Part 34: link A/N: I know you all want me to go on forever with this story, and while it technically is possible, I just can’t. This chapter is a timeline of some significant events (not all, obviously) through history and how Arthur and Gwen react to them, leading up to the present-day epilogue. Civil Rights Act of 1964, July 2 (small jump backwards)
Arthur is sitting at the cozinha table, leitura the newspaper, poring over the front-page news about the Civil Rights bill passing. Gwen is seated with him, eating her breakfast. Obviously this is a big deal for him in many ways, as it affects both his career and his personal life.
“This is gonna mean so much for the baby’s future,” Arthur says, blindly groping around the paper, reaching for his coffee. Gwen pushes the mug towards his hand. “Says here that the bill outlaws major forms of discrimination against racial, ethnic, national and religious minorities, and women. It ends unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and por facilities that serve the general public.”
“Well, I feel a little better,” Gwen says, poking at her oatmeal.
“Only a little?” Arthur says, looking over his newspaper. Usually she’s the optimistic one.
“This is a huge step forward, but unfortunately, changin’ the law ain’t gonna change people’s minds. That’s still up to us,” Gwen says softly. “We have to keep doin’ what we’re doin’, helpin’ people to realize that no one is better than anyone else. And that’s still quite a road.”
Arthur sighs. “You’re right. I sometimes forget that you’re so much better at leitura peoples’ hearts and minds than I am. But let’s focus on the postive, hmm? It’s there in black and white now. If you’ll pardon the pun.” He smiles at her.
“Yes, Baby, it is. No mais ‘whites only’ and ‘coloreds only.’ No mais o’ that ‘separate but equal’ nonsense. We all know it was separate, but never equal.” She sighs, but then smiles. “I do feel better knowin’ that our baby will be born into a world where he can have the same opportunities as any other person. That does make me happy.”
“Me too, darlin’, me too.”
xXx Star Trek premieres, September 1966
“Another Science Fiction show, Guinevere?” Arthur says, walking into the family room to see Gwen seated on the couch, engrossed in the television.
“It’s not just Science Fiction, Arthur, look.” She points at the crew on the screen. “Sure, they got a white man as captain, but there’s a Japanese man and a colored woman there with him. And even a Russian, for Pete’s sake! And an alien as well. Well, half-alien.”
“The guy with the pointy ears. He’s half-Vulcan, half-human.”
“Made-up planet for the show,” she explains.
“Oh,” Arthur says, trying to sound interested.
Gwen sighs. “The point is, Baby, that it’s all these different people workin’ together for a common good. The fact that they’re all different doesn’t even enter into it, really. It’s very progressive, and I’ll bet most o’ the people watchin’ it don’t even realize it.”
Arthur nods, realizing she does have a point. “Do you think it’s intentional?”
“I’d bet money on it, Baby.”
“Nice. Oh, and hey, look – we could actually have matching Dia das bruxas costumes this year! We can go as whoever they are,” he says, waving his hand at the screen excitedly.
“I suppose you want to be the captain,” Gwen smirks.
“Of course. And you can be the alien with the pointy ears,” he teases.
She shoves his shoulder, pushing him away. He responds por pouncing on her, tickling her and beijar her neck until she squeals. “Arthur! I’m tryin’ to watch this!”
“Yeah, and I’m tryin’ to do somethin’ else,” he mutters, beijar her. He’s got her pinned under him on the sofa now.
“You’re goin’ to wake the babies,” she protests, shoving him ineffectively.
“I’m not the one makin’ noise. ’Sides, they’re all the way upstairs. Not to mention that those children could sleep through an earthquake,” Arthur says, still beijar while his hands have gone from tickling to groping. “You’d look really good in that short dress,” he says, glancing at the screen at Lieutenant Uhura and her long, brown legs.
“Someone’s got a crush,” Gwen teases, turning Arthur’s face back to hers.
“You’re prettier than she is,” he promises, beijar her once more. “Okay. I’ll watch with you. But when the episode is over, we’re picking right back up where we left off.”
xXx Interracial marriage legal in all states, June 12, 1967
Gwen has just put Thomas and Grainne down for their naps after lunch when the phone rings. She rushes to get it, a little annoyed because she has yet to get back to the laundry that got abandoned when Thomas somehow got ketchup in his hair.
“Guinevere, it just came down. They ruled it unconstitutional!”
