James has left the summer house in Maine after midnight, which is odd because he usually doesn't go anywhere without Link. And, uh… also because it's late, dude. Go to bed.
Link is our narrator's older brother, and James is his best friend. They're both total enigmas.
Our narrator is head over heels in love with James. He knows it (because Link is a mean older brother), but he's kind about it and says that he'll be broken-hearted when she grows out of her crush.
Even though James and Link both sound pretty self-absorbed, they are the two people our narrator loves to be around. She's like their silent, feminine shadow.
The reason James left without Link is because they're fighting. Apparently James made Link watch a terrible foreign film for the second time as a not-so-subtle jab about some other guy he was trying to impress.
It sounds an awful lot like Link is jealous of any attention James pays to anyone else—particularly dudes—and he's fond of stomping out during a spat. Real pleasant guy, that Link.
Link is a math prodigy. Maybe that's why he's so grumpy.
It's Ellen's fourteenth birthday tomorrow (yay—we get a name for our narrator), so she doesn't want her two best friends fighting. She decides to ask Link if she can sleep in his room like they used to do when they were little.
Despite being cranky, Link is sweet to Ellen and lets her sleep in his bed. (He sleeps on the floor).