Chasity and her kids are allowed to stay overnight with Harry, and once again she is extremely grateful. Harry’s brother calls back and she explains what happened, and that the doctors think he’s going to be
alright. She is so stressed out that she doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry, and this prompts her to call her brother. She hasn’t spoken to Denny in a while because she doesn’t get along too well with his wife, Sandra. She and Sandra don’t see eye to eye, and just to keep the peace, Chasity stays away from her brother and doesn’t see him as often as she would like to. She must call him soon because Jacob’s phone is dying out. So, she dials his number, listens to it ring, and waits for him to answer. When Denny answers, Chasity breaks out crying. “Chasity, is that you?” Denny asks. She’s only able to get out, “yes”, and then is silent for a few seconds before stammering, “Denny, Harry got stabbed and is in the hospital”. “What!? What happened?!” And for the second time tonight she explains what happened. Denny says, “I’ll be there first thing in the morning, sis. You know if this stupid curfew wasn’t in effect, then I’d be there tonight”. “I know, thank you so much, and I’ll see you tomorrow”. Chasity is so glad she spoke to her brother because it settles her down and makes her feel a little better. She and the children then fall asleep on couches in the hospital waiting room. And with God’s grace and mercy, she doesn’t dream.
In the morning, Chasity leaves the kids sleeping, and goes to Harry’s room to see how he’s doing. To her amazement, he’s awake,
sitting up in bed and eating breakfast. She knows this is a good sign, because if he’s eating, then he’s alright. She rushes over to his bed, and plants a kiss on his lips, “good Lord, Harry, I was so worried, I’m glad you’re okay!” “Yeah, Chas, that was a close call!” “I don’t know what I would do without you!”, she says and then bursts out in tears. She finds herself bursting out in tears more often now. “Now, now, Chas, don’t cry, you see I’m alright”, he says as he pats her hand trying to soothe his wife. He’s just been stitched up from stab wounds and here he is comforting her, he silently thinks, trying not to fume at the same time. Even though he’s okay, he’s still in a lot of pain, for when he reaches for a piece of toast, he feels a distressing sensation throughout his abdomen, which reminds him of his injuries. He pulls his arm back and lets it fall on the bed. She sees the hurt in her husband’s twisted face and says, “Harry, please take it easy, I’ll get the bread for you”. And before he can answer, a nurse ushers the children into his room. Harry is surprised for he didn’t know his kids were here. Jacob and Caitlin are so happy to see their father sitting up and eating that they rush over to hug him. Chasity grabs Jacob who’s the fastest and says, “whoa, buddy, calm down, you have to be careful because daddy is still in pain”. “Are you alright, daddy?” He worriedly asks. “Yes, Jake, I’m okay, but like your mother said, I have a little pain, but it’s alright”, Harry says this in a reassuring voice because he sees the concern on his son and daughter’s face. Caitlin quietly remains standing at the foot of the bed after her mother grabbed her brother. She rubs her father’s foot and in a low voice says, “daddy, I was so scared, I’m so glad that you’re alright!” “Yeah, me too”, echoes Jacob. And for the first time that any of them can remember, Harry doesn’t finish all his food, for when the orderly comes to remove his platter, there’s still some eggs and bread left on it. Chasity pulls up the only chair in the room to his bed, and plops down into it and sighs. It’s both a sigh of relief as well as a sigh of unrest. Here lies her husband in a hospital bed recovering from stab wounds when they should be home continuing their preparations to
leave. At least he’s alive, she thinks, and says a grateful prayer.
Chasity is having so many conflicting feelings that she sits in the chair quietly mulling over the events of the past few hours while Jacob and Caitlin sit on the window ledge. Heck, not just the past few hours she thinks, but the past few days, weeks, and months have been trying times. Things have been happening so fast, that it’s hard to keep up with them. It seems like the turmoil is never ending, which gives her a feeling of dread. And she knows that she should not let this feeling invade, and take over her. This is just another stressful situation that needs to be dealt with. She’s now coming to believe that these sorts of things should be expected for these are a part of greater things to come. It’s a test that’s just beginning for there’s still much to endure she fears. As this final thought goes through her mind, her brother Denny walks into the room. Jacob and Caitlin jump up and run to hug their Uncle Denny as soon as they see him. “Uncle Denny”, Caitlin squeals first, with Jacob following, “Uncle Denny, Uncle Denny”. “Hey guys”, he replies back, “good to see y’all!” Chasity rises from the chair and also hugs her brother who’s still being hugged and kissed by the children. After greeting his sister, niece, and nephew, he then turns to his brother-in-law, pats him on his hand and says, “hey Harry, how are you?” “Hey, Den, I’m fine man”. “Yo, you gave us quite a scare. What happened, Man?” Chasity jumps into their conversation and again begins explaining what occurred the day before. “Yo, man, I’m glad you’re alright”, Denny sincerely says again, as Chasity gives Denny access to the chair. He sits down and continues, “man so much shit has been happening everywhere, and now this! I’m scared to think, what’s next?!” Waving his hand to the kids, “excuse Uncle Denny for cursing guys, but I just don’t know what to think anymore”. “It’s alright, even though it may seem we’re all being stretched beyond our limits, we have to remember that the Lord won’t give us more than we can bare”. Chasity says this first looking around at all of them, then to her brother, “you probably won’t remember this because you were a baby when I first found out about the end days and times. I was six years old when the pastor told of perilous things that were to come”. “Yeah
I was, but over the years I’ve come to know that they are occurring right now, man!” Denny says this in such a serious tone that Caitlin and Jacob pick up on the distress in his voice. In order to divert their worry, Chasity asks, “hey you guys want to get some breakfast?” “Yeah, mommy, I’m hungry”. “I’m hungry too”, Jacob echoes after his sister. So, Chasity kisses her husband and brother on the cheeks before escorting the kids out the room.
