I want to inform that we have successfully protected the estate. There was some issues with the Confederate Army attempting to bargain their way into the estate but, Miss LaCroix would have no truck with that. Instead she allowed only the most wounded of soldiers to enter and only without weapons.
I’ve spent much time with the wounded soldiers.
It is strange that they fight for my enslavement, they fight to keep a broken world turning and they fight, most of them, because they don’t know what else to do. I think I may even feel for them. Laying in a cot on the floor of Madame LaCroix’s grand room struggling to breath.
Struggling to breathe.
I’ve dealt with it before and here I am dealing with it again. Miss LaCroix… should I call her Catherine? She told me that I was her half brother today. We had just held back and advancing army, I’d held two men’s hands in mine as they died and was stitching up another.
Miss Catherine sees the world as it should be.
I can only see what is there. That’s been my curse since we were children. I know she meant well to tell me, she treats the truth as if it’s a cure or a balm for all hurt. She tells me that I am her halfbrother as if I should cheer. All I could think about where the times that I had to go to the stables to be whipped for allowing Miss Catherine to “get out of hand” or that time that Alan and Vincent held me down and beat me with their fists because I was getting “uppity” with them.
I was her half brother.
I thought about the day my mother was sold away. I was young but I still remember that sad smile of hers when she told me that things would be better for me one day. I’ve never seen or heard from her since but that smile still makes me sad. Now, that smile haunts me. To think that Mr. LaCroix forced himself on my mother. That I am the product of cruelty. I don’t know how to explain how I feel.
I practically spat at her. I held back the worst vitriol. I didn’t tell her about how her father made me the product of rape. I didn’t tell her about my beatings, whippings or the times that Mr. LaCroix threatened to sell me. She would have shattered to hear any of that. I tried to simply leave, go back to my duties and put this out of my mind until I can understand how to even feel about it.
She didn’t want to let me leave. Eventually, I said something about being a half-white, free man now. It was meant to hurt, only even now I cringe as I write it.This journey is changing me and I don’t know how it changes me or where those changes will leave me.
I only know that none of this was Miss Catherine’s fault and that she has always seen me as a free man. I wish I could see myself the same way.