Dedicated to all those who feel like life is taking them for granted, I took the pain and the anger and just converted it into something that             might touch someone when they feel like giving up






















So this story begins with Neema, a gorgeous young Hindu lady who meets and falls in love with a fairly handsome Muslim man from the neighbourhood Yaseen, the thug, the ruffian who in his drunken state referred to himself as the famous mafia “AL CAPONE” is now sitting in a hospital somewhere in on 25th March 1990 looking at the soft, wrinkly and innocent face of a girl whom she named Sadie, Sadie is born to an unhappy couple that can barely keep their lives intact. A mother not only faces her new daughter but also now faces a difficult situation as after the marriage to Sadie's father, she’s been hurt once too many times, a child just didn’t seem like something she needed. At the age of 26 baby number two was clearly a mistake as she had just left her previous relationship that had blessed  her  with her first born, Elreshia (but everyone calls her Elly for short) who was already 8. Being in an abusive relationship Neema experienced many challenges with Sadie’s father, being a paranoid alcoholic and drug addict he was never really there for his daughter.

Sadie is now 4, lying next to Elly in a warm bed just had supper and like every four year old she hated sleeping she had this weird habit of playing with her mum’s or sister’s ears before falling off to sleep. As numerous times before, Late that night her father shows up at the door, in his usual drunken state, banging on the doors and windows disturbing the peace with his foul language and arrogant behaviour, demanding to see his daughter whose name he had recently tattooed on the left side of his chest, Neema always feared the safety of her kids especially since she knows that the neighbours are too afraid to intervene...typical of Indians though they love the drama, they hate helping.


After a few minutes of shouting an ranting, Everything goes quiet, she hears nothing and decides to peep through the window, there she’s faced with the man she loved sitting at the door, covered in blood after being beaten up, probably by some drunkard friends at the local shebeen, holding his head in hands and crying. What could have happened that night? What did he do? Who had beaten him up? While she asks herself all these questions Sadie sneaks the keys to her father through the kitchen window without giving a second thought, but wait...which four year old thinks before doing anything? He lets himself in swearing and calling Neema names while slapping her to the floor, Neema picks herself up from the floor and wipes the drops of blood from her lower lip and then locks herself up in the room to prevent a further beating. He then sits down on the lounge floor and asks Sadie to get him some water, she returns a few minutes later with a glass that she can barely carry,  filled almost three quarter way up and raised the glass to her father’s torn and bleeding  lips and as he took a sip he gave an agonising shout, and spat out the water, Neema comes in to see what the fuss was about and at that moment realizes that Sadie had mistakenly given her father a glass of white vinegar which she thought was water. At that moment Neema didn’t know whether she should laugh or scold Sadie as the Vinegar had worsened the pain in the wounds of Sadie’s father’s mouth that he had attained from the beating. After a few seconds, He quieted down and Sadie was sent to bed.

The next day Neema leaves Sadie with her dad and goes to see her mother who lived a few blocks away and returns with her brother, Rajeev to talk to her husband about his behaviour the night before only to find that she has been locked out of the house, she knows that he’s inside the house as she can hear  the loud  sound of glass breaking and Sadie is crying, she peeps in through an open bedroom window and sees him sitting at the edge of the bed, in his usual drunken state, breaking one beer bottle after the other on his forehead. At this point Neema is terrified as she witnesses that this man has anger in his eyes and doesn’t seem to be feeling a thing Sadie sees her mum and is screaming for her mum to get him to stop.

He turns to the window and looks his wife in the face with his blood shot while holding a lighter in his hand and tells her that Sadie is possessed and that he saw the devil or a demonic entity in her and threatens to burn the little girl alive in that house, Neema fears the seriousness of those words and Requests that her brother breaks down the door in order to save her daughter’s life. After a bit of a hassle they were successful in getting in the house. Neema rushed in the bedroom and grabbed hold of Sadie while Rajeev pushed the man to the ground and called the local police, was this man Crazy? Was he paranoid? What would push a father to the point where he would want to take the life of his only child?

So many questions were left unanswered.  Sadie’s father was sent to an asylum to reform and rehabilitate himself as the court found that not only was he considered a danger to his wife and daughter but to himself as well. Previously many rumours were spread around regarding his mother, Farida, who was accused of using black magic.  The famous one being that she used to go to the orphanage and take girls into foster care for the social grants that was paid. She apparently used to treat these girls as her maids. They were young and between the ages of 12 and 14. Sometimes neighbours used to say that they witnessed the girls taking baths outside with cold water in winter! What kind of human would do this?

