After talking to Asia, Chasity is in an elated, disbelieving, and euphoric state. She can’t believe her good fortune. Oh, she knew that this was already destined and favored by the Lord, and it was bound
to happen, but she still doesn’t want to take anything for granted. So, she praises and thanks Him by throwing up her hands, and spinning around and around joyfully shouting, “thank you father in heaven! Thank you for giving us your only begotten son to wash away all our sins, thank you for being continuously gracious to us, thank you!” By now, Harry and the kids know why their mother is jumping for joy even though their father is sitting in a hospital bed for they overheard her conversation with Ms. Asia. They heard her ask her friend if they could move to Pennsylvania with she and her family, and from what they can infer, it’s okay. They know that their mother has been stressing out over this and she has. Chasity has been waiting to talk to Asia about her family’s situation for over a year now, and she’s finally done it, with what it seems like a successful outcome. Even though he’s in pain, Harry is still smiling because he knows how imperative this is for his wife and their family. Especially now, for just when it seemed like things were going array, God’s turning them back around and once again, setting things right. The Lord’s reeling in the crazy horses and getting them back on track.
One down, one to go, Chasity thinks, as she waits for the doctor to examine Harry and update them on his condition. Things seem
to be looking up for them, and she prays for continued favor. For she doesn’t believe in luck, she believes in having faith, and faith is more fortuitous. Just as she’s completing this thought, Paul, Harry’s brother saunters into the room. You would never guess that Paul and Harry are brothers. Someone would have to tell you that they are even related for Paul is the complete opposite of Harry. Paul is a tiny man, standing only five feet four inches and weighing barely one hundred forty- two pounds. At ten- years old, his nephew, Jacob, is almost his size. And Looking just like his Uncle Paul, many people sometimes mistake him as his son. Caitlin and Jacob bombard their Uncle Paul with hugs and kisses just as they did their Uncle Denny, but don’t receive the same reciprocated love and enthusiasm. Paul seems to be irritated about having to come to the hospital, and Chasity instantly picks up on this.
She senses his negative attitude right away and tries to dismiss it as an everyone is frustrated in these days and times excuse. Harry picks up on it too, but he’s not so fast in dismissing and pardoning his brother’s bad manners. Why should he? Being the older brother, he raised and took care of Paul growing up when their mother lost her way at the beginning of their childhood. He was the one who took all the whippings and backlashes, and spared his brother a lot of abuse. And he’s not so sure of what’s going on in his brother’s life right now, but whatever it is that has him looking and acting peculiar, Harry wishes he leaves it outside this hospital room. They just received some happy and promising news and he doesn’t want anything nor anyone to spoil it. So, when Paul walks over to shake his hand, Harry pulls him down and whispers in his ear, “hey, Pauly, good to see you bro, and thanks for coming, but please don’t say anything to get Chas and the kids upset”. Jerking himself up, Paul responds with, “just came to see how my big brother is doing. How are you?” “The docs say I’m gonna be okay. We waiting on my last examine and maybe I can go home today”. “Good, good, that sounds good, man. Sorry if I don’t look enthusiastic, a lot has been going on, man”. Harry flicks his hand at his brother and continues, “hey, I know what you mean, look at where I’m at”. “Yeah
man, yeah man, didn’t mean no disrespect to you and the family, just wanted to pay my respects”.
Chasity thinks what a horrible thing for Pauly to say, just wanting to pay his respects, like Harry is dead or something. If he doesn’t know what to say, then he shouldn’t say anything at all. Heck, if he’s not feeling right, then maybe he shouldn’t have come. It’s not a good thing coming to see someone in the hospital if you’re not going to be helpful and uplifting. Anyone who has any common sense knows that a patient doesn’t need bad karma while in a vulnerable state, and Pauly can see the condition his brother is in. She knows it was only right for her to call him and let him know what happened, but she’s second guessing herself and questioning if it was the correct thing to do now. For there’s a strain on her husband’s face and knitted brows that wasn’t there a minute ago. The kids feel something’s not right too for they both have remained glued to their window spots and haven’t said a word since their Uncle Pauly strangely greeted them. “Your brother’s not dead Paul, he was attacked and hurt. And thank God he’s gonna be alright!” Chasity says this in such a chastising tone that everyone looks at him, and Paul feels like he said and did something wrong.
