All I could think was how I always heard stories of things like this happening to young girls, but I never thought it would happen to me. I was always so careful! But not quite careful enough, I guess.
With my hands still bound behind my back, I was released from the wall. The man who was collecting me pinned a tag to my bra. It had the number 333 on it. Ironic, I thought. My lucky number in such an unbelievably unlucky situation. Though it was naive of me, I couldn’t help but hope that having my lucky number pinned to me would bring me some kind of good fortune in this hellish predicament.
Girls were taken out of the cells eight at a time, each escorted by a man with a gun and a file with her name on it. It seemed as though the men were taking groups of girls all around the same age. We were taken to a room where we could be observed. “Display room” was the best name I could think of for them. They almost reminded me of the rooms on TV shows where suspects were lined up and the victim had to pick the guiltily one.
And so there I was, feeling the eyes of all those men on me, two-and-a-half weeks, give or take, after being abducted that fateful night in mid-September. I stood there, wanting nothing more at that moment than to go back to that night and not go to the drug store. I wanted this to all be a dream. But it wasn’t. It just... wasn’t.
The lights that shone on us were bright, making me feel even dizzier.
The eight of us stood in a line against the wall as perspective bidders at the auction appraised us through a window that was as wide and tall as the room itself, deciding which, if any of us, they would purchase. When I was in the van the night I was kidnapped, I thought I had never felt so degraded and low.
I was wrong.
Now I had never felt so degraded and low. I was standing on display, drugged, in my underwear, for a pack of men, in their own individual stalls or cubicles or whatever you want to call them, who wanted to buy and me and use me as a sexual toy. It doesn’t get much lower than that.
I fought back the urge to cry again as I stared down at my feet.
When I looked up, I was met by the stare of one of the men. It was hard to see much of anything with such blinding lights in our eyes, but his eyes stood out even though he was off in one of the little buyers’ rooms. They were sharp and clear, a deep brown that bored into my soul. They had such a steely and unyielding gleam. It made me a little anxious.
His jaw line was chiseled. His dark brown hair was neat, but not too neat, and not perfectly straight, and styles to perfection. The front of his hair was swept up and to the side just enough so that the ends wouldn’t hang in his eyes. Even through his well-tailored suit, I could see how well built and muscled he was. I hated thinking it when he was staring at me like this, but he was just… gorgeous. Absolutely devastatingly gorgeous. So much so that he was hard to look away from.
He looked a little bit like Hoya from Infinite, a popular K-Pop boyband. But his hair was a little light, his eyes a little bigger, and his nose a little taller.
But the way he was staring at me was ten miles past unnerving. Without looking away from me, he pushed a button on the small black box he was holding. A few moments, he pressed it again. This went on for about thirty or so more seconds, each press of the button coming faster and more vigorously than the last. After he pushed the button for a final time, a satisfied smirk creeped across his divine face. I wasn't sure exactly what the button was for, but I had a pretty good guess.
My stomach twisted and sank.
About ten minutes later, a man called my number, the number of the girl two down from me, and the number of the girl next to her. We were pulled from the room by the same three men that had brought us in. I knew right then that Mr. Manly-and-Handsome with the piercing eyes and strong jaw had picked me out. The three of us were put into a waiting room with other girls—all of us still with bound hands—who had also presumably been called out of line. My stomach churned when I saw how young some of these poor girls were; a few of them looked no older than twelve! They were just children! What sick bastard could take away a little girl’s childhood, her innocence, like that?!
The man that led me into the room left, taking with him the file that had my name on it. It had gotten significantly thicker since the last time I’d seen it. A few other men with files did the same. I assumed they were taking the files to our respective perspective owners so they could have any and all pertinent information about us on file in their homes.
I guess the most important thing to them, though, was that we were attractive. No point in buying a sex slave you can't get it up for.
About a half hour later, the man who had my file (and still a gun) returned with another man. I recognized the second man as the one who grabbed me the night I was kidnapped. “Ah, we meet again, slut,” he said in a sleazy tone as he placed a gag in my mouth and blindfold over my eyes. He slung me harshly over his shoulder as tears soaked the cloth over my eyes.
This is it. Somebody just bought me.
I was being taken to somebody’s house. Some man who would abuse me. Some man that would rape me. He would take my innocence without regard. I didn’t care how gorgeous he was, it still terrified and repulsed me in was I wasn't capable of fathoming, let alone explaining. There was never a point in my life when I’d felt so defeated and helpless.
