Behind The Scenes: "Dear Diary"



I’ve known him forever and despised him for a lifetime. But I love him, probably more than I could ever explain to him.

lynel coetzer



Dear diary, 


My name is Jessica Noordman — Jessie.



This is my first entry and as I sit here at the edge of the water on a beautiful day, I write the purpose of baring myself and my soul in the pages of this book so that someday I can write my final entry and know that me, the real me was alive and existed in the world where people are so easily forgotten.


Where do I start? What is the beginning of my story?Is it the birth of my soul into this world? Is it my first memory as a little girl in a pretty pink dress? No. My story begins when the reality of this life came slamming down on me. 

The last time I saw my father I remember squeezing him tighter than usual.

Maybe some small part of me knew that it was the last time I’d see him.

Today I am sitting on the bench overlooking the dam where I have spent most of my life living in the trailer home with my mother, now a drunk who has lost all will to live and merely spends her days surviving by inducing herself with whatever she can get for free from the random guys she calls a boyfriend.

Yes, I am one of ‘those kids’ living with one of ‘those people’ in one of ‘those’ trailer parks.

But my life wasn’t always like this, once I was just another young girl with hopes and dreams. With a loving home and great parents. Everything changed when daddy died and I guess nothing will ever be the same again. Naturally I do hope and pray, dream and push to get out of here and escape this cycle of chaos that seems to never let go of me or mom.

But sitting here right now – I don’t know if I’ll ever be more than the girl who constantly shivers in fear. Fear of where the next meal will come from or even worse – what it will cost my mother. Fear of the next pervert she brings into our trailer and what he will do to her or how he will treat her. Fear of Nkosi – the policeman who has been controlling our lives for the past four years and putting Mike and I through everything and anything he demands so we can “pay of our debt”.

What debt you might ask?

Well, Mike and I killed someone four years ago and his name was Andre Naude.

Now dear reader, you might be thinking to yourself that I am deserving of my fate and that it is my circumstances which have shaped the outcome of my life and my existence. But you dear reader – would be very, very wrong.

See, daddy was an awesome guy – he was a cop for most of his adult life and he loved my mother more than anything. He treated us with respect all the time, he never raised his voice, and he never criticised us. To him, we were his two princesses and he lived every day trying to give us the world.

Then one day, as though a random occurrence in the vastness of this universe – his brakes failed.

In the months following, we discovered that daddy was more than just a great father and loving husband, more than the good neighbour and more than the great guy everyone knew.

Daddy was a deceitful lying bastard.

Having raked up over eight hundred and sixty thousand rand worth of debt through his addiction to both gambling and whores, daddy left me and mom with nothing more than a big ‘fuck you fools’.

At first, mom was strong. The drinking wasn’t as big an issue as it is now – or at least I didn’t see it coming, I didn’t see it starting. I figured she needed something since everything else she believed was torn down to shreds after twenty nine years of marriage.

Living here at the dam was hard at first, I think it was this that broke her.

She had her pride and I guess she couldn’t face the reality we were in. She tried to find work, but someone of her age had no place in the changing face of South Africa.

A white woman in her forties with no experience in anything, no computer skills much less money to buy anything decent to wear or make up. She never stood a chance, but I know she tried.

Shame followed us everywhere we went and it was a very heavy burden for us both. Mom broke long before I did and I’ll never forget that first time I came home from school to find her being taken from behind while blowing another man with his suit pants at his ankles.

It paid the rent, it bought some tinned food and it got us through. I fought to forgive her while I fought to understand her. I don’t remember a time in my life before then where mom ever resorted to physical corporal punishment. Maybe she hit me to chase me? I only just thought of that now.

Killing Andre Naude was probably the darkest thing I’ve ever done. Worse than the drugs or the drinking, worse than allowing Nkosi’s hold of us to impose me into a world of sex trade. And to be honest dear reader, if I had to go back in a time machine to the night it happened, to the exact moment that Mike showed up…I’d give him a gun to make it go quicker.

Do not commit murder. Yes, I know I’ll burn in hell for what we did that night. But I have no regrets and I don’t think I ever will. I regret being caught out by Nkosi. Of all the police in the world, I regret it was him. But Andre? He deserved what was coming and I’m glad he died knowing that I did that to him.

He killed everyone around me. He was the reason Lyle fell so quickly into the darkness before his death. He was the reason mom truly broke and succumbed to the numbness she is today.

He stole everything from people who didn’t deserve it and I am glad he’s fucking dead.

The more I sit here at the water writing all of this, the more I feel myself weighing down in a way I don’t like. I want to go to scrounge through the trailer and hope mom has anything to take away this feeling. But I know I need to stay focused for Mike.

Mike – or Michael Harper – is my best friend and I think the love of my life.

I’ve known him forever and despised him for a lifetime. But I love him, probably more than I could ever explain to him.

And the funny thing is, I never realised it until the other night when we made love. YES MADE LOVE.

I know what it feels like now and I don’t think anything will erase this memory from my mind because it was the first time in my life that I felt more than just the motions of two bodies writhing against each other in an awkward mess.It was love in motion. 

Feeling this gives me hope that I am not too far gone down this road of darkness, that there is hope to escape this grip of Nkosi and leave behind this life of shame and torment for something better anywhere else.

I am a good person, I was a kid when my father died and I don’t think I deserve any of this.

Mike told me to write in a journal, said it would save me from the madness consuming me from our lives in this hell. I hope he is right and that someday when I read back in this journal I have found peace and can face this darkness without it affecting me the way it does right now.

I am tired of being afraid and I am tired of being broken.Like many others out there I am clothed in heartache and disappointment. Clothed in fear, anger and frustration. 

What I would give to just have one moment where I feel warmth and grace, to be naked and free.

I have to leave for the party out at the old mine sheds now — more tomorrow....





Soul Break — Behind the scenes “Dear Diary” Copyright 2016 Lynel Coetzer

For more on Soul Break, it’s characters and other sneak peeks visit

Available on Amazon 


Read book Synopsis HERE.


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