The Lost Girl Ashley Eason woke up this morning just like any other.

Jumped out of bed to turn her radio on high volume to her favorite Radio Station Hot 97. She loved listening to Miss Jones go off on just about every celebrity who dared to enter the room. Jammin’ and singing along to the sounds of the humble Ms. Mary J. Blige singing, “Be Without Y Ashley jumped over to the dresser to see ou,” what she would wear to school that day. For the past month, what to wear to school had become very important. Y see, Owen Jeffrey was the fastest runner on the boy’s ou high school track team. And Ashley adored him. He was tall, had a dark caramel complexion, perfect teeth, gorgeous body, and amazing light hazel eyes. Ashley would often miss her mark in track practice because she was occupied with watching Owen and his every move. She pulled out her tight fuchsia pink denim jeans that showed off her perfect 5’1, 16 year old figure. A black deep cut v-neck sweater with a white camisole underneath. Owen was a sneaker freak so Ashley made it her business to get the hottest most unique shoe gear that would always spark a conversation with Owen after he would compliment her. She pulled out her black and white zebra print high top Chuck Taylor Converse’s which were trimmed in fuchsia. Showered and dressed, Ashley got her books together, made sure she had all of her homework, and headed downstairs. In the kitchen she found her mom at the kitchen table reading the paper and eating a bowl of cereal. It had just been her and her mother for years and she always worried about her mom and how lonely she sometimes seemed to be. They shared a few words and Ashley headed out, excited to once again lay eyes on Owen. Closing the door behind her Ashley promised herself aloud, “I just can’t allow my love life to dwindle the way my mom did.” Now about 4 blocks away from home, her cell phone rang. Immediately, she felt butterflies in her stomach looking at the number that she has come to know like the back of her hand since the day she met Zaki, two weeks ago. “Hello little lady,” Zaki exclaimed, seeming excited to have finally reached her. “Hey Zaki! How are you? Are you on your way to work?” Ashley replied trying to keep her composure. “I’m doing good cutie, missing you like crazy. So when’s the next time I’m going to see you?” Now getting a little nervous Ashley replied, “Ummm…I’m not sure. Maybe I can tell my mom that I’m going to a teammate’s house after practice tomorrow.” “Hold on a second,” Zaki urgently chimed in. Zaki was like a dream. He was tall, dark, handsome, had a car, lived alone, and he wanted Ashley. She was so excited about the fact that a 26 year old grown man was interested in her. They would have conversations about her future, him putting her through college, him buying her first car, shopping sprees, and of course openly being together once Ashley turned 18. Being only 16, Ashley had easily fallen for him and the idea of them being together. He returned, “I was thinking of me picking you up from school right now, and we spend the day together. I requested this day off from work just for us. I didn’t tell you about it because I wanted it to be a surprise.” He was experienced when it came to dealing with young girls and he knew all of the right things to say. Feeling important Ashley quickly told him exactly where she was and that she would not even go to school but wait for him right there where she stood. Inside she was a little disappointed about not getting to see Owen, but Owen had not promised her college money or a car so she shrugged her shoulders and said nonchalantly, “I’ll see him tomorrow.” Five minutes later, Zaki pulled up in his black Lexus GX 470 truck. Ashley quickly hopped in not wanting to be seen, and he sped off. After about 10 minutes of driving Ashley realized that they weren’t in route to their favorite breakfast spot. They were on the State Parkway. A little confused and nervous she asked, “Where are we going?” With a wicked but sexy smirk on his face Zaki replied, “I thought it was time to show you where I live, being that we’re going to be together. Don’t worry, I won’t keep you there all day and I’ll take good care of you. I’ll make you breakfast when we get there.” No guy had ever offered to cook for Ashley before so, with every ounce of nervousness now leaving her body she giggled and blushed saying, “Ok.” The ride was about 30 minutes long and Ashley had not paid attention to any signs or turns that Zaki made. So when they pulled up to this huge brick 4 bedroom house in a gated community, Ashley had no clue about where she was geographically. Zaki pressed the button to open the garage door and pulled in. Entering the house through the garage brought them into a finished basement. Ashley’s mom didn’t have much money so being in a house like this that was owned by a man she was seeing was a great feeling for her. She was surrounded with wall to wall African American artwork, perfectly framed photos of someone’s children (none of Zaki himself), all black leather sofas, a big screen television, surround sound, a fully loaded bar, and a pool table. He was the ultimate bachelor and Ashley was now falling for him. Seeing the pool table brought on thoughts of her father, who left her mother before she was born. She never met him and