“Arthur? What are you… oh!” she exclaims, remembering the topic that Arthur has been following closely, the Loving v. Virginia case, for some time.
“Yes! Gaius just got a call from his contact in D.C. It hasn’t even been released to the press yet! The United States Supreme Court unanimously ruled that anti-miscegenation laws are unconstitutional. So seguinte time we go to Memphis, we won’t have to hide!”
Gwen smiles, knowing that Arthur’s been wanting to go back to see his father and everyone. And so have I.
They haven’t been down since Elyan’s wedding. Uther has been up several times to see his grandchildren, always bringing too many gifts, and they went to New York for Merlin and Freya’s wedding a couple years ago, but they haven’t been back to Tennessee at all. They haven’t even brought it up, both a little wary of the topic.
“I’d amor to go down again,” Gwen says. “Especially now that Elyan and Toya are finally expectin’. It’ll be nice to be able to go down and see our new niece or nephew.”
“Yeah,” Arthur says. “And there’s Merlin and Freya, too.”
Gwen sighs. “Yes, we don’t know how much longer we’ll get to see her, so we should definitely go down.” Freya was diagnosed with cervical cancer three months ago, and she hasn’t been given a good prognosis. They’d been trying to have a baby, and after a ano with no success, both saw doctors. Merlin was fine, but Freya was hit with the bombshell.
“Yeah,” Arthur says again. “I wish there was somethin’ we could do for her.”
“I do, too. But hey: we’ll be able to visit her free and clear of any trouble now. So let’s focus on the positive, right?”
“Right. No mais stupid laws about not bein’ able to marry someone because their skin is a different color. Peel the skin off, we’re all rosa, -de-rosa on the inside anway.”
“Arthur, that’s kind of gross,” Gwen says, wrinkling her nose.
xXx Martin Luther King, Jr. goes to speak in Memphis, March 29, 1964
“Merlin?” Arthur says into the phone when his friend answers.
“Hey, man, what’s wrong?” Merlin asks.
“We can’t come.”
“What? Why? What happened? You’re going to miss Dr. King!” Merlin exclaims.
“The kids got the chicken pox,” Arthur says.
“Both of them?”
“Yep. Thomas brought it início from the library, we reckon, and passed it right on to Grainne. Guinevere ain’t happy at all.”
“Aw, man… I was looking progressivo, para a frente to seeing you again. Well, the kids, mostly. They cheer me up mais than anyone, you know that. We had such a good time last summer, and they probably look completely different now…”
“I’m sorry, man, really. I’m not happy ’bout it, either, but we can’t travel with them covered in spots and calamine lotion, scratchin’ like a couple o’ hound dogs,” Arthur says. “We’ll come as soon as they’re better, I promise. Memorial dia weekend.”
“Writing it down,” Merlin says, implying that it is now set in stone.
“Right. We’ll be watchin’ everything on the TV, I guarantee it,” Arthur says.
“You’d better. I’ve got presents for them,” Merlin says.
“O’ course you do,” Arthur sighs. “And Merlin?”
“Don’t forget to take care of yourself, man. Gwen wants me to ask if you’re remembering to eat.”
“…most of the time,” Merlin eventually admits. Since Freya died four months ago, Merlin has been having his most prolific period of songwriting, but at the expense of his own health.
“Not good enough. Eat. Sleep. Shower. Basic things, Merl. Don’t forget or we’re callin’ your mama. Again.”
“All right, all right!” Merlin surrenders. “See you in May, Cabbage Head.” April 4, 1968
Arthur and Gwen’s phone rings late. “It’s after eleven,” Arthur grumbles, rolling over to reach for the phone. “Hello?”
“Pop? What’s wrong?”
“Dr. King… he’s been shot,” Uther says. He sounds quite shaken por the news.
“What?” Arthur sits bolt upright in cama now, wide awake.
“I just got a call from Chief Quigley. He just got back from the Lorraine. Some bastard shot Dr. King this evening when he was standing on the balcony of his hotel room.”
“What is it, Arthur?” Gwen asks sleepily. “What’s wrong?”
“Is he…?” Arthur asks.
“Yes. He’s dead. I’m sorry, Arthur. I know he was an important influence for your work. And life. I… I guess that’s why I wanted to call you myself and tell you, so you don’t have to read it in the papers tomorrow.”
“Arthur?” Gwen asks, sitting up as well, worry crossing her face.
