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Mom's secretary says Mom is busy. Relieved, Melinda shops alone.
She's grown to a size ten, though she can't believe it.
Darn puberty, making her body grow and change, putting pimples on her face.
The clothes in Effert's are a fashion nightmare. Melinda just needs to find a single pair of jeans that actually fit, then she'll be happy. She finds a nice big pair. Mom is still nowhere in sight.
Melinda looks at herself in the three-part mirror wearing the new jeans.
She can barely see the real Melinda in that reflection. She sees dirty hair and a dirty face, raccoon rings around her eyes.
She pulls the two outer mirrors closer, and her reflection becomes a cubist sketch by Picasso.
She pushes her bitten, scabby lips against the mirror and wonders how it would feel if all her skin was fresh and new. She feels like all her skin has been destroyed by fire, and now she's forced to wander through the thorny bushes of her life, despised.
She thinks that, if given enough time, she can grow new skin.
At least she has some jeans that fit. She promises herself she won't hide in her closet or skip class anymore. She'll "make [herself] normal" (59.8) and not think about all the bad things in her life.