I woke up this morning, no idea where I was. This room is filthy, and I haven’t a clue how I got here. I don’t remember the journey at all. Well, I remember being in a car, and one of Matt’s friends holding me down while Matt ‘said farewell’. I remember reaching an airport and being knocked out by a huge thug who was ANOTHER of Matt’s friends. But that’s it.
In this room, there are four blankets, and four pillows. No beds, no wardrobes. The window is filthy, but you can just about see out. The door is locked throughout the day, and if we need the loo we just have to go in a bucket in the corner, which adds to the stink.
“Where am I?” I asked the other girls. They are English too.
“Amsterdam,” said one. I found out since then that her name is Mary. There was a moment’s silence while I connected this new revelation with my previous experiences. Then it clicked. Heaven help me, it clicked. That was one painful penny that dropped there.
“Oh God,” I said, feeling guilty even as I did so. Mum would have a go at me if she was here. Mum. How long would it be until I saw her again? The other girls are sympathetic. All of them have a similar history to me. Mary has been here the longest - almost a year! It makes me feel worse, actually. None of them have managed to escape. They told me about a girl who tried it and failed. She was beaten up so badly that without care she eventually died.
“Knocked out three of her teeth and broke her arm,” Mary told me. “She lost so much blood, I knew she’d die. No one could live after that.”
But none of these three dare to leave. Like me, they’ve been told that if they do, their families will suffer the consequences.