Janie and Stark start to distrust each other. Their relationship became distant and they stopped talking. Stark starts to get weak and worried for his health, Janie makes him soup. He refuses to eat her food thinking that she poisoned it and Janie gets hurt by how he can believe such thing.
Janie sends a doctor and receives the news that Joe is going to die. Janie confronts Joe with the truth and about her feelings. While she talks to Joe he refuses to listen and as the conversation escalated into an argument,Joe dies. Janie looks at herself in the mirror and lets her hair down. Looking into the mirror, she sees how independent and strong she became after the 20years of marriage.
After Joe’s funeral Janie burned all her head rags symbolizing her breaking free from any restrictions. Janie kept running the store and enjoyed her freedom. After Joe’s death, she started to think about what she would do with her life; She realized the internal changes of her feelings towards Nanny and her mother. She blamed her for making her pursue a safe life rather than true love.
Janie was avictim of unwanted attention or advice from men trying to take advantage. She managed to keep herself from any men and keep up the lonesome lifestyle for 6months. She doesn’t keep any men close except Hezekiah Potts a 17 years old man that helps her run the store. Janie starts wearing white and enjoys her freedom.
As Janie decides to close early due to the slow business, a young man enters to buy some cigars. Him and Janie start a conversation right off. He explained that he gotl ost on his way to the game. Since he was in no rush, he hangs with Janie byteaching her how to play checkers and have a fun time together.
They keep talking and the man introduces himself as Tea Cake. Janie feels this sense of comfortand familiarity as if she knew him for a long time. The customers come returning from the game and Tea Cake keeps accompanying her. Tea Cake and escorts Janie to her house after helping her close the store.