I’m Cleopatra and I live in Middelburg Mhluzi extension three. I live with my parents and 2 siblings (I am the eldest). We’ve been living at extension three for about six years. I can say it’s a safe place. My hood is so beautiful and peaceful at night -the sky is just filled with stars that make the whole place glow. Whenever I am stressed I just go outside and look at the stars, it helps me distress.

As for the people in my neighbourhood they are very judgmental and jealous especially towards my family, hence they consider my family as “rich”. Their attitude towards us isolates the family, which makes it difficult for me to make friends because neighbours tell their children not to befriend me due to the type of family I come from. It makes me feel like an outsider in my community.

There’s one neighbour who lives by the corner and she just hates my family for no reason, she doesn’t even respond to our greetings. Another neighbour likes looking at my house during the night.

Last month, I turned 18 and I got my license so my parents bought me a car! It’s a red polo and it has leather seats. Oh my, I was so happy therefore, I decided to drive around my hood and admire the beauty of Middelburg. I did not get tired at all; I even did my mom’s errands for a week.

On Saturdays we as family go to the park, to catch up. We leave our cellphones and gadgets at home .

On the 28th of April we went to the park, without my dad because he was out of the country for a month (it was his third week). It was just me, my siblings and my mom. Since I just got my license and enjoyed driving, we used my car to go to the park. I love speed, it makes me feel like I’m in heaven and I feel like my hood becomes more beautiful when I speed through it. My mom does not like it, but she let me anyway because I was happy that I got a car.

The 5th of may we went to the park, again without my dad and we used my car. On our way home I was speeding (as usually). I lost control over the car and we bumped into a tree in the bush (near to the house of the neighbour ‘who does not like us). My mom was the one that was hurt the most. I was able to get out of the car and go look for help because we all left our phones at home. I went to the neighbours place to ask for help. I knocked, but no one answered the door even though the lights and television were on. I wasted no more time and left.

No one was walking by and the cars that passed by were not willing to stop. I did not know what to do because home was a bit far, but I decided to run home and go get my phone to call the ambulance. By the time the ambulance got to the accident scene it was too late. My mom has already passed on. I was crying, thinking it’s my fault and all I could see was the pain in my siblings eyes.

I smelled blood all over the accident scene. I thought to myself if only that neighbour opened up then the ambulance was going to get there in time and my mom would still be alive. All those cars that passed me could have stopped and my mother could have made it. The people of this community have treated me like an outsider by not helping me. If only they weren’t so judgmental and jealous then my mom wouldn’t have died. I feel like an outsider in my own community