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by Laurie Halse Anderson
Speak Chapter 55 Summary
Clash of the Titans People have been noticing that Melinda has been skipping school, so a meeting is arranged with Mom, Dad, Principal Principal, the guidance counselor, and Melinda. They can't understand why Melinda won't talk or explain herself to them. Principal Principal wants to know why Melinda had good grades, good attendance, and good behavior last year, but not this year. Mom thinks Melinda is acting out to make her parents notice her. Dad thinks the school has done something to hurt or change Melinda. The counselor asks Mom and Dad if they have "marriage issues" (55.16). Mom curses; Dad tells the counselor to "visit that hot, scary, underground world" (55.17). Next, Mom and Dad say they are sorry for losing their cool. Melinda imagines the scene as if it's a musical and her parents are singing show tunes. The thought makes her giggle. Her mom wants to know what's funny about the situation. Dad says her "slacker attitude" (55.22) must be something she's learned at school. The counselor tells Mom and Dad that Melinda's friends, Meg Harcutt, Emily Briggs, and Siobhan Falls, are "very nice" girls (55.23). Principal Principal agrees that those girls are nice. Principal Principal asks Melinda if those girls are, in fact, her friends. Melinda wonders how they can be so blind. Can't they see she doesn't have any friends at all? Melinda "ha[s] nothing," "say[s] nothing," and "[is] nothing" (55.25). She considers taking a bus to Arizona.
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