(Thank you for your kind permission to share this, Elmarie.)

My friend Elmarie Maartens left our school when we were in Standard 4 (or grade 6 as it’s known now). She moved to Mossel Bay and we lost contact.

Enter the modern marvel (indeed the futuristic phenomenon) that is Facebook. She hasn’t changed much in all of these many years we were out of touch. Still just as beautiful. Her eyes always light up and laugh when she smiles.

So we catch up – you know: What happened in your life in twenty-odd years.  I am tempted to say the conversation is epic. Only teenagers and assorted other zeitgeist types are murdering the word to death of late.

The tiniest member of Elmarie’s family was still a baby when they left Johannesburg. His name was Emile or Mila as he was known to those close to him. Elmarie tells me Emile grew up to be a real guy’s guy. He was a rugby playing, gymming, don’t mess with me kind of a guy.

One week-end Elmarie, Emile and her beloved Sebastiaan escaped to Saldanha for some skiing…to take the boat out and frolic on tubes.

Three gangsters broke into the Protea hotel they were staying at via a sea-wall. Their orders were clear: To be a part of this gang, you will find and butcher to death a young white man.

What a prize…

Emile was stabbed to death in his hotel room. Then the room was set alight. He was 21 years old when his charred remains were found in the gutted room. Two of the aspirant gangsters did the killing. The third that observed, furnished the police with the information I am relaying here.

Emile’s parents wrote on their website: He went home to be with God at the age of 21 on 7 February 2009.

Elmarie married Sebastiaan last year. Along with the promise of him was a little stepdaughter named Lorelai. Elmarie and Lorelai are excessively fond of one another.

About a year ago Lorelai told Elmarie that she was going to have a baby and that the baby’s name is Mila.

Elmarie says her heart stopped. There was no way Lorelai could’ve known anything about her brother…

Lorelai was adamant that she was going to get a little sister called Mila. So Elmarie took a test and sure enough – she was pregnant. Then the scan confirmed she was going to have a little girl.

Little Mila Victor was born almost five months ago.


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