Study Guide

Speak Chapter 43

By Laurie Halse Anderson

Chapter 43

Rent Round Three

  • The counselor gives Mom a call at work to let her know that Melinda's report card is terrible. At dinner, Mom and Dad explode like volcanoes.
  • Mom and Dad ask Melinda lots of questions, like, "What's wrong with you?" (43.4).
  • Melinda says nothing. Why should she? They don't want her side of the story.
  • They ground her from just about everything.
  • She gets her home work done, shows it to them, then writes a note saying she's running away.
  • Mom finds the note on Melinda's desk, and she finds Melinda sleeping in her bedroom closet. She gives Melinda a pillow.
  • In the closet, Melinda unfolds a paperclip and uses it to scratch her wrist. She thinks, "If a suicide note is a cry for help, then what is this? A whimper, a peep?" (43.6).
  • She uses the paperclip to draw lines on her wrist. Blood seeps out.
  • When Mom sees what Melinda did to her wrist, she says, "I don't have time for this, Melinda" (43.8).
  • Melinda doesn't respond. Mom tells her that "suicide is for cowards" (43.10).
  • Mom is into "tough love" now (43.8). She gives Melinda a book about it.
  • Mom is starting to see that Melinda isn't a big talker, which annoys her.