The messages of love and anger Oscar Pistorius sent his girlfriend

Weeks before Reeva Steenkamp’s death, she asked Oscar Pistorius if he wanted her to wear the leopardskin dress.

“Ja,” he wrote to her. “I love that and you look amazing in it.”

The lovers’ intense and consuming relationship, which ranged from tenderness to jealousy to fear, was again exposed on Tuesday as prosecutors delved deeper into the voluminous text message traffic between Oscar Pistorius and the girlfriend he killed, Reeva Steenkamp.

Pistorius shot Steenkamp multiple times on Valentine’s Day night. Double-amputee Pistorius, who once thrilled his nation with his Olympic exploits, claims he awoke in the middle of the night and, under the assumption an intruder had broken into his house, shot into his bathroom through the wooden door. South Africa’s prosecution disputes that, asserting he knowingly killed his girlfriend following a terrible argument.

In the weeks before that night, the couple called each other “Boo,” “Baby,” and “Baba.” Pistorius called Steenkamp “my angel,” asking her whether she was “safe.”

On other occasions, Steenkamp worried that she would “cramp” Pistorius’s “style.” She told him: “Let me know when you want some Oscar time.”

He told her he “loves” sleeping next to her.

But such moments of affection represent a sharp departure from Monday’s revelations, which included times when Steenkamp expressed terror. “I’m scared of you sometimes and how u snap at me and how you will react to me,” she wrote him on Jan. 27. “You make me happy 90 percent of the time and I think we are amazing together, but I am not some other b*tch you may know trying to kill your vibe … I’m the girl that gets sidestepped when you are in a s**t mood.”

Here’s the full extent of those conversations. In the following, “OP” represents Oscar Pistorius, and “RS” represents Reeva Steenkamp.

Jan. 11, 2013:

OP to RS: Angel please don’t say a thing to anyone. Darren told everyone it was his fault. I can’t afford for that to come out. The guys promised not to say a thing.


RS to OP: I have no idea what you talking about

RS to OP: But thank u for telling me I appreciate it x

Jan. 19, 2013:

RS to OP: Baba

OP to RS: Yes.

RS to OP: There are a lot of things that could make us both feel like s**t.

RS to OP: I’m just very honest

RS to OP: I won’t always think before I say something just appreciate that I’m not a liar.

OP to RS: I know. It was just when you got back from tropica you made it sound like you had only smoked weed once and then last night that came out. I don’t know how many times you took or if you took other things or what you did when you were on them

RS to OP: I’m sorry if it upset you it wasn’t my intention

OP to RS: I do appreciate it. could never be with someone that was

RS to OP: Me neither

RS to OP: It’s like I see rabbit things in your house and when we go places you take pics of them everywhere. For me I’m thinking who do you have that connection with? And the same things will play on your mind. At the end of the day this is now not then

RS to OP: I wasn’t a stripper or a ho

RS to OP: I certainly have never been a prude and I’ve had fun but all innocent and without harmful repercussions.

Jan. 27, 2013:

RS to OP: I’m not 100% sure why I’m sitting down to type you a message first but perhaps it says a lot about what’s going on here. Today was one of my best friend’s engagements and I wanted to stay longer I was enjoying myself but it’s over now. You have picked on me incessantly since you got back from CT (Cape Town) and I understand that you are sick but it’s nasty. Yesterday wasn’t nice for either of us but we managed to pull through and communicate well enough to show our care for each other is greater than the drama that attacked us. I was not flirting with anyone today. I feel sick that you suggested that and that you made a scene at the table and made us leave early.

I’m terribly disappointed in how the day ended and how you left me. We are living in a double standard relationship where you can be mad about how I deal with stuff when you are very quick to act cold and offish when you’re unhappy. Every 5 seconds I hear how you dated another chick. You really have dated a lot of people yet you get upset if I mention ONE funny story with a long term boyfriend. I do everything to make you happy and to not say anything to rock the boat with u. You do everything to throw tantrums in front of people. I have been upset by you for 2 days now. I’m so upset I left Darren’s party early. SO upset. I can’t get that day back. I’m scared of you sometimes and how u snap at me and of how you will react to me.

