True Freedom ♥ Elixir & Tayssi

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Elixir, Nov 27, 2014.

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  1. ♥ Here's the story ♥


    The times of the American Civil War were dark times, indeed. What was supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave was raining bullets, covered in blood, and smothered in smoke. Bombshells were scattered about, and corpses were all too easy to come by. It was also the time when slavery was a terrible issue, and despite Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation on January 1st, 1863, not all of the slaves were freed. In some of the northern states, those of which remained loyal to the union, slavery was still going strong.

    This is where this story of love, drama, secrets, freedom, and justice takes place.

    Imani Avila is a young, headstrong girl with a strong heart and a steadfast soul. Sadly, though, she was born a slave. Gabriel Bradley is the son of the man who recently bought her. His father abuses her and works her like a dog, along with the many other slaves living among'st the vast lands of the rich man's estate. Gabriel, however, isn't as cruel and apathetic as his father, for he holds a soft spot towards the slaves that many white men don't possess. Could it be possible that a real relationship could blossom between the two?

    What set of cards will fate deal them in this brutal game of life?

    Will this caged bird finally taste true freedom?

    Only time will tell.

    ♥ Meet the cast ♥

    These are the wonderful characters actively participating in the story~

    Played By Elixir (open)


    Imani Nicole Avila

    She's currently eighteen years young.

    She's a beautiful maiden, but of course.

    Sadly, she was born into slavery.

    Imani is a very headstrong and passionate young girl, though she has to keep these qualities under wraps due to her status as a slave. Though she has such a free spirit and a steadfast soul, she was born into a world where someone of her ethnicity isn't allowed to express such traits. Reluctantly, she has learned how to bite her tongue and keep her opinions to herself, though she has a sense of right and justice that will never truly be set aside. In a way, she's like a wild mustang. She can't truly ever be tamed, though she has to pretend like she is or she and possibly those she cares about will suffer dire consequences.

    Imani has always been eager to learn and grow as a person, and she pays very close attention to her surroundings. One can say that she's pretty wise for her years, though this may be due to all the hardship she has been through. She's a girl of strong faith, and she believes that everything happens for a reason. She's a hopeful dreamer, though she can be down to earth when she has to be. She never has her head stuck in the clouds for too long, for she knows she'll get shot down by the white folk eventually. Despite all the things she has gone through, she's never lost her compassion and her sense of strength.

    Someday, she'll stand on her own two feet, as free as the birds flying in the sky.

    ((I may edit this in later or keep it a mystery. I'm debating. xD))

    Played By Tayssi (open)


    Gabriel Vincent Bradley

    He is currently 19 years

    Nothing but a gentleman

    Born into wealth. Heir to his father's estate & business

    Gabriel is shy. That's the best way to describe him. He can get rather quiet around people he doesn't know and to make matters worse, his father shoves him into different get togethers and parties all the time, where he is forced to converse with complete strangers or people he really doesn't feel comfortable around. And though he is technically his father's sole heir to the estate and his business, Gabriel would prefer to draw and to paint. That is his passion. And to read. It's not surprising when someone finds Gabriel sitting somewhere quiet, like under a tree in the shade, with a book in his hand or a pencil and sketch book.

    Gabriel is a very sweet young man. He's kind and considerate and will often bring more food or water to his father's slaves when he is able. He's understanding and tries his best to help when he can. He will listen to anyone's problems no matter how meagre. He's a very forgiving lad and much to his father's disgust, can occasionally be seen helping the slaves if they collapse. And though his father has told him many times to stay away from them, it's futile. Gabriel feels sorry for his father's slaves and wishes he could help them. Though many of them hate him because of his father, he still does his best. If you earn Gabriel's trust and loyalty, you have a friend for life who would help you with what ever he is able to.

    ♥ Introduction ♥

    Imani Nicole Avila

    It's the middle of spring in the northern state of Delaware. The weather isn't too warm, but it's not too cold, either. Some could say that it's just right. Imani, Gabriel, his family, and all of the other slaves are currently on Mr. Bradley's estate. It's bright and early in the morning, so while all of the white folk can remain in bed for a bit longer, all of the slaves have to be up for their crack-of-dawn workloads. At least the weather is nice, right?

