Study Guide

The Usual Rules Chapter 6

By Joyce Maynard

Chapter 6

  • Wendy remembers when she and Amelia were little. They liked to play this game called Pennsylvania where they planned out their future lives—in which they'd be neighbors living in Pittsburgh.
  • As they're walking down the street, Amelia catches sight of a flier featuring a missing fireman named Billy Flynn. She says he's the most handsome person she's ever seen and that he's the person she'll marry in Pennsylvania.
  • Wendy says this is unlikely because he was in the towers, but Amelia says they'll probably find him and Wendy's mom soon.
  • Lots of people stop by to see them, but Wendy doesn't really want to talk to anyone but Amelia. Kate even takes Wendy to get her first manicure, but she just feels sad the whole time.
  • Wendy goes back to school and no one says anything about her mom, but she can tell it's on everyone's mind.
  • She sits with her usual friends at lunch, but a couple other girls come over and ask her if she wants to join their church group.
  • After they walk away, Amelia makes a joke about how they're just trying to buddy up with Wendy because it's so fascinating that she has a mom who's been killed.
  • Instead of being offended, Wendy feels relieved because someone has finally said what she suspects: that her mother is dead.
  • On Saturday, they eat a quiet family dinner together and then Wendy helps Louie get ready for bed. She tucks him in and reads him a book, and then he asks her if his mama is ever coming back.
  • She tells him the truth: She doesn't think their mother is coming back ever again.