“Are you a virgin?”

To tell the truth, I don’t know if I am. I’ve had some uncertain experiences in my past. But I know I have to say yes. If I’m not a virgin, they could think that I have sexually transmitted diseases or AIDS. And I doubt that they’re about to whip out some condoms for a safe rape experience. At this stage, I want him to rape me. Rather rape me than kill me. Use me. Don’t kill me.

I hear my friend say “yes” to the man who lies on top of her.

“Yes,” I say.

“Good, I am a virgin also. Put it in.”

I’m confused.

“Put it in, ja.”

I understand. I reach down. His penis is hard, slippery. Firm.

I put it inside of me. I struggle to get it in.

“Put it in or I kill you!”

I have to spread my hips to get it in. He starts to move.

In, out.

I am not Michelle.

This isn’t happening.

I look at the stars. They are bright, beautiful.

I am not a daughter.

In, out.

I am not a friend.

In, out.

I take my friend’s hand and squeeze it. Hard. She squeezes back.

Is it happening?

Of course not.

In, out.

I am not a lover.

He lifts my arms and folds them into an awkward embrace around his neck.

I am not a person.

God? Are you there, God? Where are you?

In, out.

I am not a woman.

His tongue swirls around my cheek. Hard but soft. Wet. His breath comes in gasps. The night smells still, smells fresh.

In, out.

I am a female thing.

God? God! I need you!

And then they are done. I don’t know if he came inside of me.

This isn’t happening.

“Tie them up,” the other one says.

The one who raped me gets two pairs of shoelaces out of his jacket pocket. Shoelaces that he carries around with him. He ties one pair around my wrists and the other around my ankles. Our two rapists chat while they tie us up.

“Ek het daai wit man dood gemaak. Ek het my mes gevat en nou’s hy dood,” the one who raped my friend says as he carves up her panties in order to tie her hands with them. I wonder if he is teaching the other one how to rape. He knows more and does everything first. Now he’s explaining to him how he killed the white man: “I took my knife and now he’s dead.”

They pull and drag us to the rocks. I struggle to move because the idiot tied my feet together. My jeans are still around my knees.

“Come, hurry, come!” He shouts at me, “I will kill you if you slow!” I can’t move because he tied me up but he will kill me if I don’t move.

“Trek haar broek op!” The other one shouts. The one who raped me comes and attempts to pull up my pants.

We lie on the rocks. The waves crash all around us.

“Sorry ladies, sorry for this,” they chorus.

“If you try to get up and run away, I will throw the rocks at your head until you are dead. If you lift your head, if I see you, I will throw rocks at your heads until you are dead. I don’t want to kill you but I will,” my friend’s rapist announces. He’s cheerful.

They leave.

We face each other. She is crying. I am looking at the stars. The rocks push against our tender bodies, sharp edges digging into our bruised forms.

Don’t let me die.

Don’t let me die.

Don’t let me die.

“We have to get out of here,” I tell her.

“Where are our friends? Why aren’t they looking for us? Where are they?”

“They’re not going to come.”

We have to save ourselves.

“Let’s undo these.”

I push and tear at the shoelaces around my hands. They won’t come off. My heart pounds. I struggle. They won’t come off.

Eventually, I take her hands and undo her shoelaces.

I forgot that we can help each other.

“Now do mine,” I tell her. She gets them off.

My body is shaking and everything inside of me tells me not to do this because when I do it they will see me and come back and they will kill me and I will die I will die and I don’t want to die I don’t know what to do but I don’t want to die, but still I push myself up on my elbows and grind my face into the muddy hill in order to see whether they are still there.

Their parting words pump blood into my ears: “If you lift your head, if I see you, I will throw rocks at your heads until you are dead.” I blink across the rocks. They are still there, smoking. “Get down!” I fall back. “Tie them back on. Tie them on!”

I am scared that they will come back and see that we tried to untie ourselves. That they will get mad at us. That they will kill us.

“We can’t go. We have to wait.” I say. There is no way we can outrun them. We are bruised. We are sore. We are in shock. If they see us trying to escape, they will come. They will kill us.

“Where are our friends?” my friend asks. “They’re not coming. We have to be strong.” We lie on the rocks and wait.


Question: Would you have stayed still on the rocks or tried to escape?