The correctional workers have been hounding me for weeks to tell my story. I can’t tell it verbally so I wrote it instead. This is a recount of how I ended in a therapeutic centre. It all began when I was sixteen.
I knew he was trouble the moment he locked his freckled sand-brown eyes on me but little did I care. It was unusual for him to take interest in anyone and I loved the attention. He was not exactly a bad boy; he only skipped school twice a week and barely concentrated in class but got distinctions in each test. That’s why teachers respected him, and feared him. He never seemed to be part of us but he radiated power.
He looked like a Greek god and all. It was the last day of school and he was taking me on yet another adventure. After bungee jumping, zip lining, gliding and trying all sorts of seafood, I didn’t think he’d take me to the beach for a picnic. He was an adrenaline junkie and I loved him for it. He stared at me, his irises turning to a dark brown, meaning he was intrigued. I squirmed as he whispered, “I have a surprise for you.”
We walked down the beach hand in hand, our fingers intertwined. The sand was cold and grey, and the moonlight lit up the ocean. He pointed to a big house, “This is my beach house. My parents bought it.” I was stunned. I knew he was rich but not that rich! The
house looked medieval, with wooden floor boards and bamboo-like walls. The couch was mahogany brown, with a matching coffee table. Looking at the huge TV, I could not keep my mouth closed.
“This is all yours?” I asked.
“Since it is under my name, yes but what I really wanna show you is the basement.” By basement he meant a den with plush couches, recliner chairs, a pool table and a bigger TV with surround sound system.
“For movies,” he said, flicking a switch and suddenly it looked like the cinemas. For the next month, I hung out at his place, eating his delicious beef and biltong while watching movies. I could not get enough of him. One day, at the beach house, I explored a smaller section of the basement, while he made roast beef on the patio. Biltong strips hung at one end of the room and cupboards lined the other. A fridge stood in one corner of the room. I went through the cupboards, finding junk like greased cloths. Another held knives, forks and braai utensils.
Then I searched the fridge; it was filled with meat. On the bottom tray of the freezer, a chunk of meat as big as a thigh was in there and beside it a smaller chunk of meat. I opened it and jumped back, dropping the meat. I put the human hand back in the freezer hastily and went to the biltong table. It couldn’t be, no I would not believe it. He came in the room, his apron stained.
“Oh, that’s not ready yet. Still kinda wet. Come, food’s ready.”
“The h-hand, f-f-fridge. You’re a cannibal?” I stammered.
“Oh yeah. It’s not unusual. I got the hand from the market. The thigh is the nicest though.”
I stood in the doorway and said, “You’re sick. I’m calling the police.’
“You won’t, Roxanne. You’re one of us. You loved the meat.” At that moment, I threw up on his carpet and ran out of the house. I took a moment to see his stunned expression before bolting into the street. I remember suffocating in blood, him calling my name and blacking out.
Seeing his face a week after waking in hospital triggered all the memories. I screamed until he got out, told the police everything but after being an amnesiac for a week and all the evidence at his beach house wiped out, no one believed me. So here I am two years later, off to start a new life.
Everyone has their own story. This is mine. And to prove that not all stories have happy endings, a sleek black Audi is parked across the street. As I open the door to my dad’s car, a tall figure in a suit steps out of the Audi and looks straight at me with his dark brown eyes with red flecks – Tristen McGreggory – my fantasy, and my nightmare.
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