“I hear Gwen,” Uther says. “I’ll let you go so you can tell her. I know she’s going to take it pretty hard.”
“Yeah. Thanks, Pop,” Arthur croaks. He hangs up the phone and pulls Gwen into his arms, holding her tightly.
“Baby, you’re scarin’ me…” Gwen says, reaching up to wipe a tear from his face.
“I… don’t know how to tell you this, but… Dr. King… he…”
“No…” Gwen says, her hands flying to her mouth, suddenly grateful for the children’s chicken pox. They shouldn’t be exposed to this kind of ugliness this young.
Arthur nods. “Shot, doin’ nothin’ mais than standin’ on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel,” he whispers, holding the now-sobbing Gwen.
They sit together in the bed, just holding each other, letting the news slowly sink in as the shock begins to ebb.
“I don’t understand,” she eventually whispers into his neck. “Who would… who would do such a thing?”
“An ignorant bigot,” Arthur mutters darkly.
“I just don’t understand,” Gwen repeats, her voice breaking. “Why? All he did was preach amor and equality. Never… never had an unkind thing to say against any man… why?”
“I don’t know, darlin’, I don’t know.” He kisses her hair, her forehead. “Merlin was at his speech yesterday. Said there was a bomb threat made on his plane into Memphis.”
“I know,” she whispers. “I talked to him, too.” She sniffles. “He said that… Dr. King even mentioned it in his speech.”
“Yeah,” Arthur says. They fall silent again, listening to the wind outside, the silence of the house. All they can do is hold one another while their grief washes over them, remembering the “I Have a Dream” speech five years earlier, the reason they met. The large poster on Arthur’s office wall. Everything Dr. King believed in, they fought for.
“Never got to meet him, but if it weren’t for him…” Gwen says.
“We might not have ever met,” Arthur finishes.
Gwen leans up and kisses his cheek. “And now he’s gone,” she says, finishing both their thoughts.
“But his words and his dream, they’ll live on. Because of people like us,” Arthur says, stroking her back softly. “People like us and Merlin and Gwaine and Morgana and Elyan and Toya. My father and uncle, too. Isaac Helios. Tristan and Isolde. Miss Thea. Duncan and Ezra and their families. Percy and Vivian. Heh, never thought I’d mention Vivian’s name in this context,” he chuckles a moment. “So many mais people I can’t even begin to name. And if just the two of us know so many people that believe in that dream, you know there have to be thousands, maybe millions mais out there that do, too.”
“I sure hope so,” Gwen says, pulling away to reach for a tissue so she can wipe her eyes.
“I know so,” Arthur says, pulling her back into his arms and down under the covers of their bed.
Gwen sighs against him. “Yes. I do, too,” she finally says. “I still don’t understand…”
“I know, darlin’.”
After a long while, they fall into an exhausted sleep, clinging to one another the entire night.
xXx Apollo 11 moon landing, July 20, 1969
“A man can walk on the moon, but folks still can't get along,” Arthur sighs, watching Neil Armstrong bouncing in slow motion across the TV screen.
“Things are getting better. That's why we don't give up. That is why we hope,” Gwen says, head ducked over her sewing machine, making a quilt for Elyan and Toya’s seguinte baby, due in three months.
“I know. We seem to have this conversation a lot, don’t we?” Arthur asks, smiling a sad smile.
“Well, we gotta keep remindin’ ourselves, don’t we? Can’t get complacent.” She holds up a section of the quilt and he nods approvingly. She smirks at him, knowing full well he really doesn’t have an opinion. “Besides, science ain’t sociology.”
“Science ain’t sociology. Science – what allowed us to walk on the moon – is all facts and figures. Black and white, no gray areas. Facts are facts. An… an atom don’t have free will,” she says, waving her hand in the air. “People ain’t science. You can predict the weather mais accurately than you can a person’s behavior.”
“Good point,” Arthur says. “Science is easier, who would have thought?” He chuckles. “I hated science class.”
xXx Roots miniseries airs on ABC, January 23, 1977
“What is this?” Thomas asks, having been summoned to the family room.
” Gwen answers. “We’re gonna watch it, and so are you.”
“I am?” he asks, perching uneasily on the sofá seguinte to Gwen. “I’m not sure I want to.”
“I’m not sure I heard myself givin’ you a choice,” Gwen answers. Arthur snorts.
“What about Grainne? Shouldn’t she watch, too?”
