I heard a voice singing outside our house and immediately knew who it was.

Ebumnandini kulapho und’thola khona! (In the fun, it’s where you’ll find me),” a voice sang, “Ndofela etywaleni! (I will die at the bar).”

I looked through the window and saw Mr Zwane emerging from his house, speaking on his phone.

The food was prepared, I wasn’t. I couldn’t breathe, my heart was running away from my body, but I had to be strong, I needed to be strong for Mrs Qambu, Asanda and for myself.

I managed to press the record button on the tape recorder and hide it again before I heard a loud BANG!! on the door.

The door did not put up any fight, it made way for my father as he charged inside.

“My baby!” he shouted, looking for my body. He closed the door.

I kept quiet; I always did.

“There you are,” he said excited. “Do you know how your father missed you?”

I was standing behind the room divider, dishing food for myself. I never spoke to him, for all I know he didn’t care.

“I will eat later,” he told me. “Now, my mind is on to something worth more than food.”

He came closer, grabbing at my thighs and down his hand went.

“What colour panties are you wearing for Daddy today?” he asked. “I’ll be gentle with you, I promise.”

“No, please, Father, don’t do this,” I said finally. I’d never called him “father” before but did so now for the sake of the recording.

“Don’t call me that! Call me Daddy or Sir,” he said, his hands moving all over my body and forcing me towards the couch. He started taking off my clothes. I begged him to stop, but he was determined, he wouldn’t stop. He never did.

The next moment, I heard another loud BANG!! as the door was kicked open.

“You get off her, you dirty animal!” a man’s voice said.

I saw Mr Zwane forcefully grabbing my father and dragging him off me, dragging him outside.

I heard more voices outside, it sounded like the whole neighbourhood had gathered. “Let’s burn this devil!” a woman said. “Let’s chop off his manhood and feed it to the dogs!” another voice said.

I managed to get up and dress, then went outside. The crowd was beating up my father.

“Simi, are you okay child?” Mrs Qambu asked, rushing over and holding my hand.

“I will live,” I said.

I looked at down at my father who was crying.

“Now, you will never touch me again,” I said, looking at his wounded body lying there on the street.

Police vehicles were approaching, sirens blasting loud. I always wondered why they use sirens when chasing a criminal, doesn’t it tell the criminals how far or close the car is? But that’s a story for another day.

Two police vehicles stopped in front of our house and Mr Jackson and his team made their way to the scene.

“What happened here?” Mr Jackson asked. “Who’s responsible for this?” pointing on the wounded man.

The people in the crowd just shrugged and shook their heads. Suddenly no one knew what had happened to him.

“I believe you will need this,” Mrs Qambu told Mr Jackson, handing him the tape recorder.

“What is this?” he asked.

“Evidence,” she answered.

Mr Jackson took the tape and listened. After he had heard every word on the tape, he asked if we wanted to go the station and open a sexual assault charge against my father.

“Yes, I want to,” I agreed.

Mrs Qambu smiled at me and hugged me as we sat in the back of the police car. “I’m so proud of the way you handled yourself throughout all that today, Simi,” she said. “I hope your father isn’t too badly hurt. I’ve never seen so much blood in real life before, only in horror movies.”

I smiled at that. “It’s our horror movie,” I said, “Friday’s horror.” We both laughed, relieved that it was all over, as Mr Jackson drove us to his office.

***

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