I am Melina, and at the age of thirteen, I am living- or rather, surviving- the life of a modern-day slave.
Because of the relentless poverty my family suffered from, I signed up for a job as a maid with an international company. “What an opportunity!” my family said. Perhaps they didn’t know I was being sold into a life of torture.
I was delighted to know that my benevolent employers had arranged a plane ticket for me to travel to Hong Kong. Upon arriving at my new “home”, I was smiling from ear to ear. They requested I leave my passport with them for “safekeeping”.
They then showed me my abode. It was a two-by-two space crawling with mites, mosquitos, and malady. I asked for better conditions, but they refused. It was then I knew- they wanted a slave, not a maid.
They treated me worse than trash. I cooked for them, cleaned for them, and gave my life up for them; they repaid me by spitting out the food I’d made just to provoke me and then deliberately stomping all over my hard work- literally. They did anything and everything possible to make my life a living hell. They succeeded. I’d rather I’d died rather than live this life of utter dejection, but I try to remember that heaven awaits me. I may as well survive the next few years of my life if it means reaching that sweeter, final abode.