It is alleged that one day the two girls ran away from Farida’s house while she was out shopping for the weekly groceries, when she returned she was furious and then used black magic and the girls’ underwear to somehow lure them back home as in just a day the girls willingly returned to that cruel life. In that same year Farida had experienced the death of her eldest son Ali who passed away through the excessive use of alcohol. She always blamed her ex-husband as after she gave him three children, Ali, Yaseen and Razia he had left her and opened up a shebeen with his mistress. The second incident was the fact that Yaseen was now declared insane. Was this her karma for all her bad deeds against the two girls? Or was it the black magic backfiring?







Time has passed by and Neema now a single mum of two has managed to pick up the pieces of her broken heart and has moved on and is now pregnant with baby number three and has managed to find herself another abusive partner, i know what you think and it’s easy to judge from the outside but how many guys out there are willing to take a women that has two children from two different men and build a home for them?....exactly!

Neema did what she thought would put clothing on her children’s backs and food in their mouths something that any mother would do. 29 October 1995 and Neema is in hospital and history repeats itself all over again as she is now holding her first baby boy, Justin. She now feels like her family is complete. She has Elly, Sadie and Justin She has this feint hope that this baby will mend the relationship she has with his dad and it will motivate him to change his ways. Few months down the line, Neema notices that Elly is breathing very heavily and is gasping for air. She panics she has no phone and no car to even get Elly to the hospital she goes out and manages to get hold of a neighbour who rushes to see what’s wrong with Elly, she’s now worsening as they put her in the car and rush her to hospital. When they arrive they find out that Elly has asthma and she just experienced a fatal asthma attack. Neema is educated about the illness and is given the appropriate meds to give to Elly. Elly is discharged and the neighbour gives them a lift back home.

At home they find Justin in the hands of his not so happy father who is clearly pissed at the fact that when he arrived home Neema was not there, neither was Elly and Sadie and Justin was left in the care of a neighbour. Neema gets in the house and shuts the door behind and just as she is about to explain what happened to Elly and her where about, she was punched on the upper right side of her face. Being a brave lady she didn’t want to make it obvious to the kids that she was getting beaten, she calmly held her face and as a tear rolled down her cheek, she asked him “what was that for”? He starts swearing, calling her the worst of names, making her feel worthless while slapping her continuously. All she can do is cry and hope it will end; she wouldn’t dare stand up to him because if she does he will surely throw her out. He’s asked if she had cooked anything for supper and she stares back at him while covering the right side of her face and says “No, I didn’t, I couldn’t because....” she wasn’t even allowed to finish that sentence and she was violently pushed to the floor now enduring multiple kicks to the ribs and back, he turns around and looks at the lounge display cabinet and picks up a white and slightly pinkish porcelain horse ornament and strikes it on her head. Neema looks at him an at that moment doesn’t realise what has happened to her until a few seconds later she feels a warm and sticky liquid drizzling down her forehead, across her eye and cheeks. It is in that moment that she decides that she has had enough. Her life was indeed in danger; this man was capable of almost anything and the worst part of it all was that he wasn’t even drunk at that time! Thankfully a neighbour alerted the police while all the commotion was going and they arrived not long after. Neema was then taken to her mother’s place and a restraining order was opened. Not like that stopped him as thereafter he harassed her every opportunity he got. His threats became too much he would show up and harass her even if she was with her family, friends or even going to work. Neema decides that she isn’t going to be in peace anytime soon and after many days of thinking of a way out she decides that she is going to leave Pietermaritzburg and hide out in Johannesburg as she has an elder brother there and figures that this is the only way she will be able to give her children a life without the abuse. Definitely a brave decision made by a very brave woman although it was brave it definitely wasn’t easy, having nothing and going to a foreign place as a single mother was the scariest feeling ever.















The following Monday, Neema takes Sadie with her to visit her eldest sister Radha. Radha was married to Jimmy Thomas and they had 4 children together, Shanice, her moody husband Barry, Chantel, Michelle and Mark. Shanice was the only one married in the household and Radha was the only one working at the time. Jimmy on the other hand was a builder, the craftsmanship of his work was outstanding and in his free time he loved to plant, his back yard was filled with different fruit trees.

