Chapter 24 and Chapter 25 Summary
Several days after the kiss, Leo hears whispers of “roadrunner” everywhere he goes. During Spanish class, he finally has an opportunity to look out the window to see if he can catch at least a glimpse of what might be there. What he sees is a white sheet draped across the entire board. On it is a gigantic red heart with the words “STARGIRL LOVES LEO” written in the middle of it. Leo’s first impulse is to take the Spanish teacher to the window to prove that she really loves him. His next reaction is to wish he could tear the sign down.
Suddenly Hillari Kimble’s demand that Stargirl not sing “Happy Birthday” to her makes some sense to Leo. He is mortified. Leo is glad that he is not in the habit of sitting with Stargirl at lunch, and he attempts to avoid her gaze. His head turns of its own volition, though, and there she is—waving at him and blowing him kisses. Leo drags Kevin with him out of the lunchroom.
Mercifully, someone tears the sign down, and after school Leo does what he can to avoid her. She runs after him, shouting his name, but he keeps walking. Stargirl, with a sparkle in her eyes, asks if he saw the sign. When he is silent, she teases with Cinnamon that Leo must be shy and places the rat on Leo’s shoulder. Leo swipes him from his shoulder, sending Cinnamon flying. Stargirl is “dumbstruck.” Leo storms off and just keeps walking.
The next day the full force of the shunning descends on Leo. He is invisible. In the hallways and in the classrooms, the only one who will talk to him is Kevin. When Leo asks how long this is going to go on, Kevin says he is unsure. When Leo asks what he ever did to deserve such treatment, Kevin says, “You know what you did.” Leo does know what he did. His crime is being connected to someone who is unpopular.
Leo wants to be with Stargirl but he also wants his friends; since he does not know how to make this happen, he runs and he hides in an attempt to avoid the entire situation. She seeks him out one day in the TV studio and asks if they are breaking up already. He tells her, “Something’s gotta change.” Stargirl teases him for a moment, but then she sees he is quite serious and lets him tell her his frustrations. While she is content to have only the people that really matter to her talk to her, Leo is not.
He asks her if she cares what everybody thinks, but she says she only cares what the people who matter to her think. Leo admits he is one of “them” and does care what others think. He presses her for answers and finally asks her why she helped Kovac. Stargirl looks at him blankly; she does not even recognize the name or understand when Leo explains that Kovac was “the enemy.” Even Leo’s explanation of how things really are...
(The entire section is 797 words.)