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Hello peeps, here's the next chapter. So, this chapter is an explanation of what Rose went through. It's pretty dark for most of it. I'll reiterate the warning I gave in the previous chapter. There are some severe warnings. If you are uncomfortable with certain things, please leave a comment or message me if you want to skip this chapter. I can send you a brief synopsis of the chapter before the next chapter comes out, as long as it's in decent time. Or, if enough people are going to skip, I can add it at the beginning of the next chapter. The cards are scheduled to release while I am sleeping, due to the time difference, so I will not be able to respond or change anything if it is too last minute. Don't feel awkward or uncomfortable in asking, I'm easily approachable and won't take offense.
Disclaimer: Many of the characters aside from BTS are made up. And, of course, I don't know BTS personally so their personalities are probably mostly fictional.
Character thoughts are in { } and normally, words in English are bolded. But because all of the conversations are in English, I'll just leave it. Let me know if you would like to be tagged in future chapters. Please forgive me for any mistakes I make and I hope you enjoy!
Too Much
Beginning: Chapter 1
Previous: Chapter 28
Word Count: 4164 (yes, it's a long chapter)
Warning: Contains some language, sexual references, and violence. There are a couple other things, but if I named them all, it would ruin the story.
Rose POV
Nine Years Ago
I loved being homeschooled. I could do my classes pretty much whenever, which meant I could run my errands pretty much whenever. I liked that because if I went in the middle of the day, during regular school hours, I could go window shopping at the mall without worrying about other people. It’s not that I didn’t like people, it’s just that, for me, adults liked to continually congratulate me on my most recent recital and the kids my age were always trying to get me to go places with them. And that’s not meant in the arrogant sort of way, it was just how our small town worked. I’d been told that, aside from my small-time, and quickly progressing, celebrity status, I was actually one of those people that other people just like to be around. I never understood it, but it did make it hard to just be a normal kid. So I liked to go during times that it wasn’t so crowded. My siblings wanted to stay in public school, though, so they usually didn’t go with me.
This particular day, I managed to finish everything quickly. Age 15 and down to my last couple months of high school. It was exciting. After an hour, I finally made it to my favorite store: the book store. This was the only store that I regularly bought from. I was browsing through the new releases when, out of my periphery, I noticed someone standing near me and looking in my direction. I looked up and I met the eyes of a handsome boy who looked to be around my age. He smiled when I looked at him. I hesitantly smiled back. He was definitely good-looking, tall and stocky with carefully styled hair, but I had never seen him before. That wasn’t completely impossible, but in this small town, it was definitely unusual. Plus, if he was my age, he should be in school, although I guess it was possible that he just had a baby face. But his smile…it didn’t quite hide the strange look in his eyes. Something about him seemed off, but I didn’t want to jump to conclusions.
“Hi, I’m Jason,” he said shyly, holding out his hand.
I took it hesitantly. “Umm, nice to meet you.”
Jason must’ve sensed my uneasiness because he immediately started explaining. “Sorry about bothering you, but, uhh, well, my family just moved here. I-I’ve seen you around town. And, well, I don’t want to sound weird, but I just wanted to say, I think you’re really beautiful. And, um, I’ve been working up the courage to ask you out. So here I am.” He shyly rubbed the back of his neck. There was still something about him that made me uneasy. But even if that were not the case, I wasn’t looking to date anyone, I had enough on my plate.
“I’m sorry, you seem nice,” {kind of}, “but I’m not looking for a relationship right now.” His eyes narrowed for a moment before he forced a smile.
“Well, I guess I’ll just have to wait then.” He didn’t seem too broken up, just annoyed. “I’ll see you later.” He gave a short wave as he walked away. {That was…weird}. I finished perusing the shelves and bought my selected book. I spent another hour or so looking through a couple stores before deciding to head home. If I stayed out much longer, school would let out, and I was likely to run into people. I was supposed to meet with my friends in a couple hours so I didn’t want to get roped into anything else. I went out the side entrance and took out my keys to unlock my bike. Suddenly, a cloth with a sweet smell was clamped over my mouth and nose and an arm wrapped around my waist, lifting me off the ground. Then everything went black.