Radha has a special lunch prepared for Neema and Sadie and out of all her nieces and nephews, Radha like Sadie the most. Her children always considered Sadie as their little sister. That evening Neema tells Sadie that she’s going to the store to buy something and will be back shortly, an hour passes by and Radha hands Shanice a letter and asks her to read it aloud to Sadie. The little girl wobbles towards Shanice who’s seated on a red velvety couch with wooden frames, knocking her elbow while climbing on and stares at Shanice. Shanice begins reading and the letter said:



Dear Sadie,

You a big girl now and you are about to start your first grade in a few days. It is not easy for me but I hope that you understand that mummy needs to make a new life for us, we could not live in peace and I am going away with the hope that I can start a new beginning for us. Stay nicely with your Radha mummy, I know she will look after you because she loves you just as much as I do and she always treated you as one of her own. I have already found place for you at the school around the corner and I am very sure that you will make lots of friends, behave yourself and I promise I will come and get you when I am settled, please do not cry for me I will be back sooner than you think. I love you always

From: mummy.




Sadie sat there, so lost and painfully confused. She was a girl who was rarely physically able to show emotion and just then a tear drizzled down her chubby cheek, she was hurt. She wanted to know what did she do wrong, how come her other siblings got to be with her mother but not her? What did she do wrong? Why did her mother abandon her? The only person, who could have answered these questions and take away the guilt from this little girl, had disappeared.

Its 8:11pm and Neema and her two children are on the highway, without a cent in their pockets, hitchhiking a lift to Johannesburg. After a few unsuccessful tries, finally a black couple pulls over and is willing to give the family a ride. The man and his wife were both teachers at a school in a place called Soweto; they were a very friendly couple with no children of their own. Few hours later and they make a stop to freshen up and the couple makes sure that they get the family of three some food and hot coffee for the road, By 3:25am Neema opens her eyes after a tiring trip and finds that she has arrived in Soweto, not very far from Lenasia where her brother stays. The lovely couple assures the family that later in the morning they will take her to her brother’s house. At first Neema was a bit sceptical about the safety of her kids as they have come so far, but she has hope in a heart and god on her side. She closes her eyes and mumbles; “GOD, I know you didn’t pick me up this high only to make me fall again, our lives are in your hands.” She then closed her exhausted eyes and her last thoughts were that; in a matter of a few hours her life is going to change and she is hoping for a new beginning, a new life away from all the drama and she doses off into a much needed slumber.
















13 January 1996 and Neema wakes up to the sound of rain on a zinc roof so loud, that she can barely make out the voices to the match faces on the black and white television in front of her. She turns and sees that Justin is wide awake staring at here with warm eyes. Elly is already up and is talking the ears off the kind couple who housed them for the night. Neema gets up and the lady hands a towel and a bucket of water that she should use to was her face and further explains that they will be taking her through to Lenasia in 30 minutes. Neema digs in her pocket and finds the crumpled piece of paper on which her brother’s address is written and hands it to the lady.

After a few minutes, the kids are dressed and their hair is combed and the family is ready to face their new destiny. After a few bad directions, they reach the address of Neema eldest brother Sanjay. The couple wishes Neema everything of the best and leaves as they have to attend work shortly.  Sanjay lived with his wife Lavina and their 5 children in a 3 bedroom in Lenasia extension 13, a small Indian community. Sanjay and his family Welcomes Neema and Lavina gave Elly a gentle kiss on the cheek. After a few hours of chatting Sanjay tells Neema that he has arranged for a place for her to stay for the month as there is no place for Neema to stay with him.

Lavina packs a few groceries and odds and ends and Sanjay drives a few roads away and stops in front of a faced brick double story house in extension 8. An old lady comes out and hands him the key and guides them to a door at the back of the house. Neema opens the door and it unveils a small room with a kitchen sink with a cupboard, a 2 plate stove and a single bed with small separation that leads to the shower and toilet. The stench of dampened floors fills the whole room as if there is water pipe leak somewhere and there are a few cracks on the walls and the place is in serious need of a painting. Neema puts her bags down and Sanjay leaves closing the door behind him. This is the start that she was waiting for but now that it’s here, where should she start?

She weeps up the room and then begins unpacking the things that her sister-in-law had given her to get her started as well as her bags that she had brought with. She them begins to start supper as Elly and Justin now seem hungry. Elly makes a bottle of formula for Justin and then helps her mum to prepare the food. The family eats and then decides to call it a night. The next morning Neema gathers all her important documents and heads to the school to enrol Elly for the 3rd grade, she is lucky enough that the principle sympathises with her and grants her a place in the school. Not only was he kind enough to do that, but he also provided Neema with school uniform and stationary for Elly to begin class the very next day. Elly was a very bright girl and once she heard that she had been accepted in school, happiness filled her eyes.

