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Color Blind – Heartbreaking romantic suspense about unrequited love – book 10 now available on Amazon!

                   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 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.  

She was the face of racism, the daughter of an evangelist hellbent on segregation among the population. No one knew her secret – she was in love with the grandson of an African servant.

Since their love is considered illegal, soulmates Sarie Vorster and Shabba Mxenge have no choice but to love each other in secret. Either that, or face imprisonment under the laws of apartheid. However, one night, the police kick down their door and arrest both of them for contravening the Immorality Act, which prohibits sexual relations between the white population and people of color. Sarie faces five years imprisonment, while Shabba faces ten years. When Sarie’s father, Pastor Schoeman Vorster learns about Sarie’s arrest, he is horrified – how does he face his congregation, his supporters, his peers who are staunch crusaders of racial segregation? To save his family’s reputation, the influential Pastor goes into damage control and comes up with a foolproof plan, one that has been used time and time again with great success – Sarie must simply state that Shabba has raped her. That he targeted her because of her stance against apartheid, kidnapped, then raped her. If she does, she will be free within hours to return to her over-privileged lifestyle, and most importantly, Pastor Schoeman and his family will save face among their apartheid-loving church. Who cares that Shabba would then face more 20 years in prison? Sarie does. As much as she longs for her freedom, much to the ire of her father, she refuses to lie. She states that she would rather do time, than betray the man she has loved since childhood. The pastor is furious at her and launches into plan B – together with a band of racist wardens, the man of God engineers situations in prison to systemically break his ‘rebellious’ daughter and force her to lie. Life in prison becomes a nightmare for Sarie. Time and time again, she finds herself at breaking point.

The question is; how long can the teenager be strong for love, for the man she pledged to love forever? Will she eventually cave and lie to secure her freedom?

Color Blind books 1-10 are now live on Amazon! 

0.99 cents for a limited time! Also 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.

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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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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!

 

 

 

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

 

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

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

EXCERPT 5

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

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

The story continues …

Cape Town
1969

 SARIE

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

“I’m not. I’m –”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Oh.”

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

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

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

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

“Flattening my stomach,” I said.

“What?”

I lifted up my top and showed him my stomach.

“That’s just silly,” he said.

“No, it isn’t.”

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

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

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

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

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

I looked at my tyre tracks and frowned.

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

I nodded.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Agnes,” Katrina said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

SHABBA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Baba looked at Sarie.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mazda slowly took her foot off the accelerator.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Sure!” she said in an excited voice.

“Pinkie promise? I put out my little finger.

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

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

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

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

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

I shrugged. “Three? Four?”

She narrowed her eyes at me.

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

And that’s how I first proposed to Sarie.

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

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

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

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

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

#FreeBook

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

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

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

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

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

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

EXCERPT 4

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

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

The story continues …

Cape Town
1968

SARIE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Sure,” Boy said. “Of course, Sarie.”

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

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

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

I nodded. Okay.

He nodded. Deal.

We sealed it by linking our pinkies.

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

SARIE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SARIE

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

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

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

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

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

“What?”
“Can I see her?”

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

“There?”
I nodded. “I think so.”

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

“Don’t tell anyone,” I said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Did you hear what I said?”

I nodded.

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

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

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

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

“Ma?”

“Agnes? What you see? Ay?”

I told her all that I saw.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#FreeBook

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

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

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

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

The WRATH of Temptation – Book

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book 9 in the Girl on Fire Series

SYNOPSIS:

People say it’s okay to fail in life sometimes. They say it can be a stepping stone to … blah! blah! blah! They’re right.
I’ll tell you one thing you should never fail at. Murder. Oh, no, it’s one of the worst things you can possibly fail at. Especially a carefully orchestrated one. Ask anyone behind bars for attempted murder and they will tell you, that kind of failure is not an option, and it’s a stepping stone to time in prison.
In my case, my husband had an affair. That was okay – it happens. What was not okay, was him and his mistress, luring unsuspecting me to my death, burying me alive, she assuming my identity, they living a charmed life.
You feeling sorry for me? You should. Can you think of anything worse than being buried alive? No? You’re right – there isn’t anything worse than that – it’s pure hell.
It’s okay though, because they failed at murder, so they would live to regret it, because … I’m alive.
Mirror, mirror on the wall …

