By Aaliyana Garcia
Discussed: fictional sex trafficking
“Heyyy where’s the bacon?” Don’t get me wrong, I like fruit and pancakes but lately I haven’t been able to eat anything but fruit.
“Rapunzel, we’ve talked about this, you know he doesn’t like when you start to gain weight.” Of course he doesn’t. I rolled my eyes hoping she would see but she just shrugged it off; I plopped myself in the chair and began devouring the meal in front of me. She looked at me with disgust but then again it is her fault for starving me for this long. I was done with the meal and I was still hungrier than ever.
I ran back upstairs, knowing that I only had about thirty minutes to fix and curl my hair, do my makeup, and get dressed. I pulled open my drawer and ripped through my clothes as if I were a tornado. I selected the pink miniskirt and the white tube top to match with it. I threw on my pink jean jacket but made sure that my shoulders were still showing, even after all these years. I quickly threw my hair in a braid that lay down my back and began my simple but extensive makeup process. After the long, tedious, and agonizing process, I took my hair out of the braid and looked at myself in the mirror. I turned to look at my crimped hair from the braid and shrugged at it; I pulled my hair behind my ears but let a few strands loose. I stood up and ran towards my black mini bookbag and my white sneakers. Loopty loop then pull. I was finally ready. I checked the mirror one more time. I looked closely at myself, and it was almost as if I could see a timid little girl in a pink sweetheart neckline dress clinging on to her jacket for dear life. I shook my head trying to get that bad memory out of my head and snatched the gold locket from my dresser before heading downstairs.
“Rapunzel dear, where are—oh hello, my dear. He is going to be here in ten minutes.” She leaned in close and took a whiff, soon after she spritzed me in whatever the hell she was holding and then shoved me out the door.
“Go on now, dear.” That same black limo from all those years ago was now sitting on my lawn, but why should I be surprised, it was here every Sunday. He doesn’t even bother to come out anymore; I couldn’t tell whether it was because he’s gotten bigger or because he simply doesn’t care anymore. Is he now realizing that I was replaceable? Was I too old? No, that was just wishful thinking; of course I’m still trapped here. I climbed into the backseat of the limo and greeted David with a quick kiss on the cheek.
“Is that all I get?” he squealed. He grabbed my face roughly and gave me a big wet kiss. He reeked of alcohol—this was going to be fun. He quickly flipped me over on my back so that he was now lying on me. I had put baby powder on my legs so that it would be easier to move around. I had a plan and I needed to act on it now; it was now or never. I had some regrets being that this was the only place that I had ever known, but this wasn’t right. It never had been. He began unbuckling his belt rapidly. I counted to three before I would make my first move. One. Two. Three. I unlocked the limo door and rolled out of the car. I stood up and ran as fast as I could. I knew there was limited time before he would tell the driver to step on it.
I ran through the forest pushing and breaking my way through all the vines and leaves. I tripped over a tree stump and felt a sharp pain right on my knee. I looked down to see my knee completely covered in blood. I limped as fast as I could to a tree and took a seat. That was the worst decision I had made that day. I heard tires screeching in the distance. Then silence. Leaves were crunching before I had heard a whistling sound. I recognized this so clearly. This was the tune that he would sing to me before dropping me off every time. It was burned into my memory. I couldn’t help but weep; I don’t know why but in this moment I felt so alone and vulnerable. I covered my mouth, scared that he would hear me breathing. I heard his footsteps get closer. I was terrified. I had no idea what he was capable of. I picked up a rock near my foot and chucked it as far as I could. Footsteps, and then he was gone.
I limped all the way until I saw a road, and just a few feet ahead was a village. Children were laughing, people were singing. It was nothing but joy. I looked up to see a beautiful white castle ahead. So this is what it felt like to be free. I was finally free.
Aaliyana Garcia is a bright senior that is obsessed with the art of theater and vocal performance. She loves indulging herself in books, astrology, fiction writing/poetry and performing arts. Her dream one day is to become a Broadway star in hopes of inspiring those to take the stage alongside her. She grew up in Washington Heights as a Cuban, Dominican, Puerto Rican that speaks no Spanish but is surrounded by her culture.