Hope you’ve been doing well this week.
Courtnum and I are coping. After a very traumatic experience, we’ve decided to live at my parents’ home for a while. Let me tell you about it.
Two Sundays ago, after a hectic week, we were home, settling in for the week ahead. We live in a small farming community outside my hometown, which I thought was safe. I mean, I’ve never heard any complaints about break-ins and home invasions.
Anyway, while my son was watching cartoons, I was busy cleaning the house. Afterall, we had spent the week at my parents’ home and my house needed a little TLC.
After washing the dishes, I went to Courtnum’s bedroom. His light was off and I wanted to scan social media for a while (the reception in his room is the best). I sat on his bed and logged onto Facebook.
That’s when I heard it. Slow footsteps on dry leaves. I don’t know how else to describe that sound. Standing up, I pulled the curtain and tried to peep through the opening. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but there the figure stood, looking back at me. At first, I thought it was my own reflection. The angle, however, was… off. And there was no afro reflecting back. That’s when I realised that the reflection staring back at me was actually someone intending to come in and/or hurt us.
I screamed. The “reflection” took a step back. I balled my fist and hit the window. The reflection turned to run. Then I did what any independent single mother in my position would have done: I grabbed the broomstick and my son, hid in my room and phoned my sis, my dad and the police – in that order (What can I say? A woman needs her support system).
My rescuers also arrived in that order. I must say that my boy was so brave throughout the whole ordeal, even though I knew his little heart could barely take it.
So, after this ordeal, we have been staying at my parents’ house for the last two weeks. Although Courtnum seems happy and it seems as if he has forgotten this whole episode, I know that deep in his little mind, this stuck with him. He never spoke about it, until about two nights ago when I decided that no one is going to take our power away from us.
I informed Courtnum that announced that we are going to sleep at home. I understood fully the implication of my words and watched closely for his reaction.
“Okay,” Is all he said.
“You can sleep here at Mummy’s house if you want to,” I assured him, but he insisted that wherever I go, he will go, too.
So we packed up the little belongings we had at my parents’ home and armed with pepper-spray and a crowbar, my sister, my son and I went back to my house. You might wonder why I would bring my sister along with me. You clearly don’t know this heroine. My sister will beat anyone up who came close to hurting her nephew (or me, I hope) and I feel safe with her. Plus she volunteered to help us face our fear and I would be stupid not to accept that offer.
When we arrived home, we carried everything in the house in one go and locked the doors and gates behind us. The atmosphere in the house was tense. My son followed me everywhere around the house while my sister sat in the TV-room, crowbar in hand, alert and listening to any sounds that did not belong.
Once in my room, I donned my onesie, listening for any footsteps or noises outside the house. None came. Ten minutes later I could not take it anymore. My heart felt as if frozen in my chest (yes almost like Anna’s but I could never be as brave as her). I struggled to breathe. I can only imagine what Courtnum was feeling.
Sitting him on my lap, I asked him: “You want to go home?”
“Thought you’d never ask,” he replied.
“And we are going to be safe again. And I will not give up until we are back to normal.”
Two minutes later, we were out the door. I swear we looked like a special task team: Backpacks, jackets, me in a pink onesie carrying pepper-spray, my sis with the crowbar, my son carrying my bag with my make-up and wallet, and we were in the car.
So now, yes, we are still at my parent’s house. I feel angry that some faceless, nameless person had scared us out of our home. I feel sad that my son still has to deal with this violation of his safe space.
Yes, we are safe, but the fight is not over yet. I’m going to move back to my own space. And we are going to be safe again. And I will not give up until we are back to normal.
That’s my update. How has your week been going?