You make me happy 90% of the time and I think we are amazing together but I am not some other bitch you may know trying to kill your vibe. I am the girl who let go with u even when I was scared out of my mind to. I’m the girl who fell in love with u and wanted to tell u this weekend. But I’m also the girl that gets sidestepped when you are in a s**t mood. When I feel you think u have me so why try anymore. I get snapped at and told my accents and voices are annoying. I touch your neck to show u I care and you tell me to stop. Stop chewing gum. Do this don’t do that. You don’t want to hear stuff cut me off. Your endorsements your reputation your impression of someone innocent blown out of proportion and f***ed up a special day for me. I’m sorry if you truly felt I was hitting on my friend Sams husband and I’m sorry that u think that little of me. From the outside I think it looks like we are a struggle and maybe that’s what we are. I just want to love and be loved. Be happy and make someone SO happy. Maybe we can’t do that for each other. Cos right now I know u aren’t happy and I am certainly very unhappy and sad.

OP to RS: Please let me know when I can call you

RS to OP: I’m here

OP to RS: I want to talk to you. I want to sort this out. I don’t want to have anything less than amazing for you and I. I am sorry for the things I say without thinking and for taking offense to some of your actions. The fact that I’m tired and sick isn’t an excuse. I was upset that you just left me after we got food to go talk to a guy and I was standing right behind you watching you touch his arm and ignore me. And when I spoke up you introduced me which you could’ve done but when I left you just kept on chatting to him when clearly I was upset. I asked Martin to put on that Kendrick Lamar album in the car and don’t know it.

Granted that it was a s**t song but you should’ve just lent forward and whispered in my ear to change it seeing as I had to drive to pick up your friend. I was 30 minutes late and I know you don’t like it when I drive fast but then you could’ve asked Gina to drive herself so that we wouldn’t have to. When we left I was starving the only good I had had was a tiny wrap and everyone was leaving for lunch. I’m sorry I wanted to go but I was hungry and upset and although you knew it, it wasn’t like you came to chat to me when I left the table. I was upset when I left you cos I thought you were coming to me. I’m sorry I asked you to stop tapping my neck yesterday, I know you were just trying to show me love. I had a mad headache and should’ve just spoken to you softly. In sorry for asking you not to put on an accent last night pretty much the same and didn’t have the energy.

Feb. 8, 2013

RS to OP: I like to believe that I made you proud when I attend these kind of functions with you. I present myself well and can converse with others while you are off busy chatting to fans and friends. I also knew people there tonight and whilst you were having one or two pics taken I was saying goodbye to the people in my industry and Fitz wanted a photo with me. I was just being cordial by saying goodbye whilst you were busy. I completely understood your desperation to leave and thought I would be helping you by getting to the exit before you because I can’t rush on the heels I was wearing.

I thought it would make a difference in us getting out without you getting harassed anymore. I didn’t think you would criticize me for doing that especially not so loudly so that others could hear. I might joke around and be all Tom boyish at times but I regard myself as a lady and I didn’t feel like one tonight after the way you treated me when we left. I’m a person too and I appreciate that you invited me out tonight and I realize that you get harassed but I am trying my best to make you happy and I feel as though you sometimes never are, no matter the effort I put in. I can’t be attacked by outsiders for dating you and be attacked by you — the one person I deserve protection from.​

As the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius begins, here is a brief timeline of what you need to know about the famous athlete -- from his Olympic appearances to the death of his girlfriend. (Jason Aldag/The Washington Post)

VIDEO: The life of Oscar Pistorius in 2 minutes

Terrence McCoy writes on foreign affairs for The Washington Post's Morning Mix. Follow him on Twitter here.
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