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portrait of young  couple

Ever loved someone so much, that you would die for them? You would? Okay! Great! Superb! Fantas … hey, how about murder – would you … would you kill for them?
What? You’ve gone all quiet on me?
Cat got your tongue?

blog just a few pages in 2 April 2020

When Arena escapes Tom, her abusive and vengeful husband, he vows to make her pay. Luckily, she finds love in the arms of a wonderful cop called Bear Shaw. Loving, generous Bear adore her kids, they in turn adore him, and soon they are a family. Life is perfect, Arena is a success story and they have the HEA.
When Arena’s SUV is stolen with her sleeping toddler in it, Arena immediately points at vengeful Tom. He did it. she is convinced of it, because he had vowed to make her pay. To her surprise, the police point at Bear, because Bear cannot be found. Worse, according to them, Bear Shaw does not exist!

GRIPPING CRIME & SUSPENSE with unexpected romance!

blog 5 STAR reviews April 2020

EXCERPT FROM PAYBACK

SYDNEY AUSTRALIA – 2012

Operator: “Police helpline, what is your emergency?”

Caller: “Eh, a woman, like, she’s screaming her head off. Can you send
the police? Please, please, please!”

Operator: “What seems to be the problem?”

Caller: “She says…she says that someone stole her car and stuff…”

Operator: “State and town please?”

Caller: “Eh, Sydney…St Ives…”

Operator: “Yeah, where about in St Ives?”

Caller: “Warrimoo Avenue, outside the eh, shops and stuff.”

Operator: “Would that be…corner Dalton road and Warrimoo?”

Caller: “Eh, let me see…yeah, that’s it.”

Operator: “Is anybody hurt?”

Caller: “No. Just the baby.”

Operator: “Baby? Did you say a baby was hurt?”

Caller: “No, no, she was in the car. The baby. Sorry, I’m just fifteen so…”

Operator: “She was in the…are you saying that the car was stolen with
a baby in it?”

Caller: “Yeah. Can you hear her? The mother? She’s screaming her head
off like a ban—”

Operator: “Yes, I can. What’s she saying?”

Caller: “She’s saying…hold on…eh, she says she knows that it’s her ex, like,
he’s behind it, and she’s screaming and running up and down the street,
going mental.”

Operator: “O…kay. I need you to stay on the line. What’s your name?”

Caller: “Carly. But my cell battery is dy—”

Operator: “Hello? Hello? Carly, can you hear me? Hello?”

…………….

The first time Tom hit me, I was highly pregnant. Slapped me across the face so hard, I saw tiny white stars even though I was indoors. I was twenty-two, he was thirty-five.

I was eight months pregnant and waddling around like a duck; he was approximately one hundred and eighty pounds of solid muscle. He took part in triathlons, ran five kilometers every day, had wheatgrass and quinoa for breakfast, a green salad with no dressing for lunch, and usually ate lean chicken breast with three different colored vegetables for dinner.

Fit, disciplined, and focused – that was my husband.

Throughout my two years of marriage, I’d seen bursts of his rage – towards me and others, and his road-rage, now that was the worst – it terrified me. Especially since he liked to take on truck drivers. The bigger the truck, the greater his rage. Usually, people steered away from trucks, but not Tom; he took them on, provoked them until I was shaking with fear.

Deep down, I guess I did fear being hit by him one day, but I didn’t expect it that day – the day of my second wedding anniversary.

I was so stunned by the slap, I didn’t move away or try to defend myself. I just stood and gaped at him, one hand on my cheek, the other on my swollen belly.

“I take care of everything!” he hissed. “All you had to do was chill the Cristal, and you forget to do that. A small thing like that. Chill. The. Cristal – how hard is that, huh? HUH?”

To celebrate our wedding anniversary, Tom had invited eight couples to a four-course sit-down dinner at our house, located in the upscale suburbs of St Ives, Sydney.

He had hired caterers, waitstaff, and a barman for the occasion. Like all of Tom’s parties, it promised to be interesting, excessive, and showy.

It was true – all I had to do was chill the Cristal, as he had taken care of everything else, without consulting me once about anything. Not even asking me who I’d like to invite. Solo – that’s how Tom operated.

I didn’t mind. Tom was extremely capable, highly efficient, and most of all, he had flair. I didn’t, so if I did make a suggestion for just about anything, he’d usually scoff at it and shred it to bits, making me feel like the hillbilly I was. So over time, I stopped suggesting or contributing, and left everything in Tom’s highly capable hands. That suited him just fine.

With pregnancy hormones, my brain sometimes became a pile of mush, and I would walk into a room and forget why I was there. I often forgot which level I had parked my car on at the mall.

It annoyed the hell out of Tom as he called it foolish, and God knows, being as astute and intelligent as he was, he didn’t suffer fools gladly.

As my pregnancy progressed, everything I did was foolish and stupid to him, and he became increasingly irritable with me, and finally, he hit me.

“See what you do to me!” he snarled, his nostrils flaring, his lips a thin white line. “You make me act like this.”

After throwing me a look of disgust, he stood in front of the mirror, carefully adjusted his tie, straightened his five-foot-eight frame, and walked towards the door of our bedroom.

At the door, he paused and turned to look at me. “Put on a darker shade of lipstick, wear the necklace I bought you for Christmas, and be downstairs in five,” he said before he walked downstairs.

With my hand on my cheek, I sat on the bed, shrouded in disappointment and disbelief.

How could he hit me? I asked myself. How could he hit a pregnant woman? His pregnant wife – who does that?

There was no way I was going to go to his party after that. I would leave quietly through the back door before our guests arrived. I wouldn’t even tell him that I was leaving him. To hell with him and his party.

Just then the doorbell rang. Too late. Our guests had arrived.

“The place looks wonderful, Tom.”

“Thank you!”

“Yes, it’s just fabulous, Tom. Marvelous. Where’s Arena?”

“She’ll be down in a sec,” I heard Tom say. “Honey, our guests have arrived,” he called in a sweet voice from the foot of the steps. “Arena, sweetheart?”

I panicked. What do I do? How could I possibly not show up when guests had already arrived? In all honesty, I’m ashamed to say, I chickened out. Feeling pressured, I decided I would go downstairs and be civil and courteous to Tom’s friends, but I would leave immediately after the party. If he tried to stop me, I would have it out with him and call the cops if I needed to. I may have been twenty-two years old, but I realized that Tom had crossed a line and I wasn’t going to accept it.

I scrambled up from my king-size bed and walked over to a mirror where I eyed my cheek, red from his slap.

I picked up some concealer and dotted it over the redness. Didn’t work. His imprint on my cheek and the welt showed through the concealer.

I tried green concealer. That did the trick and that was the first time I learned that green concealer worked better on bruises better than yellow or beige concealer.

Over the years I used a lot of green concealer, and I became an expert at concealing “flaws.”

Luckily, my deep mahogany hair was in a bob and fell in a sharp point two centimeters below my ears. (Styled as per Tom’s strict instructions. He ordered me to wear my hair exactly that way, because he was in awe of Victoria Beckham.) That night, with the help of a little wax, I pulled the edges forward so that it covered my cheek. Just in case the green concealer let me down.

Then I went one step further and decided that if the concealer faded and someone enquired about the marks on my face, I would simply say that I had an allergy – a new facial that didn’t quite agree with me. (Over the years, my friends were surprised at how many facials didn’t agree with me.)

Still dazed, I adjusted my clothing, darkened my lipstick, put on the chunky gold necklace that Tom ordered me to wear, and waddled downstairs. As instructed.

When I reached the last stair of the spiral staircase of our 2.6-million-dollar home in Sydney, which had a spa, sauna, tennis court, and an Olympic-size pool, I plastered a smile on my disappointed lips and murmured greetings to our guests.

From the corner of my eye, I noticed Tom watching me with elevated eyebrows, probably waiting to see if I would tell on him, or indicate marital discord in our supposedly perfect marriage.

I ignored him and focused on our guests. I would deal with the bastard later.

After a while, his eyebrows returned to normal and he moved towards me. As if nothing had happened, he slipped his arm around my waist. I stiffened, then casually tried to shrug it off, but he held on, his fingers digging into my side, tacitly warning me to behave, or else.

After our last guest had arrived, Tom rattled a knife on a Royal Doulton goblet. “Ladies and gentlemen, it is now time for me to give my beautiful wife her anniversary gift.”

With a fake smile plastered on my darkened lips, I allowed him to take my hand.

He led us all outside, where a silver BMW X60i E75 was parked in our driveway, a huge red bow on it. I knew that it cost more than a hundred and fifty thousand dollars, as I had gone car shopping with him weeks ago.

“For you, my love,” he said.

All eyes were on me, most of them filled with envy.

Overwhelmed by the slap and by the present, I remained mute.

He pinched my waist. Hard.

“It’s beautiful,” I murmured quickly, feeling pressured to say something. It truly was a lovely vehicle, although the one I was driving, a Mercedes four-wheel drive, was just as beautiful.

I looked at him. “But, I didn’t get you anything, Tom.” My voice felt strained and high-pitched.

