Faith Chapter 22: Meeting Kaleb

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This entry is part 22 of 18 in the series Faith

There was a gentle knock on my cabin door. I wiped the remaining tears from my face, put on a smile and went to open.

It was Aisha… again. She didn’t so much as enter but rather she launched herself at me, hugging me tightly.

I was completely dumbfounded.

“Thank you. I knew I could count on you!”

I was completely confused as to what she was thanking me about, but the hug felt nice and I didn’t say anything back.

We eventually parted and still excited, she took a look at my bracelet.

“I had hoped you would go yellow soon, if only to rise the bids, but the purple one will definitely get guys interested. Our reports show that girls who put a purple bead get on average 27% more money from guys, regardless of whether they even do things with girls or not”

Oh, that’s why she was thanking me.

“So, you thought it over and want to meet the potential suitors? A red bead would have choked them. Good move to switch”

Oh, she thought I did that for that! Now the hug made sense. Should I tell her that this had nothing to do with it, I just was tired of living isolated and sheltered?

“I have Kaleb ready anytime you want. He is really sweet and from a rich Dubai family. He was interested in you the first time he laid eyes on you at the casino. What we like about him, is that he is now that interested in your virginity, just in spending the night with you. You would start by meeting him, seeing if you like him, how you feel talking to a guy and then, if you want to move forward, you could meet some of the man willing to pay for your cherry. If you don’t like talking to Kaleb, we can cancel everything else.”

I was completely overwhelmed so I said the only thing that came to mind.

“Sounds like a plan”.

I hated myself for that. Ok, let me explain… I was a victim of a lot of bullying growing up, I think I already explained that earlier.

I had zero adult backup. I think I explained that too.

So, when you are small, malnourished, without any support you learn to do, what I could now call “protective compliance”

In short, when faced with a potentially hostile or hurtful situation, you begin to just roll with the punches simply because you didn’t have other tools.

I knew I could stand up for myself and tell Aisha to stop pushing. I knew I could tell the company to screw themselves with sexuality, that I would work in their restaurants, and their casino, and take part in their pony-girl races.

I knew I could tell them I would do this my way.

I knew all of that.

But there is something I didn’t know: how!

How do I stand up for myself? How do I just say: “No, I don’t want to meet Kaleb, I don’t want to meet the other guys, but I also don’t want to be sent away because I have nothing else to look up for”

How do you stand up against what you don’t want while still standing up for what you wanted?

How do you not lose everything you hold dear when you just speak up?

How are you are not thrown out like garbage when you say no to something you don’t like?

How do you speak up, without being destroyed.

That’s what I didn’t know how to do. That’s what my life had been: semi-peaceful when I say yes to others, horrible and painful when I say no.

Protective compliance.

Everyone told me I could set my limits, but no one ever checked if I knew how to do so.

They would keep pushing, and I would keep being unable to say no.

I knew it wasn’t really too late to leave the ship: we were still near Miami, but it was too late for me.

I would have no way of explaining it. I would have no backup plan, no idea of where to go, of what to do.

Protective compliance.

“I have a stupid question Aisha”. I realized that while I was stuck in my thoughts, she had kept going on about the other guys in a bidding war over my body.

“Go ahead Faith”

“Is there a psychologist on board, you know, someone we can talk to in order to help us work thru our past. I’d really like to get help so I can be the best employee I can be”

She hugged me again, and while hugging me, she confirmed there were 4 on board for us.

“Want to meet someone now? I can get you an appointment right away.”

I thought about it. This would be a long process and perhaps, just perhaps, I needed some protective compliance in the meantime.

“N’ah. But maybe in a few days”.

“So, what do you want to do now?”

Protective compliance…. “Perhaps meet Kaleb? He seems nice”.

Aisha jumped up and down, clapping her hands.

“Let me do the presentations. He will be so happy to meet you. Just remember… this is just to know him. Don’t do anything yet.”

I said nothing, but I was glad she didn’t push at that moment. I wasn’t strong enough to say no to much.

She actually accompanied me to his room. He opened it and I was surprised to see how relatively normal he looked.

He was Arabic in origin, but he was well shaven, had nice air and wore relatively western clothes. More importantly, he was fit and young, perhaps 23?

His polo shirt showed that he must have worked out a lot.

He was, however, very small, perhaps 5 foot 2?

He took my hand, kissed the back of it, and thanked me for accepting to meet him.

Aisha proposed that we go to the sushi bar to talk, since it was semi-closed at this moment, only serving drinks and no food.

He accepted and we went along, the three of us to the fabled sushi bar.

Seeing him lowered my apprehension and made me worry if perhaps, my fears were unfounded and based on years of bullying. We’ll see. We’ll see

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