Two weeks down the line and things are finally falling into place. Neema starts work as in insurance broker and is lucky enough to be earning enough pay the upcoming months’ rent. Elly has settled well in her new school by now and has made plenty of friends and as for Justin well he still has a lot to explore. Neema sits up on the bed and watches her children in a peaceful sleep, no drama, no fear and no disturbances, something that this family didn’t know the meaning off, till now.














By now Sadie has started school and has made a special friend, Terry. Terry lived 4 doors away from Radha with her mother, father, sister and a brother whom Sadie, till today, hadn’t met. Terry was good secret keeper and Sadie felt close to her as with her funny talks and silly games, she somehow managed to always keep Sadie happy. Sadie was never short of love, although she felt abandoned by her mother, Radha was now called “Ma” as she filled the space that Neema had left in Sadie’s heart. Radha’s children became her brother and sisters and Sadie. Well Radha made sure that she was short of nothing. This way she hid the feeling of abandonment and this, this was her family. Jimmy was equally fond of Sadie as she was very good in giving him lotto numbers! One day just before going to the tote with his drinking buddy, Neville, jimmy wrote some numbers down on a piece of paper as he was going to play these number later. Sadie being as curious as she was, scribbled other numbers over the ones that jimmy had written! When jimmy went to play his numbers, he was already tipsy. He noticed what she had done and couldn’t remember his numbers so he played another set of numbers. 3 hours later and the winning numbers are announced. It turns out that all the numbers that Sadie had written by herself were announced!!! Had he played those numbers he would have been sitting with a thick wallet. Don’t know if was more happier with Sadie or more mad at himself! All i know is that she was his lucky charm and even helped him bet on horses, Marsha Mowing, being her favourite. Then there was Terry’s mother Sheila was a caring woman and strong believer in Christ, she had a heart made out of platinum not even gold. She always treated Sadie as her own. These girls shared everything spending money, toys and even clothes. Sadie used to look forward to the weekend as this was the time she would get the privilege of having a sleep over at her best friend’s house, it became a routine actually; on  a Friday the kids would come home, Sadie would get her clothes and speed off to Terry’s house. There Sheila would serve the two a sandwich and some cold drink and then they would run outside to play writing games, Terry’s dad would always bring them different types of coloured paper to draw on and they would usually fight over it. In the evening they would go inside and have a shower while Sheila prepares supper and oh, what a cook she was! After that they would watch some television and Sheila would tuck them in, switch off the light and close the door behind her. Few minutes later the girls would hear Sheila coming and they would pretend to sleep. Sheila not knowing they were pretending, would gently place her hand on their heads one at time and then recite a prayer so they would sleep peacefully, then kiss them on the forehead and leave. She was the perfect mum. All these things was what kept Sadie feeling content with what she had, she was always surrounded by love...well except for Shanice’s husband Barry who Sadie thought, hated her. During the week while Radha was at work he would shout at Sadie for no reason and this often caused fights between Radha and him. Radha hated all the complaints that she used to get from Sadie and felt that Barry used to ill-treat Sadie because she was shit scared of him. All he had to was give her one dreadful look and Sadie would be too scared to even eat! Maybe instilling fear in Sadie made him feel superior or something. The only time Sadie felt that she could breathe was when her ma was home or when she was at Terry’s place. A  Few weeks later the biggest fight between Radha and her son-in-law breaks out and yes, you guessed it, it was because of the way he treated Sadie. Sadie came home from school to find Mark seated in the lounge holding a tennis racket in his one hand and a lighter in his other. “What are you doing with that?” she asked. He then explained that one of the racket threads had snapped and he is melting it to fix it. Sadie leaves the room and goes into the bedroom to put down her bag, as she is leaving the room, Barry calls her and demands that she makes him some tea, the girl agrees and goes into the kitchen and switches the kettle on. On her way back to the bedroom she notices that Mark is no longer in the lounge and he had left the racket and the lighter on the coffee table. One of Sadie’s worse traits was her curiosity! She then begins to hold up the racket and starts to burn the thread that Mark was trying to fix. Few seconds later she starts screaming and crying. While burning the racket thread a melted piece of plastic dripped onto her right thigh and got stuck to her leg. While trying to remove the hot plastic from her leg, all the skin under it peeled off too, exposing her pink flesh and scarring Sadie for life. The scar was so unique because it was shaped like a teardrop.

