Study Guide

The Usual Rules Part 2, Chapter 13

By Joyce Maynard

Part 2, Chapter 13

California

  • All this time, Wendy has imagined that Garrett lives out in the middle of a field in a little cabin somewhere. The reality, though, is that his house in Davis looks like a normal house in a normal suburban neighborhood.
  • She goes into the fridge to look for something to eat, but it's nowhere near as well-stocked as her fridge back home in Brooklyn. She settles for some Oreos.
  • Garrett shows her to her new bedroom and then brings Wendy a photo of her mother—one from when Janet was pregnant with Wendy.
  • He tells her that although he and her mother differed in a lot of their views about the world, he always loved her.
  • Then he leaves Wendy alone to get some sleep. The plan for the next day is to take her downtown, then take her to see her new school, and then let her meet his friends.
  • She imagines being back home and talking to Louie, comforting him so that he'll fall asleep okay. She's obviously worried about the little guy.
  • The next morning, Garrett takes Wendy out to breakfast and she orders a grapefruit, which is something she's never eaten before. She's decided to eat a lot less in California than she normally does so she'll be skinny and unrecognizable when she goes home.
  • They drive around to see the whole town with Shiva in tow. Wendy's happy to have a dog with her, but then she thinks about how her mom always said they didn't have room for a dog and feels sad.
  • When they get back to the house, there's a message from Josh asking if Wendy's arrived safely. She knows that she should call him back, but she's not ready to hear his or Louie's voices yet.
  • They go to the junior high school and meet with the principal. Wendy's relieved when Garrett doesn't mention what happened to her mother and just asks everyone to set her up with anew schedule so she can start ASAP.
  • Wendy goes to her new school and some girl immediately asks her about 9/11 and if it was crazy to be in New York when that happened. Wendy doesn't say anything.
  • During gym class, Wendy just wanders off and leaves campus. She goes into town and finds a small bookstore where she sets up and starts reading Anne Frank's The Diary of a Young Girl.
  • The bookstore owner introduces himself as Alan and asks her why she's not in school. Wendy lies and says she's homeschooled… and that her name is Kitty.
  • Then Wendy walks all the way home and waits for Garrett and Shiva to return. When they do, Garrett asks her about school and Wendy says it went fine.
  • He seems satisfied with this answer and tells her that his new nickname for her will be "Slim."