    Imani could feel the cool breeze blowing through the cracks in the small shack where she and the other slaves slept. It was her, a couple of younger kids, and about three elders that were working on Mr. Bradley's land. As far as she knew, he bought her because she looked like a capable, strong young woman. He also seemed interested because she didn't look like some of the other slaves. Why? Well, she was half African, but also half Spaniard. Her mother was a slave, and she fell in love with the Spanish man who assisted in managing the slaves for this certain white general. All Imani knew was that her mother had an affair with him, but he ditched her soon after he had his way with her.

    Broken and battered, her mother lost most of her spirit until Imani was born. To her, Imani was her only hope and faith, hence her given name. It actually means "faith." All through Imani's childhood, her mother taught her to never stop believing. She almost gave up herself, and she never wanted Imani to get to the same point. Trusting and looking up to her mother wholeheartedly, she obeyed her with bright and innocent eyes, despite the horrible conditions that they were in. Born into slavery, Imani didn't have a nice childhood. She still had nightmares about all the things her supposed father and the white general did to all of them, but she knew she had to remain the free spirited girl her mother wanted her to be.

    It was her final wish, after all.

    One of the other slaves in the shack was an early bird, having already gotten into the routine of waking up at the same time everyday. "Wake up, people," he spoke as he opened the door to the shack. Everyone else groaned in displeasure, but they all got up regardless of how they were feeling. If they didn't get to work, they knew what consequences awaited them. Time to tackle another day, Imani thought to herself as she got up along with everyone else. Her emerald green eyes shimmered as they stared out at the horizon. The sun was barely peeking over the land, coming to greet everyone. She smiled at the sight, giving the view a small wave as she laughed with a light heart. The others stared at her.

    "Are you alright?" One of the middle aged women asked her, her dark brown eyes filled with subtle concern. With a bright beam and a sweet shake of her head, Imani expressed that there was no need for their worry. "It's just a beautiful day, that's all," she stated, her irises shining with her undying optimism. The others seemed taken aback by this, but they didn't seem entirely put off by it. In a way, Imani was nothing less than a breath of fresh air. The others smiled softly before heading over to their stations at the fields. "She's a weird one," one of the girls spoke to another man. He nodded back at her, but both of them wore an approving grin.

    "Let's just hope she doesn't lose that spirit of hers after meeting Mr. Bradley and his men officially."
    #1 Elixir, Nov 27, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2014
  2. Gabriel Vincent Bradley

    Gabriel squinted against the bright sun light that filtered through his partially open curtains, into his room. Groaning softly, he turned over in his bed, hoping to get a few more minutes of sleep. However, it eluded him. Apparently the sun was up so he was supposed to be as well. Grumbling under his breath softly about how ungodly the hour was, he sat up and stretched his hands high above his head before he slipped from his bed and had a quick shower before he got dressed and ran a hand through his hair with a sigh. He walked over to his curtains and pulled them open swiftly, before he opened the door that lead to the small balcony. Gripping the railing, he leaned forward slightly, looking over the estate's land. Not too far away, he saw his father's slaves exit from the small shack they were forced the live in and he felt a twinge of guilt. It was his father's fault. He had bought them, forced them to work hard every day without any sort of pay. His father only sent them minimal food and water a day so they could survive and work. But Gabriel Often brought them food when he was able to. They were never sent anything like fruit from his father, so maybe he should try to bring them each one today.

    Making his way down to the dining hall, he asked the cook to make him something that was quick and easy. He didn't want an elaborate breakfast. He didn't wait long, before the cook came out with a few pieces of toast along with some selections of jams and a glass of orange juice. Gabriel thanked him, ate his breakfast and downed his juice before he made his way to his small art room. He had begged for weeks for his father finally relented and gave him the room. It contained different canvases and a multitude of paints and pencils. Sitting on a desk on one side of the room where a stack of different sized sketch pads sat and right beside them were about 7 lead pencils and a couple of erasers. On the other side of the room were shelves. The wall was covered in shelves, which held many, many different books. Smiling at the smell of paint, Gabriel stepped in, shutting the door behind him, pushing open the small window on the other side of the room.

