Study Guide

A Step from Heaven Chapter 21

By An Na

Chapter 21

My Best Is Always Not Enough

  • Okay, no one tells us what this is about, but Apa's sitting at his card table, staring at a piece of paper in his hands late into the night. Why? You'll just have to read on…
  • Young Ju's up too because she's studying for a history exam.
  • She hears a noise in the kitchen and thinks maybe it's Uhmma, so she goes and checks on her.
  • Before she gets to the kitchen, she hears Uhmma asking Apa where he's been.
  • Bad idea because Apa's drunk, and you know what that means: fighting… lots of fighting.
  • Apa leaves the house, so Young Ju goes and checks on Uhmma.
  • Uhmma's not in good a shape—she's crying and she has a swollen eye.
  • Young Ju looks around and notices that the room is a total mess from the fighting.
  • Uhmma tells Young Ju to go back to sleep and not talk about the incident to anyone, which Young Ju protests at first, but eventually Uhmma gets Young Ju to agree and go back to her room.
  • Then the chapter ends with almost the same exact description of Apa sitting at a desk—only this time, it's Uhmma who's sitting at a desk and staring at a checkbook.