At that moment Barry comes out of the room to ask for his tea and sees that Sadie had burnt herself. He then slaps the little girl across her face and tells her that she likes to fidget and can’t sit still so he is going to teach her a lesson. He takes Sadie to his room and puts her to sit on the tiled floor in his room and ties her legs and hands with his ties. She is forced to sit there till her ma comes home. That day Sadie didn’t even get to eat or play with her best friend. About three hours later Radha arrives home and is looking for Sadie to give her the popcorn and sweets she had bought for Sadie to give her class mates as it was the Girls 6th birthday the next day. Sadie’s first birthday without her mum. Radha walks into the room to find Sadie tied up in the room and Barry reading the sport section of the newspaper on the bed and in just a few seconds, Radha loses her mind! She is furious as now she finally sees that all Sadie’s complaints were serious. Shanice and her mother stopped talking for a few days and the tension in the house was serious. This alone was proof enough of the love that Radha had for Sadie.


















A few weeks later, Sadie arrives home from school as she usually does and notices that there are two bags in the living in room. She calls for Chantel, but she doesn’t respond. Sadie goes towards the bedroom to leave her school bag and change her uniform, as she pushes the door open, she is surprised at what she sees! Neema is sitting on the bed! Sadie is in aw! After 6 months, she gets to see her mum’s face. Sadie is amazed and a single tear makes an appearance on her right cheek and Neema just stared at her with a loving smile on her face and pulled her closer to give her a hug.

“I have come to take you home, I am taking you back with me to Johannesburg” she said. The little girl’s face just lit up with happiness and by now she had figured that the two bags that she saw earlier was hers. After a few minutes she stops. She now realises that she will have to leave her best friend and her ma behind. Why does this always happen to her? Every time she finally get used to the idea of something, it changes! She looks at her mother and says “I am not going with you until I say goodbye to my ma!” Neema looks at her with a partially annoyed face and says “yes, we not leaving now, I have to tell my sister thank you for looking after you” a bit relieved but still disheartened, Sadie rushes out to Terry’s place to tell her what is going on, but as she gets to the beginning of Terry’s steps, she realises that straight from school Terry had gone to her grandmother’s place. “Damn it!” she says, “I’m not going to get to tell her goodbye and she still has my doll!” She then laughs and heads back home.

That evening Radha returns home from work and is just as surprised to see Neema. She gives Neema a sisterly hug and then they both are seated. Neema tells Radha that she has come to fetch Sadie and they will be leaving in 20 minutes as the taxi will be picking them up from there shortly. Radha is heartbroken she has to now let go of her niece whom she loves so dearly. Neema further explains that she has already collected her daughters transfer card from the school and Radha should give her old uniform to someone who needs it as the Johannesburg schools have different uniforms. Radha grabs hold of Sadie who is sitting on the couch so dazed, and gives her a big hug! “I’m going to miss you so much my baby” she said with tears in her eyes.

Not even two minutes later and there was a hoot, the taxi was there to pick up Neema and Sadie and take them to take them to Johannesburg. Excited to start her new adventure, Sadie goes to everyone and says her goodbyes, lucky for her; Barry was nowhere to be seen. The little girl was ever ready to see her new home in a new city with a new beginning.























After a lengthy and tiring 8 hour trip, Sadie is awakened by Neema. It still dark out and the winter chills is starting to kick in Sadie gets out of the taxi and is standing in front a big steel gate and waiting for Neema to get their bags. Neema opens up the gate and the barks of the land lady’s dogs scares Sadie, she hold onto her mother tight as they enter the yard. Once in the house, Neema switches on the light and closes the door behind her. Elly is now up and rubbing her eyes that have been burning since the light was switched on, disturbing her sleep and Justin, well Justin could sleep through a tornado! Elly was so happy to see her sister after 6 months. With so much to tell her sister, Sadie was rather annoyed that her mother suggested they go to bed, however she does as she is told.

The next morning Neema is up and ready to get Sadie enrolled in school, she is so sceptical about getting place since the year is already halfway through. Sadie gets up and she is now ready to explore the yard, she loved making mud cakes with Elly. Neema was lucky enough again as god was on her side as she manages to find a school that has is willing to accommodate Sadie. For once Neema actually admitted that she was blessed because moving to a new place and starting a new life was one of the best and wisest decisions that she could have ever made.

Sadie is now at her new school and is so amused at the fact that the school building. Uniforms and even the playground are so different compared to her last school. She was also very amused that her class teacher had the same surname as her. She felt out of place because she didn’t know half of the things that the other kids knew but she was eager to learn. She made friends with a girl by the name of Candice and they sat together during lunch time as well. That afternoon Sadie returns home and has a lot of homework to do. Neema is sitting on the bed and is ready to begin helping her. Neema is surprised that Sadie cannot even write the number five properly!!! This means that Sadie’s school work was neglected while she was staying in Pietermaritzburg. That night Neema was on a mission, she was up with Sadie till 3am teaching Sadie spelling and improving her handwriting. If she made a mistake, Neema wasted no time in hitting her on the hand with a wooden ruler. Days went by and Sadie was improving tremendously, Elly was being a teenager, Neema’s job was getting better and Justin was growing.

