Sunday, September 18, 2011

Emilie Beaumont, Chp. 9, Gen. 2, 1736

     In the summer of 1736, Felicity said her goodbyes to Emilie.

     "Felicity, you're my sister -- you know how I love you so.  Please do not feel that you have to leave.  Please don't go!"  Emilie pleaded.
     "My dear sister, I know I don't have to go.  But as part of my job, Madame Normand has offered for me to stay at her home in order to become Anne's nanny, and the new child she is bearing will also need a nanny.  I love you too, Emilie.  I will visit, I promise!  And I live just across the street.  Don't fret, Emilie!
     "This is wonderful for my career.  This is what I've always dreamed of.  If I stay, I won't become who I want to become -- who I NEED to become.  Please, please understand!"
     There was a silence, one so great that Emilie feared it would make her burst into tears.

     "Emilie, I have a commitment to people, that I must fulfill.  It doesn't mean I don't care about you.  I love you and your family more than anything in the world."
     "Felicity." Emilie's eyes teared up.  "I so envy you.  You are following your dreams.  That is beautiful.  But...  I don't know what my dreams are!  I have nothing to follow, nothing to want.  I don't know what to do.  There are times such as these that I need Maman here with me.  But she's gone."
     Felicity looked hard at her sister.  "Teach your two children everything you have learned in your life.  Knowledge is never empty.  I don't mean just schooling.  I mean to teach them about your life.  Give them your wisdom.  Teach them about Maman and Papa.  Don't just tell their stories.  Tell their lives.  Tell your life."

     "Now, I really must be going.  I'm truly quite late.  I love you, Emilie.  Goodbye!"  And Felicity ran.

     Emilie watched Felicity until she couldn't see her anymore.

     Emilie felt a piece of herself being ripped away, gone, missing.  She did not realize how much Felicity had held her together.  She didn't  know until that moment that Felicity was her thread that bound her into who she was.  And now Felicity was gone.
     Emilie cried and cried, the sobs coming out in jagged gasps that cut through the air like a knife.

     Emilie had lost all of her sisters.  She would see them again, but she knew it wouldn't be the same.  The bond of being together, growing up together, living together in the same house would be not totally gone, but crushed; the tiniest pieces that mattered most would be broken.

     Emilie's cries were silent now.  The tears glazed her cheeks, and dripped on to her clothes.  She looked at the ground, thinking of something that made her gasp and cry hard, yet again.  She always said goodbye to her sisters in the presence of her mother's grave...

     Elizabeth's dream had always been to bring her children together, but now, she was tearing them apart.


     Melatiah sat on the couch, smiling to himself.  He always loved watching Nancy play with Charles.  
     "Nancy, I can see how you play with my brother, but I don't remember you play like that with me!" Melatiah laughed.

     "Oh, Melatiah!"  Nancy sighed happily, rolling her eyes, "You know darn well tha' I played wit'choo the same way."
     Charles giggled at the sound of Nancy's voice.  She had a way of making the children smile.  Nancy took Charles upstairs to his crib for a nap.  
     Melatiah was left with Exeter, as well as mind too troubled for an eight year old.

     "Exeter," Melatiah said, "why are you so sad all the time?"
     Exeter stopped mid-chew of his meal.  He sighed.  "Child, the world is not how it should be."  Melatiah turned toward him.  "Tell me why you're sad, though.  Please?"
     Exeter had never told anyone.  Nancy knew the general reason, but he had never told her everything.  There was, of course, the fact that they were slaves.  But there was also something more.  It had haunted him since he was a young child.  And that is where his story started.

     But, Exeter wondered that if he told this young boy, the pain wouldn't hurt as much.  He wonder if his bleeding heart would stop leaking the hurt that spread to his entire body and haunted his mind.  The child was smart; Exeter knew that.  Exeter didn't think he had much else to lose...  He walked outside with the boy and sat on the bench.

     He started the story.

     "When I was a child, like you, ma mama died.  The doctors said she wus sick, but my papa didn't believe it.  He said it was my fault that she wus upset and stressed.  One day, she didn't get up in the mornin'.  And my papa was mad at me."
     A tear formed in Exeter's eye at the memory. "I loved my mama very much," he explained to Melatiah, who had tears in his eyes as well.  At seeing the boy's tears, Exeter felt better already.  His heart glowed inside with warmth.  He wasn't alone. He continued.

     " 'You worthless speck of dirt!' Papa said, sneerin' at me.  I couldn't handle the disgust on his face.  He was my daddy, after all.  I thought my daddy was suppos'd ta be happy wi' me."

     "Ma papa kept insultin' me an' frownin' down onto me.  I felt like cryin' but I knew if I did, he'd mock me."

