Distant Spaces

Monday, May 29, 2006

Distant Spaces - Chapter 2 - The Place

Raeshma woke up with a start in the alien room, her head was swirling and her body felt weak and tired.She was aimlessly staring at the ceiling, the beautiful chandelier a blur.Her head felt heavy, she tried to open her mouth but it was gagged.She tried to move her hands and legs but realised they were tied to the ends of the bed she was on.She felt cold, which was weird as it was mid summer, she looked down at herself,lying sprawled on the bed. Her hands and legs tied to the four posters.She was naked except for a white bed sheet that covered her body.She glanced around the room from the corner of her eyes and could see the people who had encroached upon her body.
"Wow, a good catch this time, we are going to make a hefty sum for sure.", said one guy,
"Ya, better keep more chloroform ready she might wake up anytime now.", repied another,
Raeshma's heart started beating faster and louder, she feared they might hear it, she wondered what they meant by getting a hefty price, was she going to be held for ransom? was she going to be sold off to an arab for money? She hoped not. These thoughts sent shivers of fear down her spine,the thought of not meeting her family again, the thought of what her family would say if they knew what happened the night before. The thought of yesterday's events made her stomach churn, her body cringed and a cold tear ran down her now hot and flushed face, she felt used and wasted. She wished she had died than live to see that day.
The voices resumed jerking her out of her thoughts,
"I think she wont wake up so soon, she's knocked out cold, you must have used too much chloroform", said a heavily bearded guy, hitting a scrawny looking one on the shoulder.
"It wasnt the chloroform, it was us", he replied with a loud guffaw and a long bout of laughter that ended in a snort, the others were laughing too, seemingly pleased.
This made Raeshma feel even more gullible and exploited.Another tear ran down her cheek and down her neck and onto the bed, she wished she were dead, she did not want to live, she did not want to live through this nightmare. She wanted to die, die and just die. She clenched her teeth in exasperation and tightened her fists, but she couldnt feel them. The ropes had been tied tight her hands and feet had gone numb.
"Hey you sure we cant get another bite of her? MAN it was good", he continued.
"No we dont have time for that, I told aunty that I would have her there by 10am today, is already 9, we must hurry or the fucking traffic will get better of us", replied another,
"I think we better get her ready now",said a third guy munching at what looked like a piece of cake, he was heavy and uncouth, the thought of him on her disgusted Raeshma.
Suddenly they all got up and started walking towards her.Raeshma closed her eyes and pretended to be asleep.She heard the voices coming towards her and heavy uncoordinated steps approach her.She felt them untie her numb hands and feet, surges of pain thrust through her hands as the blood rushed into them.She couldnt help twitch.Her hands and legs were free for just a few seconds and she contemplated running away.She wanted to push them off and run, run for her life, but she felt very weak and she knew she would be overpowered, and decided to wait for another opputunity.They first tied her feet and hands together then, wrapped the white sheets around her and tied them up at the waist and below her armpits making a weird kind of robe, but atleast she wasnt naked thought Raeshma.
"Now, how are we going to get her out of here?", asked one,
"I made an arrangement with one of the staff, gave him a few hundred bucks, he's going to open the fire exit for us, the exits open at the back of the building, the car will be waiting there, it will be a cake walk to get her out", came an instant reply.
"Then everything's set then", said one, and she felt herself being pulled up and landed on a shoulder, the shoulder dug into her ribs as she was carried down 8 floors to the car.One of the friends was at the wheel,
"okay you two come on the bike, we four will go in the car", said the possible leader, her date,
She was ushered in and they started for "aunty's place", she wondered who this aunty person was. This felt like the longest journey of her life as she was taken through smooth roads,bumpy tracks and even dirt tracks as she assumed by the movement of the car.
"You better wake her up,we are almost there", said the guy who was driving, and she felt water being sprinkled on her face, and she acted like she just woke up, slowly opening her eyes,
"Co-operate and you will be fine",said her date, to think she had almost fallen in love with him, Raeshma felt betrayed and sad, but she couldnt do anything.She just stared into empty space.He was looking into her eyes with a smirk on his face, to think she had fallen for a smile on this face. Just to think...
Her thoughts were interrupted as the car screeched to a halt, she looked out to a deserted street, a huge three storeyed house stood in front of her, the whole place looked haunted, yet had a rich look to it.There was an eery silence about.She could see some girls moving in and out at the balcony on top.There was another car parked in the driveway but it did not seem to belong to the residents of the house.The neighbouring houses seemed deserted, she wondered if she was still in the city anymore.Her feet were untied again and she was ushered into the house, the four men holding her hard by her hands and shoulders.
She entered the heavy wooden carved doors, it looked quite normal, there were lots of rooms, and lots of girls, they were wearing very skimpy outfits, the two men started fondling two of them, they seemed to be regular visitors out there and knew them quite well.Both of the girls let go of the guys as a woman appears out of the white lace curtains,she was in her middle ages and was quite plump, she wore a big necklace which hid her thick neck making it seem as though her head was attached to her body with a necklace,she was in a saree and had a whole lot of bangles in her hands, her bindi was the hugest Raeshma had ever seen, the woman gestured them to sit, and the guys sat down. Then she gave both the girls a lasting glare which made them disappear through one of the many doors in that room.Raeshma didnt sit, she was still standing huddled in the corner wondering which place she landed in, the woman walked right up to Raeshma and with her hand holding her shoulder looked all over her slender body, and then holding her chin turned it from side to side to check her face.Raeshma felt like an object up for sale as she was examined from head to toe, clad in just a skimpy bed sheet. Then with a smile on her face, she walked to the guys, and nodded,
"How is she, aunty?" asked one of them,
"Quite good, I am impressed", thus replying, the aunty reached into a suitcase counted some money and handed it to the guys, one of them counted the money and with a puzzled expression on his face explained quite well that something was wrong,
"But aunty you said we would get 1 lakh(100,000), this is only Rs70,000, how is that?"
"well, i dont know if this is a working model, let her co-operate and then you will get the remainder of the deal"
"You drive a hard bargain aunty", comes the reply and with a hesistant nod they leave her, but before they go out of the room, they approach Raeshma,
"Listen, co-operate with her or you will have to face us again", he said clenching her mouth in his palm,
"She will co-operate dont worry", said aunty and with a smirk on her face, taking a handful of clothes
"Wear this and come, you will learn everything about your job this morning",
saying this she throws the bundle of clothes at Raeshma, who realised what was happening, she was being sold, sold like an animal, she was in a brothel,she was absorbed in these thoughts as some of the girls push her into a room, and lock it behind her, to get her changed.She wished the clothes in her hands would some how turn into snakes and kill her, she wished the walls would close in on her crushing her life out of her, she wished the house collapsed on her killing her then and there, she wished that she breathed poison instead of oxygen, she didnt want to live, she better die than leave her dignity.She wished she hadnt lived to see this day, and wished somebody would help her, that was all she could do, wish.

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