Asia wakes up early, reaches for the phone and calls her job to let them know that she won’t be in and will be claiming another family death day. Her husband, Troy, is still asleep next to her and she looks at him and watches him lightly snore. The children are still asleep too because she hasn’t heard anyone stirring outside their bedroom door. Troy evidently is not sleeping because he reaches over and rubs Asia’s breast with his hand. She smiles and gently caresses his hand as he lightly pinches the nipple of her left breast. He then places her hand on his hard and erect penis. This makes her smile and laugh. “So you want to get something started?”, she purrs at him. “You know I do”. He purrs back. And they begin feeling each other up all over. He asks, “are the kids still asleep?” “Yes they are, thank goodness!” And as she says this he begins kissing her fully on the mouth and thrusts his tongue inside it, kissing her hard but tender. He pulls her close to him and she melts into his hard yet loving embrace. They make sweet love, trying not to make so much noise as so the kids won’t hear them and wake up. After making love to her husband, she sits up in bed, swings her legs over the side, puts each foot into a gray, soft memory foam slipper and goes to the bathroom.
Yesterday’s funeral events swirl around in her mind as she sits on the toilet. She also begins to think about the Mark of the Beast story again. She thinks she’d better tell Troy about it because it’s starting to almost haunt her thoughts. And he’s noticed that she’s been
preoccupied lately. Asia never really told anyone else about the story except her sister all those years ago when she was only six years old. Thank God Troy is a God fearing Christian man who will understand her story. Just as she’s about to flush the toilet, Troy walks into the bathroom. “Good morning, Babe”, he says. “Good morning, to you too”, Asia replies with a smile on her face. He smiles back. “Thank you for the wonderful love!” “Your welcome, and thank you too. Did you call your job?” She questions him with a quizzical look. “I already told them I would probably be out today too”, he replies as he stands in front of the sink and looks at himself in the mirror. She wipes herself, flushes the toilet, and pulls down her gown as she stands up. She and Troy switch places as she washes her hands at the sink and he lifts up the toilet seat and begins peeing. “Troy I have something I have to tell you”. “Is it related to why you’ve been so preoccupied lately” he asks as he looks at his wife with questioning eyes. “Yes”, she replies with a serious look on her face.
And Asia begins telling her husband about the Mark of the Beast story right there in the bathroom. They walk out of the bathroom and into their bedroom as she talks. Troy is quiet and is intently listening to a story that he has never heard his wife tell in all their over twenty years together. His eyes are wide and his eyebrows are pulled down low together. He then begins asking questions. “Who told you this? Why didn’t you tell me about this before now? What has made you tell me this now?” And Asia tries her best to answer each question as he asks them. “Troy I don’t know why I haven’t told you about this before. It’s always been in my mind, but in my most inner unconscious thoughts. But now it seems like I’m thinking about it every day. Heck, I’m thinking about it almost every waking moment of the day now!” She’s out of breath when she’s finished answering his questions. They’re now back in the bed and Troy just stares at her at first not saying anything as he leans his head on his arm under a pillow. He then says, ”I know why you ’re thinking about this all the time now. It’s because we’re in the end of times, the last days that the Lord Jesus us about!” Asia admits that she had the “Aha” moment at his cousin’s funeral the day before. And she says, “you’re right. You are absolutely right about why I’ve been thinking about this Mark of the Beast story. I believe it is actually coming to fruition”.
Troy wasn’t always what Christians would consider to be a religious person. Oh, he’s always believed in God, but never really went to church unless he had to. But now, after being saved, he believes there is a God in heaven and Jesus Christ is the son of God. He also believes that the Lord is coming back to this earth real soon. In fact, when he gave himself to the Lord, he became even more sanctified than Asia, at least she thinks so. He’s more involved with the church than she is now. She guesses it’s because he has more time than she does, what with her having to commute to the city from Pennsylvania to work. And he works in Pennsylvania, so he doesn’t have to commute. Thus Troy has come a long way from his nonchalant days. He now incorporates God into his every thought. He doesn’t make a move now without consulting the Lord. And he doesn’t want any one of his immediate family members to make a move without also consulting the Lord. This is what Asia is thinking as she hears her son, Junior’s bedroom door open and he emerges. He peeks his head in the opening crack of his parent’s door and says, “good morning mom and dad”. “Good morning Junior”, Troy responds. “Did you sleep well?”, asks Asia. “Yeah mom, I slept alright”. He then walks down the hall to the bathroom.
