The Cloete, Kiewiets and Vermeulen families are all tied together by one person: Sara Abrahams. She carries a deep dark secret – something she was forced to do more than 35 years ago in order to save the life of her oldest son.
Sara also guards the secrets of her children. As the series unfolds and these secrets are revealed, we see how the relationships between mother and daughter, brother and sister, and husband and wife are shaken to their core.
During the 80’s, Sara’s 14-year old son and his friends were arrested by the police for “questioning”, but Johnny was released because he is light of complexion. Sara knew it was only a matter of time before the boys would reveal that Johnny is in fact their leader and the police would come knocking on her door. That very night, she took Johnny to her employer, Mrs Vermeulen, to ask for help. The childless Mrs Vermeulen convinced her to leave Johnny in her care.
Mrs Vermeulen used her influence to explain that “Johan” is a nephew from the other side of the tracks, and made sure he received all the necessary documentation and a new name: Johan Vermeulen.
When Johan falls in love and marries Nicola on the brink of the new South Africa, he shuts all doors that could possibly lead him to reconcile with his family. Sara warns him to be honest with Nicola, but he worries that her conservative family will never accept him, and at the time nobody could have predicted that the transformation would happen as quickly as it did.
Sara’s oldest daughter, Maggie, is the one most affected by Johnny’s disappearance. The innocent little girl vanished overnight and became rebellious, and during her teens she became involved with Ricky. When Ricky lands up in prison, Maggie knows that the community will judge her, especially when she discovers that she is pregnant. She decides to turn her life around. She refuses to become a victim like Johnny. She contacts Virgil who has been waiting in the wings for years.
And before Sara knows it, Virgil is in the picture and asks for Maggie’s hand in marriage. Only once Aiden is born does Sara understand why Maggie was so quick to marry Virgil. Sara knows the difference between a pre-mature and a full term baby. Sara guards this secret as well.
Sara’s youngest daughter, Lizzie, is also living a lie. She believes that she is happily married to Danny. But Danny has a secret: When he goes on tour, he goes to visit his other family. Yes, Danny lives a double live. When Sara discovers that Danny is romantically involved with another woman, she decides to confront him, but he disappears again.
Johan and Nicola’s daughter, Inge, meets Maggie and Virgil’s son, Aiden, at university. They meet after Aiden is suspected of raping Inge’s friend, Anita. Inge doubts whether Aiden is really guilty, and she starts searching for the truth. She is shocked to discover that her perfect boyfriend, Gerhardt, is protecting the real rapist. Then Inge and Aiden dicover the gruesome truth: That the residents of House Astonia, the student residence where Gerhard lives, carry out an inititation ritual in which they rape women.
Inge and Aiden become close and start developing feelings for one another. When Sara discovers that they are more than just friends, she urges Johan to tell Inge the truth. It is devastating news for Inge to find out that Aiden is her cousin. Inge is asked to keep this from her mother, and so a life-long secret between two now becomes Inge, Johan and Sara’s.
Johan’s wife, Nicola, is also lying to her family. She has always felt that there is an invisible wall between her and Johan that she can’t break through, so she feels neglected and lonely. She starts seeing Ebert, Johan’s colleague, hoping that this would ease the loneliness.
The series kicks off with Aiden’s 21st birthday. Aiden is the apple of Virgil’s eye, who could never understand why Maggie has always been so distant with their oldest son. Can’t she see how hard he tries to win her approval? Only Sara understands why Maggie treats Aiden that way. Aiden is our romantic lead and Sara’s secret will derail his life to the point where he crosses paths with Ricky. As old secrets come to light, so new ones are born. Everyone has a secret – even those who say they don’t.