A day in the life of student constable Santie Veenstra evening is not for the faint hearted; Gerhardt attempts to rape her and gets what's coming to him.
Santie is invited out for dinner, with a bribe to sweeten it, by the class playboy. Despite her friends' warning, she decides to chance it; then she can pay off a small debt.
Santie dressed very conservatively for the evening out. A smart but not too tight pair of black slacks, and a polo neck sweater in red that contrasted prettily with her jet-black hair. A simple necklace and a pair of knee height, heeled boots gave her a chic but definitely not seductive look. I wonder which restaurant he has chosen, she thought. She wore no perfume and no makeup, and tied her hair up in a pony tail with a red ribbon to match her sweater.
On the stroke of eight there was a rap on her door and she opened it to find a very suave Gerhard, charmingly dressed and beaming. ‘This is such a pleasure! With only a week to go, I doubted that I would ever have the privilege. You play hard to catch!’ he finished with a laugh. From behind his back he brought a bunch of yellow roses: ‘These are for you.’ He couldn’t have been more dashing and gracious.
‘Thank you,’ Santie said, tense and knowing that she was breaking all her rules, with the class playboy to boot. She inhaled deeply a few times, taking the roses, and inviting him in. She put the roses in a vase on the table in the middle of her room. ‘Would you like a beer before we go? Which restaurant have you chosen?’
‘Ah, that’s a surprise and, yes, I will have a beer, thanks.’ Santie dug a can of Charles Glass from the fridge, and a pewter mug, preferring a glass of water with a squeeze of fresh lemon for herself, while he slipped out of his smart checked sports coat. He’s not going to get me drunk, she decided, watching Gerhard down the beer, thinking that it hadn’t even touched sides.
‘Ah, that was good,’ he said wiping the froth from around his mouth. ‘Shall we go?’
Gerhard graciously opened the door of his ancient battered Ford for her and couldn’t have been nicer. For the first time, Santie relaxed, until she realized he wasn’t driving towards town where all the restaurants were, but towards the residential area of Spitskop. She froze: ‘Where are we going? You said you were taking me to dinner.’
‘So I am,’ Gerhard said with a laugh. ‘The roast lamb has been in the oven for an hour, and I slipped the potatoes and onions in just before I left. The crayfish salad and the leek soup I made this afternoon, but I’m afraid the pud is very dull. Just ice cream and hot chocolate sauce with a teaspoon of brandy to give it a bit of spice. How does that sound?’
‘It sounds like you are up to your tricks, Gerhard. That’s why none of the girls in the class will date you. Look, I’ll just give you your kiss now and you can take me home.’
‘No way, José. You don’t think I have spent half the day preparing supper, and now I’m going to let you stand me up. Nope, dinner it is, and I promise to be a good boy.’
Santie half expected him to put his hand on her leg, but true to his word, Gerhard behaved himself, and kept up a light patter about a holiday with his parents, and asking what she was planning for Christmas? Despite herself Santie began to relax again; but the knot in her stomach wouldn’t leave.
Gerhard parked the car on the street adjacent to a large apartment building, taking Santie’s elbow and ushering her into the lift without anything untoward happening. Just being alone in the lift with him made her anxious. As the door opened, a delicious smell of roast lamb came wafting down the corridor. The apartment was old but well maintained. He led her into the lounge, putting on a CD from Carmen which surprised her, and only then offering her a seat.
‘Excuse me, a moment,’ he said, zipping into the kitchen, coming back a moment later with a blue and white striped apron and a chef’s hat poised at a crazy angle, and a bottle of white wine. Two glasses were already carefully placed on the small table with napkins, together with a plate of pitted olives filled with a spicy stuffing. How had he found out? Her favourite.
‘Whose flat is this?’ Gerhard had to live in the barracks, same as all the other cadets.
‘One of the drill sergeants. They’re not all like the Bitch. I hear she gave you a hard time today.’
‘Mm, even made us play pass the parcel. We hoped we were going to miss it.’
‘Well named, that woman. Rumour has it the police are going to pay for you go to uni,’ he said, pouring the wine. Santie never had money for luxuries so she was not overly impressed by the Chardonnay, having no idea that he had paid over forty-five rand for it. ‘Some people have all the luck,’ Gerhard continued. ‘I’m just going to Joburg Central. Start at the bottom, charge office and all.’
‘Yes, I’ve been very lucky to get the opportunity to go and do my LLB, courtesy of the government but I do have to sign a document that I will work for them for four years. It’s the only way I can get ahead. And of course, it’s subject to me getting a good matric at the end of the year.’ She eyed a large poster on the wall, again afraid.