 

EXCERPT:

DROVER AND LOVE 
The story of the married man and his mistress continues …

With a heavy heart Drover watches the train ease out of the station. He doesn’t move. Love will return to him. She will change her mind, hit the emergency stop, force them to open the locked doors and run into his arms. They will hold each other for a long time, before they venture toward their next step in their complicated future together.
It wouldn’t be easy, he knows that for sure. Nothing worth it in life usually is. So, they would make the most of what they have and be thankful that they can be together some of the time. They love each other, that is all that matters. That is all that should matter.
The train becomes smaller. Drover waits.
The train became a speck in the distance. Drover drops to his haunches and watches the moving speck. Love will come back to him.
The train disappears completely from sight.
Drover does not move. The next station – she’s going to get off at the next station, board a train in his direction and rush into his arms.
He doesn’t move, doesn’t get up to pace, he stays exactly where she left him, so she can  find him easily when she returns to him.
Minutes pass. He waits.
People filter out of the train station. He waits.
Lights on the platform are switched off. The station became ghostly. Drover feel a little cold. He waits.
“Mate, you okay?”
Drover looks up into the face of the train station conductor.
“Wha …?”
“Been sitting like that for a while now, mate.”
Drover shrugs.
“Whachu waiting for?”
Drover lets out a long breath before he mumbles. “Love.”
The conductor chuckles. “Aren’t we all?”
Drover attempts a smile, fails miserably. He looks around. The place is now deserted.
“Go home, mate,” the man says in a kind voice. “She’s not coming back. Not t’day.” Embarrassed, Drover stands up and looks in the direction of the train.
She’s not coming back. Not t’day.
He nods. Love got onto a train and left, taking his heart with.  It’s over.
Shrouded in a despair, Drover turns and ambles toward his SUV. As he drives home, different scenarios flit through his mind.  What if he had got on the train and left with Love? Just followed his heart? Like they did in the movies? Rode off into the sunset with the woman he loved?
They would have been happy, yeah, but … would he have been able to live with himself knowing that he had abandoned his wife and children? That he was shirking his responsibilities? He loves Joy, he loves his kids and abandoning them all because he fell in love with another woman, is not something he could ever do.
Do the right thing – wasn’t that what a to do? A parent supposed to do? That was important to him – to do the right thing.
Sometimes in life, when love costs too much, a mammoth sacrifice is necessary. This is one of those times, and it hurts like hell.
He will forget her – the woman who could make him laugh, make him cry and make him quake with fear whenever she held a shotgun in her hands. The one who adored his silver and gold eyes. He glances in the rear-view mirror at his eyes and smiles. Silver and gold – what a way to describe them.
He will forget her, because time will make it happen. Well, that’s what people say. He will make time his friend. He was determined to.
A dull ache lodges in his chest. Heartache? Heartbreak? He releases his seatbelt a little. It doesn’t help- the ache persists.
He drives up to his house, eases the SUV into the garage and kills the engine. Instead of alighting from his vehicle, he remains seated behind the wheel and presses his palms to his eyes.
Joy. He’d have to face her. Damn!
He looks at his phone for the first time. One hundred and seven missed calls. Damn!
His quick-thinking, analytical brain kicks into gear – He’s been away for twenty-six hours. Joy has called every fifteen minutes during those last twenty-six hours.
Being the attorney that he is, he evaluates the facts:
AWOL for twenty-six hours.
He’d turned off his phone.
He’d left without an explanation.
Most importantly, he’d spent the last twenty-six hours with his mistress. There was no doubting as to who he was with.
Joy would have a problem with that. Joy has a problem with that – a phone call or text every fifteen minutes – crap! He’s not proud of his behaviour, but he just couldn’t help it – he was losing the woman he loves, because he put his family first.
