May 7 2012 14:08 PM

I didn’t write about how my date with Chris went, because it didn’t go too well. It was nice in the beginning and then it changed. He asked about the suicide, why I didn’t trust him enough to tell him it was all getting too much for me. He said he would’ve pulled me out and gotten help. And I couldn’t answer him, so he did most of the talking. He said I scared him and he never wants to be that scared again. He started talking about how special I was, and how extra special I was to him, and that if I don’t know by now that he loves me then, I never will. Sad. Then he repeated the whole saga again about how far I could go with my life and blah, blah, blah.

He stopped talking when he noticed that I was silently crying. I didn’t mean to cry. Tears just flowed without my permission, so we just sat there in silence. I even took a nap and woke up when he had to go. When he asked what I wanted him to bring me I remembered, and I asked him for the roller skates and he said he’d bring them next time. He knows my shoe size coz he used to shop for me − still does sometimes.

So I don’t know; I guess I have some thinking to do.


May 10


It’s late. I don’t know exactly what time it is. I smashed the clock against the wall a few nights ago coz I was mad. I can’t wait to get out of here. This place makes me sick. I’ve been feeling weird lately and I wasn’t in the mood to talk to you or anyone. I don’t know what it is, but maybe something Sandra said at the sessions. Sandra is a drug addict who’s been in and out of rehabs for the past three years. She’s still searching for the unknown.

I’m not saying I’m better than her or anyone, but I know for a fact that when I get out of here I will never set my foot in another rehab centre again. That’s what they don’t understand: I know myself. I know I wasn’t born to suffer or to struggle, but somehow life happened and I dealt with it. It wasn’t the best way to deal with it, but it was the easiest at the time. Some background might help you understand where I’m coming from and then you, dear Jane, can be the judge of whether I’m right or wrong.

I’m twenty-three years old with the highest grade passed being Matric. My mother was a drug addict and my father a drunkard. My mom took off when I was four and left me with my abusive father. I don’t know why she left me. Maybe I was too much of a burden for both of them, a mistake, and I was just a thorn in their asses.

I stayed with my dad till I was seventeen and it was the same thing every day: go to school and come home to a drinking man who was either hungry and shouting for food or just angry because they short-paid him at work. He worked in a steel factory and he was a dumb ass. Maybe he had dreams when he was young, but now he was just a wasted old rag. His father had disowned him when he got a farm worker pregnant, a girl he claimed he loved. Dad was seventeen and she was fourteen. So his dad cut him off and he left the farm and everything else to my dad’s perfect brother, and my dad and his girlfriend were chased out.

At seventeen he had to fend for his pregnant girlfriend in Joburg. I can understand it must’ve been hell back then, but in my eyes nothing should’ve separated mother and child. As for mom and dad, they must’ve fallen out of love due to the stresses and everything they were going through. Anyway I too, at seventeen, followed in my father’s footsteps and was out of the family home.

At that stage I had grown old enough to fight back at him and I knew I would kill him if I stayed one more day in that shack. Yes, we lived in a shack at the back of some white person’s house in Boksburg. They only took us in because the man knew my wicked and stubborn grandfather. When my mom had enough of the abuse, and me, she split and left us; left me. I in turn left my dad.

I was in Matric when I ran away from home and all I took was a few clothes. I went to Hillbrow and started mixing with the wrong crowd. It was never planned to be that way but it was either I kill my father, or he kills me.

So I lived life from club to club, going with whoever would take me in so I could eat and spend the night. I started getting into the habit of using blow. At first it was just to stay awake so I wouldn’t have to be a burden to people and seek a ‘slaap plek’. Then, as time went by, I relied on it to keep my wits about me in the streets. So I started whoring, not only to feed the habit but to pay for a room and to eat.

I was always smart; I just needed opportunities. So I found a place to live and I paid rent with what I did to make money. After two and a half years working the streets, living from bed to bed, I met Chris and he took me in. I don’t blame him for anything. People think I should feel like he exploited me, but he didn’t. I was an adult when we met and I knew right from wrong, and I was never afraid to speak my mind.

So tell me, Jane, what do you think? Do you think I stand a chance out there in the world? Could I get a job and build my life again? Fuck I’m tired.


Tell us what you think: Could Catherine build her life again?