    Gabriel spent hours in the room that morning. Paint was on his hands and a streak of blue sat underneath his right eye from where he had rubbed at one point. Staring down at his hands, he grinned lightly before he made his way to the closest bathroom, scrubbing his hands clean and ridding the blue under his eye. When most of it was gone, though he wasn't really able to rid the paint on his face, he sighed in relief and straightened, drying his face and hands before he decided it was time to visit his father's slaves. He crept into the kitchen and, seeing the cook was no where to be seen, he grabbed a small basket and packed quite a few apples into it. He grabbed himself one as well, biting into it as he left the house. His father was out for most of the day, so it was the perfect time.

    He neared the fields and an elderly man spotted him and smiled broadly. The old man, Gabriel remember, was named Zuberi, which, he had been told by the man, meant 'Powerful'. The man had been his father's slave for many years. He wasn't so much powerful in physically strength, but mental. He hadn't broken down like many slaves did. He had kept quiet and stayed out of trouble, watching as Gabriel grew from a young child of 6, to a young man of 19. The old man was one person Gabriel could speak to openly. He wasn't shy or unsure around Zuberi. Gabriel smiled and pulled out an apple and showing the old man. He handed him one and looked at the other in the basket. "I thought everyone would like a treat," he told him with a smile. The man grinned widely, taking the basket from him, reaching up and ruffling the young man's creamy coloured hair. Gabriel's grey eyes light up with joy at the man's open glee. The man turned and called, "everyone! We've got apples! Come get 'em!" before he turned back to Gabriel, "thank you, lad," he said honestly and Gabriel nodded, suddenly falling quiet when the other slaves coming over, seeing a couple new faces.

    "For those who haven't met him yet, this is Gabriel," Zuberi told everyone, "Bradley's son," he added. Some slaves glared at him, others kept their heads down. Even if they had known him, Zuberi was the only one who openly spoke to him often. Sometimes his wife, Nyarai would speak to him, but she wasn't as comfortable around him. Her name fit her. She had told him once it meant 'Humble Woman'. She was a pleasant, friendly lady, but she was more frightened of someone seeing her talk to Mr. Bradley's son. She didn't want to be punished. If the scars on her back were any indication, that had happened far too often. but he pushed that from his thoughts for now and glanced at the other slaves, giving a shy smile, "hi," he said quietly before Zuberi handed out the apples to all of them.
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  3. Imani Nicole Avila

    Imani took in a breath of fresh air as she began her morning's worth of work with the other slaves. So far, she knew quite a few by name. One of the older men seemed to be something of a veteran here, and the others referred to him as Zuberi. He's much older than the young Imani, as was his wife, Nyarai. She was the one who had asked if Imani was alright earlier, that of which made Imani think of her as quite nurturing. She seemed to me more on the compassionate and humble side, though Imani could also tell that she was quite timid. Perhaps the strength and drive emitting from her husband made up for that. Opposites attract? Imani thought to herself as she worked the fields. Even though she and the others were starting to sweat a little, none of them stopped. Perhaps it was due to her youth, but she didn't feel tired at all yet.

    All of the other slaves were quite interesting people, all possessing their own unique flare. There was the strong Zuberi, the motherly Nyarai, the quiet Faraji, the wise Asha, and her equally responsible brother, Dejen. There were also a few other males that she didn't know the names of quite yet. One was a small boy that was probably at least three years younger than Imani, and the other two were probably in their twenties or so. All of the three seemed to keep to themselves, and it appeared that the smaller boy was new, as well. He wasn't talking to any of the other slaves, meanwhile the rest all seemed accustomed to one another. This was probably due to the hard labor and terrible times they've all endured with one another, which is why Imani didn't feel lonely. Somehow, someway, she'd feel like their family, too.

    They were all each other had, after all.

