For 12 years I let it control me
For 12 years I let it take a hold of me
For 12 years I let them hold me hostage
12 years ago, Easter Saturday, I can remember it like it happened yesterday, I can even tell you that I was wearing a pair of hipster jeans that had a silver glitter like thread in them. I replay this day over and over in my mind, I have on and off for the last 12 years.
I wasn’t living at home, although I didn’t live far from home – a whole 35 houses away from my Mom on the same street. It was a beautiful Autumn Day, the sun was out, the weather was still warm, unlike at the moment. I popped in to
bug say hi to my Mom. Dad was working in his workshop at the back of the house (as his did on most of his off days), Mom was trying, rather unsuccessfully, to put Nonny to sleep and she was trying rather unsuccessfully to have an afternoon sleep herself. I decided, or somehow managed to talk my brother into going up to Northgate with me to see if my Truworths Account had been approved.
We were in the car, ready to reverse out when I turned to him and asked if there was anything Mom needed from the shop, and maybe we should check, so we both climbed out the car to go back inside and bug ask Mom. Turns out she did need something, and with a huff (remember she was trying unsuccessfully to sleep) got up and went to the foyer to get money from her bag so we could get the stuff for her. While she was getting her wallet out her bag, she came across the HUGE nail we were all given in Church on Good Friday and she gave it to me to take home (because there is no better bag than to keep your things in than Moms bag). I don’t think she had got to her wallet yet, when it all happened.
In walked 3 guys, 3 black guys, and as they walked across the doorway the one cocked his gun. I remember for a split seconding thinking it was Peter (our gardener) that had a BB Gun and was stuffing around, but then I realised it wasn’t him. What unfolded for the next hour felt like it took 5 hours, time stood still. Fear and terror grabbed hold of us, we listened to what they wanted, we did as they said, we prayed that they wouldn’t find Dad in the workshop or Lindi and Peter in their house. I prayed that they would not hurt my family. We were asked if there was anyone else in the house when we were taken to the bedroom, we all said no and just then Dad started up the drill or grinder, but they followed the noise and found him.
I was taken to the lounge, I cant remember why, I was too focused on the gun that was pointed at my head and the fact that I was away from my family, from my Mom – I think it is at this time they walked my Dad through the house with a gun at his head. Your life flashed before your eyes, it does, and you cry, you shake, you remember it for the rest of your life, it haunts you, it is an image that is burnt into your memory as clear as daylight and it never fades.
We were fortunate that none of us were hurt, we were fortunate that my bothers cellphone never went off once during this time (he had kicked it under the bed), we were fortunate that we didn’t press the silent panic button (cos it turns out it wasn’t silent), we are fortunate that the guy from down the road drove past the guy in the car 3 times (he disturbed them) and most of all we are fortunate they didn’t discover Lindi and Peter in their house, because they were able to come and open the bathroom that we were locked in when they left.
I heard a rumour that the gang was caught, they were hitting the area and were well known by Honeydew Police. As to whether or not they served time, I don’t know. I know I probably served a longer “sentence” than they did. I let this take hold of me for 12 years. This is the reason I don’t go out on Easter Saturday or I make sure I am out of the province on Easter Saturday.
This year, I decided that enough is enough and I wouldn’t let them hold me hostage for any longer. I left the safety of Fort Knox. My anxiety levels were sky high, my fists turned white on the steering wheel, but I needed to do it, I needed to let go of the fear. We didn’t venture far at all, infact we were within 2km of the house, but the point is I left the house, we went out. I stressed when I returned home, I locked all the doors and the gates too, as I do when I am at home on Easter Saturday. I felt safe then. I cant say I let go completely, but it was a huge step.