Author Archives: Eve Rabi Author

Color Blind – Heartbreaking romantic suspense about unrequited love – book 8 now available on Amazon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Color Blind book 8 is now live on Amazon! Click on the image

above to download your copy!

Tell the truth and spend 5 years behind bars for love, or lie

that that you don’t know him and secure your freedom

within minutes?

What? You love him? He’s your soul mate? Yeah, yeah,

yeah, but hey, we’re talking

serious jail  time for you here.

Which would you choose?

Be honest now.

Color Blind books 1-8 are now live on Amazon!

0.99 cents for a limited time!

Avail on Kindle Unlimited

Praise for Color Blind:

“The style of writing this author uses is unique to every other
writer out there. The humour is funnier than comedy and the
horror is tear-jerking. I read this in less than a day.”

“Read this book in one night! Great read and couldn’t put it down!”

‘Fast-paced, raw and entertaining with moments of unexpected
humor,
this book will have you staying up late into the late.’

‘Clear your calendar this weekend – Eve Rabi has a new tale and
it’s kick**s as usual!’

‘OMG, Eve! Just when I think your writing can’t get any better,
you surpass yourself! I am
biting my nails, wondering what
will happen next!’

$0. 99 cents for a limited time,
so click on the images below to get your copies before the price increase.

Amazon U.S. links in the Color Blind Series (click on images below
for Amazon U.S.)

 

(click on imge for Amazon U.S.)

 

 

 

( click on image for Amazon U.S.)

(click on image for Amazon U.S.)

 

 

 

 

 

(click on image for Amazon U.S.)

 

 

 

 

(click on image for Amazon U.S.)

 

 

 

 

(click on image for Amazon U.S.)

 

 

 

 

.

(click on image for Amazon U.S.)

 

.

 

 

 

 

 

 

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Amazon U.K. links (click on images below for

Amazon U.K.)

 

(click on image for Amazon U.K.)

 

 

 

(click on image for Amazon U.K.)

 

(click on image for Amazon U.K.)

 

 

(click on image for Amazon U.K.)

 

(click on image for Amazon U.K.)

 

 

 

                                      (click on image for Amazon U.K.)

 

 

 

 

Color Blind – Heartbreaking romantic suspense about unrequited love – book 6 now available on Amazon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Color Blind book 6 is now live on Amazon! Click on the image

above to download your copy!

Tell the truth and spend 5 years behind bars for love, or lie

that that you don’t know him and secure your freedom

within minutes?

What? You love him? He’s your soul mate? Yeah, yeah,

yeah, but hey, we’re talking

serious jail  time for you here.

Which would you choose?

Be honest now.

Color Blind books 1-6 are now live on Amazon!

0.99 cents for a limited time!

Avail on Kindle Unlimited

Praise for Color Blind:

“The style of writing this author uses is unique to every other
writer out there. The humour is funnier than comedy and the
horror is tear-jerking. I read this in less than a day.”

“Read this book in one night! Great read and couldn’t put it down!”

‘Fast-paced, raw and entertaining with moments of unexpected
humor,
this book will have you staying up late into the late.’

‘Clear your calendar this weekend – Eve Rabi has a new tale and
it’s kick**s as usual!’

‘OMG, Eve! Just when I think your writing can’t get any better,
you surpass yourself! I am
biting my nails, wondering what
will happen next!’

$0. 99 cents for a limited time,
so click on the images below to get your copies before the price increase.

Amazon U.S. links in the Color Blind Series (click on images below
for Amazon U.S.)

 

 

 

(click on image for Amazon U.S.)

 

(click on image for Amazon U.S.)

(click on image for Amazon U.S.)

 

 

 

(click on image for Amazon U.S.)

 

 

 

 

(click on image for Amazon U.S.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
Amazon U.K. links (click on images below for
Amazon U.K.)

 

 

 

(click on image for Amazon U.K.)

 

(click on image for Amazon U.K.)

 

 

 

(click on image for Amazon U.K.)

 

(click on image for Amazon U.K.)

 

 

 

(click on image for Amazon U.K.)

 

  (click on image for Amazon U.K.)

Five Color Blind Mice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tell the truth and spend 5 years behind bars for love, or lie

that that you don’t know him and secure your freedom

within minutes?

What? You love him? He’s your soul mate? Yeah, yeah,

yeah, but hey, we’re talking

serious jail  time for you here.

Which would you choose?

Be honest now.

Color Blind books 1-5 are now live on Amazon!

0.99 cents for a limited time!

Avail on Kindle Unlimited

Praise for Color Blind:
‘Fast-paced, raw and entertaining with moments of unexpected
humor,
this book will have you staying up late into the late.’

‘Clear your calendar this weekend – Eve Rabi has a new tale and
it’s kick**s as usual!’

‘OMG, Eve! Just when I think your writing can’t get any better,
you surpass yourself! I am
biting my nails, wondering what
will happen next!’

$0. 99 cents for a limited time,
so click on the images below to get your copies before the price increase.

Amazon U.S. links in the Color Blind Series (click on image below to take you to Amazon U.S.)


 

 

 

(click on image below to take you to Amazon U.S.)

 

(click on image below to take you to Amazon U.S.)

(click on image below to take you to Amazon U.S.)

 

 

 

(click on image below to take you to Amazon U.S.)

 

 

 

 

(click on image below to take you to Amazon U.S.)

 

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Amazon U.K. links (click on image below to take you to Amazon U.K.)

 

 

 

(click on image below to take you to Amazon U.K.)

 

(click on image below to take you to Amazon U.K.)

 

 

 

(click on image below to take you to Amazon U.K.)

 

(click on image below to take you to Amazon U.K.)

 

 

 

(click on image below to take you to Amazon U.K.)

 

 

Color Blind – Heartbreaking romantic suspense book Release (book 4)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Tell the truth and spend 5 years behind bars for love, or lie

that that you don’t know him and secure your freedom

within minutes?

What? You love him? He’s your soul mate? Yeah, yeah,

yeah, but hey, we’re talking

serious jail  time for you here.

Which would you choose?

Be honest now.

Color Blind book 4, is now live on Amazon!

0.99 cents for a limited time!

Avail on Kindle Unlimited

Praise for Color Blind:
‘Fast-paced, raw and entertaining with moments of unexpected
humor,
this book will have you staying up late into the late.’

‘Clear your calendar this weekend – Eve Rabi has a new tale and
it’s kick**s as usual!’

‘OMG, Eve! Just when I think your writing can’t get any better,
you surpass yourself! I am
biting my nails, wondering what
will happen next!’

$0. 99 cents for a limited time,
so click on the image below to get your copy of BOOK 4 from Amazon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book 1

Color Blind – Heartbreaking romantic suspense book Release (book 3)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tell the truth and spend 5 years behind bars for love, or lie

that that you don’t know him and secure your freedom within minutes?

What? You love him? He’s your soul mate? Yeah, yeah, yeah,  but we’re talking

serious jail  time for you here.

Which would you choose?

Be honest now.

Color Blind book 3, is now live on Amazon!

0.99 cents for a limited time!

Avail on Kindle Unlimited

Praise for Color Blind:
‘Fast-paced, raw and entertaining with moments of unexpected
humor,
this book will have you staying up late into the late.’

‘Clear your calendar this weekend – Eve Rabi has a new tale and
it’s kick**s as usual!’

‘OMG, Eve! Just when I think your writing can’t get any better,
you surpass yourself! I am
biting my nails, wondering what
will happen next!’

$0. 99 cents for a limited time,
so click on the image below to get your copy from Amazon!

 

 

 

Color Blind – Heartbreaking Romantic Suspense romance, book Release

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Color Blind book 2, is now live on Amazon!

0. 99 cents for a limited time,
so click on the image below to get your copy!

Praise for Color Blind:
‘Fast-paced, raw and entertaining with moments of unexpected humor,
this book will have you staying up late into the late.’

‘Clear your calendar this weekend – Eve Rabi has a new tale and
it’s kick**s as usual!’

‘OMG, Eve! Just when I think your writing can’t get any better, you surpass yourself! I am
biting my nails, wondering what will happen next!’

$0. 99 cents for a limited time,
so click on the image below to get your copy from Amazon!

 

 

 

Color Blind – Heartbreaking romantic suspense, now live on Amazon!

The law declared their love a crime and imprisoned them both.

Now, one of them must risk all to save the other.

Happy to announce that the wait is over!
Color Blind is now live on Amazon! 

0. 99 cents
for a limited time,
so click on the image below to get your copy!