Damage control:
Apologise, explain, then assure Joy that he is back for good.
Assure her that when faced with a choice, he chose to remain with her and the children.
Assure her that he is never going to leave her. Ever. She is his wife and she will always come first in his life.
He means it. He loves Joy and he knows that she is hurting right now. He vows to make it up to her. Do everything in his power to fix their marriage. Kiss away the hurt. He wants so badly to ease her pain.
Joy’s an attorney too; she’ll also look at the facts, resolve to handle the issue in a logical and rational way. We can do this.
Suddenly, his SUV is rocked by a loud bang and the sound of breaking glass.
“What the …?” He spins around to see Joy smashing the rear window of the SUV with a baseball bat. It is a shatterproof window, yet, glass flies at him.
“Joy, what the hell?”
Snarling with rage, Joy moves to the driver’s side and swings at his window. “Cheating, lying, son of a –”
Drover jumps out of the SUV and tries to get the bat off her, copping a good few blows in the process. Eventually he manages to wrestle the bat out of her hands and flings it into the bushes.  “Christ, Joy! What the hell are you doing?”
She stands before him, chest heaving, eyes glowing with anger. “You were with her, weren’t you?”
“I … I… Joy …”
She shoves him hard in the chest. “Answer me, you lying bastard!”
“Joy, I’m sorry, things happened … but it’s over, okay? I’m back, I’m home, with you and the children. I want to make things work. Please just … under –”
“How … how dare you treat me like this?”
“—stand, okay? Please?”
Her voice is shrill, borderline hysterical and she paces as she speaks.
“I’m sorry. I am. I really am. Please, let … let’s just forget it all and start again, Joy. Please.”
She whirls around to look at him. “Forget it? You … you dog. You fucking … you son of a …”
Drover allows her to vent, and vent she does, cursing and hurling insult after insult at him. He stays silent, nods his understanding, eager to let her get everything out of her system so they can move on.
He rubs his eyes, red and tired from the lack of sleep and crying.
“What? Your eyes are tired?” Joy circles him as she rages. “Didn’t sleep last night, huh? Too busy fucking that whore? Huh?”
“Don’t call her a whore, Joy.” The moment he utters those words, he regrets it. Too late. Joy stands absolutely still, a loaded silence follows, and Drover suddenly thinks about wearing a crash helmet.
“You protecting that slut? Seriously? You protecting her, DROVER?”
Drover looks at the ground.
She pokes him in the chest, then slaps him in the face. “Huh? Answer me, you dog! You protecting that dirty whore from nowhere? Huh? The one who spreads her thighs for any married man to get what she wants? Huh? Answer me? You actually protecting? You are protecting her. The audacity of you!”
Fight or flight. Blame the weariness, blame the fact that he was feeling emotionally and physically drained, blame the fact that Joy won’t stop, Drover choses the coward’s way out. “Listen, Joy, I’m going to take a shower, okay?” Without waiting for an answer, Drover strides into the house.
The house is dimly lit, eerily quiet and cold. Like something is missing. Love. She is missing. She walked into their dark, gloomy house and turned it into a home. Brightened up the place by turning on the lights, putting fresh flowers in the vases, and playing music. Add her humor, wit, goofiness and laughter to the mix, and the place became one big carousel of lights, music and laughter. Now that she’s gone, she’s taken it all with her, including that carousel.
At the thought of the days, the weeks, the months … life without her, that ache in his chest intensifies and a lump the size of a golf ball jams in Drover’s throat.
Andrew appears in front of him, eyebrows raised. He cranes his neck to look behind Drover. When he does not see Love, his shoulders sag.
Drover slaps him on the back, before hurrying on.
He sees Daisy on the top of the stairs, both hands balled on her chest, her face tear-stained.  “It’s true, dad?” she whispers. “Love’s gone?”
Drover’s shoulders lift and drop, before he whispers, “It’s gonna be okay, baby.”
