Chapter 2: The Day Of The Story-Part 1
Ms. Sinch walks through the middle cafeteria door. Asia and Chasity watch her as she makes her way through the throng of children and
other teachers. This is the typical scene of morning line up at C.S. 201. As soon as the children see the teachers approaching the cafeteria, they all start to line up. There are hand written signs strategically placed on the walls that indicate where each specific class should line up and the children hurry over to their lines. Asia and Chasity like Ms. Sinch very much. As a matter of fact, they adore her. Ms. Sinch is adored by many students because she’s a nice teacher. She’s also fair, compassionate, caring, concerned, and loving. Everyone feels this way about Ms. Sinch. Chasity and Asia are one of the lucky children who are in her first- grade class. And both girls also happen to be the apples of Ms. Sinch’s eye. Ms. Sinch is a tall and slender young white woman with blond hair and blue eyes. She walks with a straight backed dignified look. Ms. Sinch finally reaches where her class is lined up and claps her hands together. “Okay children please stop talking”, she says as she waits for the late stragglers to get into place. She is wearing a bright smile on her face and her dress is just as bright. It is a bright blue polyester short sleeved dress that is hemmed just above her knees. Asia and Chasity are the first two children to line up, quiet down and say good morning to Ms. Sinch. Ms. Sinch smiles at them and replies, “good morning girls, and how are my two favorite girls doing today?” Asia and Chasity both chime together, “Fine Ms. Sinch”. Ms. Sinch knows that Asia and Chasity are best friends and always together. You would not see one without the other unless one of the girls is absent from school.
Ms. Sinch and the class proceed to walk out of the cafeteria and down the hall finally making it to their classroom 123. The first- grade classes are located on the first floor right across from the kindergarten classes. Ms. Sinch’s classroom is the last room at the end of the corridor right next to the bathrooms. The classroom windows look out onto the small yard. Chasity and Asia like their classroom because of its isolated location. They especially like being right next to the bathrooms, water fountains, and back staircases. When they go to the bathroom, all they have to do is walk out their classroom door, turn right, and the girl’s bathroom is right there. The boy’s bathroom is on the other side about twelve feet away. The water fountain is right in the middle, and the staircases are in between the bathrooms and the classroom.
Ms. Sinch opens the classroom door and the children enter in an orderly fashion. They turn left to hang up their sweaters and jackets on hooks inside the closets. Each child’s name is written in big black bold letters above each hook. Of course Asia and Chasity’s hooks and names are side by side. They quietly hang up their jackets on their hooks. It is late October, 1970, and both girls are six years old. Community School 201 is a typical nineteen seventies school built back in the 1960s. It’s a dark orange brick building that takes up half of the entire block. The schoolyard and playground take up the other half of the city block. Tenement buildings that are only four stories high are on the school’s left side and private houses are on the right. The floors are made of beige tiles that seem to always shine. The walls are painted a plain white. Color comes from the many pictures, posters and children’s work and paintings that adorn the walls, and the myriad of bulletin board displays.
After hanging up their jackets, Asia and Chasity take their seats at the back of the room, quietly sit down, and fold their hands on their desks. Two more children, a white boy named Daniel, and a quiet Spanish girl named, Melissa, also take their seats and fold their hands without talking. All the other students in the class continue to noisily shuffle around. Ms. Sinch claps her hands once again and says, “children, please quietly take your seats. Everyone should know our daily classroom routine by now. Look at Asia and Chasity they know what to do. They are always prepared and ready just like Daniel and Melissa, too”. The other children all stop what they are doing and look at the four quietly seated students. Chasity, Daniel and Asia stare back at the other children while Melissa puts her head down. Ms. Sinch continues, “see how these children are setting good examples for all of you other children to follow. I want everyone else to now sit down, take out your Reading Basals and get ready for Reading.” “Okay Ms. Sinch”, the children reply while taking their seats, some opening up their book bags, others going into their desks and removing their reading Basals and placing the books on their desks. Of course Asia and Chasity already have their books out on their desks and are just waiting for Ms. Sinch’s next instruction. Daniel’s book is already out too, but Melissa has to get hers out of her desk. This is why Ms. Sinch likes Chasity and Asia because they are two smart and respectfully quiet girls who set good examples for the other children in the class to follow. Ms. Sinch then sits at her neat and tidy teacher’s desk as she calls on the first child to read.