“Look Chas, you calls me up and tells me about my brother so I’s just wanted to see my brother and show him I care. I ain’t mean no disrespect”. Paul throws up his hands in a yo, man I didn’t come here to create any problems gesture. Harry remains quiet for he’s going to allow Chasity to handle this, and she does. Sighing, she responds, “Pauly, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to upset you. You know we’re all on edge. I’m, we’re glad you came”. And before she can finish, the doctor comes into the room with a nurse behind him. “Excuse me, we need to examine your husband’s stitches and change his bandages”. “Oh, yes doctor, we’ve been waiting for you, thank you so very much!”, Chasity sincerely says as she vigorously shakes his hand. The nurse smiles as she escorts all of them out the room and pulls the curtains closed around Harry’s bed. Once outside Chasity asks Pauly if he could buy the kids lunch because she’s short on money. “I’m short on money too, Chas. I barely
had enough cash to make it here to see Harry”. “Okay Pauly, I’m sorry, I would’ve been more attentive and known better if I wasn’t so stressed out”, she winces and hugs him. He doesn’t hug her back, he just stands there with his hands at his side as she wraps her arms around his thin body. She releases him, steps back and says, “kids say good-bye to your Uncle Pauly”. This time, they don’t go to hug him, they instead wave to him, and he waves back, turns around and walks away. Chasity has a funny déjà vu feeling in her gut like this is going to be the last time they’ll see Paul Cromwell.
Instead of going to a fast food restaurant, Chasity heads to the nearest supermarket and buys ham, turkey, and cheese. She also picks up some mayonnaise, a loaf of bread, and a three liter of Pepsi. She has to be frugal with the money. “Mommy, where’re we going now?” Jacob asks, as he takes a bag that’s being handed to him. “Back to the hospital. The doctor should be finished, so we can eat in your father’s room”. She has to budget their money for there’s not much left, and only God knows where they’re going to get more. What with Harry in the hospital, and she not working, and no money left in the bank, she can only leave it in the Lord’s hands. Rather than stress out, she’s going to make the final preparations needed for their move. This is what she tells Harry when they return to his room. The doctor is gone, but the nurse is still there, and she informs Chasity that Harry will have to stay another night. Chasity thanks her and then begins making sandwiches for herself and the kids. Harry says not to make one for him because his lunch is on the way. And sure enough, his food arrives just a few minutes after Chasity places the last slice of bread atop the final one. They all eat a satisfying lunch together in peace for they are all quiet until the last morsel is consumed. Chasity surmises that Harry must be feeling better for he eats everything on his plate, dessert and all.
Chasity breaks the silence, “Harry, I need to get the children home so we’ll be ready when Asia gets here”. “Yeah, you never told me the details of your conversation with her”. “I know, Pauly walked in and everything happened so fast that I never got a chance to. Well, she’s
coming back to the city tomorrow, and said for us to pack up and be ready. I guess we’ll all head back after her parent’s funeral”. “Chas, you know we’re broke”, he says with a seriously sour face. “And look at my condition…need I say more?” “I know Harry, but I have a feeling that things are gonna be alright. They may not be perfect, but they’ll be okay…you know me with keeping the faith”. “Yeah, Chas, as usual, I hope you’re right”. Another nurse walks in, checks Harry’s chart, pushes his table to the side, and gives him medication. It makes him drowsy, so Chasity and the kids hug and kiss him, say their good-byes and leave for home hoping their dad will get out tomorrow. At least when she and the kids get on the bus, they’re in good moods with high spirits, and she hums a hymn the whole ride home that continues to soothe she and the children.
