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The Pact - Himes

  • Emily's Birth

    Emily's Birth
    Photo CreditJust a short time after Gus gave birth to Chris, Melanie is in labor and Michael is on a call (he's a vet). Gus rushes Melanie to the hospital with Chris in tow and is there to see Emily Gold be born. This event seals not only the friendship between Gus and Melanie, but also the relationship between Chris and Emily when Chris is layed in the pram next to Emily and Michael says, "My daughter's an hour old and she's already sleeping with some guy." (pg. 31)
  • Gus Leaves

    Gus Leaves
    Photo CreditAfter James kills the sick family dog, Charlie, Gus is speechless. Feeling there's nothing left to be done, Gus moves out while pregnant with Kate and with Chris in tow. This shows a lot about how Gus values life which speaks volumes about the entire story. When Gus learns what James had done, she simply says, "I don't know you". (pg. 55) If she gets this offended when a dog dies, how would she react when her own son is accused of murdering his girlfriend?
  • The Suicide at the Carousel

    The Suicide at the Carousel
    Photo CreditAt the Happy Family Chinese Restaurant, Gus Harte, her husband James and their long-time friends Michael and Melanie Gold are blissfully ignorant. Their kids, Emily and Chris, are about to send their families on a very long and painful journey toward the truth. When they get the call, Emily has been shot in the head, and Chris is bleeding from the head at the carousel, their favorite hangout spot. James called Gus with the news and..."she started to run". (pg. 13)
  • Chris's 18th Birthday

    Chris's 18th Birthday
    Photo CreditJust after Emily's death, the Harte family just wants everything to go back to normal. Things finally seem to be doing just that on Chris's eighteenth birthday until there's a knock on the door...and the police arrest Chris for murder in front of his family. This event further shatters the world Gus and the rest of the Hartes live in. But, this development will later prove to be only the beginning. And on this day, in Gus's mind, "everything had to be perfect". (pg. 145)
  • Grocery Store Debacle

    Grocery Store Debacle
    Photo CreditAfter Chris's arraignment, Gus is at the grocery store. While walking down the aisle, she is blindsided by gossip about her son's arrest and the opinions of those in the neighborhood. When she confronts the two women, one holds nothing back, saying,"I think when a child that young commits a crime as horrible as this one, you have to lay the blame at the feet of the parents". (pg. 232) This blatant attack on Gus and her family is an eye opener for her to the maelstrom headed toward her.
  • Christmas at the Hartes'

    Christmas at the Hartes'
    Photo CreditChris has been in the Grafton County Jail for a month now, and that fact alone seems enough to dominate Gus's mind. Now Kate has surprised her and James with Christmas and they have to tell her they have nothing for her. This scene is yet another eye opener for Gus; she realizes she still has more than one child to worry about. "What do I have to do to make you see me?" Kate cries (pg. 306). Dumbfounded, Gus looks to her husband for help, who walks right out the door.
  • Gus and Michael

    Gus and Michael
    Photo CreditUpon visiting Chris in jail, Gus is greeted by Michael Gold, who has also taken to visiting her son. They talk shortly and Michael, suprisingly asks her to go for coffee after she finishes her visit. She replies honestly: "I'd like that." (pg. 313) This is another beginning, reopening their friendship although Melanie still refuses to speak to Gus. She rarely speaks to Michael, either for that matter.
  • Emily's Grave

    Emily's Grave
    Photo CreditMichael and Melanie have a ceremony when Emily's gravestone is layed. Upon Michael's request, Gus is in attendance. Michael and Gus have been seeing each other at the coffee shop for a while at this point. "You came," Michael says. (pg. 335) And he kisses Gus, adding yet another layer of complications into the story.
  • Gus and James

    Gus and James
    <ahref='http://www.sciencephoto.com/media/202807/enlarge' >Photo Credit</a>In a last ditch effort to connect, Gus gets intimate with James. At first it seems the fire is coming back, their concern overriding everything that's come between them. However, when it's done she sees no love, only pain. "In fact, Gus thought, it did not look like anything so much as the scene of a crime".(pg. 338) Gus is with James out of obligation, not love.
  • Michael, Gus, and Emily

    Michael, Gus, and Emily
    Photo CreditGus and Michael go back to the Happy Family Chinese Restaurant for the first time since the day Emily died. Michael confesses how Melanie tried to seduce him into not testifying for the defense. The whole conversation starts to put things in perspective for Gus: why she's there with Michael, what it means, what they should do. She also comes to a realization about Emily: "why the bright, lively, intelligent Emily Gold might have been confused enough to take her own life." (pg. 347)
  • Gus Gets Ready For the Trial

    Gus Gets Ready For the Trial
    Photo CreditAfter jury selection is ironically scheduled on Emily's birthday, the trial is about to begin. Gus, James, Melanie, Michael, and the defending and prosecuting attorneys are all getting ready to leave. Each piece of the pre-trial buildup seems to foreshadow the outcome of the trial in a different way. For Gus, it's scary to think her son's future is about to be decided. When James walks into their room, he finds Gus "taking shallow breaths as if she'd been running forever." (pg. 361)
  • Chris Confesses

    Chris Confesses
    Photo CreditGus comes to visit Chris after the first day of the trial. Both are shaken up and confused by the day's events, Gus for having been in holding until her testimony, and Chris for having seen everything she didn't. Through the conversation, Chris becomes more tense and finally confesses; ""What you don't know, Mom," he said softly, "is that I shot Emily."" (pg. 457) This shatters everything yet again and Gus's testimony is compromised. When she takes the stand, she'll be forced to lie.