The obvious differences between the interactions of the two couples are not hard to miss. Troy and Asia talk to each other and try to work things out together, while Chasity and Harry talk at one another
with Chasity controlling the conversations. Troy shows Asia a lot of affection by hugging and kissing her every chance he gets, not caring who’s around. The only time Chasity and Harry hugged was when they were a part of the group hug, they’ve not shown each other any fondness beyond that. Even the children see it for after dinner that night, Caitlin asks Chasity, “mommy, why do you and daddy fight so much?” Chasity is quiet at first and doesn’t know what to say for her daughter’s question takes her by surprise, but finally collecting her thoughts, she replies, “me and your father don’t really be arguing, we just be heatedly talking”. Caitlin tries to absorb her mother’s answer, but’s not able to because she thinks they’re always arguing, not talking. She knows the difference between talking and arguing, so what her mother said is confusing to her. She doesn’t ever see Ms. Asia and Mr. Troy in heated discussions, only her parents, and she knows it’s not good to fight. Anyway, she should be used to it because for as long as she can remember, this is how her parents always acted.
Because of her daughter’s question, Chasity doesn’t talk to Harry about his laziness, she lets it go. She instead concentrates on assisting Asia with the nighttime routine by putting all of her effort in cleaning up and making sure all the kids are bathed and put to bed before the
siren sounds. This allows Troy and Asia more time to themselves, and to prepare for work the next day. This also gives Harry a break from his wife’s constant nagging, which makes him extremely grateful, and he thanks the heavens up above. And when she goes downstairs after finishing everything up, Harry and the children are already sound asleep. So, she pulls out her bible and begins to read the Book of Ephesians, and prays to the Lord to help her have more patience and tolerance. She realizes that she’s not been herself for some time now, and that only the Lord can help her change her negative ways towards her husband, and give her the means to fix her marriage. She knows that the only way that’s going to happen is if she changes her attitude and ways, and that she must in order to continue achieving the favor that God has bestowed upon them. She thinks about what Caitlin said and knows that her daughter is right, out of the mouths of babes will the truth be revealed. She knows those are not the exact words, but the saying goes something like that, she continues to think, as she yawns, then falls asleep with the bible on her stomach.
In the morning, Chasity wakes up early enough to see Asia before she goes to work, and asks to say a prayer with her. Asia and Troy are grateful for her request because they say a prayer together every morning before Asia gets on the bus, and so they are glad to include her into their worship. Harry’s presence doesn’t go unnoticed because Troy says, “maybe, we can do this again later on and include Harry too”. “Oh yeah”, Chasity quickly replies, nodding her head up and down, “thanks for thinking about him”. “No problem”, Troy responds as he and Asia head for the door, “he’s part of the family too”. Chasity bids them goodbye, and turns around to walk to the kitchen to start cooking breakfast when she bumps into Junior. Putting her hand to her heart, “boy, you scared me”, she says. “Um I’m sorry Ms. Chasity”, he says, when he sees that he startled her. “That’s okay, son”, she says, and continues, “you up early”. “Yeah, I always get up early when my mom has to go to work, so I can help my dad with getting me and my brother ready for school”. And this impresses Chasity for none of her
kids wake themselves up to get ready, she always has to wake them, even Caitlin who’s more responsible than her brother.
Here it is a child is awake and getting things done, and her husband, an adult has not even stirred in his sleep, Chasity thinks as she reverses her steps and heads down the basement stairs to wake up her children. She doesn’t bother Harry, leaving him sleeping, then goes to the kitchen and begins making bacon, eggs and toast for everyone to eat. The kids are washed up, dressed, and sitting at the dining room table eating breakfast when Troy gets back from dropping Asia off. “Wow, you guys are eating good every morning now, what with Ms. Chasity here cooking all the time”, he says smiling as he greets the kids. “Uh huh”, Beary smiles back with a mouthful of food, “Ms. Chasity cooks good”. “Thank you Bear”, she says, and smiles back. “I’m more than glad to do it. I love cooking”. “Well, I’m glad that you’re here doing it now because it’s sure helping me and Asia out a lot” Troy says. Everyone then hears another man’s voice and turns to see Harry standing in the kitchen doorway, as he says, “Hey guys to the kids”, and to Troy, “Yeah, Chas and I are glad to help out with whatever y’all need”. They all say good morning back, and Troy also says, “join us, have some breakfast”, pulling out a chair for Harry to sit on. “Thanks, Troy, you and Asia have been so good to us, I don’t know how we’re gonna repay y’all”. Chasity jumps in with, “don’t worry, we’ll find a way”.
After Troy takes the kids to the bus stop, and goes to work, Harry and Chasity are left alone in the house for the first time since they moved in. Chasity knows this is the perfect time for her to speak to her husband and tell him all the things she’s wanted to say, but she also knows that she must take her time and choose her words carefully. Even though she has a lot to say, she doesn’t want them to argue, so she starts by asking him, “how are you feeling today, Harry?” “I’m fine, Chas, I’m fine”, he replies in the, oh no here we go, voice. She pauses for a moment, takes a deep breath and continues, “Harry, we have to discuss things, but I don’t want to get you upset, I don’t want us to argue”. He huffs, “what is it you want to say?” Using reverse psychology,
she purrs, “well, why don’t you tell me what we should do and when we should do it?” He wasn’t expecting this response from her, so it takes him a few seconds to respond. “Okay, I think that we should first get settled into living here before we consider doing anything else. Second, I want you to let me get better, and a little stronger, and find a job, before we get our own place. Do you think you can do that?” “Yes, I can do that”, she says as she smiles at him, and throws in, “that makes a lot of sense”, to make him feel that what he said is important, putting him in control for a change. This seems to work for Harry smiles back at her, goes into the kitchen, gets a snack, and then plops himself in front of the t. v. with a satisfied look on his face.
