Her dark brown eyes seemed emptier than the dried-up lake that sat in the middle of the desert outside the dingy wooden windows, yet they were shining bright with panic and pain. A false religion was not the only thing hidden under her light grey scarf, but also a thousand knots of curls over raging red bruises. Two pairs of parched greyed lips parted at intervals, then were sealed shut by an invisible force seen only by her. She brought her scarred fingers to those lips forgetting there were no nails left to chew, then brought them down as silently as she could. She must have thought that maybe if she sat incredibly still, she would cease to exist from their eyes. She should have been careful what she wished for. Her heart had long left its rightful spot in her chest, and had migrated without consent to her head, pounding painfully with every rapid beat.
Her dark brown eyes darted across the room as the massive figure of a man conversed lowly with a pint-sized, paunchy quinquagenarian. Money seemed to be the forbidden conversation causing the dissonance that echoed through the tiny room. A price to pay - but for what? The room was void of anything, but three individuals and plastic seats that used to be white some aeons ago. A shamble of a house it was, held up by the crumbling structure of deep red mud, shielding the occupants from the harsh summer sun with a simple tin roof. Holes that were punched here and there in the roof by the rough weather let in rays of sunlight to shine light on the evil deed taking place. There truly is nothing hidden under the sun – what an irony.
Her dark brown eyes fixated themselves on the smaller man’s expensive black suede boots, but her unfortunately naïve mind made more calculations than it could have ever done if she was allowed to go to school. Their close proximity dared her to look up at his face, but even the greatest of fools knew such attempts were foolhardy, so she stuck with staring at his feet. Wise choice she made – heavens know that one glance at his unbelievably grotesque face would have sent her shrieking in terror or crying with laughter. If all things made by God is beautiful, then he was certainly not one of God’s creations. It wasn’t really impossible to gauge what exactly went horribly wrong with his making – if you couldn’t tell immediately from his swollen, bulbous pimples providing a striking contrast against his ashy white skin. His toothpick-like legs trembled from having to hold up his elephant-like midriff, causing pools of sweat to gather round his indescribably horrific face, and cascade down the rest of his body. Only Lucifer himself can create such a perfect disaster. A harsh truth that is – maybe Roald Dahl's The Twits effect? But of course, our poor little girl had no inkling of a clue. There were too much that consumed her thoughts.
Her dark brown eyes appeared a lighter shade of brown, for the golden sun lifted the sorrow that darkened them as the man pushed open the rickety wooden door that barred her from the world, in order to retrieve an item from his gleaming black Rolls Royce that was parked outside. Its exquisite sight provided a harsh contrast in comparison to its destitute surroundings. The airy scent of freedom was the only thing that refrained her from choking on the fumes wafting from the factories that surrounded the building as she set foot outside the house. Every ounce of her body begged her to run and relish in the freedom while she could. And run she did. The bounds of religion tore from her head, along with the sacred scarf, and fell gracefully behind her as she continued to run. Both men stood smiling as they watched her flee, with glints in both their eyes resembling tips of sharpened knives held under a brutal summer sun. Her scaly feet hissed every time it met the hot sand of the desert, with its only relief when they were lifted off the ground – however, that was the only part of her body complained. Her hair flew happily in the wind, parting way for all to see the wide grin that threatened to break her face from the severity.
Her dark brown eyes widened, as she came to a chilling realisation – she had nowhere else to go. The fact that the roads where not familiar in any sense to her was somewhat ridiculous, especially when considering the fact that she had lived in this part of Kuwait for almost three years. She was hit with a bout of directional dyslexia – not that she was even aware she had this condition. Even if she had been allowed to leave the four walls of the forbidden building before now her plight would have still been the same. The road to freedom suddenly morphed from a straight path to an Earth-sized labyrinth. Nowhere left to turn her hours of running skidded painfully to a stop. Cynical bursts of laughter that erupted from a youthful mouth sent a wave of panic across to all the creatures high and low, filling the atmosphere with a rapid frenzy of flapping wings and scuttling paws before it all died down to some peace and quiet. Madness? Perhaps not entirely, we all let out our frustration in laughter from time to time, don’t we? The cause of her frustration sat calmly in a gleaming black Rolls Royce behind her. The two men climbed out of the car and slammed it shut, their prodding eyes never leaving her. The shorter figure handed over a thick block of blood money concealed in an envelope to the larger form.
Her dark brown eyes filled with tears as the price was settled, and the deed paid. She found her feet and stumbled towards the smaller man, almost in acceptance, but was immediately met with a harsh slap. The pain sent more tears to her already well flowing eyes, yet not a sound could be heard from her. It was only then she noticed she was smack in the middle of a market square. The place wasn’t filled with people as such, as it wasn’t yet Market Day. Just a few odds and ends littering the scenery in forms of people selling various essentials to their few customers. Her eyes searched for anybody, anybody at all who was watching this robbery in broad daylight. They couldn’t have said they couldn’t see her. The luxury car parked in front of the stalls stood out like a sore thumb; it should have drawn attention from everyone in there. But the normalcy of this occurrence refrained anybody from acting out, it was like she didn’t exist. Like she was a stubborn goat, refusing to follow directions. Well, at least the goat got attention from onlookers. Her eyes desperately combed the crowd for one person to remind her that she existed. That she wasn’t the shell holding up the remains of a dead soul. I blinked as she met and held my gaze.
Her dark brown eyes held pleas of her last hope - me. I did the wise thing and tore my eyes away; a breath to the police and your death would be mysterious but instantaneous. Her silent screams reached the skeleton remains of my heart, which twisted and turned in their position in my chest, cutting of my breathing intermittently. I could only look up to the sky, to whatever God was watching down and pray she found a saviour from her traffickers, as that saviour was certainly not me.
Even as the world is suffering from a global pandemic, the numbers of human trafficking victims are still on the rise. While keeping safe, be vigilant. Human trafficking is real.