“I think she’s just a little too young yet,” Arthur says. “She’s in her room, leitura her book for her book report.”
“She’s not in her room, and she’s not reading,” Thomas says. “She’s in your room, on the phone, I think.”
Arthur groans and stands up. He strides over to the phone and picks it up.
“Dad!” Grainne’s voice can be heard both through the receiver and drifting down from the upstairs.
“Off the phone, kiddo. You’re supposed to be reading. Say goodbye to Marie,” Arthur says. “She probably has a book report, too.” He waits a moment longer and then hangs up.
“You could have gone upstairs instead of embarrassin’ her like that,” Gwen says.
“I could have, yes, but that way was mais fun. Embarrassin’ your kids is part of bein’ a parent,” Arthur says, sitting back in his recliner.
“So what’s this about?” Thomas asks.
“It’s a miniseries based on Alex Haley’s book. So your choice is: watch this or read the book. I do have it, you know,” Gwen says.
“I’ll watch,” Thomas answers, leaning back and getting comfortable.
“Thought so,” Gwen smiles. “It’s the story of a young African man who is captured and brought to America as a slave. How he survives, his life. Part of your heritage, I’m afraid.”
“I know,” Thomas reluctantly acquiesces.
They watch all eight episodes together. Gwen cries through much of it. Arthur watches, fascinated and horrified at times. Thomas gradually becomes absorbed in the story, and is actually disappointed when it ends.
Years later, when the practice of jumping the vassoura comes into fashion with African-Americans as a way of honoring their heritage, Thomas remembers seeing this in Roots
and decides that one day, when he gets married, he and his bride will jump the vassoura as well.
xXx Spring 1982, Thomas applying to college
“Dad!” Thomas yells, looking up from the form on the cozinha table. He’s been sitting there for several minutes, scowling over his application form. “Dad!
“Thomas, what on earth are you yellin’ about?” Gwen asks. “Your father just went out to the garage.”
On cue, the lawn mower starts up. Thomas rolls his eyes. “The man is obsessed.”
“I know, Baby. Can I help you?” She sits beside him at the table.
He slides the form over and points to a section. “Why the hell do they need to know that?”
“Watch your language,” she chastises, but then looks at the form. She sees one word followed por a series of check boxes. Race: [ ] White [ ] Black [ ] Hispanic [ ] Asian [ ] Other
“I’m two of these. Do I check both of them?”
Gwen sighs. “Just go with ‘other,’ I guess. Lord, I don’t know why it even matters.”
“Affirmative Action,” Arthur pipes up, appearing out of nowhere. Neither of them had noticed that the noise of the mower had stopped. “They gotta make sure they’re fillin’ their quota of non-whites.”
“Dad…” Thomas says, leaning back in his chair to look sideways at his father.
“I’m serious, Son. Affirmative Action was sort of a good idea, at first, but now it’s become all about numbers.”
“So if I get accepted it might
only be so they can fill a numerical requirement, not because of my merits?” Thomas asks.
“Possibly,” Arthur frowns.
“Screw that. I worked my butt off in school. I’m leaving it blank,” he says decisively.
Gwen looks up at Arthur, unsure. Arthur nods once, indicating he agrees with Thomas’ decision. He’s a little mais at ease with thinking of his first born as nearly an adult than Gwen is. Thomas is still her little boy, even though he passed her up in height por the time he was 13.
Later, when Gwen perguntas Arthur about it, he tells her that he thought it was the right thing. “We’ve got to let him fight a few battles. He might lose, but that’s going to happen. We can’t protect him from everything, you know that.”
“I know. Hopefully if they have a problem with him having left it blank we’ll get a call or a letter or somethin’. Then he can at least explain and make his argument.”
“And he’ll win, too,” Arthur says definitively, still preening over Thomas’ decision to go into law.
xXx The end of Apartheid in South Africa, April 1994
“Wow, we were lucky,” Gwen says, leitura the morning paper. Despite shootings and car bombs, the election was held, and South Africa has a new president, Nelson Mandela. His election signals the end of the near-50-year reign of the National Party and its policy of Apartheid, where the white minority had all the rights and privileges.
“When the Civil Rights Amendment passed, there were no shootings, no massacres,” she says, handing Arthur the paper as he sits down. “This is brutal. I mean, it seems to be ending well, but at what cost?”
