My heart beat quick as we stopped feet in front of golden legs that wouldn’t quit. I know I’m tiny in comparison, but wouldn’t it be sweet to wrap that sweet heart into my little arms.

They’re grown. Grown in some form I’d suppose. And for them, this is a good opportunity. In fact, my friend says with a thick accent, they don’t want to leave. I stare and my mind wanders at the thought of her story. It takes a story to get to these places in life. And I wonder if anyone really loved her, or if she’d ever really known love at all.

It’s hard to understand why women sleep with so many strange hearts in a night, all simply for financial gain. It’s beyond difficult to comprehend this is something they choose to be in. But as I learn, and I certainly am learning; choice is a word we should begin to use loosely. Though my beginnings in Moldova seemed nothing but complex contradictions, it all seems so clear now.

When there is no way out, when there is no hope, when money is tight and babies hungry tears roll. When alcoholic mothers and sexually abusive fathers loosen their tight grip on your shirt only to sell you to another for sexual pleasure and men forcibly remind you night and day that your innocence is obviously lost. Or The Pretty Woman complex finds stars in her eyes and sings lullabies of the potentially rich and glamorous life. And I wonder what we as people call rich and glamorous in life anyhow. I wondered if she liked this life, though everything in me hurts to even think it.

When there is no way out, the resiliency of the woman’s heart beats stronger or perhaps forgets to beat at all as she battles through the present in hopes for a better tomorrow.  In absolutely any case the manipulation and subtle coercion is a haunting whisper of her lack of worth, and she’ll stand there.

Stands there long legs and resilient to life’s brutality on her. Stands there, luscious hair draped into an old car’s window and smiles a glamorous smile. Stands there full of heart and empty of a steady beat.

She stands there and I sit here in perfect safety of my friend’s car. My heart beating quick, and her sweet heart standing there so still.