This trip to the city is going to be the beginning of one of the most emotionally, psychologically, and compelling excursions of Asia’s life.
On one hand, she’s glad that they’re all ready, because they never unpacked upon arriving home, and this is allotting her time to concentrate on other important things like trying to prepare her family for what’s to come. But, on the other hand, she’s literally mystified about how they’re going to handle everything, and truthfully, it’s kind of frightening. She wants to call the boys in to her bedroom and talk to them about Chasity and her family, but she knows she needs to give Troy more time to process this most unexpected, and life changing information. Even though the news came out of the blue not just for him, but for her too, it seems to not be surprising. He’s hearing some deep stuff, but it’s like she’s been expecting this event to occur. It’s like she knew that one day someone would be moving into her house, moving in with she and her family, but she just didn’t know exactly who. And now she knows. She just wishes that she, Troy, and the boys had more time to prepare than just a few days. She’s not even sure of exactly how many days it is before everything goes down. There’s Friday the funeral, Saturday, the burial, and then they’re heading straight home after that. But they won’t be able to drive straight home, they’ll have to pick up Chasity and her family, and all their stuff, and bring them back to Pennsylvania to live with them. And this is what she and Troy are discussing when Beary walks in crying.
“What’s the matter?” Both Asia and Troy ask Beary at the same time. “Junior hit me”. “Junior”, she screams, “get your butt in here now!” She wanted to talk to them anyway, and now is the perfect time. Coming into the room, Junior wails, “mom, Bear was messing with and broke one of my toys”. “I did not”. “Yes you did”. Before they can continue Troy ends the bickering with, “you boys are gonna want to stop arguing and fighting with each other especially after you hear what your mom’s got to tell you”. Being the oldest, Junior is the first to pick up on his dad’s serious tone and attitude, and he stops. Beary stops after he realizes he’s the only one still going, and then tries to understand why everyone got so weird looking all of a sudden. Why are his brother, mom, and dad all standing there quiet and acting strange, and he thinks this might be the first déjà vu feeling of his life. He’s heard his mother talk about and explain this kind of funny feeling when something happened before and it’s so close to what’s happening now that it creates a strange and weird feeling deep down inside his belly, and this is what he’s now experiencing. He’s snapped out if his reverie by his mom saying, “Junior and Beary, sit down, I need to talk to you boys”. Junior sits on the foot of the bed, while he plops in the middle and waits for their mom to begin talking. They know it’s not good, when she begins with a heavy sigh.
“Do you boys remember when I told you about my best friend when I was a little girl?” She continues not waiting for a reply. “Well, she and her family are coming to live with us”. “What do you mean, live with us?” Beary asks, with raised eyebrows and innocent eyes. Junior remains quiet, but looks over at his dad wanting to see his facial expression. Troy remains quietly stoic, trying not to show any emotion at all. “Just as I said Bear, they’re going to come live with us here in the Poconos, in our house”. Now Junior speaks up, “when is this gonna happen, mom”? “In a couple of days”. “I told you, you boys are gonna want to hear this”, Troy says, finally speaking. “Wow, mom, where are they going to sleep?” “Me and your dad are still working out the details, but I suppose they can stay in the basement”. Beary excitedly pipes,
“mommy, do they know about the secret room?” “No, Bear they do not, at least not now. Anyway, that’s not important now, what’s important is that you and your brother are going to have to not just get along with each other, but also their two children too”. “How old are they?” Bear asks, seeming to still be excited, thinking it’s going to be a big slumber party. “Caitlin is eight and Jacob is ten”. “Is Caitlin a girl?” Rolling his eyes up, Junior answers, “yes, Bear, Caitlin is a girl and Jacob’s a boy”. “Well, I hope they’re good and fun”. “I hope so too”, Junior says now looking at his mom.
After the boys leave, Asia and Troy continue their radically motivated conversation about Chasity and her family. “Listen, Babe, let’s not assume anything, I need you to call Chasity and ask her questions. Since we’re doing them a favor, then I don’t think she should have no reason not to comply”. “Yeah, I guess you’re right, I’ll call her right now”. She gets her phone and calls Chasity, but she ends the call after one ring, because she doesn’t really know what she’s going to ask her. She has to first get her bearings together and have specific questions that are going to make sense, just not for her but to Chasity as well. She goes to the bathroom, closes the door to be alone, and quietly sits on the closed toilet seat lid and thinks about the who, what, where, when, why, and how of the whole situation. She starts working things out in her mind, okay, Chasity and her family need to move in with them. They can stay in the basement, and even though there’s not much stuff in it, it’ll still have to be cleared out. Chasity will have to bring mattresses and beds with them, that’s about the only furniture they’ll need. They’ll be able to live upstairs in the main part of the house with them, but will have to sleep in the basement. That sounds like a good plan, so she leaves the bathroom, goes back into the room, and relays her thoughts to Troy. “What do you think of that?” “It sounds solid, now try calling her again”.
