The Life of Heaven
Heaven was a young fourteen-year-old girl who lived in the city of Angels with her family. Her family was extremely poor. Heaven was a beautiful girl with straight blonde hair and hazel eyes. She was thin and about average height. Even though she was poor and was not privileged to go to the best schools and get a good education, she was intelligent and spent most of her time reading and dreaming that one day she will become an actress. She dreamed about going to France where she would film the best movie of all time. She had two siblings who were named Michael and Bryan. Michael and Bryan were twins who adored their older sister and she always had to be the perfect older sister who made no mistakes. She lived with them and her mother, Angelette, and father, Albert. Her mother was the only one who worked outside the home because her father was a bad father who let his children and wife go hungry while he was wasting all his wife’s money on gambling. Her mother worked as a dishwasher in a Mexican restaurant named “La Luna Triste” which was just around the corner from her house. Her father would lay on the couch watching television, waiting to have everything at his hands. Albert had a gambling problem and would always sell the family’s most valuable objects in order for him to pay off his debts. The more Albert would gamble his life away, the larger the debt became. Her home represented her broken family. It was old with paint peeling off every inch and was rotting inside and outside. The windows were broken allowing the wind to pass through. Some had plastic taped in the open areas to keep the wind and the cold out. Angelette was a delicate woman who came from a closed-minded family. She would see her father physically abuse her mother in front of her and her siblings. Her mother would stay because she thought that is how a husband treats his wife, and that the wife should obey her husband at all times. Her mother would constantly tell her that a woman’s purpose was to serve and obey the man and let all her dreams fade away. She was to allow the man to have the entire world to himself. Heaven as a young and closed-minded girl believed every word her mother told her about love, something her mother knew nothing of and never felt. Heaven wanted to support her family and help out her mother, but as a young fourteen-year-old girl, she had no chance of getting a job. She talked to her father about the situation and due to his ambition to get more money for gambling, he told her he was going to help her. Day after day passed and she heard nothing. One day, she was going back home after searching for a job when she saw her father with two strange men dressed in suits. Albert called her over and introduced her to the men. As she talked to them, she felt cold and scared. The men looked at her, up and down. Albert told her they were “directors” looking for young girls hoping to be actresses and film a rom/com movie. She knew this was a chance in a lifetime to get out of her broken home, and help her mother support her family. Albert told her there was one condition for her to get the job and the condition was to move to a mansion where the movie was going to be filmed. She accepted the conditions right away and went home to tell her mother and siblings the good news. A week later, one of the two strange men came to their door and made Heaven sign a contract that disclosed the “movie” with the condition she couldn’t speak to anyone about it. After the signing, she packed all her stuff and went off to start her new journey. Heaven was excited to start her new journey because her dreams were going to become true. When she got to the address, she met up with the two strange men and they took her inside so she could get comfortable with her new home. In front of the mansion, there were security guards everywhere and loads of cars. As she entered the living room, she saw a very well-dressed young man. He was tall, fair skin, and brown hair. He introduced himself as Lucifer but to her, he was “Daddy”. Lucifer told Heaven that all her dreams will come true and she will get enough money to support her family. The year was 2010 and that was the year Heaven would never return to her normal self. As she got settled into a glamorous room with beautiful bed sheets and nice, unbroken windows with curtains, she was stunned because never in her life did she imagine she would be in a room with no broken windows. For the first couple of days, she was treated like a princess just so she wouldn’t suspect how her father sold her to pay off his debt. In those first few days, she was reading the script, memorizing word by word. She met all the “actresses” in the house. The girls were all different ages, had different heights. One night, she went to the restroom when she saw a woman. The woman was tall, thin and in her eyes, there was complete sadness. Heaven was so confused because she thought the women in the mansion were happy because their dreams were coming true. Heaven walked up to her and asked her why she was so sad. The woman had bruises and cuts all over her body. She went up to Heaven and stroked her cheek. The oddly fragile woman told her how she wished that no innocent young girl should be groomed into the “Life”. As days went on, Heaven kept thinking about the woman she saw that night and how she lingered in her mind saying the words, “The Life”. One afternoon, Heaven was mingling with the other actresses when two odd men called Heaven over so she could talk to Lucifer. They took her into a dark room where she found Lucifer. The men left. Lucifer questioned her about her family, her hopes and dreams. She was nervous at first but as they talked, she felt more comfortable with him. This session with Lucifer became a routine. Heaven started to develop feelings for Lucifer because she was a fourteen-year-old girl who was discovering boys and the “crushes” that went along with that. Lucifer told her she was ready for a little job she had to do before the movie. He told her to go to her room, check under her bed where she would find a red satin dress, and to “get pretty”. She ran to her room happy, eager to please and, “get pretty”. Twenty minutes passed and she heard a knock at the door. It was Lucifer. He told Heaven that she must obey and do everything the person she will meet says to do. He took her to a motel near the mansion. In the motel room, there was a man at the end of the bed looking at her and Lucifer. Lucifer introduced her to the man with the name of “John”. Lucifer left her and John alone. Heaven was scared. She had nowhere to go. She just wanted to hide. John started to touch her with his rough and coarse hands. He told her to get undressed, but she refused. He told her one more time and she still refused. He forced her to the wall and ripped off her clothes. Heaven screamed for help, but no one came to her rescue. Her screams were full of pain and utter fear. She separated from the violence to her body, in her mind going to another place. At that moment, she realized that the mansion, the job, the acting career were empty promises. The reality of the situation came crashing down on her. It was all a lie, an ugly trick to use her to pay back her family’s debt. She was no little fourteen-year-old girl now. She was someone else. Somewhere else. Everything she knew drifted away. A year passed. During this time, she fell into bad habits, like drinking and smoking cigarettes. She was used and abused by her pimp, Lucifer and all the Johns she met. For a moment in her life, she believed the abuse was all love but then she stepped back from the naïve idea of love and became hardened, cold-hearted, to survive. Eventually, she became Lucifer’s right hand and would receive a small amounts of money every two weeks. She would save and hide the money in her dark blue purse that Lucifer gave her. One day before New Year’s Eve, Lucifer took Heaven to her job as usual. As they waited for “John”, Lucifer smoked a cigarette and Heaven drank a beer. Lucifer took a phone call, then walk away for a while. He trusted her. He left her so she could meet up with her John. Heaven knew this would be her only chance to escape The Life, get a new life, a normal life. She waited until Lucifer’s car was a couple blocks down the street, then she bolted, across the street, almost getting hit by a car. She ran to the nearest train station and bought a ticket to Chicago, departing in five minutes. She realized she was shivering. She could hear the whistle of the arriving train, her emotions started flooding in. Fear. Would he catch her? The train wasn’t arriving fast enough. She kept looking over her shoulder, thinking he knew where to find her. Then she saw the train. It lurched to a stop, and when the doors opened, she rushed to the nearest seat. She kept looking at the door, wondering why the train was taking so long to leave. Would he come running through that open door and drag me back to the street corner? Then it came, the whistle. The doors closed, and she wept. “I’m really free”, she thought. Safely on her way, reality started to settle in…she felt guilty for leaving her mother and the twins. She also felt betrayal, by her mother, because her mother knew about her father’s “deal”. She thought about those train doors closing, like the door of her life closing behind her. Then she thought of the door opening, for her new life, and felt encouraged. At that moment, she never looked back. When she got to Chicago, she got a hotel room and spent her first week of “freedom” looking for work. A few years have passed, and she is now a secretary and an advocate for anti-trafficking laws.