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Miss Me Not

Miss Me Not

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Prequel to "My Soul To Keep". 1x1 between myself and @fivehours

1,058 readers have visited Miss Me Not since The Littlest Mermaid created it.

Introduction




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S T O R Y L I N E:

Prequel to My Soul to Keep.

Hope has just been put into the trafficking system in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. T has moved her to a place known among the girls as "The Barn". It's an old, abandoned hotel with 3 floors and every room has at least 2 girls staying in it. No one leaves this place unless they’re able to make it on T’s good side, in which case they trade out The Barn and doing jobs for drug addicts/dealers/underground stuff, for an apartment in the city to do jobs for rich business men.

When Hope meets Robin, a girl who’s been in the system for a while, she’s taught everything she must do to survive and how friends really can be there for you through anything




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Character Portrait: Robin C. Foss
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"Keep moving," T said angrily. He had a tight grip around Hope's waist and was pushing her forward, deeper and deeper into what looked to be an abandoned hotel. There were girls poking their heads out of their rooms staring, none of them seemed to have a drop of pity in their eyes which made Hope even more terrified. She held back a sob that wanted to burst through her chest and instead settled on letting out a small sniffle, a tear drop running down her cheek. T yanked her to a stop and spun her so that she was facing him, "Are you crying? I thought you got all of that shit out at my place. Pull yourself together or I'll take you out into the road and shoot you myself. You're of no help to me like this. And trust me, you want to stay helpful."

Hope reached up and wiped her nose and eye before nodding several times, turning her head to the right so he was no long breathing into her face. Her eyes searched the faces of the other girls but no one seemed eager to help her. Some girls were all made up with their hair and makeup completely done, others had eyeliner and mascara circled around their eyes with their hair a tangled mess.

"Did you hear me, slut?!" T yelled, shaking Hope violently.

"Y-Yes." She forced herself to choke out. Her face was heating up and she was sure it was bright red. It was one thing for her to be shaken and yelled at, but it was something else entirely for all of that to be happened in front of so many people. Taking a deep breath, she attempted to get her hands to stop shaking. "Can you please just tell me which room I'm going to? I'll find my way by myself." Her voice was just barely auditory and she made it so that only T could hear her, not wanting to attract even more attention on herself by probably doing something that would be considered talking back to T.

T's grip on Hope loosened a bit as he looked at her with widened eyes. A small smirk twitched the corner of his mouth, "You've got a bit of a smart mouth on you," The smile disappeared. "You'll be a lot happier here if you keep that side to yourself. You're in room 255. Get out of my sight." He threw her backwards so hard that she crashed to the ground. "As for the rest of you, if you're not heading out with me right now for a job, GET BACK IN YOUR ROOMS OR YOU'LL END UP LIKE THIS BITCH." Then he turned his back on Hope and walked away; the girls that were all dressed up followed closely behind him.

As soon as he was out of hearing distance, Hope let the sobs rip through her chest. She heard doors be shut all around her and eventually, she was the only one in the hallway. Unable to catch her breath yet, she just allowed herself to lay there and cry.




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Character Portrait: Hope Caldwell Character Portrait: Robin C. Foss
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Robin silently thanked whatever God or Deity that took pity on her that night and decided that she deserved a night of rest; Robin herself could barely stand on her own two feet as she toddled around her floor. The Barn was as busy as it always was this time of the evening, girl's rushing to get dressed in what was the unusual standard work apparel for many- skin tight, looks-like-they're-painted-on dresses or skimpy midnight blue skirts that rode up their thighs with every step they took. The girl's scrambled about, yelling at each other for this certain shade of coral lipstick or that particular tube of Mac eyeliner.

Lately, Robin was being sent to this one lowlife thug that liked to make use of her softened babyface and small stature, dressing her up in pale lavender babydoll dresses and pulling her hair up into pigtails. She didn't know his name or what he did, -probably something along the lines of drug dealing or selling black market products- only that he had some sick perversion for children and wanted Robin to call him 'Daddy,' as she crawled along the floor and colored in a dollar store coloring book with crayons. Robin only prayed that, as he lead her to his bedroom one night, he'd never tried anything with real children. Sick bastard.

