It’s still fresh in my mind like it happened just yesterday. It’s been 10 years, yet I still flinch at the memory of it all. I still cry myself to sleep like a little baby. I will always regret not going home early. It’s funny how most people say it was not my fault, and yet I desperately want them to at least say it was half my fault. I need to find closure, even if it means opening up old wounds…
“You should go home now my child, it’s getting dark.” Phola’s grandmother said. I stood up and opened the door, and bid farewell to my friend. I wasn’t really keen to go home, and from the looks of it, neither was my friend. Yesterday, the 25th of May, was my birthday and I was still on those vibes. Eish time really flies when you’re having fun, I thought to myself.
As I headed home I found it hard to see the path, because we don’t have electricity, or water and sanitation for that matter. Oh the joy of living in a rural area and being poor, I thought sarcastically. Tyinirha is one of the little locations under Ngqamakhwe. Besides the lack of service delivery, it’s a very beautiful place. Covered in nature, the grass and trees are a beautiful green during summer, there are always beautiful birds chirping a nice melody in the trees that are surrounding the now fading rivers. It’s almost fairy-tale like.
Deep in thought, I was startled by a tall figure, standing by the corner of Phola’s garden. He probably wasn’t that tall but compared to my nine year-old frame, he was a giant. As I neared the figure, I got uneasy, and felt cold at the pit of my stomach. I quickly brushed it off and continued walking towards the person.
OMG! It’s a he! I started to panic, but I kept going nonetheless. Thank God it’s a little dark; he can’t see the panic on my face, I thought. But I cursed at the same time because I couldn’t see him. As I passed by him, I greeted him to make him believe that I was not scared of him, and he greeted back. Damn it! I still couldn’t make out who he is!
Relieved that he didn’t harm me, I smiled, as I could now faintly see the shiny roof top of my home. We, my sister and I, were home alone that day. My granny’s traditional dance group was said to perform at some prestigious ceremony. I smiled to myself, because that meant she’d bring us something nice, she always did that when they went to these fancy ceremonies and functions.
Suddenly, I felt a tight grip on my arm. I turned back. It was him! I freaked out. As if scared that I’d eventually recognise him, he quickly covered his face with his T-shirt. Within seconds, he was carrying me over his shoulder, running down the quiet and deserted area with me. My home was at the very end of the location, so below Phola’s garden there were no houses what-so-ever; just a big open space and it was very scary at night.
At this point I was crying and screaming my lungs out. I was banging on his back with all my might but he just wouldn’t barge. It was like he was made of steel, I tried biting and scratching, but all my attempts were in vain. After a while he put me down, but he had a tight grip on my wrist. All I thought about was death and how my body would be found in pieces, the following day, being dragged by dogs. It was as if my body had gone numb, it was no use protesting, I just had to accept my fate.
At least I’ll be an angel, cause I have no sins, except for stealing sugar and my cousin’s formula milk, I thought to myself, as he pulled down my checked red and white skirt, along with my white panties (which my father bought for me). I started crying really hard, because to be honest rape didn’t even cross my mind. Lord! I thought he’d just kill me and get this over and done with.
Again, as if my attempts were nothing, he just took off his pants.
He got on top of me and eased his manhood inside of me. I can’t compare the pain I felt to anything that I have ever experienced. His member was too big to fit, yet he kept pushing, pushing and pushing, I thought I just heard my muscles tear. At that point I was no longer trying to fight him of off me; I just silently sobbed.
He promised that if I co-operated he would let me go sooner and not kill me. As much as I tried to be still, I couldn’t cause the pain was too excruciating for me to handle. Every time he pushed his member further and further, I winced. The pain was no longer just physical, it was emotional.
I felt it deep at the pit of my stomach and I could feel my heart squeeze.
I was slowly dying of guilt and shame, because my sister had been repeatedly calling my name. She sounded worried sick. But I can’t answer her, I was told to be silent and I really didn’t want to die. Hell, I’m too young to die. I hadn’t seen any weapon, but I didn’t want to test him.
“Do you have a condom with you?” he asked.
What the fuck!? I was nine! Does this guy really think that I go around expecting to be raped? But of course I didn’t dare say that out loud, instead I simply shook my head. He said, “Simbu, I want you to move underneath me, okay? Rotate your hips and waist for me.”
LORD! HE KNOWS MY NAME!
Again, I did as I was told. I felt so sick I wanted to puke. I felt so weak and dumb cause I was doing everything he asked of me. Where was that smart girl that I’m known to be at school? I hate this pathetic person I’ve become.
After what felt like forever he got off me. He helped me up and into my clothes. At this point my tears were long dried. I was just so exhausted, all power gone.
“I’ll take you home cause it’s late, you could get hurt,” he said.
Un-freaking-believable! If you cared so much about my wellbeing, then why did you hurt me? And again I didn’t dare utter a protest, I just nodded.
As we walked, I felt so sore and my legs were so wobbly, I thought I’d pass out anytime but of course I wouldn’t give this bastard the satisfaction. So I acted tough. He said if I even thought of pulling any stunts, he’d kidnap me and have me as his sex slave all my life. To be honest, I didn’t even think of double-crossing him. I really believed every threat (or promise) he made.
Stupid, right? I know now but then I was paralysed by fear.
As we neared my home, he stopped and watched me until I was inside my yard before he left, never to be seen again. He took my virginity with him and left me broken inside. I hope someday I’ll heal and leave this burden in the past, where it belongs…
Tell us: What advice would you give Simbu?