“Ben asked me to speak to him in Spanish. I did and then he asked me why I didn’t have an accent when I spoke English. I told him the truth. As a child I had a little friend and she spoke English. Her parents were American and lived in Mexico for several years. I learned from her and my mother spoke English as well. He asked me if my mother was American. I thought she was maybe half American but I really didn’t know. I started to tear up so he dropped the subject. He made dinner that night and made me watch him cook. He seemed so kind and gentle but I still didn’t trust him. I didn’t trust any man at that time.
Over the next few days he brought me books and made me read them out loud to him. I did, I read well and asked him why he was making me read out loud. He told me I had to go to school and he wanted to see what grade level I would be on. I got sick to my stomach when he said that because I knew I was pregnant. I started crying. He asked my why I was so upset about going to school. I finally told him I was pregnant and that’s why my pimp was beating me the night he came along”.
“Oh Christ, your pregnant”?
“I started crying even more and shook my head yes”.
“Alright, stop crying we’ll figure something out”.
“I told him I would not get an abortion and that’s what my pimp was so angry about. He told me to clam down and we would talk about it tomorrow. I thought about running away but I had no place to go and he was so kind. I just couldn’t figure it out, you know”? She looked at Sam but she was just sitting there listening and taking notes. Janet asked her if she wanted another cup of coffee and something to eat Sam told her coffee would be fine. “How come your so fair Janet”? Sam asked.
“I don’t know. My mother was fair, she had dark brown hair but blue eyes. I asked her one day how come she and I had blue eyes when all of my friends had brown eyes. She told me that’s how God made us and not to ask any more stupid questions. I never spoke to her about it again”. Sam knew Janet dyed her hair but the blue eyes threw her off. She never expected to hear that she was Mexican. Janet gave Sam the cup of coffee and placed a tray with coffee cake on the table.
“Can we stop for a few minutes”? Janet asked.
“Yes, it’s getting late but I have to get all the information I can so I know which direction to take”.
They drank their coffee and both women had a piece of coffee cake. Janet asked her a few more questions. What was her mother’s name, where she lived in Mexico, did her mother have any family there. Janet answered but Sam could see she was upset so she waited until they both finished their coffee and asked her if she could continue.
“Yes, I am Okay, I want you to find Ben and I will help in any way I can”.
“Alright, what happened the next day, after you told Ben you were pregnant”.
“He went out the next morning and came back about an hour or so later. I was reading one of the books he had given me. He brought a few bags of groceries and we put them away. He then told me he had to go on a business trip and would be gone for a few days possibly a week and asked if he could trust me to stay in the condo and not go out for any reason. I told him I would be fine because my mother used to leave me alone for days at a time and I had been on my own since I was twelve. He just shook his head but he had such a sad look in his eyes. That was the moment I knew I could trust him. He wrote a phone number down and said I was only to call him if it was a real emergency and told me to be careful not to play any loud music and not to go outside not even on the patio and keep the blinds closed and the door locked at all times. He left that afternoon”.
“What did you do while he was gone”?
“Nothing, I stayed in the condo just like he told me and watched television and read books. He had bought enough food to last me a month. I did as I was told, I felt he was going to help me and it felt so good to have someone who seemed to really care. Ben came back almost a week later. He looked tired like he had been driving all night. He took a shower and we cooked dinner together I was actually happy he was back. He didn’t say much during dinner but told me afterward that he wanted to talk to me. I could tell it was serious. He went to his bedroom and came back with a bunch of papers. “Here’s what we’re going to do”, he said and handed me one of the papers. I looked at it and it was a birth certificate with the name Janet Mauroe as the child and June Hall and Robert Mauroe as the parents. It was the same year I was born but not the day, it was a different month. He also had other legal documents stating that he had guardianship over me, he was my uncle on my mother’s side of the family. I was an only child and he was my only living relative. I asked him what all this was. He told me it was the only way I was going to be able to stay in the U.S. and that I would have to get a photo taken for my passport, and then he told me what we were going to do. He was going to hire a tutor and bring me up to speed on my grade level and I had to go to school after the baby was born, but I had to give the baby up for adoption. I started crying, I didn’t want to give up the baby. I had no one who cared about me and this child would be all mine. Someone to love and someone who would love me back, really love me. He told me this was the only way he could help me and he was sorry but if I wanted his help that was the way it would have to be. He held me in his arms and let me cry, and when I calmed down he told me to think about it and let him know what I wanted to do in the morning”.