Chapter 15 Summary
As autumn comes to a close, Janie finds a new balance. She takes the polka dot dress out of Hannah’s trunk and hangs it in her closet. Every morning and every evening, she touches it to remind herself. She also keeps writing in the diary, telling her story—but never sending it to the Springs.
One weekend morning, Reeve comes over to Janie’s house for breakfast and then takes her out for a drive. Just before they leave, Janie’s notebook falls open to reveal the milk carton she keeps hidden inside. She snaps it shut and apologizes, but her parents look suspicious. She takes the notebook up to her room before leaving the house.
Although Janie’s life has returned to normal, more or less, she still thinks about the kidnapping a great deal. On the drive, Reeve talks about his family, but she interrupts to tell him that she looked up the kidnapping in the New York Times. When he falls silent, she realizes that he thought she was listening to him. She muses that people all want to be the center of attention. In fact, this is the very feeling that led Janie, at age three, to accept a ride from a woman who paid attention to her after her own busy mother briefly brushed her off.
Janie tries to assure Reeve that she cares more about him than about her own dark past. “You’re the light of my life,” she says, fully expecting him to scoff at her sappiness. Instead he seems pleased. They stop at a restaurant and order Cokes, and then they go to a waterfall to spend some romantic time together.
While kissing, Janie and Reeve pause for a moment. Reeve appears to gather his courage—and then he admits that he told Janie’s story to his sister Lizzie, the one who is in law school. Janie screams at him, but he stays calm. He says that Janie will lose her mind if she does not do...
(The entire section is 507 words.)