Just then Jeremiah came into the kitchen. "Daddy, you're home!" he cried, running toward Charles. Charles picked his son up and put him on his hip.
"Daddy, ya wanna play football?" Jeremiah asked eagerly.
Charles patted his son's back. "I'm really tired. I had a long day at work, but I promise we'll play tomorrow. But tonight when I tuck you in, how about if I read you a Bible story?"
"Well, all right," Jeremiah agreed. "I love you, Daddy." He gave Charles a big hug.
"I love you, too, son," Charles said as he embraced his son tightly and rubbed his back. "I love you so much."
Angie stepped over to them and hugged them both. "I love you guys, too," he said, "more than anything or anyone else in the whole world."
Charles and Jeremiah told her they loved her with all their hearts, too, and then they all sat down to eat. That night Charles graced the food and thanked God for the Millers' willingness to make up and to invite them to celebrate Thanksgiving with them.
When it was time for Jeremiah to go to bed, Charles grabbed an illustrated children's Bible from his son's bookshelf, tucked Jeremiah in, and lay next to his son with his arm around his shoulders. "What would you like Daddy to read you tonight?" he asked.
"Read me the story of Balaam's donkey," Jeremiah said. "That donkey reminds me of the TV show 'Mister Ed'."
Charles laughed. "Of course, there are some differences. On the TV show, they just had a man do the talking behind the scenes and made the horse's mouth move, and the people on the show are just pretend. The people in the Bible are real, and God really did make that donkey talk."
"I know that, Daddy." Jeremiah giggled as he nestled up to his father's side.
Charles kissed his son on the top of his head, then turned the Bible to the story of Balaam's talking donkey. But just as he started reading, sleepiness unexpectedly overcame him. His eyes became so heavy from his long day at work that Charles fell asleep right there on his son's bed! Jeremiah reached above his bed to the light switch and turned off his bedroom light. Then he lay back down, kissed his dad, and snuggled up to him again.
Thirty minutes passed, and Angie, who was sitting on the couch eating an apple and watching "My Three Sons", wondered what was keeping her husband. Perhaps Jeremiah refused to go to sleep, although she hadn't heard a peep out of him for half an hour. She went quietly upstairs to investigate what was happening. To her surprise, when she got to her son's room she could hear her husband snoring softly. She went into Jeremiah's room and saw Charles asleep with his mouth slightly open and his arm stretched across Jeremiah, who slept like a little cherub while his night light shone nearby. She smiled and gently kissed both her husband and her son, snuggled down beside them, and fell asleep.
Meanwhile, over at the Millers' house, LaToya had gone to bed extremely early. She didn't want to stay up and interact with her parents, because she was furious that they'd invited Angie and Charles over for Thanksgiving. Tyrone and Keisha had tried to talk with her about her feelings, but she harshly said that she was too angry to speak. Tyrone and Keisha started to feel discouraged, but they quickly said a prayer for her. After their prayer they went to bed in their nice, cool room with a tall plant in the corner, a large fan next to their dresser, and a 0.40-caliber gun that Tyrone kept under their dresser that he intended to one day use on his son's shooter...
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