I made it three weeks without seeing Ayden, which was a relief. I had finally stopped beating myself up for what happened. I was determined to move on with my life. Ayden was blocked; pushed to the back of my mind. I arranged with the security guard not to let him in. It felt like a new start.

And what better way to celebrate than a party? Zinhle had suggested we go out to celebrate the final week of exams, even though we both still had two to write. When I pointed this out she said we had to say goodbye to Taryn, cos she was done writing and was heading home in two days.

Had I known we would end up at the Postgrad residence, I would have stayed home! Ayden lived there, and I dreaded bumping into him. I wanted to leave but I knew I would have to explain myself because I had gotten good at pretending that Ayden and I had made a mutual decision to end our ‘friendship’.

We’d been at the party for about an hour when I finally saw him. My stomach did a couple of somersaults when he looked in my direction, and so I headed for the door. In my haste to get away, I found myself heading in the direction of his bedroom. In a panic I turned around.

And there he was – looking down at me with so much intensity. He grabbed my upper arm then forced me into his room without a word. When he let go I bolted for the bathroom, but he managed to jam his foot in it to stop me.

“What the hell are you doing Luyanda?”

“Keeping my distance from you. Go away Ayden.”

In sudden rage he shoved the door open, sending me flying across the floor. I clasped my arms around the bottom of the toilet and held on for dear life. He took hold of my ankles and tried to pull me toward him but I wouldn’t let go.

Then he unbuttoned my jeans and yanked them, and my thong, off.

But I wasn’t going to let him rape me again!

I began kicking and screaming. Someone was bound to hear me! If not, I’d get a few good kicks in before he got to do anything to me.

“What the fuck is wrong with you?”

“I want you to stop and leave me the hell alone!”

“So you don’t want to have sex?”

“No shit Sherlock. My kicking and screaming didn’t give me away?”

“Well you could have just said so.”

“I don’t want to have sex with you. Now let me go.”

“Damn, you’re insane.”

“Get off me already! I want to leave.”

He let me go and just stood there and watched me put my clothes back on. As I walked past him I could have sworn I saw a hint of shame in his eyes … or was it guilt? Maybe I imagined it because I wanted him to feel guilty?

I had made it out unscathed but as I reached the parking lot the flood gates broke loose and all my emotions took over my body. I wasn’t able to pretend that I was okay … or feel relieved that nothing happened this time. All I could feel was gut-wrenching sorrow. He had officially scarred me. I would never forget him; what he had done to me.

*****

I now spun down, down, hitting rock bottom. I had no idea how to get myself out of it. I missed both my last exams because I was out drinking every night. I spent all my time drinking because I didn’t want to think about anything. When I was at res, sober, all I could think about was how nonchalant that bastard was. He just stood there, watching me get dressed, after he had traumatized me.

I decided that I needed to forget the moment those scars were seared into my memory. So Long Street became my new-found comfort.

It was my last night in Cape Town before I went back home for break and I just wanted to get seriously wasted. So Zinhle and I went out and soon met a group of partying girls. They convinced us to go to Cubana, saying they were meeting men who would be more than willing to cover our drinks. I was keen on drinking on someone else’s dime.

Zinhle, on the other hand, needed convincing. She nursed the same drink for hours. I think the older men made her nervous.

I was out of control; I was downing one shot after the other. Soon I was seeing double. The group of men were very touchy feely, but nothing too uncomfortable. Actually I was more focused on the drinks.

But when the room started to spin I realised I needed some air so I stumbled over to the entrance. Before I could reach the door I felt a pair of strong hands grab my shoulders and shove me into the men’s bathroom. I realized it was one of the men we had been liquoring up with. He was smiling down at me, leaning against the shut door.

Then he was frantically groping me. I was fully aware of what was about to happen yet I wasn’t particularly fighting him off. I felt helpless and tired. I just wanted to close my eyes and sleep.

He hiked up my skirt then whirled me around so I had my back to him. Then his hand slipped into my underwater from behind me then I felt his finger inside me. As he cupped my left breast there was a loud knock on the door and then Zinhle was shouting my name.

“Luyanda! Are you in there? Open the door. What’s going on?”

I called out to her … softly. I’m not sure she heard me but she realised I was in serious trouble. She began pushing against the door and the man stumbled. Zinhle heaved the door open.

He let go of me. There I stood in my awkward state of undress. Zinhle rushed to my side, fixing my clothing, then shooting an icy glare at the man. He was old enough to be our father, but sure wasn’t acting like it.

“Come on, we are leaving! I knew this was a bad idea. We are going home!”

***

Tell us: Do girls who get trashed like this deserve what comes from men? Or is that older man a rapist, pure and simple?