I remember feeling tired and sick, as if something had been extracted from my body. I walked for days on end and when I noticed the big, shiny-all-over-money-green Benz that pulled up near my worn out body, I didn’t hesitate to ‘get in,’ when I was told to.
“Hello beautiful, my name is Sweat. That’s what my girls call me. You look hungry, do you want to eat?” he asked after swinging his door open for me to get in.
So caught up in the cloud that his all-over-leather-seats had taken me as a I sat down inside, I sank deeper into its comfort and felt my head roll up and down in a ‘yes’ motion.
I remember a man in the car saying, “This one is mine, Sweat.” and hearing the now familiar voice of Sweat saying, “Man, you’ll mess this one up like you always do.”
What felt like years and a long distance from home, a place I had now longed to go back to, I felt the car swerve into a parking position. When I tried to look out the window, I saw something that surprised me, another hotel.
I began to panic. I thought they had captured me to take me back into the aggressive arms of my assaulter, who I had tried running away from days prior to meeting these guys. I remember the guy wanted to force me to have sex with him because I took his offer to follow him on a skiing trip. It was still hard to digest that I got away from him.
As if in my mind or able to read it, Sweat began comforting me saying that he wanted me to take some rest, clean up myself and find food to eat, and that I was ‘okay’. As I rested weakly in his back seat, both men, one wearing a dirty old shirt and a pair of outdated jeans, opened their doors and slammed them shut.
I began humming a song that always soothed me whenever I found myself in trouble. I felt that I was in trouble again. I could sense the stillness in the atmosphere, there was not a customer in sight, something was very wrong with this picture.
“Come on, let’s go inside,” I felt Sweat gently pulling on my arm to help me out of the car.
“Where are you from, and what’s your name?” he asked
Without giving me a chance to answer he answered for me.”I bet they call you Africa; you are dark like an African. Don’t worry, that’s your name when you’re with me, okay?” he teased.
I fell in love. At least I thought I did. Here was a guy who cared so much about making me feel secure, good and not once trying to make me feel like a victim of any crime. All he wanted was for me to be happy.
However, as we entered into the hotel room, I noticed how poorly kept it was and that the television was chained to the wall. The mattress was also very lumpy; there were pieces of the box spring sticking out of it, and I thought, ‘How could someone who cared so much about me bring me here?’
Sweat gave me $50 and told me that he would send his girls to pick me up the next day. As he prepared to leave, he told me that I should prepare myself by resting and taking a hot shower; and surprisingly, the man who called himself ‘Pimp’ came into the room and handed me a shopping bag of clothes.
“What’s your shoe size?” he asked
I told him and within minutes he was holding a pair of high heels, ones that I had seen only on girls in dance videos.
“All this for me?” I thought.
Meanwhile, two days passed and I remember resting so much that I had a headache. On the last day in the room, I decided to go out for fresh air and to buy some chicken at Popeye’s Chicken. I saw a lady and her children having lunch together and then it happened:
“Please ma’am, can you take me home? I am lost and stranded. Some guys brought me here and I don’t even know where I am.”
To my surprise, she waved me away as if trying to push away chickens, or a fly that was bothering her. I must have looked bad. My hair was matted and I must admit I hadn’t showered the two days I slept in the hotel.
Coming back to the hotel after feeling defeated, there was no one who was willing to take me back home. I noticed that the hotel attendant watched me oddly, as if she was my babysitter and I had done wrong. I noticed that she had picked up the phone as I headed back inside.
Within an hour of getting back to the dark and lonely hotel room, I heard a blare of loud music. And within minutes, I heard women chirping, singing loudly. When I looked out of the front door to see what all the commotion was about, the three women started heading right towards me, and they all looked like prostitutes.
They were driving Sweat’s car.
Get a copy of Daily Observer Newspaper for the final addition to this true life account of a young woman’s journey down a pimp mans road.