Has it been minutes, hours or days? You cannot tell. You look down at your wrist but your watch is gone. Your head feels heavy and blocked, like its clogged with a million stones inside. Your eyes are open but you only see smear colours of whatever it is that is in front of and around you. You open your mouth to say something but your voice doesn’t come out, or maybe it does come out but you can’t hear anything because you don’t know whether your ears are working. 

Your head feels very heavy, you rub it and rub it, even use the other hand to tap it. Soon, the blurriness slowly melts away from sight. You see that you are in a room with other women who look high and unconscious. Some have passed out, or they are asleep or dead? You don’t know. But after looking around, you recognise the woman on your far left wearing a black dress. She looks silent and sad. She’s the woman you saw lying on that taxi’s backseat before you felt cold, rough hands behind your neck. The hands choked you from the back and you felt something sharp like a needle being stabbed in your neck, fluid flowed in. Then you fell and passed out within ten seconds. 

Has it been for minutes, hours or days? You still don’t know, but what you do know is that the handbag you entered the taxi with is now gone. There is a slight shakiness in the room, that is when you notice that this space you occupy with these women is not a room at all. It smells damp, faint sounds of echo waves outside. You and these women are in a cargo container. You are taken somewhere new, for a new place, new job and new life. But then of course you are not in a container or a ship. You are in your comfort zone reading this on your phone, maybe you are at home or you are alone, I don’t know.

But you know what? You are only a hand-sign away from being away. Because this taxi is often in different colours and changed licence plate numbers. So sometimes it is not white or fragrance scented. And there are many of them; it doesn’t operate alone, sometimes it also comes in a form of an Uber car. Women are not the only target; men and children can be used for other things besides sex.

So who knows, maybe the next time you get inside a taxi or an Uber car, it might turn out to be like this taxi, and the price you’ll pay will be far more bigger than the money you carrying. Transport has never had a greater cost.

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