Study Guide

Hard Love Chapter 5

By Ellen Wittlinger

Chapter 5

  • At school, John asks Brian if he's heading home, but Brian has rehearsal first.
  • He's excited, too, because he met a girl, a freshman named Emily who's playing a nun.
  • John leaves Brian—still over the moon about his new crush—and heads home. There, his mom tells him that she wants him to have dinner with Al and her that night so they can talk about what will happen after the wedding.
  • Already, John's annoyed. He doesn't want to move anywhere, and he doesn't think he should have to.
  • He storms off to his room, where he calls Marisol. She's going to a gifted and talented awards dinner that night with her parents. It's for all the seniors who are G&T as she puts it; basically, it's just an excuse for her parents to show off.
  • John can't believe she's a senior. He's just a junior and she's graduating. Where will she go? Marisol can't wait to go to college, hopefully Stanford, so she can escape.
  • He asks her if he can read her a piece for his zine that he just wrote, about escaping from his parents. She says sure.
  • He tries to make it funny, but it doesn't come off that way.
  • Marisol tells him that he shouldn't worry about what's funny or not; he should write the truth. That's more important anyway.
  • John's not sure he wants to write the truth—he's the funny guy. Either way, Marisol has to run. Before she goes, she says she's trying to figure out who she is when her parents are breathing down her neck.
  • At the dinner table, John suffers through a conversation with Al. It's not that the guy's awful; it's just that John doesn't want to play nice with his mom's fiancé.
  • He writes down what happened for the zine, since he thinks it will make a nice piece. The long and the short of it is that his mom plans on moving in with Al and his mom in their big house, about thirty minutes away. They agree John should come with them.
  • Wait, what? He doesn't want to move away during his senior year of high school. How could they do this to him? It's so unfair. Besides, this is his home. He doesn't want to leave it—not now; not ever.
  • He leaves out the part where his mom came to his room afterward. She says she has to think of herself and this is what's best for her; plus, he's almost grown and out of the house anyway.
  • When he asks her if she has any pride, she doesn't answer. She looks like she wants to slap John in the face, but doesn't.
  • That would require actually touching her son, which she never does. She hasn't touched him—at all—since his dad left.
  • John wants to cry, but he doesn't. In fact, he's not sure he even remembers how.