He hugged me. “You are my gift alone, Arena. You bring me so much joy, my love.”

“Aaaawwww!” I heard a guest mutter. “How sweet!”

My guests had no idea that less than an hour ago, this man had slapped his pregnant wife.

“And that’s not all,” he said and produced a pretty red-and-gold box. Tom opened it, revealing a chunky diamond bracelet. He slipped it onto my wrist, then kissed my hand and bowed obsequiously.

Back inside, gasps of delight and more unbridled envy abounded, which Tom seemed to visibly revel in.

Envy was Tom’s currency – his elixir of life. Without it, I do believe that he would have shriveled up and simply died.

Then he took me into his arms and once again, lovingly embraced me. When he kissed me, he threaded his fingers into my hair and slipped his tongue into my mouth. His kiss felt horrible – like sucking on raw steak. I felt awkward and uncomfortable, and I wanted him to stop the Broadway show. I was a lousy actress and a terrible leading lady for sure.

When I jerked slightly away, his fingers gripped my hair and pulled hard, a silent warning – Play along or else.

Having no choice, I became a supporting act in his show and felt like the phony I was.

Then the doorbell rang.

He released me and said, “Will you get that, darling?”

I was surprised, because Tom always answered the door. After a moment’s hesitation, I opened the door and caught my breath at the sight of the biggest bouquet of roses I had ever seen.

“For Mrs. Arena Botha,” the delivery guy said, struggling to carry the bouquet.

Again, the room echoed with oohs and ahhs!

Of course, I was not one bit impressed with any of his gifts. It was not that I was ungrateful. Sure, his gifts were lovely, but I would have preferred if he had given me the gifts that morning, when it was just the two of us, or if he had sent me the roses during the day.

These gifts were all about him and his ego – Look at me. Look how successful I am. See what I can give my woman. Don’t you wish you were married to me instead of your husband? When you leave here tonight, you’re gonna wish you were Arena. You’re gonna wish you were Tom Botha’s wife.

I did leave the house that night, but it wasn’t because of Tom’s slap. I went into early labor and had to be rushed to the hospital that very night. Three hours after our last guest had left, I held in my arms a beautiful blue-eyed boy called Warren, who became the silver lining in my life.

All thoughts of leaving Tom and ending our marriage went out the door after that. I continued living with Tom, starring in his Broadway shows and buying copious amounts of green concealer.

One word to describe living with Tom – suffocating.

Every time he was around, I felt like I had a pillow over my face. I dreaded the hour when he would walk through that door, and when he left the house, I felt like the pillow had been lifted from my face.

Weekends were the worst – the pillow seldom lifted, and unlike most people, Monday was my best friend. I looked forward to it.

The moment Tom left the house for work, I would let out a long sigh, make myself a cup of hot chocolate, and as the morning progressed, my shoulders would slowly drop from around my ears and I would smile.

My Sunday morning psalm: Monday my love, where are you?
………………………………………………………………………………………………….

PAYBACK, a stand-alone #romantic #suspense #book is #FREE for a limited time.

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blog crackling revenge read 2 April 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You love him? Oh, please! We’re talking five years in prison! Get real, okay?

29 March 20 pastor's daughter

 

“Your love is a crime,” the law says and throws you both behind bars.
You:
a) Tell the truth and spend 5 years behind bars for love?
b) Lie like hell – claim that you’ve never seen before, that he took you
against your will, yes, throw him under the bus without a second thought
and secure your freedom within minutes?

Which will it be?
What? You love him? He’s your soul mate? Yeah, yeah, yeah, but
we’re talking serious prison time for you here, so get real now. What
will it be?

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

A heartbreaking, fast-paced romantic suspense tale of love, betrayal
and unrequited love.

 $0.99 cents for a limited time
Also available on #Kindle #Unlimited!blog face of racism 29March 2020

EXCERPT FROM COLOR BLIND

“My low spirits, self-loathing continued for the remainder of the day. When
I wasn’t crying, I was close to it. At the dinner table that night, I barely
touched my food. I stole glances at my father. He appeared unperturbed,
swirling his glass of red wine, as if nothing had happened. As if he hadn’t
caused Miss Annabel to run off.

“This apricot lamb is very lekker,” he said.

Shut up! I hope you choke on it!

Dankie,” my mother said.

“As if you cooked it!” I said.

My mother jerked her neck to look at me, her eyebrows raised.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Katrina shake her head, silently urging
me to shut up before I got bashed by my mother.

“Ja, what’s your problem?” my mother asked. I do believe she was surprised
that I was being openly mouthy.

I didn’t answer, I just pushed my food around in my plate.

“Ay?” She pressed on, not drunk enough or she’d have ignored my … well,
she would have ignored everything I said. “Why your face like a horse?” She
took a sip of her drink. “Ay?”

“Miss Annabel left, today,” I said. At the mention of Miss Annabel’s name,
my voice grew watery.

She took a sip of her wine. “So? For how long?”

“For good. Forever. She’s never coming back. Ever!”

“Why?” My mother seemed genuinely surprised.

“Why, because, ma, she does not want to teach me anymore!”

My mother jerked back in her chair. “Ay? Ding! Dong! is gone forever?
That stick-in-her-arse woman left?” She chuckled at her joke. “Why?
What you do, Sarie?”

“Me? I didn’t do anything,” I said in a voice filled with icy control.

She giggled over her glass. That caused my anger to accelerate. I glared
at her. How dare you laugh when I have lost my beloved Miss Annabel?
Why can’t you see my pain? You’re an adult, my mother, you should see it!
Why aren’t you seeing my pain, mother? Why the hell are you laughing,
you drunk!

“Sarie, eat up so you can get your ice cream,” Katrina said from the
kitchen, in a voice imbued with warning.

My eyes shifted to Katrina. She shook her head, urging me to shut up. My
eyes shifted back to my mother’s – she was still laughing. I knew exactly
how to wipe that smile off her face, and I did. “You should ask Pa; he took
Miss Annabel into his study when you wasn’t around and they had a … a
long chat. After that she was crying, then she left, because she said she
couldn’t take it anymore. He used to see her often in the study. But only
when you were away, ma. He used to touch her face and ask her to call him
Schoeman. I think he like her more than Popsicle Laurika, Ma. First Miss
Annabel, then Popsicle Laurika, then the maids, then you. Actually, I don’t
think he like you anymore, Ma.”

Even I was surprised at my blatant bitchiness. Hurt and anger had brought out the little bitch in me. My passive aggressiveness sure wiped the grin off my mother’s face. She stared at me with huge eyes, glass mid-air, mouth open. I held her gaze, a slight smirk on my lips. That’s right, he’s been seeing all those women. Your little daughter knows it. Everyone knows it. Everyone knows that Magda is not enough for her husband. Don’t think you are. Whose laughing now, huh?

My mother swung her head to look at my pa who was sitting with his eyes now fixed on his honey, apricot lamb, appearing outwardly calm. His white knuckles around his wineglass told another story.

“Schoe … man …”

My father kept his eyes on his plate, but I noted with satisfaction that his body had turned rigid with fear.

“Schoe … man …”

He tried to shrug off what I was saying, but fear caused his shrug to present like a fearful twitch. After a murderous look my way, my father looked at his plate again.

Taking on Schoeman Vorster was akin to a suicide mission, daughter or no daughter. I knew that, but at that moment, I didn’t care; I wanted a fight, a chaotic brawl, something that could give me an excuse to scream, cry and punch and kick back, hurt someone, something, anything! I wanted an excuse to weep loudly and release some of the pent-up hurt I was experiencing over the loss of my beloved Miss Annabel. I was grieving and I had gone straight into the anger phase.

I sat back and waited for … whatever! I just waited for the outcome. So far, they hadn’t sent me back to my room, so I was excited at the prospect of witnessing a fight. From the corner of my eye, I saw Katrina in the background, signalling desperately for my attention. I looked at her. With her eyes bulging, she patted her lips vigorously – Shut up Sarie before you get it!

She was right, I would get it for sure. But, I didn’t care. They could beat me, I just didn’t care. The pain from a physical beating would be less than the emotional pain I felt. I ignored my keeper and focused on the impending explosion. There had to be one – Magda Vorster hated the idea of not being the only woman in her man’s husband’s life. Being as beautiful as she was, meant that she should be, because looks alone is what satisfies a man. Well, that’s what her pea-brain believed.

There’d be hell to pay if the man who was supposed to adore and cherish her was adoring and cherishing another, one with no plastic crown to prove that she was the fairest in the land. She had turned a blind eye to popsicle-loving Laurika, because she had no choice but to, but this was too much.

The room went quiet. I was disappointed – no explosion? How could that be? Please God, let there be an explosion.

I think, for the first time in my life, my prayers, even though I had become an atheist, came true.

With a snarl, my mother jerked to her feet, lifting up the table at the same time, toppling it, sending crockery and cutlery and crystal glasses and honey apricot lamb and red wine flying. Mad Magda was in the room!

“Magda! What the … FOK!” Pastor Schoeman bellowed.

Mad Magda responded by grabbing a steak knife from the floor and plunging it into my father’s shoulder.

