"cooooe," came a voice from the little box by the door," let me in, this is Annetjie". sighing, Linda depressed the button and reached out to fill the kettle. Annetjie would stay for tea, and there would be much chatting, "skinner" they called it here, a good name for the gossip women indulged in over a cup of tea and rusks. By the time Annetjie was at the door having carefully locked and set the car alarm, and made sure that the big security gates had closed, Linda had the tea made and the rusks set out in the lounge.
Lots of their friends had already emmigrated to other countries, and each time, it seemed as if you would never get over not seeing them again, but time eases hearthache, and both these good friends were not sure that they wanted their friendship and love for each other to ease. They had promised that there would be lots of contact, and visits so that Tanya at least would grow up knowing who her Auntie Annetjie was.
What a magical week that was - it was out of season and so the beaches were empty and clean, and Tanya loved sitting in the surf and laughing every time a wave knocked her over. It was just what they needed, and Annetjie had promised to swing by the house every day just to make sure everything was OK and it make it look as though there was someone at home. The lights were set to go on and off automatically, and there was even a radio set to turn on and off. One just had to do these things in order to prevent burglaries, and often when a family was away on holiday the house would be a prime target.
Arriving back home to the living room packed with boxes and bits of furniture taken apart and then carefully wrapped to make the journey in a container, things seemed to all be falling into place. They fell into bed that first night thinking that it would just be a couple more weeks and they would be starting a new life together in a new country. Crash, splintering glass..... then muffled voices. Linda reached out in fear for Bob's hand and squeezed. They had always said that if anyone broke in they would not try to fight - there was a security alarm which was carefully set every night, and the criminals knew how long it would take until the sirens came down the road. It was so common, and it was amazing that they in fact had never before been robbed. They must have been watching the house and thought they were still away. Rather let them think that than come into the bedroom and ...... oh no Linda quckly sqashed that thought. She thought of tiny Tanya, in the nursery, and breathed a silent prayer. "Please God dont let her cry out".
The "rape gate" that led to the bedrooms was securely locked - something they both checked on every night. They both lay there, listening to the group ransacking their house. This had happened before to others, and Linda had always said she would not be able to lie there, still as a mouse while all her possessions were being picked over in the other room, This time it had happened to her though, and all she could think of was preserving the safely of their little nucleus of a family. It seems years until there was shouting, a bit of shuffling and then silence... no, there were the sirens. "Thank you God", she breathed. Then the noise began, shouting and lights and Tanya waking up and screaming, and Linda found herself in the nursery, sobbing sighs of relief against her little one, her precious little one. Gosh, what a relief, to know that they had survived. What a relief to know that they were already leaving this country. This country of fear and insecurity and mayhem............