Peverill of the Peak Hotel welcomes
The Wild, the Willing and the Innocent,
Tipples and Nibbles served to delight you,
Step inside the door of illusion for as long as it takes.
Pets and children are allowed to bring their well behaved owners in.
‘Are you going to be well-behaved?’ Santie asked, with a tiny smile.
‘Of course!’ Gerhard protested. He saw her eyeing the poster, a glint forming in his eye. ‘What about your family? Can’t they put you through? You’ve never mentioned them – is there a problem?’
Santie never answered for some time. ‘My mother died when I was twelve and I have nothing more to say, except that I get no help at all. Ask no questions, hear no lies.’ She asked for a glass of water and while he was getting it, she flipped through his CDs, pulling out a volume of top jazz vocalists.
‘Like Jazz?’ he asked bringing back with him a small dish of spicy ginger.
‘You have done your homework, haven’t you?’ she said, looking up at him and allowing herself half a smile whilst taking one of the delicacies. ‘Yes, I do. Can I put this on?’
‘Go ahead, while I get the soup.’ Gerhard went into the kitchen, and she heard him clattering a few plates, and watched as he brought a tureen of vichyssoise. Two interesting earthen bowls and a small cut-glass jug of cream, and a bowl of chopped chives finished the dish.
‘I’m impressed,’ Santie said. ‘You do know how to cook.’
‘One of the joys of my life. I thought a cold soup might be nice tonight after all your exercise.’
‘So you heard all about it?’
‘Yes, it was round the whole barracks by Brunch.’
Santie poured an ample helping of cream. They made some small talk over their soup, the ambience was good, and she had to admit she was enjoying herself. She still had drunk only half a glass of the Chardonnay. They started the soup.
‘And your family? Where are you from?’
‘My folks have a small farm near Graskop.’
‘Where you brought up there?’
He nodded. ‘They have a small pig farm. I used to think it a dump, but now that I’ve been in the big city for six months, I realise it’s not so bad.’
‘I’m from Boksburg. I’d love to have loved in the Lowveld. What did you do as a kid?’
‘I used to go shooting with my dad, but pigs are not very profitable. I had to work most weekends on the farm. Mucking out the sties, and castrating the poor blighters. That was every Saturday, first thing.’
‘Ooh, ghastly,’ said Santie with a shudder. She ran her finger along the side of her glass to catch a trickle of wine, putting it to her lips.
‘Come on, drink up,’ he said, stirred by the sight of her tongue. He filled her glass, feeling a lurch in the groin, wetting his own lips with his tongue. ‘I’m on my third,’ he said.
A dreamy cut of Mathilde Santing started, gently in the background. Gerhard noticed her tilting her head. ‘One of your favourites? Mine too. Shall we dance?’
She looked at him uncertainly, but when he gallantly pulled her chair back, taking her elbow, she didn’t hesitate. Fool, she thought. There’s trouble coming. ‘First it was a kiss, then a dinner, now dinner and dancing on your turf. You’re stretching your luck.’
He didn’t answer her, but took her in his arms and gently led her around the floor. Gently he slipped her hair out of the scrunchy, letting it cascade about her shoulders. ‘Ah, a wonderful life,’ he sang quietly and at the end of the cut, started it again. The kiss wasn’t long in coming, and for just a moment Santie felt all the years of frustrated womanhood come bursting through her defences. She returned his kiss unashamedly putting her arms around his neck and cupping his head fiercely towards her. The temperature rose quickly. Santie felt herself breathing heavily as Gerhard slipped his hand gently into her pants, gently massaging her buttock. Afterwards she realised that her resistance to his advance came just too late, as his right hand slid under her bra.
She tried pushing him away but he was strong and held her tightly against her body. Santie felt the throb in his pants and she started fighting madly to get out of his grip. ‘Let go, you beast. You know you can’t do that.’
‘Oh yes, I can. That kiss was asking for so much more.’ He quickly pulled her legs from under her, carrying her with ease and dropping her onto the couch. He was on top of her before she had a chance to answer his taunt.
‘You devil, let me go.’ She started to struggle twisting with all her strength and slapped him as hard as she could.
‘Ah, who’s the devil?’ he grinned gripping both her wrists above her head with one strong hand and neatly unhooked her bra. She felt his breath on her cheek, hot and smelling of beer, and then he was kissing her breasts and her neck as she struggled in vain. It all happened so quickly. Less than five minutes ago they were nibbling cubes of ginger, and having a civilized conversation.
