Translated for Blood & Fire by www.limwierde.itiny.nl We provide translation, editing, language training and teaching. Please, visit our website.
On February 22, I wrote the following:
“A client told her he also had a nineteen-year-old daughter.”
Dear people, sometimes I wish you were all able to walk along with me and hear and see. We daily hear such hard and sad stories. This afternoon, too.
In our office, I’ve been talking with a nineteen-year-old girl. She was so exhausted. She couldn’t grasp that she had a 42-year-old man as a client this week, the same age as her father. The man told her he also had a nineteen-year-old daughter. He was proud of her, how well she was doing at school and in her sports.
“How can this be, Frits,” she said, “that he is doing this with me and moments later he will be sitting at the table with his own daughter?”
She let it happen, as much as possible with her eyes closed.
She visited a friend, an ample four months ago, who persuaded her to try it out as a prostitute. She doesn’t understand how stupid she must have been then. About three weeks ago, I met her for the first time and already then she told me how hard she found talking with her parents now. Because there was this huge secret between them. That time, she told so much, she kept on talking. Every now and then some tears, mingled with her make-up shed down her cheeks. Last Monday, we had a very long talk in our office. But afterwards I didn’t manage to get hold of her by phone and didn’t see her anymore.
This afternoon, I’ve been past her window at least four times, together with Eus Ekelmans. And that last time, she just went outside. We had a long conversation in our office, the three of us. She told us that our recent conversations had made her make her mind up and decide to fly home the Monday after. She hoped she would be able to draw a thick line under this period and to pick up life again back home. But there was a lot of fear in her, too. On a regular basis, she dreamt of her clients and when dreaming, she also talked. She was so afraid her mother was going to hear this. She also spent long times under the shower, trying to get rinse away that dirty feeling, but she never succeeded. Sometimes, when someone walked by, wearing a particular smell, it immediately reminded her of that one client. (What do you mean by clean prostitution?)
We prayed together, I sat next to her and she put her head on my shoulder. When we had kept quiet for a while, I think she would have fallen asleep, just like that. We agreed we would see her again the next day, otherwise next Monday. And in future, we will regularly keep in touch.
As I wrote before I saw her again in the Amsterdam Red Light District and we often have a good contact. Only recently I heard more from her. Her mother had been needing surgery, at a high cost. As a Romanian family, they would never be able to gather so much money under normal circumstances. The mother really needed this operation, otherwise her life would soon be over. As a daughter, she decided to work in the prostitution sector for eight months, via a friend, and so earn the money together. At a certain moment, her mother was able to undergo surgery, and is a healthy woman again.
But she also found out how her daughter had grasped the money together – and now she’s working for a new house, a car and for her brother’s education. She’s been behind the windows for over two years and the other day she asked me: “Frits, am I a normal person? Is there any chance I can lead a normal life? I once had a dream, but it’s gone now. I wanted to marry, have children and a common life as a family. But now, I hate men this much that I know I will never ever get married.”
It is such a contrast to the girl when standing behind the window. A sturdy, confident prostitute. Just turned 21, she is a normal girl with normal dreams in an abnormal situation.
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