Jess is stunned by the news. When his dad explains that Leslie was discovered in the creek, he doesn't believe it, saying Leslie was a great swimmer.
Jess's dad says the rope broke and Leslie "hit her head" (11.4).
Jess denies it, yelling. No one will look him in the eye except May Belle.
He says it's a lie and starts running. He can't even think. He hears his dad following him in the truck but doesn't want to stop.
Finally his dad pulls up ahead of him, picks up him up, and brings him home. Jess goes to bed.
He wakes up in the middle of the night from a bad dream, and thinks Leslie's death is part of the dream. He thinks that he should go get her and they'll go to Terabithia even though it's so late. He will say he's sorry for not inviting her to the city and tell her all about the experiences. The day would have been great, just in a different way.
He feels something bad he can't explain, but shakes it off while imagining the conversation he'd have with Leslie. When he remembers that he was afraid of going to Terabithia that day, he feels even worse. He tries not to think about that and concentrates on the great day he had in Washington until he falls back asleep.
When he wakes up, he realizes he didn't remember to milk the cow. But when he goes to do it his mom stops him and says his dad took care of it; then she makes him pancakes.
He thinks the bad feeling in his stomach must be hunger and eats ravenously. His sisters criticize him for not having more feeling. Jess blocks it out and keeps eating.
After his dad comes in, Jess's parents tell him they should go call on the Burkes. Jess is confused, and tries to deny what happened. His dad tells him again that Leslie is dead. Jess gets ready and he and his parents leave for the Burkes' house. May Belle wants to come but isn't allowed to.