ColorBlind – A heartbreaking romantic suspense book by Eve Rabi – Excerpt 6

COMING SOON!

Apartheid: noun, historical, a policy or system of segregation or discrimination on grounds of race. 

Decades before Nelson Mandela became president of South Africa, the country was rigorously governed by various pro-apartheid acts, including the Immorality Act, where sex between white and other ethnic groups was a criminal offence. Both parties contravening the Immorality Act would be imprisoned for up to ten years.
Under that law, Shabba and Sarie’s love was declared a crime and both of them were imprisoned. Now, one of them must risk all to save the other. A heartwarming tale of love, loss, redemption and … revenge!

EXCERPT 6

If you haven’t read the first FIVE excerpts in this series, please click on the link below:
https://everabi.wordpress.com/2019/04/18/colorblind-a-romantic-suspense-book-by-everabi/

(NB: This is a raw excerpt, not yet professionally edited, so please overlook any errors in this piece)

The story continues …

Cape Town
1972

SARIE 

The puppies were just gorgeous, and they thrived with the love and attention everyone on my parent’s property gave them. Well, by that, I mean they thrived on the love the servants gave them. My mother and father ignored the puppies. Why? Well, think about it – if they ignored their own daughter, their own flesh and blood, how can we expect them to love dogs? To love animals? It was too much to ask of them.

Anyway, they grew up to be great watchdogs, growling menacingly at any stranger or car approaching our property, snarling at anyone they didn’t know. The slightest sound, and they were on their feet, ears pricked, ready to charge. They were so alert, so scary, so good at guarding our property, we no longer needed to lock our doors.

There was intense love between Shabba and the dogs. When he walked, they walked, when he sat, they sat. They woke him up in the morning, by entering his room and literally pulling the blanket off him, then followed him everywhere, until the sun set and he went back to bed. Whenever he climbed into the treehouse, they would sit at the bottom of the tree for hours patiently waiting for him to come down. When he climbed down, they would once again shadow him.
Baba loved the dogs and spent hours cooking them special food on an open fire for their growing bones, which the dogs devoured in seconds, then looked at him with eyes that said, This is it? Seriously?
Life was good for me, I had no complaints. I mean, I had a lot going for me – I had Shabba, who was my best friend, Baba, Mama, Katrina, Fendi and all the servants who loved me. I had a real-life doll called Poppie, who could now dance and clap and blink her eyes and give me smiles that lit up my day. I had four puppies who could fetch sticks, roll over and play dead, and make me laugh with delight. So, with so much love around me, so much joy I received from everyone and everything around me, I didn’t miss the love of my mother and father. Well, only when I saw other children being openly adored by their mothers and fathers in public, would I miss their love. Then, I would grow quiet and wishful – if only my parents loved me that much.  If only …