One down, one to go thinks Chasity as she begins cleaning up the kitchen. With the discussion with her husband out the way, she concentrates on how she’s going to handle Karla. It seems like a more delicate situation to conquer for she and Karla have no relations with one another, so Karla doesn’t have to listen to her if she doesn’t want to. She first has to find a positive way of Karla getting used to her presence, and letting Karla know that she’s not a threat, that she won’t come in between Karla and Asia’s friendship. She also has to change tactics because Harry wants them to stay living with the kings until he’s ready to go, and she knows this may be indefinitely, thus the moving out scenario is gone. She continues thinking, and as she’s wiping down the counters, it comes to her. “I know”, she says out loud to herself, “I’ll make brownies and take them over to Karla’s house and try to be neighborly”. She looks in the food cabinets hoping to find brownie mix and she does. “Yes”, she continues talking to herself, “I knew Asia would have brownies”. It doesn’t take long to make them for she’s already familiar with the kitchen’s layout and she quickly finds where things are.
The smell of brownies is what makes Harry get up from the couch and come back into the kitchen. “Umm, something smells good”, he says. “Are those brownies I smell?” “Yes they are”, Chasity replies, “but they’re not for you”. “Who’re they for?” He asks now frowning because
he’s trying to figure out why his wife would make brownies for anyone else but him to eat. “They’re for Karla and her son”, she says as she takes the pan out the oven and places it on the wooden cutting board to cool off. Chasity can see and feel the irritation in Harry’s demeanor and hear it in his voice when he continues talking, “Yeah, well, Chas, it’s nice that you made brownies for Karla, but I think you should’ve made some for everyone to”. She knows how important it is how she responds to this most obvious attempt to start an argument so she takes a deep breath in and carefully choosing her words, she says, “I didn’t mean that you can’t have some, I just wanted to let you know that I made them for Karla, that’s all”. And before he can comment, she walks out the kitchen, signaling the end of their conversation, and then down the basement stairs leaving him to sulk, and be miserable alone. After about a half an hour has passed, Chasity picks up her Bible from a file cabinet that she’s made into a bedside table, throws on a light jacket, and heads back up the stairs to get the brownies. When she reaches them, she sees that half of the brownies are gone and this makes her angry. Why would Harry eat half the brownies when she specifically told him she made them for Karla, she fumes as she wraps the remaining ones up in aluminum foil, and puts them in a plastic shopping bag. She can’t believe what’s he’s doing, and she doesn’t understand why he’s acting like this. And then like a sign from God, the Bible slips out her hand and drops to the floor. When she bends down to pick it up, she gets a revelation and thinks, the devil is busy, and he’s trying to stop her from doing the right things. He’s trying to dissuade and distract her from the positive by putting all this negative stuff in her way. This is what the Lord is showing her and she must be diligent now more than ever before. She must be patient with her husband who she knows is rebelling against her for uprooting them from their home of over twenty something years, and resist the urge to retaliate against any evil that comes her way. She says a pray as she goes to the living room, “Harry, I’ll be back, I’m going to Karla’s house now”. And that’s all she says, no matter how much more she wants to,
she forces herself not to say another word. She doesn’t mention the brownies, and she doesn’t mention how long he’s been sitting on the couch watching t. v. He replies, “yeah, okay”, and goes back to what’s he’s doing, nothing.
Once outside, Chasity takes a deep breath in and her lungs fill up with the fresh mountain air. Even though it’s a cool Autumn day, it’s still beautiful because the sun’s shining bright and the sky is a crystal blue. And she thinks how blessed she is to now be here instead of the city. She knows she and her family are lucky to have escaped the crowded, smelly streets, the crime, and the overall hustle and bustle. She’s never felt so alive and in tune with nature before in her whole life, and she’s glad to be alive. It doesn’t matter if Harry tries to argue and doesn’t have any ambition to aspire to do more with himself, she’ll continue loving him anyway. It doesn’t matter if Karla gives her attitude, and doesn’t accept her olive branch, she’ll keep trying to be a neighbor and friend. It doesn’t matter what’s coming her way, she’ll continue to take the good with the bad, just as long as she has her faith, family, and friends, she can conquer the world. And this feeling is a new one, it’s something she’s never felt before in all her years on this earth. Oh there’s been plenty of times when she’s felt good, but this is a new and wonderful sensation that’s she’s glad to be having. These are new things that can one day become memories that will one day turn into wonderful déjà vu moments.
With the Lord’s blessing, the King and Cromwell families settle into a co-existence of mountain life. Asia, Troy, and their boys go out of their way to make their new guests and live-in companions feel
welcome, and comfortable in their home. Troy and Asia continue to work, Chasity takes care of the children, and Harry lays around doing nothing; but, well, at least he’s healing. Jacob and Caitlin get used to Junior and Beary’s routine of school first, studying second, then recreational stuff and playtime third.
Even though the Mark of the Beast dreams have subsided, and things seem to be calming down, an eerie and sinister feeling still permeates the atmosphere. Asia knows that this is just the beginning of bigger things to come. She knows that things can, and probably will get worse because of the times they live in. Nevertheless, she’s going to try not to stress out, because she also knows that no matter what life brings, the Lord will always balance things out. For not only does she have faith, but Troy, Chasity, Harry, and their children also believe that God is in control, and His will, will be done. With the Lord’s grace and mercy, they will get through the trials and tribulations together.
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