I had another, lighter topic in mind for this weeks Writing Wednesday, but I had this story build up in me that I had to share with you. This story is inspired by true events. It may be a work of fiction for you or I, but it is a reality for so many families every single day. Please read it till the end.
A Dead Daughter’s Plea To Her Mama
Mama! Don’t cry Mama, you know it hurts me when I see you crying. I know you’ve been looking for me for some time now. You’ve begged and pleaded with God to bring me back safely, I am safe now Mama. Really safe. I promise. I’ll miss you and Daddy too. I can’t imagine what you are feeling right now. I’m sorry that I caused you so much pain. I know you love me so deeply, because I’m your baby girl.
Mama, I love you too. I love you every day, please don’t forget that. I know you cry, even now, you’ve began praying that the Lord should take you away too, because you can’t imagine your life without me. You didn’t ever think that you would have to live without me. I know it’s hard, but my brothers need their mother too. It’s difficult for them, please don’t be too hard on them. I know you blame yourself, because you should have taken better care. I’m sorry that you feel this way, but it’s not your fault, it’s the way the world is now.
Maybe you shouldn’t have trusted him. How could you have known? What happened to your child is my child? I passed by so many people Mama, but no one could see that something was wrong. Maybe they thought it was none of their business, I don’t know…
We needed the money Mama. I see how you and Daddy work yourselves to death trying to provide for my siblings and I. Thank you for that. Things are so expensive these days, from food to school fees to the endless bills that seem to pile up day after day. I see the worry in your eyes and the way you hold your head in your hands as you contemplate how you are going to make ends meet. So I don’t blame you for letting him in our home, I blame him!
You couldn’t possibly know what he was capable of, especially because he put on this façade that he was our friend. How many nights did he spend eating dinner in our home? How many of our parties did he attend? We couldn’t have known Mama. It’s not your fault, I know the community blames you. I hear them talking. I hear them judging. Their words spitting like venom seeping into your soul. Don’t listen to them Mama.
I liked him too. He lived in our Granny Flat for months Mama and we saw no sign of his sick and twisted ways. Lustful and disgusting thoughts swirling in his head day after day, night after night, until he seized the opportunity to capitalize on it.
I was just playing around the house when he came in Mama. He sent my brothers to buy sweets at the shop on the corner. You should have seen how excited they were. They have never held so much money in their hands before. He suggested that I stay behind, because I was too young to be walking to the shop with them. I thought that was a good idea, I didn’t feel like going to the shop anyway. I was way too busy playing with my doll. I told them to buy a packet of my favourite chips, they know which ones. I wonder if they remembered to buy it…
When they left his mood changed. I can’t describe it Mama. He just felt different. I was scared Mama, I didn’t know why, but something inside gave me a bad feeling. Maybe it was the way he was undressing me with his eyes or the sadistic grin that coursed his face. He moved closer to me and I clenched my doll tighter. I can’t bear to tell you what happened next Mama. It will surely break your heart.
I know you looked for me. You never stopped worrying. Dad and my brothers searched too. Will you thank all the volunteers who helped you look for me. I didn’t know so many people cared about me. People I’ve never met looked for me too. I appreciate that.
I’m sorry you had to find me like that Mama. My cold little hand peeping out of the rubble on the field across the way. I should have fought harder Mama, I tried, but he was too strong. I can’t imagine that this was the burial you envisioned for me, you probably never envisioned burying me at all. Finding my body between broken beer bottles, used condoms, dog faeces and worse. I’m sorry that you have to go through all this Mama. I saw how you wept and collapsed at the scene. I also saw how he stood there with you, knowing that he left me there to die.
I know you will spend many days wondering about the woman I would have become. I planned on making you proud Mama. I may have become a doctor or engineer, but we will never know now…
I hope justice will be done Mama. Justice for me, for you and many other little girls just like me who are succumbing to the will of these monsters. You know who my monster with the crooked smile is Mama. Can you see him? He is with you right now. I’ve seen how he’s comforted you and Daddy.
The endless cups of tea and “don’t worry, we’ll find hers” that he’s told you.
I’ve seen the monster light candles and lead prayer groups to find me.
I’ve seen him hand out flyers and say “Have you seen Tiffany? She’s been missing for a week” to total strangers.
Do you know who he is now Mama? Please see through his evil ways. I know you will catch him soon. I hope what he did to me will torment him for all the days he remains on this Earth. I didn’t deserve to die like this Mama. I didn’t want to make you cry like this Mama. I was mad at you Mama. I cried for you Mama. I begged and pleaded for you to find me Mama, but now it’s too late…
I miss you Mama. I love you Mama.
– Always, your darling Baby Girl.
This story was inspired by Courtney Peters, a three-year old girl who was found dead on Sunday morning at the hands of a man who rented a room in their home in Cape Town. Her story struck me as her body was found across the road from the area we used to live in. I have a three year old son and I can’t imagine what her mother and family have endured during this time.
I wrote this piece of fiction to bring awareness to the crisis that is currently occurring in South Africa. Women and children are being raped, beaten and killed at the hands of men whom they trust. Girlfriends are being torched to death, mothers are disappearing, children being forced into a life of trafficking and worse every single day. Courtney isn’t the first, she is the nineteenth child who has been murdered in the Western Cape this year. I wrote this for:
The three year old twins who were murdered by their father in Cape Town
The two year old girl who was murdered by her father in Khayelitsha
And so many more women and children who are still missing or have suffered at the hands of these monsters. How many more have to die before we wake up? How many people have to suffer before something is done? How many tears have to be shed? How long will we remain complacent? If you are in an abusive relationship get out right now! If your child says they don’t like someone, listen to them! We aren’t safe and we have to realize that. How long will we have to wait before our streets are safe again?
I hope you enjoyed this piece. I hope it brought awareness to the plight that many South African women and women around the world face. I pray that one day all women and children will be safe. Let me know your thoughts by commenting below!
Love and Blessings,
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