One

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Things weren't always bad. No really I mean that.

My earliest memory is of my mother and I. We're sat in a field, and it's winter. The grass is covered in fresh snow, the type that makes that soft crunch beneath your boots. There's an old tree in the middle is that field, and the snow had completely covered it. It had made like a cavern inside it, and I can remember wanting to go inside. But mom said no. She had visions of it collapsing on me, and she'd said "I couldn't bare to live without my Prince Charming" and kissed my head.

We walked a little further through the snowy field, and it began to snow again. To 5 year old me, the snow flakes were huge. More like snow balls falling from the grey sky. Mom zipped my coat up further and said softly "mustn't let that heart go cold. A warm healthy heart is the key to lifes happiness". Mom always liked to say things like that to me. About staying healthy and being good to our fellow mankind. If only she'd taken her own advise.

We rode the bus back home and it started getting dark. She's squeeze my hand and tell me how as long as we had each other, we'd be fine. She always had a gentleness about her. Her golden blonde hair would always fall into rings just past her shoulders, and she always had rosy cheeks that complimented her brown eyes. She was beautiful. And then reality got hold of her.

That night, she put me to bed and kissed me goodnight. We couldn't afford storybooks so she would make up the stories instead. Always fun exciting ones with talking animals and such. Then she'd turn off my light and shut the door. My room wasn't anything special. I had a little bed, with an old blanket and a pillow. I didn't have pillow cases or bed sheets. But I didn't know the difference. I had a toy chest too, but only a few cars and a couple of tiger toys in there. And my wardrobe had more dust than clothes. But we were happy.

I vividly remember talking to my stuffed bear in my bed that night, and hearing my mother frantically arguing with a man. I was curious. I'd never had a daddy before. I wondered if perhaps this was it?

I krept down our uncarpeted stairs which led straight to the living room/kitchen. Mom was in her pyjamas and a man was stood by her. He looked angry. I didn't want him as a daddy.

"But I don't have it right now" my mother had pleaded. She was crying. And I'd never seen that before.

"You said last month you'd have it by now" the man growled at her. He was tall, and red in the face. He had a suit on too. Neither of them had noticed I was standing there.

"I just need more time" she pleaded further. She grabbed his arm, as if begging for mercy or something.

"Don't touch me you filthy whore!" He yelled, pulling his arms away from her. "There is, one other alternate payment"

"Anything" she pleaded.

The man pushed my mother down onto the pouch with some force. She looked scared. "Mommy?" I said, a little afraid. I didn't want him to push me too.

"Gage, darling, go back to bed" she said as softly as she could. I knew she was trying to remain calm. "When I've finished speaking to Mr Linderman I'll come up and kiss you goodnight"

"That your boy?" Mr Linderman said. I had no idea then, that this bastard would be the reason my family ended up how it would.

"Yes. Please, don't bring him into it. He's only 5, please. Anything you want, you can have" she bargained. I turned around and started going back upstairs.

"Anything?" He snarled. I stood on the bottom step, just in case mom called me again. I could hear Mr Linderman fussing with his belt buckle and I heard the zipper of his trousers, followed by a slap and my mother crying.

At that, I ran upstairs and quickly dove into my bed, pulling the dirty sheets over my head. It didn't muffle out the cries of my mother or the grunts and moans of Mr Linderman.

I cried myself to sleep that night, completely unaware that my mother had sold her body for the first time. And, that wouldn't be last time either.

It was the night that everything changed. All because my mother couldn't afford the rent, and in exchange Mr Linderman decided to turn her into his prostitute and sell her around town.

I couldn't imagine my sweet darling mother to ever be like that. But it did. And I hate her for stooping so low.

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