"This is about the coleslaw. But first, I would like to take this opportunity to tell you how much we enjoyed the fine convenience of your food market in Perdido, Florida. Like I said to Bobby James, the coleslaw is probably just an oversight on your part. Still, I thought you'd want to hear about it. Bobby James said not to bother. An important personage like yourself would not take the time to read a letter from a plain out customer, he said. That was when I showed him your color ad in the Perdido News Press. Harris Teeter is waiting to hear from you."
In Florida, Jody finds a job and makes some friends. She thinks about her mother's marriage to her abusive father and her own relationship.
"Sometimes I thought I was stronger than my mama, that I would never let a man like daddy knock the fight out of me. Other times, I was not so sure. If I was back in Purley? And Bobby James came courting like he wasn't already a married man, with all those sweet promises and smelling like fresh aftershave? Well, I just didn't know for sure if I could turn him away. That was the shamefilled truth of it. Before I went back to Purley, I was going to have to find the strength in me. I didn't know exactly where to find it, or if I would know when I had it, but one thing was for sure. Letting go of Bobby James was for a reason. That morning in the Econo, I had listened to a voice deep inside me that I knew was the truth. It was only small then. It had been hiding behind Willie Nelson's words, whispering for me to stay put in the ladies. I figured when that voice got big enough to yell in my ear, well that was when I would have all my strength."