    Or, so Imani was expecting, but then Zuberi called out to everyone. Imani was hard at work, so she didn't notice Mr. Bradley's son approaching the scene with a basket of apples. "Everyone! We've got apples! Come and get 'em!" Zuberi exclaimed loud and clear so everyone was able to hear, no matter what part of the fields they were currently stationed in. Imani's attention was officially grasped at, "apples," for she hasn't tasted one in what felt like forever. She remembered when she was young, her mother sneaked them a single red and green one. They both split each, and Imani found herself loving both flavors equally. The red apple was nice and sweet, meanwhile the green was refreshingly sour. Just the thought of being able to taste such a flavor again put an eager, excited smile on Imani's lips. We've really got apples?

    "For those who haven't met him yet, this is Gabriel," Zuberi spoke out to everyone as they all gathered. "Bradley's son." Imani listened closely, her emerald green eyes filled with curiosity. She didn't speak out, but she definitely wasn't glaring at the boy like all of the other slaves were. He had skin as white as snow, unlike the caramel brown skin Imani herself sported. His eyes were as blue as the spring sky above, and his hair reflected the same hue as the beautiful sun. Imani hated to admit it, but she couldn't deny that, despite the fact that he was apart of the white folk that treated her people like trash, he was actually quite handsome. She nibbled down on her bottom lip softly as she scanned him, that of which was a nervous tic of hers. A timid, "hi," was all she heard out of the boy. His voice was quiet and soft, which threw her off.

    I guess that was because she was so used to white folk screaming at her.

    After the introductions were all through, Imani gratefully took one of the apples from Zuberi. Gabriel brought all of these for us? Imani wondered to herself as she cast him a sideways glance. Compared to the other slaves, she probably stood out like a sore thumb. Many of the girls wore their hair in braids, or they had their hair shaven off or cut very short to avoid the heat. Imani, on the other hand, sported voluminous, loose curls, those of which bounced with life just above her shoulders. Her hair was a tad more silky and easy to manage in comparison to completely African women, and her emerald green eyes were definitely not a common trait among'st her kind. Many of the slaves had asked her why her eyes were such a shade when she first arrived, which is when she confessed to being half African, half Spaniard.

    Imani was almost ashamed to carry her father's last name, but her mother insisted on naming her such. Imani remembered all of the times she desperately tried to convince her daughter that the Spanish man who seemed to only abuse her actually wasn't such a terrible person. She insisted that he did sincerely love her; that they were going to wed one day. Therefore, she gave her daughter his last name, as though they were already married. That day never arrived, though. Imani couldn't help but feel slightly bitter as she thought back to her childhood in that home. Her supposed father didn't appear to hold any sort of affection towards her and her mother, though she did remember him bringing fruits and other good food. When punished, he appeared to try and go easier on them, though he never stood up for them. Not once.

    Cowards, Imani thought as she pursed her lips together for a small moment. Once again, another small nervous tic of hers showed through. Ever since that day, she hasn't been able to look back on her mother's memory without feeling a little bitter. However, she was able to quickly regain her composure, probably due to the fact that she took her mother's last wishes into account. As she thought about her mother's love, rather than how much they suffered, Imani found herself smiling. With that thought in mind, she happily munched on the apple, enjoying it's succulent and juicy flavor. "Thank you," she spoke to Gabriel kindly. Unlike the other slaves, she wasn't afraid of him. Should she be punished for speaking to him directly, she was quite proud of her pain tolerance. The many scars on her back were almost like her trophies.

    To her, they were the proof of how far she's come without losing her spirit.

    No matter how much they beat her, she wouldn't ever break.

    Her spirit was reflected in her olive green eyes.

    "I really appreciate it." She smiled.
    #3 Elixir, Nov 28, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2014
  4. Gabriel Vincent Bradley

    Gabriel watched in silence as the apples were all handed out and his father's slaves bite into them hungrily as they wandered off, not too keen about being near him. Zuberi smiled up at him as he bit into his and the young man offered a small smile back before he looked out at everyone else. One that wasn't walking away, attempting to put distance between them was a girl. She had caramel brown skin, with a full head of hair that wasn't tied back in tight braids, much unlike the other girls. And her eyes. They were a gorgeous emerald green. The type of green that he envied. She simply stood there, watching him, enjoying her apple. He saw no fear in her gaze. For that, he was intrigued. Other than Zuberi, the rest avoided him like the plague. They were scared talking to him would get them punished. But this girl. She stood there, not moving. Gabriel couldn't help but wonder who she was.

