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I stood slowly, closed the book and headed towards the librarian’s desk. The story had gone on to tell of Valleri’s punishments (branded, lack of food, beaten), prostitution (the different men, her averaging only four hours of sleep each night) and her escape through the organization the book was sponsored by. Up until the time that the book was published, she had still not been able to locate Avnita. Valleri had returned to India to continue the search for her sister.
I had a strange, mixed feeling about the whole ordeal. Sure, it was descriptive, and I was positive slavery did happen like this. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that the story might be…well, just a story. I decided to check out the book for further reading.
A portion of the group that had entered earlier stood in front of me, filling out library card forms. I requested one, since this was my first venture to any library since high school. After scribbling, Benjamin Thomas Lyle in the incorrect boxes, I glanced at the dark haired girl next to me, who was obviously doing better than I was. Feeling the very same way I felt when cheating on a test, I stole a quick look at her paper. Balking, my head jerked when I gaped at the way she had filled out her form a second time.
In perfect print, her tanned hand had written: Gupta, Avnita Sengh.