One day, my mother appeared excited – a TV show had decided to film a documentary titled, At Home with the Vorsters. “The place must look sharp, ay?” my mother said, as she brought out her tiara and lovingly wiped it down for the filming.
So, every servant on the property was put to work, to make the house sparkle for the photoshoot. They started off by hiding the cases and cases of vodka my mother purchased in bulk – had to keep the pastor’s wife’s secret safe.
My mother’s entire family was over for the shoot – my grandma or Ouma Jan, my mother’s sisters, Hestrie and Elzette, together with their husbands and children, my mother’s two brothers Willie and Nieman, their wives Sourcie and Peggy, and their children.
It was no secret that my mother hated her sisters-in-law Sourcie and Peggy and constantly complained about them – “They just jealous ‘cause I marry bucks, and they got bugger all!” I had an inkling the feeling was mutual, so, I wondered why they had been invited.
It was no secret that my mother hated her sisters Hestrie and Elzette too, and constantly complained about them – “They just jealous because I got a rich man and they got fok all! Good, let them come see how wonderful my life is, and let them cut and burn!” she said, as she brought out her beauty queen sash from almost nine years ago, and handed it to Katrina for ironing.
All of my father’s children from his previous marriage were also invited, and they all showed up in their finery, sparkling like my mother’s crystal glasses. Also invited was Torit, my father’s ex-wife, the wife of my father’s youth, the woman my mother stole him from. Of course, my mother and Torit hated each other, but I do believe that my father, the pastor, had Torit over to subtly show the world that he continued to have a harmonious life with his ex-wife and children. It was a case of – If my wife forgives me for cheating on her and dumping her for a woman thirty years my junior, then you should too.
The cameras followed my mother around inside the house, clicking away in different locations to show off the house. It was a pleasant summer’s day, so lunch was served on our oversized patio. Katrina, Mama Tsela and another servant named Margaret served lunch to our guests, while Baba served drinks. On a blanket on the grass nearby, Poppie played with some of my toys, while Fendi and Shabba watched over her.
Eenie, Meenie, Miney and Mo were at hand, looking magnificent, because Baba and Shabba had bathe them earlier that morning, and brushed their coats till they shone.
That day, my mother, for some reason, did not have any migraine medicine. She just drank water with lemon and ice. Around twenty-five by then, she looked really lovely in a flowing peach caftan and her signature accessory – a crown of miniature flowers on her head, lest we forget that she was once Miss Boksburg. I assumed that my father ordered her not to wear her tiara and sash, so she rebelled with a crown of flowers on her hair.
My parents put on quite a show for the cameras. They sat at the lunch table, holding hands and even kissing lovingly at times. I rarely saw them this close, this affectionate, so I stared at them with a confused look on my face. In fact, everyone at the lunch table stared at the happy couple.
“Schoeman, he say he want us to renew our wedding vows,” my mother boasted. “I tell him ‘Ja, but only if we do it on the beach.’” She looked up at my father for confirmation.
“Okay, my darling,” my father said with a smile.
“A beach wedding with all the trimmings and watnot.”
“Okay, sweetie!”
“With Ge’ Korsten singing for us?”
“Of course, lovie,” my father said, before he leaned in and kissed her coral lips.
While they kissed, there was a lot of eye rolling that went on between not just my mother’s sisters-in-laws, but also between her own sisters, Torit and her six children. I felt left out because I also wanted to roll my eyes, but I wasn’t sure at what point to do so.
“My rock must be bigger than this one, ay?”
“Liefie, of course! Anything for my poppie.”
At the mention of her name, Poppie, who had been crawling on a blanket on the grass, looking as sweet as ever, with Fendi and Shabba hovering nearby to stop her from wandering too far off the blanket, let out a loud gurgle.
“You’ve got to see this baby,” I said to my cousins. “She’s so cute. She’s got hair the color of Ouma’s furniture.”
“Hai, my furniture is noggal Imbuia!” Ouma snapped, before she craned her neck to look at Poppie’s hair.
Soon, everyone was straining to see Poppie, who had hair the color of Ouma’s furniture.
So, together with my cousins Jessie and Alettie, I ran over to Poppie.
“Watch this,” I said. “Clap for me, Poppie.”
Poppie clapped and we hollered with delight.
“Hey, that’s my name!” my mother yelled from the patio.
The adults on the patio smiled at Poppie cuteness.
“Gosh, Sarie,” my mother said, “I can’t believe you used to be so small. You were so cute then. Time flies, ay?”
I was cute then. I wanted to be cute now.
“Ja, Ma,” I said, “but how come I didn’t get pa’s birthmark and Poppie did? It’s not fair, Ma. I want to be blessed with the stamp of my country on my face too!” I began to trace the birthmark on Poppie’s face. “The shape of Africa …”
“Lemme see, lemmee see,” Alettie said, as she peered at it. “Ja, it’s the same shape as your Pa’s, ay?”
“She’s got the same color eyes as your Pa, too,” Jessie remarked.
“Let me see.” I said, holding onto Poppie’s squirming head. “Ja, she has!” I looked at my father, “Pa, did you …”
I stopped when I saw the look on the adult’s faces.  All of them sat rigid with their eyes the size of saucers. The cameras continued rolling and clicking capturing everything.
I looked at my mother. She sat with her lips pressed together, her nostrils flaring, her eyes narrow. I looked at my father. He had sunk low in his seat, his face the color of the beetroot salad on the table.
“What?” I said to my mother.
She didn’t answer.
I looked at Ouma. She was staring at Poppie, her hands on her chest, her false teeth out of alignment and hanging as loose as her jaw.
“What?” I asked.
No answer from her either.
I looked at Katrina who had been serving food. She stood frozen, a look of abject terror on her face.
“What?” I asked again, suddenly very fearful.
“I got me one too,” Katrina piped up in a shrill voice. “Look! Poppie got it from me. Look!” She moved aside her scarf to reveal a birthmark – the shape of South Africa above her left eyebrow, the one Agnes made her cover with the scarf. The one Agnes insisted Katrina painted clay over each time she left the servants quarters.
That gesture of Katrina’s, intended to add salve to the situation, only served to worsen the  situation. My Ouma started to breathe loudly, causing my aunts to jump to their feet and fan her. My mother’s brothers sat with dazed expressions on their faces. My mother’s sisters-in-law, they handled the situation differently – they clicked champagne glasses with each other, then drank up.
Torit and her children – how did they handle the situation? Well, how do you think they did? I mean, considering that Magda had stolen their husband and father, destroyed their home and lived happily ever after with a golden-haired child? They were unmistakably smug. All of them.
My mother kicked back her chair, got up and storm off into the house. My father, the esteemed Pastor Schoeman Vorster, now flaming red in the face from being busted for rape and incest, stammered and stuttered under the glares and stares of disapproval.
Suddenly, we heard the sound of breaking glass inside the house. I was ready to run into the house, when my father said, “Stay here!” and rushed into the house, ditching his shocked guests and equally shocked cameramen.
Ignoring the sniggers and high-fives between my half-siblings and their mother, I hovered around the entrance to the house, dying to see what was taking place inside.
Unable to stand Torit and her happy children, Ouma stood up and in a terse voice, instructed her family to leave, muttering something about giving the young couple some privacy. My mother’s family rose from their seats and left, but not before each adult family member helped themselves to bottles of alcohol, and almost all the remaining food on the table. By the time they left, their bags were bulging with food and alcohol. The servants did not have much to clear that day, because my mother’s family took care of that.
Torit and her brood also left, seeming in unusually high spirits.
Of course, too curious to listen to my father to stay where I was, I crept over to their bedroom and found my mother glaring at my father, the empty vodka bottle in her hand suspended in mid-air, ready to strike. Nearby, shards of broken glass from the mirror on her dressing table lay on the floor.
“Magda …” My father uttered just one word, however it was enough to hear the terror in his voice.
I watched him rush to shut the door, after which, I heard the sounds of muffled voices, the sound of furniture being moved around, yelps,
then silence.
The next morning, my mother emerged from her room in a black silk gown, black slippers and a black eye. Sensing she was in a foul mood, I said nothing.
When my father emerged from the room, he sported terrible scratch marks on his face, neck and arms. Of course, I pretended not to notice, even though I missed nothing. Has to do with Poppie, I thought.
Days later, I awoke to the sound of anguished wails. I hurried to the kitchen to find Katrina on her knees before my mother. “Please Mevrou, please don’t send her ’way!” Katrina begged. “Please!”
“No, Katrina! She makes too much nose. I need her gone, or you will have to go too.” My mother began to walk away.
Katrina ran after her, tears streaming down her face. “Please, Mevrou, please!”
“She’s a very nice woman okay? They can’t have a baby, so she will treat Poppie like her own. She is happy to take Poppie because she has a little bit straight hair, so be grateful, okay?”
Katrina dropped to the floor and grabbed my mother’s knees. “Please, mevrou! I beg you. I will do anything! Please!”
My mother shrugged her off and walked away with her bottle of migraine medicine. Horrified at what I was hearing, I ran after my mother. “What are you doing, Ma? Why are you sending Poppie away?”
“Shut your mouth, Sarie! Don’t stick your nose into big people’s affairs. How many times must I tell –
“But Ma –”
My mother’s hand lashed out and connected sharply with my cheek. “Shut up, Sarie!”
Despite being hit, I continued to fight for Katrina. “You can’t do that to Poppie! To Katrina! You can’t! you can’t! You CAN’T!”
This time I got the back of my mother’s hand which sent me staggering.
With a determined look on her face, my mother walked to her room. Katrina ran after her, begging her to change her mind. My mother, deaf to my pleas, entered her room and shut the door behind her. Katrina fell to her knees and sobbed outside my mother’s bedroom door, begging my mother to open the door, to let her keep Poppie, begging her to reconsider. My mother’s door remained locked.
Margaret and Mama Tsela picked up a limp Katrina and almost carried her to the servant’s quarters.
The next day, a white couple from a neighboring farm turned up at my mother’s house with an envelope for my mother. After which, they began to pull Poppie out of Katrina’s arms.
I became terribly upset and started to cry. “Where are they taking her?” I wailed to Mama Tsela.
“To their home,” she whispered, before she wiped tears from her eyes with her apron.
“Why do they want our baby?” I demanded. “We can take care of Poppie. Tell them to go. Tell them to go now!”
Mama Tsela put her finger on her lip, a helpless look on her face. I looked at Katrina, who was sobbing hysterically.
“Tikki and I gonna to take good care of her,” the woman whispered to Katrina. “We gonna love her like our own baby, ay?”
“You said I could s … see her over weekends, right?” Katrina asked through her tears.
“Ja, ja,” Tikki said, then looked at his wife, “Charne?”
“Ja, ja, ja!” Charne said.
While Katrina sobbed, the woman removed all Poppie’s clothes, and dressed her in the new clothes they had brought along.
Mama Tsela brought out a bag for Poppies old clothes. She placed the items of clothing into the bag and handed it to the man. He reached to accept it, when Charne screeched, “Nee, Tikki!” She looked at Mama Tsela. “Keep that for the other poor children.”
Mama Tsela nodded and hugged the bag to her chest. Katrina took the bag of Poppie’s clothing from Mama Tsela and held onto it.
I looked at Baba lurking in the background. Everything about him sagged – his shoulders, his jowls, his mouth … I looked around me – everyone was crying. Except my mother. She stood in the background with a mug in her hand, her eyes fixed on Katrina. In hindsight, I do believe that she had enjoyed seeing Katrina lose Poppie. She had been humiliated in front of our family by the discovery that Poppie had been sired by her straying husband, and for that, someone had to pay – Katrina.
A strange feeling flitted over me. Hatred. I felt hatred for my mother. As a child you are not born with hating; it is instilled in you by people, painful circumstances experiences and hurt. I was hurt, angry and terribly ashamed that my mother could be so cruel and heartless. She had a child; she should have known better. I began to despise my mother for sending Poppie away.
As Tikki and Charne drove off with our Poppie, Katrina ran after the car sobbing. She ran until the taillights of the car disappeared from view, then fell to the ground and sobbed. Baba tried to pick her up, but it was as if all the bones in her body had liquified, she kept flopping onto the ground. He eventually stepped back. It broke my little heart to see her so broken. I lay with her on the floor, my arms around her, weeping with her. Mama Tsela, Margaret and Fendi joined us. Together, we all lay on the floor weeping with Katrina over the loss of our beloved Poppie, the bones in all our bodies equally liquid. The day Poppie was stolen from us, I learned how about hate, how to despise, and what the meaning of helpless was.

End of Excerpt from ColorBlind – Coming Soon!

More excerpts coming soon, so make sure you’re following this blog.

#FreeBook

When Arena’s car is stolen with her toddler in it, she points at Tom, her abusive ex-husband. The police point at Bear, her cop boyfriend, who adores both her, and her children. Trouble is, Bear cannot be found. In fact, according to the police, Bear’s comrades, he does not exist!
Arena’s whole world begins to tilt. Who does she believe? Who does she trust?

If you enjoy emotional tales of love and hate, peppered with suspense, you will be hooked on this gripping romantic crime and suspense thriller. It’s about revenge and the kind of love that can make you kill.
Read the #Free #book that has been downloaded more than 300 000 times. Free for a limited time. #Free #books #Romantic #Suspense  #EveRabi  #Free on #Kindle #Unlimited #Crime #Thrillers

Photocredits:
Photo credit: DepositPhotos, Image by oskar viver montero from Pixabay

ColorBlind – A heartbreaking romantic suspense book by Eve Rabi – Excerpt 5

 

Apartheid: noun, historical, a policy or system of segregation or discrimination on grounds of race. 

Decades before Nelson Mandela became president of South Africa, the country was rigorously governed by various pro-apartheid acts, including the Immorality Act, where sex between white and other ethnic groups was a criminal offence. Both parties contravening the Immorality Act would be imprisoned for up to ten years.
Under that law, Shabba and Sarie’s love was declared a crime and both of them were imprisoned. Now, one of them must risk all to save the other. A heartwarming tale of love, loss, redemption and … revenge!