But I still refused to give up. Once I was away from gunpoint, I would fight. If these bastards were going to make my life hell, then I would make theirs hell, too, or die trying.
I will be strong, I will escape, I vowed to myself. It was a promise I was more than desperate to keep. It was a promise I had to keep or I would end up dead in a ditch.
“Stop squirming, you pathetic little whore,” the man carrying me growled as I sobbed and struggled against the binding on my hands and the blindfold tied tightly around my head.
Every time they called me a name like that, I felt more and more like dirt. I knew I wasn’t actually some wanton little slut, but I felt like one, given where I was heading.
“Where are we taking this one?” a gruff voice asked. I figured we were out of the building because I heard a car door open and gravel crunching under the mens’ feet as they walked.
One of the men answered with an address, but because of the last injection they gave me before sending me out, I blackout out just long enough to miss that part of the conversation.
“Shit, we gotta go all the way to Busan?” was the next thing I can remember hearing.
“Yeah. We’re not gonna get back ‘till after dawn.”
I was, again, thrown into what I assumed was the back of a van. The second I hit the floor of the back of the van, I started rolling towards the way I had come in, somehow managing to use the traction between the ground and my head to slip off my blindfold.
Before I could even try to lamely hop away, one of the men swung a baseball bat low, hitting my shins as he yelled at me.
I screeched in pain and fell to the ground, scraping my face, chest, and shoulders on the gravel. Shiny ruby liquid painted the gravel where I’d landed.
“You think you can escape, you slut?” one of the men terrorized me. He raised his thick fist and brought it down on my face, hitting me where I had just scraped myself. I groaned in pain and shut my eyes tightly, preparing for another blow somewhere on my body. “Open your fucking eyes, bitch! Look at me when I talk to you! Don’t even bother trying to run away. You’ll always loose. You’re a worthless piece of shit. A weakling. You can’t win,” he taunted me in an arrogant, loud voice, delivering a kick to my stomach. “I ought to teach you a lesson right her and now. But you’re new owner wanted us to keep you a virgin, so I guess we’ll just have to tell him to do it for us. Remember your training, little one.” His cackle nearly curdled my blood.
I didn’t know what was worse: what he was doing to me physically, or what he was saying to me. It was just plain mean. It was abuse. Torture. And all for what? To what end? And the cryptic warning he gave at the end of his tirade made me sick with fear. I knew exactly what kind of lesson he was referring to and desperately hoped (uselessly, I was sure) whoever I was being handed off to would be merciful.
I just cried as he carelessly shoved my body back into the back of the van and replaced my blindfold, making sure to tie it so tight it was likely dangerous for my eyes and head.
I heard the GPS say it was calculating a route after the man in the driver’s seat entered the address.
“This one’s a squirmy little slut,” lamented the man who had just beaten and threatened me as he got into the van, pulling the door firmly closed.
“Good looking, too. American women always got huge tits. And this one’s skin is so white. I’m jealous of the lucky bastard who gets to fuck 'er senseless,” one man said and they all laughed. They went on for a while about what they’d do to some of us “whores” (especially me) if they ever got the chance to take one of us. They were grotesque in their descriptions. They sounded so merciless. I was weaving in and out of consciousness, trying to stay awake. But what I gathered from the bits and pieces of conversations I heard is that they’d pin us down and force their cocks into our unwilling mouths, bind our hands and take us whether we were ready or not.
A wave of nausea consumed me and, for a moment, I thought I might actually throw up what little contents I had in my stomach. What if the man who bought me is like that? To what is he going to subject me?
It was all I could worry about for the hours-long car ride from Seoul to Busan. That, combined with the way-too-tight blindfold, gave me the mother of all headaches. If I hadn’t been heading to such an ominous destination, I’d have wished to get there sooner just to get out of the van and be un-blindfolded.
I tried so hard to fight whatever those men had pumped into my veins to stay awake. Time passes all to quickly when you’re asleep. The last thing I wanted was to get to to my new “owner’s” house any faster than I needed to. But I simply wasn't strong enough to ward of the sleepy haze. I lapsed into an unrestful sleep and was awoken when the vehicle pulled to a stop and the engine cut.
My stomach dropped and I was feeling very queasy again.
I waited in silence as one of the men got out of the van. I could hear my heart beating. It was so loud I thought it would burst. Terrified wasn’t enough to describe what I was feeling. I didn't think there was actually a word in any language strong enough to explain the terror and anxiety I was experiencing.
