You Asked For it:

T.W. strong language and violence:

It's dark outside. The occasional glimpse of the moon offered a reprieve from what felt like a total blackout.

"Where are we?" My friend whispers to me as we both sit quietly at the back of the vehicle while being driven to a club I am meant to audition at and where I will meet the other band members.

{When I get to the club, I will have a few choice words with the bass guitarist who sent this stranger to pick me up. The band members knew I did not like going with people I didn't know. It's the reason I brought my friend along with me}

"How much further to the venue?"

I asked the driver.

It felt like we were traveling for a while, and we had still not arrived at the club where we were meant to audition.

"Not too long now," the driver responded.

He turned to his friend in the passenger seat and whispered something I couldn't catch.

"What was that?" I asked, as suddenly a feeling of foreboding crossed my mind. I'm uneasy, and I am finding it difficult to relax.

"Nothing," his friend answers as they exchange a look.

It seemed like we were driving further away from the city as the street lights became a distant feature.

My friend clutches my hand, and I can feel her tension. I reassuringly squeeze her hand, offering her comfort by holding it.

I'm nervous but don't want her to alarm her.

Suddenly the driver turns his head briefly and grins, "We are nearly there."

"There?" Where is there? I look out the window, squinting my eyes as I try to see beyond the darkness.

Abruptly the driver turns off the road, and I can hear the gravel and stones hitting the "undercarriage of the vehicle." My heart is racing. My friend's hand squeezes mine tighter, and I finally dare to say, " That's enough; where are we going?" I hope the stern note in my voice would scare them.

Silence!

The engine dies, and the passenger jumps out, going around the car to open the boot. He returns with bottles of beer (the 750ml size) and a bottle of brandy.

"What are we doing here, and where are the band members?" I don't want to think the worst, but things are not looking good for us.

I try to look at the time and can't see because darkness surrounds us. I think it may be around 9 or 10 pm.

"Get out of the car," the driver demands from both of us.

His friend had already opened the beers, and they were drinking.

"No," I say firmly. Hoping to show I am not afraid even though I am.

Suddenly the passenger turns around and hits my arm with a beer bottle. "Bitch," he shouts at me.

I'm scared. My friend is crying, and she is scared too.

The two men began drinking in earnest and becoming increasingly aggressive as the night wore on.

They vacillate between anger and menacing laughter, meanwhile consuming more alcohol at an alarming rate.

"You can cry, but unless you fuck me, we are not moving," the passenger tells my friend. Her sobs abruptly subside. By now, we are clinging to each other and hoping that someone somewhere rescues us.

"The guys in the band aren't going to be happy with you when I tell them what you did, so please just let us go," I plead.

I wish I knew where we were! Instinctively my friend and I both knew that the likelihood of someone rescuing us was slim. There was no movement outside of the vehicle.

"You think you're it because you are up on stage singing while ignoring people like me when I greet," the driver tells me.

"Well, you can't ignore me now, can you?" He snarled.

"I don't know you and have never seen you before," I nervously answered.

"That's the point, isn't it?"

"For weeks, I have been watching you, laughing, chatting to people in the club but never to me," he replies aggressively.

"I waited for you to smile and talk to me."

" I went to the club because of you, but you ignored me."

"You think you are better than me, slut." He ends his tirade.

I have never seen this man in my life. During breaks off stage, I walk around greeting, chatting, thanking people, but there are so many people that it's often just a sea of faces.

"I'm sorry, next time I will greet and chat, so, please...

" Fuck you, it's too late for that," he screams and throws an empty beer bottle my way. I duck, and it misses me and lands at my feet.

"You will learn to respect me before this night is over."

He jumps out of the car, agitated. His friend follows, and they talk and drink outside.

My friend and l look at each other, and we hold on to one another, deciding that we should pray. We start praying in earnest, promising to be good from this day forward ( even though we weren't bad). We are worried about our moms sitting up because we have never spent the night out unless we told them before. We pray! We cry! We cling to each other as their voices draw near.

We both reach over to the doors to lock them, only to discover the mechanism is broken.

"Oh God, help us, please!"

Both doors are wrenched open.

"Get out, get the fuck out of the car," the driver and his friend grab us both, and we start screaming.