didn’t know much about him, except that he was a major pool shark and loved the game. Zaki noticed Ashley staring at the pool table and offered to teach her how to play. “Hold your stick like this, and bend over to be at eye level with the balls on the table,” Zaki explained. Ashley did as she was told while Zaki stood behind her admiring her petite yet pretty thick frame. He wondered how she would look naked, or if she would even allow him to see her that way. But again, he knew exactly what he was doing so he decided to play it cool and just do his best to make her comfortable. After a few more shots on the table Zaki wanted to move one step closer to the moment that he brought Ashley all the way there for. Taking her hand, he led Ashley up a flight of stairs and into the kitchen which was finely decorated in white with all red appliances. Even a red refrigerator! Ashley was amazed, and thought to herself, ‘this will all be mine in just two short years.’ Breakfast was perfect; pancakes, cheese eggs, bacon, sausage, and fresh squeezed orange juice. Ashley felt like the only girl in the world as he sweetly talked to her from across the kitchen table while gazing into her eyes like no one ever had before. After breakfast Zaki, invites Ashley for a tour of the entire house. Again thinking to herself, ‘this will all be mine in just two short years,’ she jumped up and took his hand feeling like a spoiled little girl. In the living room, there were more leather sofas, tan this time, more artwork, a painted black African carved coffee table with matching side tables and more photos of people. Ashley was starting to be a little confused on why Zaki wasn’t in any of the photos hung around the house but she decided not to say anything for fear of messing up the mood. Once up another flight of stairs Ashley was surrounded by doors. She assumed each door was either a different bedroom or a bathroom. Walking into the master bedroom felt like walking into one of those decorated rooms on the HGTV Channel. A king size bed framed by a white wall that had been wallpapered with a black velvet paisley design and hung candle stick holders scattered on that wall, with more African American artwork on the other walls. The wall opposite of the bed was nothing but mirror. Zaki jumped on the bed and motioned for Ashley to join him there. She took a deep breath, not knowing what was about to happen, and joined him. Caressing her back he asked, “Are you okay baby? Y look a little uncomfortable.” ou Very much uncomfortable she answered, “No honey, I’m fine. I swear. So are you going to turn the television on or can we go back down stairs and play more pool?” Ashley got the feeling that maybe she shouldn’t have agreed to go to Zaki’s house. She knew what he wanted but she was definitely not ready for it. “Nah boo, lay back and get comfortable, take your shoes off. We have plenty of time before I have to take you back home.” Zaki exclaimed jumping up to see where the remote control was. Ashley took off the shoes that were meant for Owen Jeffrey, ‘how I wish I was with him right now, I know he would not have me feeling like this,’ she thought to herself. Ashley leaned back onto what seemed like 20 plush pillows, and tried to make herself out to be as comfortable as she could. Zaki returned next to her, he gently and slowly lifted her sweater and began grazing his hand across her stomach and looking directly into her face with an intense sexual stare. He noticed the tense feeling in Ashley’s body and thought a kiss to the cheek and/or neck would help calm her down. So he went for it. Now fully alert and a little scared, Ashley jumped up, “Zaki what are you doing? I think you got the wrong idea about me.” “No honey, I think I got the write idea. I see how you look at me. I’ve watched you all day practically fall in love with me while you were here today. Ashley I would never hurt you…” he said as he more forcefully tried kissing her, pulling at her sweater, and putting his hand in positions that Ashley couldn’t get them out of, “and we are going to be together, so now it’s time for us to get to know each other much better. Don’t you worry, I’ll be slow and gentle with you. I promise baby.” Zaki explained, as he managed to get her breasts exposed harshly kissing them. Feeling like crying, but strong enough to hold in the tears, Ashley pleaded, “But baby, I’m only 16. I’m still a virgin. All my friends that did it said that it hurts a lot. I don’t think I’m ready for that.’ “Ok honey, I mean, its not like we’re not going to be together for a long time anyway. We have all the time in the world baby.” He kissed her forehead. On his way out of the room he said, “Let’s get you home.” “But I thought that we had all day to spend time Zaki? Can’t we just watch movies or something?” Ashley asked relieved that he had let up about having sex, but a little upset that she had disappointed him. “Nah boo, I’m going to take you home and head into work. My boss just text me and I have to stop in for a few and help him out with something, so get your things together so we can go” Zaki answered from the bathroom now sounding a little annoyed with her. Upset at the outcome of the day Ashley reached for her shoes. When she leaned back onto the bed to tie them Zaki entered her personal space naked with 2 big blows to the face. Ashley quickly thought to herself, ‘Did he just hit me? Is this real? Let me pinch myself…’ As she did, Zaki picked her up and threw her to the opposite side of the bed against the wall. “Now, I’m hearing you say that you are only 16, but you’ve been prancing around me in your tight jeans and short skirts like you’re well over 18. Trust me you are ready. And you are about to get exactly what you are ready for!” Zaki barked at her. With all fear in her heart and now crying, Ashley replied, “Zaki, please don’t do this. I told you when I’m ready I promise that you will be first. Please don’t do this. Not like this. Zaki don’t…” her sentence was cut short to Zaki’s five fingers slapping her across the

face, turning her over, and literally ripping her clothes off piece by piece. “Zaki, please don’t do this. I promise I’ll give it to you later. Please!!” “Ashley, shut up!!” he exclaimed along with another blow to the back of the head. He barged through her innocence with as much force as his 6’2, 215lbs body would allow. Ashley screamed in pain, both physical and emotional. She quickly numbed herself, which wasn’t too hard because of the pain her body was feeling that moment. When it was over, Ashley was silent and still numb. Zaki kissed her on the forehead and softly said to her, “I’m sorry I had to hurt you baby. But you wasn’t listening to me. I’m trying to introduce you to adulthood being that we going to be together. I don’t know what came over me, but I just had to have you. Don’t be afraid. It only hurts the first time around. So the hard part is over for you now baby.” From Ashley, there was no response. She didn’t know what to feel or how to feel it. She was lost. She didn’t feel like her usual happy self anymore. Nor did she think that it was ever possible to get that happy person back inside her after this experience and what it had taken out of her. With her body still numb she cracked a smile, while inside she had just died a slow and painful death. With nothing to say she reached for her belongings and pieced her outfit back together as best she could. “Now baby you cannot tell anyone what happens between us because they might make it so that we cannot be together anymore. I love you. Ok?” Zaki pleaded. Totally speechless and still numb Ashley quickly shrugged her shoulders and nodded her head in an agreeing motion. The 30 minute drive home from an unknown address she would never forget was quiet. Ashley sat staring at the floor. She was now, the lost girl. Not knowing when or how she would ever retrieve what was so coldly taken from her on this day.

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