Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Stolen hearts

When you're living in a country as dangerous as South Africa, you're bound to fall victim to one of our many petty crimes sooner or later. No matter how breathtaking our picture perfect cities may be, we cannot escape the underlying malice that lurks beneath our beautiful nation. Hijackings, rape, daylight robbery and senseless shootings. We're constantly living in fear of being a target, especially when the criminal in question always seems to get away scot-free. What ever happened to "serve and protect"? Is it just another local legend? Had the good cops caught on and moved to Jo'burg? How on earth are we ever supposed to feel safe when the ones who are meant to protect us are also the ones committing the crime?

Having my cellphone stolen from right beneath my nose in the safety of my own work environment had proven to be a righteous pain in the ass. It wasn't the loss of the actual object that annoyed me but all that information - information that could have been retrieved if I had only known about Blackberry Protect. As if the violation of my privacy wasn't bad enough, I was left with the inconvenience of blacklisting, case numbers, insurances and all the other unnecessary admin that goes with being robbed.

As I watched the surveillance cameras play back the actions of my perpetrator, I started thinking about a different kind of crime. It is a fact that every ten minutes, another woman's heart is being stolen or broken into by some kind of smooth criminal. Although most of us are sensible enough to have some kind of security in place, spotting a thief or serial heartbreaker is not as easy as it looks. These cunning masterminds have a way of sneaking into our hearts by tapping into our innermost vulnerabilities and desires, saying all the right things a single girl needs to hear. While you're busy planning a future, he's busy planning his next heist. Before you know it, you're just another sad, angry, embittered casualty.

The story of Justice and her illegal immigrant was a typical case gone cold. After several disappointing relationships including a sandwich guy who was still in love with his ex-wife, Mr. Nyama and her emotionally abusive "ex-naai" of a boyfriend, Justice had finally met a man worth her while. She fell for his European charm over red wine one night when she was singing the blues at a downtown Jazz club. Although he was in a long term relationship with someone else, he was willing to call off his six-year relationship in order to pursue a romance with his newfound Nubian soulmate.

For once in her life, Justice had experienced and deserved the perks of being in a healthy relationship. I had never seen her so happy before. She revelled in the joy and the laughter, the communication and even the cheesy romantic gestures. She'd finally found someone that understood her and loved her for all that she was, not to mention the mind-blowing sex. Apparently, Mr. French had quite the baguette! Was it all too good to be true?

Sadly, yes. Eight months down the line, Justice had come face to face with the woman he left back in gay Paris. It turns out that he had not officially broken things off with her like he said he did and that they were actually engaged to be married. Instead of lashing out at the real attacker, Mademoiselle Billoncourt went head-to-head with Justice, publicly accusing her of being a home-wrecking whore. Justice was mortified and immediately ended things with Mr. French who, surprise surprise, was already hot in pursuit of his next victim. Case closed: It was murder by broken heart.

If breaking a woman's heart was punishable by law, there still wouldn't be a correctional facility big enough to hold all the callous criminals committing these heinous crimes. Deceit, infidelity, the inability to commit to one person. You never really know who you're sleeping with until it's too late. When love presents itself, it's probably best to believe in someone's innocence at least until they're proven guilty. You can take comfort in knowing that no matter how well they cover their tracks, the truth will always find a way of revealing itself and only then are we able to set our hearts free.  

When it comes to crimes of the heart, I couldn't help but wonder...will justice ever be served? 

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