Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Story of Ng (Part 2)

Ng’s ready and somewhat mischievous smile masks the darker truths about her life. As she tells that part of her story, her head sinks; and she nervously scrapes away the chipped polish off her fingernails.

After being sold at age six to an elderly man by her mother, Ng found no sanctuary in the old man’s house. The other servants scolded her. And the people living there slapped her around and told her that she was worthless.

Upon her arrival, Ng was immediately put to work. Her small hands took a towel and dipped it over and over again into a bucket of soapy water as she cleaned the floor on her hands and knees. The other servants, unhappy with her progress, came by and hit her over the head whenever they passed her. That first day in the old man’s house, she washed the dishes, dried and put them away, swept and mopped the floor again, helped to do the laundry, and was told to massage the old man’s feet.

Later that night, she was awakened and told to go to the old man’s room. She remembers hearing the crickets outside and yawning as she padded across the floor to his bedside. Then she tells how he grabbed her and roughly tore her clothes off.

She doesn’t look up as she continues her story. She works away at the nail polish on her hands and says, “Koat tva bhap.” He was bad to me.

This was Ng’s nightmare. And it continued for weeks that turned to months and months that turned to years. Then after six years, she made good her escape.

Next week: Ng’s path to freedom.