“Yo, Harry, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to get anyone upset. That’s the last thing I wanted to do”. “No harm done, man, Chas has been wired up lately”. “I can dig it. Me and the misses have been too. And now this…”, Denny trails off. “The doctors say I’m gonna be alright”. “Yo, I’m glad to hear this. I’ve been worried about you and my sister here in the city. It’s bad everywhere, but I know especially here”. “Well, don’t worry yourself too much because Chasity and I are making arrangements to move out”. With wide curious eyes, Denny asks, “y’all are?” And Harry then tells him about Chasity’s friend, Asia and that she wants them to move with her in the mountains. Denny seems to only vaguely remember his sister’s friend for he’s a few years younger than them. “Yo man, I was about to say for y’all to move with me and Sandra, but I don’t want Chasity feeling funny and all y’all know it’s not a good thing how they feel about each other”. “Yeah well, you don’t have to worry yourself because Chas seems to have it already taken care of and under control. Well, at least I think so”. A nurse walks in and tells Harry she needs to look at his bandages. “Yo, I’ll go find Chasity and the kids”, Denny says as he pats his brother-in-law’s hand and leaves. Denny finds Chasity and the kids in the cafeteria eating breakfast,
he gets something to eat too, and then joins them. “Yo sis, I heard y’all moving out the city”. “Yeah, Den, I hope really soon with my friend, Asia and her family”. “Harry was telling me all about it. You know y’all could have moved with me and Sandra if y’all wanted to”. Chasity knows her brother’s trying to be caring and sincere, but she also knows he’s glad he won’t have to put up with the conflict between she and his wife. And she doesn’t blame him for this, because she doesn’t want to
deal with it either. So, she replies, “thanks, Den, I appreciate that but you don’t have to worry, it’s already taken care of”. “Alright”, he says as he reaches over and pats his sister’s hand. He also pats Caitlin and Jacob’s hands too, for they’ve been quiet since he sat down. “Hey, you guys alright?” “Yes uncle Denny”, Caitlin says while Jacob just shakes his head up and down. “Den, could you take me and the kids home?” “Sure sis, and oh by the way, the nurse came in to see Harry before I left”. “Okay, let’s go back to his room so I can see how he’s doing before we leave”. “Sure, sure, sure, let’s go”. Chasity clears off the table and they all head back to Harry’s room.
Even though Harry’s in stable condition, the doctors want him to remain in the hospital for observation. They all hug and kiss before saying their goodbyes and Denny says, “yo man, I’ll bring them back later”. “Okay Den, thanks”. After they leave, Harry goes into deep thought. He thinks of all the things that have happened within the past two years, and the events that occurred, and surmises that this takes the cake. Chasity has been right to be paranoid about leaving the city and he’s now sorry he didn’t listen to and take her more serious sooner. It’s always been dangerous living in the city where risks abound every day, but it’s taken in stride for everyone knows it’s part of city life. Heck, there are dangers and risks almost everywhere in today’s world, but some places are more treacherous than others, and the city is one of them. He’s just glad that it’s he who’s in the hospital, and not she nor the kids. He had a nightmare last night and it scared the shit out of him. He only remembers bits and pieces, but the stuff he recalls is distressing. Never in his life has he been so vulnerable and felt so helpless than now. And he knows that he shouldn’t feel this way because the Lord says to trust in him, and he continually tries his best to, but this last event has him wavering a little. The nurse comes in, gives him some pain medication and a sedative, and he falls into a deep sleep.
