Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Modern Day Slavery, 2011

Hapar, spring, 2011
***WARNING: Extremely sensitive subject matter***

She took a deep breath and checked the address again. She knew she was at the right place, she had walked by every simday for the last simweek. She had memorized the color variation in the bricks, the simple garden in the front and large windows. She knew that she needed to knock before one of the neighbors called the police on her.

Carmela and Serendipity were finishing up a movie, sitting silently side by side as they often did most evenings since the fire. It was Serendipity that moved to answer the door when she heard the sharp rap at the door.

" Carmela Herendez here?"

"Yes, come in," Serendipity let the woman into the house. "Mom, you have company!"

"Ok, dear."

"Simora just texted me, can I go to the park?"

"Yes, have fun, be careful." She said watching her daughter race out the door.

"How may I help you?" Carmela asked the young woman standing before her.

She smiled nervously, " name is Blancita Lopez-"

"Oh my," Carmela said grabbing the nearest seat.

"I think you are my mother."

Carmela nodded and motioned for the woman to sit. "I am your mother."

The two women sat next to each other in silence looking at their shared features as well as their differences.

"Tell me about yourself. Were you ever adopted? Were you well cared for?"

Blancita nodded. "I was adopted by a sweet couple, mami and papi were the greatest. They were not rich, but they cared for me and I had a happy childhood. I was surrounded with love and familia. Mami and Papi...they...they died two simlonic months ago, after I got the last letter."


"Yes, the agency knew that I wanted to find my mother and they found a contact here that knew you. He wrote to me constantly...I guess he was trying to determine if I were truly the Blancita Lopez that he was looking for. When I sent him my photos, he said that he was certain that he knew my mother and he sent me tickets to come here and meet you. I tried to contact him, but I couldn't. No one answered the door at his house at all."

"Do you have the address?"

Blancita nodded and handed her a slip of paper. Carmela paled when she saw the address. Her suspicion grew, but she needed more proof.

"Do you have any letters from him?"

She waited as the young woman pulled a stack of letters and handed them over. She felt herself crying as she read the familiar handwriting, the large loopy letters that were recognizable anywhere.

"Antonio would send the letters like clockwork. I could count on one every simlonic month which I thought was strange since we could have emailed very easily, but he insisted on letters. I found it very strange that the letters stopped so suddenly."

"Antonio...he..." Carmela sniffed away her tears and picked up a family photo nearby and handed it to Blancita.

"Is he my father? The paperwork didn't list my father."

Carmela shook her head, "No. That is...was my husband, Antonio. He died a few simlonic months ago."


"Yes, the same Antonio that was sending you the letters."

"But he's not my father?"

Carmela shook her head.
"Then who is my father?"

Carmela tried not to cry as she shrugged her shoulders.

"Can't you narrow it down?" Blancita asked, wanting to know more about the sim that contributed the other half of her DNA.

"It's...I..." Carmela sighed. "I guess I should tell you the entire story."

"My mother didn't know my father and it was just the two of us for a long time. She died when I was eight. I had no money or family around so I didn't know what to do. This man...Tio Juan...I thought he was our friend, at least he was a friend of my mother when she was alive, he...he offered to help me out for a while and let me stay with him and his family.

At first it was ok, I would cook and clean around the house, but I noticed that a lot of men would enter and leave the house at strange hours and his daughters would entertain a lot of visitors. One simday Tio Juan said that I was costing him too much money and that I needed to make money to feed myself. I offered to get a job at a local cantina, wiping tables and cleaning up. I even offered to babysit for the neighbors since there wasn't much an eight simyear old could do in terms of employment. Tio Juan had other ideas.

That night I found out that Tio Juan's daughters were not his daughters...they were...they were his property and from that day I was his property as well. I had to...entertain these visitors as well. I didn't want to, I barely even knew what was going on most of time since some of his "daughters" would give me drugs so I wouldn't...wouldn't feel the pain. I wanted to run away and I tried a few times, but I was beaten so badly that I never tried again.
I became rather popular because of my hair, my eyes and I suspect because I was the youngest one in the house. Tio Juan charged more for me and there were still nights when...when the clients would form a long line outside my room. Those were the nights that I was grateful for the drugs that numbed my young body. Tio Juan forced me to work so much and often with several...several sims at a time. By the time I was pregnant with you I had killed seven of my babies.

One day a man came and paid to just look at me. He asked me questions and talked with me. Then he turned to Tio Juan and offered a large sum of simoleans buy me. I sat there as they negotiated my if I were a carne at the market. That evening I left Tio Juan and I was so scared, I didn't know what would happen to me. That man took me to a hotel and made me shower and fed me. There was a woman there and she dressed me in new clothes and then we sat and waited.

Soon another man arrived, Luis, and he talked with me for a few moments. Then he said that I would be marrying his son. It wasn't a question and my opinion didn't matter. His son was Antonio, my husband that you see in the photo."

"So you were trafficked?"


"You were a victim of human trafficking. They sold you and forced you into a modern day slavery."

Carmela bit her lip as she tasted the new word on her tongue. Finally she had a name for what happened to her, for the horrors that continue to plaque her mind and for the fear that stays with her as she wonders if Tio Juan will find her and make her his property again.

"I suppose you're right...I never told my children this...nor anyone in the community...I felt...I felt so ashamed."

