This pattern increased over the years. As Kioko grew into a teenage girl, her father’s behavior worsened. He would come home drunk, high, or both. Sometimes he would bring an assortment of his friends with him, and let them all watch while he did unspeakable things to her. Kioko just let it happen, she never stood up for herself, never attempted to fight back. After all, she deserved it, didn’t she?
“Dammit,” a 17 year old Kioko cursed to herself. “Hai?” She called back.
“Get in here!” Her drunken father shouted at her. She sighed and obeyed, walking into the dining room where her father and an intimidating man stood waiting for her.
“Who’s this?” She asked quietly, her skin crawling at the look the man was giving her.
“This m-man,” her father slurred. “Is going to t-take you.”
“Take me where?” Kioko whispered in horror.
“Wherever the hell he wants!” Her father yelled.
“What are you saying?” Kioko asked, her voice cracking.
“I owe him money, for numerous things,” her father said. He pointed at her, swaying as he did. “And he said that if I gave him you, my debt would be erased.” Kioko turned, horrified, to look at the man. He smirked and stroked her cheek.
“She’s a pretty one, I can make quite a bit on her I bet.” Kioko gulped and the man grinned a yellow-toothed smile. Kioko flinched away from his touch and looked pleadingly at her father.
“Daddy,” she begged. “Please, please don’t let this man take me! I’m your daughter!” Her father looked at her in disgust.
“Daughter?” He spat. “You’re nothing but a whore.” Kioko’s eyes welled with tears as the man wrapped his filthy hand around her wrist and began pulling her out of the house.
“Please!” She shouted desperately, as her owner dragged her mercilessly out of her house, and into the pouring rain. “Daddy!” She called out, willing her father to change his mind.
“Shut up!” The man shouted and slapped her across the face. “You’re going to be a good little girl, and you’re going to do whatever and whoever I tell you to, got that bitch?” The man grabbed her face in his slimy hand and squeezed roughly.
A surge of panic welled up inside her chest, and she squeezed her eyes shut; trying to block out the crude images that raced through her mind. No, she thought, please no!
For the first time in her life, Kioko started to struggle. She shook the man’s hands off her and tried to run away.
“Oh no you don’t!” The man growled as he caught up to her and wrapped his arms around her torso, trapping her arms under his. Kioko gave out a strangled sob and kicked backwards causing the man to grunt and fall to the ground, clutching himself in pain. “You bitch!” he screamed at her. Kioko ran blindly, not caring where she was going, as long as she was far away from him. She could hear his heavy steps as his clumsily ran after her, and doubled her pace. She scanned the streets quickly, looking for any escape, any possible way for her to get away from him.
There! She turned down an alleyway and nearly screamed in frustration. Dead end. She froze when she heard someone chuckling evilly. She turned around slowly and saw the man, her owner, approaching her.
“Did you honestly think you could get away from me?” he asked tauntingly.
A fist collided with her face before she could answer.
Kioko groaned as she awoke, a great pounding in her head. She sat up and started getting out of bed, when she was yanked back down. Confused, she looked at the chain around her wrist, that was connected to the headboard of the bed she was sitting in. She looked around quickly, her heart pounding. The room was filled with ten beds, five along either wall, a girl occupying each bed. Some were awake like her, but they were all laying quietly, watching.
“W-What is this place?” She whispered to the girl closest to her. She simply rolled over, turning her back to Kioko. The sound of loud, obnoxious voices filled the air and Kioko quickly lay back down, hoping that if she pretended to be asleep she would be left alone. She heard footsteps next to her and cracked an eye open. An unfamiliar man was facing the girl that’d ignored Kioko before, injecting something in her arm.
“Aye, Akeno?” The man called out.
“What?” A voice sounded from across the room.
“Are we supposed to start the new girl on the stuff yet?” Stuff? Kioko thought fearfully. What stuff?
“Nah, Kazuo wanted to talk to her first. Wake her up.” Kioko cried out as the man next to her grabbed a handful of her hair and pulled, hard.
“She’s awake,” the man snickered and unchained her from the bed. He pulled her against his body, his warm breath on her cheek. “I heard you were a runner,” he whispered, causing her to shiver against him. Suddenly she felt something cold and hard press against her neck and she gulped unsteadily. “If you run from me, you’ll get this in your back. Got that, sweetheart?” He placed an open mouthed kiss on her neck and began rubbing her arms.
“Jiro, cut it out.” The man called Akeno scolded. “Kazuo said no one was to touch her.”
“Yeah yeah,” Jiro grumbled and licked her neck once more before pushing her forward. Kioko’s eyes tried to memorize her surroundings as she was guided into a room, the door slammed shut behind her. In front of her, seated behind a desk, was the man who had taken her earlier.
“Have a seat,” he said calmly, gesturing to an empty chair next to her. She eyed him wearily, her muscles refusing to move. The man chuckled quietly. “Now, Kioko, is it? My name is Kazuo, I’m afraid we weren’t properly introduced before.” He paused for a second, as if waiting for her to say something. When she didn’t, he continued. “I know your father didn’t say anything to you about what I do, or what you’ll be doing in the near future.” Kazuo smiled a smile that made Kioko tremble.
“I run a business Kioko, a very successful business. And in order for my business to be successful, we have to have the full cooperation of everyone working here, which means you.” He looked at her for a moment, a terrifying glint in his eye. “You really are a pretty one, aren’t you?” He said quietly. He studied her for a few more moments before he pushed a button on the edge of his desk. The man from before, Jiro, entered the room and eyed Kioko hungrily.
“Yes, boss?” He asked, his eyes not leaving Kioko.
“Postpone the treatments for the new girl, she needs to be,” he paused and grinned. “Broken in,” Jiro grinned in response and winked at Kioko before exiting the room. Kazuo stood and walked around his desk, locking the door before turning to eye Kioko.
Her screams tore through the air, her cries for help left unanswered.