and ignorance. It's a story that will never be forgotten. Read it as it was, and do not contort it into something it is not. Treasure it like you would a child's laugh, a puppy's bark, a butterfly's kiss.
Nineteen-year-old Anna Smith quickened her pace as she walked along the dusty road, parasol in hand. She was supposed to be going to visit her fiance, but she wasn't She was meeting her real love. The love she was forbidden to be with.
She hadn't had any intention of becoming close to Jake, the handsome slave who understood everything about her. Certainly she hadn't expected to fall in love. The world was against what they had-they were forced to hide it.
There was nothing left for her fiance, nothing at all. He betrayed her, by not only having an affair with another woman, but he had wanted to leave her to go fight in the war. Someone who really loved another someone would never do that. Not unless their love really was okay about it.
Walking along the dirt road, Anna had her thoughts to herself. Her wedding was a few days away, and she detested it. She wanted Jake, and that was all. But a slave and a wealthy girl just did not mix.
Anna had hinted about falling in love with a slave, and every time she got snaps of “Don't be silly!” or a look of complete disgust and horror. It wasn't right. Everyone was equal, and everyone had a right to love the person they wanted to. Why couldn't she just be allowed to marry Jake? If it was allowed, she knew he would propose to her immediately. She would say yes immediately.
Anna looked behind her. No one there. She walked to the corner of the road, and turned not to the dirt road, but instead to the small hill. Slowly, she crawled down, and smiled when she saw Jake's handsome, dark eyes staring at her. With dark tan skin, very dark brown eyes, and hair that fell in front of his face perfectly, he was the most handsome man Anna had ever seen. Much handsomer than Robert, her very skinny and tall fiance.
Jake smiled back and gave a nod. “Hello, Anna.”
Anna stood next to him, looking out at the river. “Hi, Jake.”
The silence between them was painful and sad. In just a few days, Anna would have to get married, and it wasn't to the man of her dreams. It was not to who Jake would pick, either.
Anna felt her eyes well up a little, and she turned her head. The things she felt were unbearable.
“Anna?” Jake asked softly, putting a hand on her shoulder.
Anna shook her head, as if she was saying she couldn't utter out a single word.
“I know. I don't want it either,” Jake said, removing his hand and instead sitting on the ground. He let out a sigh. Anna plopped down next to him, pulled up her knees, folded her arms, and rested her head there.
“I just... I don't understand what's so wrong about it,” Anna finally choked out. She lifted her head, and turned to look at Jake.
Jake shook his head solemnly. “Neither do I. But we must not think about it,” he replied calmly, embracing her in a hug.
“What if there was something we could do about it? To prove a point?” Anna asked after they released each other.
“Like what? Jump off a cliff?” Jake asked, partially joking, partially forming the idea in his head.
Anna gave him a look, but as she thought about it, her face contorted into an expression that showed she had an idea. Jake could tell she had the same, twisted idea he had, but pushed away.
“Do you think it could work?” she asked, setting her brown eyes in an intense gaze on his face.
Jake felt his breath get quicker, and he took a deep breath. “Anna, shouldn't you th-”
“You're right. It's a terrible idea.”
“I just want to make sure if that's what you want to do. If it is, I'll do it with you. I wouldn't mind jumping into eternity with you.”
“We'd be free to marry each other then, wouldn't we?”
Jake put a calloused hand on her pretty face, brushing back a piece of golden hair. “We would.” He gently kissed her cheek, and gave her a critical look. She nodded, sure this was what was necessary.
A week later, Anna stood in her bedroom, in her beautiful wedding dress. Her stomach was twisting in knots, but it wasn't pre-wedding jitters. She was finally going to be free to love Jake. Maybe they wouldn't even have to jump. Gunshots had been heard all morning-the navy was nearby.
A maid came in Anna's room. “Miss, are you ready?”
Anna nodded, and followed the maid. She walked down the stairs as if she was truly getting married. She even followed the servant to the chapel.
The organ played the music, and Anna strided in, taking the breath away from all who watched. She was almost to Robert, when right on que, a handsome slave on a black horse came galloping in through the doors.
Anna threw her flowers aside, and jumped as Jake came towards her. Jake caught her, and off they went, back out the wooden double doors. People started yelling, realizing what was happening. The never-got-to-be groom yelled curses and insults, but Jake and Anna just smiled at each other.
They parked the horse a few yards away, jumped off, and ran. Ran like the wind-gone with the wind. They ran, knowing they would be at the cliff that would set them free.
Before they reached it, though, the deafening noises of gunshots filled their ears and rang through their veins. The soldiers and navy and militia were fighting right in front of them. Jake slowed down, but Anna grabbed his hand and pulled him through.
“Nothing's stopping us!” she yelled as they ran through the smoke and flaming bullets. They narrowly dodged the oncoming hits, receiving quite a ruckus amongst the soldiers.
Finally reaching the cliff, Anna and Jake looked behind them. They couldn't see anything through the smoke and soldiers and bodies. The two turned to face each other, gazing intently into the other's eyes.
“Why are we doing this?” she asked softly, calmly, knowing this is what she wanted.
“To prove that love is equal and kind. That prejudice will never do a thing of good for the world. Because we want to be with each other freely.” Jake grabbed her hands, squeezing them tightly. She squeezed back.
“Maybe we should just run away somewhere...”
“No. We've come this far. They would be able to find us somehow anyway.”
Anna nodded. “You're right.”
Jake let out a sigh, but it wasn't sad or troubled. It was content. “Anna, I love you. I want to spend eternity with you. Let's do it.”
Anna smiled. There was that blunt, good-humored boy she knew. “I love you, too, Jake. Let's jump into forever, into eternity.”
After one last earthly kiss, Jake and Anna turned to face the cliff. Jake grabbed her hand. They turned to look at each other, and they gave a nod. Without looking back, they ran forward, and jumped, hand in hand, into eternity. Into forever more. Into the bluffs and water below. The land of the dead.
Later that evening, Mrs. Smith weeped uncontrollably. Her daughter, and the handsome slave who Anna always talked with, were found in the river, dead. Lying in the cold water, hand in hand. They were scratched from the rocks, with dried blood on the scars that would never become.
Mrs. Smith knew she did wrong. She let her daughter not have the freedom to love. But she didn't expect it to end like this. For her daughter to be dropped off the face of the earth. How could that wretched girl do this to her?
But deep inside, Mrs. Smith knew her daughter was happy. Though she would never admit it. She also would never admit she was proud of her now dead daughter. Proud of her for taking a stand, for taking that jump into forever, for being bold and proving the cruelty of the world should not be taken easily. Maybe one day, more people would realize the importance of loving equally. It was the tale of a life-time, the tale that demands it be shared. It's a story that is simple, sweet, but terribly devastating. It won't be forgotten, no matter how hard the world tries to stop it.
Remember it always.