“Yes!” I cried out loud, thrilled at the way things were going. I had gotten more than I bargained for, to my delight. To my horror too.

My father screamed and fell forward, while I jumped back, out of harm’s way. If only his congregation could see this now, I thought, before, I panicked – what if she killed him?

This was more than I expected. She was going to kill him. Okay, then!

I realized very quickly that I didn’t mind her killing him. It would save me the trouble. Would they kill each other? I realized very quickly that that would be okay too.

Sadly, my mother did not kill my father, because he recovered, lunged at her, grabbed the knife out of her hand and flung it across the room in Katrina’s direction. I heard Katrina scream and duck just in time.

He grabbed my mother’s flailing arms and pinned her to the wall. “Are you foking mull?”

That to me was a rhetorical question, but my mother answered anyway. “Ek is nou!” (I am now!) and clawed at my father’s face, drawing streaks of blood. She was way smaller than him, but she was like a china cracker, compact, loud and dangerous, and the pastor could hardly restrain her. Finally, he punched her several times, managed to partially subdue her, grabbed her by the hair, dragged her kicking and screaming all the way into the bedroom and shut the door.

I stood with a trembling Katrina outside the closed bedroom door and listened to the screaming and shouting and loud thuds.

“You better hide,” Katrina whispered in a panicked voice, pointing at some heavy drapes. “Your pa is coming for you next.”

I knew that, so I bolted downstairs and hid behind the drapes.

Minutes later, I heard the thudding of my father’s footsteps, his heavy breathing, then, “SARIEEE!”

I held my breath, trembling with fear – I was probably in for the disciplining of my life – at the same time, exhilarated at having been able to rattle him. He deserved to be rattled – my mother deserved to be rattled, the whole world deserved to be rattled, because I had lost one of the most life-altering people in the universe – my precious Miss Annabel because of my parents. Yes, my mother was also to blame for my loss. She dared make fun and laugh at Miss Annabel? Miss Ding! Dong!? Really? Who’s laughing now?

“SARIE!” The varying tempo of my father’s voice told me he was searching room to room for me.

Then, I heard him feet away from me. “Where the fok is she?”

“Gone to her mother’s room,” I heard Katrina lie. “I think.”

That was a good answer, because silence followed.

Curious, I peeped at him from behind the curtain. There he was, staring at the closed bedroom door, his shirt blood-stained from the shoulder wound, his chest heaving, the bloodied lines on his face causing him to look like he had lost a fight to a dozen feral cats.

“Careful,” Katrina said. “Mevrou got a corkscrew thingi.”

His hand flew to his neck, probably because the woman he called his wife and others called Mad Magda was capable of plunging the corkscrew into his jugular. After mumbling angrily, he took his car keys and almost ran out of the house. At the sound of screeching tyres, I came out of hiding and walked over to my mother’s bedroom and put my ear to the door and listened. It was quiet. I opened the door and peeped inside. My mother lay on the floor in a tangled mess – my father had knocked her out.

I should have checked up on my mother, called an ambulance even, but I didn’t, because I guess I didn’t care enough, and I hurt too much. Which was a sad thing for everyone, because every single person on Earth should love their mother more than anyone else in the world. My guess is that I had come into this world loving my mother. However, bit by bit, her behavior over time, had eroded that love and eventually, caused my love for her, for my mother, the woman who brought me into the world to dissolve completely. How could such a thing not be painfully sad? It was more than sad, it was tragic.”

Young blonde girl with long hair and boy

To read more, please click the following link:

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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.)

 

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

Amazon U.K.)

 

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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.)

 

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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.)


 

 

 

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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!

 

 

 

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.

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ColorBlind – A heartbreaking romantic suspense book by Eve Rabi – Excerpt 3

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 3

If you haven’t read the first two 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)

 

Cape Town
1968

SARIE

Most children get bored, restless and even fall asleep at church. Not me – Sunday was my day, the day I get to shine. The day when the reverential Pastor Schoeman Vorster would look at me and beam with pride. That moment was fleeting, but I lived for it. I would sit and listen intently for my name to be called, because it was the only time my father really looked at me. The only time my father would utter my name. Other than that, he would talk to me when necessary, but he seldom looked at me or used my name. I had no idea why he did that, but he just did.

People said that when my father shone those blue eyes their way, they felt as if they were levitating. I believed them, for my father had the gift of making you feel as if he was talking just to you when he delivered his sermons. Even though I was his daughter, I too was in awe of him, so I too waited for the crumbs of attention he dusted my way every Sunday, when I made him proud (and made him money).

I would have done anything to get my father’s attention and hold it. I wanted to be like him, talk like him, preach like him, rapture audiences like he did. I longed to have the rust-colored birthmark etched above his eyebrow, the one that resembled a map of South Africa. My father had always boasted that he had been blessed with his country’s stamp on his face, right above his eye. I longed for his stamp on me too, but God did not give it to me for some reason. When I expressed my disappointment at not having my father’s birthmark, my mother said, ‘What rubbish are you talking? Are you stupid? Beauty queens don’t win titles with marks on their faces, you silly girl!”

I did not care to be a beauty queen like my mother, I wanted to have the stamp of South Africa on my face too.

After the church service ended, the members of the congregation lingered and socialized over wine, beer, coffee and snacks, while my brothers went around collecting money from the donation buckets and contribution boxes.
Jacob, my eldest brother, half-brother, actually – my father had six children from a previous marriage, oversaw the collection of money. He was my father’s right-hand man and spent hours with my father on the road, recruiting white members for our church, and collecting donations for our Garden of Eden. Jacob was a replica of my father, down to the stamp of South Africa above his eye.  

The money was then taken to my father’s office in the church. There, my father’s ex-wife Torti, and their six children would line up in front of my father’s desk. My father would then hand them cash from the monies collected from the contribution boxes. He must have been generous, for I remember their broad smiles as they filed out of his offices. Maybe that’s why they all never missed church.
The rest of the money was handed over to my mother. With the help of Boy, our driver, also called ‘Baba’ by the servants, my mother would load the money into the boot of our car and take it home.

After the service, I played a little with the other kids, accepted their praises as to how much they enjoyed my song, then looked around for my mother. She and my father were smiling and whispering in a corner of the church.

“Pa! Did you like my song?” I asked, skipping up to them and interrupting their conversation

“Schoeman, I’m sick of this foking kak!” my mother screeched.

 “Shhh!” my father said moving his body to block out everyone else. “I got things to do, Magda. We are going on tour, remember? We have to talk about all of that. The details … It’s big money, Magda, so don’t nag now. And keep your voice down.”

I was a little confused – they appeared to be arguing, yet both were smiling at each other? Weird.

I ran circles around my father, “Pa! Pa! Pa! Tell me how much you liked my song.”

My father’s smile never dipped. “Take Sarie home, have a couple of drinks, take a nap and I will see you later.”

“Pa, did you –”

“Sarie!” my mother snapped. “Shut your mouth!”

I froze and looked at my father, who was now looking past my mother.

My mother and I both turned in the direction of his gaze and looked at Laurika Bezuidenhout, who was eating a popsicle. Laurika was different from the other women in church. Not because she had big hair and wore tops that showed off her big breasts, or because she wore red lipstick all the time, even in the morning, but because, while the other woman had cake and biscuits at church, Laurika ate popsicles in the churchyard. Judging by the expression on her face as she did, angling her head, closing her eyes, she enjoyed popsicles a lot more than ice cream. The funny thing was, whenever she ate the popsicle, the men in the congregation immediately flocked around to watch her eat it. However, I was always baffled when women in the church pulled their husbands and sons away from Laurika and stopped them from watching her. In fact, I don’t think the women cared for Laurika, because they seldom invited her to events outside the church.   

I looked back at my father. The look he gave Laurika, it was the same look he gave me before I sang a song. A pang of jealousy shot through me. That was my look – how dare he share that my look with her? That was it – I too was not going to invite Laurika to any of my parties.
That was the thing that confused me about my father – he didn’t notice me unless I was on stage. Unless there was an audience around. Other than that, I was invisible to him. As young as I was, the realization hurt, and maybe that’s why it caused me to constantly seek his approval and attention.  
Laurika waved a gloved hand at us. I raised my hand to wave back.  

My mother slapped my arm down, stopping me from waving.

“Magda!” my father chided. “Not … here!”

With her nostrils flaring, and her eyes blazing, my mother whirled around to glare at my father.

“She’s helping me with my recruitment tour, okay?”
“So she’s going with you on tour? What about me, Schoeman?”

My father cocked his head at her, trying hard to keep his smile in place, his eyes turning to slits. “Magda, get out of here, before I get really mad!” he finally said through clenched teeth.

With her chest heaving and her eyes bright with anger, my mother grabbed my wrist and marched me out of the church.

“You’re hurting me, ma!”  

“Shut up and walk!” she snapped, as she bundled me into our waiting Jaguar.

“Good afternoon, Sarie. Good afternoon, Mevrou,” Boy, our driver, said, before he shut the door of the Jaguar.
My mother sat with her arms folded tightly across her chest, her lips turned downwards, her chest rising and falling rapidly.