By November that year, Neema had moved her children into a spacious three bedroom house in Ext 13, couple of streets away from where her brother stayed. Things were finally looking up for this family who had been through more than they had deserved. Neema had become good friends with her neighbours and the children enjoyed the new house as they had their own yard and the living room was the size of the entire house that they previously lived in.

Every morning Sadie and Elly would walk to school together and then half way there stop at one of Elly’s friend’s house, Ashley. They were in the same class and it was safer walking in a group and more fun too. Ashley had a younger brother named Randy who was a year older than Sadie and they went to the same school together, not only was he very good looking but he was also Sadie’s first crush. At the age of 6, what could she possibly know? Guess she just enjoyed his company; he was funny, silly and very mischievous. They were always late for school and often had to jump over the school fence to get in and, he would always blame her! Never the less, they were best of friends, the only friend she had in fact.

The last day of school has arrived and Sadie is handed her yearend report accompanied with another paper that had her name on it. She meets her  sister at the gate as usual and hands Elly her report as well as the other paper in the envelope. “What is this other paper for?” she asked Elly. Elly has a look at in and in a serious faces says “you in trouble with mum, really big trouble! This paper that your teacher gave you is a transfer card! Gosh this scared Sadie as she knew her mother was really strict when it came to her school work. She was thinking about excuses that she could her mum the whole way home. When she got home she asked Elly to go in the house first and check what kind of mood her mum was in. Somehow she always assumed that Neema was always in good mood when she was smoking. Elly goes in and hands the report and the envelope to Neema. Sadie is outside contemplating if she should go in and put on an extra set of clothes just in case Neema is going to beat her with the wooden spoon. Just at that moment she hears Neema screaming and now she doesn’t know whether she should go in the house or run out of the yard. Then Neema comes out calling for the neighbour, seems all her hard work paid off and that paper that Sadie was asking about was actually a certificate for first place in spelling! Neema was really proud and Sadie was feeling even prouder, this was her first achievement yet.













Few years down the line and we are now in 2011. Elly is now 19, Sadie 11 and Justin 7. Neema had fought with the court and was awarded ownership of the comfy home that they had occupied for the past 5 years. Elly had matriculated and now has part time at a shoe outlet, this way she has pocket money for whatever she might have needed. Her relationship with her younger sister was not a good one. There were always differences and the only time that Elly was close to Sadie was when she needed something from her. Neema was now teaching the primary school that Justin and Sadie attended and seemed to be in a happy relationship with an older man by the name of Jay. Jay however was a married man and Neema was his mistress! Despite being in two relations, he made sure that Neema and her family were taken care of, they were short of nothing whether it was food, luxuries and even school stationery. This made all the neighbours envy her as they all knew about Jay’s status. Many times they would cause trouble by calling his wife and informing her about the affair he was having and once they even when to his house! How deep did their jealousy go? They were basically taking away the food from Neema’s mouth and the clothes off her children’s back. Even though there were many attempts, they failed as the relationship between Neema and Jay continued. Sadie always felt that she didn’t fit in. There were many occasions where she got home from school only to find that Neema and her siblings weren’t home and the house was a mess for her to clean up. She would put down her bag and then put on a CD and listen to music while tidying up, she loved music, and it gave her a sense of calmness and made time pass by faster. Neema and her siblings would return later from their outing with thing that had bought from the mall. They would then give Sadie some of things that they had bought, however Sadie always felt that it was less compared to what the others got, this usually caused her to become angry and lash out, Neema would then refer to her as being “ungrateful”.

There were really few moments where Sadie didn’t feel like an outcast or wasn’t hurting, this pain goes back to the time when she had felt like her mother had abandoned her. Those wounds would never and she always felt like Neema never really cared for and about her. She began to feel really upset with herself as this made her feel like a disappointment. At this point all she wanted was to feel a sense of existence.












