It wasn’t my fault that England and France decided to go to war. It wasn’t me who decided that stealing King Philippe’s cow was a great idea. I didn’t declare war; I hadn’t even wanted a war. And, so, why was I sitting in a jail cell with a whole bunch of other innocent British? Why was it that I was soon to be sold as a slave for the crimes my country committed? Oh, I’m sure England was doing the same thing, but why me.
“Your number is 1-0-6-4-2.” A guard with a heavy French accent told me as he dragged me out of my cell. “Remember it.”
1-0-6-2-4. No, 1-0-6-4-2. 1-0-6-4-2. 1-0-6-4—. I gasped as we emerged into a beautiful city.
“Oui, le Paris.” The guard said reverently. He chuckled. ...view middle of the document...
“Je veux sella.” The woman who had inspected me so thoroughly before said pointing at me. A young girl muttered something in response, attached a chain to my wrist, and handed me over to the woman. “You my slave.” The woman said haltingly in English. “I have bakery. You learn French.” She then walked forward dragging me with her.
We arrived at a small building from which delicious smells wafted. I soon learned that the woman and I were the only residents. The bakery was fairly successful and we led comfortable lives. I didn’t feel much like a slave; Darlene, the woman, soon learned English after I had tried, and failed, to speak French. I was soon an expert at baking and learned to enjoy it. I was happy with my new life; especially as everyone took the time to speak English for my sake. That day I was making croissants when somebody called out. “Hello?”
“How may I help you?” I asked as I walked out from the back, but I stopped abruptly when I saw the man at the door.
“Well, what do you know!” The young guard said with a laugh leaning on the counter. “We meet again.”
“Oh, um. Do you need anything?” I stammered.
“I’ll settle for some of your famous croissants.” He said not taking his eyes off me. I handed him the croissants wordlessly and he tossed a gold coin to me. “I’m afraid I don’t know your name?”
“Ashley.” I answered cautiously.
“I see, much better than 1-0-6-4-2.” He had remembered my number? “I’m Kyle Edison, at your service.”
I didn’t know what to say; so I just stood there.
“These croissants are delicious by the way.” He said and then he left. Kyle returned many times after that; he brought me news of the war, updated me on the latest gossip, and confided his secrets to me. He baffled me; he acted as if I was his equal. Although the people liked me they never let me forget that I was a slave, but Kyle; Kyle acted as if I was free, as if I was his friend. And I treasured his friendship.
“Good morning, Ashley.” Kyle said one morning. “I’ve brought news.”
“Good or bad?”
“That depends on your point of view.” He said cheerfully. “France has beaten them back!” He cried joyously. “England has lost! England must return King Philippe’s cow!”
“Then that means the war is over.” I said. “It is good news, Kyle. I don’t care that England was defeated; I’m just glad it’s over.” I hesitated. “What will, what will happen to the slaves?”
“Oh, um. I’m really sorry Ashley. The slaves won’t be freed if that’s what you’re asking.”
“Oh,” I said looking at the floor. He left earlier than usual, but I didn’t mind; I wasn’t in the mood for company.
“Ashley!” Darlene called.
“Come here for a moment.” I walked to the back and saw her sitting in a chair. “Has Kyle been here?” I nodded. “Then you must know the war is ended?” I nodded again. “And that you are still my slave?” I nodded once more. “Good, I need you to make two extra batches of bread today.” I nodded my assent and left.
As I made the dough tears welled up in my eyes....