When John sees Brian and Emily next, he breaks the news: Marisol said yes. To prom it is.
Emily jumps up and down and squeals with delight, Brian gives John a pat on the back, and even John is excited—though he doesn't admit it to them.
They start discussing the details, and Emily suggests they get a limo. John doesn't like the idea, but Brian's into it, so he decides to take a couple shifts waiting tables to save up with the dough.
Emily asks John what color dress Marisol will wear, and is horrified when he says black.
John gets a letter from Diana in the mail. She's seen his zine and Marisol's and likes them both. She invites them to a zine get together on Cape Cod—they're staying in a friend's resort and will talk about writing, reading, and all that jazz.
Diana also mentions that she connects to John's sense of writing; it's all about finding magic words.
John's thrilled about the letter and the invite, and calls Marisol right away to tell her. She's less thrilled. She doesn't really care about the Cape Cod thing and worries they're spending too much time together with prom and that.
Then she has to dash to get homework done.
John asks his mom what's for dinner, but she's going out with Al. She'd invite him and all, but she knows he wouldn't want to come anyway.
Anne suggests John goes out with Brian. John knows Brian will be hanging out with Emily, so it's no use asking.
After his mom leaves, he sits down and writes her a letter like Marisol suggested. In it, he tells her that he feels abandoned by her. He thought when his dad left that he at least had her. Now, he has neither.
The final straw? She can't stand to touch him—ever—and the way she treats him makes him feel like a diseased person.
Then he writes a letter to his dad. This one is shorter and crueler. He says he doesn't even know what to say to his dad since he knows his dad doesn't care about him—he's invisible to his dad unless he brings a girl home.