Sadie had become a remarkable student whom excelled in everything she did. As a teenager she now has a lot more to focus on. Despite feeling unwanted and unloved, she created a bubble of her own happiness and decided to accept the fact that she was different, a weird kind of different and she was happy with that. At school she was not considered very popular and often picked on by her fellow class mates. At times she would try to fit in but always knew she didn’t. Sadie became depressed and at the tender age of only 13 years old, started self-mutilating. Every time someone would pick on her or made her angry, she would take a blade hold it against her left wrist and pull without thinking twice. Call it insane but somehow she would gain pleasure and relief by watching herself bleed, she felt that everything was her fault and this was her way of punishing herself. Everything she tried to do to fit in, wasn’t good enough.Once she took up smoking, trying to be cool and was caught by the school’s deputy principle. She was called to the office and was told that her parents would be called and notified. That day Sadie was really afraid to go home. That day she went home and lied to her mother about the reason that she had gotten into trouble but, by then Neema already received a call from the principle Oops! But this was something she couldn’t talk herself out of and had to face a beating with the largest wooden spoon in the kitchen drawer.

She accepted who she was… a total nobody to anybody. Not even elly could stand being around her, at first she thought that it was because elly was expecting a  baby and was very moody but even after the baby was born, Sadie was not even allowed to carry her own niece. It made her feel like she was so dirty that even her own sister wouldn’t let her near her first and only niece whom they named Medina, and that tore away the fun and excitement of being an aunt for the first time. She didn’t hold that against medina though because even when she had extra spending money she would buy sweets or hairclips for her. Sadie gave her the nickname ”Pooks”, she felt like it suited Medina and till today… we don’t know why.

Weeks later Sadie had missed her transport and had to walk home. It was a fairly hot day and she was so irritated that she kept talking to herself. On the opposite side of the road she noticed a dark in complexion, plumpy girl with her hair tied so tightly above her forehead that it looked as if it would tear right out of her scalp! Being as friendly as she usually is, Sadie crossed over for the company. She introduced herself to the girl who in return introduced herself as “Tisha”

As they talked they realised that they did not live very far from each other and this brought some happiness to Sadie as now she has found a new friend. That day they talked and laughed so much that the long walk no longer bothered Sadie and she was almost home. She said goodbye to Tisha and they both went on their way.

Days passed by and Sadie enjoyed Tisha’s company, they laughed, joked and sometimes even teased each other. One day while washing dishes at home, Sadie heard Tisha calling at the gate; she left what she was doing and went to see what the fuss was about. Tisha explained that she needed Sadie to accompany her to the dentist to meet her brother as he had left his patient file at home. Sadie put on a pair of shoes and left. When they got to the dentist, Tisha’s brother was outside waiting for them. Sadie paused for a second and at that point she was just staring at Tisha’s brother, Shaun. She found him rather attractive and couldn’t help but blush. He was 21 and she was only 15 years old, just beginning to learn about boys and love.






Weeks later and Sadie has been going to Tisha’s house more often, why? You guessed it, to see a bit more of Shaun. She was falling, and she was falling hard. Did she stand a chance though? He was 6 years older, working but most of all, to her he was single! And she was always a go getter… someone who wanted something and her ego; well that ego would stop at nothing to get what she wants. So she kept at it, going there all the time and trying to be in his face until one day, that he spoke to her and indirectly asked her out. She was ecstatic but the reality was that her mum would not let her be out till late, so Tisha came up with a plan and called Sadie’s mum to say that they going out with her family for dinner and might be a bit late. Lame excuse, but it worked!

That night Sadie went out with Shaun, they had a few drinks with his cousin and his girlfriend and for the first time Sadie felt a bit grown. There was something about being out that late, with the guy she was so in love with and let’s not forget intoxicated, that highly excited her… that night they shared their first kiss. Something that she had been waiting patiently for, and to her this was a start of her love life. By the way, Randy was still in the picture even now, by this time he had a girlfriend of his own but kept making empty promises to Sadie in the background, but now Shaun was   her distraction…a much more mature distraction, if you know what I mean.

That is when Sadie realised that she was into guys older than her, she didn’t want someone who was going to mess her around. At this young age she was so serious about love and the more time she spent with Shaun, the more she realised she loved him.






Days had passed by and Sadie realised that the love she had with Shaun was almost impossible to move on from and one day while camouflaging a sleep over with Tisha, decided that this was the night that she will give herself to Shaun and experience love on a different and more advanced level, the kind that she had only seen in movies. That night she was so nervous, not knowing what to do with herself, she found herself overthinking as always however she went about her routine, she had showered, shaved everywhere, washed and done her hair, put on some lotion and body spray and then her matching underwear and silky nightdress…was she overdoing it or did she do it to make him want her the way that she wanted him?

That night she went to his room while Tisha was on the lookout for her parents and they watched a movie together. Towards the end of the movie they began to kiss and it was rather obvious where this was going. Knowing that his parents were in the house, Shaun was equally nervous but they decided to take the risk and go with the flow.


