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The law declared their love a crime and imprisoned them both.
Now, one of them must risk all to save the other.
0. 99 cents
for a limited time,
so click on the image below to get your copy!
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Posted by Eve Rabi Author
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:
EXCERPT 2 – Sex Education
(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.
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.
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