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When You Reach Me

When You Reach Me


by Rebecca Stead

When You Reach Me Chapter 31 Summary

Things That Make No Sense

  • This chapter contains a brief discussion of time – how it works and the possibility of time travel. Who's talking? Miranda, Marcus, and then Julia. Here we go.
  • On the walk to school Miranda asks Marcus if she had a time machine it was possible for her to go back to last Wednesday and go to the movies while her other self is at school.
  • If she did, she wouldn't actually get to last Wednesday until she left.
  • Marcus says, yes, in her experience that's what it would seem like. But if she did do that, then, she would be at the theater right now. They could just ask the man behind the ticket counter.
  • Of course, he adds, if she builds the time machine when she's old – say 62 – the guy behind the counter wouldn't recognize her.
  • Miranda doesn't understand – and neither do we.
  • Julia walks up behind them and attempts to explain. She pulls out her ring with diamond chips. She explains that time is like the ring and each moment is a diamond chip in a circle, all existing simultaneously.
  • Miranda doesn't get it, but Marcus does. Julia leaves and Marcus continues by explaining that time is like a snapshot – or a drawer full of snapshots. If Miranda were to time travel, she would always already be in the picture. (Hint. Hint. This is a hint.)
  • Changing the subject, Miranda asks why Marcus punched Sal. He says just to see what would happen. So far – nothing has happened. (That will change.)
  • Just then, the Laughing Man comes running up to Marcus. He curses and twists, running away in the opposite direction. Marcus says that it's the second time that's happened.

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