Length: 534 words (1.5 double-spaced pages)
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Everyone was overjoyed when the baby arrived but that happiness ended
shortly after Armand found out that the baby was black. From then on
it has been tough on everyone, especially us slaves who have to bear
the brunt of Armand's unhappiness and anger. He treats us very
severally, whipping us when we are slow at something or stopping our
food and making us sleep outside the house, if we do anything wrong.
It's like hell for us, all over again. He is now harsher than he has
ever been, even before his marriage. All of us slaves have to be very
One day, I was working in the house (that's where I usually work), I
was cleaning up the table after dinner when I accidentally dropped
some glasses on the floor, shattering them into tiny pieces. Master
Armand got very angry, he beat me with his whip, whipping my back
several times, leaving the marks. He then starved me for two whole
days and put me outside in the freezing cold, I had little on. This
became the typical treatment for so many of us slaves after the tragic
moment of Armand discovering his baby's race.
We had thought our lives had taken a fortunate turn when Master Armand
had first got married. He became so much nicer than he had ever been.
He stooped shouting at us, he treated us with respect and would make
sure that fresh food was prepared for us slaves, not the leftovers had
been accustomed to. He became a totally different man, one that we
began to like and respect. It's hard to believe now but we actually
enjoyed working for him back then. I had never seen Master Armand so
happy, both with us as well as his wife. We were all totally amazed,
he actually started to resemble his late father who had always been a
true gentleman, kind and considerate. I suspect that for that time
anyway, Armand's attitude had changed towards us blacks.
Armand and Desiree loved each other so much, he treated her with love
and care and she doted on him. She was the one responsible for all the
changes in him, to keep her happy; he listened to her and did what she
asked. She in turn took care of all his needs, showering him with love
and affection but more importantly, she tried to change him into a
nice and gentle human being, one that not only she but everyone would
love, admire and respect. Desiree being the wonderful lady that she
was, brought out the good side of Master Armand.
When the baby arrived, Armand was beside himself with joy, especially
at the fact that theirs was a boy, a son who would carry on the family
name and dynasty. They were both so happy together, Armand and his
beloved wife, he loved her with all his heart and she him, so much so
that "when he frowned, she trembled, when he smiled, she could ask for
no greater blessing of God."
Alas, it was not to be. The happiness that they shared and in which
the whole household, including us slaves reveled in, was short lived.
Along with Desiree and her baby's departure, all of Armand's hopes and
dreams vanished too. It is we poor souls who are left to endure his
wrath. Only the other day, we were reflecting on how although even
before Desiree, Armand treated us severely at times, his harshness was
never what it is now. Before, he would occasionally stop our meals or
beat us with his hands rather than using a whip. We have been
accustomed to him shouting at us, using foul language and treating us
with contempt but it has never been this bad. He loathes us,
addressing us as "Negroes" rather than using our names. He belittles
us, making us feel very negatively about ourselves. Even his horses
and dogs suffer less than us.
I am totally disheartened, there is no hope, and how can I carry on? I
wish Desiree was still here but what could she do? She didn't leave
out of choice, he turned her out. Getting rid off all traces of her by
burning all her belongings and everything else that would slightly
remind him of her or her baby.
I wonder how Desiree and the baby are? After all, being black makes
him one of us doesn't it?