Lies Within the Truth

A story revolving around the underworld, family history and memories that keep haunting back. Will the truth be revealed..or lies.....or both in one?


2. Chapter 2


                On the other side of town, far from the commotion, a woman, in her 20’s was crouched down by a car at the side of a road. The woman was training her focus on the other side, trying to see what was happening in an open bakery. The Sun had set down but remnants of its orange rays still tried clawing their way up the darkening sky. She was clad in a purple sweatshirt, making sure she had the hood over her head to cover her face. She was carrying a khaki satchel bag…something she ‘borrowed without permission’ a week ago. The woman lurched forward as her stomach growled, demanding to be fed. They must be hungry too…the woman thought…she had to get started soon or it will be too late.

                As the night started its shift, the coldness overtook. She shuddered slightly at the drop in temperature but quickly regained her stance. She eyed the road to watch for any cars but there weren’t any. Now!  She sped across the road and darted straight to a dumpster at the side of the bakery. She hid there, out of the sight from anyone inside the bakery. She stretched out her head slightly, peeping inside to see who was still inside. She knew she had to be quick as they were about to close for the day. She saw only an old, bald man, the baker she believed, who was taking care of the cash machine. Luck is on her side tonight!  

All of a sudden, she heard footsteps from a distance. It was coming from in front! Her heart skipped a beat but she decided to take a look anyway. She peeped once again from behind the dumpster to see two old ladies….maybe around their 60’s approaching the door. This was her chance!

                The woman tailed the ladies, trying to get as close as possible to them, yet not too close to be noticed. One of them opened the door and entered, followed by the other. This was it! As the door closed, the woman deftly slipped in, using her thin, flexible figure to its fullest advantage. She managed to squeeze through just as the door closed completely. As the old man tended to the ladies, the woman began doing what she had intended to do from the very beginning. As fast as lightning, three croissants were shoved into her bag, followed by a few baguettes, cheese sticks and ciabattas. She took almost anything she could see, even the ones that were unfamiliar to her. She needed feeding….they needed feeding and the danger she was in really didn’t give her a chance to be picky. As she waited for the ladies to leave, she stuffed a hot cross bun into her mouth, munching away without control. She was famished! As the ladies made their leave, she timed herself and squeezed out through the closing door the same way she entered. By the time the woman was well far away, all that was left was a confused baker, a half empty bakery and a trail of bread crumbs that led to the door. The man scratched his bald head in confusion. Was his memory really getting that bad or was he really hallucinating imaginary bread? He really had to take some time off soon.  

                The woman continued speeding off, darting to the next block as fast as her legs could carry her. She entered a familiar street and dashed into an abandoned warehouse. She ignored the broken stool that sat there by the side of the door, it has always been there. She paid no attention to the broken glass spread over the dusty, sandy floor, or to the horrible stench of dead rats that pervaded the area.  The building was dark and the sound of trickling water, maybe from a leaking pipe or and underground drain could be heard from the background. A few empty crates were on to one side of the massive, yet deserted building but the woman paid no attention to them. As she walked over to one corner of the warehouse, she finally found them. A group of children, around the age of 6 to 9 were crowded together, shivering from the freezing night cold. Their clothes were torn, their faces masked with dust and their skin covered with rashes but the warmth in their smiles and the gleam in their eyes comforted the woman, causing her to ignore their surroundings. She carved a smile and nodded her head as she opened her bag. The children surrounded her and she released a sigh of relief and ease. She was finally home.

                The children ate without hesitation, their hunger pleading to be satiated. However, one boy remained still, as he stared at his friends. The woman decided to let the others eat. She already saved a cheese stick for herself.

“Mia, you stole them again, didn’t you?” the boy asked, a serious tone obvious.

“Well, they were closing for the day anyway and these were the left overs. The ones nobody wanted to buy. They would have ended up in the dumpsters even if we did not take them. Would you have liked to see these food wasted or be put to good use?” the woman, whom the boy called Mia answered, as she pulled her hood down, revealing her long, blonde hair which she had kept into a neat bun.

The boy remained quiet, debating whether her answer was acceptable. Mia continued watching him as he scratched his head, looked from left to right and nodded and shook his head sideways alternately.

“Freddy, look, I brought back food because I knew you were hungry. All of you. I risked my life and my own safety to bring back something to fill your tummies while trying not to get in trouble. I’ve done what I could to help. I’ll leave it to you if you want to eat or not.” Mia tried sounding angry, her irritation purposely highlighted in her voice. It worked and Mia smiled as the boy, Freddy grabbed her hands before she could turn around to leave.

