The moment he heard the line click, he went straight to a cheerful hello. He was about to satisfy another client’s need and he could feel the tingling in his fingers. Yes, he was about to be paid again, and he couldn’t wait.
His wife had been demanding for a raise in her shopping allowance and his son has been asking for a Doberman. On top of that, he had seen that new Ferarri on the road and he wanted it so badly. Yes, his job was paying him so well, he did not have to wait any longer for his new car to be parked in his driveway.
After he ended his conversation with his client from Hong Kong, Aaden decided it was about time he headed home. It was already 3a.m in the morning and his wife would start questioning his absence, and accuse him for having a mistress somewhere. And though it was frustrating to hear her constant babbling, he knew he could shut her up by just handing her some cash to spend. Sometimes he wondered if he married the right woman. His mother did object to their marriage but he did not listen; well, shame on him.
As he headed to the parking lot, he thought about how he started in this business. It wasn’t something he had a choice with; it was something he had gotten from his father. His father had personally taught him all that he knew, and he remembered the first time he was brought to the docks; it was on a school night, and his mother wasn’t very happy about it.
Aaden was about 10 when he followed his father to work. He recalled the day he sat on the hood of his father’s car, watching men taking girls out from a black van. They weren’t very gentle as they would shove and drag the crying girls. If their wails had gotten too loud, the men would strike them so hard that it would send the girls sprawling on the ground. Some nights, Aaden would try to hide in the shadows, hoping that none of the girls would see him there. He did not like them looking at him, pleading for help, when he knew he could not do anything to stop the men from hurting them.
His father told him that those girls needed to learn. But Aaden was not sure what there was to learn. One night, a week after his 12 birthday, his father had forced him to touch one of those girls. Aaden hated it. Even in school, he thought girls were annoying and pesky. But when his father gave the command, Aaden felt like he had to do what he was told, just like one of his father’s men.
Aaden can say that he had learned a lot from his father, obediently following after his footsteps. And on his father’s death bed, Aaden heard what he wanted to hear from his father for a very long time; “I’m proud of you boy,” his father muttered, just a breath away from his last.
After his father’s death, Aaden took over the family business and practiced many things his father had practiced. But there was only one thing he learned from his father that he did not model after; using the merchandise before it was sold.
Aaden had some sort of integrity when it came to delivering perfect goods. Using them before sending them over is like using a computer and then selling it and claiming it is new. No, he was a man of his words and when he said they were new, they WERE new. That was why he got upset when one of Ganesh’s men ruined one of the merchandises. His client was sure to see the bruise and Aaden had to call his client again to apologize for the slight damage. If he had not done so, his reputation would be scarred, and that was something he could not handle.
Ganesh better learns to handle his mule, Aaden thought.
His clients came from different countries all over the world and the only reason why they kept coming back to him instead of the others was because of his practice. Yes, they liked the way he did things and so did he. Hence, he expected everyone who worked under him to do the same.
As he got into his car, trying to forget the disappointment of the state of the last merchandise, Aaden decided to make a call to his ‘friend’.
His ‘friend’ who had gotten him all the merchandises he was seeking for was a talented man. Markus was his name and he always had files of information lying on his desk.
“Markus,” Aaden said, the moment the monotonous ringing stopped.
“It’s late,” Markus replied, sounding groggy. Aaden had completely forgotten what time it was, but he didn’t care anyways.
“I need a list by tomorrow,” Aaden continued.
“O.k,” Markus said and he hung up.
So much for being a ‘friend’, Aaden thought.
The journey home was a short one, as he ended up falling asleep while his driver cruised down the deserted highways.
By the time he reached the compounds of his home, he headed up to the guest room and slumped onto the equally comfortable bed as his own. He didn’t want to wake his wife and he didn’t want to be yelled at for not taking a shower, hence, the guest room was so welcoming in the dead of night.
As he stared at the ceiling fan spinning smoothly, Aaden wondered how his life would have been like if he did not follow after his father’s footsteps. Would he have been rich? Would he have been famous? Would he have a loving wife?
Would he have been happy? Was he happy now?
He was sure happy he had money, but that was all. Aaden didn’t know why he was questioning his life, he didn’t even know if what he did was right or wrong. He knew that he never touched any of the girls since he started, nor did he do things to them like what his clients did, but sometimes, he felt like he was exactly like the pimps that ran the brothels. No matter how differently he would do things from his father, he was still his father in the end.
At the end of the questions, Aaden decided to conclude that he was happy. He was happy with his life because he had a beautiful wife and an obedient son. He was happy he had the car, the house and the home theater that he wanted. And despite that occasional feeling of emptiness, Aaden was happy.
When he finally shut his eyes, he fell right into a dreamless state. A state many others could not have because of his lucrative business.
161 countries are affected by human trafficking. – AbolitionMedia.Org
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