    When she spoke to him, though, his eyes widened in surprise. She spoke to him! He felt a rising sense of appreciation towards the girl. To think, someone other than Zuberi wasn't afraid of speaking to him! He couldn't help the smile that graced his features. It wasn't often that Gabriel openly smiled around strangers - he was too shy and nervous around them - but he just felt very happy that someone else was willing to speak to him. That he wasn't hated by everyone else other than the old man. He studied the girl before him. No fear in her eyes, a certain confidence in her posture and Gabriel just knew she was strong. She wouldn't be the kind who broke easily. She had a strong spirit, he could tell.

    The smile soon faded though and he ducked his head slightly when she spoke a second time. "Um, uh, no," he started, stumbling over his words slightly, not sure what to say, "no, it's.. fine," he finished softly as he glanced back over at her quickly. Beside him, Zuberi chuckled and then gave the young man a firm clap on his shoulder, "i'm going back to work, now lad," he told him with a grin, "have fun," he added as he walked off, a slight limp to his step. He had that limp for as long as Gabriel could remember and Zuberi claimed it was from when he was building a house with other slaves when he was 'young and spritely' and it came crashing down and his leg had been caught in the downfall. Apparently, his shin had broken and it just never healed properly.

    Gabriel looked away from the man as he made his way into the fields before he turned his attention back to Imani. "So.." he started, pausing for a quick moment, "what's your name? I haven't seen you around before.. And I come here quite often," he watched her, cocking his head to the side slightly. Something he didn't even realised he did when he was really curious. He bright eyes studied the young woman and he did have to admit, she was rather attractive. He could tell she wasn't completely African. If she was, her skin would be darker and her eyes would never be green like they were. but, he decided he'd sae that question for another time, if she spoke to him again.
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  5. Imani Nicole Avila

    Imani noticed the small, gentle smile that came across Gabriel's lips. In a way, he almost seemed grateful that Imani spoke to him. This on its own confused Imani quite a bit, but it wasn't a displeasing sense of confusion. In a way, it was a bit of a pleasant surprise. He brought us all apples, Imani thought with an approving smile, and he doesn't seem disgusted by us. Why can't all folks be this way? She wondered, and soon after Gabriel spoke out. His smile seemed to fade as she expressed her appreciation, as well. He ducked his head, refusing to look at her. "Um, uh, no," he stammered, seeming to be at a loss for words, "no, it's.. fine," he assured her softly, slowly returning his pale blue gaze to hers of olive green. It was a mere glance, but through that and all his other reactions, Imani could tell that he was quite timid.

    Bravely and without hesitation, Zuberi patted Gabriel on the shoulder and chuckled heartily. "I'm going back to work, now lad," he stated with a friendly grin, "have fun," he spoke a lighthearted farewell as he began walking off to the fields. Imani noticed the limp in his step, though she had no idea where he got it from. It wasn't anything new to see, sadly. Many slaves ended up injured while working, and not many of their owners bothered to give them proper medical care. From how it appeared, Imani could guess that it was probably a broken bone that didn't heal properly. With a soft, silent sigh, Imani watched the man walk off, feeling a bit sorry for how he was probably treated. As he began walking off, Imani was actually starting to turn and follow in suit. However, Gabriel's voice stopped her in her tracks.

    "So.." He spoke out, grasping Imani's attention. She turned her alluring emerald gaze back to him, her irises twinkling as she offered him her full attention. "What's your name? I haven't seen you around before.. And I come here quite often," he questioned her, and she watched as his head tilted to the side in quite a cute, childish manner. It was something she's seen some children do whenever they were sincerely curious about something. With a gentle and lighthearted giggle, Imani decided to introduce herself. "Imani Nicole Avila," she offered her full name, her surname giving a hint as to her second ethnicity. "I was brought here just yesterday," she stated with a small shrug, "so, that's probably why you haven't seen me." She then turned her body slightly, deciding that she should head back to the fields.

