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by Laurie Halse Anderson
Speak Chapter 51 Summary
Lunch Doom Lunch is always bad news, and the lunchroom always smells nasty. Today, Melinda and Heather are sitting away from the Marthas. Heather tells Melinda that it was really nice that Melinda befriended her at the start of school. But…they really don't have much in common, and it's time they realized it. Melinda wants to say something mean to her, but she can't. Instead, she says, "You mean we're not friends anymore?" (51.7). Heather says they weren't really ever friends to begin with. She says Melinda is "the most depressed person [she's] ever met." She says she thinks Melinda needs "professional help" (51.10). Melinda realizes she really wants Heather's friendship. She says that her depression is no reason for Heather not to be her friend. She says that friends help each other when they are down. Heather says Melinda is being "weird" (51.13), as usual. Melinda is staring at the hearts on the wall on the other side of the cafeteria. For five bucks, you get a heart with your name on it pinned on the wall on Valentine's Day. Melinda understands – nobody wants to be Heather's friend if she's weirdo-Melinda's friend. Heather says that when Melinda stops hating life, she'll find friends. She's mad at Melinda for skipping school. She thinks Melinda will soon turn to drugs. Heather says that Melinda has "a reputation" (51.18). Melinda asks for details, but Heather just tells her that they are no longer lunch buddies. Heather makes her way to the Marthas' table, without looking back at Melinda.
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