All my mornings start off the same. After stumbling out of bed from a night of haze, I eventually make my way to the pot of day old coffee. My kitchen is a mess. Dirty dishes are stacked in a way where a tiny tremble would cause them to come crashing down. It is a resemblance of my life. Cheap empty beer cans lie scattered across my small living room. A spilled over ash tray litters my brown stained carpet. Last night was a blur. Just like every night before.
I pour myself a day-old cup of coffee from the only clean mug left in my kitchen. The coffee’s strong aftertaste lingers in my mouth as I light a cigarette. “Shit, it’s my last cigarette”, I mumble as I sip more of my stale coffee.
I groan when I sit down in my beaten computer chair. My back is killing me. Yesterday wasn’t the easiest. But then again none of my days are. I don’t know how I got into this work. It is mentally and physically exhausting. I try not to think about it.
My computer makes a humming noise when I start it. “Fucking computers”, I mumble as I take the last drag of my cigarette. Just something else I will need to spend my money on. It never seems like I have enough. I log into Facebook and walk back into the kitchen to grab another cup of stale coffee.
Sitting back down with a fresh cup of stale coffee I realize Rebecca Patterson added me on Facebook. Rebecca is a 36-year-old mother of one. She has blonde hair, a pretty face and lives in a beautiful home in the upper middle-class part of town. Her profile picture is of her and her five-year-old daughter.
Rebecca is the type of person to put personal details on Facebook. New outfit, post it. Going out to dinner, check-in. Daughter just did something funny, post video.
I scroll through Rebecca’s newsfeed and realize it is the first day of elementary school. A picture of Rebecca’s daughter was posted 45 minutes ago with the caption, “First day of school for this big five-year-old. #proudmommy.” Rebecca’s daughter is wearing a pink shirt, a blue and pink stripped dress and has a purple “Hello Kitty” backpack.
I find it interesting how people will post personal details on Facebook. They act like their lives are secure. They fake pretend they are in a bubble. If social media was an accurate resemblance of Rebecca’s life it would be a mirror image of pure perfection. Rebecca’s Facebook posts are more than a subtle suggestion that she is better than you. Her profile is a bragging platform making you wish you had her “flawless” life. Rebecca’s faultless life is about to change. She shouldn’t have added the fake profile “Brian Jones”.
Brian Jones is one of the many fake social media accounts I operate. Brian is a white male is his late 30s. He looks approachable. A nice smile. Someone who you think you know. Maybe you went to school with him? Maybe you use to work with him at the job that put you though college? You think you know him and he looks friendly enough, so you add him anyways. But Brian is far from friendly. Brian is a shark. He hides behind the friendly face on his social media account waiting patiently to attack.
I hear a ting on Facebook. It is a notification, Rebecca just updated her status. A check-in at Riverside Elementary school, “perfect”, I mutter.
I now know the location of the elementary school Rebecca’s daughter goes to. This is to easy. I rationalize in my head that Rebecca deserves to be taught a painful lesson for being so stupid. This is a dog eat dog world and I got to eat. I save the picture of Rebecca’s daughter first day of school picture to my phone and send it off to my contacts. The message reads, “American girl, blonde hair, blue eyes, $10,000.”
Almost immediately my phone buzzes. “Want”, the message reads. I message back telling them to wire me $5,000 now and have the remaining $5,000 in cash at the drop-off point at 6pm. My burner phone shortly after vibrates saying I have received $5,000. Rebecca’s daughter is sold, before school starts. Rebecca’s life will be changed forever. Her daughter was just sold into the sex trade industry. She will be on her way to Africa this afternoon.
This isn’t an easy job. I jump into my red pickup truck with intentions of grabbing another pack of cigarettes and a fifth of vodka – I’m going to need it. It’s not easy selling children into the sex trade industry. Sure, it has gotten easier. But I still numb myself every night to forget for a few hours of my painful life.
As I drive down the road to the liquor store my phone buzzes. Nicole Wilson added me on Facebook. Looks like my day is just starting.