She woke up that rainy morning, made a cup of coffee, and jumped in the shower to get ready for her new internship at the university. What was that girl’s name again? Alesha or Anita? Oh heck, I can’t really recall because it was so many years ago that she went missing. I just remember the story from the neighbor round the corner…..you know, the woman who loves to gossip about everyone within a two mile radius. Anyway, I think it was the Johnsons’ daughter. She was beautiful as I remember, with natural blonde hair and brilliant blue eyes. Oh wait, she was a black girl, that’s right. She had a perfect complexion, was tall and skinny as I recall, and had eyes that looked Persian. She was smart too. Wasn’t she going to major in biology? Or was it anthropology? Whatever it was, I just remember she was really smart. Even when she was a little girl, I remember her telling me what all of the bugs in my yard were actually called by their scientific name. Yep, that little girl was a tomboy too. Always running around barefoot catching snakes, bugs, and the occasional lizard. She never hurt them. Just would examine them with that little science kit she got for Christmas. Or was it Honnukkah? The old gossipy woman claimed she was Jewish. Whatever she was, did they ever figure out what happened to that little Vietnamese kid? He was destined for greatness. Kid had an almost perfect GPA if I recall. In fact, I remember the news stations mentioning that he was one heck of a good football player and valedictorian of his class. Then he went off to college, and that’s where everything went wrong. The old woman down the road said he got into drugs. I thought the newspaper proved she was drunk when she up and disappeared off the planet though. Her friends swore that she had gone to bed early though to start that new internship. They said that she’d had her hair done with all of them the day before for the new job, even though she just covered it up with that head scarf. Oh well, her parents were said to be a little bit strict and conservative. She wasn’t really allowed to date even though she was 18 years old. I remember her Dad watching over her like a hawk. The boys in the neighborhood all used to wonder just how long her hair really was, but all of them were a little afraid of her father. Probably a good thing for such a lovely girl. He was just protective, and I can’t blame him. I would be too. Wonder where that boy is today? The newsman suggested he got kidnapped into one of those human slavery rings. I find that hard to believe though because I’ve never even heard of anything so ridiculous as that in America. Places like the United Kingdom and Canada don’t have those sort of crazy things happening either. I mean, after all, it’s the modern world. That girl probably got wrapped up with a druggy or some sort of criminal stuff. There’s nobody being trafficked out of the Western World….lets get real! Some missionaries spoke at our church last year and told us that they were helping women who had fallen into that sort of life in the Middle East….a long way from here, that’s for sure. (Television on in the background – news anchor reporting) “live from New York….our top news story for the day…the FBI has just recovered 28 young Americans and Canadians who were human trafficked into under-ground brothels right here in North America. For some of these men and women, they’ve spent all of their teenage or young adult lives, forced into an endless ring of prostitution, drugs and regular beatings. Several had tried to tell their johns and people they reached out to on the streets, but all claim that no one believed their unimaginable stories and therefore didn’t seek help for them. It’s only by a stroke of luck that a hotel maid reported seeing scared young males and females being sent into the hotel Where she worked at different times during her shifts. She said she knew by the looks in their eyes that they weren’t willingly going to the rooms. This Hispanic woman said she knew they’d been sold, just like she was when she was only 12 years old, by her own uncle.
Recognize the signs of human trafficking….yes….where you live. Jo’el Worldwear supports artisans and designers affected by human trafficking and modern-day slavery. Over 27 million men, women and children are trafficked annually for labor, domestic servitude or sex. Www.joelworldwear.com