I wait until nighttime, when the whole compound is asleep, even the guard, before I make my move. I pack a light bag and wear comfortable shoes. It’s a long walk to the train station. Luckily, it’s a cloudy night, not too bright. Perfect for my escape.
As I slip outside the house, I pause for a moment, thinking of my parents and how proud they were when I was chosen. After all their sacrifices, all the time they spent helping me prepare for that one moment. Then I remember how cold his skin was, how he never looked me once in the eye, even as his seed was being planted in me.And it becomes clear to me that I need to do this for myself as much as for my baby.
The baby, whom I have called Kara, kicks again, and I put my hand on my belly.
“It’s OK, Kara. We’re going now.”
As I close the gate behind me, the clouds suddenly part and I am bathed in moonlight. The road lies ahead of me, its end unclear. I inhale deeply, breathing in the night blooming jasmine that grows on the compound. I take my first step.