“Wait, I’m sorry Mia. I should have been thankful for everything you have done for us. I shouldn’t have been so-“

Mia hugged him before he could even finish. Tears starting rolling down as she held him for those few seconds.

“You don’t need to apologize. You were only doing what you thought was right, and I respect that. Stealing is wrong, I admit that. I promise I won’t steal anymore ok? I’ll protect all of you the right way, ok?”

Freddy nodded, as his sobs echoed silently through the deserted building. Mia took out the cheese stick she had saved and gave it to the boy. He took it with a smile, and took a bite, then another, his tears continued flowing down.

Mia sat down, leaning against the dirty wall, as the other children continued feasting on the bread. Mia closed her eyes, as her memories flashed in her mind. She wasn’t from around here, yet she wasn’t sure where she came from also. When she was 6, her parents had sold her off to some human traffickers. All she remembered were some men taking and blindfolding her. She tried fighting back but they were too strong. She remembered being led into a boat and entering a dark place where her blindfold was taken off. She remembered the smell of the sea, and the smell of blood that roamed the dark place. There were loads of other children there, and they were all crammed into that same area.

By the time the first ray of light met her eyes, she was already in a new place, an unfamiliar surrounding and a totally different world. The men sold her off to a brothel, where she was to be a prostitute. She remembered the woman running the wrenched, horrible place, an old woman who had a black mole on her left cheek and one bigger one at her chin. She always had a cold look that gave Mia the shivers every time she looked or even thought of the old woman.

Off course Mia was too young to be a prostitute at that time so the stupid old hag had Mia to do the laundry, taking out the rubbish, mopping the floor, cleaning up the many rooms they had and all sorts of other tiring jobs. By the time she had hit 15, the old woman said she was ready to begin prostituting.

Mia was frightened….very frightened. But the 9 years of doing chores at the brothel didn’t go to waste. She had studied every room, every corner, every door and every inch of the brothel and had managed to devise a way out. And so, on the night Mia had her first customer, was the night Mia freed herself.

Mia remembered of those first few days. A cold, lost and scared 15 year old girl, wandering the streets of who knows where, with no contacts, no relatives and no place to call home. She fed off scraps from the trash bins and leftovers people left on their plates in restaurants. And soon…she mastered the art of stealing and began using her ‘skills’ to feed herself. She did that for a year…to the day she met Freddy.

She found him at the local market one day, digging into a dumpster trying to find food. Freddy was an orphan, and had never met his parents. The orphanage he was sent to caught on fire one day and he was the only survivor. When Mia had found him, Freddy was weak and cold, and had been eating left overs and scraps from bins and dumpsters. He had the same eyes as hers, cold….hungry….lost……and afraid. Mia had taken Freddy under her care, not that she was capable of taking care of herself anyway. But she had to do something! They were the first residents of this warehouse….the place they now call home. And soon…another child came…then another…and another…and they continued coming. All with the same eyes…..cold….hungry…lost…..and afraid.

Then, something miraculous happened 2 years ago. Every time Mia remembered this fateful day, it brought a smile to her face. She was preparing to steal some food from a burger stand and was just about to begin when she was stopped by a man.

“You have to stop doing this,” was all he said. After that day, he would give money to Mia to buy food for the children. He even visited them from time to time at the warehouse. Mia was delighted, she was over the moon. Finally she had someone to help her take care of the children.

Every time she remembers his name, it would bring a smile to her face.  His name fitted him so well, a kind…warm and generous person. A guy whom Mia thought was a miracle to her life. His name was-

“Mia, wake up! Mia!” It was Freddy and he was shaking Mia’s body frantically. Mia yawned, rubbing her eyes.

“Mia wake up!” Freddy continued shouting. All the other children were also alert now.

Mia looked at her surroundings. It had to be midnight now.

“Freddy, it’s so late now. What-“

Mia, you have to do something! It’s Ned, he is in trouble!”

Mia’s eyes were wide open right now. Her adrenaline tossing the tiredness and sleepiness out of her instantly. She was up, her heart beating like the bass to a rock and roll song. Her savior was in trouble….and she had to do something!

Mia sped off, her mind only on her savior, Ned. The one that had come to her aid when she needed help, the one that gave her a place to rely on.

“Where are you going?” Freddy called.

“I’m going to get Ned,” Mia called back, before whispering to herself.

“I know exactly where to find him.”

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