“Boy, did you hear my song?” I asked.

“Yes, Sarie. It was very nice. Good tune too. You were the star act in the church today, Sarie.”
A thrill snaked through me at his complimentary words, even though I didn’t know what ‘star act’ was. “Really, Boy?”

“Oh, for sure, Sarie. You were twinkling like the little star you are.”

My soul twinkled with joy at being called a star.  

“I have a hundred more songs like that,” I lied.

“Really? I would like to hear them sometime, Sarie. When I am not working, of course.”

Encouraged by his words, my lies compounded. “My daddy said that I was the best singer there too.”

Boy smiled at me in the rear-view mirror. “He did? See what I mean? You were wonderful, Sarie.”

I nodded and sat back. I liked Boy. He knew exactly what to say to make me happy. He spoke well, he was respectful, and he dressed neatly all the time. Even when he was washing our cars, he wore a tie. Boy drove me around and kept me safe from all the black people who hated our church and shunned the Bible – all the savages who didn’t want to speak Afrikaans. So, in essence, Boy, who was black, kept me, a white girl, safe from other blacks. I didn’t question it because my father said so, and whatever my father said was … gospel.

SARIE

Sunday afternoon after church was a pretty boring time for me. I had nothing to do, no siblings to play with, and I was bored of all my toys.

“Can you color in with me, ma?”
“No!” she said, walking toward our bar and bringing out a bottle of vodka.

“Why not?”

“I’m tired.”

“But I’m bored, Ma. Please!”

“Go play with Katrina, Sarie. Stop worrying me. I have a migraine.”

“What’s a migraine, ma?”

“You ask too many questions, Sarie. Go play with Katrina. Please!”

“Katrina doesn’t wanna play with me, ma. She said I am too little to play –”

“Sarie, stop telling lies, okay?”
“It’s the truth, I swear on God!”

My mother’s sapphire eyes narrowed at me.

Yes, I was a seasoned liar – an attention-seeking little girl who would make up stories in the hopes that they would paint me out to be more interesting than I was. A lonely, poor little rich girl, even though I had six half siblings.

Shaking her head, my mother picked out a crystal glass and walked away. That was her Sunday afternoon ritual.

Since we lived in a mansion – ten bedrooms and seven bathrooms, with rolling lawns, and horses, we needed a fair amount of domestic help. Hence, the fifteen servants living on our property.

After changing out of my church clothes, I went in search of Katrina, daughter of Agnes, a maid who worked inside our house. At eleven, Katrina was five years older than me. Her job was to be my constant companion and keep me entertained. Most of all, she had to keep me from bothering my mother. Sometimes she’d bath me, tuck me into bed, tell me a story, or even sing me a lullaby.
I cannot remember my mother ever doing anything for me. I cannot remember her bathing me, feeding me, reading me a bedtime story or even comforting me when I was ill. Between Agnes, Boy’s wife Mama Tsela, and Katrina, they took care of me.

I found Agnes hanging up washing at the maid’s quarters.

 “Hai, Sarie, how was church?”

“Good. Pa said I was the star singer there.”

Agnes paused to stare at me, her eyebrows elevated.

“Ja. He said … he said … he that I was his twinkle, twinkle little star and that he would like to hear all my songs, when he wasn’t busy with work. He said … he said, that I was the apple of his eye and that he loved me the most in the whole wide world.”

With a condescending smile, Agnes ruffled my hair, before pointing at the back of the servant’s quarters.

I ran off in search of Katrina. “Katrina! Katrina! Katrina!”

I found her playing with someone’s baby. She was always playing with babies because she just loved babies.

“Inga binga banga boo

the elephant said to the kangaroo

I bet you boy I’m bigger than you

Inga binga bango boo!”

Katrina smiled at the baby. “You like that song? Ay? Ay?”

The baby gurgled at her. Katrina laughed and gave the baby a hug and a kiss. A pang of jealousy shot through me – Katrina was my maid; she should be giving me all her attention.  
“Katrinaaaaa!” I yelled. 

She looked at me, arms akimbo. “Hai, Sarie, what are you screaming like a siren, ay? I’m going to klup (smack) you if you shout me like that. Do you think I’m deaf? Huh? You scaring the blerry baby. Because why, her eardrums, it will bust like that!” She snapped her fingers for dramatic effect.
“Ma’s got a migraine,” I said, eyeing the baby’s eardrums and picturing it ‘busting’. “She told me to play with you.”

“Hai, another migraine?” She shook her head. “Let’s go to Mama Tsela, then,” she said, kissing the baby several times before she took my hand. “She is making cake.”

Baking cake,” I corrected. I loved it when Mama Tsela baked cake in a pot over an open fire. The place smelled warm and pleasant whenever she did.

“Katrina, your scarf!” Agnes called.

With a labored sigh, Katrina wrapped her scarf around her head and pulled it low over her forehead.

“Why is Mama Tsela baking cake?” I asked, as I hopped around Katrina.
“Because why, her grandchildren come to stay, and she be happy.”

“Katrina, the clay!” Agnes shouted.

With another sigh, Katrina stopped to scoop up a little clay from the ground and painted her forehead with it, something she was forced to do before she ventured out of the servant’s domain for some reason.  She hated doing that, but her mother insisted she do.

“Grandchildren? Why have they –?”
“Hai, Sarie, I dunno. You ask too many blerry questions, you know. I’m gonna klup you if you keep asking questions.”

That was Katrina – always wanting to klup me. She never carried out her empty threats, though, just sprinkled the word klup around like a coma.
I fell silent and tried to keep up with Katrina. The silence didn’t last.

“Katrina, what’s a migraine?”

Katrina scratched her head and looked at the ground. While she did, I studied her. Even though Agnes was a black, Xhosa woman with brown eyes, Katrina had the same color skin as me, and her eyes were as blue as mine. Her hair was different though – it was curly and brown, with copper flecks. She did not resemble her mother at all.
“A migraine, it is … it’s like a … a vision of God, Sarie.” She nodded. “A vision.” 
“Oh.”

I had great respect for Katrina, not because at eleven she knew a lot – knew it all, actually. Not because although she’d never been to school, she knew more than most of the kids around. It was because she took the time to explain things to me. When she wasn’t threatening to klup me, that is.

“Race you there,” I cried and bolted ahead.

“No, no, not fair!” she yelled holding onto her scarf and running after me. “Cheater! Cheater!”

I laughed and ran ahead of her.

“Stop, Sarie! I’m going to klup you when I catch you!”

Katrina could never catch me. I was too fast a runner.

SARIE

To my surprise, Boy was seated at a wooden stump that served as a table, arm wrestling a little boy. The same boy I spotted upstairs in the church, making funny faces at me. Boy was big and strong and was always showing the other men around how to box, how to fight, how to use a vuvu, which was a big stick used in self-defense. He could easily win the arm-wrestling competition, yet he was contorting his face, making all sorts of noises, acting like he was struggling to keep his arm up.
Nearby, a young African girl around Katrina’s age, rolled her eyes. Katrina joined the girl, and the two of them moved away, whispering and giggling.  

Finally, the little boy managed to bring down Boy’s arm. “I win! I win!” he sang, dancing around and showing off his little biceps that weren’t quite biceps. “I am the champ, Baba!” 

 I watched with envy as Boy laughed and pulled the showoff into a hug. “You are the champ, Shabba! One day, you are going to be a famous champ. The greatest. Like Mohamed Ali. You are going to dance like a butterfly and sting like a bee, Shabba!”

The little boy began to box the air, adding sound effects as he did. Then suddenly he dropped to the floor and lay flat on his back, facing the ceiling.

Baba laughed and left the room.
When the little boy didn’t move, I grew concerned – was he dead? I tiptoed over and peered down at him.

The boy’s eyes were closed, his arms limp.

I stared at him, unsure what to do.

The boy opened one eye and looked at me. I smiled.
“He let you win,” I said in a sneering voice to the little show off.  

“No, he didn’t,” the little boy said, jumping to his feet. “I am really strong!” He flexed his muscles. “See?”

“Yes, he did!”

“No, he didn’t.”
“Yes, he did!”

“Shabba!”

We both looked toward the sound of the reproachful voice. The young African girl talking to Katrina gave Shabba a drop-it look.

Shabba stuck his tongue out at her.   

“Who is she?” I asked.

“Fendi. My sister. She’s a pain here.” He pointed at his neck. “And here.” He pated his butt.

I chuckled at his cheekiness. “What were you doing at our church today?”
“Church?” With an impish smile he said, “Wasn’t me.”

I had never met anyone as audacious like him before, and I was somewhat fascinated. “How old are you?” I demanded.

“Twenty-five,” he replied without hesitation. “And you?”

I was a little taken aback. Twenty-five? He was pretty short for a twenty-five-year-old … man? Boy?  

“Shabba!” It was Fendi again.

“I’m nine,” he quickly said.

“Shabba!” 