    "Thanks again for the apple," Imani spoke as she turned to look at him over her shoulder. Her features almost seemed to glow in the early morning light, and her full lips curled upwards in the sweetest of smiles. "I have work to do in the fields, so I should head back before I get into trouble."

    As she turned her head back forward, she let out a single, breathy laugh.

    "Perhaps I'll speak to you again sometime."

    With that, she began walking.

    What an interesting boy.
  6. Gabriel Vincent Bradley

    Suddenly feeling bad when she had stopped and turned back to him, Gabriel ducked his head slightly. She probably didn't really want to speak to him. After all, his father forced the poor girl to work for him without pay nor decent meals. He couldn't fault her if she didn't like him. However, instead, she spoke, telling him her name. Imani Nicole Avila. It was a pretty name and by her last name, he guessed she was part Spanish. That intrigued him. He looked over at her as she told him she was brought here just yesterday and he pressed his lips into a thin line. She hadn't been here long. How long would she last before she broke like most of the others had? She was young and rather pretty and Gabriel felt a pang of sadness at the thought of such a vibrant young lady's spirit being crushed. But his father wasn't kind. He gave few mercies for his slaves, seeing them more as possessions than people. It disgusted Gabriel if he was honest.

    Imani turned and thanked him for the apple again before walking off, saying that she should get back to work before she got into trouble. "Oh, right.. Sorry to keep you," he said softly, unsure of what to say. He turned as well, ready to leave now that everyone had left. but Imani spoke a moment later. He glanced back and cast a brief smile, "I certainly hope so," he said, more to himself, figuring she probably wouldn't hear him. Her words repeated in his head even as he walked off, back into the house. 'Perhaps i'll speak to you again sometime.'

    ~~ a few days later ~~
    Gabriel hadn't visited the slaves since he met Imani, but he couldn't help but think of her. She was vibrant and when he saw her working in the fields on occasion, she seemed nothing if not optimistic. She didn't seem to waver. Hadn't slowed. That was good. Work around the Bradley Estate wasn't easy. But he couldn't say what would happen if she encountered his father. He wasn't anything like Gabriel. He didn't see slaves as people. There were many a time where Gabriel had debated whether he truly was his father's son. Unfortunately, he knew he was. His father wouldn't keep around a son who wasn't really his. One saving grace was that he looked more like his mother with her creamy blonde hair and blue-grey eyes. He also had more of his mother's slender figure. His father was quite the burly man with bright, clean blonde hair compared to creamy and brown eyes with sharp features. Gabriel was thankful he earned his mother's looks. If he looked like his father, the slaves would probably hate him even more.

    Grabbing his sketch pad, pencil and an eraser, he figured he would go outside and draw for once. He had been holed inside for days and needed some fresh air. He found his favourite spot under a huge oak tree that was a little ways off from the Estate. Sitting down, he opened his sketch pad and looked around for some inspiration. Above him a bird chirped and he craned his head back and looked up. A Robin stood on a branch, singing away and the young man smiled and started drawing, looking up every few moments, hoping the bird wouldn't fly off before he finished.
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  7. Imani Nicole Avila

    Imani easily settled into the routine that had been established on the Bradley's estate. She woke up along with the other slaves at the crack of dawn, did whatever work they had been assigned that day, took a small break around lunch time whenever they graced them with a little food, and then it was back to work until nightfall. Sometimes, if something big was coming up, Imani was told that Mr. Bradley would have the slaves work all through the night without a single bit of sleep. "That man is merciless. Be sure not to anger him, Imani," Zuberi's kind wife, Nyarai, warned her. Taking her warning into consideration, Imani always did what was expected of her. So far, she hasn't done a single thing to anger Mr. Bradley or the various supervisors on the property. She still hasn't seen nor met Mr. Bradley himself, though.

