As the taillights of the car faded into the foggy night, she remained transfixed at the barn window, uncertain at what to do next.
The excruciating pain radiated throughout her body, barely able to feel her legs, shoulders numb from carrying the heavy loads for long hours, and fingers screaming to be put to rest for the day. The physical exhaustion of working on the farm all day still took on a heavy toll on her slender frame. Her stomach growled in hunger but since she had already eaten her portion of bread for the day, there would be no dinner anymore. Earlier that day she had to tighten her belt another notch, fully aware of the rapid weight loss over the last six weeks. None of her formerly stylish clothes fit properly anymore, and simply hung from her body like discarded rags. This was certainly not the lifestyle she had imagined when she met the love of her life at the café that fateful afternoon a year ago.
Her mother had raised her in the city, teaching her to be street smart, helpful, considerate of others, and caring. What mother dearest neglected to warn her about was the danger of falling in love with charming strangers with bewitching blue eyes that rendered her helpless and completely enchanted.
It was love at first sight when they both reached the last remaining table at the corner café and grabbed the same chair, claiming all rights to the preferred seat by the window. She had been searching for the perfect little corner to sit and write, whereas he needed a place to plot his next business venture, neither one of them willing to surrender that nook.
A single conversation.
A passionate interlude.
Words and emotions gushed forth as if there was no tomorrow. The chemistry was perfect from the moment they introduced themselves, forging a bond stronger than anything she had ever experienced before. That chance encounter blossomed into a fiery relationship that had her agreeing to just about anything he demanded over the next few days, and It wasn’t long before she found herself agreeing to move in with him.
Darkness engulfed the barn as she tilted her neck to the side in an effort to ease the pain an stiffness. She remembered what her grandmother used to say:
Romance and real life are the worst enemies.
How many times had she scoffed at this expression without realising the wisdom of those words? Why didn’t anyone warn her about the perversions of intimacy behind closed doors?
Who could have possibly stopped her from falling into the trap of modern day slavery?
Was there hope for escape?