Beloved Chapter 3
One day before Paul D showed up at 124, Denver was playing in her emerald closet, her special spot enclosed by boxwood trees where she went to be alone. It started to snow, so she walked back to 124 and thought about the story of her birth. She remembers it the way her mother told it to her. Sethe, six months pregnant and walking into the hills on feet so swollen she couldn't see the arches, was making her way to the Ohio River and freedom. Her body was heavy and tired. When she was too tired to take another step, she laid out in the grass and decided to die until a whitegirl came along and helped her to a shed and massaged her feet.
That's as far as Denver got in the story because when she looked in the window to Baby Suggs' room, she saw her mother kneeling by the bed to pray. A white dress kneeled beside her with its sleeve around her waist, and Denver believed it meant that the ghost of 124 had plans. Denver told her mother about the dress and asked what she was praying for. Sethe explained that she was just talking about the power of memories.
"'The picture is still there, and what's more, if you go there -- you who never was there -- if you go there and stand in the place where it was, it will happen again; it will be there for you, waiting for you. So, Denver, you can't never go there. Never. Because even though it's all over -- over and done with -- it's going to always be there waiting for you.'" Chapter 3, pg. 36
Now that Paul D has come to 124 and scared the ghost away, he's ruined whatever plans it had. Without having to worry about the ghost, Sethe feels like making plans of her own for the first time since she ran away from Sweet Home. "Would it be all right? Would it be all right to go ahead and feel? Go ahead and count on something?" Chapter 3, pg. 38 Sethe wants to plan a future, and Paul D wants to stay because he has feelings for her, despite his need to keep moving ever since his escape from prison in Alfred, GA. He thinks that "[i]f a Negro got legs he ought to use them. Sit down too long, somebody will figure out a way to tie them up." Chapter 1, pg. 10 He worries about how Denver will handle his presence in the house, but Sethe explains that Denver has been charmed since birth and will be fine. She mentions having taken Denver with her to jail, but doesn't explain why she went to jail, and Paul D doesn't ask. Things are looking so bright that Sethe starts to feel a little hope for the future. "To Sethe, the future was a matter of keeping the past at bay. The 'better life' she believed she and Denver were living was simply not that other one." Chapter 3, pg. 42