"Birdie," A gentle voice called, drawing her attention away from a willowy, raven-haired girl who was starting to clomp around the floor, going door to door demanding to know who stole her jade earings. Suddenly, a flash of wild fiery red hair, paired with a sweet freckled face appeared in front on the young woman's amber eyes. Tilly, the cute quaking thing that was speaking to her, smiled at her nervously, her voice faltering for a moment as she continued, "S-someone says there's another recruit crying on the floor a couple levels down. T was saying that she's sharing your room now."

Robin perked up at the news, pulling her head off of the busted mahogany doorframe that she was leaning against lazily.

Her last roommate, who went by the name of "Daisy", but Robin was sure that that wasn't her real name, was once quite a character. She had an artists soul, Robin thought, one that was whimsical and sought freedom. She didn't speak to Robin all that much during their time together, curling up into her worn forest green covers as soon as she got home from a job, only speaking when spoken to, and Robin could hear her whimpers and sobs in the middle of the night. The one time that Robin had crawled out of bed to tend to her, Daisy lashed out and ended up giving her a black eye and T beat her for it the next morning.

One day Daisy just stopped. She stopped going to work, she stopped eating, she stopped getting out of bed. Day in and day out, one of T's men would scream at her to get out of bed and rip her out of bed, to which Daisy just screamed like a banshee. Robin watched it happen for weeks, leaving buns or apples by her bedside just in case she decided to eat that day, until Daisy just wasn't there anymore. And Robin knew that her time at the Barn was no more.

"Thanks, Tilly." Robin was swift with her strides as she bounded down the staircase, teddy bear buns flopping and passing hurried girls as they rushed by.

The sight she was met by was pitiful and gripped at Robin's gut, despite having seen it so many times before.

Although the ages of the girls in the Barn ranged from thirteen and on, the crumpled mess on the floor couldn't have been much younger or older than Robin. She had an alluring, pretty face with high cheekbones and long eyelashes that were currently clumped together from tears. She had chocolate brown hair which curled around her shoulders beautifully and looked soft to the touch. So, Robin squatted down in front of her and gently placed her hand on the other's arm.

"Hi." Robin said simply, drawing out a soft tone for the frightened girl.

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Character Portrait: Hope Caldwell Character Portrait: Robin C. Foss
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The kind voice startled Hope as she wasn't prepared for it. No one else in the house had seemed to care about her at all. Slowly, she turned her head up towards the voice and saw the girl that it came from. She was pretty and looked about the same age as Hope, maybe a little older. Her face reddened at the scene she must have made while on the floor and how awful she must look with her makeup smeared by tears and snot all over her face.

"H-Hi, I-I'm really sorry. I'll get up." Hope pushed herself up off the ground and wiped at her face. "I just need to find my new room. I-I'll get out of your way." She cringed away from the girl, afraid of physical retaliation due to her outburst.

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Character Portrait: Hope Caldwell Character Portrait: Robin C. Foss
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Robin's heart was breaking for the other, who had been startled by her despite her best efforts not to frighten her. Even as she pulled herself off the floor, leaving Robin in a crouching position as the girl scrambled to stammer tearful apologies. The teary-eyed brunette's face screwed up into what looked like a cringe and Robin just wanted to wrap her up in a blanket.

Robin remembers being in the other girl's shoes at one point. She remembers the way her throat felt after all of her screaming and crying and the way blood was trickling down her leg from the loss of her virginity. She remembers every terrible, painful, terrifying detail of finding herself in a car with her older brother Daniel to being molested in the back of a van and then being driven to the exact hotel they stood in right now. If the girl wasn't scared out of her wits right now, there would be something wrong with her.

"No! No, wait," Robin scrambled after the girl soon after, "You're looking for your room, you said? I'm your new- well, roommate." She pursed her lips, before holding out her hand. "I'm Robin, but most girls around here just call me Birdie."

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Character Portrait: Hope Caldwell Character Portrait: Robin C. Foss
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Hope stopped her retreat and looked the girl up and down. She didn't seem too threatening, and it probably wasn't smart to freak out her new roommate with how untrusting she really was. The young girl grabbed the other girl's hand and gave it a timid shake.