When I came to, everything was dark. There was something covering my eyes. A blindfold? {What happened? The last thing I remember was walking outside}. Everything was foggy. I could barely see a sliver of light at the bottom of the blindfold. The blindfold was so tight it was hurting my eyes and giving me a headache; or maybe that was from whatever had been done to me. The pain from the headache was overwhelmed by the pain of whatever was binding my wrists behind the chair I was in. I wiggled my wrists slowly but stopped when pain shot up my arm. It was some sort of coarse rope cutting into my skin. It wasn’t bleeding yet, but if I continued to move, it would. There was duct tape pulled tightly across my mouth. I could only breathe through my nose and panic was setting in, making breathing even more difficult. I didn’t hear anyone or anything else around me. {Where the hell am I? What happened? What’s going on?!}
I started to hear voices. They slowly started getting louder. Whoever they were, they were walking towards me. I tried moving my wrists again. It only made the pain worse and ropes wouldn’t loosen at all. The voices were just outside of where I was. The panicking got worse. I struggled against the ropes and they continued to cut further into my skin. I could feel blood trickle down. It hurt so much, but I couldn’t stop. I was scared of what was going to happen next. I heard the door open and I stopped moving my wrists. My breathing became shallow. I didn’t even realize I had been crying until I felt the tears roll down my cheeks, the bottom of the material of the blindfold was soaked with tears. The men started laughing.
“Told you she’d cry,” one of them sneered. That voice sounded familiar, but I couldn’t place it. The fog was starting to fade.
“Whatever. We didn’t shake on it.” The other man’s voice was deeper. {These bastards had bet on whether I would cry or not}. I was still scared, but that thought made angry also. They both started laughing, the sound made my skin crawl. I heard one of them walking towards me. He stopped just in front of me. I held my breath. Suddenly, he tore off the blindfold. I glared at him, my eyes full of anger, trying to cover the fear I felt.
At least I knew why he sounded familiar, he was the guy from the store. Now I knew the look he had given me: anger, then arrogance. ‘Jason’ saw the look I was giving him and backhanded me so hard that he knocked me and the chair over. One side of my face burned from his hand, the other side felt like I had broken something. I couldn’t help the whimper that escaped.
The second guy spoke up, “Hey, don’t ruin the merchandise. He’ll get mad if we kill another one.”
“Don’t worry,” he sat the chair up, “I won’t kill her. I’m just gonna fuck ‘er up. She deserves it. Stupid bitch.” He hit me again. And again. And again. I wished the pain would make me black out. He kept hitting me, sometimes punching me in the face and sometimes the body. The pain was too much, I couldn’t even scream, just whimper. Blood ran down my face from too many places to even feel them all, and my body felt like I’d been beaten by baseballs bats. He grabbed my hair and yanked me up off the chair, my hands still bound behind it. “Too good for me now, you stuck-up little bitch?” I could feel myself finally starting to fade, the darkness was heavy and welcoming. I closed my eyes.
When I woke up, I discovered that I had been moved. The room was dimly lit and smelled like sweat, filth, and stale air. The darkness was calling me back and I started to let myself slip back.
“You shouldn’t go back to sleep,” a woman’s voice said. My pillow shifted. My body hurt too much to try and get up so I opted to simply roll over. A woman’s face appeared above me. “After what was probably a concussion, I shouldn’t’ve let you sleep at all. But I couldn’t bear the thought of waking such a peaceful face.”
My left eye was swollen shut so I shifted to be able to see her more clearly. The darkened room did not provide much of an opportunity to see her features but I could tell she was older than me, though not by much. Her hair hung down in greasy clumps and her face was shiny with oil and sweat. But there was kindness in her eyes and that gave me hope. I opened my mouth to speak but my throat was parched and the cuts on my lips burned painfully.
“Don’t try to talk. It’ll be like this for the first week. But it’ll heal once they stop disciplining you. I’d recommend you not fight or it’ll just get worse. Do you want some water?” I managed to make a noise in affirmation. She and another girl helped me to slowly sit up. The new girl balanced me upright while the girl who’d let me lay on her lap got the water. I was in so much pain that I just wanted to black out again. The girl handed me a dirty, plastic cup that was half-way filled.