Thankfully, though, the sleep had helped clear away some of the hazy grogginess I had been feeling. I was sharper now and more able to fend for myself.
The seconds dragged on as I waited for somebody to come back and take me into my new “home.” When I heard the back door of the van open, my heart stopped and I had to force myself not to hyperventilate. I could not pass out. Who knows what would have happened to me if I was unconscious. Oh, God, no.
“Get up,” one of the men commanded me. I struggled to a sitting position, not wanting my already very sore, thoroughly battered body to be beaten again. He yanked me toward him and ripped the bloody gag out of my mouth. I felt that damn gun pressed to me face again. It was always there, making sure I didn’t pull any funny business.
The next thing to come off was the rope that kept my legs joint at the ankle. I had a raw, red rub surrounded by bruises that felt like it was on fire where the rope was. The rub was so raw and deep that there were traces of blood in the center of it, I discovered later, when I was inside and the blindfold had been removed. I had a matching injury on my wrists from that rope.
Once the rope was tossed back into the vehicle, I was jerked by my arm out of the van, causing me to fall on my knees on the paved driveway, then topple forward, hitting my face in the same manner. I hissed as the sensation of acute pain one again invaded all of my nerve endings.
He pulled me up by my arm and started dragging me to the door, not giving me a chance to actually catch up to him as I limped behind him.
The man rang the doorbell and time slowed once more as I waited to hear who would answer the door. But the voice that answered didn't sound like voice that would have come from the man who I was almost sure has bought me. This man sounded… older. Significantly so. Had somebody else bid higher?
We only walked a few steps before I was brought to a halt again. “I don’t think you’ll be needing that in here… The Master doesn’t care for guns, especially not in his home. And he would like for the Miss not to be wearing a blindfold,” the man who had answered the door said.
The black fabric covering my eyes was lifted and the gun was set on a small table in the foyer. Despite how dimly lit the room was, my eyes burned a little bit adjusting to the sudden absence of total darkness.
It wasn’t until then that I could see how large the house we were in really was. It was an honestly beautiful house. In the night, and in this situation, though, it seemed quite ominous and domineering, but it was beautiful and grand, none the less.
I saw for the first time the man who answered the door. Matching his voice, his face looked significantly older than the man I had seen through the glass. His hair was silver and his skin crinkled around his eyes and mouth. Permanent lines of worry had sunken into the skin of his forehead. He was dressed in a clean-cut suit with tails and had a very proper air about him.
His eyes flickered to the man who had been holding the gun with apprehension. Then he made a motion for us to follow.
The man holding my arms pushed me harshly as we began following the man who answered the door, the sicko who had only just put down his gun staying right at my side. We walked through the foyer, a few dimly lit hallways, and finally arrived at a closed wooden door. It was one of the most nerve racking walks of my entire life. It was also surprisingly lengthy. It must have been a sizable home. Perhaps a mansion?
The man in the suit knocked on the door and announced warily, “Master Lee, she’s arrived.”
“Come in,” came the answer, calm and deliberate.
Don’t cry. Don’t you dare cry, I said in my head as the man, whom I now assumed to be a servant or butler of some kind, opened the door.
The room looked to be an office of some sort, and was currently sporting the same dim, eerie lighting as the hallway we were just in. There were bookshelves completely filled with books of all different sizes—some in different languages, and some that look old enough to be antiques—filing cabinets, a dark leather couch with a small table in front of it, and a large, intricately carved dark-stained wood desk facing the door. The chair at the desk was turned around and tall enough to hide the man sitting in it.
“Everybody except for Sara-ssi is dismissed. Thank you very much for delivering her safely,” the man at the desk said without turning around. The way he said made it seem like somebody had just delivered a piece of furniture he'd ordered off the internet. The thought of being alone with him was suddenly scarier than having a gun pointed to my head. As long as I did what I was told, he wouldn’t shoot me. But I didn’t know how things would work with this man.
The men that were behind me did as they were told and left, leaving me standing in the room in front of the desk, staring ahead with steely hate in my eyes.
No, you won’t break me, I tried to mentally emote to him.
The chair turned around. There he was. The man with the deep, commanding eyes and sharp, manly jaw.
“Hello, Sara,” he said in perfectly accent-less English, his voice low, as he rose from his chair and began moving toward me.