Caroling is, for me, the most holy night of the year. I was crouched up in a corner when the biggest guy of the bunch stomped the floor next to me and demanded me to get up. Before I was even on my feet, he grabbed my arm and jerked me to the bathroom. I saw him hand Jay a big bunch of bills and then they forced me into a bedroom with him. “I know where your mom lives and I can make life hell for both of you if I want.” He shoved me back towards the man in the suit. __________________________________ Before I left for Carrie’s that day, I had told my mom that I wouldn’t be home until dinner the next day. I understand, when someone threatens to kill your family (or you) and you’ve seen the rage and felt the uncontrollable violence behind it – you’ll do whatever you’re told, even if it’s the unthinkable. __________________________________________ Today I live at a Home for girls who have similar stories to mine. I thought I deserved what was dealt me in life – would you believe Jay had me so brainwashed I even stuck up for him at first!? You add some drugs to the mix and a few slaps in the face (or worse) and your thinking becomes a real mess. These people here at the Home though, they stuck right with me.
I’m always overwhelmed that God has entrusted us, a ragtag band of motley singers, with this matchless mission. But she’s really the only friend I ever had; “Because she asks about things I care about! We used to go hang out at the mall together, or have slumber parties or just hang out. I kinda had a weird feeling whenever he came around, but Carrie always said, “Don’t worry about it,” or, “Just chill out, you wish you had a boy like Jay too, don’t ya? Every once in a while he’d bring her new clothes or take her out to dinner or something. But then, he told her she couldn’t use it to talk to anyone else – only Jay. Throwing me inside, he yelled, “Put this on and come out.” He shoved a tiny skirt and a see-through shirt in my face and slammed the door. Frantically I searched the bathroom for a mode of escape: a window, a cell phone (Carrie was always leaving hers around), anything! But first, Jay grabbed my arm hard and whispered in my ear, “You do anything this man wants and you smile. So there they were going to school like everybody else, looking all ‘normal’ on the outside, but their life was hell. I mean, yeah I was threatened with my life and all, and my mom’s, but I didn’t get to go home that day or the next or any other day. I’ve been here for a year now, and it’s been almost three years since that awful night I told you about. I can’t even believe it now, but I was stuck there in that pit of thinking for a while. Didn’t get mad when I yelled, didn’t give up when they had to explain something for the hundredth time, didn’t quit on me at all. Not just being physically freed from Jay, I mean REALLY FREE.
Some first-timers look nervous, but most of us are excited to see our friends. ” As if he heard me thinking, the big guy outside said slowly, “Nobody’s comin’ for you tonight. Then they made us pose in really gross positions while they took our pictures, and posted them right away on the internet. They got so angry with me when they had to wait because there were tears streaming down my cheeks.
TELLYSpare us from the armchair sanctimony of those who claim never to have watched a single moment of .
It doesn't imbue you with special holy powers or give you smart cred.
It certainly does not make you a fellow of All Souls.
When life is tough, the lure of Gogglebox is strong.
It also declares that while a liking for cheap chocolate is acceptable, it remains distinctly un-OK to eat revolting, smelly food on the train. Good manners are about kindness and not getting in other people's way or on their nerves.