One day, a poor village boy named Tyrone fell in love with a rich girl. She had everything, everything he didn’t; siblings, parents and they all lived in a big house -she had all she could ask for. And Tyrone? All he had was his grandmother. His parents died in a car accident for him, education was the only ticket to a good life. Despite of being nothing compared to what Michelle was, Tyrone looked past everything –he believed without doubt that he stood a chance with her.
Tyrone and Michelle lived in the same street. Over the years they became friends, not close friends, but Michelle was Tyrone’s only friend. One day after their final grade 12 exam paper, Tyrone went to Michelle, with the corners of his mouth twitching, he looked at her with eyes full of compassion and opened up to her. He told her how much he loved her, how he wanted to build a future with her. But before Tyrone could finish talking, Michelle lashed out at him, she told him how disgusting it was for him to even think that he could be with someone like her. She reminded him of his poor background and told him that he would stay -poor while everyone watched. Tyrone’s eyes were immediately filled with tears, and after realizing everybody had heard and seen everything that had happened, he walked away from the glaring embarrassment. He went home with a vivid memory of what happened at school.
Seven years later, Michelle was married and her life was exactly the way she had planned it. She had a nice big house and loving rich husband. Everything was all in its place, except that her baby boy was in hospital for a year due to heart failure. Both she and her husband were struggling to pay the hospital bills and with finding a donor for a heart transplant. Then a miracle happened. Another boy who had been sick for a very long time died in the very same hospital Michelle’s child was in. The doctors found that his heart was a match with Michelle’s son.
The doctors managed to persuade the parents of the deceased to donate their son’s heart to save another life, but the problem was then the R600 000 was required to do the operational procedure. John, Michelle’s husband, immediately contacted his boss and a friend who he had not told about the situation of his child. He then told him everything and asked for a loan of the very amount needed for the operation. John’s boss didn’t hesitate to transfer the amount into the hospital’s account and said that he John needn’t pay him back. The operation was done in the nick of time and by God, Michelle’s baby was saved!
Two weeks later, Michelle and her husband threw a party to celebrate their baby’s home coming and in appreciation for John’s boss, whom Michelle could not wait to meet. That evening while the celebration was on the way, a man came knocking on their door. Michelle answer it, even though she had not seen his face in seven years, she still remembered Tyrone’s ‘poor’ face. Michelle didn’t greet him, instead she told him to get lost because she did not want beggars in her house. While she was busy lashing out at Tyrone, who just stood there, her husband came to the door. “Hey Mr Baloyi. Thanks for coming. My wife and I are very grateful for what you’ve done for us”, he said. He turned to his wife, who stood there with eyes wide as if a fish bone had lodged itself in her throat and said, “Honey. Meet Mr Baloyi, my boss. The man who saved our son’s life and whose projects have given us a better life.” Michelle fell on her knees and cried, she looked at Tyrone and said, “You became everything I said you’d never be. Please, forgive me.”
With a fading voice from a twinge of deep sadness, Tyrone looked down on her and said, “Never ever judge a book by its cover”.