    I wonder what that Gabriel boy is up to, Imani caught herself thinking as she worked in the fields along with the others. Her enchanting olive green eyes shimmered in the afternoon rays of sun, as did her dark, sweet caramel shaded skin. Trickles of sweat could be seen sparkling in the sunlight, though there was a cool spring breeze blowing through the air. Imani always took a moment to enjoy the breeze whenever it flew by, but she'd quickly have to get back to work before one of the supervisors noticed her. Soon enough, though, it was time for lunch. Today was probably going to be the same thing as any other day, which was probably a small loaf of bread, maybe some cheese, and maybe some meat - if they were lucky. Some days, they only got bread and nothing more. Imani's stomach rumbled in anticipation.

    "Alright! Get in line!" The supervisors ordered the slaves, handing out their small dosage of sustenance. Imani gratefully took her bread, and she gladly munched away at it. She sat down on the ground with the other slaves, those of whom mainly ate in silence. One of the younger boys, though, decided to share a story. "Did you know that there are these things called books?" He questioned, smiling over at everyone innocently. "I hear they contain wonderful things! Some have pictures, others have lots of words," he began, finishing his loaf of bread far too quickly. Once he realized it was all gone, a hint of sadness appeared on his face. Chuckling softly under her breath, Imani decided to give the last half of her bread to him. "Here you go," she spoke, handing him the piece generously. He looked up at her, shocked.

    "C-Can I, really? Are you sure?" He questioned, his dark brown eyes glistening with eagerness and hunger. With a reassuring nod of her head, Imani allowed him to take the bread. "Yes, I'm sure. Eat it so you can grow up big and strong. Maybe, one day, you can find one of these so-called books, and you can show all of us." She encouraged him with a light, compassionate heart. This brought one of the sweetest smiles across the boy's plump lips, and he munched away at the bread gratefully. Imani, in the meantime, decided to get up and explore the place. Their small break during lunch was a gift in Imani's eyes, and she didn't want to let it go to waste. She loved exploring bits of the estate, though she never ventured out too far. She always made sure she was close enough to hear the others speaking and laughing.

    She was caught by surprise, though, when she stumbled upon a grand oak tree. It was gorgeous, especially with the way the sun's rays shimmered through it's beautiful leaves. It came down almost like lasers, but they were indefinitely gentle. What surprised Imani even more than this enchanting sight, however, was the person relaxing within it. "Gabriel?" Imani spoke his name out loud, not realizing she did so until she heard her own voice. She tilted her head in surprise, causing her voluminous, silky curls to cascade over her charming features. Once she straightened her neck back out, her emerald gaze fell upon the materials in Gabriel's hands. She had never seen a sketch book before, so she wasn't quite sure what it was. Slowly, Imani approached, crouching down to Gabriel's height as he sat.

    "What are these?" Imani questioned as she looked upon the things he had in his possession. She looked upon the paper, noticing a figure of a bird slowly forming. "A bird?" She questioned, her olive green eyes locked upon the material before her. It was then that she heard the pleasant chirping coming from above, and her stare set on the bird of Gabriel's interest. Oh, how cute, she thought to herself, a warm smile coming across her face. After a moment, she returned her stare to Gabriel.

    "Did you draw this?"
  8. Gabriel Vincent Bradley

    Gabriel looked up at the little bird again, his pencil just above the paper of his sketch pad, ready to continue. He had completed the drawing and was just doing the finishing touches when a voice startled him. He jumped slightly and his head whipped around, eyes wide. But he saw Imani and he sighed softly, relaxing. He had to learn to pay attention to his surroundings when he was drawing. That was one thing he had never managed to learn. He became too focused on drawing, the rest of his world just seemed to fade from existence. Watching as the girl approached him, he wondered what she was doing out this far. He soon gathered that his father's slaves were on a break. Good. They definitely deserved it. Deserved it more than he or his father. Or anyone else in this estate. "Hello, Imani," he said quietly just as she tilted her head to the side, her hair caressing her cheeks and neck softly. He was quite surprised that she had bothered to remember his name. Most avoided him, so he figured they didn't bother. Then again, she hadn't avoided him when she first met him and found out who she was.

