“So, how do you want to do this?” I ask.
“How about we start with an introduction and a bit of background? How did you end up with your career?” Clarissa asks.
That is the million-dollar question. Many factors have contributed to the selling of my body to the highest bidders. I didn’t wake up one day and think, this is what I want to do with my life. I had little choice in my actions. I have five younger siblings I take care of. Our mother is a drunk and a junky. She only cares about three things: sex, drugs, and alcohol. How we all managed to make it to 18 is a miracle. Had I not given a damn, a lot of them, if not all, wouldn’t have lived past a few months.
“That’s heartbreaking. How old were you when you started taking care of your siblings?”
“I was five when my little brother was born and the other four came every two years after that.”
“So, that makes your youngest sibling 18 now?”
“No, she’s 17. She'll be 18 in another two months. The rest are boys. They are 25, 23, 21, and 19, with me being 30. I’m the only mother they know.”
“How do they feel about your job?”
“They know they have a roof over their heads, food, clothes, and they are loved. Nothing else matters. We weren’t separated and we didn’t starve to death. They realize the only reason that remains true is because of me. My brothers will fight anyone that has something negative to say about how I support our family.”
“Where is your mother now? Your father?”
“We haven’t seen our mother since I turned 18 and moved the kids out of the rundown apartment we were living in. Up until that point, I ran packages for the drug dealers and saved enough from my odd jobs to support us for a few years. The drug business paid well and I was trusted. I did that until I was old enough to start stripping. I made sure the kids went to school and so did I. I didn’t want there to be any reason for people to coming knocking on our door.”
“That’s a rough way to live.”
“We did what we needed to. Our fathers never stuck around long enough to even know our mother was pregnant. Honestly, I’m not even sure she knows who our fathers are. I do know that none of us share the same one.”
“So, why the change from drug running to stripping?”
“I was able to spend more time with the kids and make sure they had hot meals, a clean house, and clothes. I made a lot from tips and didn’t have to worry about the possibility of getting killed delivering drugs. It was safer and more stable than drug running. Granted, I made more money running packages, but my family’s safety always comes first.”
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