A family of four. Two women and two boys. Yes, the man that fathered these three children is not quite in the picture. No one mentioned him or is it a them? It is hard to tell. In the case that the eldest was born of a different man from her two younger siblings, then she might never know. Did it matter? Only the youngest could be having separate genes. Yet again, this is only a theory which could be ruled out by theorists as it is made of mere assumptions arising from instincts. Isn’t that what a theory is?
Growing up in a slum where the poor conditions ranging from sanitary to nutrition compete in taking up the poorest tag, the easiest way for her to manage was through a business she knew. The booming business most women there seemed to take up as they knew it would never get old. It brought them pennies to pay off rent, have at least a meal or two daily and clothe themselves as well as the string of unplanned offsprings that sprout off from the transactions. She doesn’t remember having siblings, no memory of her parents or relatives either. The drugs must have eroded her storage of her early years where she was surrounded by compassion.
She is around 50 years of age in estimation. Though she must be younger. The effects of the drugs and having started out too premature for the long life career, not that there is really an age, having been trafficked well before her prime years make her seem older. Well before she knew when to make the best decisions. In another life, she would have been married off properly and like her lucky peers as she imagines, live happily with a husband by her side providing. That is not her fairytale, somebody somewhere rid her off it. There is very little chance of her living it now.
Money. Success. The two are closely associated in the world today. If your net worth is not reading the millions or billions, you have not made it. And what do we all want apart from making it? Big at that. The world mentioning our names in their motivational speeches and being given as examples of the prominent of prominence. Isn’t that what we want? You and I both woke up this morning for that same cause. It’s a driving force in us so strong we are ready to go to whatsoever heights to attain it.
She wanted this too. It is totally human. So when the peddler showed up in their village and promised them big jobs with hefty salaries, she and other eager girls accepted. They did not know it was a kidnap. A mishap in their judgement of the stranger. That would be the last they would fetch water from the river where they met to chat and engage in giggly discussions of the young men they wanted to wife them. It was last they would live as children. The independence they had been promised was a decoy.
She amongst others arrived in the big city as promised. Problem was, instead of being huddled to companies or rich households to start counting when pay day would arrive, they were hailed in iron-sheet settlements. Money exchanged hands and within no time, they were all owned by different Madams. Slowly she was introduced to drugs. When they sunk in, at around 13 years, about eighteen months after she had arrived to her ‘career’ destination, a man was brought in to lay with her. She had been fattened. It was now time to feast. Day in day out, two or three men had their way. They paid the madam. She was ready.
She had to move out of the Madam’s camp in her late 20’s. She was no longer attractive for the men who wanted greener pastures to graze on. She set up her own ‘base’ and the faithful customers to her, kept coming. With that, she afforded the one roomed structure not so different from where she had been housed with other girls at her former Madam’s. She had a brain for saving the little she earned from her body. This came in handy when she got her first child, her only daughter.
When the breasts pushed up against her dress, she knew it was time to set up a business for her. With two children now, few of the loyal customers were still showing up. She had to do what had to be done.
The girl is sixteen years and she is very shy or ashamed of being involved in generational prostitution. Her mother on the other hand, jokes about it and says it is what puts food on the table. The girl veils herself in the hope that one day, a man will see her fit for marriage. She was born into this life but not for it.
The two boys, a ten year old and the last born aged 5, don’t like what their family legacy is based on. The elder of the two is chatty. He hopes they will marry off their sister to a good man as that responsibility lies with them. They go to a public school nearby. Education is meant for boys. Their sister has never set foot in a school setting. The only basic education she has revolves around her 24 hours day job. She also knows language, the one she uses to keeps business running. The boy complains that everyone at school knows what their sister does. They taunt them during the breaks,
Your sister is a prostitute! Your sister is a prostitute!
They laugh it off. He is determined to break the chain that is threatening their lineage. He studies hard to save his sister from the shaming. She is very beautiful to keep veiling herself in an attempt to disguise her appearance.
The veil protects her. From the children who can’t understand. From the women who have husbands. From the men who sneer at her when she passes yet will in the darkness of the night align at her doorstep to grace her bed. Marvel at the body they pretended to be so disinterested in earlier. Those with no reputation to protect, visit her in the light of the sun. The rays make her nakedness glow. A glowing female body creates wild fantasies. A few pennies will be left by her drawer after they dress up..
She might want a daughter but if nobody saves her from her current situation, a daughter she cannot have. A daughter she must not have. For this line of passage should not continue. This line of passage cannot continue.