She wipes away tears with her sleeve, then darts into her bedroom and shuts the door.
“Where are you going?” Joy shouts, running behind Drover. “I haven’t finished with you!”
Drover takes the stairs, two at a time, and heads for their bedroom. He strips quickly, throws his clothes on a chair and makes a dash for the bathroom.
As he showers, Joy flings open the bathroom door, a golf club in her hand.
Drover’s heart drops. If she slams that club against the shower door …
He’s unsure what to do – stay in the shower and let her vent, get it all out of her system, or leave the shower and get rid of the golf club, but risk getting into a physical altercation with her as he does?
“Yes, take shower, a hot one!” she yells above the noise of the shower. “Scald yourself, Drover, and get rid of the stench of infidelity before it further taints this home of ours! Before you further defile our marital bed with the scent of that slimy whore.”
Don’t call her a whore!
Drover remains in the shower, trapped, because there is no escaping Joy’s wrath. For a few minutes he lets both the water and Joy’s vitriol rain over him, waiting for that swing of the golf club, listening out for the sound of shattering glass.
It’s unfair, he thinks as he watches her. If the roles were reversed – if he threatened Joy with a baseball bat and a golf club, while she was in a car or in the shower, people would call him abusive, and he’d face jail time for sure. Yet, she gets away with it because she’s a woman.
He turns off the taps, steps out of the shower and moves toward the towel rack, his eyes still fixed to the golf club in her hand. Joy beats him to towel rail and snatches the towel out of it.
“Joy, please!”
“You don’t deserve anything in this house, you slime ball. Not even a goddamn towel.”
Drover yanks the towel out of her hands, wraps it around his waist and walks into the bedroom, expecting to feel the golf club in his back. Joy follows him into the bedroom.
Stay calm and keep apologising.
“Joy, I am here,” Drover says in a controlled voice. “I’m home, okay? I’m sorry for everything. I am.” He lowers his tone of voice, put his hands on her shoulders and looks into her eyes. “I didn’t mean to hurt you. I’m sorry I did. I really am. You were gone for almost a year and … I was … Joy, I was lost, alone … and … she was there, and she was lonely too and … it just –”
“— happened? Is that what you’re going to tell me? You going to use that cliché as your get-out-of-jail card? Seriously?”
Drover hesitates, then continues. “I’m home now, Joy. Where I want to be, okay? How about you cut me some slack? Please. I really need your –”
“You … you … how dare you try and sweet-talk me?” She violently shrugs off his hands, then slaps him across the face.
“Joy, I am home!” Drover yells. “What more do you want from me?” He snatches the golf club out of her hand and flings it across their bedroom. It crashes into a picture frame of them on the wall and shatters it. Glass rains down on the carpet.
Joy stares for a moment in disbelief. He stares too, shocked at his anger. He’d never done anything like this before.
Joy soundlessly claps her hands. “Good shot, Drover! Bet you wish that photo frame was me, right?”
Drover doesn’t answer. With a Labrador-like shake of his head, he strides back into the bathroom, shuts the door and locks it.
“And don’t act like you are doing me any favours by being here, because you aren’t!” Joy yells, banging on the door. “You open this door, you cheating bastard!” She starts to kick the door.
With his eyes squeezed shut, Drover leans his forehead against the bathroom door. Maybe if he’s out of her sight, she will calm down, he reasons.
She doesn’t; she continues to rage, screaming profanities and abuse at him through the locked door.
Drover gets back into the only place he can hide – the shower. It drowns out her threats and gives him time to cool down. He only gets out of the shower when the water runs cold.
What was colder than the water? Joy’s shoulder – she suddenly stops ranting and they spend the rest of the night in icy silence.
