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

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

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

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

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

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

COMING SOON!

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

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

EXCERPT 6

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

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

The story continues …

Cape Town
1972

SARIE 

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

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

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

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

End of Excerpt from ColorBlind – Coming Soon!

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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
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