The television show blasted in the background.
Carolyn Harold laughed as she sat on the sofa watching a television show.
Carolyn, the daughter of Pastor Harold and Trey’s sister, seemed to note have a care in the world.
Minister Earl Ellington, however, paced the floor behind the sofa.
“Come on baby, sit down and watch. Blackish is funny tonight.” She said.
“I can’t understand how you are so calm about what’s going on.”
“Worrying about it ain’t gonna change a thing.”
“Everybody is right about you. Do you take anything seriously?” Earl said.
“Your daddy was on that video…” Earl continued with an obvious tortured tinge to his voice.
“Come on, you know that video was fake, dad may have had his share of women, but no way is he with…”
“Whether it is true or not, he is stepping down. He said it. And your brother is taking over.” Earl said as he turned to burn another hole in the carpet beneath his feet.
Carolyn threw her hands up and said, “Stop worrying Earl, this is really the best thing that can happen to you.”
“Best thing that can happen to me? How you figure?”
Carolyn stood up and walked over to Earl in an attempt to calm him down, “Well, daddy wasn’t going to be the pastor forever…
“Yeah but…” Earl attempted to interrupt.
Carolyn put her finger over Earl’s lips and said, “AND Trey likes you.”
Earl shook his head in resignation.
Carolyn continued, “Just think what would have happened if Dex had taken over. you probably would already be fired.”
Earl laughed, “You ain’t lying.”
“He probably would have fired you even before he took over. But Trey…”
Carolyn paused for a moment and continued, “…Trey, I love my brother, but he is scared of his own shadow. Don’t worry about Trey.”
“Are you sure? I think everybody is reading Trey wrong. Trey ain’t Pastor Harold he ain’t gonna put up with all the mess going on in the church. How long before he comes down on his intern shacking…um…having relations with his sister?”
Carolyn looked at Earl with a shocked look on her face and said, “Nobody knows that.”
Earl was unconvinced.
“Well you are about to marry me anyway.” Carolyn smiled slyly.
“Stop joking, I’m serious, Did you hear his last sermon? He came down hard on homosexuality and sex outside of marriage. Terry Smith was sweating so hard that I felt sorry for him. I thought Trey was gonna call him by name.”
Earl and Carolyn Laughed. Earl continued, “I bet you he already planning on sitting half of the leadership down already.”
Earl then said, “My cousin says that there is an opening for assistant youth pastor at the mega church Woodland in Kansas City.”
Carolyn smiled, “So you gonna give up your position at this church to wipe little kids noses and take the on potty breaks?”
“It’s a job. And I know Trey ain’t as understanding as Pastor Harold.”
Carolyn put her arm around Earl and said, “Trey ain’t gonna do nothing to Terry, cause who is gonna play the music to keep the church full?”
Carolyn continued, “He ain’t gonna do nothing to you. He needs you on the staff.”
Earl forced a smile.
“I bet he doesn’t even do anything to Dex.”
Earl frowned up and said, “Think so?”
“I know so…Come on baby, my family has been good to you. Momma can’t wait for you to put a ring on her daughter’s finger.”
“I sense a recurring theme here Carolyn. You do know that I ain’t ready for that step.”
“You didn’t sound like you weren’t ready when I put it on you this morning.” Carolyn smiled.
“We shouldn’t have done that…I uh…anyway stop changing the subject, I hear you about your parents. Especially when I saw your pops and Sister Pope doing what they were doing in the back room. But your brother Trey…”
“Trey ain’t gonna change a thing.”
“I hope you’re right.”
“And now that that is settled Minister, I think you have a member right here that has some needs.” She laughed and Minister Ellington leaned in to kiss her.
Pastor Carter Harold II walked over to the mailbox to get his mail and he saw a number of reporters and television vans.
“I guess the video has been released.” Pastor Harold said to himself.
“Pastor Harold, I have a few questions for you.” A straight laced white man in a suit asked as he put a microphone into his face.
“OK, what do you want to know?” The pastor stopped and looked at the reporter in his eyes.
“Is it true that you are stepping down as pastor?”
“Yes…” Carter abruptly said and then he began walking back to the mailbox.
“Is there any reason?” the reporter continued.
“I’m tired. It is time that I stepped down and pass it on to my…”
“Is this at all related to the video that was released showing you and your choir director…”
“No, it is not related…” The pastor said.
“Do you have anything to say about that video?”
“I have to say that you reporters need to do your job because it is a fake video.”
Another reporter came up and yelled a question, “So this video is not real?”
“You know what, I don’t need to answer any questions. I am stepping down. My son, Carter Harold, III will take over. Then you can ask him any question you want to ask.
Carter walked to his mailbox as the questions continued filling the air. He then took his mail out and calmly walked back to the house.
He looked over and saw his wife driving into the driveway.
He watched her get out of her car and then the reporters started hammering her with questions.
“How long have you known your husband is gay?”
“Do you support your husband?”
“Are you going to divorce your husband?”
All these questions hit her.
She looked over at Carter and then angrily said, “No comment.” She walked over to him and they walked into the house.
“How long have they been here?” She asked Carter.
“I don’t know and I don’t care.”
“So what are we gonna do?”
“I don’t’ know what you are gonna do, but I’m gonna ignore them until I pass this church down to Trey and get out of dodge.”
“So are you going to tell me where you are going?”
Carter looked at Lady Janet and said, “I don’t know where I am going, but if I did know, I wouldn’t tell you.”
“What did I do to you?” Lady Janet asked.
Carter just ignored the question and walked into the back room. He said, “I’m taking a nap.”