     "Instead o' cryin' I just told him the truth.  I didn't do anything.  But he didn't believe me, o' course.  But I knew the truth.  It was Papa who stressed out Mama and put pressure on her.   But after more insults an' accusations, I finally broke down."

     " 'Papa, I'm sorry, I'm sorry!' I whimpered and started to cry, even though I did nothin'.
     "As I grew older, Papa continued to yell a' me.  Every day he said somethin' that made me upset.  Until one day, I just lost it an' yelled back.  I couldn't take it any more."

     "He was mockin' me, as usual.  He said, 'If you'd not been born, yo mama would be alive today.'"

     "'I'm sick an' tired of what you say, Papa!  You were the one who always upset everyone and Mama, too.  You have hurt me so much an' I'm not gonna let'choo do it no more.  I did nothin' wrong, and you did everything wrong.  I hate what'choo say, what'choo do an' I'm not gonna listen to yo' lies any more.  You killed ma mama.'  
     "Papa was shocked.  His eyes bulged a' me.  I suddenly felt like I did somethin' wrong."

     "Quickly, I tried to apologize, but he glared at me an' said, 'I will not have a failure fo' a son.  I will never forgive you.  Get out of my sight.  I will never speak to you again.'" 

     "As I walked away, from Papa, I felt like I would never be loved again.  An' I knew that if I ever had a child I would never treat it like that, ever.  That day hurt more than any other.  I was a failure in ma fathuh's eyes.  An' he would never love me like yo' daddy loves you.  He never forgave me.  I cried and cried that day.  Ma daddy stepped all over ma shattered heart and he sprinkled the pieces into the river." 

     Tears streamed down Exeter's face.  "That's ma story, child."
     Melatiah was crying.  "Exeter... Exeter, you don't have to worry about being treated like that anymore.  I love you, Exeter!"  The boy cried and hugged Exeter's arm.  
     Exeter wanted to cry.  All those years without love and now a little boy wanted to make it up to him because he loved Exeter.  Without knowing it, the child had stitched Exeter back together with a child's love and care, but all the same, Exeter felt much better.  The child loved him, and that was better than anything he could have gotten from his father.


     Emilie decided to take a trip to the park and write in her diary.  She had been thinking hard.

Dear Diary:

     I've written what Felicity said about knowledge down.  I think it's true.  Maybe knowledge and learning is how we get through things.  I know I'll be able to get through the 'loss' of Felicity.  I just need time.  I just need to learn how.  Maybe tomorrow I will visit her.  Yes, I will visit Felicity tomorrow!  I will visit each of my sisters tomorrow.  I will bring Charles and Melatiah.  We will have a feast.  We will talk and laugh.  We will learn and speak of knowledge.  

     We will speak of Mother, of Father, and of the things they taught us.  We will speak of our childhoods, our mistakes, our experiences.  We will teach our own children.  We will watch them grow, learn, make their own mistakes.  We will help them get through it with knowledge.  We will all be together.  

     Yes, the bond between my sisters and I will be different, our lives will separate and we will walk our own paths.  But that doesn't mean we can't be together sometimes along the way.  We will walk different paths, but they may meet along the way.  And they will.

     Maybe in this way, we are bringing ourselves together.  Maybe Maman did not rip us apart after all.  We can always visit, and those visits make us stronger, they bind us a little tighter.  They make us who we are.

     And that's exactly what Maman would have wanted.

    I've read my mother's diary.  And I've learned to be.

          Emilie Beaumont


      As Emilie walked up the path that night, she gazed at the stars, trying to guess which one was Maman.


*The Antique Legacy*
Emilie Beaumont


  1. Aw beautiful chapter i thought Exeter's story was touching and very well executed. Great work from you as always :)

  2. This was such an emotional chapter! I am so happy for Felicity. She is able to do the job that she longed to do.

    I'm glad that Emily is following Felicity's advice,and I hope that she will be happy too!

    Now we see what has made Exeter so unhappy and bitter. I had tears in my eyes as he told Melatiah his story! Melatiah's reaction was so sweet.

    I love how each chapter just seems to grab my heart!

  3. So beautiful! The language and sentiments are so beautiful and poetic! I also loved reading about Exeter's childhood. I'm really enjoying Nancy too. Felicity's words about passing on knowledge to children were beautiful too!

  4. @angie: Thank you! I'm glad it was a success :)

    @11daisies: I'm happy for her, too! I guess we can't really put ourselves into someone else's shoes unless we know their past. I'm so happy you love reading the family's story :)

    @Crzy: I hope this answered your specific questions about Exeter. Exeter and Nancy are so lovable, aren't they ;)

  5. Wow, this was a powerful and emotional chapter. But so beautiful too!

  6. aww, such a nice story! Can't wait for the next chapter!