It’s a beautiful windy and slightly warm Tuesday. This was supposed to be the most beautiful autumn ever, before dad’s family tried to ruin it all. Luhle is looking outside through her bedroom window, the tress are already shimmering in beautiful gold and feint shades of green. Leaves are falling away from the branches, once after each wave of wind. She wonders if in real life people fall off things like that, involuntarily and reluctantly, while wiling to stay.

There’s a knock on the door, before she moves to open, the door is silently open. “Good morning baby, are you ready?”

Luhle can’t control her smile; it breaks forth through her cheeks. “yes Mom” is all she manages to say. Everything about Tabitha this morning has just made her feel much better instantly. Her beautiful smile that always covers the unspoken Sorrows within her, her soft voice that always comforts the worries of Luhle; and her beautiful outfits. Luhle catches herself snuggling into Tabitha’s warm arms. The hug takes so long they break in shock, looking at the time. Then they giggle. Tabitha storms out first, Luhle grabs her school bag, and off they go.

During the lessons, Luhle can hardly concentrate, all she thinks about is her dad’s statement, if the family is able to hate late innocent babies, then they can hate her anytime. They might fall away from loving her, just like the leaves were falling off the trees this morning. She can’t erase her grandmother’s words, “I hate her and she must know”, the quietness in the kitchen last night, when everyone had gone to sleep and only the two of them remained, cleaning up and washing the dishes. A word could hardly pass through Tabitha’s mouth. The pain of not knowing how to help someone feel better! Even though Tabitha looked ok this morning, Luhle knows she was just pretending so she could stop worrying.

This Tabitha is the same Tabitha who was willing to donate a portion of liver to the grandmother’s late son before it was too late, before the operations were cancelled because ‘They wouldn’t help him no more’. Only if the family could love her the same way they had, when they found out that she was a match donor. But now because she’s got nothing to offer… Everything is just so unfair and unjust.

Luhle’s gasps when her phone vibrates in the pocket of her maroon blazer. Ms Watson is in front of them, teaching English FAL. She is the strictest educator in the school, while it balances with her kind heart. Luhle surely can’t take the call in here. She stands up quietly, getting out of the classroom; she closes the door carefully behind herself.

“Mom, hi… I’m at school”

“Hi Luhle I know, I’m sorry, I hardly ever get time to call. It’s my lunch now so, I just remembered you, and your brothers miss you.” Says Luhle’s biological mother, over the phone

“If I was able to visit them I would, we’ll meet again this December right?”

“Umh, no I mean, I’m not too sure, I will see”. That’s Luhle’s mother, always having an extra excuse packed in pocket, just to avoid seeing Luhle. For a good two years Luhle has had to attend endless counselling sessions to get over her mom’s rejection. If it wasn’t for her stepmother who had to beg Luhle’s dad for months, that Luhle comes over to stay with them, then she’d still be in that abusive environment, with her rapist uncles and cousins.

Again she thinks about the leaves she saw this morning, and she now knows that she has been falling off the traps by grace. To think how many rape attempts she’d escaped! It’s all amazing grace.

“OK Luhle, since you’re silent now, bye I guess.” Says her mother over the phone

“No Mom, I…” the phone beeps once, loudly in her ear. The call’s been terminated. As these memories have just gathered instantly in her mind, she can hardly wait until the school is out, she just needs the cuddle of her warm and fuzzy blankets now. A lot happened. She clicks her tongue, who would want to go back to the past anyway. It’s pointless. She gets inside the class. Geography seems to take forever to end. It’s the last period and then the school is out. The bell finally rings. Luhle packs her stuff vigorously, suddenly desperate for a nap. She’s taking a bus today. Her ticket has just been paid for this whole month.