The next morning she woke up to the sound of Tisha’s mum’s voice calling her to get ready for school and not knowing what to feel. She was more mixed up than a bag of skittles. She jumped up out of Shaun’s bed and dashed back into Tisha’s room as if nothing had happened. She was terrified of Shaun’s father as he was a brut! Not only was he a drunkard but the whole neighbourhood knew and feared him. Not a single person you met could say that didn’t know Uncle Ron! He was an electrician and he could fix anything and everything… while he was sober that is. His personality was vulgar and rude none the less, he was fearless. He spent more time in jail than at home due to all the unnecessary fights at the local shebeens. In his drunken state Tisha and her mother Laura were often victims of his abuse, hopefully now you will understand why Sadie was afraid of him.

His wife Laura was the opposite of him she was very loving and caring towards her children always seeing to their needs. Shaun being the  eldest was the most spoilt rotten of them all, not only would she take his meals to his bedroom where he spent all his time but, she would also go and get the empty plates from him and take him a bowl of warm water to wash his hands after his every meal. She respected her son as he and Ron were not of the same bloodline as the other three of her kids and she would always defend Shaun whenever there were any disagreements between father and son. In return Shaun worked his butt off to support the family and was more of a father figure to his younger siblings. Kiki, the baby sister only five years old at the time, his visually impaired brother, Theo who was nineteen at the time and not forgetting Tisha, the reason for bringing Sadie into his life.














Speaking of Sadie, she went to school that day daydreaming about the night before. She felt wanted and liked the idea of being touched that way. As for Shaun, some days he showed interest in her and other days was full of moods, They watched movies most nights and got to know each other better and by now Laura caught on as to what was happening between the two of the but didn’t interfere she let them be but as soon as Sadie heard Ron’s voice she would run back to Tisha’s room.

This love story was rather complicated. A teenage girl in love with an older guy… how would it work? But to her it became a norm and a daily routine. Their relationship continued for weeks and finally Sadie felt the need to tell her mother about their relationship. It had been playing on her mind that entire week so she discussed it with Shaun and they concluded that they would approach her mother on Saturday. That day she woke up and helped her mum clean, then showered and left to see Tisha. She waited there both patiently and anxiously for Shaun to come home from work. Finally at 4:12pm he walked in and they decided that they would go to the shops and then go see her mother. The shop was just an excuse to prolong the visit and of course to buy some things for Sadie’s mum.

They got chocolates for Neema and Elly and some sweets and crisps for Justin and Medina…bribery ha-ha. They reached her mum’s gate and they both were so nervous Sadie unlocked it and went inside she found her mother, cousin Lucia and sister sitting in the lounge having snacks. There was an awkward silence and Neema had this scary look on her face it was like she was aware of what was happening the whole time and that made Shaun and Sadie extra edgy. Few minutes later she told them to sit down and asked Sadie what was the story. Sadie told her mother that she was dating Shaun and that she liked him a lot, before she could even finish, she was interrupted by Lucia’s loud voice saying that Shaun could get arrested for statutory rape since Sadie was under age! Shaun explained that he knew that she was still young and that he was well aware of the consequences but he genuinely had love and feelings for Sadie. Neema said that she didn’t agree to their relationship and she warned Sadie that this relationship wouldn’t be good for her. Sadie began to cry and I guess that Neema felt sorry for her and was afraid that Sadie would run away from home, so she told Shaun that he could see her daughter as long as it does not interfere with her school. Neema had big dreams for her daughter; she saw her becoming a teacher or a lawyer, just so you know…Sadie had those same dreams as well. Sadie gave her mother the stuff they had bought while Medina stuffed her face with the cheese puffs. Neema then walked them out. Sadie left and went the to the back of the house and shaun followed her. When he got there, he found her crying, she told him that they couldn’t be together because of the circumstances, he then hugged her and told her he loved her and it will be okay. They went to say goodbye to Sadie’s mum and went home feeling somewhat relieved. However, one more challenge was ahead and that was Ron!


Texte: Renae naik
Bildmaterialien: Renae naik
Cover: Renae naik
Lektorat/Korrektorat: Renae naik
Satz: Renae naik
Tag der Veröffentlichung: 19.06.2018

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FIND OUT THE REST OF THE STORY IN MY NEXT BOOK As we find out alot more about Sadie and her newly sparked love story what more unpredictable challenges awaits this daring young lady? Hmmm... let me give you a clue... A CHILDHOOD GONE PART 2, love is a punishment we give ourselves because we are too afraid of being alone!

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