" did I come about?" Blancita whispered.

"I was pregnant when I left, but Tio Juan didn't know it yet. By the time Antonio and Luis found out...I was pretty far along. When...when you were born, Luis said that I must give you away...he didn't want he inheritance of his son and grandchildren to be threatened."

"Is that Luis?" Blancita asked, gesturing towards a photo.

"It is,"

"I know him."

"You do?"

"Yes, he would come to visit my family once a simyear. They called him Abuelo Luis and he always brought toys for me. He set aside some money for me to go to technical school and get my cosmetology degree."

"It seems like the men in my family have been keeping lots of secrets from me."

Blancita nodded, "I suppose so."


"This is so unbelievable. I can't believe that I have a big sister," Rojo said looking at the newcomer as they sat around the table.

Carmela wasted no time in making sure that all her children could meet each other. She wanted them to know each other.

"So are you staying in Apple Valley?"

"I am. My parents left me some money and I have a bit of savings, so I found a small live/work unit that I can use and continue my dreams of owning a beauty salon."

"It's a very nice place, I was able to see it after she purchased it," Carmela added.

"That's so cool, mami used to run a beauty salon when we were younger, right mami?"

"Yes, that's right."

"Were your parents upset that you wanted to find your...biological parents?" Serendipity whispered.

It was something that was on her mind, especially now that her mother's first daughter had been found. She found herself wondering about her own biological family.

"Not at all. They were very open to me finding my parents and helped me search for the details and find the paperwork."

"Do you want to find your parents?" Carmela whispered.

Serendipity shrugged. "One day, but not today."

Blancita smiled. She wasn't sure how to feel knowing that her mother was forced to give her up due to inheritance issues, yet still adopted another little girl and the inheritance wasn't an issue at that point. She didn't want to be angry or hurt over it, but she couldn't help but feel rejected. Maybe if she were born with darker skin and black hair instead of her light skin and red hair then they would have kept her as well since it would have been so easy for her to "blend in" to the family and there would have been fewer questions.

"Are you coming to the wedding?" Verde asked.

"I...I don't know. I could."

"You should, Lainey would love it if you were to attend."

"Yes, you have to come. You're family."

Blancita smiled, she was family. Thankfully she was lucky enough to have two great families.
For more information on human trafficking

United Nations Global Initiative

For the US, National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) is a national, toll-free hotline 1 888 373 7888


  1. Wow, Carmela was trafficked. You have some interesting back stories!I'm glad that she was able to reunite with her daughter, but I do wonder if she was born with darker skin, would she have been able to keep her? Can't wait to see what happens with her and her new life in Apple Valley.

  2. Oh wow what a powerful story! This was very well written, seriously, just great! That is so horrible and it is sad that it happens in real life as well. I'm glad that things turned out as well as it did for them both, though it would have been better had it never happened.......but then Blancita would not have been born.......I suppose everything happens for a reason.......again, this was beautifully written, it's a tough subject but you pulled it off :)

  3. As an aspiring writer, I envy you a lot. You have a truly great talent for creating all sorts of situations and emotions - since I started reading your blog I've laughed, cried, and really come to love your Sims. You are now officially my role model.

    Carmela's story is so serious and tragic that not many peole could have pulled off that post. I agree though that things happen for a reason and I think it is for the best that Blancita is now in Apple Valley. Congratulations again on creating all this.

    - VT

  4. Riverdale, I think if Blancita looked more like a Herendez, then she would have been able to stay...though I'm not sure since it was Luis who insisted that she leave and then Serendipity was adopted after Luis's death.

    Mizzgin, it is a sad thing that this is happening all over the world and often in our backyards. There's a ministry here that helps to rescue such women and they explain the signs to look for such as "spas" and "cantinas" that have women and children as slaves. Those two were extremely lucky since Blancita could have easily not been born and Carmela could have died while being stuck in her situation, thanks for reading.

    VT, thank you ^_^ Carmela's story had always been there since the begining, but only hints and pieces of it, I decided that her daughter would demand the story in full and it was such a difficult subject, but knowing that there are women and men that are rescued from these situations is hopeful as well.

  5. Poor Carmela. I think I remember reading that Antonio and Carmela's marriage was arranged but until now, I obviously didn't know the full back story. I think she must be an amazingly strong woman to come out of that and still be able to function.

    I hope she can have a good relationship with Blancita but it seems like it would be very hard. Looking at her must remind Carmela of her past life.

    I have to say, this was a really brave topic to tackle and I think you did it very well!

  6. Carla, you're right, Blancita does bring memories of Carmela's past. Carmela hasn't shared her past with anyone before this but her past is also Blancita's past. Thanks for reading.

  7. I never would have guessed Carmela had such a horrible past. I'm glad her story had a happy ending and she was able to live a normal, happy life after all she had been through.

  8. Em, Carmela has been able to craft a sense of normality even though her situation has never been the norm, thanks for reading.

  9. That was an amazing read. Definitely an issue that doesn't get enough attention. You did a great job at addressing it in a sensitive manner. It's crazy what a person's past holds. I'm very interested in how the family will come to terms with their newest memeber.

  10. Choco, Carmela is one of the few sims that wasn't born and raised in Apple Valley so her past is a big unknown to a lot of the residents there, thanks for reading.


Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment! :)

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