Time seems to stand still in this sweltering cesspool they hold me in. Three days in Matamoros with that fat, disgusting man, being his nursemaid during the day and his fuck toy at night made me grateful to get away. On the fourth morning I was allowed a bath of sorts. I was walked into a pool of murky water and made to wash. I relished the icy water and sliver of soap they allowed me to have. I was then dressed in the dress Richard had bought and blindfolded before being stuck in the back of a van with three other girls.
For what seemed like hours they drove us, the music from the radio blaring. The heat was unbearable until they opened the back window and then the dust was so bad we could hardly breathe. I hear the girl beside me crying and I reach over to touch her hand. One of the men sees me and hits me, shouting something in Spanish. I get the message, even though I don’t understand a word he says. We ride in silence, the four of us and three men we don’t understand. Where we’re going is anyone’s guess. I just pray they don’t hurt us too badly.
Stepping out into the sunlight, we are greeted by a loud roar of men, all speaking quickly and jostling us, touching our breasts and asses, our hair and our faces. We are herded, blindfolded into a building and our blindfolds removed. We are in a smallish room with two beds, a wash basin and a window that is old and dirty. A rat squeaks from under one of the beds as one girl is shoved onto it. It scurries out the door quickly followed by one of the men. A shot rings out and we scream, much to the amusement of the men. They laugh and shut the door, locking us within.
We quickly meet each other, exchanging names and ages, where we’re from and other things. I’m the oldest, by a couple of months. Rachael is 15, the youngest, from Washington and we older girls decide, wordlessly, that we will protect her. Diane is 16 and from Louisiana, Audry is 16 too but from Detroit. We are all runaways, from abusive homes. Rachael is worried about what they are going to do with us. I’m pretty sure they want us for sex and I tell her so. She sighs and sits on the dusty bed. Audry starts to cry and talks about her mother. I hold her and comfort her the best I can though her words make me think of my mom and soon I’m crying too. I’m scared and I know I’ll never see my mother again.
The sun sets and the room cools a little. I’ve found that we can open the window but it’s horribly dusty outside when the wind blows. I tear the skirt off my dress and make a bit of a curtain to keep the dust out, letting at least a little air in. We test the water in the basin and it’s tepid. We opt to drink it instead of washing because we haven’t been given any water yet and we are all so very thirsty.
Soon after the sun sets, the men return, laughing and loud talking. The door is thrown open and we are dragged from the room by our hair. Diane claws the man who has her and he strikes her, knocking her to the ground outside the building. As she tries to scramble away he grabs her and rapes her right there in front of us. He’s vicious with her and the men holding us are laughing and groping us as they make us watch the rape.
After he’s done with her, he pulls her up by the hair and drags her with him. We follow them into a brightly lit room that is filled with men, loud music and other girls. There is a lot of beer flowing and we try to huddle together. We are quickly thrust into the arms of waiting men and the night begins. All I really remember about the place is lights, beer being poured into my mouth and the hands. They were everywhere. I was already down to my panties and they quickly disappeared in the midst of the groping. We were repeatedly raped that night by many men. Sometime in the wee hours of the morning, we were taken back to the room and thrust inside. We paired off and slept, two to a cot, till after noon, holding each other tightly as we cried ourselves to sleep. This was the way of things from then on. Sleep in the heat of the day, serve at night. We were given one meal a day and all the water we needed.
After a week, we were allowed to walk the compound if we pleased. I took to the wall via the ladder and spent much of my time up there with the guards. The air was cooler up there though the wind off the desert was scorching at times. I despaired to find we were in the seemingly middle of the desert. As far as I could see from the walls was desert, dry and forbidding. I knew I would never make it, even if I DID find a way to escape. Diane talked of escape often but Rachael told her she was foolish. Audry is gone after a few days, having caught the eye of one of the men and given to him. She smiles at us sometimes from the door of the mans room. She seems happy enough, I guess she’s adjusting well.
Diane has gotten her period and won’t be allowed to join us in the cantina. The men refuse to touch a girl that’s bleeding. Something about the woman being unclean or something. She’s glad to be relegated to the kitchen for the week. Lucky her… I only have a few periods a year. I’ll be lucky to get one any time soon.
Barbara is a girl that’s been here a while. She’s a translator for us when the men want something specific done like chores or something. She’s allowed free reign of the camp and comes to us often to teach us the necessary words that we need to learn to get along here. She’s been here for a long time and has a little boy by one of the men. God only knows which one. The men all treat him like their son so he’s got a lot of “fathers” There’s a few kids here and they are all treated like royalty. The girls are protected well and the boys are given a girl when they are old enough to lose their virginity. I’m given to a boy no more than twelve to learn about sex from. He’s clumsy and quick but afterward I hold him and caress him into another erection, teaching him the ways of men and women. He’s a fast and eager learner and after a week, I’m taken back to my room and start back in the cantina. I see the man boy now, carrying a gun and smiling. I kiss him every once in a while and he seems to appreciate it. He’s a cute kid.
Hermon is the clear boss or leader of these men. He barks orders every so often and the men scramble into vehicles, carrying guns and rifles, tearing out into the desert together. They are sometimes gone for a few days before they return, honking and laughing, shooting their guns wildly. The first time I saw this, I thought of the outlaws from a western. All they needed was horses instead of cars and the picture would have been complete.
Today they return after being away for three days. God it’s so peaceful when they are gone! We don’t do much but chores and clean the Cantina, scrubbing the walls and floors so it doesn’t reek so bad. I like this work and Hermon is told I’m a good worker. When they return this time, he has a gift for me. He brings me a dress of wild colors and smiles as he helps me into it. He wants me to dance for him tonight, I’m told. This is apparently a great honor so I head to the cantina when Barbara tells me. He is waiting for me in the cantina, the room quiet for once.