Asia calls Chasity again and this time, she answers on the first ring. “Hey, girl, did you call before?” “Yes, I did, I’m sorry I had to end the call, but Chas, I have a few questions to ask”. “Ask away, girlfriend, I’m
at your mercy”. Asia smiles before continuing, “um, Troy and I don’t really have a large house, but we do have a full- size basement where you’ll can sleep. You’ll have to leave most of your furniture, but bring your beds”. “Okay, that sounds like a good plan, like I said, we’ll do whatever you need us to do, Asia. I didn’t really get the chance to say thank you, and how grateful we are, and how much this means to us”. “I know, I heard it in your voice the first time you called. I’m just glad that we’re able to do this”. “And don’t you worry, we’re not gonna be in your way, I’m gonna make sure of it!” And Asia thinks, I hope you’re right, girlfriend because I’m putting my family out there and myself on a limb. “Um, do you and Harry have a car?” “We did, but it got messed up pretty bad, that’s how Harry ended up in the hospital”. “He was in a car accident?” “No, some crackheads broke into the car, and damaged it up pretty bad, and Harry got attacked when he tried to stop them. I’m not sure what condition it’s in, but I think we’re better off trashing it”. “Oh, I see”, Asia replies biting the corner of her lip. “Okay, then I think, we’re going to have to make more than one trip. I’ll work the details out with my husband and then let you know”. “Okay, girlfriend, remember, we’re at your mercy”. And with that, they end the call.
“Alright, give me the sordid details”, Troy says to his wife after she’s done talking on the phone, standing in front of her with his muscular arms folded over his chest. “Well, at first I thought we would have to make two trips because of them having to bring their beds, but then I got a bright idea and thought, why don’t we bring both the car and jeep. I’ll drive the car and you can drive the jeep. This way, hopefully, we’ll only have to make one trip”. “They don’t have a car?”, Troy asks in an obviously irritating tone. “They did, but it was trashed. That’s how her husband, Harry, ended up in the hospital”. Asia can see that her husband is trying to be patient with her and this distraught information. “Asia, what about their finances?”. Even though he’s been extremely tolerable, she knows he’s also annoyed because he’s not using her pet name. “I’m not really sure about that because I didn’t think to ask about money”. “Babe”, he sighs, “you know I’m not like that either, but I do think we
should know what’s what”. “I know, honey, I’m surprised with myself because I’m usually the first one to think about financial situations”. “Okay, okay, wow, Babe, this tells me how solemnly critical this is to you”. “Yeah, I guess so, you’re so right, Troy. I don’t know how to explain it, but I know this is something I must do without any hesitation”. And with that, he hugs and kisses her saying, “okay Babe, I’m with you one hundred percent, and I’ll try my best to do whatever you need me to do”. Asia never felt so lucky and loved before. She knows she’s truly blessed to have such a wonderfully, and understanding husband. She just hopes that her hopes are not up too high.
There’s not much to do to clear out the basement except for moving a few storage bins to the outside shed, and Troy does this first. He leaves two nice lounge chairs behind, so Chasity and Harry can have somewhere comfortable to sit. He then checks both the car and jeep for gas, and finds out only the jeep needs gas, so he drives to the gas station to get it before curfew. He remembers what happened the last time he was here, so he quickly gets what he needs, doesn’t stop to speak to anyone, and hurries back home. Max is waiting for him when he pulls into his driveway, he parks the jeep, gets out, shakes Max’s hand and says, “Hey Max, what’s up?” “Troy, buddy, just wanted to make good on my promise, so I brought over the fire arm for you”. “Sure, sure, Max, come on inside”. By now, Asia is holding the front door open, and greets Max with a hug, receiving a bear hug back, and then kissing her husband. Troy takes Max downstairs to the basement for privacy, and thinks, man, he won’t be able to do anything like this again in the basement. Max has a shot gun for him, and shows him how to use it. “I’ll have to test it out when we get back from the city”. “Okay, buddy, you’se just let me know when and I’ll be obliged to do it with you”. Troy thanks Max again, but remains silent about everything else as he says goodbye. Max will find out about things soon enough, Troy thinks, as he watches his neighbor and friend get in his truck and drive away.