EXCERPT 5

If you haven’t read the first FOUR excerpts in this series, please click on the link below:
https://everabi.wordpress.com/2019/04/18/colorblind-a-romantic-suspense-book-by-everabi/

(NB: This is a raw excerpt, not yet professionally edited, so please overlook any errors in this piece)

The story continues …

Cape Town
1969

 SARIE

“Boo!” I said, barging in on Katrina and Fendi.
“Hai, Sarie, why you spying on me?” Katrina demanded, rushing to the door, pulling me in and shutting it.

“I’m not. I’m –”

“You tell no one about this, you hear?” She shook her finger in my face as she threatened me.

“About what?” I asked, as I took in the rags in Fendi’s hands.  “Why?”
“Because why, I say so, Sarie!” Katrina said in an impatient voice.

“Because why is not the correct way to speak. School says –”

“Hai, Sarie! Don’t tell me, school says this, school says that … elsewise, I will klup you if you blerry rude to me, okay?”

I backed off and silently watched Fendi tie the rags around Katrina’s stomach, tighten them, then pull her top over them.

“Sarie just wants a flat stomach,” Fendi said in a gentle voice, when she saw the confusion in my eyes.

“Oh.”

“Can you tie my stomach too?” I asked.

Fendi jerked back in surprise, then smiled and said, “Sure, Sarie. Come closer.”

So, Fendi tied rags about my middle, making it really flat. Then, she gave me a hug and sent me off. Fendi was very sweet and kind, and second to Katrina, I liked her a lot.

“Where were you?” Shabba asked when I got to him.

“Flattening my stomach,” I said.

“What?”

I lifted up my top and showed him my stomach.

“That’s just silly,” he said.

“No, it isn’t.”

“Yes, it is!”
“No, it isn’t!”
“Yes, it is!”
“Sarie! Shabba! Stop it you two,” Fendi called from the other room. “You two are always arguing. Just stop it!”
I glared at Shabba. He stuck his tongue out at me. I stuck mine at him. He made ugly faces.

“Your face is going to look like forever!” I said. “You wait and see!”

He quickly stopped his ugly faces, then said, “Hey, you wanna see the tadpoles?”

“Okay, but we have to walk slowly, because these bandages around my stomach is making it hard for me to breathe.”
“Want me to take ‘em off?”
“Ja, but … don’t tell Fendi and Katrina.”

“Okay,” Shabba said, removing the bandages from around my stomach. “Oh, man, you’ve got red tyre tracks around your stomach!”

I looked at my tyre tracks and frowned.

“Here, let me …” He gently rubbed the marks away. “My dad used to do this for my mum when she had a stomach ache,” Shabba explained. “Then he would do this.” Shabba gently kissed my stomach. “Better?”

I nodded.

Then, he bent down, put his lips to my stomach and blew bubbles on it, tickling it and causing me to scream with laughter. He grinned, then blew more bubbles on my stomach, more vigorously, causing me to shriek and squirm with laughter again.

“My mum used to do that to me all the time,” he said. “Didn’t your ma ever do that to you?”

I shook my head. I didn’t remember my mother or father being that kind and affectionate and playful toward me. Katrina, Mama Tsela and Agnes cuddled me from time to time, but not my parents.
Perhaps my disappointment at my parents showed, because Shabba’s grin was replaced by a look of sympathy. He pulled down my top, planted a tender kiss on my forehead, took my hand in his, and together, we skipped over to the tadpoles.

Months later, Mama Tsela rounded up all the children, and in an excited voice said, “Come see Katrina’s baby girl. She’s soooo beautiful!”

“What? A baby? Katrina’s baby?” I was totally stunned. I had no idea Katrina was going to have a baby. I knew that she was getting fat, I knew she was cranky, I knew that she was always eating soured figs marinated in vinegar, which Mama Tsela made for her, but her stomach, it just didn’t look big like the other servants did when they were pregnant. Then I remembered the bandages she tied around her stomach. Could she have been trying to hide the baby? I wondered. My mind, as little as it was, worked overtime to figure out why she would hide such a thing.

I ran ahead of the other children, all the way up to Katrina’s room and barged inside. There was Katrina in bed, a little bundle of pink and white in her arms.
I gasped at the sight of the real-life porcelain doll with eyes as blue as mine and masses of curls the color of lit-up copper. “Ooh, she’s so beautiful, Katrina! What’s her name?”

“Agnes,” Katrina said.

I looked up at Katrina. “Agnes? Your ma’s name?”
Tears welled in Katrina’s eyes as she nodded. Not knowing what to say, I stared at her, and watched a big fat tear roll down her cheek and plopped over Agnes.

Fendi, who was in the room folding clothes, walked over, gave Katrina a hug, then wiped away the tear from the baby’s face.

I scratched my head, affected by Katrina’s tears, but when I looked at the baby, I forgot about all about Katrina’s tears and smiled. “You are my l’il poppie (doll),” I said, falling instantly in love with little Agnes. From that moment on, Agnes was called ‘Poppie’ by everyone around, because she was as beautiful as a porcelain doll.

After Poppie was born, Katrina was a changed girl. She stopped running and jumping and hanging upside down on trees. She dressed like Agnes used to, wore a scarf around her head all the time and an apron. She also took her mother’s place and began working inside our house. (The only thing that didn’t change was the threat to klup us all at the drop of a hat. That continued regardless of age or maturity.) With Poppie slung around her back and secured with a blanket, African style, Katrina carried out her chores, humming songs to Poppie as she did. She was a wonderful mother even though she was so young. The way she looked at Poppie – it was the same way Agnes had looked at her. It was the way Mama Tsela looked at Fendi and Shabba. It was the same way pa had looked at popsicle-loving Laurika. It was the way Shabba looked at Baba. It was the way Baba looked at Shabba. As I watched Katrina hug and kiss her baby over and over again, pangs of envy engulfed me; everyone had someone to look at that way, and someone who looked at them that way, but me. I was the outsider, the afterthought, the superfluous little girl.
As I watched them all, I said a prayer – Dear God, please send me someone to look at. You know, the way Katrina looks at Poppie. And make sure they look at me like that too, with teeny tiny eyes. Oh, but make them like, older or my age or younger, I’m not fussy. I just want to be able to also play with them. And please make them white, so that they will be allowed to live with me in the Garden of Eden. That’s all, thank you God.

God answered my prayers right away, because within seconds, Katrina pulled me in for a hug and kissed the top of my head several times. “You are still my number one kind,” she said, planting kisses all over my face “Don’t ever forget that.” I hugged her back, and clung to her, relieved that I was number one and Poppie was number two. Well, I assumed that Poppie was number two.
Then, Poppie began to cry. Katrina hastily released me to pick up the baby, and began to use a voice reserved strictly for Poppie. I got mad with the doll for interrupting my cuddle. Not too mad, though. It was Poppie, how could I possibly be mad at her?

God was obviously on the job, because moments later, Fendi reached for me, pulling me in for a hug. “Come here, Sarie,” she said, “You are our baby sister and you will always be our baby sister. Don’t ever forget that, okay?” I hugged Fendi back, and stayed in her arms for a while, basking in the love of my big sister.

All the servants fell in love with Poppie, and she soon became the local mascot. She was so loved, the servants fought to babysit the little doll.

“Blerry dronkies,” my mother said at the dinner table, when she heard about the baby. “She don’t know who the father is. I betchu she doesn’t. I betchu. Blerry barbarians, that’s what they are. Pregnant at the age of thirteen. ’Magine that.” Shaking her head, she took a big sip of her vodka.
As young as I was, I didn’t appreciate her talking that way about Katrina and Poppie, so I spoke up. “Eh, ma, you said you were fifteen when you met Pa.”

“Ja, but that’s different. I knew who the father of my baby was, okay? And we got married quickly, okay?” She pointed her vodka glass at me as she defended herself. “I was a beauty queen, too, so it was different, okay? I was mature and responsible, ay? So hou jou bek, ‘kay?” She shook her glass so hard, some of her vodka spilled out of her glass and ran down her hand. She hastened to lick the vodka off her hand. Maybe losing her vodka angered her more, because she said, “Big people’s business, Sarie, big people’s business. Didn’t your father say not to get involved in big people’s business? Ay?”

I snuck a look at my father. As usual, he simply swirled his red wine in his goblet, his eyes focused solely on it.

Even though she had called Katrina a dronkie (which didn’t make sense, because I had never seen Katrina drink alcohol), my mother didn’t care that a baby was around – she was just relieved that Katrina could replace missing Agnes in the kitchen and take care of me, so that she could enjoy her ‘me’ time. Enjoy her champagne breakfasts, and afternoon cocktails pre siestas and sunset drinks and pre-dinner drinks, and dinner drinks and after dinner drinks and nightcaps. I was a distraction, asking umpteen questions and constantly meddling in big people’s business. Katrina’s reappearance left her free to handle those recurrent migraines with the potent medicine that she had drank in crystal glasses, and sometimes from the bottle itself. As for my father, the man of God, he said nothing – whenever he saw the baby, he just stared, sometimes turning to look at the child. Luckily, he had no problem with the child being around.

