October 17th 1997

His arms tightened around my waist as he threw me into the back of his car. I looked back at my house. So still, so quiet. And here I was, being obliviously taken from it. My whimpers continued softly as tears rolled down my cheeks. My brother would come to call me for breakfast and I wouldn’t be there waiting for his good morning kiss. My parents would cry and call the police. I struggled for air as I thought about what was in store for my family the next morning. He whispered in my ear, assuring me that everything would be fine. But how? How could it? I tried to calm myself but the tears fell faster. I hid my face in between my legs. This couldn’t be happening to me.
After ten minutes, the car slowed to a stop.

I looked up at my surroundings. We were in the boat yard not far from my house. I could run back to my house and call the police but I didn’t know what these men were capable of. A strong set of hands pushed me out of the car and toward where a boat was docked.
I faced the masked face behind me “Where are you taking-“
I cried out in pain as his hand connected with my temple.
I could already feel the mark turning black and blue.
“Load ‘em up!!” The man yelled.
I noticed then, a line of girls rushing up to the entrance of the boat. Most were huddled in groups, holding each other close, crying.
“The police are going to find you! You can’t get away with this!” A girl yelled at the men pacing beside them.
My kidnapper pushed me toward the end of the line just as a gunshot rang.
I stifled a scream as the girl’s body landed at my feet. She couldn’t have been more than fourteen with dark brown hair and blue-grey eyes like mine. I watched as she struggled to take her last breath. Life left her eyes and I bent down to close them.
A kick to my back landed me on all fours. Quickly, I got up and rushed to the line of girls boarding the boat.
I have never been as afraid as I was at that moment.

Once inside, the men counted us. I watched them carefully as they left, silently praying that this was a dream. I even pinched myself. An engine started below us and I felt the boat take off.
“What’s happening?” I finally ask. “Where are they taking us?”
“It’s called human trafficking,” someone replies “We’re going to be sold as sex slaves.”





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