Junior is small for ten years old. He barely stands four feet and weighs sixty pounds soaking wet. His complexion is a dark chocolate brown like his aunt. He’s the darkest one in his immediate family that consists of his younger brother, mom and dad. But don’t let his size fool you. He’s a feisty, fast talking boy who can hold his own in any situation. He’s always been smart for his age. He’ll read anything he can get his hands on. His real hobby is flipping and dancing. So when he was five years old, Troy and Asia enrolled him in gymnastics. He became so good that his gymnastics teacher felt he had a chance of becoming a professional gymnast. One year, he performed in the Good Will Games at Madison Square Garden. Asia thought he had a good chance of actually being in the Olympics. But She and Troy could not keep up with the demanding schedule of the practice and dedication needed to succeed in such an endeavor. And she always felt ashamed that she had failed her son in some important aspect of his life. Anyway, she and her husband felt they had to move out of New York City in order to save their sons from the constant violence and threat on their lives as two young black boys. And once in the Poconos, the whole family settled in to a kind of back country mountain life existence. The boys got picked up by the school bus every day, Troy worked as a construction worker building many of the new houses going up for sale on a continuous basis, and Asia, a middle school teacher commuted to and from the city. This was their daily existence until the happening. Junior uses the bathroom, then wakes up his younger brother, Beary. Beary is the complete opposite of his older brother. He’s almost Juniors height and may actually weigh more than him. Beary’s a cute, chubby four- year old who’s big for his size. He kind of reminds you of and looks like a little bear cub. He has a cherry round face with dimples in the middle of each cheek. His legs, arms and stomach are also round. Thus the nickname Beary was bestowed upon him. Beary also uses the bathroom, then both boys go into their parent’s room and jump on the bed. Beary snuggles up between his mom and dad, and Junior sits at the foot. Asia picks up the remote control to the television and clicks on channel seven. As soon as the picture and sound come into view, it reports a breaking news story is in effect. The whole family sits up in bed. Channel seven news is reporting that a curfew is being
set for the entire city.
Asia cannot believe what she is seeing and hearing-the news story of New York City being put under a curfew-as she and her whole family watch the news reporter speak. Scenes of the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Manhattan flash on the sixty-inch t. v. screen in front of them. At first, all of them just sit there stunned and shocked, but then everyone starts talking at once. Troy asks, “is this for real?” Asia is flabbergasted
and replies, “how are they going to enforce something like this in the city? This is not good!” With wide eyes and a scary look on his face, Junior says, “Mom and dad what does this mean?” Beary just sits there with a worried look because he really doesn’t know what the significance of the situation is. Troy begins to say something and Asia says, “shh lets listen to what they’re saying”. By now, everyone is in an incredulous state. Troy walks to the bedroom window and just stands there listening, Junior gets up off the bed right after his father, and Beary cuddles even tighter to his mother still in bed. The breaking news report continues- “All of New York City has been put under a curfew starting as of nine o’clock p. m. this evening. The mayor and police commissioner say that all police will be out in full force to enforce this ordinance. We ask that all persons please try to refrain from going out after nine o’clock unless you are an official on official business.” Asia knows this is not going to go well, especially not in the city.
Asia and Troy are not the only people who know that a curfew in New York City is not going to go well. Shit, millions of people know this! They find out that the curfew is just not for New York City, but for every city and town in the United States! Even though people are not going to be happy, they have no choice but to comply with this unbelievable situation. The government has received pertinent intelligence about specific terrorist attacks against the U. S. It is imperative that as many people as possible abide by the new curfew because it can mean the difference between life and death. This also means that only certain buildings, institutions, and companies can be open after curfew. All other businesses must be closed by the nine o’clock p. m. curfew and all civilian citizens must be in doors. All of this information is being conveyed by the news reporters. And of course, people are calling into, emailing, face booking, tweeting, texting, and instagramming the news stations, government agencies, and any official person they can get hold of. They have questions that need to be answered and fears to be alleviated. Asia can just imagine the amount of fear gripping the country right now! Heck, she is shocked and frozen with are also a thousand questions spinning around in her head. Troy breaks Asia and the boy’s attention away from the breaking news story and her inner thoughts by saying, “we need to speak to our families as soon as possible”!