When I was 15

A row of dingy trailers lined the hot and dusty street in what was the bad part of town. Drug dealers, prostitutes and their “Johns” inhabited this place. Gone were the families with pleasant homes and yards and bicycles leaning against mulberry trees.

When I was 15, I used to visit my bio-dad there. He was the proud proprietor of one of the many businesses that sold sex to tourists and locals, alike. Bio-dad ran a stable of about seven girls, all skinny and missing teeth. The girls wore a variety of dirty lingerie meant to entice. When a customer came in, they would prance around and show their wares. Smile, touch a breast, make a date. Bio-dad sat close to protect his assets by any means necessary.

When I was 15, bio-dad asked me to work for him. He tried to sell me the glamour and the money, but I knew better. One look at the other girls and I knew he was full of shit.

That was the first time I had the courage to say “no.” I said no to a man who had already killed someone for their refusal of him. I said no to a man who had spent the better part of my life raping and torturing me. I said no.

When I was 15, my life changed.


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