 

SHABBA

I think it’s fair to say that the highlight of my childhood, was the treehouse Baba built for us. It was just awesome! You must remember that during apartheid times, for children of color living on a white man’s property, there were no recreational amenities available to them. No parks, swings, public swimming pools, skateboard areas, libraries, basketball courts, nothing!

Why? Well, during apartheid times, the South African government didn’t think it was necessary for children of color to have such amenities. Now, don’t get me wrong, there were parks and swings, and public swimming pols and basketball parks, and skateboard parks and libraries etc., but they all had a sign that said, ‘Slegs Blankes,’ which meant ‘White’s Only,’ or ‘Blanke Gebied’ which meant ‘White Area.’

If a child of color used those facilities, he would be breaking the law, so the police would be called. How often did that happen? It rarely did. Why? Because, before the police were called, the whites in the facilities would probably band together like some kind of neighborhood watch and kick the shit out of the poor child of color for ‘daring’ to use that facility. The police would not be needed. If that child was accompanied by a parent, that parent would also be beaten up for not restraining their child, for not knowing their place. They would be considered arrogant, cheeky and in need of a lesson. So, rarely did a child of color break that law. They would simply stand and watch white children from afar, enjoying amenities that they weren’t allowed to use. Unfair? Unjust? Morally reprehensible? Yeah, well, that my friend was the apartheid government for you.
The beach? Oh, yeah, there was a beach about twenty minutes away. Unfortunately, that too had a sign saying ‘Sleg’s Blanke,’ or ‘Blanke Gebied.’ There was another beach that black people or people of color could frequent. However, a child of color would have to take three modes of transport to the venue and three modes back. That was a lot of bus and train fare for servants who didn’t really get paid – they just got board and lodge from their bosses, and they were allowed to keep their children with them while they worked for the white man. So, going to the beach was out of the question for us. As a little boy in South Africa, I visited the beach twice in my life. That was it. Swimming lessons? First of all, they would cost money. Second, why take lessons when you aren’t going to use them? What’s the purpose? So, yes, I couldn’t swim and I still can’t.
Yet, as a child, I loved the beach. Loved splashing in the water, running toward a wave, then running away from it, changing my mind and running into it, laughing with delight. Fendi told me a story once about me and the beach. Apparently, my late mother and father had promised to take us to the beach. Something happened, and we couldn’t go. I demanded to know why. Someone told me that the beach got burnt. As young as I was, I threw a tantrum, and told them that the beach couldn’t burn. They argued with me, tongue in cheek, that the beach could. I disappeared for a while, only to reappear struggling to carry half a bucket of water. I put down the bucket of water and looked at my father. “Go on, dad, light it up. It won’t burn. Go on.”

“It’s not beach water, Shabba,” my father said.

“It’s the same thing, daddy!” I protested. “Water can’t burn.”

“Beach water is different, it does burn, Shabba!”

I got so frustrated with everyone, I kicked the bucket of water and started to cry.

According to Fendi, that is the story. I cannot remember any of it.
As you may know, apartheid laws governed where people could live. They restricted people of color, corralled them in inaccessible areas, while white people got to live in prime land. It was the law, and if you ever lived in a white man’s area, you would be imprisoned, because you were breaking the law.

Now those people of color who worked for companies and big businesses, they would live in their designated areas, usually an hour’s drive away from work. For their children, there would be one public swimming pool for about fifty thousand or more residents. It would jam packed, so you had to visit the pool either in the mornings, or in the afternoons. Once it was full, children were turned away. Also, children of color had to pay to enter the pool too.

Now, in white areas, there would be one public swimming pool for every fifteen thousand residents. Even better, entry to those swimming pools were free to white children. How about that?
Look, if the white government didn’t think it necessary to provide people of color with indoor plumbing and running water, or a stipulated minimum wage, do you really expect them to provide you with plumbing for a multiple swimming pools? Do you really think they would provide you access to public libraries like they did in white areas? Oh, and by the way, the apartheid government frowned upon public libraries. Why? Well, think about it now; libraries mean education, and an educated person of color was the oppressors biggest fear. Nelson Mandela was an educated man, an attorney, and look at the havoc he wreaked on the white oppressor when he demanded equality for all? When he declared that no person should be treated unfairly because of the color of their skin? Mandela was such a troublemaker to the apartheid government, they jailed him for twenty-seven years. Blame education, they did.
So, since we children of color had no amenities to entertain our young minds, the tree house that Baba built was the most exciting project I have ever worked on in my life. We kids scoured the land and neighbouring lands for logs and sticks and large leaves and stones and discarded rope and anything that we could possibly use to build our beloved tree house. It took us hours and it was a complete labour of love. It would be our park, swing, beach, library, swimming pool, all rolled into one, and we couldn’t wait for it to be completed.
For three weeks we toiled on it, because Baba could only build it when he was not at work. We worked side by side with Baba, passing him tools, helping him lift, helping him tighten stuff, helping him with every single thing. As he worked, Baba explained why he did what he did, why he added double the number of nails to one section, why he cut the wood the way he did. With great patience he taught and explained and gave us a lesson in woodwork and building. So, in essence Baba was my first teacher. My first woodwork and construction lecturer.

When the project was completed, we children were thrilled. The treehouse had two rooms, a balcony, (because we ran out of wood to add more roofing to one side of the tree house, we called it a balcony) a rope ladder, a tyre on another rope so that we could swing on it, some vines so we could move through the air like Tarzan, some discarded books from Sarie’s house and a make-shift swimming pool made out of a discarded bathtub we found on someone’s property.

“Baba, I had no idea you could build a house,” I said, looking at our beloved tree house in awe.

He said, “You know Shabba Baba, I had no idea I could build a house too. Do you like it?”

“I love it!” I said putting my arm around my grandfather’s waist and hugging him toward me.

Baba looked at Sarie.

“Ooh, Baba, I love it too!” Sarie said in a breathless voice.
Sarie had every toy you could think of, but she loved the treehouse the most. She actually helped build it too, so it was special to her!

Problem was, we had no furniture to decorate the tree house.
“Go ask your mother for furniture,” I said to Sarie. “Tell her … um … tell you don’t like your bedroom furniture and you want new … no, no, no – tell her someone said your furniture is old or broken. Or … “
“She won’t like that Shabba.”
“Ja, that’s why you say it. Say something like that. Then we can get your old furniture, Sarie.”
What a silly thing to say to a child. What a silly thing for a child to tell her mother. Dumb me.

Well, it was the best we could do. That night just before dinner, Sarie said, “Ma, what’s old fashioned furniture?”

Since I had a lot riding on how Sarie handles our furniture situation, I hid outside the window and eavesdropped, a favorite pastime of mine.

My drinking buddy Mazda, paused with her fuel injection and frowned at Sarie. “Who … who said that? Who got old-fashion furniture, ay? We? Who told you that? Ay? WHOOOO?” Her voice had a thread of panic to it.

Sarie lifted and dropped her shoulders. “Can’t remember, ma? I think I heard Tante Estrie or Tante Elzette say that our furniture is arme (Poor). Or maybe it was Oom Gar–”

Vroom! Vroom! Mad Mazda slammed her glass onto the table and exploded into high gear. “Blerry bitches! Blerry goffles!” The Mazda jumped to her feet and revved with fury, flames shooting out from her exhaust. “They are foking dying with jealousy because I married money and they don’t got what I got. I am rich! Rich! You hear? I married a rich man and their husband must  work in a tyre factory and meat packaging plant, packing boerewors, morning to night. Blerry goggles! Blerry …”

That’s all it took – a silly, dumb comment from a servant’s child caused my happy hour buddy to make an announcement at the dinner table that night. “I am throwing out all the old furniture in Sarie’s room and buying new ones. I am also throwing out our sitting room and our dining room and our … everything!” (She meant she was throwing out the sitting room and dining room furniture).

“Why do you need to do that, Magda when we just redecorated the whole blerry place two years ago?” Schoeman, who had two families to feed from the Garden of Eden’s funds, grouched.
‘BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE TALKING, SCHOEMAN!”

“Calm down, Magda!” Schoeman said. “I’m just asking a question.”

