Monday, May 16, 2011
HAUNTED BY THE GIRL WITH THE TATTOO
A few months ago while it was still cold here in OK, a best friend and I went to lunch at one of these neighborhood bar/grills. The food is good and relatively inexpensive and we settled in the booth near the bar for lunch and a very long chat.
In the middle of our lunch date we both noticed a girl sitting at the bar very much alone. She had on a sundress, very unusual for that chilly day, and a huge tattoo was the only thing covering her shoulders. Her hair needed to be washed and combed. She was petite, thin and seemed very young. We kept an eye on her but no friend came to meet her. It was impossible to see her face, her back faced our table. She sat very still, drinking something, but no food arrived that we could tell.
We wondered and we worried! But did NOTHING!
Because we both had recently been "trained" in the awful subject of HUMAN TRAFFICKING we worried some more. What was she doing there? Why was she alone? Who was coming to meet her? Was she in distress? Were there bruises?
We sat there! And did NOTHING!
We convinced ourselves that we were over reacting and continued with our conversation. The young girl sat on the bar stool with head bowed down. As we left I glanced back and she was still there.
Well, I can't get her out of my mind. Every time we go out to eat now I scan the room looking for her or others like her. My mind races, wondering what became of the girl with the tattoo on her shoulder.
I will never see her again. I want to believe that she's o.k., that a family member or a best friend met her that day and they had a wonderful time.
BUT....if I see another young girl in that situation I now have a plan.
I WILL quietly and gently slip onto the bar stool next to her. I WILL say hello softly. I WILL look at her face and into her eyes.
And then I will ask her if she's having a good day. (I'll be praying that she says YES!)
I will ever so patiently wait and try to engage in a conversation.
If she has bruises, tears, no money, or fear, I will ask more questions and get more details. And I will offer her any help that she might need. I WILL call the authorities and the professionals to intervene.
Precious little girls don't dream of growing up to become castaways, throwaways, or runaways. Big girls don't thrive while being employed in the worlds oldest profession, 98% say they want out and want out immediately.
HUMAN TRAFFICKING is real and it's all around us. Maybe it's at the neighborhood bar and grill.