He’s here. It’s going to happen again.
My father sold me about a year ago. I was only 9 years old. Since then, I've lived in a basement, tied to the wall, unable to walk more than a few of feet for months. The door creeks as it swings open slowly. The light from the room makes out his silhouette. As he walks down the stairs, I begin to huddle against the corner. He touches me and I let out a whimper. He slaps me.
I want to cry and let out a scream. But, I’ve been here long enough to know that pushing him away does more harm than good.
It’s starting. I want it to stop. I want to leave.
The darkness is going to take over, as it does each time he takes my clothes off and touches me in places I don’t want to be touched. How did I end up here? I am afraid for my life. How will I get out of here? I’m only a child.
I live in fear everyday. I flinch at the faintest of noise. At 10 years old, I am responsible for my 6-year-old little sister. I am just a child myself, but I cannot play outside with my friends like other children my age can.
Instead, my friends and I must burn tires so that the smoke will confuse the planes that try to bomb us.
I am always afraid. A few weeks ago, my parents died as fire rained down from the sky. I am alone.
I have to take care of my sister. Soon, we will be riding a boat in hopes of a better life. Many people have said that we may die on this boat. Still, I persevere in order to bring my sister and I to a safer place.
I am only 10 years old. How old will I be when I will no longer have to live in fear?
Joyce Bae is a Nursing major and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Studies minor at New York University. She is very passionate about the physical and mental health of many children all over the world. Syrian orphans and child human sex trafficking are two things that she is very passionate about and wishes to put a stop to in the future. She hopes that these two short stories will open everyone's mind to the fears many children are facing all over the world.