Study Guide

A Million Little Pieces Part 4, Chapter 3

By James Frey

Part 4, Chapter 3

  • Despite having one terrible, awful, really bad thing that still haunts him, James sleeps perfectly through the night. Hm, guess he's not feeling that guilty about it.
  • It's not all bluebirds and sunshine that morning: Matty found out that is wife is on crack now.
  • Oh, well. James goes on to his confession.
  • Even though he's not Catholic, James tells a priest every bad thing he ever did.
  • James reads his inventory, then he lets out the big revelation: "Eighteen months ago in Paris, I beat a man so badly that he may have died. That man was a Priest" (4.3.120).
  • After a drug binge, James went into a church, where a priest took James into his office.
  • There, the man tried to touch James in his bathing suit area, and instead of saying "back off, dude" and leaving, James beat him bloody and kicked him repeatedly in the balls, over and over again, until he stopped moving.
  • Then James left the priest there.
  • The priest apologizes to James for this terrible thing happening to him (!), and James leaves.
  • James calls his brother, who says he'll be there at 10:30.
  • Back in the room, Miles tells James that Ted is probably going to hide in Mississippi to avoid life with no parole in Louisiana.
  • James and company go to eat, and James sees Lilly. He wants her to turn around and notice him, and at first she doesn't, but then she does. Then they're all smiles, and everything is perfect and bluebirds and sunshine again.
  • James goes to Joanne's office, and she tries one more time to get him on the Twelve Steps.
  • James declines, despite the million-to-one odds of staying clean.
  • Back in the room again, Miles gives James his mail: an envelope from the girl containing a bunch of photos of her by herself and of her with James.
  • James takes them into the woods, looks at all of them, and burns them, along with his 22-page inventory.
  • Then he returns to the clinic, and even though Lilly isn't allowed to talk to him, she walks by him and brushes his forearm.
  • James finds out that Ted has to leave in three days, and Matty's wife is missing. "It was very depressing" (4.3.223).
  • That's putting it mildly.

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