ABOUT THE BOOK
On the face of it, life is good for Sara-Jayne Makwala King. She’s a popular radio personality, a best-selling author and she’s recently been reunited with her long-lost father, nearly 40 years after being given up for adoption as a baby. Best of all, she’s just found out she’s about to become a mother, with Enver, the “love of her life”.
She’s convinced she’s finally heading towards her “happily ever after”.
But six weeks after discovering she’s pregnant, Enver relapses on heroin and disappears. Devastated, Makwala King checks herself into The Clinic and despite the little life growing inside her, realises she’s never felt more alone.
In the much-anticipated follow-up to her best-selling memoir Killing Karoline, Makwala King — for the sake of her unborn child — is forced to save herself. But to do this she has to work out why everyone leaves her. Why, like that song, is she always looking for love in all the wrong places? And why can’t she seem to break free from mad, bad love?
I am a bad mother. I’ve always known I would be. I come from a place that insists that I could never have been anything else.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. A scorpion is a scorpion is a scorpion. Here I am, not yet swollen with the anticipation of what’s to come, and I have already failed at motherhood. I have failed and the guilt of it gnaws away at the same place in which I must nurture new life.
You cannot heal in the place you got sick — and yet this is the place I’ve come back to again and again. A place of healing and of sickness. The place where I met him. The one who, once upon another lifetime, seemed sent to save me from myself, and who, a few weeks ago, in the before of it all, delivered unto and into me what I’ve longed for all my life. But now he is gone, taken by his own demons, leaving me alone with a piece of his heart beating inside me.
Some people hate places like this. Places where there is a suggestion of dis-ease, a reminder of illness and of death.
Perhaps that’s exactly why I like it here and why I am no stranger to this place.
Every year I check myself into The Clinic. Every. Single. Year.
If I were “normal”, I’d head to Plett or Knysna. Or maybe Thailand and lotus-pose the living shit out of myself, or perhaps I would float to Indonesia on a cloud of self-righteousness to rescue bull elephants from having bloated, sunburned tourists hitch a cultural lift on their thick-skinned, sturdy backs. I might even prostrate myself before wizened old babas in India in the hope that their eons of patiently perfected spirituality might somehow rub off on me through prayer, proximity or osmosis.