"I'm Hope." Her barely auditory voice cracked mid sentence, so she cleared her throat and tried again, forcing herself to talk a little louder. "I'm Hope. N-Nice to meet you. Well, not nice as in it's nice for us to be here, but nice as in... Thanks for being nice to me." Hope turned red at her stammering, biting her bottom lip in embarrassment."Do you mind if we go up there? I don't want to be out in the open when-" She gulped before saying his name, "T comes back."

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Character Portrait: Hope Caldwell Character Portrait: Robin C. Foss
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A small smile flitted across Robin's face while Hope shyly introduced herself, a soft shade of pink brought color to her makeup-streaked cheeks, and the smile only lasted for a moment as the other asked her to bring them to their now shared room. She looked at Hope from under her thick array of dark eyelashes, her own mouth pulling into a grimace at the mention of T returning. For a moment, Robin wondered what Hope's story was, since T always had the most interesting ways to get new recruits. She probably didn't want to know what Hope's story was after all.

"Sure," Robin's voice was nearly a whisper, "Just follow me. Stay close, okay? And try not to get in the way of any of the others. The have to get ready for work. Robin didn't have the heart to let Hope know what "work" was just yet. Surely Hope had some ideas of her own of what that entailed anyways.

Robin set off again, not stopping to check if Hope was following closely behind; dodging around the girls she jogged up creaky steps and wasted no time finding room 255, her, well, their, room. Twisting the door knob hastily, she jiggled it ever so slightly in the way that was necessary for opening the damn thing, and pushed it open. "Mi casa es su casa," She murmured.

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Character Portrait: Hope Caldwell Character Portrait: Robin C. Foss
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Hope followed Robin very closely, basically pressed against her back. She wasn't sure why the other girl was so insistent upon her staying out of everyone's way but the determine looks on the girls' faces told her that she didn't want to find out. The young girl's eyes took in all of her surroundings and every new sight made her cringe. The walls were covered in dirt, the stairway railings were rusted, and each floor had a musty, sewery smell to it.

She was extremely grateful when she saw room 255, the place that was to become her home for probably as long as she lasted in this world. When Robin opened the door and mumbled something about that her house was now Hope's house, the breath was a little knocked out of her. After all the shit she had endured in the past 48 hours between T and his horrible friends, it was so strange yet absolutely beautiful to be experiencing such kindness.

Giving Robin a small nod, Hope took a step inside the room and all of a sudden she felt as though it was by some divine power that T had randomly assigned her this particular room. It definitely wasn't a suite at the plaza, but it was the best looking place she'd seen since she'd arrived. The covers on the bed were worn, but still in one piece. The window was bare but the idea of the view she would have of the sunset almost brought a bit of color back into Hope's cheeks - almost. Most importantly, Robin had somehow learned to partially mask the sewage smell that covered the entirety of the building.

Hope circled the room a couple of times, taking in just what she would have to adapt to in order to survive before she returned to her new roommate. Finally able to muster up the courage to look her in the eyes, she opened her mouth to say something - but then quickly shut it again, not entirely sure she wanted to know the answer to the question she was about to ask. The young girl sucked her bottom lip into her mouth and began to chew on it, contemplating on how important it was to know what was to come next in this operation. She had no idea how this worked; she'd always sort of zoned out when they warned about Atlanta being the top city in the country for sex trafficking convinced it was never going to happen to her. However, in order to survive she needed to know how the others did it. She had to ask.

"S-so, what happens now?" Hope crossed and uncrossed her arms several times while trying to force the words to come out of her, ending on her initial crossed position. She let her eyes drop to the floor again as she waited for the reply.

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Character Portrait: Hope Caldwell Character Portrait: Robin C. Foss
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Robin had prepared for her new roommate as soon as Daisy had stopped showing up in their room, stripping the bed of the shredded forest green blanket and dirtied sheets that had started to smell rank from Daisy's stale perfume and perspiration. The pillow, much to Robin's disgust, had become splotchy from her old roommate's unwashed hair and was blotted with crimson lipstick and mascara she didn't take off. Robin almost wanted to cry for her at that moment, but she kept herself occupied by pulling out baby blue sheets that were much less used and remaking the bed. Lastly, she placed a soft lavender duvet over top of them where the old, filthy green one used to be.