Mazda slowly took her foot off the accelerator.

“People are saying that I married a poor man, Schoeman. They say I poor. That we poor. Ay? This is so embarrassing, Schoeman. I was a beauty queen and now I poor?” Mazda burst into tears.

“Magda, please,” the older man who married a striking beauty queen, a trophy wife, pleaded.
Mazda responded by throwing herself over the dining table, over the mashed potatoes and Porterhouse steak and mushroom and pepper sauce and sobbed like the way a heroine in a black and white movie would.

“Okay, okay, okay!” the pastor placated in a panicked voice. “You can do it, okay?”

Mazda stopped crying, sat down in her seat, poured herself a large glass of vodka, took a sip and said, “I want to change the bathroom tiles too.”
Two weeks later, a group of servants’ children carted Sarie’s old bedroom suite to the tree house. Along with the bedroom suit came chairs, a table and some cupboards – all the things we needed. It was awesome! Our tree house looked treemendous!

Oh, and we also received a box of used bathroom tiles, which we couldn’t use in the tree house, so we used them as brick pavers in muddy areas of the servant’s quarters.

From then on, whatever we needed for the tree house, Sarie and I would steal it from her house. It was like a real house, minus the bathroom. And electricity. And flooring. And plumbing for water.
Sadly, we children fought about who gets to play in the tree house, forcing Baba to assign us shifts. It worked, but it was pure agony waiting for your turn to play in the tree house.

Baba warned us in no unspecific turns that the tree house was out of bounds at night. He was stern about that and everyone listened to him. Except me. Some nights when I couldn’t sleep, I would creep into the tree house, lie on the balcony and watch the stars in the dark sky. Once I was lonely, so I thought about my partner in crime. Are you awake, Sarie?

I decided to see if I could reach her. Since the tree house faced her bedroom, I stole Baba’s work torch, took it to the tree house and shone it into her bedroom, using the light from the torch to write my name on her bedroom wall. Please see this and come to me, Sarie.
Within minutes, to my delight, I saw a figure in white hurtling toward the tree house.

“What are you doing, Shabba?” Sarie asked in a breathless voice as she climbed the rope ladder to the tree house.

“Signalling to you,” I replied, shining the torch in her face.  “When I shine my torch, you must know that I am looking for you, and you must come, okay? I will write my name in lights. Like the way I did.”

“Sure!” she said in an excited voice.

“Pinkie promise? I put out my little finger.

“Pinkie promise,” she said, looping her pinkie with mine.

After that, whenever I was in the tree house at night, I would shine my torch into the wall of her bedroom, and she would come over with snacks and drinks. We would spend hours in our precious treehouse gazing at the stars and talking about everything. Sometimes, we’d snuggle up and fall asleep, only to wake up with the sun and the birds. Sarie would then creep back into her house before her absence was discovered.

One day she said, “I don’t wanna go home. I want to stay with you.”
“All the time?” I asked.

She nodded. “Forever.”
“Oh, well, okay,” I replied after thinking about it for a few seconds. “But maybe we should get married, then we can always be together?”
She shrugged. “Okay.” She looked around. “We will need more rooms if we want to have children.”
I followed her eyes around the treehouse.  She may have a point, I thought. “How many children are we going to have?”
She held up five fingers.

“Sarie, you are mad? Five? That’s too many!”
“Well, then how many, Shabba?” she snapped.

I shrugged. “Three? Four?”

She narrowed her eyes at me.

“Okay, fine, Sarie. We’ll have five children, then!”

And that’s how I first proposed to Sarie.

“And a puppy.”
“Now, that’s a good idea,” I said. “Hey, you should ask for a puppy now.”
“A tiny little one? A girl puppy?”
“No! You need a puppy that grows up into an attack dog.”
“Mm.”

“This is what you do – tell your mother, Tante Esterie got a Rotweiller puppy for your cousin.”

“Okay.”
Woof! Woof! A week later, the Vorsters got four Rotweiller pups. We helped name them – Eenie, Meenie, Miney, Mo.

We had no idea which was which, but it didn’t matter, because when we called Eenie, Meenie, Miney, Mo! all four pups hurtled toward us.

End of Excerpt
More excerpts coming next week, so make sure you’re following this blog.

#FreeBook

When Arena’s car is stolen with her toddler in it, she points at Tom, her abusive ex-husband. The police point at Bear, her cop boyfriend, who adores both her, and her children. Trouble is, Bear cannot be found. In fact, according to the police, Bear’s comrades, he does not exist!
Arena’s whole world begins to tilt. Who does she believe? Who does she trust?

If you enjoy emotional tales of love and hate, peppered with suspense, you will be hooked on this gripping romantic crime and suspense thriller. It’s about revenge and the kind of love that can make you kill.
Read the #Free #book that has been downloaded more than 300 000 times. Free for a limited time. #Free #books #Romantic #Suspense  #EveRabi  #Free on #Kindle #Unlimited #Crime #Thrillers

Photocredits:
Photo credit: DepositPhotos, Images by Free-Photos, Zeracool, Greyerbaby

ColorBlind – A heartbreaking romantic suspense book by Eve Rabi – Excerpt 4

Apartheid: noun, historical, a policy or system of segregation or discrimination on grounds of race. 

Decades before Nelson Mandela became president of South Africa, the country was rigorously governed by various pro-apartheid acts, including the Immorality Act, where sex between white and other ethnic groups was a criminal offence. Both parties contravening the Immorality Act would be imprisoned for up to ten years.
Under that law, Shabba and Sarie’s love was declared a crime and both of them were imprisoned. Now, one of them must risk all to save the other. A heartwarming tale of love, loss, redemption and … revenge!

EXCERPT 4

If you haven’t read the first THREE excerpts in this series, please click on the link below:
https://everabi.wordpress.com/2019/04/18/colorblind-a-romantic-suspense-book-by-everabi/

(NB: This is a raw excerpt, not yet professionally edited, so please overlook any errors in this piece)

The story continues …

Cape Town
1968

SARIE

From that day on, every Sunday, Shabba and I would wait for my mother’s migraine medicine to kick in, before we would creep into my house, overdose on ice cream, enter the vault, play with the guns, and steal wads of cash and hide it in the garden. This went on for months, and I have to admit, not once did Shabba or I consider the congregation members of Die Goed Afrikaner Kerk, who gave their hard-earned money to build a whites-only city/state/suburb/Garden to keep out black people and preserve the white race. We were that inconsiderate.
One day, Shabba and I overheard the adults talking about a robbery. Some thieves had made an imprint of a store key on a bar of soap, and then cut out a spare key using the soap imprint.

Shabba turned to me and whispered, “We should do that.”
The next thing I know – I was in front of a locksmith with a bar of soap bearing an imprint of the vault key.

“For my Pa,” I said, trying not to sound like a six-year-old.

I realize now that Cornelius, the man behind the counter should have questioned me about it, refused to cut a key, called my father, called the police even. He didn’t. I was Pastor Schoeman’s daughter, the one who sang inflammatory songs at their church every Sunday; I could do no wrong. So, Cornelius cut me a set of keys for the vault containing money, jewelry, guns and ammunition.

When I got home, I handed Shabba a key. He nodded and pocketed it, as if it was expected, as if getting a key to the vault was just one of those things. In hindsight, Shabba was a skelm (rascal), as Katrina pointed out. In the short time I knew him, he had me stealing money and cutting keys to my father’s vault. It was such fun. He was such fun!

Shabba and I became inseparable. We played together after I returned from school, but whenever Boy drove me to my extracurricular activities and lessons – piano, ballet, shooting, math, modelling, violin, jazz dancing, swimming, tennis, French, voice coaching and singing lessons, Shabba sat in the car with Boy and waited for me. When I returned home, I would teach him all that I had learned, including my ballet moves. He would follow my lead and plié in a pair of my mother’s tights – he was that good a sport.

“I look stupid,” he once complained, as he pulled on a pair of pantyhose.

“Nonsense!” I said, “You look nice, just like Robbin Hood looks in tights. Now plié!”
The shooting lessons? Yes, we all at our church were required to learn how to shoot. I could fire a revolver at the age of three. I could load the rounds, empty the spent cartridges and many times, as young as I was, I hit bullseye. Learning to shoot and gun safety was in preparation for a war that was imminent – the war where the black man was coming to rip our land off us, rape our women and put us out on the street. At church we did not talk about Armageddon, we talked about the day when the black man would strike and make our daughter his wife by force. We would eventually lose our blue and green eyes, our golden hair, because the black man would taint our bloodline. (I wasn’t sure about the colored man or the Indian man, and what their motives were, because their objectives weren’t covered much at church, for some reason.) Now, when you hear such things as a child, you don’t question anything, you just aim, picture a black man in your line of vision, a scary savage, and shoot. I was born a racist, proud to be one and would have probably died a racist, despite my firm friendship with Shabba and my love for Boy and Mama Tsela. To me, they weren’t black, they were my friends. There was a difference, wasn’t there?

