Today is National Child exploitation awareness day #CEADAY21
This is the first time I have sat down all day. I had planned to write all these posts and a blog, but have been working since 7 this morning. So instead of what I had planed I will leave this as my comment for national child exploitation awareness day… And for those adults that say why do children “choose” to be involved in drug dealing…this one is for you
And so, she stands there…. trying to look like she is cool…like her heart is not mashing against her chest under her puffa jacket. The tears that want to come so bad, stay behind her eye lids…but they are there…her eyes shiny and wide.
They are shouting. Arguing. The 4 men are pissed off.
“I’m getting my fucking monies worth” the big bald one growls.
The smaller man, the one with the cap, he shakes his head “Shut up Jay, look at the state of her” he says gesturing to her.
The bald one goes red in the face “Do you think I care…. She is a fucking slag”.
They start arguing again.
And she stands in the room, she notes that there is no furniture in this room apart from a large, dirty, grubby sofa and a kind of box in front of it that is being used to hold a host of needles, and spoons and lighters and tin foil.
She stands, swaying slightly. Her arms straight down by her sides, palms sweating and hands shaking so bad that even if she did try and reach for the knife she currently has in her sock, hidden under her tracksuit bottoms, it was very likely it would fall to the floor with a rattle. So, she just sways.
“Listen, its easy…. just call the biggun” says man number 3. He is small and rat like looking and thank god, has very little interest in her. He is clearly clucking for his heroin and now he has gotten over the shock that she has not brought any with her, he is done with her and just was to solve the issue. He is the problem solver. He has no intention to hurt her but won’t stop the others, that’s for sure. Baldy jumps in of course “call the older……na…I say we fuck her up and send her back…that’s the kind of message we need to send. Not calling him up and asking where the gear is…she won’t even give us the fucking number…. why are we even talking about this…take her upstairs”
She can hear her heartbeat in her ears now. Loud and fast, she has this little bit of sick sitting in her throat. “well” she says inside her own head…”if they touch me now, I will be sick on them for sure”. She swallows, hard. Hard and slow. Her lips are dry. She has not been to sleep in over 48 hours, and she can hear, feel, and see everything like its in high definition. She is hot. So so hot. She has not changed her clothes in days and everything feels sticky.
But most importantly she is terrified that these four men are going to carry out their threats.
“Wait wait…you lot are moving mad”. This is man number 4. He is different from the other 3. You can tell the other 3 are locals. This one…she notes…he is from ends. Not her ends but ends. All the other men are aged, if she had to guess, between 30-40. This one, with small dreadlocks …he is about 20.
The other 3 look at him.
Baldy…he is pissed.
“She fucking rocks up here, trying to sell us H and it turns out to be …well…. whatever this shit is” he gestures to the table where the Heroin that she has been instructed to take to them has turned out to not be Heroin at all but has dissolved into some other sticky substance.
See the thing is, not that they will listen, its not her fault. The older had said that these men were Nittys that she could pass the shit stuff to them and they wouldn’t even notice. That all she had to do was go, drop the gear off, ask to go to the toilet or some shit, and then run. Make her way back to the train station and come home. The men had already paid so she didn’t even have to stick around for the money. Boom.
“B” the older had said “It’s a easy one….get the train…drop the shit gear and leave straight away. Boom. Like dat”
However, that’s not how it had gone down.
She had said to her older that she would go straight to the destination, which was a few hours away on the train, but didn’t. Fuck she regretted that now.
She had taken the bag of gear from the older, gone to get her stuff from home and met some people on the way. She ended up going with them and drinking for hours. And then the speed. She always got fucked when she drunk and took speed. Copious amounts of speed and Bacardi. She laughed and danced and drunk and took speed and drunk some more. At this point she had already not been home or to sleep for a day or a half.
Then the older called her phone. He had heard she was still on ends. He told her what the fuck…get to the place and drop the shit…idiot girl.
And so, she left, off her face on the drugs and drink that had been supplied to her all evening and she got the train to the destination.