“What, Fendi? What?” Shabba snapped, clearly irritated at his sister for outing his lies. He looked at me. “Okay, fine, I’m seven,” he said in a defiant voice. “Seven and a bit. A lot of … bit.”
I was elated. I could handle seven and a bit. A lot of bit. Still, he was older than me and for some reason, I wanted to dominate with age.

“I’m eleven,” I lied in a smooth voice.

“Hai, Sarie!” That reproachful voice belonged to Katrina.  

“I’m eight,” I quickly said with a shrug. “Still older than you.”

“Hai, Sarie!” 

I looked Katrina, then at him. With a pouty voice, I said. “Okay, fine, I’m six.”

“Ha ha!” he said, whirling around, a look of triumph on his face. “I knew it! I knew it! I’m way older than you.”

“Not way older. You’re just a year older. When’s your birthday?”
“The first of September. I’m a spring baby.”
I jerked back. “Me too. First of September!”

We smiled at each other, and the bond that would prevail between us for years, was formed over a mutual birthday.

Fendi brought us cake, which was actually bread with sugar sprinkled on top. “Don’t mess!” she warned.
“So, where’s your ma and pa?” I asked as we tucked into Mama Tsela’s cake.  

“My mom is in heaven, and my dad is in New –”

“Shabba!” Mama Tsela and Boy chorused, before they hurried over. Mama Tsela clamped her hand over her grandson’s mouth.  

 “So, Sarie my darling, you meet my grandchildren, then?” Mama Tsela asked, her voice bursting with pride. She hugged Shabba and smothered him with kisses. I’d never seen Mama Tsela this happy before. She was simply beaming. Mahogany-skinned Mama Tsela was the matriarch to all the servants on our property. She was plump and bosomy and gave hugs at the drop off a hat, but she was also respected and feared by the other women, so when Mama Tsela spoke, they listened, or she would think nothing of whacking them over the head. However, she was loved by all, because she had a soft centre and she cared about all the servants and their children.  

Shabba tried to dodge his grandmother’s kisses so he could eat his cake, but she persisted. “I haven’t seen you in years, Shabba, so don’t stop me from kissing and hugging you,” she said with a laugh.
As I watched Mama Tsela show affection toward Shabba, a pang of envy shot through my six-year-old self. Both my grandmothers had never hugged and kissed me like that. My own mother had never hugged and kissed me like that.  

“They will be living with us,” Mama Tsela announced.

“For a while,” Baba yelled from outside. “For a while!”

Mama Tsela gave a dismissive wave, rattling off something in Xhosa to Baba. She turned back to look at me. “This strong boy is Tshabalala, and that beautiful young lady there is Fendiwe. She looks just like her mother, God bless her soul.”
Fendiwe, or Fendi, blushed beautifully, then appeared to be trying to blend into the furniture to avoid being seen.
“They are very smart too,” Mama Tsela gushed. “So smart. They can read … they can write, they can speak very good English you know. But not too much Afrikaans.”

“How come?” I demanded.

Now Shabba, who did not try to blend into the furniture, answered in a cheeky voice. “’Cause Afrikaans is the white man’s language, so you shouldn’t speak it any –” Mama Tsela’s hand clamped her hand his mouth again.   
With a nervous laugh, Mama Tsela said, “Say something smart in English, Shabba.”

“Something smart,” Shabba retorted.

Everyone laughed.

“Say something really smart,” Mama Tsela coached.

Shabba scratched his cheek. “Something smart … “We are all born equal, and –” Mama Tsela’s hand clamped over his mouth once again. “Never mind,” she said with a nervous laugh.

Shabba turned around and tried to lift up his grandmother. “See how strong I am Mama Tsela?” 

Mama Tsela laughed. “Ja, ja, ja! You are really strong, Shabba!”

Shabba ran over to Fendi and tried to pick her up.

“Shabba, stop!” Fendi cried.

“Shabba’s a skelm (rascal), ja?” Katrina said in an amused voice, when Shabba put Fendi down.

Shabba ran after his grandfather and tried to pick him up but failed. Yet, he said, “See, Baba? I’m strong! I can lift you up.”
Baba lifted one foot to humor Shabba and said, “Ja! You are the strongest boy in the world, Shabba!”
Fendi rolled her eyes. “Such a skelm.”

Shabba turned to me. “So … you live in the big house?”
I nodded.

“How many bedrooms you have?”
“Um … fifty?”

“Whoa! How many bathrooms do you have?”

My eyes shifted from left to right. “Forty. I think.”
“Whoa!”

“Wanna see it?” 
“Ja!”

“Shabba!”

We both turned to look at Baba.

He shook his finger at Shabba. “The inside of the big house is out of bounds to you, my boy. Never go inside, okay?”

“Okay, Baba,” Shabba said, and turned to me.

The moment Baba’s back was turned, Shabba grabbed my hand and together we sprinted toward my house.

 

SHABBA

A house? Sarie didn’t live in a house, she lived in a mansion! To a boy like me living in a stable, sleeping in a manger like Baby Jesus, her house was a palace. It was massive, modern, and furnished with huge crystal chandeliers, expensive furniture, plush carpets and six fireplaces. The place was so huge and so beautiful, I said, “Hey, why does your father want to build a Garden  of Heaven, when all the people from the church can move into this? It’s big enough?”
Sarie looked around, a thoughtful look on her face. “Maybe they will,” she said.
I continued poking around. The place was big, spacious, opulent and … quiet. The place screamed money, yet, it was cold and lonely, reminding me of a museum, it was that quiet. I tiptoed around, somewhat intimidated by what I saw. Compared to the noise, laughter and cheerful chaos at the servant’s quarters, Sarie’s house was like a haunted house out of a Grimm’s fairy tale.

“Where is everyone?” I whispered, as we crept through the place.

“Ma is asleep, and Pa is doing God’s work. The servants …” she shrugged, “It’s Sunday.”
“Oh, okay.”
“Hey, you want some ice cream?” Sarie asked.

Ice cream, twice in one day? I could hardly believe my luck. “Ja, ja, ja!! What flavor you got?”

She shrugged. “Any flavor.”

Any flavor? Well, by then I had discovered Sarie’s tendency to exaggerate. The house did not have fifty bedrooms, it had ten. There were only seven bathrooms too. However, it did have three living rooms, two dining rooms, two kitchens, a pantry the size of a massive kitchen, an olympic size pool, as well as a kiddie pool, five garages, a tennis court, a row of stables and a playroom that looked like it had never been used.

“Chocolate? I like chocolate?” I said, getting back to important issues.

She nodded and gestured for me to follow her.

I smiled with delight as I hurried after her. “Mint chocolate?”

To my surprise she said, “Ja, okay.”

My eyes grew large. I ran faster behind her.  “Strawberry? Do you have straw –”

“Ja.”

She’s lying, I thought, slowing to a halt.  She had to be. How could she possibly have chocolate, mint-chocolate and strawberry ice cream in one house?

She stopped walking and turned to look at me.
Despite being convinced that Sarie was lying, I decided to push my luck.

“Mango? You have mango?” I held my breath as I waited for her answer.

After a moment of deliberation, she nodded.

What a little liar she was, I thought.  That was cruel to a seven-year-old kid who hadn’t eaten ice cream in … well, more than three hours. It was cruel to a seven-year-old boy living in the servant’s quarters.
However, we were talking ice cream, and I really wanted to give Sarie the benefit of the doubt. In fact, the thought of that many flavors of ice cream in one fridge made me dizzy with excitement.

The kitchen! Oh man, was I in for a surprise! There were three fridges in the kitchen, all industrial sizes. In one fridge were rows and rows of ice cream, and all kinds of desserts. It turned out that Sarie had not been exaggerating – there really was chocolate, strawberry, mint, mango and a number of other flavors, most of them unopened. Ice cream heaven – that’s where I was. I started having difficulty breathing. I must have died and gone to heaven, I thought. Either that, or this really was the Garden of Heaven.

In the second fridge were all kinds of drinks – wine, beer, fruit juices and soft drinks. Some in bottles, some in cans, some in jugs. In the third fridge, were meat, vegetables, butter and such kinds of food stuff.

“Take what you like,” Sarie said as I stood frozen in front of the ice cream. “Me, I’m having … this! It’s my favorite.” She took a stick of rum and raisin ice cream and sat on a chair.

Still in a daze and unable to believe my luck, I helped myself to a stick of chocolate ice cream, and sat on the floor. The chairs looked expensive and well, I wasn’t used to sitting on furniture like that. In fact, I wasn’t used to sitting on chairs, period!

Sarie stared at me for a moment, a confused look on her face. I patted the floor next to me. Reluctantly, she sat down next to me.

“It’s got real rum,” Sarie said as she ate her ice cream, so I’m going to be drunk after this. Have you ever been drunk?”

I shook my head.

“I get drunk on rum and raisin ice cream all the time,” she declared.

All the time? I have never been drunk in my entire life. I began to feel really underprivileged. When it was time to get another ice cream, I decided it was also time to get drunk. 

“One day, when I grow up, I am going to make lots of money and buy a house like this,” I announced, as I helped myself to rum and raisin ice cream. “Bigger than this, and I am going to fill the fridges with every flavor of ice cream in the world.”

Sarie stared at me. 

