He held me close. He held me tight. But no amount of love could change the fact that what we were doing was wrong.
It never happened until I started school.
Rejected, teased and bullied, I gradually became aware of the true meaning of ‘apartheid’.
My marriage to a White man, in contravention of the Mixed Marriages Act, does little to ease my integration into the community, while Nelson Mandela’s release from prison raises unrealistic hopes.
The tension erupts catastrophically when my only brother is killed in a Black arson attack on our parents’ store.
The resulting psychological trauma haunts me as I also try to cope with my parents’ divorce and the ravages of AIDS on those around me.
My diagnosis with an incurable and potentially fatal illness paradoxically gives me the opportunity to reassess my life, to contextualize it and, finally, to come to terms with the deprivation and loss I have suffered.
My story is harsh, though laced with happiness and humour, but it will bring hope and inspiration to others who are suffering as I have.
It is about cruelty and compassion, about grief and forgiveness, and above all about survival.
The past is unalterable, the future an unopened book, and now is no time to weep.