And she got cocky.
She had gone to the address, knocked, gone in…. she should have put the bag down, said laters…and run like the wind.
But she was high as a kite, no sleep and still drunk and so instead she had said “yer my older said you gotta give me another £200”.
She had made it up on the spot. Greedy. A very stupid idea.
They had started arguing, the men, and she had tried to take a few steps towards the door, ready to make a run for it. Baldy had seen her, as they were shouting at each other, grabbed her by the front of her coat and dragged her into the middle of the room, and then he had said “I bet the gear is shit anyway” and he was very right.
And that is how she found herself swaying in the middle of the room, the 4 men arguing what to do with her, what to do about what she has done. The options, it seems were:
1: Sex. She will repay the delivering of the shit food and trying to get extra money with sex, and from the way Baldy is talking…sex that will hurt on purpose.
2: Beat her up and send her back to the older
3: Keep her and wait for the older to come get her (Rat man has said that a stupid idea as the older won’t come)
4: Call the older
She stands and listens as the men decide her fate. She can see the conversion is steering towards sex again. The edges of her mouth start to twitch…shit…don’t fucking cry she says in her head. She remembers what the olders have said to her “Look tall B, say it with your chest” so she tries to stand tall, make herself look taller. Fixes her face to neutral.
“Give us the fucking number of your older you cunt” says Baldy. He says the last word so close to her face that she blinks from the hotness of his breath.
She shakes her head.
There is not one thing these men can do that would ever get her to give that number. Nope. Are they mad? She will take what ever they have to give than do that.
The one with the cap picks a half-smoked fag off the table thing and lights it. His fingers, she notes, are very dirty, and she shows this with her face, he takes a long pull on this and said, “I say we fuck her”.
And she cries.
Just hot tears running down a grubby face. And she looks straight ahead. Like a solider. Like they told her.
Man number 4, the youngest one sees this and says “you lot are sick…. fucking sick”
Baldy screws up his face “Us? What…so you just want to lose £1200 like that…for nothing…because she is crying”?
She has not spoken a word since asking for the extra money. Not a word. They have screamed and shouted in her face. Dragged her up. Threatened this and that. Not a word
“Na” says number 4 “na bruv…you’re a wrongen”
The bald man smiles and shrugs.
Number 4 looks her in the eyes. Right in them. His chocolate brown and hers blue. She wonders if he is trying to tell her something. She blinks as her eyes and a river falls down her cheeks and he speaks.
“Younger…how old are you”.
She speaks, but it’s a creak, a noise…a dry throat from drink and alcohol and no sleep and crying and everything.
“what” number 4 says.
She says this in the bravest voice she can.
Number 4 looks back at them and for a second Baldy even looks a bit sick.
Number 4 grabs her and starts dragging her to the door…She starts screaming, screaming, pulling herself out of her jacket.
“no, please…. allow me” she screams.
She is screaming, but her big stupid coat is now over her head and she can feel herself being pulled…up the stairs…no pleas no…She screams “Mum” …and she is suddenly on the floor with a bang. Hard. Her knees hurt.
She stays there for a second and then jumps up, pulling her coat back down over her head. Her long blonde hair is matted with all the pulling and her face is read and blotchy and they are going to…
She is outside the house. The door is still open, and the men are screaming at each other.
Man number 4 has taken her and chucked her out the front door.
And she turned and she ran, the kind of run where your head goes right back, and your arms are moving at the same speed as your legs, and you make that stupid puffy face as you run, and your cheeks bound and wobble and you look very stupid
And she run.
So so fast
And she got on the train and she went home. To the safety of her olders. And she told them what had happened, and they all laughed and laughed. But in her head and her tummy she didn’t think it was actually funny. And then one of the boys saw this so he gave her some free Speed so she would feel better…….
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My. Goodness Kendra, Just when I think I’ve heard it all…..! I’m sorry for these experiences and terribly dark dark moments and my thanks that you still have the strength to speak out prophetically in helping others to see.
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