“Are you feeling drunk?” she asked, peering at me.

Turned out the rum did nothing for me. I didn’t feel really drunk. I wasn’t going to say that to her though. “Oh yes,” I lied. “Very.”

She nodded.

“I am going to make so much money, I will be able to buy six fridges,” I warned, helping myself to strawberry ice cream instead.

By the time I got to the mint chocolate chip, I was feeling drunk in my stomach. That did not stop me from finishing it.

“Maybe buy me an ice cream … shop,” I said helping myself to some honeycomb and caramel flavored ice cream. “A factory – a ice cream factory. A big one! Like huge!”

Shortly after my fifth ice cream, I began to turn the color of the mint ice cream and struggled not to throw up.

It was then that I began to rethink my ambition to buy me an ice cream factory. That’s how drunk I got. I ran outside, threw up, then returned inside the house, on my way back deciding that I was no longer going to invest my money in an ice-cream venture. In fact, I made a decision never to touch another ice cream, because being drunk was nothing like I imagined it would be.

SHABBA

“Wanna see something cool?” Sarie asked, oblivious to my queasiness or my changing ambition. 

I nodded, eager to get away from all the ice cream.

“Come!”
I could no longer stand even looking at the ice cream. Yet, before I left, I turned and looked at the ice cream. Fendi

Despite my new-found attitude toward it – I grabbed four sticks of ice cream. One for Fendi, one for Katrina even though she wanted to klup me all the time, one for Mama Tsela and one for Baba. It was hot, they would enjoy the ice cream, I reasoned.

“Hurry!”

With the ice cream firmly in my grasp, I followed Sarie upstairs. We stopped outside a bedroom door, where she put her finger on her lips. She slipped into the room and returned a few moments later with a key. Using the key, she opened another room door, and pulled me inside.
Hallelujah! A roomful of money, that’s what it was. How could my jaw not drop at the sight of it? Never had I seen that much money at one place! Never had I seen that much money. Never had I really seen money, period.
The room itself, which was as large as a bedroom, was lined with steel, so it was a vault masquerading as a room. I looked around in awe, took in the shelves from floor to ceiling, the fact that every shelf had wads of banknotes tied with rubber bands. I took in the jewellery – gold necklaces, watches, rings, earrings and bracelets, all laid out with price tags on them, and the boxes and boxes of coins on the floor of the vault. On the top shelves were about a dozen assorted firearms and boxes of ammunition. On another shelf were bunches of keys – house keys, car keys and all sorts of spare keys, I assumed.

“How much is in here?” I whispered, still a bit drunk.

Sarie shrugged. “Gazillions.”

 “Whoa!” I began to move cautiously through the room, touching the money, then pulling back my hand. I had to be dreaming. This Garden of Heaven was filled with treasure. It actually reminded me of a Hansel and Gretel house, but made of banknotes, coins, jewellery, guns and spare car keys.

“This the church money for the Garden of Eden,” Sarie said, but you can take some if you like.”

I jerked back at her words. Then I looked at the money and licked my lips. Baba would kill me if I took the white man’s money. Fendi would twist my ears, and Mama Tsela would scold me rapidly in Xhosa – I knew how it would go down. Yet, I heard myself say, “Okay.”
“Just don’t take the jewellery because ma says pa needs it for bribes.”

“What’s bribes?”
Sarie shrugged.
After handing Sarie my four ice creams to hold, I helped myself to a bundle of banknotes. How much was in there, I had no idea at that time. Later on, I worked it out – there was at least three thousand rands in that batch. We’re talking 1968 – that was a lot of money to a seven-year-old kid then. To a black, seven-year-old who called a windowless stable in the back of someone’s property his home.

After stuffing the money into my pockets, I took back my ice creams from Sarie and we began to leave the room. When Sarie opened the door to the vault, we both collided with a ghost. I screamed and jumped back in fear.  

SHABBA

The ghost had long blonde hair, sticking out in all directions, red lipstick smeared across her face and black rings around her eyes. Across the ghost’s body was a white sash that said, Miss Boxburg 1962. On the ghost’s head was a somewhat battered tiara.
“Sorry, ma,” Sarie said in a scared voice.
Ma?
I peered at the ghost – could this be the same woman who the pastor said, “… as beautiful as the day I met her.”?
Well, it was Mazda Vorster, the pastor’s wife, who appeared to have trouble walking.  

I froze as she looked at us. I was in deep, deep trouble. I was inside the house, a wad of stolen money in my pocket and the four ice creams in my hand. Baba had warned me that the big house was out of bounds, yet I had failed to listen. I was busted by Pastor Schoeman’s wife.
With her hand on her crown, the woman looked directly at me. This is it! I thought. I’m doomed. Baba will be so disappointed. And Mama Tsela … damn! And Fendi – oh shit!

She struggled to keep her head from wobbling. “Me! Not … Laur … ika. Me! I am the beauty queen, you hear?”

I nodded, my eyes shifting to Sarie’s, who stood frozen.  

“Fif … fif … teen,” Magda said. “When I meet him. Best years of my light … life, g … gone!” She almost lost her balance trying to snap her fingers. “G … gone!” The hiccups didn’t help either.

I looked at Sarie. Her eyes urged me not to move.

I nodded and remained frozen as Magda rambled on. “He’s taking her on … tour? I will kiiiiiiill her! C… cut her tit … tit … throat!”
Again, I had no idea who she was talking about, but the cutting of the tit, or the throat, I wasn’t sure, made me sober again.

Then, a look of fear appeared in her eyes, as she looked at me.  “My c … c … clown! My clown!”

What clown?

“It’s there, Ma,” Sarie said, pointing at the plastic tiara on her mother’s head. “See?”

Magda felt for her ‘clown,’ nodded, then said, “Go get me my … med … i … cine.”
Sarie got up, Sarie ran downstairs to the bar, fetched a bottle of vodka and handed it to her mother.
Magda smiled lovingly at the bottle, opened it, took a giant swig, then thrust it at Sarie. “Have some. Have a driiiink with me.”

Sarie shook her head, moving her face away.
“C’mon! Have … a driiiink, Sarie!”
Sarie refused.

Magda lunged at Sarie, grabbed her by the hair and forced the bottle to her lips. Sarie pushed her mother away. Magda pushed harder, spilling vodka all over Sarie’s face and clothes.
“Stupid shit!” Magda muttered, eventually stumbling back. “Think you’re prettier than me, riiiiight? Wong! Wrong! Wrong!” As she spoke, she pointed her bottle at Sarie. “I am the beauty queen here, you hear? Not you! You … are … ugly! Ug … ly.” She took a giant sip of her vodka.
Sarie stood like a statute, her eyes brimming with tears, her bottom lip trembling. I felt so bad for her, I forget to act like a statue. I walked over to Sarie, put my arm around her shoulder and whispered, “You okay?”
Sarie nodded and put her finger to her lip.

Magda suddenly looked at me with surprise in her eyes, as if she was seeing me for the first time.  “I’m Ma…zzzda,” she said in a coy voice. “What’s your name?”
“Me? Eh … Shabba?” I said. I thought her name was Magda, but I may have heard wrong – it was Mazda; she said so.  
Mazda smiled at me, her glazed eyes almost closing as she did. Slowly, she tucked a strand of hair behind her ear and said, “Have a drink with … me, Chubba.”
“Okay!” I said without hesitation, taking the bottle from her.
“Don’t!” Sarie whispered.

Despite her calling me ‘Chubba,’ I thought Mazda was a nice car. I mean, nice person. So, I took the bottle from her and drank from it, ignoring Sarie’s disapproval. The vodka was so awful, I spat it back into the bottle. I did it without thinking, and immediately I regretted it. But I couldn’t undo what I did, and the bottle turned murky.

I looked at Sarie with eyes the size of the wall clock – How do I fix this?
Her eyes were equally large, so she was of no help to me.  
Crap! Crap! Crap! I couldn’t help it – after the sweetness of the ice cream, the vodka tasted bitter and disgusting.
To my surprise, Mazda smiled, took the bottle from me and took a huge gulp of it.
I was stunned to see her do that.

“How old are you?” Mazda asked, wiping her mouth with a sleeve and smearing red lipstick all over the white fabric.

“Twenty-five!” I answered.

She smiled. “You are so much f … fun!”

I puffed my chest out and gave Sarie a did-you-hear-that? look.

 “Miss Junior B … B … Boksburg …” Mazda said to me, pointing the vodka bottle at her sash. “I was the most beautiful gi … gi … gi … girl in the room!” The hiccups made it really hard for me to understand what she was rambling on about, but it didn’t matter – I intended to be a great listener, because despite the mess she was, she was still a good looking woman.  
“Eh, ma, come,” Sarie said, “Come, I take you to your bed.”
Mazda Vorster shrugged off Sarie, and cradling the bottle of vodka, began to dance in the narrow passageway, humming a tune as she did. Well, it was more like swaying drunkenly around the passage, giggling as she did, pausing only to sip from the bottle of dirty vodka. Then, she looked at me and extended her bottle to me.

I shook my head. No way was I going to drink from that disgusting bottle.

