“Jonathan,” I whisper. He is sleeping, with a drip in his arm and a monitor beeping next to his bed.

A man in a white coat stands next to his bed, turns at the sound of my voice. “Hello mevrou, my name is doctor Louw. Your friend will be okay. He lost a lot of blood, but he’s strong. But for now he will have to take it easy, it will take some time before he’s up and walking again.”

He will never forgive me. I broke his heart and my child’s skollie friends broke his body. What will he do with me now?

“Will he walk again, Ma? Will he be all right?” Angelo asks as we walk out of the building.

“Yes, the doctor says he must take it easy. They almost killed him.

“Ja, Ma, it almost happened to me. It should have been me!”

“Angelo, God saved you this time. It could have been so different.”

That’s the moment for him. I see the complete remorse in his eyes. The regret. The pain and hurt. But despite all that, I see a glimmer of hope. My son, who almost turned into a skollie, has been given a chance in life now.


It’s a day later. Kian is still with his granny. Angelo looks different, like a new person. Prys God. I’m so grateful for his life.

Ma, I want to talk to Jonathan. Is he awake?”

“I don’t know, my seun, I’ll call him and then we can go visit him later. How do you feel?”

Ma, I want to make things right in my life. I want to say sorry to Jonathan. I want to play cricket,” he says.

“Cricket? Since when?”

“Since Ma told me about Pa, I’ve been thinking about it a lot. I want to leave the gang and join the school’s cricket team. I want to talk to Jonathan about it, since he’s our school’s cricket coach. I don’t know if he will talk to me about that now.”

“My child, I love you. Go and speak to him, I’m sure he’ll be proud of you. I’m certainly very proud of you, my child,” I say and hug him to me.

His smile is so beautiful. He looks like me this time, not his father. He wants to see Jonathan. There is hope, hope that Angelo will accept Jonathan. But what does it matter? I’m sure Jonathan wants nothing to do with me. I haven’t heard anything from him. I want to cry. I don’t know what to do. I want to be with him. I call him.

The phone rings and rings.

“Hello?” Jonathan answers.

“Jonathan, it’s me … I just want to say … hello? Jonathan?”

He’s put the phone down. He hates me.


When we arrive at the hospital, I feel like waiting outside but I stand by the door instead, while Angelo goes into Jonathan’s ward room. Maybe he will at least speak to Angelo, but definitely not to me. Especially after he put down the phone so quickly when I called.

Meneer Adriaans,” Angelo says.

“Angelo, come here, how are you, ou seun?” he says and hugs Angelo.

“I’m okay, meneer. Thank you for saving my life yesterday. They almost killed me.”

“I’ll always be here for you, Angelo. You’re very special to me. And to your ma,” he says.

“I want to join the cricket team, meneer,” Angelo says.

“That’s wonderful news! Yes, definitely. I’ll talk to meneer Jackson and then you can start practicing with the laaities tomorrow. As for me, I’ll be here for a while.”

“I feel so bad that you have to stay here,” Angelo mumbles.

“No, moenie worry nie, I’ll be fine. The school still pays me,” Jonathan laughs. “Where is your ma?” he suddenly asks.

Ma’s waiting outside,” Angelo answers.

“Why doesn’t she come in to say hello? She called me this morning but my phone went off.”

Gasp. I was wrong. I was wrong about it all! He’s the one.

“Jonathan!” I go in and walk up to his bed.

“Petronella …” he takes my hand, strokes my face and wipes a tear away as it rolls down my cheek. “I missed you so much,” he says and kisses me. Nogal in front of Angelo.

Ma!” Angelo says and laughs, embarrassed.

I smile at him, then at Jonathan. “Jonathan, I’m so sorry about all of it. You are the one, you are still the one. I need you in my life,” I say, holding his hand.

“I’m here, I’m here to stay, Petronella Adams, you are the one for me.”

And just like that, my story begins. The story of a mother who never gave up. The love story of a woman who thought she was not good enough, but indeed is more than enough. I’m not a nobody. I’m a mother. I have dreams. I am in love with a man who loves me back. I am Petronella Adams vannie Bo-Kaap.


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