This is so hard, Drover thinks as he lies in the dark at three in the morning, staring at the ceiling. If only Joy knew how hard ending the affair was on him, on his heart, she would act differently. She would put her arms around him and hold him close, help him fix the broken pieces, help him grieve the loss of the woman he fell in love with, so that he can move on with his life. With their life. That’s what he longs for – for her to understand, comfort him, make him believe that he’s made the right decision, make him think that Joy was worth suffering heartbreak over. Worth the pain. Make him believe that doing the right thing was … worth the pain.
Joy does not – her episodes of rage become maniacal. There are marathon sessions of abuse hurling (“You both are liars and thieves! Rotten to the core. Dirty cheats, that’s what you are.”), where she dishes accusation after accusation, asking questions, then demanding answers (“How was she in bed? Better than me? Huh? Tell me. Go on answer me, you son of a bitch!”).
Asking questions, then answering it herself (“Where did you fuck her, huh? I’ll tell you where you fucked her – in the car, in the bathroom, in the toilet, in the shower, in my fucking bed, Drover! In my bed!”).
Asking questions, providing him the opportunity of a multiple-choice answer, then demanding that he pick one (“How does she compare to me in the sack? Huh? I’d like to know. Tell me. Was she as good as me? Was she almost as good as me? Was she so good, so much better than me, you had to have the slut at any cost?”).
If he answered, he was in trouble. If he didn’t answer, he was in trouble. He could do nothing right. Day in and day out, morning, noon and night, Joy unleashed on him, and there were no signs of her anger abating.
Sadly, a lot of the madness was in front of their children. To spare them, Drover would often walk away during an argument, walk away from an imminent fight, hoping she’d cool down if he left her alone – it takes two to tango. That didn’t work – Joy would follow him around the house, insisting he answer, provoking a reaction, baiting him to fight back. She’d poke him, slap him, shove him and throw things at him.
When he extracted himself from a volatile situation, or a potential fight, she’d call him spineless, a pussy and a coward.
It was ugly. It was hell.
Often, he’d have no choice but to get into his SUV and drive off to some place he could hide from her wrath. Sometimes, he would leave home in the middle of the night and sleep in his SUV rather than go back and face Joy. Because of this, he now kept a blanket, pillow, a toothbrush and a change of clothes in his SUV. If he wasn’t a man, he’d probably find himself in a woman’s shelter, seeking refuge for the night.
Oh, there were times when Joy wasn’t abusive. Those times she was hostile, cold and uncooperative toward him. She would ignore his questions, turn off the light while he was in a room reading, hide his car keys, hide his wallet, hide his phone charger, hide his phone, hide his eyeglasses, hide the remote to the garage, hide the remotes to the TV, hide the remote to the air conditioning unit or change the wi-fi password for no reason.
It was as ugly. It was hell.
The saddest and most unpleasant part of this whole thing? The children – when Joy flew into her rages, she unleashed on them too. Over simple things, like Andrew spilling some orange juice on the table, or Daisy forgetting to say thank you to her. She would get in their faces and scream at them, and they would quake with fear, expecting her to hit them.
No one knew when Joy was going to explode. The family, terrorized and edgy, tiptoed around the house, speaking in whispers, avoiding Joy at all costs, and tensing the moment they heard her voice.
Before long, every inch of their beautiful, triple-story, 6,800 square-foot home was covered in eggshells.
Life was ugly. Life was hell.

Release date: 16 January 2018

This is not a stand-alone book. It is a sequel to the Other Woman (an epic and jaw-dropping collision between a betrayed wife and a cunning seductress), which has an overall 5-star rating on Amazon U.K. and Amazon Aus. Fans of Girl on the Train and Gone Girl will love Eve Rabi’s tales of love, lust and revenge.

#RomanticCrime #RomanticSuspense #StoriesofRevenge #VigilanteJustice

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(Click on image above to read The Other Woman)

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