    She soon crouched beside him and looked down at his sketch pad, pencil and eraser. He followed her gaze when she asked what they were and he glanced back up at her as he realised she had probably never seen one before. "Ah, this is my sketch book, a pencil and an eraser," he explained, motioning to each item as he said it, "I draw with them," he gave a weak smile before he looked back up at the bird for a fleeting moment before Imani asked if he had drawn what was on the paper. He ducked his head slightly, fringe falling over his eyes as he nodded. "Uh.. Yes," he said nervously, "I did.. It's not very good, but.." to tell the truth, it wasn't bad at all. It was actually lifelike, but Gabriel was a very modest young man, especially with his art.

    He looked back at Imani slowly, unsure. But he didn't see anything in her expression that made him think she didn't like it. He hesitate, looking down at it for a moment, "Did you want it?" he asked softly before he looked at her again, "you can have it, if you like it," he offered her a smile and gripped the corner of the page gently, ready to rip it cleanly from his sketch book if she wanted it. He didn't mind at all giving it to her. In fact, he kind of wanted to.
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  9. Imani Nicole Avila

    Imani couldn't help but smile as Gabriel's head whipped around, his eyes wide with surprise. He clearly was more on the timid side, and she could tell. In a way, she saw that as almost endearing. "Hello, Imani," he spoke to her sweetly, that of which made a smile cross her enticing lips. She knew that she may get in trouble for conversing with Gabriel like this - especially with just the two of them around - but she was enjoying herself. Her life was going to be hell either way, so she might as well savor the little moments while she still could. Get whipped for having genuine fun, or get whipped for actually doing as much work as you possibly could? She'd take the first option, for she knew that, either way, she'd end up getting punished for something sooner or later. Might as well enjoy myself when the opportunity presents itself, right? She thought to herself as Gabriel began to answer her questions. "Ah, this is my sketch book, a pencil and an eraser," he began to explain.

    "I draw with them," Gabriel continued, and Imani nodded in response. She loved learning new things, so this was quite invigorating for her. As she questioned whether or not he drew the bird skillfully captured unto the paper, Gabriel seemed to grow nervous. Some of his silken strands of sunlight fell over his face, and Imani found herself wanting to brush them aside. "Uh.. Yes," he admitted timidly with a nod, "I did.. It's not very good, but.." He trailed off, and Imani couldn't have disagreed more. "What are you talking about?" She began with a sweet, contagious, and lighthearted laugh. "This is amazing. I could never draw something like that," she spoke, taking note of the boy's innocent modesty. If only all white folks were more like him, she couldn't help but think to herself, her expression warming as she allowed herself to settle a little closer on the ground beside him. Her clothes were already dirty, so she didn't mind sitting down on the grass and dirt anyways.

    After a moment, Imani noticed Gabriel's eyes flickering between his creation and Imani herself. "Did you want it?" He offered, stirring up a little surprise in Imani's being. "You can have it, if you like it," he spoke as he gently grasped the edge of the paper, ready to rip it clean out of his sketchbook if Imani desired it. "Really? You mean it?" She questioned, her eyes brightening up. They seemed to go from a deep forest green to a glistening emerald in a matter of seconds. "I'd love it! I'll hang it up in the shack. That'd be a wonderful thing to wake up to each morning," she spoke, the smile spreading across her lips reaching all the way up to her alluring irises. After some internal debate, though, her smile faded ever so slightly. "Wait, would you get in trouble for giving me a gift?" She couldn't help but wonder as she turned her gaze back to Gabriel. While she didn't mind receiving punishment, she never wished the same unto anyone else. "Are you sure it's alright?" She questioned.

    As she kept her olive green gaze locked unto Gabriel's of pale azure, she couldn't help but wish away the blonde strands keeping her from their full glory. With only a slight bit of hesitation, she reached out her hand to gently brush away his rebellious fringe.

    "There we go," she smiled warmly, the afternoon sun accenting her features kindly.

    "Now I can see you better."
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