“I’m sorry, Mom!” I sob. “You were so happy with him and now it’s all over. And now you won’t have a job anymore.”

“We’ll manage,” she says fiercely, stroking my hair as I cling to her. “I’ll get another job. We can stay with Gogo again. It doesn’t matter. None of it matters. All that matters is that you’re safe. I’m so, so sorry for not listening to you. I should never have rushed into the relationship. It’s all my fault for bringing that man into our lives and putting you in danger.”

When we’ve both calmed down, Mom starts making tea for everyone.

Amanda, Jayden and I go into my bedroom to talk. I’m so grateful to them, I can hardly speak. The whole thing was their idea. They got my mother to wait outside the kitchen window with them so she could see with her own eyes the way Kabelo treated me. I knew they were watching so I wasn’t really scared – except right at the end when he grabbed me.

I see Jayden and Amanda looking at each other. Then my sister gives a tiny nod. She hugs me one last time, and walks out of the room to join my mom in the kitchen. I’m left staring at Jayden.

As I watch, Jayden opens his arms wide and I walk straight into them as though I belong there – as though I’m coming home.

“I’m so sorry I didn’t trust you with all the worries that were going on in my life,” I whisper as he hugs me tightly. “I didn’t want to be a nuisance – not after I told you to butt out so rudely that time.”

“Ssh…” he murmurs, his lips warm against my forehead. “I just wish I’d known that you still cared about me. I’m so sorry I used Refilwe to make you jealous. I should actually apologise to her too. ┬áThe poor girl still has no idea why I ditched her so fast.”

I giggle. Somehow I can’t bring myself to feel too sorry for Refilwe.

“What about us?” he asks, tilting my chin up with his finger and looking down into my eyes. “Do you think we can try again? Maybe make a better job of it than last time?”

I nod my head vigorously. “Yes. That’s exactly what I want too.”

His lips come down on mine in a kiss that I wish would never end.

THE END

WHAT DO YOU THINK: This story is far from over. Latoya still has a difficult relationship with her dad and his wife. Latoya and her mom may lose their house again. What other problems can you see in the future for them?