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Before we start the summaries of these tapes, it's important to mention that the rest of the book alternates between Clay's thoughts and Hannah's thoughts. It can get a little confusing, but hopefully we can help you out a bit.
A voice is coming from the first tape: "Hello, boys and girls. Hannah Baker here. Live and in stereo."(3.1)
Clay is shocked, because Hannah is dead. She killed herself.
Hannah says these tapes will explain why she's dead. She also says that the people listening to the tapes are "reasons why" (3.5). Yikes.
Hannah says she has two rules. The first rule is to listen to the tapes. The second rule is, after you listen, to send them to the next person on the list.
She also says, "Hopefully, neither one will be easy for you" (3.14). This clearly isn't a game.
All of the sudden, Clay's mom comes into the garage and scares him.
He quickly shuts off the tape player and tells his mom he's working on a school project. After all, he can't exactly tell her he's listening to tapes of a dead girl who "two weeks ago swallowed a handful of pills" (3.19).
His mom wants to listen, but he tells her the tapes belong to a friend who he's helping with a project for history class.
When his mom leaves, Clay goes back to the tapes.
Hannah says that somebody else has a copy of the tapes. If anybody breaks the rules and doesn't send the tapes to the next person on the list, the tapes will be made public.
She says the people the tapes are about are "being watched" (3.34).
Clay is sick to his stomach (and we understand why).
He didn't know Hannah very well before she dies, but he'd wanted to know her better. They had worked at the movie theater together last summer, and one time, they kissed at a party.
But he can't be one of the reasons she killed herself. Can he?
Hannah says that if you're on her list of reasons, you get a map to go with your tapes.
Clay got a map. Somebody stuck it in his locker a couple of days before Hannah died.
Hannah says the maps should be used with the tapes. The places that feature in Hannah's story are marked with little stars on the maps, and the listeners should follow the map while they listen.
Clay finds his copy and listens.
The first tape is about Justin Foley, the first guy Hannah kissed.
Justin betrayed Hannah, though he probably isn't even aware of it.
Hannah directs the listeners to one of the stars, the house where she lived when she first moved to town. This is where she was when she saw Justin for the first time, two years ago.
Justin was Hannah's friend Kat's boyfriend. When Kat moved away at the end of that summer, Hannah started crushing on Justin.
Eventually, he asked for her number and she gave it to him. Yowza.
He called the same night, and they made plans to meet at Eisenhower Park.
At this point in the tape Hannah says, "I know what you are all thinking. Hannah Baker is a slut" (3.151).
There is a silence on the tape, and Clay wonders if she's crying. But when the voice comes back, she isn't sad, she's mad. She says, "Hannah Baker is not, and never was, a slut. Which begs the question, What have you heard?" (3.158).
Hannah says that all she wanted was to kiss the boy she liked.
Clay tries to remember what he had heard about Hannah and Justin. There was something more than kissing in that story.
Hannah says that a few nights before she met Justin at the park, she had a dream about him.
In the dream, she climbed up the rocket-ship slide in the park to wait for him.
That's when Clay remembers what he heard: that Hannah let Justin put his hands up her shirt in the park.
Hannah goes on to describe her dream: she's in the rocket ship when Justin calls to her, asking her to come down. She slides down the slide, Justin catches her, and they kiss. End of dream.
She dreamed this for a week, and then she went to meet Justin in real life. She got to the park before Justin and hid in the rocket-ship slide.
When Justin arrived, he called out to her. She tells him she'll slide down. He wants to climb up, but she says no.
Clay remembers his first kiss, in seventh grade. It was good, but not as good as Hannah's!
Justin catches her and they kiss. (Just like the dream, right?)
Justin's been eating chili dogs, but the kiss is amazing.
Hannah stresses the fact that all they did was kiss. She asks, on tape, if the listeners heard she did more. Yes, they did.
The story continues: she and Justin kissed again and both left the park, separately.
Clay remembers seeing Hannah walk by Justin and a bunch of his friends at school. They all got quiet and lowered their eyes while she passed, and then they started laughing.
Thinking back, he knows this is one of the reasons he was too shy to talk to Hannah: "[S]he was new to the school, so the rumors overshadowed everything else I knew about her" (3.218).
Clay figured that Hannah was too experienced to ever want to be with him.
On tape, Hannah thanks Justin for her first kiss, and for the kisses he gave her for the month they were together, before he started telling people that they had done more.
She explains that the rumor was just the beginning. It gave her a bad reputation.
She tells Justin he will come up again in these tapes, and that's the end of the first tape.
Clay walks over to his friend Tony's to borrow his Walkman so he can walk around and listen to Hannah's tapes.
When he gets there, Tony and his dad are, as usual, working on Tony's old mustang.
Tony asks Clay to get in and start the engine for them. When he does, he and Tony lock eyes through the windshield. Clay wonders if Tony knows about the tapes.
When Clay sees Tony's Walkman there in the car, he just grabs it. Tony offers Clay a ride to a place called Rosie's, but Clay says he'll walk. He gets away before Tony notices the missing Walkman.
Clay puts the first tape in the Walkman, ready to listen to side B.