Why does Ben offer to read Sal's palm?

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In chapter 20 of Sharon Creech’s Walk To Moons, Ben offers to read Sal’s palm after school. Sal or Salamanca Tree Hiddl, who is the lead character of the novel, keeps escaping from love and physical contact (which actually stems from a tough past experience filled with separation, guilt and incompleteness). This part of the novel is quite significant as it introduces Sal to a pleasant, romantic touch. Ben, who is a classmate of Sal, actually doesn’t know the art of palm reading. He plays a flirtatious trick on her to just hold her hand (and, in fact, he gets successful in holding her hand for almost five minutes also). After that, Ben tells her the truth, i.e. that he doesn’t know palm reading. A little surprised and confused, Sal immediately pulls back her hand and runs away.

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