We hold each other tighter with one arm, and our other is wrapped around the headrests of the car seats in front of us.

They are screaming, swearing and pulling at us, but our arms are like vice grips around the headrests. They stop, jump into the car again, breathing heavily and start hitting us with beer bottles, trying to pry our arms from the headrests.

We both cry out in pain from blows but refuse to let go. I don't know how long they kept hitting and pulling us, but I could feel myself weakening.

They stopped for a moment, and we breathed sighs of relief. Then they continued drinking, and finally, the driver spoke, "We are parked at dunes near the beach, so there is no way out for you both." The road is far away, and there is no one around to help you, so we can do this the easy or hard way, your choice."

"Please just stop, take us back home," I pleaded yet again. Hoping to reason with the driver.

"Slut!"

"Whore!"

"Bitch!"

"Tease!"

All these words were shouted at me with "venomous" intent.

They jumped out again, and another round of trying to pull us out of the car ensued. I felt my clothes tear, my pantyhose rip as he pulled me. My arms were aching from holding on. My friend was crying as the passenger managed to get her one leg out of the car. She kicked with her other leg, and he fell back. She quickly closed the door, knowing he could open it but trying anything to stop him from succeeding.

Time seemed to stand still as they renewed their assault and efforts to get us out of the car. My head ached, both from him pulling my hair and the assault I was experiencing. With every pull and punch, we were becoming weaker.

"We have to escape, make a run for it," my friend whispered.

I agreed!

It was late!

We were tired, hurt and weak.

We hatched a plan.

"Stop, it's ok, you don't have to do this anymore. We'll have sex with you," I said to the driver.

They both stopped and got back in the car. I touched the driver's shoulder, pretending that I liked him and was a willing participant. My friend held his friend's hand, and we both agreed to "be nice."

They relaxed enough to pour themselves another drink while we chatted, pretending we liked them.

When they were done drinking, the driver smiled and said, " We're going to pee, but when we get back, you change places and sit in front with me."

I smiled and nodded my head.

They got out and walked away from the car. We switched on the interior light and saw it was about 2 am. Four more hours until sunrise, and we can see where we are parked, so we can make our way home.

They were gone for about a minute or two when we silently crept out of the back seat and made our way blindly into the dark. We started running once we were far enough away from the car but had no idea where we were.

We kept on going, crying silently, whispering to each other so we wouldn't be heard. After what seemed like hours, we stopped and huddled in the bushes behind a dune to wait for sunrise.

We stayed there until the sun rose. We were exhausted, hurt and our clothes were torn, but we managed to find our way to a road where we could see cars. We had no money, so we had to hitchhike home.

Because we both had on mini-skirts, cars hooted, and men catcalled, seemingly oblivious to our bruises, our frightening demeanour and tattered clothes.

We were too petrified to accept a ride with a man even though many stopped for us. Finally, an older woman, who must have sensed our distress, stopped and offered us a lift home.

It was 8h45 when I finally got home and burst into tears to relay the story to my mom, who had not slept a wink because she was worried.

She called the police, who arrived 30 minutes later. Two male police officers took down our statements while looking at us suspiciously.

"Tell your mom the truth," the one said.

"If what you say is true, you can't blame those guys, look at how you are dressed," the other said.

"It's an offence to lie to the police," the other continued.

They ended up closing their books, refusing to take our statements even though they could see the condition we were in.

"Stay home or dress "appropriately" if you do go out," the police officers said as they left the house.

We were kidnapped under false pretences (he lied and pretended the band had sent for me). I still have no idea how he got my number. We were held hostage for hours, violently assaulted and traumatized, yet even that was not enough for police to believe that we never "asked for it."

Footnote: Female singers, actresses, dancers and so on enter the arts because they have a burning desire to bring colour to a world that is too often black and white.

They do not enter these professions because they want to be preyed upon.

CRT Practitioner, (life requires brave people), Writer @ The Fair Digest, Wellness Coach, Human Rights Activist, Motivating you (There are enough mean people)

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Thesna Aston

CRT Practitioner, (life requires brave people), Writer @ The Fair Digest, Wellness Coach, Human Rights Activist, Motivating you (There are enough mean people)