It was 31 December 2015, just after 5pm. I was at home with my grandma, as my mom was with her boyfriend and my little brother in their one room shack at the back. I stayed with my grandma in her three-bedroom house.

Suddenly I felt bored and wanted to go out. I made the decision to go out, but the weird thing is that I don’t have any friends – I am a loner. Special days of the year always seem to make me lose my mind a little bit. I went to a family friends home. I knew Nozipho, the granddaughter, who happened to by my age.

At 6:30pm I left, despite my grandma saying, “Don’t go anywhere, stay at home – it is dangerous out there.” Seriously, I thought to myself, rolling my eyes.

It took me 30 minutes to get there, but Nozipho was not home, apparently she had gone to her boyfriend’s place. I spoke to her grandparents for about 15 minutes, talking about the price of food, public transport and all the meaningless stuff that a 22 year old did not want to be talking about on New Years Eve. After talking I said my goodbyes and left.

On my way home it started to rain and I had to hide under a family’s veranda and tried to protect my phone from the rain by hiding it in my bra. When I checked my phone it was already 7:40pm and the rain had stopped a bit as I continued to walk home.

While walking, I noticed the road was awfully quiet and dark – it felt quite scary, so I started walking really fast.

Out of nowhere from behind me a guys voice said, “Hawu makhelwane saze sanethwa yimvula”.

I turned around and there were two guys. They looked like they were in their early 20s. “If you had an umbrella we could share”, I replied.

Suddenly, the one who had been making small talk moved in front of me and the quiet one stayed behind me. I noticed that the one in front of me had a small, sharp knife in his hand and the other had a tennis ball wrapped in a handkerchief. For some reason, alarm bells did not go off in my head and I thought that something like this would never happen to me.

“Give me your cellphone and all your money,” said the guy in front of me.

“Haibo guys, what is happening?” I replied.

“Bitch I said…” he said, while strangling me and pointing the sharp knife at me looking at me with anger. I have never been that terrified in my life until that day. I took my phone out of my bra. I was terrified and shaking.

“Money!” he said.

“I don’t have any”, I screamed and cried out in fear. I felt like I saw my flash before my eyes as they took my phone and disappeared. I could not think clearly and found myself walking in the middle of road trying to stop a car.

A taxi driver pulled over and asked, “What’s wrong?”

I told him the story and he said, “Get in, we will try to find them. Did you see where they went?”

“Yes, they went that way”, I replied.

But, the hood thugs were nowhere to be found. He drove me home and told my family the story. They were just glad that I was alive and didn’t get stabbed. Needless to say, my New Years Eve wasn’t the best of experiences, but with time comes healing.