She shrugged, then said, “Come dance with me.”

So, I did. I began to dance with Mazda Vorster. She smiled and tried to clap, so I rewarded her cheers by dancing harder, by dancing like a butterfly, even though Baba hadn’t as yet taught me how to dance like a butterfly and sting like a bee. I flapped my arms like a butterfly would and moved swiftly around the corridor. The more I danced, the harder Mazda cheered and clapped.  

Sarie the spoilsport did not join us, she just stood around with her arms folded and watched us dance, her mouth turned downward.

I frowned at Sarie. What?
“Stop dancing!” she said through clenched teeth.
Although I didn’t understand why she was mad at me, I slowed down my dancing to just swaying, moving my butt from side to side, mainly because I didn’t want to stop dancing altogether and disappoint Mazda. She appeared to be having so much fun. Besides, the woman bought me my first drink, know what mean?
With bulging eyes and gnashing teeth, Sarie motioned for me to go back into the vault, which was unlocked. So, while Mazda danced with her bottle of vodka, bumping into the sides of the walls and almost falling as she did, Sarie and I backed into the vault and out of the Mazda’s sight.  
I was confused – why was everyone making a big deal of me being inside the house, when Mazda was so happy to see me? I mean, she had seen me emerge from the vault, seemed to have no problem with it, told me her real name, told me about the best of years of her life that she had given to Him, whoever he was, offered me a drink, asked me to dance, and even declared that I was fun! People could really make a big deal about nothing, if you asked me.

Once inside the vault, I picked up a .38 Special and played with it for a while. “Is it loaded?”  

“Ja, they have to be,” Sarie said. “In case the bad people come to take away our land.”
“Cool!” I said, putting it down and picking up a 9 millimetre.
“What is this for?”
“It’s the safety catch.”
“Oh, what happens if I do this?”
“No, no, no! You must not touch that.”
“Why not?”

“Because it will go off.”

“Oh, okay. I’ll push it back then.”
After a while we got bored with the fire that we were playing with, and decided to go outdoors. We peeped out into the passage, and when we saw that it was empty, Sarie and I crept outside the house. Not before I helped myself to another two wads of cash from the vault.
“What do I do with all the money?” I asked, as I stuffed them inside my shirt. Taking it home was out of the question.

“Mm … hide it?”

“Where?”

She shrugged.

We eventually put the money in a plastic bag, and using our hands, buried it in the garden. It wasn’t a very deep hole, as you can imagine. By the time I had finished with my burial, the ice cream was just a soggy mass inside its packaging. I stared at it in dismay.

“If you took it home, Boy would know that you were in the house,” Sarie pointed out, in a things-happen-for-a-reason voice.  

She was right. I had never thought about that. I looked at the ice cream and nodded. Leaving the four ice cream packets near the money grave, Sarie and I skipped off in search of something else to entertain 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, WenPhotos and Pezibear

 

ColorBlind – A romantic suspense book by Eve Rabi – Excerpt 2

As promised, while you are waiting for the release of ColorBlind, a heartbreaking romantic suspense tale, I’m sharing a second excerpt from the book with you. Hope you enjoy it. Please note, it hasn’t professionally been edited and proofread as yet, so please try to overlook the spelling errors etc. If you enjoy it, please post a comment. Love to read your thoughts.

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

EXCERPT 2 – Sex Education

SOUTH AFRICA

Cape Town

1968

(26 years before Nelson Mandela became president of South Africa)

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

SHABBA

My first sex education lesson?
I was seven years-old, and it was at Die Goed Afrikaaner Kerk, or The Good Afrikaaner Church in Cape Town, South Africa.
No, no, no! It’s not what you think. I wasn’t starring in the lesson and there wasn’t a priest involved.
Let me back it up a bit, so that you get the full picture. It all started with Baba, my grandfather.

“You never listen, Shabba!”
If I had a dime for every time someone said that to me, as a child or an adult, I would have been a stinkin’ rich man. So, when my grandfather told me I couldn’t go with him that day, of course, I didn’t listen to him. I planned to badger him until he gave in. Like I usually did.
I started to jump around him. “But, Baba, I wanna ride in the Jaguar with you! Why can’t I come with you in the Jaguar? I wanna –”

“Shabba, you –”

“— go to work with you! Please, please, please, Baba! Please, please, please!”
“Shabba, you cannot go with me. I’ve told you this before. Okay?”

“Why? Why can’t I come with you?”
“Because, Shabba, first of all, I’m driving Pastor Schoeman and his family to church today, so I can’t take you. Second of all, I’m not allowed to take anyone else in the car. Third, it –”

“I will lie in the boot, Baba. No one will see.”
“Shabba, that is … no! That is dangerous. You could get seriously hurt, Shabba. When I come back from church, I will let you help me wash the Jaguar, okay?”

“Baba, listen to me: first of all, I am a big boy, so I won’t get hurt and … second … eh … I forget – let me come with you, baba! Please, please, pleeeeease!”

With a chuckle, my grandfather pulled me in for a hug. “Shabba, I can’t. Not today. But how ‘bout this; I give you a boxing lesson when I get back?”

He had me there. I liked to fight, wrestle, box – anything physical, anything I could win at, because I liked winning, period.

“But only if I can win.”
“Shabba, I am not gonna let you win. You have to win. You have to fight harder than me to win. That’s how it’s done.”
“Okay, fine!” I said with a pout.

“Good. Now, I want you to play with Fendi and the other children while I go to work, okay?”

With my arms folded and my bottom lip dragging, I nodded.

After he ruffled my head, Baba put on his hat, straightened his tie, and hurried off, while I stayed at home.
Home, which was once a group of stables on Pastor Schoeman Vorster’s large property, was converted into basic living quarters for fifteen or more African and Colored servants and their children. When I say basic, I mean cement floors, raw walls with no paint or covering, and no windows. That basic enough for you? No? How ‘bout this – no kitchen, no indoor plumbing, no indoor toilet, no electricity, lights, heating, no place for furniture. Sounds like camping, right? Right.
Sure, it was freezing during the harsh Cape winters, but because of the number of servants crammed into each room, we managed to survive the cold. Oh, and no one was lucky enough to get a room for themselves. They got a space in a room and that was it. In the yard, a fire pit burned almost all the time, which helped keep the place warm and doubled as a sort of kitchen. My grandmother cooked for all the servants on an open fire at least once a day, using tree stumps as tables.
Baba, who was a big man, strong too, worked seven days a week as chauffeur to pastor Schoeman’s wife and daughter, and was on call twenty-four hours a day.
I stood with my little arms folded and watched baba walk up the hill to the house, pausing only to wipe sweat off his brow. After a glance over my shoulder to make sure no one was watching, I crept behind him and followed at a distance, the tall grass that separated the Vorster’s home from the servant’s quarters, shielding me from sight. I watched baba open the door of the Jaguar for pastor Schoeman, his wife and a little blonde girl around my age.

The moment Baba’s back was turned, I snuck over to the car, opened the boot, got inside and quietly shut the door.

It was roomy in the boot of the Jaguar, but it was dark. Really dark. I wasn’t afraid, though, for I knew that Baba was near, and as long as Baba was around, I was afraid of nothing. I wished I had something to hold onto, because at seven years of age and being an underdeveloped child due to poor nutrition, I was skinny as a baseball bat, and rolled around in the boot of the car like one.

Baba drove for a while, before he stopped and switched off the engine. When I heard the doors open and close, I knew I was alone. That is when I called out for Baba.

When he opened the boot, Baba’s jaw dropped at the sight of me, grinning up at him. It was a while before he could speak. “Shabba! I told you to stay at home. What are you doing here? In the boot? That’s … Shabba, that’s dangerous!”

“I came to help you, Baba. I can help with your work. I’m strong. See?” I flexed my bicep at him.

He glanced around, a nervous look on his face, before he took my arm and hurriedly led me to the back of Die Good Afrikaner Kerk. We climbed up a flight of stairs to a loft that spanned the entire church and gave me a bird’s eye view of the congregation below.

“I have to go serve drinks now, so you stay here,” Baba whispered. “Do not move, Shabba!”

I nodded, then turned my attention to Pastor Schoeman on the pulpit.

“Noah had three sons,” he said. “Shem, Ham and Japheth. Ham was black, so Noah, what did he do? He shunned him. That’s right, my brothers and sisters, he shunned his own son. Ja, his own flesh and blood. Why? Because Ham was inferior to his brothers. That is why. He was black, so he was inferior. It’s says here in the Bible.” Pastor Schoeman stabbed at his gilded Bible with his index finger. “Right here, in black and white. No pun intended.”

Laughter rippled through the pure white congregation.

“It tells us, clearly at that, we whites are a superior race.” He gave a gigantic nod to the crowd of worshippers hanging onto his every word. “Superior, in every way. Every. Single. Way.”
A murmur of approval rippled through the members of the congregation, followed by applause.
I glanced at my hands; they were black. What does inferior mean? I wondered. Even though I was little – seven-years-old, whatever Pastor Schoeman said, seemed downright ugly to me.

