The smell of chamomile and honey waft through the evening air, filling the house with a sweet scent. Daniel was slumped in the couch, pretending to be reading the book Aimee recently acquired from Lynder. In reality, the words of Joseph were still clear in his head. Joseph had told them what Lynder had told him; political struggles were arising, and they would end in civil war. Morgan Shkein was rising fast in the favor of the politicians in the Trade, either by intimidation or bribe. After the mayor died, political unrest was common in the White district, and Shkein took advantage of that. Now, they were rushing the elections for a new mayor, disregarding the vote of the Trade grounds inhabitant. The sieged of the North was heard worldwide, some applauded and some condemned Shkein’s action. However, nobody was strong or bold enough to stand up against him and his terrorizing attitude.
He closed the book and rubbed his tired eyes, it had been too much excitement for a day. He leaped to his feet and sauntered to the kitchen; he was surprised at seeing Aimee standing before the stove, brewing something in the pot. She was turning the ladle counterclockwise and repeatedly smelling the content.
“Are my eyes deceiving me?” Daniel spoke. “Is that really you, cooking something?”
Aimee didn’t turn to face him, “I’m making some chamomile tea infused with a bit of honey, just like mom used to do when we were tired out of our minds. Eliana was kind enough to give me some chamomile, and I rushed back to brew it. I think its drinkable now. Anyway, everybody has been through a lot today. Adela and Pablo should be awake by now; they’ve been sleeping all afternoon.”
Daniel walked to her with a cup, Aimee pour some tea into the cup with the ladle. “It was very brave of you for saving them,” he said proudly, “nobody deserves cruel treatments.” He sipped the tea and his eyes bulged in disgust, but pretended to enjoy it. “The tea is good,” he choked.
Aimee grinned, “Thank you, I bet dad would think the same! I hope we sort everything with Adela and Pablo. Poor things, they cannot be older than me.” They carried Adela and Pablo when they landed; both of them were sleeping in Aimee’s room. Aimee reached for three mugs and poured some tea in them, letting it cool. “Where’s dad, by the way?”
“Outside, by the lake,” Daniel pointed somewhere in the sloping of the hill. “He said he needed to think.”
Aimee nodded. “What will happen tonight?”
Daniel knew that question was coming; he remained silent for a moment before saying. “We should give it a rest, at least until everything settles down.” Aimee agreed. “They cannot monopolize the skies for long anyway.” Daniel tried to sound hopeful, however it sounded much more like lying.
Aimee stared at the sleeping figures of Adela and Pablo, and wondered about their families. There was a pain in her heart at the thought of getting taken away from her family to later on be sold to someone who wouldn’t love her as much. She edged her ottoman closer to her bed and prayed that they could find a solution to this disaster. She leaned closer to read what was inscribed in the bronze collar. Property of Morgan Shkein, it read. Aimee gasped, they were slaves of the Shkein Corporation.
Adela’s eyes flutter open and blinked several times, adjusting her eyes to the dim gas lamp standing next to the night table. She saw the pale face of a girl, her savior, hovering over her own. “Hola,” she whispered quietly, afraid that she might startle the white girl. She was pretty, Adela admit, and very kind and brave. “Thank you so much,” she stifled a sob of gratitude, “if it weren’t for you, we would probably be dead.”
Aimee straightened herself and offered her a kind smile; she took Adela’s hand in her own and squeezed it. “You are very welcome,” Aimee said, “you’ve been through a lot. I’ve brew some chamomile tea to restore your energy, my father and brother are waiting outside. We all want to hear your story if you’re up to it. However, if you’re too tired, we understand.”
Adela shook her head, “the least I can do is go out and tell you all you want to know. I have nowhere else to go.”
“We will sort this out,” Aimee said, “I cannot promise it, but somehow we’ll manage.” Adela nodded and accepted Aimee’s hand. Aimee pulled her slowly to her feet and walked her to the living room. She noticed the dark serial numbers tattooed to her forearm, they look recent because the skin branded was reddish in some spots.