Study Guide

A Step from Heaven Chapter 9

By An Na

Chapter 9

Not Forever

  • Apa's telling Uhmma that "It is not forever," but what does he mean?
  • Young Ju and her parents are sitting in their beaten-down station wagon, staring at the beaten-down house they're about to move into.
  • Not—in other words—a place they're all looking forward to living.
  • But Apa's determined to move there.
  • Uhmma, on the other hand, thinks it's a bad move… and not just because the house looks abandoned in the middle of a ghetto neighborhood; they could also be saving money while living rent-free at Gomo's house.
  • But no—Apa feels restricted and all un-manly living at his sister's house.
  • But, but, but… then "slap, loud like a breaking glass"—Apa's not the kind of guy who likes a questioning wife.
  • Young Ju's witnessing all of this, and it definitely makes her feel anxious.
  • But what can she do?
  • And what can Uhmma do too?
  • Finally, Uhmma—who has blood dripping from her lips—submits to Apa and repeats the words he tells her at the start of the chapter: "It is not forever."