At six-foot-three, blue-eyed Pastor Schoeman was a charismatic man with a full head of hair, despite him being old. Well, to a mite like me, fiftyish was ancient. Anyway, he had a way of delivering the sermon – almost lyrical and uplifting, tugging at the heart strings of the racist South African. When people were not nodding at his words, they were clapping their approval. How could they not, when Schoeman kept saying, “It says here in the Bible.”?

“This is why we must keep the races separate in this country,” the pastor continued. “This is why white and blacks must never lie with one another. This is why black and white should live in separate areas. This is why the white man must protect his race, guard it with his life. This is why our country is blessed with apartheid.” He thumped his chest with his fist as he spoke, his lips twisting with defiance and determination. “Blessed is the word, my dear brothers and sisters. We are a nation blessed by God with apartheid, and we have to cherish the blessing with our lives. The World and his wife can frown at our laws, they can impose sanctions against South Africa, but we do not care. We are following Bible principals and we will continue to do so.”

It was a hot Summer’s Sunday, and while he brainwashed his congregation, servants, black and colored, all dressed in crisp white uniforms, moved stealthily between the aisles proffering iced drinks and snacks. Die Good Afrikaner Kerk obviously believed that its members should worship in comfort. All refreshments appeared to be free of charge.

A short while later, Baba appeared at my side. To my delight, he handed me a bottle of iced cold Coke. I was thrilled. I had never had a bottle of Coke before. I had tasted it in a cup, about three-fingers full once, but a whole bottle? It was bliss to a poor kid like me.

“We people of South Africa, we are decent, Godfearing people, and that is why, together, we will build our very own state, Die Goed Afrikaner Stad. This will be ours, a safe haven for our children, our very own Garden of Eden. This land will be deemed a sacred city, and not a single black person will soil that land with his footsteps.”
The congregation applauded, oblivious to the black and colored servants quietly working the aisles. Or not giving a damn that they were listening, not giving a damn that they had feelings.

“Black and white must exercise separate domain. Why? Because the Bible says so. Each man to their own. If we do not exercise separatism, there will be anarchy, there will be strife, and we will be putting our children and our loved ones in danger. Brothers and sisters, we will build our Garden of Eden together, lovingly at that, a land that we can raise our children without fear of savages infiltrating our land.”

Okay! I said to myself. Sounded reasonable to me, even though I had some trouble understanding the big words he used like separatism and anarchy. Main things was, I too didn’t want savages infiltrating our land. I just didn’t like the idea of savages, period. I wanted them to build the Garden of Heaven as soon as possible so that I could move into it. Or was it the Garden of … Eden? Nah, it was the Garden of Heaven for sure.

Baba reappeared to give me a stick of ice cream. He ruffled my head, then disappeared again. Coke and an ice cream on the same day? The bumpy ride in the boot of the Jaguar was worth it. Me rolling around like a PVC pipe in the boot of a car, was so worth it! I was in the Garden of Heaven already! Coming to church sure payed dividends, I thought as I ate my ice cream.

“It will be our paradise on Earth, and we will share it with no one.”

When the congregation were on their feet, the applause thundering, that’s when Schoeman delivered the crunch – “This dream of a safe refuge, a safe haven, we can only fulfil this dream if we build it together, my brothers and sisters. Therefore, I urge you to dig deep into your pockets and give your last cent if you have to.”
The crunch caused people to shift about in their Sunday shoes, and the applause fell to a smattering.
Pastor Schoeman didn’t miss a beat and the hard sell began. “Look at your children, and ask yourself, Can I afford not to give my last penny for this child of mine? Turn and look into the eyes of your precious babies. Go on do it now, look at your babies, look into those beautiful, trusting eyes, and then do what you must – surrender all that you can for the sake of your children! Dig deep into your pockets, brothers and sisters. God will bless you for it. He is watching, so give generously now, for He is watching!’
Heads turned to look at their children. Slowly, the applause resumed, electing a somewhat relieved smile from the salesman at the podium. “You should see the blueprints to our Garden of Eden, brothers and sisters – they are amazing, glorious, a paradise to die for! When you see them, you will fall on your hands and knees and give thanks to our lord, that’s how beautiful our Garden of Eden is going to be. We are busy working on them. All the time we work on them, and soon those blueprints of our Garden of Eden will be yours to view. So, give your last penny, brothers and sisters; donate what you can. Money, jewellery, cars, stocks and bonds – anything you can. Every little bit, every cent, takes us one step closer to our Garden of Eden.”
When the applause abated, Pastor Schoeman held out his hand. The music played, and on cue, his wife, Magda, a pretty blonde with long hair, dressed in a flowing white dress and with flowers fashioned into a large crown on her head, rose from her seat and glided over to him. Pastor Schoeman watched his beautiful young wife approach with a proud smile.
“Isn’t she just beautiful?” he said. “As the day I met her.” Taking her hand, he twirled her around, then dipped her, before he a light planted a kiss on her lips.

The congregation applauded.

Pastor Schoeman brought his wife up again and said, “To my brothers in the congregation, this is how you must treat your women. This is how a real man treats a woman.”
The applause was deafening.
“And now, ladies and gentlemen, my wife Magda and I are extremely proud to present our beautiful and talented daughter, Sarie, who will lead us with a song she has composed herself. Her thirteenth song, mind you.”

I had only just moved in with my grandparents, and because the Vorster family had been away on holiday, I had not yet met any of them as yet, including their song-writer daughter.

A blonde girl, around my age walked onto the stage. She was dressed similar to her mother – long, white dress and a crown of tiny flowers on her head. Her smile reached her blue eyes as she curtsied to her parents, before she took the mike and belted out a song.

“Save the white man,
Oh please, dear father, save the white man

Tra la la la!

Keep us ready and armed to defend ourselves our land

For we live in danger of losing our beloved country

to the likes of Nelson Mandela and his disciples.

They are evil, oh, Father, savages, oh Father, so save the white man

Oh, please dear father, save the white man, save the white man

Tra la la la la!

I was confused. The lyrics were alien to me, however, the melody, now that confused me. Why? Well, because I had heard that tune before. Later on, I would realize that it was a tune by Diana Ross and the Supremes. My mother, who died while in police custody after a political protest, used to sing all the Supremes’ songs to my sister and me. She loved music, singing and dancing, and I inherited that bit from her – I had an ear for music. Though, I couldn’t dance for shit. (That didn’t stop me from dancing though.) The irony of it all – a song encouraging racial segregation, racial discrimination, was being sung to the tune of a black pop group.

Sarie finished her song and was rewarded with an applause shook the foundations of the church. She beamed and curtsied to her audience before she was joined on stage by her mother and father. For a while, she and her mother sat on stage behind her father. As the minutes dragged by, I noticed her become fidgety.

Then, she looked up and spotted me on the top floor. I quickly ducked to avoid being seen. I was so caught up in all that I was seeing, and my ice cream, I forgot to stay out of sight. When I raised my head again, Sarie was still looking at me with bulging eyes. I pressed a finger to my lips. She nodded. Then, I began to make faces and clown around. She rewarded me with a the most beautiful smile, one that I remember till this day. I clowned around even more, causing her body to shake with mirth. When Magda Vorster looked at her daughter, then followed her eyes to where I was, I quickly ducked. When I looked up again, both Sarie and her mother had left the stage.

“Ladies and gentlemen, a copy of this song will soon be available on cassette, LP and forty-five,” Pastor Schoeman said. “Make sure you pick up your copy before they all sell out. They’re free, but a donation to build our Garden of Eden, is always welcome and encouraged. It for a good cause, so please, give generously.”

At seven-years of age, I had no idea what copyright infringement was. At Pastor Schoeman’s age, neither did he, it seemed.

When the choir took over and sung slow, boring songs, Pastor Schoeman ducked into another room and shut the door, leaving the congregation to the choir. From where I was, I could see him pacing in the room. Then, the door opened and in stepped a woman. She had big hair and red lipstick.

She smiled at Pastor Schoeman as she walked slowly toward him. I couldn’t hear what they were saying to each other, but I saw them kiss like they did on TV for a few minutes, during which time, I saw Pastor Schoeman’s hand travel under the pretty lady’s dress. The lady suddenly dropped to her knees and unbuckled the pastor’s pants. I can confirm that she wasn’t changing his diaper, because he wasn’t wearing one. Her head disappeared for a while, and I couldn’t see what she was doing, but judging by the way the Pastor’s head was fell back and the way his body became wobbly, I suspected the pastor wasn’t unhappy with whatever she was doing. It didn’t last long, because Pastor Schoeman left the room and returned to the pulpit for more hard-selling. I watched the pretty lady apply more red lipstick, pull down her dress, fix her hair, then leave the room through the back door. Man, Pastor Schoeman is one lucky man, I thought. He has two wives! Two beautiful wives and he loves them both.
So, yeah, my first sex education was at Die Goed Afrikaaner Kerk at the tender age of seven, over ice cream and a bottle of coke. Oh, and a pastor was involved in the lesson in more ways than one.

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, Image by Сергей Горбачев from Pixabay, Jill Wellington, Vdavasad

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