She walked groggily on the road, lifting her backpack once more while wiping a cloud of sweat from her forehead. She looked at her watch. It had been three hours now since she started walking.
She was angry. Angry about where she came from, angry that public transport was so scarce in her home town, that if you missed the nine o’clock bus, you had to wait till the next day. She was angry that baba had to take on a second wife, spend more money educating her step siblings instead of investing on one family like his friends. They would own a car, even a business by now! But no, she had to walk seven kilometers to the next stage so as to board a bus to her new life.
She was to be her aunt’s maid. Her aunt who was due any day. Her aunt who had never been mean to her but always had an air of superiority around her family because she had made it, while they had not. But she did not mind, being a maid in her aunt’s house was better than living back home where she would not have an ooportunity to grow as she was just a girl in her father’s eyes.
She was ready to start a new life. She knew the clothes she had carried would be brushed off, and she would receive hand me downs, prettier and more expensive than her own. Maybe she would be lucky and catch the eye of one of the sons of auntie’s friends, then she would manage to live the life too. There was hope, it was after all, a new day.
She heard the grumbling of an old engine behind her. And as the car reached her, it slowed down, and the window lowered, revealing a young man, with a straw hat on, an old red shirt, jeans and boots. He was a farmer she gathered.
“Good morning,”she said enthusiastically. “Pretty hot morning for a woman to be walking out alone.”
“It’s necessity, not choice,” she said back in a friendly tone.
“It’s a long stretch to the next town, how about I give you a lift?”
“I really don’t know…”
“C’mon, I promise I’ll be a gentleman,”he said smiling. “I’ll even drop you at the stage.”
Anna looked at the long stretch ahead, it would be better for her if she got there earlier. She removed her backpack and jumped into the car.
His name was George, he was a rice farmer from the town. He lived in the next town, had a wife and two kids. He drove to the village each day to care for his farm, hoping to get better produce each day. His wife was a writer with the local printing press.
He asked her about herself, what she was going to do in the bigger town. He said she looked like a naive country girl, who did not know things. She smiled at this remark, he was a funny guy.
George begun to slow down when they reached an enclosure full of thickets and trees.
“You’re a pretty girl Anna,”he said with a smile stuck on his face.
“Thank you,”she said, unsure of where the conversation was headed.
“Have you ever been with a boy Anna?”
“Excuse me?” she asked mortified.
“Have you had a boy in between your thighs, ever had that melt there, burning for more and more?”
She was scared now. She was in the middle of nowhere, in car with a man who she did not know. She rushed for the door, but it was locked.
George laughed. “Now Anna, did you really think I would let you in my car and nothing would happen? I thought you country women knew better.”
He had stopped the car now, he was facing her, smiling in an evil sinister way.
“So have you had a man touch you before or will I be your first?”
“Please, please George,”she said with tears trickling down her face. “Don’t do this…”
“You’ll like it honey,”he said moving closed to her. “I’ll treat you real good…”
Anna slapped him, tried to push him away, but he only drew closer. So she hit him where it would hurt the most, she knocked his crotch.
She heard him curse under his breathe. “Now Anna, why did you have to do that?”
She heard herself scream as his fist charged at her face. Then it went dark.
It was dark and cold. Anna opened her now swollen eyes. She was on the grown, a hard concrete floor. There was a foul smell about her. Looking closer, she could see garbage bins beside her, and a bright light at the far end.
She stood up, feeling frail, weak, sore. Her legs hurt, her face hurt, walking hurt. She remembered George, the drive…
Going into the light, she saw busy streets, happy people minding their business, living their lives.
She was in the city, she was next to the trash, cold and alone.