At one end of our property, was a makeshift shooting range, which my brothers would often practice at after a few beers. By few beers, I mean two or three cases. So, whenever we were bored, Shabba and I entered the vault, stole revolvers and pistols, ran over to our personal shooting range (we ran with loaded firearms), and fired our weapons. No earmuffs and no adult supervision. If you flinch at the thought of a six and a seven-year-old firing weapons without any adult supervision, you should. If you flinch at the thought of six and seven-year-old firing weapons period, you should. But … such was life then.
I thought Shabba all he knew about different firearms, how to load them, check the safety catches, what stance to adopt to minimise gun recoil, what recoil was and how to fire a warning shot into a black person. I can confirm that he was a fast learner and an eager student. I would also read some of my father’s gun magazines to Shabba, and together we learned about assault rifles like AK-47s, M16s, and other semi-automatic and fully automatic weapons used in the Army.

SARIE
One day, while Boy and Shabba were driving me to school, I turned to Shabba and said, “Why aren’t you going to school?” 

“’Cause school costs money and we don’t have school fees,” he explained. “When my dad sends us money, Baba will take us to school again.”

“But, Shabba, school is free,” I pointed out.
Shabba looked at Boy.

After a long silence, Boy said, “School is only free if you are white people, Sarie. Not for black people or people of color. We have to pay for it.”

“Why? That’s not fair, Boy,” I said in an indignant voice.
“It is what it is, Sarie,” Boy said.

What that meant, I had no idea and I really didn’t know what to think.

“Besides, there no schools around for black children,” Boy added. “You have to go long, long way to get to a school for black school.”
“How long is a long, long, way?” I asked.

After thinking about it for a moment, Boy said, “It’s like if you leave after breakfast, you will arrive at the school by lunchtime.”
My young mind tried to absorb Boy’s explanations, but it just didn’t make sense to me.

“I think we should change things, Boy,” I said. “I think Shabba should be allowed to learn with me. In my school, sit next to me and learn with me.”

Boy did not answer.
I pushed ahead. “We are almost the same age, Boy?”

Boy didn’t answer, but I noticed his lips thinning in the rear-view mirror.

My little mind drifted to another topic, another question. “Why do they call you ‘Baba’, when your name is Boy? Is it like ba, ba black sheep?”

Boy smiled and shook his head. “My name is Manual, not Boy, Sarie.”

“But ma and pa, they call you Boy?”
“Ja, but my name is Manual, as I said.”
Confused, I tilted my head and stared at him. “Baba?” I was asking a number of questions and I expected Boy to ask me to stop me, like my mother always did. He didn’t; instead, he went on to patiently explain. “Baba is like … like grandfather. Shabba is my grandson, so he calls me ‘Baba.’

“Oh.”
“Baba also means baby, so I call this lil fellow, ‘Shabba Baba.’” With a smile filled with love, he reached behind to pat Shabba’s knee. Shabba reached for his grandfather’s hand and kissed it several times, before he playfully bit it. Boy laughed out loud.

I felt sick with envy at the display of affection between the pair. I had grandparents on both side of my family, but none of them ever behaved that way toward me. In fact, I do not remember a time when they even hugged me. I did not remember a time when I was hugged by my own mother or

father. It made me envious of Shabba. It made me angry too. I wanted them to stop hugging each other.

“I want to call you Baba too,” I said in a defiant voice. If Shabba was going object, I would put up a fight and demand that I be allowed to. As a trade-off, I would allow Shabba to call my grandparents ouma and oupa.

“Sure,” Boy said. “Of course, Sarie.”

I looked at Shabba with the neck of a ballerina. And?

“NO!” Shabba said. “He’s my Baba. He’s the only Baba I’ve got, Sarie. Don’t be unfair now.”
“Please!” I said. “He can love me a little less than he loves you, Shabba. Please?”

Shabba appeared to think about it, then said, “Okay, but only if he loves you less than me. If he starts to love you more than me, then you must stop calling him Baba, okay?”
I nodded.
Shabba leaned in and whispered, “And, I want to go to the shooting range and fire the new Smith & Wesson.”

I nodded. Okay.

He nodded. Deal.

We sealed it by linking our pinkies.

From that day onward, I called Boy Baba, and he called me, ‘Sarie Baba,’ and every time he did, I felt loved and I felt that bit closer to him. One night, I fell to my hands and knees and prayed, Please God, could you make Baba my real grandpa? And please make Mama Tsela my real grandma. Make them love me more than Shabba, but don’t let Shabba find out. But if he finds out, please don’t let him get mad about it. Please! Please! Please!

SARIE

Agnes, Katrina’s mother was a hard-working servant. Of all the servants on my parent’s property, I believed she was the hardest worker. I say this because she would work during the day inside our house, then return long after my mother had gone to bed and clean my father’s study. He didn’t seem to mind that she was cleaning at that part of the night. In fact, he remained in the study while she cleaned. He kept the door locked while she did, though.

Then, Agnes would emerge after cleaning, to make my father a sandwich, or fix him a drink. I was a light sleeper, too curious to keep my eyes shut for long, so I would awake at the slightest sound. A couple of times, I awoke in the middle of night and watched Agnes, who had walnut-colored skin, tiptoe out of our house. She was slim with a warm smile, and Katrina always said that her mother had a butt so big, you could rest a cup of tea on it. Like my mother, Agnes was in her early twenties.

What I liked most about her was the way she loved her daughter. She was attentive and affectionate toward Katrina. Not just when Katrina fell and skinned her knees, but all the time. She would cuddle Katrina and sing her songs and kiss her all the time. Never once did I hear her call Katrina dumb, stupid, ugly or push vodka into her mouth. Time and time again, I wished Agnes was my mother.

One evening, I awoke to the sound of harsh whispers. Thinking that it was my parents arguing, I tiptoed out of my bedroom towards my parent’s bedroom. It was silent. I quietly opened the door and looked into the room – my mother was snoring, an empty vodka bottle next to her bed. My father was not in the room, though. I left the room and walked over to a window in the passageway. In the dark, I saw my father and Agnes in the yard. The way their arms were flailing and because of their harsh whispers, I suspected they were having an argument. Being as curious as I was, I had to know more. So, I tiptoed out of the house, into the dark, hide behind some shrubs and eavesdropped.

“You just shut your mouth!” my father hissed. “I am the boss here, remember that.” He tried to side-step Agnes, but she blocked his path. He grabbed her by the shoulders and swung her around. She reacted by biting one of his hands on her shoulders. I was shocked at Agnes’ display of aggression – she was blocking my father’s path and shoving him? Not only because it was so unlike her, but because no one stands up to Pastor Schoeman. Now one dares. If you did, he would beat you till you couldn’t walk. Especially, a servant – they could get the whip.

I was scared for Agnes; I didn’t want her to get whipped or hurt by my father. She did not get the whip that day; what she got was a fist in her face. I gasped as Agnes stumbled before she fell to her knees. I watched as my pa straightened his shirt, then walked in the direction of her room. I was a little confused – why was pa walking in the direction of her room, and not our house? Then, Agnes got up, and holding her nose, ran after my father and clung to his waist, refusing to let him enter her room. To my horror, my father turned around and began to viciously beat her. Agnes held onto him despite the beating. Eventually, she collapsed into a heap on the ground. My father then booted her several times while she lay on the ground. When she was motionless, he walked into the tiny room she shared with Katrina and shut the door behind him. I had never seen my father be that violent before, so I was shaken and scared. I stared at Agnes, then at the closed door for a while. When Agnes didn’t move, I crept over to her and whispered, “Wake up, Agnes.”  She didn’t answer. Even though I had my warm gown on, I shivered from the cold. You must be cold too, I thought, as I took in the damp ground she lay on. I removed my pink dressing gown and covered her with it. Then, I ran back into the house and into my bedroom.

