Study Guide

A Step from Heaven Chapter 28

By An Na

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Chapter 28


  • Amanda and Mrs. Doyle drop off Young Ju at the library again—it's the only way Young Ju can still sneak around behind Ama's and Uhmma's backs and see Amanda.
  • Amanda and Mrs. Doyle joke about how Young Ju's always at the library, but Young Ju just tells them it's a lot easier for her to get work done at the library. Seems convincing, right?
  • Anyway, Young Ju doesn't hang around to chat. She leaves so that she doesn't have to deal with Mrs. Doyle's questions about Uhmma (PTA meetings, you know).
  • When Young Ju gets home though, Apa is home (for some reason… it's not his usual style).
  • Apa asks her where she was, and Uhmma comes out of the kitchen to listen in on Apa's grilling.
  • Young Ju knows that Apa knows something's up, but she goes ahead and tells him she was at the library.
  • Apa grabs Young Ju by her hair and drags her across the living room; he also calls her a few things that we can't really repeat because we're pretty much a PG-bunch over here.
  • Anyway, he's not happy because he knows she's lying—after all, he saw her with Amanda at the library.
  • Young Ju wants to ask him why he was at the library and not at work, but she just mumbles that she doesn't remember.
  • Apa's not having it.
  • He slaps her.
  • Yells at her.
  • Slaps her some more.
  • Calls her some more unrepeatable names.
  • Demands Amanda's number, which—for once—Young Ju just says no to.
  • That just makes Apa start wailing on her.
  • All through this, Young Ju's trying her hardest to space out.
  • Finally Uhmma steps in because she's worried that Apa's going to kill Young Ju.
  • Uhmma calls Apa a "worthless hoodlum"—no wonder the children hide from him—and this makes Apa turn on Uhmma.
  • He stops hitting Young Ju and starts beating up Uhmma, who's screaming stuff like "worthless dog" and "drunk bastard" the whole time—stuff that just angers Apa even more.
  • Now that Young Ju's free from Apa, she's not sure what to do.
  • The hitting is making her anxious, so she prays to God, but the big guy up in the sky isn't really answering.
  • Then she hears this huge noise and then silence from Uhmma.
  • Young Ju stops praying; instead she moves to the phone and calls 9-1-1.
  • But she can't talk to the operator—she just freezes.
  • She's filled with doubts, and even hearing Halmoni's voice telling her that "Only God can."
  • But the sound of all that fighting and Uhmma's wail gets Young Ju out of her head—she asks the 9-1-1 operator to help her and Uhmma out while another huge crash explodes in the background.

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