He’s going to rape me, she realised, tears beginning to prick the corners of her eyes, feeling his hand reaching into her jeans, the buttons bursting off with a popping sound. ‘Gerhard, you’re going to rape me. Stop it, get off me, you brute,’ she cried helplessly.
‘No, I’m not going to rape you,’ he said. ‘I’m just giving you what you want. No woman has ever kissed me like that. Not ever!’ He ripped at her panties, still grasping her arms firmly.
‘Stop it, Gerhard. Please don’t rape me. Please,’ she implored, tears now pouring down her face but he ignored her cries kissing her neck and fiercely squeezing her breasts. ‘You’re hurting me. Stop it!’ Despite herself she felt her nipples hardening in response to his lips and for the first time started to despair. Somewhere in the back of her mind, a thought was nagging. Yes, one of the first classes in unarmed combat, reviewed only that afternoon, Sergeant Coetzee’s words came back to her in a flash: Once you know you are going to be raped and there is absolutely nothing you can do, then stop struggling and give into his demands. Rape is not about sex, it’s about power, and a woman has no chance against a stronger man. Say your prayers and, if he gives you an opportunity, then you have two choices: his eyes, or his groin. Fingers for the eyes and you know where the knee or the foot go. If he does give you a break, don’t hesitate for even a second. Give it all you’ve got. Anything a rapist gets he fully deserves.
Blindly, Santie knew Gerhard was too strong for her. As the last few lines of ‘It’s a wonderful life’ mocked her, she realised she should stop struggling. Passive for a few seconds so as not to alert him, giving a deep sigh as his fingers started probing between her legs, she instead started gently arching her back, sensuously pressing into his pelvis. She lifted her head and kissed him gently on the forehead while he was starting again at her breasts. He looked up, startled, suspicious. ‘What’s going on?’
‘My mother always said, “If you know you are going to be raped then you might as well enjoy it!” Won’t you please at least make this fun for me too?’ she pretended to plead. ‘This is my first time.’
‘Are you serious?’ he demanded. She gave him a long delicious kiss, her tongue sending him into a new ecstasy. ‘I’m not raping you,’ he blurted out. ‘You want this even more than I do!’ ‘Take it slowly, Gerhard. We’ve got the whole night. At least give me my first orgasm,’ Santie whispered.
For a moment Gerhard tried to slow the pace, but the pulsating demand in his pants and Santie’s kisses were urging him to new heights of excitement. Later that night, between the tears, she said to Nicole that he that he made love with the all the finesse of a young orang-utan on his first date. He started tugging at his belt and trousers but he couldn’t loosen them with one hand. By then he had relaxed his grip on Santie’s wrists. She gently slid her hand around his head drawing him down to her breasts again, hooking one leg around his buttocks and drawing his pelvis deeply into hers. It was all too much for Gerhard and he leapt to his feet tugging furiously at his trousers. ‘This is going to be fantastic. The best night of your life, I promise you.’ Grinning at her he slowly dropped his underpants. ‘We’ll start with a bit of …’
He stuck the tip of his tongue out, moving it slowly from side to side. Santie was shocked by the size of the great throbbing monster that bobbed out as he struggled with his underwear, one foot off the ground. "If gives you an opportunity, don’t hesitate. Give it all you’ve got." Santie had only once seen a penis, her father’s. It was no bigger than a roll of XXX mints, but the pulsating beast terrified her, stiffening her resolve. ‘Remember Sergeant Coetzee’s fifth lesson in unarmed combat,’ Santie hissed.
For just a moment Gerhard straightened up slightly, confused. Comprehension dawning, with a cry his hands and Santie’s foot moved with a blur towards the same destination. With all the power in her strong muscular thigh she beat him to it by a millisecond, her foot thudding into the crown jewels, her big toe leaving a mark that would be visible for weeks for those privileged enough to examine him.
He gave the cry of a mortally wounded beast, half scream, half bellow and Santie knew she only had seconds. She leapt to her feet, grabbing her pants and tore down the hallway, ironically with Sade’s “Is it a crime?” serenading her, hearing the screams of the mortally wounded man coming from behind her. She didn’t stop or look back until she was a block away. In fact she didn’t need to hurry. Gerhard collapsed at the bottom of the stairs, going into shock, and only regained consciousness in the ambulance on the way to the College clinic.
Hastily Santie pulled on her pants and knocked on the first door. Nicole picked her up ten minutes later.
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