You would never know that Asia and Chasity are the teacher’s pets based on their physical looks. You would not have guessed this even in your wildest dreams. Asia is a chubby black girl who is a little tall for her age. In fact, she’s the tallest student in her class except for Reynaldo who’s taller than her. It just isn’t her height that fools you, but her attitude and demeanor. Asia doesn’t take any mess from anyone. Even bullies leave her alone. In fact, she sticks up for children who are being bullied by the bullies. She is known as a fighter, but she never
bullies no one. Chasity is also a kind of tall for her age light-skinned chubby black girl. However, Chasity’s not a fighter like her best friend, even though she doesn’t take any mess either. She’s fat with a round face and flat nose. Chasity always wears dresses to school, every day, even in the winter. And her mother always braids her hair in these big ugly braids. At least Chasity thinks the braids are ugly, but Asia always tells her that her braids are alright. On the down low, Asia is glad that her own mother can braid her ass off. Asia’s mother gives her these beautiful elaborately cornrow braided hair styles. Asia’s hair is always decoratively hooked up. So much so that one day the art teacher, Ms. Cameron, asked Asia if Asia’s mom used staples in her head. At first, Asia didn’t think she was serious, but then Asia realized Ms. Cameron was dead serious when she looked directly into her face and she saw her quizzical expression. She wanted to know how Asia’s mother got her hair so neatly and tight to the scalp of her head. It looked like to her that the little black girl’s hair was actually stapled to her head. She was honestly perplexed. Asia’s hair was cornrowed up to the top of her head with each cornrow starting from the front of her head from the temples to the back starting from the kitchen. Each hair end was then braided from her forehead to the back of her head. Her hair was braided like Mr. T’ s Mohawk hair style. This was an incredulously shocking situation to Asia. Asia said to Ms. Cameron, “No, my mom does not use staples on my head. She uses her fingers to tightly grasp each lined piece of hair and then braids them into neat rows”. Asia said this with a harsh little black girl attitude. She was in disbelief. Saying, “are you serious?” And, actually wanting to say, are you serious white teacher? But using a kind of childlike innocence as to not arouse any disrespectful thoughts from Ms. Cameron, she just stood there and cocked her head to the left. It’s hard to see Asia as a disrespectful child because everyone knows she isn’t.
Asia is a cute chubby medium colored black girl with two dimples, each dimple is right smack dab in the middle of each cheek. There’s a scar in the middle of her left dimple because when she was five years old, her older brother pushed her into an easel board and a nail went straight through her left cheek dimple. So, when Asia smiles, that dimple is deeper than the other, and she loves to smile often. But don’t let that smile fool you. Asia will not stand around contesting words and waste her time arguing with you, she will just rather fight and get the conflict over with. It doesn’t matter if you are a male or female, she will be ready to fight and kick ass when she does. This is the way it is with her. She has to be tough because she is the youngest of four children. She likes to call it surviving two older brothers and a sister. Asia had to learn how to be strong and stick up for herself so she learned how to fight at an early age. This survival instinct makes her known for her don’t mess with me girl attitude wherever she goes. And all the children in Ms. Sinch’s class knows this so no one, not one child dares to tease Asia and Chasity for being the teacher’s pets. They know what’s good for them. So, most of the kids leave Asia and Chasity alone to be by themselves with little conflict. And this day was like any other ordinary school day with the kids leaving Asia and Chasity alone.
At least this day doesn’t at first seem to be different from any other school day. Even though it’s a rainy, gloomy, and dreary day outside, inside the school is like any other day until lunch and then recess time. Instead of going outside to play in the schoolyard, the students will have to either sit in the auditorium, or be able to run around in the gym and release pent up energy. Chasity is hoping they’ll go to the gym. No, not just hoping but praying they go to the gym today because she has something important to tell Asia. She desperately needs to tell her about the Mark of the Beast story she was told last night at church. Chasity knows God has spoken directly to her and told her to pass this most disturbing but holy and sanctified message on to her best friend.