“I recommend you drink it slowly because they don’t give us much.” I shakily brought the cup to my lips, careful to not touch them, and slowly waterfalled the warm water. I could tell it was tap water at best, but it felt like cold, fresh spring water as it slid down my throat. I unconsciously sighed at the relief making the other girls giggle.
“Sorry,” I said, embarrassed.
“Don’t worry, all of us did that too,” one of the other girls said. I finished the drink and handed it back to the first girl.
There was a heavy silence until a girl with tattoos on her neck spoke up. “You can ask... We don’t know much, but we can try to answer your questions since you’re new and all.”
I took in a deep breath. “What...what is this?” I asked, my voice still raspy. I already had my suspicions. Over a dozen girls, unwashed, given next to nothing to drink, trapped in a small room with no windows, between the ages of maybe 12 to no older than early 20s.
“I’m sure you have a guess, and it’s probably right,” said a girl in taped glasses. No one wanted to say it. Human trafficking, sex trafficking.
I hummed in understanding. “And we don’t know where we are?”
The other girls nodded. “But we’re in some sort of abandoned office building,” said a girl with a scar down the left side of her face. {That would explain the carpet, I guess}. “And we’re in the middle of nowhere. We haven’t heard a car or airplane except for their cars.” I guess they decided that there was no use in names because they never asked me mine and never offered theirs.
A girl with a pixie cut who was sitting by the door suddenly spoke up, “Someone’s coming.” All of us frantically moved away from the door and huddled together in the farthest corner. There was the sound of a deadbolt unlocking and then the door was slowly pushed open.
“Now, now, why are my little pets huddled together like frightened rabbits,” his voice dripped with acidity and arrogance. ‘Jason’ appeared behind him. The first man pointed to a girl with a half-shaved head and indicated for her to follow him. Jason smirked at me and did the same. When I didn’t move, his lips twisted into a sneer.
One of the girls behind me urgently whispered, “You’d better go or it’ll be worse.” That definitely seemed logical, so I complied. When I made it to the door, Jason gripped my arms tight enough to leave bruises for the next two days. He yanked me from the room and threw me into the hallway. I was weak from the previous beatings and a lack of water so I was unable to stop myself from falling face-first into the wall. Even worse for me was that it was the side with the swollen eye, the side where I had almost definitely broken my cheekbone from being knocked out of the chair previously. Pain overrode all of my thoughts and I fell to my knees, leaning against the wall. I stayed there while he locked the door. He yanked me up by my hair and started pulling to the right. The other girl, once she realized she was being pulled to the left, started screaming and crying. The large man picked her up, leaving her arms and legs to flail helplessly.
The next few hours were similar to my previous beatings except it was centered on my body rather than my face. I guess they decided that if my face didn’t look as bad, they might be able to get more money. After passing out again, I woke up in the room with the other girls. The girl with the shaved head wasn’t back. She didn’t ever come back.
The next week was a series of beatings centered around controlling my behavior to become more...subservient, in both behavior and more...intimate regards. I refused to allow them to control me so the beatings started to include hammers to the fingers and toes. A couple new girls were brought in and a few more left, including the girl who let me lay in her lap. They told me virgins tended to stay the longest since the costs were higher.
I devised a plan of escape, but the other girls were too afraid to participate. I went for it anyway. I actually got pretty far before I was found and taken back to the ‘behavior modification’ room. They didn’t bother with the small punishments. In order to keep me from trying to run again, they took a baseball bat to my right knee.
My hope came in the form of girl who looked to be in her late-teens, maybe early twenties. Much in the way the first girl had taken care of me, I took the role for this woman. Something about her seemed different from the other girls, she seemed more…defiant. Even though she complied with what they asked of her, there was a spark in her eyes that said she was a fighter. The girl was there for a couple days before she finally confided in me. She was an undercover cop. She said that her team members knew of this place’s location, but they didn’t know how many people were involved or the details of the operation. She was allowed to be captured for the sake of discovering inside information. Now she had the information that was needed, but she needed a way to get out. I knew it was possible that she was lying. In fact, it was very likely. But it didn’t matter to me. Cop or not, if she wanted to escape, I would help her since my physical limitations would keep me from joining her.
