What important events happen in chapter 3 of Deadline by Chris Crutcher?

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Chapter 3 of Deadline is the first time where the audience can see indications of Ben’s fear as he describes being scared of what will inevitably come; this chapter also highlights the conflict he has in not telling his family about his illness. We also get to explore the relationship between Ben and his brother, Cody, as they bond over watching football tapes.

The most important part of this chapter, though, is Ben’s interactions with his therapist, Marla Dawson, whom he describes as a “compromise” between him and his doctor (22). In these sessions, the audience is keyed into Ben’s inner thoughts as he further articulates his “lust and . . . undying love” for Dallas Suzuki and his plan for how he will structure the last year of his life (27). An interesting note about his life plan is that it is influenced by a conversation he has with Jesus in a dream, who Ben says “makes [him] come to [his] own conclusions” (33).

While this chapter begins an important relationship between Ben and Marla, it also furthers his characterization as a young adult who is trying to make the best of a bad situation in a way that makes him live life to the fullest. By planning out a single year in the same way one might plan out a full lifetime, the audience can see just how committed Ben is to his decision. Overall, whereas the previous two chapters use his devil-may-care attitude and drive to play football as the fuel for his actions, this chapter seems to ground Ben and demonstrate how his thought process works.

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Chapter 3's most important events are Ben's two meetings with Marla, his resolution to try to hook up with Dallas, and his dreams about talking with Jesus. 

Here's a more detailed summary:

The chapter takes place in late August, as Ben is talking with his therapist Marla (who's specifically a psychiatric social worker) about his plans to participate in football.

He's witty and playful with her, but in his mind, he reconsiders his plan to not tell his family about how he's going to die soon. Ben feels frightened and unsure of himself, but he also feels curious about the whole situation. He considers how he might pack a lifetime's worth of experiences into a single year, and about how, in terms of other living creatures and the history of the world, a year of life is paradoxically both an amazing gift and something practically negligible.

Ben jokes with Marla about condensing his life into a single year, then asks her to reassure his doctor that he's fine and still doesn't want medical treatment. Ben asks for Marla's help in a romantic matter, too: he's desperate to hook up with Dallas Suzuki, his crush.

After the meeting with Marla, Ben attends football practice, which is as vigorous as ever. He heads home with his brother Cody in Ben's beloved pickup truck, and they chat happily about football.

In another meeting with Marla the following day, she tries to convince Ben to get medical treatment. He distracts her by saying he wants to discuss a dream he had about having conversations with Jesus, whom Ben calls "Hey-Soos." In the dreams, "Hey-Soos" and Ben talk about what Ben might do with his remaining life, but "Hey-Soos" doesn't make any suggestions or give Ben any particular instructions.

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