"𝙏𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙜𝙨 𝙢𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩 𝙝𝙖𝙫𝙚 𝙗𝙚𝙚𝙣 𝙙𝙞𝙛𝙛𝙚𝙧𝙚𝙣𝙩, 𝙗𝙪𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙮 𝙘𝙤𝙪𝙡𝙙 𝙣𝙤𝙩 𝙝𝙖𝙫𝙚 𝙗𝙚𝙚𝙣 𝙗𝙚𝙩𝙩𝙚𝙧."
My fingers laced through my hair as I finished weaving a braid. I took the end in my hand and wrapped it around my head like a crown, pinning it in place. I smiled at myself in the mirror and threw a pair of goggles around my neck in case the wind decided to act up and blow sand into my face.
"Come on," Wes said entering my room. "Let's go milk that bantha."
Stepping out of my home, I was met with a dark sky. It was the time of morning when it was still somewhat cool and Tusken Raiders probably wouldn't come out and shoot you. In any case, I tucked a blaster into my belt.
We took the speeder and arrived at a farm where our grumpy bantha waited. Wes opened the creaky gate with his foot while I pushed some pails on a cart inside. We took turns holding the pails and milking the bantha.
"I thought you were going to bring your girlfriend to show her how we make milkshakes," I told Wes.
"I'll show her the fun stuff. Bantha milking isn't the most glamorous part of the process," Wes pointed his chin at the bantha who grunted loudly.
"I see your point," I agreed. "But I still can't believe you actually got a girlfriend," I elbowed him teasingly.
"If you don't spend all that time racing in the canyons, you might have one too."
"What? A girlfriend?"
"Girlfriend, boyfriend, bantha friend, whatever," he joked. "The point is, you're getting older and you need to figure out how you're going to escape this life. You don't want to work for Enzo forever, do you?"
"Obviously not, but I'm still just fifteen, Wes. I think you're overreacting." I rolled my eyes and smiled, but he wasn't smiling. He looked more serious than ever.
"Sil, we live in a dangerous place-"
"Yeah I know that," I cut him off.
"People will take advantage of you," he said louder and I shut up. "You're a slave."
I cast my eyes down and sighed. I knew what he was talking about, but neither of us wanted to say it.
"You're lucky Enzo isn't as big of an asshole as he pretends to be," Wes continued. "People have tried talking him into... letting others borrow you."
I mulled over what Wes told me. He was right. I needed to be smarter and think ahead, but I didn't know where to start.
"What should I do?"
"Learn self defense," he suggested. "At least so you can take care of yourself."
"Can you teach me?"
"Sure," he smiled.
We filled up the pails, loaded them onto the cart, and took them back to the restaurant. I pestered Wes on how much practice he had and what he was going to show me. After we finished what work we had for the day, he took me to his quarters where he had a punching bag.
"How much experience do you have with this?" I asked peering around his room.
"Enough. Now remember," he said. "It's not about knowing a million types of kicks or throwing fancy punches. If you master a few good techniques, you're better than half the bozos in that cantina."
We spent the whole afternoon punching, drawing power from the waist and making a direct path to the target. By the end of the day, my arms felt like noodles. After getting home and inhaling my dinner, I face planted onto my pillow and slept soundly.