After a few more days of careful planning, we did it. And it worked. She was able to escape, I was found and taken once again to the room. This time it was a baseball bat to my left knee and they held nothing back. For a day, I thought that she really must’ve lied to me, no one came for us. Turns out my trust was actually well-placed. The place was surrounded. The men easily came to the conclusion that I was responsible. The last thing I remembered was hands wrapped around my throat and the feeling of my head hitting concrete.
The next few months were a series of surgeries, police interviews, news interviews, and the beginnings of both physical and speech therapy. The surgeries were as successful as could be expected, given the circumstances. I had trouble with the police interviews at first until they brought the uncover cop whose name was finally told to me. I was diagnosed with PTSD. The news interviews were actually more like attempted interviews while my mother asked my protective detail to escort them away. The physical was incredibly painful and I hated it. But I wasn’t going to let those horrible people succeed in beating me into submission. I was warned that I would have to be careful with my exercise for the rest of my life.
The speech therapy was necessary due to a combination of screaming, limited water intake, and my last beating. Apparently, the man who choked me had choked me so hard that it had fractured my larynx and irreparably damaged my vocal cords. I was told that that the only reason I was still alive was because that female cop knew where to look for us and she, herself, had been the one to shoot the man. I was told that when she found me, I wasn’t breathing. A few rounds of CPR had managed to save my life.
Six months after the raid, and subsequent destruction of that particular trafficking operation, I resumed my homeschooling. I was allowed to continue everything from home. The teachers even came to my house to allow me to take my tests and graduate. Around this time, I turned 16. My sweet 16 was a quiet gathering of family and my few close friends who were actually able to behave normally around me.
When my parents were able lease a wheelchair-friendly van, they decided it would be a good idea to get me out of the house. I was strongly opposed to the idea. Turns out I was right to be hesitant because within five minutes of being in the grocery store, dealing with the pitying stares and ‘neighborly’ conversation between my parents and other people, I started to feel claustrophobic. By the time my dad rushed me to the car, I was having a full-blown panic attack. I refused to leave the house for a long time after that.
After multiple fruitless therapy sessions, it was decided that the best course of action for me would be for us to move. It was agreed that my panic attacks were triggered by both being in a crowded place and having people I knew stare at me constantly. They correctly assessed that I couldn’t deal with the idea of people whom I had known for so long looking at me with what I felt were judging eyes. Everything had been all over the news. Many of the girls they had saved had spoken to the press and their stories were used to explain what had happened to all of us. But how could I tell people that I hadn’t done those things, that I hadn’t let them touch me like that, that I had fought? It felt like all that people saw was a victim, a tarnished female, damaged goods. I hated it.
My parents moved us to another state on the other side of the country hoping that no one would know who I was. Thankfully, they didn’t. I felt bad for my siblings because it was my fault they had to leave everything behind. But I was lucky with my family, they never blamed me. I resumed my physical therapy and other therapy sessions. Just over a year after the ‘incident’, as we soon came to refer to it, I was finally able to start attending college. I managed to apply for new scholarships that allowed me to mostly pay for school. We used to have a decent amount of money thanks to my recitals and songwriting, but a lot of it had been used for the surgeries and therapy sessions. I had made sure that another large portion was used to help the other girls who didn’t have family or money. It wasn’t much, but it was supplemented by a special government foundation for survivors of human trafficking. The royalties from my more popular songs helped me pay for what the scholarships didn’t.
I challenged a lot of classes and started college technically halfway to my Bachelor’s in Criminology. I wanted to make a career with a government job dedicated to stopping human trafficking and the like. I was still anxious being around large groups of strangers, but I wasn’t going to stop living my life because of those bastards. I wasn’t confident enough in myself to actively engage other people in conversation, but when people talked to me, I could talk with them. And that’s how I met Angie.