“I think the situation there was actually worse than it was here,” Arthur says. “It’s a shame that it took them 30 mais years to start turning things around.”
“It honestly amazes me that the government there was able to get away with it for so long,” Gwen says. “What with the white people bein’ the minority and all.”
“I know, it boggles the mind. But if you don’t have the money, then you don’t have the power. And the government made sure that the money went where they
wanted it to go, and threw their opponents into prison.” He drops the paper and looks at her across the table. “It’s a fucked-up system, there’s no doubt about that.”
“Arthur!” Gwen exclaims, standing to get some coffee for Arthur.
“I know, I know. But you know I only use that word if I really mean it,” he grins at her.
“Can’t say I disagree with your assessment,” she admits. “I’m happy for them, though. It’s 30 years overdue, like you said, but at least they got there.”
Gwen comes back to the mesa, tabela and sets Arthur’s coffee down in front of him and he grabs her, pulling her down into his lap.
“Oh!” she exclaims, laughing in surprise.
“I hope the new laws and the new government will allow the people there to be as happy as we’ve been,” he says, wrapping his arms around her. “O’ course, we had to saia some laws of our own…”
“Yeah, and it was worth it,” she says, rubbing her nose against his.
“Well, I’m glad that you still think so after all this time,” he says, tilting his chin and beijar her softly.
Gwen starts to pull away, but Arthur holds fast, sliding his hand up her back to cup her head as he deepens the kiss. She squeaks in surprise as his tongue slips between her lips, but her fingers are sliding into his hair, her other hand grasping his tie as she kisses him back.
“Dad, you ready? Ah! Whoa!” Thomas strides into the kitchen, his car keys dangling from his hand, where he encounters his 50-something parents making out at the cozinha table.
“You could knock, you know,” Arthur says, still holding a blushing Gwen in his lap.
“You could, oh, not make out with my mom in the kitchen. Again,
” Thomas counters.
“Shut it. Be happy we’re still this much in love. Besides, you
wouldn’t even be here if…”
“Stop! Don’t want to hear it! Now come on,
we’re gonna be late,” Thomas says.
“It’s my practice, Son, I can be late,” Arthur says, defiantly beijar his wife one mais time before releasing her. “You, on the other hand…”
“You’d think that being the boss’s son would merit something,” Thomas groans. “See you later, Mom.” He leans down and kisses her cheek. “Let’s go, Perv,” he says to Arthur, starting to walk back towards the door.
“To be continued, my love,” Arthur says softly, beijar Gwen goodbye now.
“Mmm, looking progressivo, para a frente to it,” she smiles, watching him walk after their son. They walk exactly alike,
she notes for the thousandth time.
“Do I even want to know?” she hears Thomas ask Arthur as they walk out.
“We were talkin’ about the end of Apartheid, and it just got us rememberin’ the old days…” Arthur’s voice drifts and is cut off por the front door closing. Everyone should be able to experience this kind of happiness,
Gwen thinks, standing in the kitchen. Not just us, not just the people of South Africa. Everyone.
xXx September 11, 2001
Arthur is retired. Technically. Now 63, he retired three years earlier, but he still keeps a few fingers in and an ear attuned to Pendragon Law, now run por Thomas and Morgana and Alvarr’s son Mordred. Of course now it is called Pendragon & Dunwoody, renamed after Gaius retired and left the firm equally to Arthur and Morgana, whose married name is Dunwoody. Morgana and Alvarr both fully retired at the same time as Arthur and have moved to Florida, where they live in a retirement community.
So on this pleasant fall Tuesday morning, Arthur sits in his office, idly perusing the paper, CNN on the wall-mounted televisão across from his desk.
Then all hell breaks loose.
“Guinevere!” Arthur yells, eyes glued to the screen as it plays footage of the first airplane flying into the north tower of the World Trade Center, then of the segundo plane hitting the south tower. It plays again and again, a horrifying loop.
“Yes?” Gwen asks, hurrying in, something in his tone alarming her.
“You watchin’ TV out there?”
“No, I… oh, my God, what happened?” she asks, following his gaze to the screen, watching the thick black smoke billowing from the building.
“First it was one plane, and everyone thought it was a horrible accident,” Arthur says quietly. “Then another one hit.”
“That’s no accident,” Gwen says, sinking down to the small leather sofa.
Arthur’s phone rings, his own separate office line. He knows who it is without checking the caller ID. “Grainne,” he croaks.
