I'd Rather Die

This story comes with an audio cast. Listen to it below.

In life, storms and sunshine will come because change is the only constant thing in life. We scream for change all the time. From society's to our individual  problems, change... We need change. I need change. But what happens when change refuses to come? What happens when a situation seems so hopeless that light becomes slave to darkness? This is what I have been asking myself for the past 5 years. Five years of my life I 've been dancing on this pole not because I take pleasure in it but because I have no other choice. Eyes on me, dollar bills in the air... Pounds, euros...I get paid to lose. I get paid to dance away my shame only for it to return to me and hold me captive. These men don't know... They admire me to later call me a slut. They fantasize about me only to reduce me to a doomed spinster. These voices voices hunt me.  I didn't bargain for this but she did. My own mother did. She traded my destiny for her happiness... At this point, I'd rather die.

That night? I remember it vividly. It was 3 am. I was done performing and the cash I collected I had to give it back. That was standard procedure. I went backstage and just wanted to get the rid of the revealing clothes I was wearing. Could I even call them clothes? I stared at my reflection in the mirror. I had  grown into a beautiful young woman. A beautiful young woman with shattered dreams. I looked around and all these other girls were free but I wasn't . They didn't feel the same pain I felt. My mind wandered away to my days with my mother before my father died. The nag that she was... The constant arguing... The bad mouthing...The beating and verbal abuse...I thought about everything. All of it. Then my father died of cancer. It didn't take her long to bring Roland in...It didn't take her long at all. Thierry walked in and I knew something wasn't right.

"Le patron veut te voir, Erica"

I was shocked.  The other girls looked at me and started whispering. I hesitated for a minute then followed Thierry. My Ivorian prince...We were walking down the hall, he held my hand and spoke english for the very first time.

"You're amazing"

I didn't know what to say to him. Fear came over me when I sighted my boss sitting in a corner of the club. Pedro was smoking his cigar and drinking Cognac. I knew he would want something from me. Italian drug baron... Never caught... Human trafficker. I hated him. He saw me and smiled devilishly. He ordered Thierry out of his presence and spoke italian to his body guards. I stood there waiting to know what would happen to me. He then turned his eyes towards me and told me to take of my robe and dance for me. And a striptease I gave him. "My best stripper, Erica. You are! Bellissima!" Suddenly the music went off and his guards came towards me. The two of them grabbed me. I struggled but I couldn't free myself from their grasp. They brought me to my knees and handcuffed to the pole. They tore my wears... I cried. The rest is the same exact thing Roland did to me that night my mother decided to travel out of town. Pedro and his guards took the little bit of pride I had left...They did.

After 5 years...I walk down streets of Paris looking for answers. They say she's still my mother. A woman  who drove me out of my father's house on a cold night to be picked up by an abusive and manipulative son of a... They say to err is human but to forgive is divine... They say I have a good heart. Whoever told you blood is thicker than water, lied. Who will marry a soiled body like mine? Who will look at me and not call me a whore? Erica Osawese... I'd rather die than forgive her. I'd rather die than forgive my mother.

- The Alpha Female 


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