It is late at night. I return from work, tired and distracted. I am not alert as I should be. Your dark face appears as a shadow. You crouch. My glass shatters and splinters and bursts and sprays into a thousand directions about me. Half your body is inside my car, reaching for that prized possession: a handbag with R14000.00 in it. I am bleeding. The glass is cutting me everytime I move. It is all about me. Shards of nothingness, reflecting the streetlight under which you have launched your attack.
Everything about me becomes black except the place where you are to be found. My innate instinct says: fight not flight. I switch the car off. I push my entire body up against the car door and with full force I kick you. I kick your face. I kick your torso. I kick and words appear from my mouth that would disgrace me otherwise. Fury and retaliation and an unknown animal instinct in me has taken over. You are not letting go. The handbag swings between us like a child on a swing, just about as precious, considering the intensity of the struggle. I change my position. My nails for some reason are long. They usually never are for I am a sportswoman. I dig them into the flesh that covers your balaclavaed face. My fingernails run in scathing movements down your neck and into your shoulder's crevices. I see your weapon of destruction in your hand. Have you got another hidden?
I am still screaming. You are still struggling, not willing to let go. Your tenacity fuels my adrenaline and I start punching. I slam your face over and again.
Slowly you release your grip. The bag and its content scatter about me in the car. There is blood on my windscreen. There is skin under my fingernails. There is blood on my face, in my hair, on my clothes. I am stained with innocent self defence. I am shaking.
I cannot go to my mother looking like this. She will not be able to handle the sight considering that my father has just died. Calvin is in a meeting, not answering his phone.His neighbour helps me. I am unable to speak, unable to explain what happened. He towels me down. He drives me to where Calvin is.
The police station and going home are blurred. I sleep but I do not.
My questions remain: How can it be that a human can act so inhumanely in self defence? Why did I not pray?
This is my reality. This is my country. This is daily life in South Africa.