Chapter 16 and Chapter 17 Summary
Monday at lunch, Leo stays seated when he sees Stargirl approaching his table, though Kevin’s eyes widen in disbelief. It seems to Leo as if the entire universe is standing still for this moment. She says, “You’re welcome,” then she stands waiting for a response. Leo turns with some trepidation, for he knows this is a moment that will change everything for him. He looks into her eyes and thanks her for the card. Stargirl beams her brightest smile and walks away. Kevin concludes that Stargirl is in love; Leo, of course, denies it.
The rest of the day is difficult for Leo; he feels as if he has been hit—hard. After school he makes his way to Stargirl’s homeroom, not knowing what he will do there but knowing he must go. He overhears a group of girls gossiping about Stargirl’s being kicked off the cheerleading squad. When they notice him, they call to him in unison: “Starboy!” They laugh. Leo waves; he is secretly thrilled.
That evening Leo heads to her house, a quite ordinary house for someone as extraordinary as Stargirl. It is dark when he arrives, and he moons around hoping to see her yet afraid she will appear. Suddenly the front door opens and Leo ducks behind the car in the driveway. After a few moments, Stargirl asks if he remembers the day he followed her into the desert. Leo hesitates then answers that he does.
She asks why he turned and left, but Leo has no real answer. He looks down to see Cinnamon burrowing into his shoelaces. The conversation continues, and Leo admits he thinks Stargirl is cute but is not so sure about Cinnamon. Stargirl encourages Leo to tickle him behind the ears, and Leo does so. Suddenly the rat jumps to Leo’s shoulder and Leo yelps. Stargirl laughs and says Cinnamon loves ears. Just as Leo is getting used to the rodent snuffling near his ear, Stargirl announces they have to go in. Because Cinnamon is not leaving of his own accord, Leo places him on the ground and he scampers under the car to Stargirl. They wish each other a good night, but Leo wishes he did not have to leave.
Two weeks earlier, Leo discovered Stargirl knew his name; today he is “loopy with love.” Kevin recognizes it immediately, but at lunch Leo becomes self-conscious about his giddiness and hides out for the entire period.
After school Stargirl and Leo meet, though there was no conscious plan to do so. She asks him if he believes in enchanted places. Leo is not sure, so she grabs his hand and they fly across the school field so she can show him an enchanted place.
(The entire section is 713 words.)