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I've always found it best to think of a happy time in your life or at least create a fictitious reality in your head when you're feeling down, lonely, scared, or just going through a hard time in general. At least, that's always worked for me. It soothes me for a while and after I've left my imaginary world, everything seems better for a little while at least. Right now was one of those moments, I didn't want to recall a joyous moment in my life because at this point it would only pain me more. So I decided to forget reality and suck myself into what would never be real.
I imagined myself falling into this alternate universe, landing softly on the endless fields of grass. Everything looked so beautiful. There were magnificent, tall, giving trees. Why, they provided bountiful fruit, shade from the rays of the ever burning sun, and a home for squirrels and bees, and whatever else could live up there. I climbed up one of those trees. I sat on a branch and ate a perfectly crimson red apple while enjoying the view of the animals wandering about. They'd go about their business, providing themselves and their families a meal, playing around, galloping through the seemingly endless field of grass, bathing in the water. There was no one to interfere with their livelihood. No man disturbing their peace with ear piercing noises from big and scary machines, no hunters in sight.
I found myself walking for miles, until soon enough, the birds, the mountains, they'd all faded away. What I came across, however, was no less pleasing for the eyes. I stumbled upon a nearby town. It was quite beautiful. This town was much like the rest of the world, simple, humble, full of life. The adults would work their shifts and then wander about the town running errands and speaking to their fellow neighbors. There were no video games, no T.V.'s, but the children were happier than ever. They spent their days out and about, tossing balls around, running in the meadows, hiding behind tall and colorful flowers. one of the children was always allergic and their hide out was discovered after a sneeze caused from the pollen lurking about.
There was no such thing as "meat", people didn't eat that. The fruits and vegetables were pesticide-free in everyone's backyards. All which were shared with their neighbors if they lacked ingredients for their vegan meals. In fact, there was no such word as vegan because this was our way of life. Animals weren't used for food or clothing, we had no modern technology to get attached to, there was no medicine, no illness, no pollution, no war, no evil, we had our lovely, interactive village and our friends from other nations. There was no leadership, no corruption. There was peace, joy, tranquility. We were in peace with the animals, with nature, with other nations and with out next door neighbors.
Parents worried not for their children, the kids feared not being kidnapped. There was no killing, no abusing, no kidnapping. There humble wooden doors of these humble clay homes had no locks, the doors often remained open, in fact. There was no stealing, only kind visitors who would come by without a knock, but a plate of delicious home cooked meals in their hands. I smelled a fresh out of the oven apple pie from the distance. My stomach began to growl so I followed its motherly love aroma and soon enough, there it was, calling my name from the window sill. I walked into the home of a family of four, though the kids were playing outside.
"Hey there sweetie."
Said the kind mother as I entered, still hypnotized by the smell of that pie. I made myself at home by sitting on one of the wooden dining chairs and looked around the room, admiring the lovely home. From the window in which the aroma of that mouth-watering apple pie escaped, the mother leaned over and called out for her children. They ran inside and sat down next to me. They told me jokes, we laughed, and soon enough, the mother of these two was coming towards us with the pie and some plates and forks. Eager to take my first bite, as soon as I did, I was reminded of that perfect apple I had eaten on top of that tree. I finished my pie and carried on with my day.
After spending an entire day exploring the vast fields of nature and the small, welcoming village, and playing with my peers for hours, I found myself tired and in solitude. The children were going home, lights turned on and there were adults by the doors greeting them warmly, and the teens in their usual hangout spots to be on a safe Friday night. They weren't going to commit any wrong tonight, they never did. There was no wrongness in the world.
I walked until the village was only barely visible to my eyes. I found a patch of sunflowers and lied down on them. The sunflowers hugged my body and kept me warm as I admired the night sky. 'Twas illuminated by the countless visible stars and the large shining full moon, borrowing its light from the ever-friendly sun. I gazed upon the field of nature one last time, gave the village a quick glance, and admired the endless sky one final time.
Then I closed my eyes, awaiting the next day with great anticipation. Suddenly, the Earth beneath me began to shake. I no longer felt the warmness of the ground and the sunflowers, instead I felt cold metal banging against my fragile little body. I opened my eyes and there was no nature, no stars, no moon, I lied in complete darkness. There were no sounds of crickets or the wind rustling through the branches and the bushes, only the silent sobs of other young girls like myself, some even older.
Girls stolen from their parents, enclosed in a trailer, traveling to a country foreign to us all. You'd be surprised how many men would pay to lay their distorted hands on a nine year old body. A body so young and pure, inexperienced and undeveloped. My eyes were dried out from the silent tears I had cried in the dark, when I was taken, when I was unable to scream, or to call out for a hero. Superman didn't come from the sky to save the day like I had often seen on T.V. Instead, I was bracing myself for the moment that a stranger to my eyes would pay his dues to grope my innocent body.
Who would dare imagine that the men driving these trucks would carry thousands of girls and young women in the back? I managed to find a tiny little crack, and luckily, the only opening in which this oxygen deprived trailer would feed us some air. I'm scared of the future, I'm dreading the moment the trailer door will open and I see a foreign sun burning my eyes until they readjust to the light again, to take a breath of a foreign air, not knowing where I am or where I will end up. My small heart pounding against my chest until it bursts, just like all the others with me.
I'm a mere nine year old girl who had dreams of traveling the world and spreading peace when I grew up. I wanted to go to poor countries and cities and help those who were starved. I wanted to help poor, defenseless animals, but my dreams were shattered. I can picture my mother sobbing all day, keeping the neighbors up with her endless cries and curses from grief of her missing daughter. I see my father, paralyzed in his favorite chair where he used to read to me. But now he would sit there motionless, staring at the door with bloodshot eyes, sleep deprived, no more tears left to shed, hoping his baby girl would just enter through those doors any minute now. Yet, I wasn't coming back.
I wanted my mommy and my daddy. I wanted to rest in my pink, flower-patterened bed. I wanted my mommy to kiss my forehead as I walked home from school, I wanted my daddy to place me on his lap and sing to me in our favorite chair. I was never going to see them again. Why was God punishing me? What had I done to lose my parents? What had they done to lose me?
I became a victim of human trafficking, never had I imagined myself in this situation. I used the little crack that I had found to throw this note which I hope somebody will find someday and read. I don't know what'll become of me or where i'll be or in how many beds I would have slept in by the time someone reads this, but I hope this will be a caution letter to someone that the trafficking of little girls like myself and even older women is still very much alive. It exists in not only countries like my homeland, Cambodia, but in so many other countries you wouldn't even imagine, even the land of the free, America. A man had called me over to show me his puppy as I was leaving for school. That was the last time I was ever seen.