Angie was in two of my classes that semester. During an activity, we had been paired up together. We ended up talking and we quickly became friends. She told me after a month of being friends that she had recognized me from the news. At first, I was scared, but when she asked me how I thought she had been treating me, I decided that she didn’t treat me any different than any other person. I easily gave her my trust. I realize now that it was desperation to be able to trust someone that let her fool me so easily. At first, my family was happy that I had made a friend, but they realized what kind of person she was a long time before I did. After she gained my full trust, she was easily able to manipulate me into ‘seeing’ behaviors in other people that showed how ‘disgusting’ they saw me as. She did everything in the book to isolate me from other people.
During this time, I found out later, Angie was using my identity as a smokescreen for illegal activities. The extent of which was never fully disclosed to me. All I was told about was identity theft and credit card scams, but I also heard some people say it included life insurance and pension scams. It was just over a year after meeting her that she was caught and everything came to light. When I was told, I didn’t believe it at first. But after all the evidence they presented to me, I broke down. Someone I had trusted so completely had used me. She was even worse than those men. She had betrayed me.
I decided to finish my Bachelor’s since I was already almost done. But I knew I would have to change my career. Even though it wasn’t me committing all those crimes, my name would forever be tarnished in the eyes of the government. This meant it would be unlikely for me to ever get a job with them. So I changed my Master’s degree to Victim Services. If I couldn’t help stop the bastards, I could at least try to help their victims.
Then I met Julie. I, of course, was very wary when I met her, I didn’t want to make the same mistake. I kept a careful eye on her actions regarding me and noticed differences between her and Angie. Angie had always fought to “protect” me from other people, Julie actively tried to get me to participate in activities to meet other people. Angie constantly brought up my history as a subtle means to control my behavior and as a ‘warning’ to be careful of others, Julie, although she didn’t know my past, noticed my behaviors but never pointed them out, she simply accepted them as personality quirks.
After my experience with Angie, I had read several psychology books and articles centered around people like her and victims like me which helped me to keep from falling in the trap again and more easily spot those behaviors in other people. Julie never did any of those things. When I piece by piece told her about the things that had happened to me, similar to the way I did with you guys, albeit a lot more slowly, she didn’t react the way I was afraid other people would. She reacted the way a friend would. And that’s how we became best friends.
When she left, I was, of course, saddened, but she had helped me to become a stronger person. After interning at a Victim Services center, I discovered the disparity between services available in the West and services available in other countries. My interest settled on Asian cultures and practices in regards to how victims were treated by others and how they were (or were not) taken care of. That’s when I decided to also go for a Bachelor’s in Cross-Cultural Studies. There weren’t very many scholarships for people going back for a second degree, so I had to get a job. I got a job at a department store where I met Nina. The rest, I’ve already told you.
So there's the chapter. Hopefully I did a good job of explaining what happened as well as tying it into Rose's recent actions. I don't know a lot about human/sex trafficking as I've only studied sections of it in some of my classes. But I tried my best. And things like that happen to people, males and females, all over the world and all the time. So always be careful of your surroundings. Not to try and traumatize anyone, but be safe. I hope I didn't cause any offense or troubles for anyone. You may or may not have had trouble reading it.
And while you may not have 'enjoyed' reading it, I hope that it helped to add to the story. Maybe it's all those crime books I've read or all the Stephen King books or other similar books that make it easier for me to write about the darker aspects of human nature. And no, I don't condone those things that happen. But they are a part of life for some people. And maybe my love for Dean Koontz books is what helps me to write about the silver linings and breaking free. But who really knows, right? Bottom line, be careful.
Thank you all for reading my story and this chapter. Thank you to everyone reading, liking, commenting, clipping, and following. Please don't hesitate to ask questions or comment. Constructive criticism is always welcome. Let me know if you would like to be tagged in future chapters. I hope you will continue to enjoy my story and I hope to see you next chapter!!!
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The boys would be horrified and crying g
@JaxomB I know, the boys are just too sweet and caring
The god awful truths of what our world is coming too. The sick individuals that are not even humans but devils and demons themselves. It's so sad what our world has come to and continues to be.😢
@MaritessSison exactly. People are so worried about the monsters you see in horror movies, the ones under your bed, hiding in the closet, etc. But humans are the worst and the scariest monsters. Of course, not everyone is like that, not even a majority. But the few that are.... They really know how to be monsters