Study Guide

You Should Have Known Chapter Twenty-Two: The First Thing They'll Say About Me When I Leave The Room

By Jean Hanff Korelitz

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Chapter Twenty-Two: The First Thing They'll Say About Me When I Leave The Room

In this edition of the book, Chapter 22 is pages 390-403.

  • Henry chooses a nondescript hound from a shelter and names him Sherlock. The dog sits in Henry's lap on the way home and falls asleep.  
  • Henry wants to stop at the pet store for a special bowl and collar. One of his new friends has a dog who goes to shows, and Grace has enjoyed his mom's hilarious stories about the dog show circuit.  
  • Sadly, none of these stories are recounted in the book. 
  • Grace realizes that Henry's growing up. He doesn't look broken or depressed. "Was it possible that he was actually...really...okay? (22.392)" 
  • Henry says Sherlock will sleep in his bed and if he has an accident, Henry will clean it up. "He's my dog. I'm responsible" (22.392).  
  • Grace feels as though she should have been responsible for everything that happened. Obviously Jonathan did it, but she let him. He kept everyone else away from her by building her up so she thought no one deserved her time except him.  
  • She realizes she's spotted this pattern many other times in her patients.  
  • Henry and Grace get home and train Sherlock with his shock collar. Sherlock learns quickly where the boundaries are.  
  • Grace says she's sorry it took so long to get Henry a dog, and she thinks she'll like having one.  
  • Henry says he wants to talk about his dad, but he doesn't want Grace to be upset. 
  • Wait, they still haven't talked about this yet? 
  • Anyway, Grace says he doesn't need to protect her and asks if he wants to talk now. 
  • Henry reveals that he knew about Jonathan and Malaga. He says he should have told Grace—if he had, maybe all this wouldn't have happened. 
  • Grace realizes she needs to say the right thing here, and she tells him she's so sorry he had to see that. It wasn't his job to tell her. 
  • He remembers that he saw them standing outside Rearden, not doing anything, but he just knew.  
  • Naturally, Jonathan acted completely normal the whole way home. 
  • He also tells her about another instance a long time ago when he saw Jonathan walking and talking with another doctor. 
  • Jonathan didn't see him right away, but as soon as he did, he snapped back into Dad mode. Henry says he should have told Grace that time too. 
  • Grace says there was no right or wrong thing to do in that situation. It wasn't his responsibility; he wasn't a grownup. 
  • "Whatever he did, and why he did it, I hope you know he always loved you" (22.399). She tells him Jonathan's actions had nothing to do with him, although they probably did have something to do with her. 
  • Henry says she didn't do anything wrong, and Grace realizes he's crying. 
  • "Maybe right and wrong isn't the best way to think about it. Maybe it's more complicated that." 
  • She took a breath. "I'm sure I wasn't perfect. And I might not have known what was going on with Daddy, but I think I should have known. That's my part of being responsible" (22.399). 
  • Grace tells him she could spend years thinking about Jonathan, Malaga, and Miguel, but she has other things she needs to do. She doesn't want her life to focus on this one thing, and she really, really doesn't want that for Henry. He deserves better. 
  • Henry says he and his friend Danny looked up news articles, and he knows Jonathan's called "Murder Doc" (catchy). He saw lots of mean comments about Grace too, and she says she knows.  
  • She looked up articles at the library and saw comments calling her an ice queen and a hypocrite. 
  • "It had been exactly as terrible as she feared. But at least it had not been more terrible" (22.401). 
  • Henry asks how long it's going to be like this.  
  • Grace tells him about a patient whose teenage son committed suicide. "And one day she said to me, ‘For the rest of my life, it's the first thing they'll say about me when I leave the room.' And I remember thinking: Yes, that's true, it will be. But we can't really do anything about what they say when we leave the room. We'll never be able to control that. And we shouldn't try" (22.401).  
  • Henry asks if Jonathan's insane. Grace says no, and she's sure he won't hurt himself.  
  • He asks where she thinks he is, and she honestly has no idea. 
  • She tells him sometimes she hopes he's caught so he can face punishment for his actions. Other times, she hopes he won't be so she won't have to face whether or not he actually killed Malaga. 
  • Henry asks if she thinks he did. 
  • She takes a deep breath and answers. 
  • Note: We don't know what she says, but if it's anything other than yes, we may need to be sedated.

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