Gabriella Deza from Indian Summer
Who are you and where and when do you live?
I am Gabriella Deza, youngest daughter of Florida Territorial Governor Ferdinand Deza. I live in the village of St. Augustine, Florida Territory. The year is 1739.
What is your story?
I haven't much of one yet, I'm only just 15, but what there is of it, is told in Indian Summer.
Are you the hero of your own story?
Me a hero? Heavens, no. That would be Manuel Enriques, my father's aid du camp and the love of my life.
What is your problem in the story?
Quite by chance, I found out a terrible secret. A British spy is trying to overthrow my father, capture the fort and take over the town.
Do you embrace conflict or do you run from it?
I've never wanted to embrace conflict, but one must face it bravely. Troubles are sent by God to test us. Am I going to argue with Him? I never run when I can fight.
How does the author see you? Do you think she portrayed you accurately?
Headstrong, demure, capable, passionate, honest, loving. I am these things and ever so much more. Dellani Oakes portrayed me very well. She seems to have seen into my heart with great alacrity.
My faith in God is my greatest strength. My faith has seen me through very trying times. I would not be the woman I am without it.
Do you have any special weaknesses?
My passion for Manuel is nearly my undoing. All he need do is look at me and I go weak in the knees.
What do you need most in life?
I need the wretched spy disposed of so that our town will be saved and I may marry the man I love.
What do you want to be?
I want to be a wife and mother, what greater purpose is there for a woman save to go into holy orders?
What do you believe?
I believe in God and I believe in the love of Manuel and my family. I also believe in my own abilities to cope with any situation life presents.
What do you regret?
That I with all my education, I never learned how to shoot a pistol. I'll see to that soon, provided I live through this mess.
Has anyone ever betrayed you?
Yes, the man who spies on us, using our friendship against us. He betrays me, my family and my home. I hope I have a hand in bringing him to justice.
Have you ever failed anyone?
I hope not. I will only have failed them if I do not find the spy and send him to God early for judgment.
What was your childhood like?
Delightful in so many ways, but also sad because we lost Mama when I was five and Grandmama not long after. However, Papa and his new wife, Clara, have provided a loving home for the four of us. My older sisters, little brother and I have lived in relative comfort our entire lives.
Do you like remembering your childhood?
Oh, yes, very much. I have wonderful memories of my childhood.
Who was your first love?
My first and only love is Manuel. I never realized how much he loves me nor I him, until he declared his love for me on my birthday. He is the most magnificent man alive and I love him more than my own life.
What is your most prized possession? Why?
My peso necklace, because Manuel gave it to me. Though my parents gave me pearls for my birthday, the peso shows Manuel's love for me. He can't ask me to marry him yet, it wouldn't be proper, but that shows each of us our promise to wed.
What is your favorite scent? Why?
Sandalwood., because that is the scent of Manuel's soap.
What is your favorite color? Why?
Apple green, because it was Mama's favorite as well, and I am most like her of all three of us girls.
What is your favorite music?
The flamenco I danced with Manuel.
What is your favorite item of clothing? Why?
The apple green dress I wore to my party. It is the first dress I wore that showed everyone I am now a woman. And because Manuel and I danced the entire night together when I wore it.
If you were stranded on a desert island, would you rather be stranded with, a man or a woman?
Do not think badly of me of saying this, but I would want to be stranded only with Manuel. I can think of no one else with whom I have enough in common to spend any period of time. Only if we were married, of course. Anything else would be scandalous.
How do you envision your future?
I see my future happily married to Manuel, having his children and loving him for the rest of my life.
© 2017 Dellani Oakes