Too shaken to sleep after what I had witnessed, I lay in the dark and stared at the ceiling. If only Shabba was here to keep me company, I thought. I really needed someone to talk to. I picked up a book and using my book light, began to read. Then, I heard muted voices. It sounded like my brothers were around. I got out of bed and tiptoed to the window in the hallway. In the distance, I saw Jacob, Isaiah and my father standing over Agnes, who was still lying on the ground with my pink gown around her. They kept looking toward our house, probably wondering about the gown. When I saw the shovels in their hands, I knew something bad had happened to Agnes. As scared as I, I crept out of the house, hid behind a shrub and watched my fathers and brothers. Jacob and Isaiah grabbed a foot each of Agnes and dragged her to the back of the shooting range where no one went for fear of being shot.

Scared for Agnes, and scared that I would be seen, I turned and crept back into my house. About an hour later, my door creaked opened and in walked my father. I lay still and pretended to be asleep. He watched me for a while, before he turned and left to my relief.

SARIE

There was great concern when no one could find Agnes. They were confused – how could Agnes disappear just like that and without a trace?
For days, Katrina cried for her mother and no one could comfort her. I watched quietly, wondering if I should say anything to anyone. As young as I was, I had been taught that I must keep out of big people’s business. What happened with Agnes, my father and brothers that night, was family business. My mother – I could maybe talk to her about it, I remember thinking. Then, I changed my mind – she wasn’t someone I could talk to about anything, actually. She seemed in her own world most of the time and didn’t like to be bothered with anything.

“I think I know where Agnes’s body is buried,” I whispered to Shabba.

He jerked back to look at me. “What do you mean, body? Why do you say body? She dead or something?”
“Ja. I think so.”

“Did you kill her?”
“No, of course not, Shabba. Why would I do that?”

He stared at me as if he was seeing me for the first time.

“What?”
“Can I see her?”

I nodded, got to my feet and motioned for him to follow me. Together, we walked in silence toward the shooting range. I pointed at a ditch.

“There?”
I nodded. “I think so.”

The two of us stared sombrely at the mound of dirt.

“Don’t tell anyone,” I said.

“Why not?”
“Because, Shabba, it’s big people’s business and we mustn’t stick our nose where it doesn’t belong.”
“Who told you that?”
“Ma, she told me that.”
“Oh.”

“We should put flowers on the grave,” Shabba said. “We did that to my mother’s grave.”

So, we ran around picking daisies and dandelions to put on the grave. By the time we reached the grave, we had a bunch of daisies and the remnants of what used to be dandelions.

Katrina continued crying for her mother, but luckily Mama Tsela was there to give her hugs and whisper words of comfort. Katrina refused to sleep in Agnes’ room after that night; she slept with Fendi in her room, the two of them sharing one bed. When one of the servants wanted Agnes and Katrina’s space, Mama Tsela shook her head, and in a firm voice said, “Agnes will be back.”

I thought about shouting, No, she’s not! She’s dead, gone forever. But I was too afraid of what it might lead to.

A couple days later, Baba and Mama Tsela reported Agnes’s disappearance to the police. I waited for the police to show up, but they didn’t. That night, unable to keep my nose out of ‘big people’s business,’ I thought, to hell with it, I am going to tell my mother. So, at the dinner table, I said, “I know where Agnes is, ma.”
My mother took a sip of her vodka, looked at me and said, “She looks like Klara. Same nose, same eyes …” her lips twisted in distaste as she took in my features, one at a time.
I squirmed in my seat, uncomfortable with her critical assessment of me, which was often.
“Hate your husband’s sister and what does the Devil do? He gives you a daughter that looks just like her.” My mother’s voice was filled with woe. “To think I was Miss Boksburg. A beauty queen. Ha!”
My father glanced at me, then swirled the glass of red wine in his hand, before he took another sip.

Since they were ignoring me, I cut to the chase. “I know where her body is. I saw Agnes that night she went missing. I know where her body is.”

My father spluttered and coughed, spraying some of his red wine.

“Bloody bitch, acting like she’s better than me! ‘You do know he’s a married man, right?’” she said in what I assumed was my aunt’s chastising voice. “’You do realize he has children?’ Mind your own blerry business, Klara! Get yourself a man, then lecture -”

“She is buried in the ditch near the shooting range.”

That when all hell broke loose. My father crashed his fist onto the table, causing crockery and cutlery to become airborne. “You listen to me!” he snarled at me “Anything you see and hear in this house, you do not talk about it, you hear? It’s big people’s business and you do not talk about it. You HEAR?” His outburst was so unexpected, I cowered in my chair, terrified he’d beat me like he beat Agnes.

“Did you hear what I said?”

I nodded.

“Now get OUT of here!” he said. “Voetsak!

After a quick glance at my mother’s surprised face, I ran out of the dining room and into my room, where I huddled on my bed, waiting for the door to burst open and for my father to come after me.

About an hour later, I heard his car start and the skid of tires. That is when I relaxed.

With a glass of vodka in her hand, and the bottle in the other, my mother entered my room and narrowed her eyes at me. “Ja, what you see?”

“Ma?”

“Agnes? What you see? Ay?”

I told her all that I saw.

She listened without interrupting, took regular sips of her vodka, then turned and walked away.

The next day, Shabba and I ran over to Agnes’s grave with daisies in our hands and skidded to a halt when we saw my mother at the gravesite, eyeing the wilted flowers on the mound of Earth. When she saw me, she said nothing, she just turned and walked back to the house. I waited for her to question me about it, but she didn’t.

Days later, two white policemen turned up and questioned my mother and father about Agnes’ absence. My parents did not invite them in, so the police stood at the front door.

“When last have you seen her, Pastor Schoeman?” one of the policemen asked.

“Sarie!” my mother called, beckoning me toward her. “Hou jou bek,” she whispered, a warning look on her face. She pulled me in front of her, and stood behind me with her hand hovering near my mouth, ready to gag me should I open it. Now and then, her fingers dug into my shoulders as a warning for me to keep my mouth shut.
“Me?” My father looked up at the sky, then at the policeman. “About a couple weeks ago. I never saw her after that. Never really noticed her. I have so many servants, you know.”

“Sure, Pastor Schoeman. Of course!” They looked enquiringly at my mother.

She pointed at my father, and in a morose voice said, “Couple weeks ago. She does that – she goes away, then returns, no explanation … you know what these people are like.” As she spoke her hand surreptitiously clamped over my mouth.

She was lying, of course. Agnes had never disappeared before. Besides, she would never leave Katrina. Never! I felt like biting my mother’s hand for lying.

“Ja, who knows with these people,” my father continued. “They’re all the same – they get drunk, disappear for days, then come crawling back. Get drunk, disappear, come back home … on and on. In the meantime, we have to bother you good men who don’t have time for such trivial matters. My heart goes out to you hardworking men – working long hours, weekends, getting so little pay … No one ’preciates it, I tell you. No one!”

“Thank you, Pastor Schoeman,” the officer said. “It’s lekker to be ‘preciated. Thank you. Thank you.”

My father nodded. “You know what; I appreciate it. I appreciate you men, and I want to give you a gift to say thank you for your hard work. To show my appreciation. Please, come inside my humble home. Please!”

The policemen looked at each other, their eyes lighting up. They hastened to remove their police caps, wiped their feet several times on the mat outside the front door, then entered our house. I watched them hat in hand, look around our house in awe as they ambled into my father’s study. My father was such a famous man in South Africa, probably held in higher esteem than the president, because he was a man of God, remember? So, being invited into my father’s home office was akin to being invited into the Oval Office in the United States.

About half an hour later, the policemen stumbled out of my father’s study, flushed in the face, and with shiny eyes. Each carried a bottle of Cognac each and grinned from ear to ear.

“Anytime you need us, you just call, Pastor Schoeman. And I mean, anytime!”

Dankie, dankie! my father said with a wave. Now don’t forget, I appreciate you men and the fine work you are doing!”

End of Excerpt
More excerpts coming next week, so make sure you’re following this blog.

#FreeBook

When Arena’s car is stolen with her toddler in it, she points at Tom, her abusive ex-husband. The police point at Bear, her cop boyfriend, who adores both her, and her children. Trouble is, Bear cannot be found. In fact, according to the police, Bear’s comrades, he does not exist!
Arena’s whole world begins to tilt. Who does she believe? Who does she trust?

If you enjoy emotional tales of love and hate, peppered with suspense, you will be hooked on this gripping romantic crime and suspense thriller. It’s about revenge and the kind of love that can make you kill.
Read the #Free #book that has been downloaded more than 300 000 times. Free for a limited time. #Free #books #Romantic #Suspense  #EveRabi  #Free on #Kindle #Unlimited #Crime #Thrillers

Photocredits:
Photo credit: DepositPhotos, Images by Free-Photos, WenPhotos and Pezibear

%d bloggers like this: