Aberrant Maia

"In a World Far Away"

Human Trafficking. Concept Image. Black and White. Closeup.

“In a world, far away, things would get better, better, better”

“Mummy!” “Mummy” “Mummy!” “Mummy!”
Her wisp-like face swirled above me till it contorted into a mean joke
Another bad dream, Another sweat filled night, Another day away from home.

I gave up sleep and the horrors replayed in my head once more.
A scene that taunts and haunts me forever.

She came with her hips swaying from right to left, from left to right
Her nails were painted bright red and her lips an even redder colour
I was fascinated.
She smiled and continued swirling her hips as she walked
Till I realized she was coming in my direction!
I tidied my hair and beamed my yellow teeth at her
She rose her right hand and put her thumb down and my eyes widened like plates
“4 loaves? She must be rich rich!”
I scooped the bread and put them in a polythene bag and handed it to her
But she didn’t leave.
She sat beside me and told me of a life
A life in a faraway land where money never ends.
I thought of the song my mother always sang
I thought of my mother’s young but old body
And I found my head going up and down.
She smiled at my agreement.
But made me promise not to tell anyone.
I was to meet her at 5 tomorrow. Same place.

“In a world, far away, things would get brighter, brighter, brighter”
My mummy sang her song all through the night
And I sang with her
I wanted to tell her but I can’t break my promise.

4:30. 4:45. 4:50. 4:55. 4:56. 4:57. 4:58. 4:59…
The hips blocked my view and I started singing in excitement
“In a world far away, things would get bigger, brighter and better”
We walked a distance then got into a red car with a man driving
In the car, she gave me a drink and told me its for being a good girl.
I don’t remember the rest.

Unfamiliar place then. Very familiar now.
The car driver became my rapist.
And then his friends became my rapists.
Then their friends became my rapists.
Each night, I received coins and they had my body.
The woman? Never saw her again.
Woke up in a strange room and all I’ve known since is this wicked driver.
Who beats me when I don’t make my monthly quota.
Never gives me any of my money.
Feeding me just enough to survive.
No phone. No way of talking to my mummy. No way to tell her I’m alive.
So all I have left is this song
In a world, far away, things would get better, better, better”

The door opened sharply.
I wiped my tears.
Hardened my heart.
And began to undress once more.
Work has begun.

-Ayeyi O.A

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