Hannah’s head ached. The muscles along her ribs were sore and tired from the hacking cough that wouldn’t leave her. All she wanted to do was sleep. You could say she was fortunate. She wasn’t allowed to take a day of work – but at least her workplace had beds. Whenever a client came she was roughly woken up, made money for her captors, then fell back to sleep.

Isla didn’t always have pleasant clients. The night before one of them had beaten her. Her arm had swollen to double its normal size, she couldn’t move her fingers and there wasn’t a part of her that didn’t hurt. She wasn’t given permission to go to the hospital for an x-ray. She was given a flimsy cloth bandage and told to keep working.

Hannah and Isla were held captive at the same brothel. They didn’t have the option of taking care of themselves – they did what they were told – including smiling at the clients so they could feel like the girls were happy to see them, so they could feel desirable.


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