An excerpt from a young adult novel about a girl who gets sold into human trafficking in India.
North American (General)
Note: Transcripts are generated using speech recognition software and may contain errors.
The following is an excerpt from the novel sold by Patricia McCormick. This vignette is entitled Old Man. Mumtaz studies me. Are you ready to go toe work? She says in my language, I not and say yes, then not again. Although I do not understand how these city people do their chores in such fine clothes and uncomfortable shoes, I follow Mumtaz down a hallway lined with tiny rooms. We passed by girls sitting cross legged on the floor, girls drawing on tiger eyes, girl spraying themselves with flour water. Some of them stare at me. Some take no notice. We go up some stairs down another hallway, then to a room where an old man is lying on a bed. His skin is yellow, and he has Tufts of hair poking out from his ears. Mumtaz speaks kindly to him, and I wonder if he's sick. Across the hall in another room where a red cloth is hung across the doorway, I hear the sound of grunting. It is a strange animal sound that makes me shudder. Mumtaz points to me and says something to the old man. He licks his palm and smooth down his hair. They do not seem to notice the grunting. Then it stops. The red cloth is pulled back and a man stands in the hallway sipping his pants. I looked down at my red painted nails and my new shoes. Something is not right here. I don't know what is going on, but it is not right. Not right at all. Mumtaz pats the edge of the bed and tells me to come closer. The old man makes a clicking sound. Don't be afraid, she says. Come here now. I don't move. Her voice turns hard. Get over here, you ignorant girl! She says. Still, I do not move. Then Mums has flies at me. She grabs him by the hair and drags me across the room. She flings me onto the bed next to the old man And then he is on top of me holding me down with the strength of 10 men. He kisses me with lips that are slack and wet and taste of onions. His teeth dig into my lower lip underneath the weight of him. I cannot won't see or move or breathe. He fumbles with his pants, forces my legs apart and I can feel him. Pushing himself between my thighs, I gasped for air and kick and squirm. He pressed his tongue in my mouth and I bite down with all my might. He cries out, Ah, and I'm running, running down the hall, past the other girls, losing my fancy shoes along the way until I am back in the room where I started pulling my old clothes out of my bundle. I'm wiping the makeup off my face when the dark skin girl comes in. What do you think you're doing? She says. I'm going home. Her tear shaped eyes go dark. This is a mistake, I tell her. I'm here to work as a maid for a rich lady. Is that what you were told? Then? Mumtaz arrives at the door, huffing her mangled face pink with anger. What do you think you're doing? She says, leaving. I say, I'm going home. Mumtaz laughs home, she says, And how would you get there? I don't know. Do you know the way home? She says. Do you have money for the train? Do you speak the language here? Do you have even have any idea where you are? My heart is pounding like the drumming of a monsoon. Rain and my shoulders are shaking as if I have a great chill, you ignorant hill girl, she says. You don't know anything, do you? I wrapped my arms around myself and grip with all my might, but the trembling will not stop.