human trafficking

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Dugo #18

“I can’t let you do this.” There was a couch between them. A table too. And that pesky little beagle that couldn’t decide what to bark at. “Ace?” Dugo spoke in apprehension. Ace had her laptop with him. She had just gone to use the toilet. This wasn’t what she expected to see as she returned to the living room. “Put the laptop down.” “You can’t do this.” “Ace…” “Dugo… The moment you press that button and send that email, you can’t take it back. And you know what it’s going to do, right?” “I know, Idowu.” “It’ll affect the school and Luper.” “I know that.” “And you still want to get on with it?” Annoyance took hold of Dugo. “What is this, Ace? Why are you doing this now?” “Adaugo, Acadia International is twenty-one years old and it’s unquestionably one of the best schools in this country. Built on…

Dugo #16

“Do you want to go on a road trip with me?” Sunrise. Or the lack of it, because rainy morning. Cold bedroom. Dugo found her face nestled in his chest. It had been unfamiliar, at first, having a man reach out to hold her in the night as he did. Years spent being alone had gotten her accustomed to loving her solitude. Her body had almost rebelled against his. Her body also enjoyed being needed that way. “Where are we going?” she asked. “Benin. I need to see an uncle who’s sick, and also sort out some of my dad’s property there. You want to come along?” Dugo had other plans. She had wanted to visit her hometown for some time now, but had always found a reason not to. Maybe this would be a good opportunity to make the journey there. “I play the best songs in my car.”…

Dugo #13

How do you break up with someone without being a monster? Ace’s text to Dugo went unanswered. Can I just ghost her instead? Still, no reply from Dugo’s end. Ace crushed the empty beer can in his hand and picked another from the fridge. It was too early to be drinking anything alcoholic, but he needed to remain in one piece when he shattered Joana’s heart. She entered the house, springy, and with all the wow of her beauty. She was wearing the same dress she had worn on the day they she dumped him, as if it was a sign that the heavens were okay with what he was about to do. “Just coming from church.” She dropped a kiss on his cheek and wiped the spot. “Not straight from there exactly. Stopped at the market to buy things for turkey stew.” Ace took the shopping bag she had…

Dugo #9

“You made me leave class for this? You should have seen me panicking and running out like a mad man. Now, I’m here and you’re walking up and down and making me dizzy? My friend, stop walking and talk to me.” Dugo obeyed Ace’s instruction, having just realized that she had been pacing around since she returned home. She also noticed that she had stopped thinking. Her head couldn’t contain the different thoughts that struggled for relevance. She had never felt so confused and embarrassed, and regretful, all at once. “Talk to me,” Ace said, coming to stand in front of her. “I fucked up. I really fucked up. I really, really fucked up.” And then she told him everything about her visit to New Beginnings and being exposed by Osarobo. “You ran away? Dugo, you fall my hand.” “I didn’t know what to do! He was looking at me,…

Dugo #7

Church was uncomfortable. Dugo had issues with organized religion and with God altogether. Her beef began a couple of years after her introduction into the world of sex slavery. She had spent nights in endless prayers, for God to come rescue her, but what she got was excruciating silence and darker nights. Her flickering faith fizzled out when her maman, the woman who ran the brothel in which she was held, took her to church on a cold Christmas morning. At that point, she had taken a liking to Dugo and allowed her the privilege of living with her and servicing choice clients. Still Dugo remained a slave, and even the visit to the church was without her consent. She would have found herself flogged and starved if she had refused. The Mass that morning had been torturous. Dugo picked out a few faces that frequented the brothel, including the…

Dugo #1

Dugo grasped both plaques with firm hands. She felt their bumpy curves making dents on the insides of her sweaty palms. Her name had just been called again, nominated for the third time. There was applause, and with it murmurings of surprise from the audience. Everyone was shocked that she was getting this much accolades. But why should they? Hadn’t she worked hard for this? Hadn’t she fought her way to the top, sold her soul, and seared her conscience to get here? She deserved this. She deserved more, but… “Und der Gewinner ist…” the tall, blonde woman on stage with massive breasts, an orange tan and a vagina dress announced in German. There was suspense. This was the big one. The award for the best international act. According to some, Dugo didn’t deserve this award. She was a German citizen already. No longer considered a Nigerian. The Venus Awards…

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