Study Guide

Hard Love Chapter 9

By Ellen Wittlinger

Chapter 9

  • After the concert, Marisol suddenly realizes it's 12:30AM. How is she going to get home to Cambridge since the last Red Line train has already left?
  • Guess she'll just have to walk. John's not about to let her walk alone at this time of night, though, so instead he invites her to stay at his dad's place, saying he can sleep on the floor and she can take his bed.
  • Marisol's reluctant at first, but John does have a point about walking home.
  • She agrees and calls her parents to keep them in the loop. They're not-so-secretly thrilled that their lesbian daughter is staying with a guy.
  • They take turns showering the concert grime off, and John hooks Marisol up with a pair of his dad's pajamas to sleep in.
  • When Marisol notices that they're silk, John counters with dissing his dad for trying to act young and cool when he's old and boring.
  • Marisol asks John why he doesn't tell his dad this stuff, and John's not sure—basically, though, the guy's not the easiest to talk to.
  • Marisol suggests John write to him, then. She does it with her birth mom all the time. She's not sure who the lady is, or if she'll ever meet her, but she writes down what she wishes she could tell her.
  • It's really more for herself than anyone else. In fact, she has some letters in her backpack right now.
  • Jokingly, John reaches for the bag. Marisol misunderstands and thinks he's going to read them, so she slaps him on the head.
  • John's shocked and tells her to relax—he was just kidding around—but Marisol doesn't think it's funny, though she realizes she overreacted. They both say sorry and call it a night.
  • A couple minutes later, Marisol offers to read one of the letters to John. He just wants to go to sleep at this point, but he agrees.
  • In the letter, Marisol explains to her mom that she blames her more than her dad. It might not be fair, but that's the way it is.
  • She also blames her mom for the fact that she can't trust anybody, even Birdie and John sometimes. John didn't sign up to be her BFF, and she worries he'll leave, too.
  • John feels a bunch of different emotions in hearing the letter, but he's not sure what to make of them.
  • He thanks Marisol for reading it to him, and then asks where the sign up sheet is—you know, because he'd love to be her bestie.
  • They drift off to sleep and are woken up at 10:00AM by his dad announcing hot coffee and croissants. John comes out of his room to find his dad waiting, all smiles. In fact, he's almost giddy.
  • He saw the lady jeans in the bathroom and figured John had a girl stay the night. John can tell his dad is proud and excited about the prospect of his son being a ladies man.
  • Marisol goes to the kitchen and introduces herself. She doesn't lie, but she doesn't blurt out that she's gay either—she can tell John's dad thinks they're an item.
  • Finally, John tells his dad to quit it. Marisol isn't interested in him… or any other guy for that matter. His dad is annoyed. Why would John let him make a fool of himself?
  • As Marisol's leaving, she tells John that it's good he told the truth to his dad. Oh, and maybe going to prom wouldn't be the worst idea in the world; she can look for secondhand dresses that are her style.
  • John's ecstatic. He knows it'll be a night to remember.