He and Asia complete their preparations for the trip into the city and, for Chasity and her family. They call the boys to eat dinner early,
and then they all go to bed right afterwards to get as much rest as possible. In the morning, they go through the same traveling routine except this time, Asia drives their Volvo, with Junior riding beside her. Troy drives the jeep, and Beary rides with him. Traffic is manageable, she thinks, but maybe she’s just used to the time now, whatever the case is, they arrive to the city without any mishaps. She parks the car in the parking lot behind her parent’s building hoping it will be safe, because she needs to leave it there until they go home. Troy finds a spot on the street right in front, parks, takes out their bags and stuff, and then carries them to the building where he meets up with Asia and Junior. They get in the elevator and when they get off, they encounter a plethora of people in, and at her parent’s house. “Oh, my goodness, why are so many people here, and not at the funeral home”? Asia asks, dumbfounded. She can’t imagine what’s going on until she sees Ms. Sally, selling and practically giving away her parent’s possessions. She furiously yells, “Ms. Sally, what the hell’s going on?” “Me thought I would save you some time and start getting rid of you parents stuff for you”. Asia closes her eyes and counts to ten before she speaks in order to calm herself down, “Ms. Sally, this is very inappropriate, please ask these people to leave”. And Asia doesn’t wait for her to do it, she begins doing it herself while Troy takes their bags into her parent’s bedroom. She doesn’t believe that this woman has the audacity to be doing this at this time, and she tells this to her. “Ms. Sally, I don’t believe you’re doing this now!” “What the problem, no, it gonna have to be done, anyway, no”. “Yeah, but not now! I haven’t even put my parents in the ground yet!”. Asia is outraged. She knew that Ms. Sally was strange people, but she didn’t know how bad it was until now. This lady must be out of her mind! What is she thinking and what is she doing? Asia takes another deep breath and counts to ten again, “Ms. Sally, we need to lock up my parent’s apartment and head to the funeral home”. “You go on ahead, me will finish up here and then meet you there”. Troy knows his wife very well and he sees she’s about to blow up so he pulls her aside, “Babe, let’s just go, we’ll deal with this woman later”. “You’re
right, honey, she’s lucky I’m a Christian and I have bigger fish to fry right now, let’s get to the funeral home”. And with that, Asia rolls her eyes at Ms. Sally, and reluctantly leaves the apartment and goes to her parent’s funeral.
Asia thinks there must be hundreds of people here when they pull up to the funeral parlor. She guesses the amount is massive because the funeral is for both her mom and dad. Family, friends, neighbors and former colleagues are milling outside, as well as crammed inside the parlor. Troy drops she and the boys off in the front and he then goes to look for a parking spot. They are surrounded by everyone, and given condolences as they try to inch their way towards the parlor’s doorway. Is she late? Or are they early? Her mind is reeling in several directions which is making it hard for her to think straight, and she’s not sure of what’s what. The boys are trying to stay by her side, but they’re being hugged, kissed, and pulled away making it difficult for them to do so. She prays that Troy finds a parking space fast because she desperately needs him. She wonders where her brothers are, and hopes they’re inside. And then a tremendously heavy and sorrowful feeling overtakes her that makes her miss her sister. It sends a deep déjà vu sensation up her spine which chills her to the bone. This makes her so emotional that she begins to break down and starts to cry uncontrollably.
As if by magic, Troy appears by her side, and literally carries, guides and escorts her inside for she is now grief stricken. People continue to hug and kiss them, handing her envelopes, and saying how sorry they are. “It must be so hard for you, losing both your parents at the same time”. “I’m so sorry for you”. “Be strong, and know that they’re in God’s hands now”. “At least they’re not suffering anymore”. “You should be glad that they’re gone from this horrible world!” And the comments continue until she and her family make it inside. The funeral director gently accompanies her to the side of the parlor, hands her a box of tissues, and waits for her to blow her nose before speaking. “Ma’am, everything’s in order, the family will be sitting on the right side, in the front, and the service will begin in a half an hour. Right now is the viewing”. Even though the man is right in front of, and speaking directly to her, it doesn’t seem like it for Asia is experiencing an outer body occurrence. She knows things are going on around her, but they seem to be happening in a blur. She finally begins the long and anguish walk to her parent’s coffins.