Study Guide

Speak Chapter 53

By Laurie Halse Anderson

Chapter 53

Cutting Out Hearts

  • It's Valentine's Day and still snowing. The boyfriend of a girl named Angela, which he spells Anjela, has spray-painted his love for her in the snow. Angela is overjoyed and they kiss in the parking lot.
  • Valentine's Day was important in grade school, but basically disappeared in middle school. So, Melinda is a little surprised to see that it's big deal in high school.
  • She's even more shocked to find an envelope with her name on it taped to her locker.
  • It has to be some kind of cruel prank.
  • What if it's not a joke? Maybe David Petrakis sent her a valentine…
  • He sort of seems to like her in biology class.
  • In class, Ms. Keen teaches them about birds and bees – not as a metaphor for sex, but actual birds and bees.
  • David looks like he's about to fall asleep. Melinda wonders if she would like it if David has a crush on her. She decides it would be better if no boys liked her.
  • She bites her thumbnail bloody. David offers her some tissue.
  • She writes him a thank you note in her notebook. They write and draw back and forth for the rest of the class period.
  • Back at her locker, Melinda faces the Valentine card.
  • It's from Heather, wishing Melinda "luck" (53.10). Heather has also returned the friendship necklace Melinda gave her for Christmas.
  • She feels like she's breaking inside. She runs to the supply closet and shuts herself in. Now she can bite her wrist and cry. She can bang her head against the brick wall.
  • She has nobody. Nobody can like her.