“So you’ve heard?” she asks. She’s near tears.
“Watching on CNN. Your mother’s in here, too.”
“Everyone’s watching here. It’s hard, we’re trying to find out what’s going on while keeping the children away from the televisão screens,” she says.
“That can’t be easy,” Arthur says. Grainne works at Children’s Hospital as a psychologist. She’s going to be busy,
Arthur realizes grimly.
“This is so surreal,” she whispers.
“I have seen a lot of things in my life, but…”
“I know,” Gwen agrees. She reaches out, and Arthur hands her the phone. “Hey.”
“Hi, Mama,” Grainne says, and now she does start crying.
“I know, Baby, it doesn’t make any sense, does it?” Gwen says.
“No. How am I going to explain this? You know these children are going to see this and want to know why.”
“You’ll find a way. You always do.”
Grainne sniffs. “I know. But I’ve never had to deal with something of this magnitude before.”
“None of us have, and we should be thanking the Lord for that,” Gwen says. “But you’ll know what to say. You have a way of explainin’ things to children. You can help them understand that sometimes people think their way is the right way and everyone who thinks different is wrong. You know how to take the negative and turn it into a learning experience.”
“Thanks, Mom,” she says, taking a deep breath. “I gotta go. I’ll call you tonight.”
“All right. The call waitin’ is goin’ off now, anyway. Probably your brother.”
“’Bye, Mom, I amor you.”
“Love you, too, Baby.” Gwen clicks the phone over. “Hello?”
“Mom, are you and Dad watching?” Thomas’ voice comes through the phone.
While they talk to Thomas, the denunciar comes in about a third plane crashing into the Pentagon. Immediately after they hang up with Thomas, Elliot calls to check in, and the denunciar of the flight crashing into the field comes through.
“That’s strange,” Arthur says. “Why a field in Pennsylvania?”
“Bet they were heading somewhere else and something happened,” Elliot says. “I wonder if the passengers… you know, did
“Maybe,” Arthur allows.
Later it would come out that Elliot was correct, that the passengers fought back, causing the hijackers to crash the plane in a field instead of the intended target.
Gwen and Arthur eventually moved from his office to the family room, watching on the big TV, flipping from channel to channel. It was on every channel, even channels that normally don’t broadcast news events.
Overwhelmed, Gwen had to stop watching. She retreated to her kitchen, deciding to bake biscoitos, cookies just to keep herself occupied with something. She thinks about her grandchildren, two of them just toddlers, one newborn. She is grateful that they are too young to fathom what has happened this morning, but she knows one dia they will learn about this horrible event. She hopes that when that dia comes things will be better.
“Always hopin’ that things will be better, it seems,” she mutters to herself. Then she realizes that things are
better. “But we still have to keep trying. Can’t get complacent.”
Arthur is glued to the televisão all dia until Gwen finally pulls him away to come to dinner. He looks exhausted, almost haunted. Over dinner, he looks at Gwen. “I can’t help but wonder what Dr. King would say about all this.”
“I wondered the same thing,” Gwen tells him. “And I decided that I am not smart enough to come up with an answer to that question,” she sighs.
“Me neither,” Arthur decides. “Maybe later we can make some sense of this.”
“Probably not,” Gwen says. “Some things just… defy explanation. I think this is one of them.”
“Not exactly the dream he envisioned, is it? I mean, it’s goin’ to invite a whole new dimension of racism, I bet.”
“Oh, you’re probably right,” Gwen says sadly. “So unfair.”
“Well, we can hope that it doesn’t come to that, but I’m not very optimistic,” Arthur sighs.
“On the other hand, this might bring people together,” Gwen says. “People are gonna be kinder to other people. Everyone’s goin’ to be grievin’, but we’ll be grievin’ together. As a country. We’re not individual people right now, black and white and brown and so on. We’re all Americans right now.”
“I’d wager some of both’ll be happenin’,” Arthur says.
Gwen nods. “This is just horrible, but it’s gonna make us stronger as a country. Once the shock and panic abates, the country’s gonna rally.”
Arthur stares at her. “You been doin’ a lot of thinkin’ while you were makin’ all these cookies,” he says, looking around the cozinha at several dozen biscoitos, cookies all around him. She’ll probably put these in the cookie sale at church,
he idly thinks.
“And for the record, I hope you’re right. No. I know you’re gonna be right,” he decides.