I come from an ethnic minority. This means two things;
1) I come from a very remote area of Vietnam and 2) I am very poor.
I was 14 years old when I first met a man from the King (ethnic majority) people from somewhere in the North. He was handsome and generous. He took me out for coffee, bought me clothes & cosmetics. He even brought me to the city. We went to see a movie, a romantic love story.
Those were the most wonderful days of my life.
No one could be happier than a poor ethnic minority girl in the city with her lover.
One day, He invited me for a holiday in Sapa - Just like the couple in the movie that we had watched. A honeymoon, he said. I had never heard about that concept, but even though I had no idea what he was talking about I was happy to go anywhere with him. We went to Sapa and met some of his friends there. They took me to the border. And I have never seen my lover since that day.
From that day onward, I had to work in a brothel where no one spoke either my language or Vietnamese. All the men were coarse, grumpy and violent. None of them were like my lover. I missed him a lot.
When I was rescued from the brothel, I was 26.
Lawyers asked me if I wanted to report my lover and sue him in court … He should pay for what he did to you, they said.
However, I miss his sweetness. But I refused, you see no one had ever treated me as well as he did up to the time he betrayed me. And I believe no one will ever again treat me well. I owe him for those good days and I never want to forget them or him, I don’t want to see him any other way…
Now that I am 26, I remember that I had a child but I have I don’t know where he is or what happened to him.
Now that I am 26. I look as if I am 40; the staff here gossip about me, I have overheard them.
Now that I am 26, the NGO that rescued me is suggesting many options for vocational training, job placement and so on. I am most interested in living in a monastery, to take care of children who have been abandoned. They will heal my soul. They will help me come closer to my son – I hope….