If she was being completely honest with herself, Robin was kind of glad that she wouldn't have to listen to Daisy's crying in the middle of the night anymore.

As for the rest of the room, Robin cleaned up what she could. She kept her door open to remove the stench of a broken girl, wiped away the dust that collected on various surfaces, and swept the lint balls and dust bunnies off of the floor. When the smell of Daisy still lingered, Robin found a couple of linen-scented drier sheets and snagged them in the vent. Whenever the heater came on, it blasted the fresh scent about the room and Robin was satisfied by the changes. It felt much less stifling than before.

Now that a new roommate was here, Robin eyed her wearily as she looked about the room. Sure, it wasn't a room at the Holiday Inn, but Robin hoped that Hope knew that she tried her best to keep the place clean and wanted Hope to be comfortable. It was the least Robin could do for someone who had to join her in this hell hole.

Robin sighed at Hope's inquisition, crossing the small room in a few long strides to sit on what was to be Hope's new bed, and then patted at the empty space beside her. The sixteen year old knew that Hope had to find out what happens around her - she'd find out sooner or later anyways, despite Robin not wanting to confirm anyone's worst nightmare-, so she began cautiously, "T didn't bring you here to enjoy a relaxing vacation at a hotel, obviously." Robin picked at a corner of Hope's blanket, fraying an edgy a smidge. "You've been brought here to work for him as an escort, call-girl, or whatever you want to see it as, just like the rest of us here. Tomorrow, T will assign you to some girls who are going to explain your place here and show you the ropes for about a week. Now, they'll be authoried to use some... force if you try anything that he doesn't like, but you'll be fine if you just don't act out."

Robin was speaking too hurriedly with an explanation that she knew didn't really make sense, but she continued, "In the meantime, you won't be allowed to leave the Barn," She gestured to around the room, trying to depict the whole building, "and you won't be able to talk to anyone in the outside. If you try to leave-" Robin swallowed the lump that started to form in her throat, "You'll regret it."

Robin picked up her bravery and turned to look at Hope in the face, her jaw set, but her eyes sympathetic. "And in a week or two you'll be sent to service your first client."

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Character Portrait: Hope Caldwell Character Portrait: Robin C. Foss
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The room started spinning as Hope revisited the feeling she'd had that first night when T's friends had tied her to a bed and done who knows what to her while she was too doped up on some sort of drug to understand what was happening. She took slow breaths, closing her eyes to concentrate on not crying again; in, out, in, out. After a moment, she had fought back the knot that had lodged itself in her throat so she could once again speak, "Okay." Was all she could manage.

Hope closed the distance between herself and Robin, taking a seat beside her on what was now her new bed. She leaned forward and placed her face in her hands. There was so many other things she wanted to ask, but she was afraid that she wasn't strong enough to know the answers quite yet. Sitting up straight, Hope let her eyes wander around the room, trying to find something that could change the subject and perhaps take a bit of the pressure off of the situation. She knew that Robin was probably feeling stressed out having to play instructor to the new recruit.

"What do you normally do around here while T's gone?" She gingerly stood up from the bed and walked towards the window. There was a parking deck a couple hundred feet in the distance and everything else was just rubble. It didn't seem as though there was anything to do besides...jobs. If she was planning on staying sane in an insane situation, she was going to need a distraction. "I know you just said we can't leave The Barn, but is there anything to do inside? I just need to distract myself." Her confidence was going up the more she spoke. Hope was probably in the denial stage of something but she decided to roll with it. "Do you just sit in here? Or do you and the other girls - " She suddenly remembered how Robin had very bluntly warned her to stay out of the other girls' ways and considered that interacting with the others on her first day when everyone already seems to be in such a bad mood probably wasn't the best of ideas. "Or maybe we should stay in the room in case everyone out there hates me." Her voice had gotten smaller again as she looked to Robin, unsure of what was smart to do and what wasn't.

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