Young Adult Fiction posted May 26, 2011 Chapters:  ...8 9 -10- 11... 

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The aftermath of the girls' sleep-over

A chapter in the book Tanisha's Way

Sunday Means Church

by Deejharrington

Big Momma glanced at the kitchen clock. It read almost six-thirty in the morning. She turned back to the pancakes she was mixing up. I think I'll let those girls sleep a little longer. They surely were up late enuff. I never heard such giggling and whispering, like I didn't hear none of it, she thought to herself.

She was dressed in her Sunday-going-to-church clothes with a large apron to keep clean. Even her matching hat was on her head as she made bacon and pancakes. Next, she was going to whip up some of her special scrambled eggs. I'll wait till everything is ready to eat, then those girls are goin' get a wake-up call, Big Momma style, she smiled as she thought of their reactions.

About a half an hour later, Big Momma  climbed the stairs to the girls' bedroom. She opened the door and laughed quietly at what was before her. All the bedding and pillows were on the floor. It looked like there'd been a popcorn explosion and candy wrappers decorated every surface. The girls seemed to have fallen asleep where they had dropped. Tanisha was sprawled side-ways across the bed and Spooky was half hidden among the pillows and blankets on the floor. Big Momma said out loud, "Well, here it goes." She raised a cow bell from her childhood and rang it loud enough to call all the cattle in the state.

Both girls popped up like bread out of a toaster. Bewildered looks and blurry eyes looked at the source of the awful racket. Big Momma greeted them with a big smile, "Good Mornin' ladies. Breakfast is on the table. You's got just enuff time to eat and get ready for church." She left both of them wide-eyed and mouths hung open.

Tanisha, used to Sunday's routine, began to slowly pick her way around her room. As she pulled on her bathrobe, Spooky looked at her and said one word. "Church?"

"Yeah, that's what Big Momma expects on Sunday," Tanisha admited.

Spooky looks stunned and sheepily confessed, "We don't belong to any...I don't usually go...except for Christmas and Easter. Do I have to go, too?"

Tanisha opened her bedroom door and considered it for a moment. "I think you'll hurt Big Momma's feelings if you don't. It's not too bad. There's lots of singing and music. And Brother Charles gives a good sermon. You surely won't fall asleep while he's got the spirit."

The girls walked down the stairs to the kitchen. Suddenly, very hungry, they both sat down and started to dig in. Only with Big Momma's, "Ah Huh", reminded Tanisha to say grace. Spooky watched her friend and grandmother, then bowed her head and joined hands. When they ended with an "Amen", Spooky followed with one of her own.

Between mouthfulls, Big Momma asked if the two of them had straightened things out? Tanisha was the first to answer. She admitted she had wrongly assumed there was something goin' on 'tween Jerome and Spooky. Then, Spooky spoke up and explained that while Jerome was a "hottie", he had just called to get the homework assignment. Both girls had a good laugh over the whole incident. They told Big Momma, they had pinkie swore never let a boy come between BFFs.

After eating every scrap, Spooky brought up the problem of not having any clothes with her that would be okay for church. Tanisha reassured her she had something she could borrow
Big Momma reminded them, "Nothin' showy. No hoochie momma outfits."

Both girls laughed and promised to both wear dresses that would not embarass her. After they helped clear the table, Big Momma hustled them upstairs to get ready. "I'll take care of the rest of the dishes. You two will need all the time left to get yours' self ready."

Tanisha and Spooky giggled as they ran upstairs. They took turns in the bathroom and then went through Tanisha's closet for something for Spooky to wear. Nothing was her usual style, but they managed to find a couple of dresses and shoes that would do.

As they came down the stairs, Big Momma  stood at the bottom to inspect the results. "Um Hum, you'll do fine. Let's shake a leg, don't want to get there late and have to sit in the back with the sinners."

As they got in the car, Tanisha explained that people who were ashamed to be seen in church, usually sat in the last few rows of pews. So if you sat there, people assumed you were a sinner. Big Momma liked to sit in front, so she could get a good view of everything and everybody.

Soon they had arrived at the First Church of the Healing Light. There were not many cars in the parking lot. That pleased Big Momma and reassured her she'd get a good seat.
As the three of them walked in, they were greeted by ladies all dressed in white. They had small hats on and were passing out fans and programs.

Spooky whispered to Tanisha, "Why are all those nurses here?"

Tanisha said "thank you" to one of the women. Then answered her question, "They're not nurses. Just church ladies that help out if someone feels faint or gets the Holy Spirit and needs help."

Spooky looked more confused than before, but just followed Tanisha and Big Momma down the main aisle to the front pews. A large choir was already in place and a trio of musicians tuned their instruments. Spooky had a feeling this was going to be different than attending Our Lady of Sorrows.

A man walked up to the pulpit and began by greeting everyone. Then he started with the weekly announcements. The ladies' circle was raising money for new carpeting. The Sunday school children choir would be singing next week. Finally, an invitation to coffee and donuts after services.

The adult choir and the musicans began singing a spirited hymn. Spooky was sure she had heard it somewhere before, but never sung like that. She looked at her program, it was "O, Happy Day." The music seemed to go straight up the roof and right through Spooky. She sat there, mesmerized.

Next, a very well dressed, older couple walked across the front of the church. Tanisha elbowed her and whispered, "That's Brother Charles and his wife, Sister Sharlene."

The next hour and a half went by very quickly. Spooky was so transported by the singing that she found herself standing and clapping with the rest of the congregation. When a few members walked up to the alter for a special blessing from Brother Charles, Spooky realized she wished she had the nerve to go up there, too. She looked at Tanisha and her grandmother. They were clapping along with the music, but they stayed where they sat. Spooky was too scared to go up there by herself. She watched as Brother Charles laid his hands on each person's head and prayed aloud.Every few minutes, Brother Charles would say to the church, "Can I get an Amen?" The whole group would shout out, "Amen!" and "Hallelujah Brother!."  The happiness Spooky saw on the people's faces amazed her. She felt a joy and a feeling of belonging that she never felt at her old church.

Tanisha looked at Spooky and saw her broad grin and that she was swaying with the music. She was glad that Spooky wasn't uncomfortable at her church. When the services were over, Tanisha nudged her and said, "Hey, girlfriend. It's all over. Time for donuts."

Spooky looked at Tanisha like she had just awakened from a dream. "Oh, okay. I didn't know. I just...I was listening to... alright, let's go."

They filed out of the pews and decided to stay for the donuts. Even though both girls were stuffed from breakfast, Tanisha knew Big Momma liked to go to listen to the lastest gossip- though she would deny it with her last breath.

Tanisha got Big Momma her hot tea and a jelly donut. She told her that she was going to show Spooky around the rest of the church and introduce her to Brother and Sister. Big Momma approved and waved them off.

As they walked away, Tanisha explained that it was really an excuse to let Big Momma have a chance to talk with her lady friends. They both giggled and began to explore.


After a misunderstanding, Tanisha and Spooky renew their friendship with a sleep-over at Big Momma's home. The following morning, they will wake to a big breakfast and a surprise for Spooky.
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