Third Marking Period Summary

One morning Melinda misses the bus. Her mom tells her to walk to school. On the way, Melinda stops at a bakery to buy a doughnut. She runs into IT and bolts like a rabbit.

Melinda decides to skip school. She wanders around town, takes the bus to the mall, and ends up just waiting for school to get out so she will be safe to go home. By the end of the day, Melinda decides skipping school is not much different from going.

In English, Melinda’s class is reading The Scarlet Letter. Melinda relates to Hester, the main character in the book, who has to wear an A for “adultery” on her chest. Melinda thinks she should wear a letter too: S for “silent” or “stupid” or “shame.” Like the rest of the class, Melinda gets impatient with the teacher’s search for symbolism in the story. Rachel, Melinda’s ex-best-friend, speaks up and says she does not believe the symbolism. In response, the teacher assigns everyone an essay for homework. Melinda reflects that speaking up always results in punishment.

One day at lunch, Heather takes Melinda to a corner of the cafeteria, away from the Marthas, and delivers a break-up speech: “I think it’s time for us both to admit that we...just...are...very...different.” Although Melinda has never been very enthusiastic about Heather, she is desperate to keep her only friend. Heather is unsympathetic. She tells Melinda they cannot eat lunch together anymore.

On Valentine’s Day, Melinda sees a heart-shaped note taped to her locker. She thinks it might be from David Petrakis, but she is afraid to open it. Thrilled with the idea that somebody may actually like her, she draws pictures with David in biology. Later, when Melinda works up the courage to open the note, she finds out it is not from David at all. It is a note from Heather, thanking Melinda for understanding that they cannot be friends anymore. Melinda runs to her broom closet hideout and cries.

Melinda continues skipping school. Soon she is called in for a conference with her parents, the principal, and the guidance counselor. At the meeting,...

(The entire section is 886 words.)