Three thousand four hundred and twenty dollars. That was how much Tiffany is worth. That is including the one thousand Candice got from the man who came to take her.
Tiffany’s head hung low, and she did not know what was happening when she got into the truck. She couldn’t scream. No one would hear her, and worst of all, she was afraid she would get beaten.
“My name is slim.” the man said to her.
Tiffany could tell that it was one of those nicknames that are the opposite of how they look. “Slim” was a big muscular man. She could tell about how he wore his clothes. His black leather jacket fit tightly around his arms. His jeans were like snakeskin around his legs.
Slim lit a cigarette and inhaled it slowly.
“What is your name, little girl?” he asked in a monotone voice.
“Tiffany,” she replied while looking at the floor of the truck.
The floor is full of litter with old beer cans and empty cigarette packs—different types of both.
“Tiffany. This little deb repayment is going to go nice and easy. You are going to earn the debt Candice owes us, and then we will see what we will do with you.”
Tiffany held tightly to her teddy bear. Her body shakes as she wondered what Slim meant.
“Please don’t make him have me do something bad,” she begged silently to herself.
She did not know what “bad” would be. She just wanted to go home.
“I promise. I will never be irritated by Candice again. I will stay out of the way. I will get the best grades. Bring Carl back. I can handle it. Please don’t send me here. Please.” she thought in her head.
“We will still let you go to school as long as you do what you need to do. You have to keep your mouth shut, though. Otherwise, you will not like what will happen to you.”
The truck stopped by a large wooden run down cabin in the middle of the woods. Trees in the middle of nowhere surround it. One red and one black truck were parked there as slim pulled in beside them. They looked expensive. It looked like they had more money that could afford a much nicer house than this.
Slim opened the door.
“Well…get out, Tiffany. Walk straight to the door.” he said, “Bring your things with you.”
Tiffany held on to the arm of her teddy bear and grabbed the rest of her things. She walked in front of Slim.
“Open the door,” he told her.
Two men stood in the room, looking at her. “Oh no, she thought. Oh, no.”
“You know Carl. Over here is Tiny.” Slim told her.
She looked at Carl. He had gotten smaller. His once shaven face now had a dark brown mustache, and he grew his hair out longer than it was before.
Tiny was a big man. (Another one of these nicknames that were the opposite of how they looked) He had blonde hair in a ponytail. He looked scarier than both Carl and Slim combined. His eyes were black light like a lake in the middle of the night.
“So nice to see you again,” Carl said while running his finer down Tiffany’s cheek. His breath smelled just like it always did—stale beer and cigarettes.
Tifanny stiffened her body. She wanted to cry but knew she couldn’t. They might hit her or something.
“First, you are going to clean this place up,” Slim said as Tiny and Carl moved out of the doorway.
The living room was filled with empty beer cans and finished cigarettes as though there was no ashtray, anyone, near them. Old used condoms and mud prints laid on the floor by the sofa. Dust was everywhere. Footprints of men’s shoes looked like someone had opened a country-western bar, which was the dance floor.
“When…when do you want me to start?” she asked with a tremble in her voice.
“Well, first, we will show you where the magic will happen,” Carl said.
He took her down a dark hallway. “This is my room he said,d pointing to the left. They walk farther down the hallway; Slim is here to the right. Tiny is to the left here.” He said.
They walked back down the hallway.
“Where is my room?” Tiffany asked.
“You don’t have a room. You will take turns sleeping with each of us.” Carl said as he laughed.
“Put your stuff in my room,” he said with a smile as he put his arm around her. “I get you first.”
“Right now, you can clean this shit up,” Slim told her. “Here are some rags and some cleaner. We don’t have a mop or a vacuum cleaner. You have your hands and knees. Here, use this bucket and this broom. Here is a trash bag.
The sounds of their beer cans hissed like a viper as they opened them.
“We are leaving,” Carl said. “We have the door locked from the outside, so you have nowhere to go, little girl.”
“Have this placed cleaned up by the time we get home, ok?” Slim told her.
The door clicked behind her.
When it was quiet, and the cars drove away, Tiffany filled the bucket and cleaned up the trash.
Tears streamed down her eyes. It was the first time she could let go.
“God, why did you do this to me?” she cried out loud.
As she finished cleaning up the living room, Carl, Slim, and Tiny returned.
“Oh, princess!” Carl said, “You did a good job.”
He was drunk. Very drunk. And high.
“Come on now. It’s time for you to come with me,” Carl said while grabbing her by the arm.
He led Tiffany into the room and took his clothes off, then hers.
“You’re not bleeding, are you? Don’t lie to me!” he smiled as he touched her breast.
Tiffany shook her head. Nodding, she stood there.
“Well, get on in the bed,” he said as he motioned to her. As she laid down on her back, he quickly had his way with her.
She stared at the forgiving eyes of her teddy bear as her body moved up and down.
Carl rolled off of her and lit a cigarette. He leaned over and whispered in her ear with his beer and cigarette smelling breath.
“Think…you cleaned the house, and now you had a lovely night with me. You just made thirty dollars in one night!” he said while laughing.
Three thousand three hundred and ninety dollars. That is the number Tiffany counted in her head as she cried to herself to sleep holding her teddy bear,