Marzhan sat in the corner willing nobody to speak to her. She’d been feeling herself fade for several months now. It’s difficult to be open and chatty when you just aren’t happy. Her hearts deepest longing was to take a trip to see her sons who were living with her parents in another city, but she never seemed to be allowed any time off to do it and missing them was taking its toll.

Whether she saw her boys or not, everything she did was for them. She sent all she could to them, even though she was living in a lock up brothel without so much as running water. If ever her pimps allowed her to keep some of the money, she sent it to her sons. If volunteers came to hand out fruit or sweets, those went to her sons too. There was nothing she wouldn’t do to give them the best possible life.

Marzhan never did get to visit her sons. She passed away last year, although it isn’t confirmed most of her colleagues suspected she was murdered by one of their clients.


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