Her name was Leah, but that wasn’t the name she’d been born with. The documents she’d been given had the American name attached to her picture. They’d made promises about what her life would be in America. Freedom from a dictatorship that starved it’s people, was an attractive offer and one she couldn’t refuse. The group of foreign men came to her village, spoke her language and offered to escort her away from her misery. It had been a beautify story, but not entirely true.
After her boat reached American shores, Leah’s existence had shrank. She was told they arrived in some place called Savannah, but she couldn’t see anything of the city from her room with it’s boarded windows. She was kept downstairs in a cramped unfurnished bedroom with a single lamp and small floor cot. There was a bedside table but no other furniture provided. She’d been given books and among them was a Korean to English translator. She’d filled her lonely hours with study hoping to one day have a conversation with her new mate and convince him to let her out of this room.
Leah was currently lying on her cot in the single sweat soaked dress she owned counting the minutes until her next meal. It was the only time she saw him. When the handle turned in the door Leah sat up straight and mentally prepared herself for the task ahead.
Her mate came down the stairs with a covered tray for her mid day meal. He was a white man, tall and tanned by the sun. Judging by the streaks in his dark brown hair Leah guessed he was at least 10 years older than her. He sat the tray down on the bedside table and made a short bow, not meeting her eyes. He said nothing, as always, and turned to leave.
Leah reached out and grasped his hand. She knew it was a bold move. “Stay,” she said in English. “Sit with me.”
His smile completely changed the shape of his face, it made him appear younger. I have made him happy, good. This is a start.
He took a seat on the cot next to her. His large hand engulfed her own until it almost disappeared. “Ethan,” he said pointing to his own chest. “Nice to meet you.”