I enter the room, feeling rather shy for some reason. I walk to him, my eyes down and stand before him. He touches my hair that I’ve brushed to a shine. He speaks to me softly for a moment then pushes me toward the dance floor. Apparently I’m supposed to dance alone. I look around nervously, seeing the men watching me expectantly, my stomach tightens and I shiver. Swallowing deeply I close my eyes as the music starts. It’s a slow melody I’ve never heard here before. I gather the full skirt in my hands and start to sway to the beat, eyes closed as I lose myself in the notes. I’ve never danced provocatively before but I feel that’s what he wants so I open my eyes and look at him. I sway before him and the other men, my eyes leaving his only momentarily as I turn my back to him and caress myself slowly, lifting my skirt up, baring my legs and teasing him with my movements. I remove my clothing slowly, tantalizing him for a time before the music tempo picks up and I find myself lost in the music, my body heated with desire and sweat falling in rivulets down my back, between my breasts, making my body glow with a seeming inner fire. He grabs me and kisses me hard then rises, his huge arms hard beneath me as he carries me to his small cottage within the compound. There, he takes me into his bed and takes me roughly, bringing my already fiery need to molten release. I cling to him as I feel him spewing his seed into my belly, face buried in his long hair. I feel more alive at that moment, more desired than ever in my life.
A month later finds me in his house permanently. He won’t allow anyone else to touch me and he gives me pretty clothes to wear. I’m allowed to do anything I want except leave the compound and that’s fine with me. The other girls of the place look at me funny, especially the ones that have been there longer. I ask Barbara and she says they are jealous of me, that some have tried to get him as theirs for a while. I smile a little and look around before telling her “It won’t last too much longer. Tell them that.”
We lay in his bed, talking well into the morning. He makes love to me several times through the day, gentle and sweet his touch is now, nothing like the desperate taking of the first night. He tells me that he is beginning to have feelings for me and for him that is dangerous. He explains that he must seem hard and impenetrable. His previous woman had been murdered by another group because of him and he refused to let anything like that happen to me. He asks me if I want to leave. I look away and think for a bit, lighting a cigarette before looking back into his eyes “Only if you want me to leave, Amore. Were you to wish me to be gone, I would but only if I could go home to my mothers. I want to go home.” He nods and smiles sadly “then it is as you say, Mi Amore. You will be on a plane within a week to your home. I have your identification and will return it when it is time. Till then you will tell no-one you are leaving.” I kiss him tenderly as a tear slips from my eyes.
The day before I’m to leave, he gives me a small suitcase. Inside are my drivers license and other things I had when I was sold. He had also put in a present, wrapped in a blue handkerchief. I wasn’t to open it till I was back home. I packed the few prettiest clothes he’d given me and asked one last thing of him. I asked for my friends to come with me. He smiled and shook his head “I will ask them if they want to leave but, do not be surprised if they wish to stay.” “I want to ask them myself, if you don’t mind, Amore. Not that I distrust you but, I want to ask if they want me to send regards to their parents” I say, sweetly. He takes my hand and walks with me to find my friends.
We find Audry with the man that fancies her and when I ask her, she looks at me with a wide smile “no, Angel, I have to stay. I’m pregnant!” I hug her tight and ask if she wants me to tell her mother anything. She gives me a message and her moms number “just don’t tell her where I am.” I shake my head with a laugh “I can’t anyway. I don’t KNOW where we are!” I kiss her cheek and we go to find one of the others.
Diane welcomes me into her room with open arms and we hug for the entire time we are talking. She tells me she would love to go home, if she HAD a home. “I’m better off here, truthfully. They don’t treat us too awfully, after all” I ask her if theres any message and she shakes her head “Noone to give one to, you know. Either they are dead or worthless. Just take care of yourself” I kiss her cheek gently and head off to find Rachael.
She’s scrubbing the kitchen floor when we find her and she jumps at the chance to get out of here with me. “Yes! PLEASE take me with you! I want to go home!” She’s crying hard in my arms as I look at Hermon. “Are you really so miserable here chica?” He asks. She’s crying so hard that all she can do is nod. “then you will return home as well. I am sorry you are so sad, chica. You are too lovely to be so” She hugs him then, thanking him profusely and kissing his cheek with a tearful giggle “you will be ready to leave in the morning when you hear the plane arrive, Si?” He asks her “YES I’ll be ready in five minutes if that’s what you want YES!” He laughs and tells her to go to her room and rest now. She hurries off, knocking over the wash bucket as she runs out the door, chased by the Spanish curses of the cook. Hermon takes my hand and smiles “all is well, mi amore?” I kiss him softly and nod “Si, mi amore, Gracias” We go back to his cottage and make love for the rest of the afternoon.
The morning brings a small plane to the hard packed sand before the gates of the compound. We are quickly put into the plane without much ceremony then blindfolded before takeoff. Hermon has left already with most of the men on an early morning excursion. As the plane lifts off, Rachael grabs my hand and holds on tight.
Just before noon we land in an area of desert that boasts only cacti and scrub brush. There is a beaten up car waiting for us that takes us to a bus station in Clovis where we were given tickets to our final destinations. While we waited for our buses, we talked and decided to keep quiet about where we were. It just wasn’t worth the problems. We were both certain that we would be followed or under observation since they had our addresses from our ids. Her bus came at the same time mine did so we hugged and parted ways, exchanging addresses and phone numbers, just in case.
As I watch the road slipping past the windows, I smile and think of what I’d been through… and plot my revenge.