Sandra and I were done first. These were always the best days, when she'd come out and help me. I'd never have to do all the work, and it saved my hands for sure. Papa said it wasn't right, but times were changing. Even if it was just a little bit.
Sandra ducked under the prickly cotton bushes and came up in her proper clothes. I laughed when I saw her shove her "slave" clothes into one of my cotton baskets and as I put them on a cart I took them out and slipped them into the tummy part of my clothes. I shifted them around to make sure they didn't look too suspicious. Sandra had taught me that word, she said that it meant something like weird except in a way that could get you sent off the farm. I'd used it wrong when she'd first taught it to me, and she'd laughed, but now I knew it.
"Jemmie, I want to help. I know I shouldn't care about you, but I do. You're my best friend. I have an idea of how to help. Would you like to come into my house and be my personal servant. You would get more food and a mattress and even some money." she said, stopping infront of the cart, almost causing me to drop all of the cotton.
"Sandra, watch it!" I giggled, throwing out a hand to cover the cotton, "Did you say servant? Wouldn't that be, suspicious?" I said. She smiled at my use of the word, which meant I'd said it right.
"Well, maybe," she lifted her shoulders, I think she'd told me that means someone's considering something, "but it would be so much better than being out here!"
"Well, what about my Mama and Papa? And Rex? Would they stay out here? Where'd I sleep?" I let go of the cotton cart to fix my short hair then looked back up at her.
"You'd sleep in the house, and your Mama and Papa and Rex would be fine! You'd still see them!"
"I don't know," I replied, playing with the bottom of my waist-apron.
"Please, just think about it," she said, retreating to the house.
"Fine," I said as she ran off and I pushed the cotton cart towards the backyard.