If you told a little girl to pretend, what might she pretend to be? A ballerina, a movie star, a fish or mermaid in the ocean, a queen for a day? And I have no doubt she would pretend to be a princess. I know I would.
I find myself sitting on the bus in India from Delhi to Agra catching up on some documentaries to prep me for this upcoming trip. To “prepare” me for what I am about to witness in real life, not on TV, 60 minutes or dateline.
So I close my eyes and pretend. Only I don’t pretend to be a rock star or even a princess. I pretend to be a prostitute. I pretend to be 8, only I’m not dancing in my ballet class. It’s someone else who is dancing on me….in me. I pretend to be bought and sold. I pretend to be beaten, kicked, stabbed and bruised only to be thrown back into the fire to be fucked again and again and again and again. Because that is what this is, fucking. Fucking me over and over and over again.
I pretend to be called a worthless whore, useless and good for only one thing…the hole between my legs.
I pretend to not know how to read and write. I pretend to be born into a cast system where I am at the bottom of the well with no rope, no bucket to help me out…never mind to the top. I pretend to go to the police only to look into the eyes of the monster who was on top of me, inside of me yesterday. I pretend to have HIV. I pretend to be dirty, hungry, poor and sick. I pretend to be high, drunk or disoriented because someone drugged me, forced me to drink something or punched me too hard. I pretend to be an alcoholic or an addict because I simply can’t bear the pain.
Have I said enough or do I need to say more to describe my dark, sick imagination? I pretend to be all these things because I cant seem to find any other way to put myself in the shoes of a sex slave. I acknowledge the feeling in my stomach, the knot in my throat, the clench in my jar. The hole, not between my legs but in my heart. The coldness in my eyes. The nothingness in my soul. Because that is what I am. Empty. Worthless. Well, not according to my pimp or madam. But to me, I’m worthless.
I sit here on this bus still with my eyes closed in my pretend world because this is the only way I can teach myself non-judgment and empathy right now. But in my pretend world, I pray.
In prayer I ask. No, I beg God to please please explain his plan for me. I ask him if this is what is intended for me, what he wants for me or has the devil won this time? Dare I ask WHY when I am supposed to trust in the Lord? If one believes that God is in all of us, am I a sacrifice to save others? Am I the darkness so there can be light? Dear God, show me the way, the light at the end of the tunnel, the truth because I can’t bear the pain a second longer.
I open my eyes.
Want to play pretend?