At home, Chasity tries to pack as much as she can, knowing that they will only take stuff like clothes, shoes, sneakers, pictures, and sentimental items. All furniture and nonessentials will be staying for she doesn’t know how large Asia’s house is. And she doesn’t want her family to feel like they’re being bombarded with too much. It’s enough that they’re being infringed upon by practically strangers for they have not physically met her family before. Wow, she thinks, she’s been so wrapped up in her own world that she never really took the time to think about how this might be affecting her friend’s family. She’s only been thinking about herself and her own family, and what their needs are. She should call Asia again and give and receive more detailed information, and exactly what she should and should not bring. It’s only fair that she comply with Asia’s wishes for she’s the one imposing on her. She’ll call her later for right now she’s exhausted, and she needs to take a nap, she thinks as a big yawn escapes her, and she plops down on the bed and falls asleep. She begins dreaming as the z’s take over, even as she thinks, Oh no! I don’t want to do this.
But, the dream is not a nightmare, it’s a wonderfully, delightful one instead. She and her family are running around playing tag in a big, and beautiful backyard. It’s a bright and sunny day, and the sky is a
clear, baby blue color. The air is clean and crisp, and she inhales a green and earthy smell that makes her heart glad and her eyes smile. Caitlin runs up to her, tags her and says, “you’re it mommy”. She then chases after Jacob trying to catch him, as he squeals with joy and runs away. Even Harry is playing for he allows her to catch and tag him. He grabs her when she does and spins both of them around until they fall on the ground laughing. Caitlin and Jacob join their parents and they begin tickling each other until they all laugh and giggle nonstop. This is the first time they have experienced nature like this for never before have they romped around a spectacular outdoor environment as such, and felt so comfortable. Asia and her family then walk up to them, and they greet each other by hugging and kissing in jubilation. The two families become intertwined as one with Asia and Chasity talking incessantly to each other, Troy and Harry in a heated discussion high fiving and fist bumping, as the kids continue running around playing tag, and everyone is getting along like they’ve all been together for years. They then go back to the house and Chasity helps Asia prepare dinner, as the men watch sports, and the kids play video games. They are one big happy family and Chasity hasn’t been so peacefully, content in a long time, leaving all her fears and worries behind her.
Chasity wakes up in an amazingly good mood and finishes packing what she hopes is all they’ll need. She feels things are looking up for she did not have the nightmare, she instead had a wonderful dream that she thinks is a good omen. She can’t wait for tomorrow, and prays that Harry’s in stable condition and is able to get out the hospital. She also prays for extra strength for she knows that she’s going to have to pull both their weight. And it’s not going to be an easy task because she has a hard time pulling her own weight around, now she’s going to have to pull her husband’s too and that’s going to be a tremendous task. Anyway, she’ll do what she has to for their survival as she’s always done, and continue leaning on and trusting the Lord to lead her in the right direction. He’s never failed her before, and she has the faith that He won’t fail her now.
But, even still, she knows she needs to put herself in Asia, and her family’s shoes in order to be more objective about the whole situation. Here is a haven’t seen in over fifteen years’ friend asking if she and her family can come live with them. She’ll have to first persuade her husband and kids in acceptance, then prepare them for the physical event. It’s like a mentally, psychological, and physical balancing act, and as Chasity thinks about it, this is the predicament that all of them are going to be in. They’re all being thrown into the unknown, but the difference is, she’s the one creating the stress, and Asia’s the one accepting it. This prompts her to do what she knows best, so she says a prayer, “Lord, please help me and my family to not just be a burden, but also a blessing to Asia and her family as well. Give us all the patience, guidance, and ability to do your will, in Jesus Christ’s name, Amen”. “Amen”, she hears, for when she opens her eyes, she sees her children standing there, also praying with her. She then puts her hands on each one of their shoulders, looks them directly in their eyes and pleads, “you two have to be really good and get along with Ms. Asia’s and Mr. Troy’s boys. I don’t want no problems. You two know how big of a thing this is!”. “We know mommy”, each one says, after another. And, Caitlin finishes with, “mommy, you won’t have to worry about us getting along with their boys, I’m a gonna make sure of it!”. Chasity smiles, and then embraces both of her children feeling so much joy and loving them even more.