When they arrive home, Chasity goes straight for her phone, gets Jacob’s phone too, finds the chargers, and plugs them into the wall
sockets to charge. Even though she’s concerned about the car, she doesn’t want Denny to go see about it. He’s kind of glad because he doesn’t like what he’s seen going on in the city. This is one of the only times he has come into it since the curfew, let alone now after the hurricane, and things are bad. Not just bad, but out of control. He’s never seen anything like this before, and he lived in the city his whole life until he moved to the Jersey suburbs several years ago. He’s glad that he lives and works in New Jersey, not that things are peaches and cream there, but it’s not as bad as here, he thinks. He looks around the small apartment he grew up in that now belongs to his sister, and a wave of nostalgia assaults him. It’s been so long since he’s been here and a deluge of memories invade his brain. The same table which he, his mother, and Chasity sat at is still in the same place taking up half of the living room. Chasity interrupts his thoughts, “remember when mother used to sit us down at this table and have us read verses from the bible?” “Yeah, I remember very well”. “It’s gonna be weird leaving here for this is the only place I’ve lived”. “Yeah, but we all have to move on, and now is that time”, he says looking directly at her. “Yeah, I guess you’re right”, she responds with a sigh.
“Hey, listen, Den, can I use your phone? I want to call my friend again to see what’s up with her”. “Yeah, yo, I wanted to ask you about that”. “Hold that thought. I’ll answer all your questions after I speak to her”, and with that Chasity takes his phone, and punches up Asia’s number. The phone rings as she waits for her friend to answer, but all she hears is Asia’s voice mail, and she disappointingly leaves a message. There’s nothing else she can do now except wait for Asia to get her message and get back to her, so she gathers some clothes to take to Harry in the hospital. She then tells Denny everything that has happened to them since the curfew and finishes with the latest event of Harry’s stabbing. She also explains about contacting Asia, and this prompts her into talking about the Mark of the Beast. As she speaks, she sees her brother’s face turn a grey pale color. “Denny, what’s wrong?” “Yo, I think I’ve been having a sort of Mark of the Beast dream.
I remember mother talking about it a lot. Yo, Chas, I know I ain’t as religious as you are and I should be and all, but I still love the Lord and know that Jesus Christ is our savior”. “What’s your dream about?” And he tells her things she already knows, but she doesn’t say a word, she only listens. When he’s finished, she hugs and reassures him that everything’s going to be okay. She then calls the kids and tells them to get ready because they’re going back to the hospital.
Denny drops them at the hospital, then heads home because he needs to get there before the curfew begins. Asia and the kids are going to stay overnight at the hospital again for she cleared it with the head nurse and was given permission to do so. Harry has already eaten lunch and is sitting up in bed watching t. v. when she and the kids walk in. The children impetuously bombard their dad with kisses, but remember not to hug him for fear of hurting his wounds. As Chasity kisses him, she notices his uneasiness and frayed nerves. “Are you alright, Harry?” “Yeah, Chas, I’m okay, thank God, but I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching, lately”. “Oh yeah, what have you been thinking about?” “I’ve been thinking about everything that’s been going on, and I’m kind of bummed out”. “I know what you mean because I’ve been feeling the same way, so I read this bible verse. Let me read it aloud to you so all of us can hear it”. And Chasity feels like her mother as she begins, “this is The Letter of James 1.2-The Christian can even welcome trouble-When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your lives, my brothers, don’t resent them as intruders but welcome them as friends! Realize that they come to test your faith and to produce in you the quality of endurance. But let the process go on until that endurance is fully developed and you will find you have become men of mature character with the right sort of independence. And if, in the process, any of you does not know how to meet any particular problem he has only to ask God-who gives generously to all men without making them feel foolish or guilty-and he may be quite sure that the necessary wisdom will be given him. But he must ask in sincere faith without secret doubts as to whether he really wants God’s help or not. The man
who trusts God, but with inward reservations, is like a wave of the sea, carried forward by the wind one moment and driven back the next. That sort of man cannot hope to receive anything from the Lord, and the life of a man of divided loyalty will reveal instability at every turn”. “Wow, Chas! That’s really deep cause that hits a nerve cause I’m feeling all that, and then some. I don’t know how to explain it. You know how hard it is for men to talk about stuff”. “Yes, Harry, I do know that but the times aren’t allowing us to do things as they are usually done. We have to begin learning how to deal with the unusual, out of the ordinary, and trying events”. “I know all that, Chas, and that we also don’t have a choice but, I also don’t want to be the cause of instability so I’m gonna need a lot of reassurance”. “I think we’re all gonna need a lot of reassurance, and the only way I know how to get it is through faith, prayer, and the Lord’s guidance of unwavering grace and mercy”. “Amen”, says Jacob as he shakes his head up and down.
And they all laugh and smile, which helps Harry feel better, and eases the others’ worries.