January 31st, 1846, a girl was born into the Chamberlin family, a slave girl. Skin as rich as caramel, eyes a deep brown, but a slave nonetheless. Vincent watched as the slaves skillfully washed the child and wrapped her in a blanket that was heated by the fire. The baby cried softly, so soft it was almost inaudible. Vincent was intrigued by the baby, its dark skin, making his seem even paler. He couldn’t exactly call her beautiful, but she was by no means ugly. Her hair was thick with curls, but not kinky like the other dark skinned women in his home. It was bushy, but he figured that you could run your hands through it if water were applied.
“Look, my son,” Vincent’s father, Conrad Chamberlin, “look at that fine specimen! She’ll make a great slave someday.”
“Father, must she though?” asked Vincent. “She looks so helpless and frail.”
“Now she does, my boy. Give it time, she will become just like her slave counterparts.” Vincent continued to stare upon the child, then to her mother who was panting and being comforted by the other slaves of the home. She was smiling, despite her child being given to her by force, but Vincent supposed that a mother will somehow always find it within herself to love a child, even if she did not want it.
Vincent travelled over to the servant holding the baby. “May I see her, please?”
The servant smiled down at him. “Of course, young master.” She leaned down, still holding the child close, and tilted her toward Vincent. She had ceased crying, but she was still fidgeting slightly.
“May I hold her?”
“Of course, but be careful.”
“Is it alright with the mother?” Vincent looked to the mother who looked so exhausted and she nodded her head. Vincent held out his arms and embraced the small child. She was lighter than he half expected. “She’s so small. What will you name her?”
The servant tilted her head. “We actually haven’t thought of that. The master has given us permission to name her ourselves, but we can’t think of many names.”
The mother leaned up in her bed slightly. “Why don’t you name her, young master?” she purposed exhaustingly. “I trust you to make that decision.”
“Me?” The mother nodded. “Oh, um…let’s see.” Vincent scanned around the room. They were in his late mother’s bedroom and books were scattered everywhere. He skimmed each one for a general idea, then it hit him. His mother’s favorite author, William Shakespeare. Her favorite play, Romeo and Juliet. He looked down to the child once more. “Juliet…but spelled differently. Add ‘t-t-e’ to the end. Juliette, just for originality. That shall be her name.”
“A lovely name, young master,” agreed the mother. She laid back down on the bed to sleep. Vincent brought her the child and returned it to her. The baby curled up on her mother’s chest and fell silent in slumber. Vincent, only seven years old, admired this. The beauty of a mother and child; a luxury he had never known.