The light streaming into my room is momentarily blinding. Struggling to adjust my eyes to the light, I attempt to take in the sudden influx of sound around me. My clothes hang haphazardly from my body, revealing the unnatural thinness of my limbs. I try to make myself decent, but I am quickly yanked from my room. My eyes sting as I imagine what today holds, but I furiously blink, berating myself for being so weak. My hair is carefully brushed, and for a moment, I pretend that I am at home, with my mother. For a second, I can almost hear her humming as she combs through my long blonde hair. The moment abruptly ends, and I am back in that place. I am grasped tightly by large, soft hands. Too tight, it’s hard for me to breath. I take short, shallow breaths, knowing that they care nothing of my discomfort. My clothes are stripped off, and I am shivering, naked and bared. I am quickly dressed, and I notice the quality of the clothing, which is far superior to my usual attire. My breath falters, and I force myself not to tremble as I come to the realization that I will most likely be meeting with a man. My suspicions are confirmed when I am placed in the hard leather interior of a convertible. Apparently, I am aiming to impress today. The ride feels long, but logically I know that it could not have been much longer than ten minutes.

We arrive, and I am led out of the car and walked up to a house. A young man greets me at the door. He is classically handsome in a way that makes visible his elaborate grooming routine, but his eyes appear dull and dead.
“Hello,” I say, trying to project confidence, but my nerves have gotten the best of me and my voice quivers.
“Hello,” he replies, his voice flat and smooth, reflecting none of the insecurities of mine. He is aware of my nerves and possible reluctance, but I doubt he cares.

It happens very quickly. I am led to a room, and my clothing is rapidly removed. I lie still and allow my mind to wander, trying to ignore the searing pain the rips through me. His movements are mechanic, and he says nothing, save for occasional grunts. Once he is finished, he rolls off me and throws me my clothes. I attempt a smile. He leaves the room, and I allow myself a few shaking breaths. No tears. Never tears. On the ride back, I stare through the window and hope my performance was satisfactory. Hopefully, I will be allowed to retire early today.

I am wrong. I am sat down in front of a mirror, and out of the corner of my eyes, I see a pair of scissors. My heart pounds as I hold my breath and force myself to keep my smile. “I hate this I hate this I hate this no no NO, please.”
You’ll be so pretty once I’m done,” comes the soft voice from behind me. My hair is gathered into hands, and I see it begin to fall around me. Inside, I scream. When it is done, I cannot recognize myself.
“Katie! Put your Barbies down; it’s dinner time!” The voice comes from outside the room, and I almost weep with relief.
“Coming Mommy!” comes the reply. I am grabbed and quickly thrown back into my box. Finally, I let the tears flow freely.

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