Sarah Pretorius was struggling through her Economics major at Wits University when her best friend and roommate, Martha, recommended she do something different to inject a little excitement into her life. The next day, Sarah noticed a flier asking for auditions for a student-written play called All is Fair. Sarah auditioned for the lead role and got the part after two sessions of callbacks. Her opposite: a tall, black History-Political Science dual major named Samuel. He was a complete nerd, and when Sarah realized she had to kiss him, she almost turned down the role. The director talked her into staying, which culminated in a show which received poor to mediocre reviews, a two-year courtship, and, finally, marriage.
Sarah had never had much ambition in the career world. However, she worked in finance until Samuel finished law school, then quit the day he graduated. Six months later, she was pregnant with their first child. Unfortunately, the pregnancy lasted eight weeks before resulting in a miscarriage. After her third failed pregnancy, Sarah and Samuel visited a fertility specialist, who told them there was absolutely nothing wrong with either of them. Sure enough, he was right. Eleven months later Sarah and Samuel welcomed Sammy Berhane Jr. into the world.
Having Sammy only encouraged Sarah to try for more children. Her wish would never come true. After Sammy’s birth, Sarah experienced five more miscarriages, the final one being when Sammy was ten. The failed attempts brought on a depression so profound that Sarah thought she’d never shake it. She tried therapy, medication, holistic remedies, and anything else she could find in books and articles. The results varied, but nothing she did brought back her true sense of self. She felt cold and passionless toward her husband; and, whether real or imaginary, she sensed an emotional barrier between herself and Sammy Jr.
Things changed when, at the mall, she bumped into her old friend and roommate, Martha. During lunch, Sarah opened up to her friend about her troubles. Martha pushed her solution across the table in the form of a medicine bottle. The way Martha explained it, the pills were special anti-depressants that could only be purchased from CAG pharmaceutical companies, and were almost impossible to obtain except from black market sellers. In order to protect the sellers’ anonymity, Martha suggested that Sarah purchase the pills from her if they worked. Sarah thought of her son, Sammy, and how difficult she found it to connect with him lately. She thought of her husband, and how distant he said she sometimes seemed. Desperate to pull out of her months-long funk, Sarah accepted the pills, not knowing they were actually powerfully addictive amphetamines.