Original Works

The Apprentice

He needed the job, but he didn’t liked being bossed around. Sure, he made a mistake by bruising the girl, but she was struggling and he had no choices. What was Aaden expecting? A perfect merchandise?

“I told you to be careful!” Ganesh, his mentor, scolded him.

“I said it before, I’m saying it again, she was struggling!”

“You want this job or not? If you don’t, then say so,” Ganesh replied angrily.

Immediately, that shut him up.

Ah Chong was not going to argue with his mentor, there was no point. Besides, he was not angry with his mentor, but with his boss. He never understood why the girls had to be perfect, and why Aaden was obsessed in perfection. Ah Chong was sure he had met many others in the business who did not give two cents about how the girls were treated.

“You know why we have business every month? Because Aaden prides in quality,” Ganesh said, as though he had read Ah Chong’s mind.

“You know why I picked you up instead of the other boys?” Ganesh continued with another question.

“Because you think I could learn,” Ah Chong replied, rolling his eyes. He couldn’t even complete high school and here his mentor was, thinking he could learn the ‘art’ of kidnapping. What was there even to learn? Just snatch the girl right? No, he was often proven wrong. Ganesh had methods, flawless methods that met Aaden’s expectations, and Ah Chong was supposed to learn them.

That night, when Ganesh dropped him home, Ah Chong muttered a thank you, still upset at being scolded. But by the time he hit his bed, he decided to let it go.

Ah Chong was not really a studious boy. He was good with his hands and could fix a bike faster than reading a novel. So when he didn’t do so well in school, he decided to drop out and find a job. He started working in a mechanic shop and earned enough to assemble himself a bike. Soon, he found himself with a bunch of other boys pulling stunts with their bikes in the dead of night. It was, until he did one wrong move and found himself in the hospital bed for one whole week.

It was in the same hospital that Ganesh found him. Ganesh brought his wife for a checkup one morning when he found Ah Chong attempting to slip out of the hospital. Ah Chong knew he couldn’t get far but he wanted to attempt an escape anyways. He hated being treated like a child when he was old enough to vote.

“Where do you think you are going?” Ganesh asked, when he saw Ah Chong in his blue robes, peeping down a hallway.

“Out,” Ah Chong replied shortly.

“If you want out, they will let you out, once you’re well,” Ganesh said.

“I don’t need no lecture from you, uncle,” Ah Chong replied.

“I’m not giving you one, I’m just saying. Unfortunately, your family has to bear the cost of your stupidity, and here you are being more stupid than before.”

Ah Chong immediately turned to face the man who he thought loved intruding into other people’s business.

“Shut up or I’ll punch you,” Ah Chong threatened, not at all concern on how the man knew so much about him and his family.

“Punch me then. We’ll see you in a holding cell instead of a comfortable hospital bed,” Ganesh replied calmly.

“Who are you and what do you want?” Ah Chong asked.

“I want to help you,” Ganesh simply replied.

“How? You got money?”

“I know a way you can earn money.”

“I already earn money.”

“Not enough,” Ganesh said, and then he turned and walked down the hallway.

Ah Chong, unsure on what he was doing, quickly followed after him.

“How? How can I earn more?”

“I’ll find you again. You’ll do what I tell you to do, and you’ll get what you want.” That was all Ganesh said before he entered an elevator and disappeared behind the cold metal doors.

Soon, Ganesh found Ah Chong at one of his favorite hang outs, and without hesitation, Ah Chong followed Ganesh wherever he was taking him. He was introduced to the business and that night, with the girl at the club, was his first task.

Personally, he thought he did pretty well, but after he got scolded, Ah Chong knew he had a lot to learn. For once he was kind of eager to master such trade, wrong or not, Ah Chong did not care. There was money involved and money he wanted.

Sure, there were times when he started to question himself if he was doing the right thing. When he saw the missing pictures in the local newspaper and recognized the faces, he would start to have a debate with the little devil and angel that would comically appear from a cloud of imaginary smoke on his shoulders.

But no matter how the internal debate went, the little devil will end the debate with a statement that Ah Chong took every opportunity to use when his guilt sank in.

Ah Chong would often say to himself, “If you can’t stop them, you might as well join them right?” If only he knew he was wrong.

It is possible to end slavery in 25 years. – TheJustLife.Org

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The Lucrative Business | The Apprentice © 2012 by Jeyna Grace. 
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