Chapter 26 and Chapter 27 Summary
In the cafeteria, Dori Dilson is at her usual table, but Stargirl is nowhere to be found. She is not in the courtyard or in the hallways, either. As Leo walks out of the cafeteria, he hears her voice, but when he turns it does not appear to be her. This girl is wearing sandals and jeans, red lipstick and fingernails, and lots of jewelry. It takes Leo a few moments to realize this girl is, indeed, Stargirl. When he whispers her name, she bats her eyes at him and remarks that Stargirl is such a ridiculous name. She says her name is Susan:
And just like that, Stargirl was gone, replaced by Susan. Susan Julia Caraway. The girl she might have been all along.
Leo cannot stop staring at the transformation: no sunflower bag, no rat, no ukulele, nothing goofy, nothing different to be found on her anywhere. Stargirl looks extraordinarily ordinary, and Leo cannot resist grabbing her and giving her a squeeze in front of everyone. He has never been so proud.
From then on, there is nothing but affection and gossip and fun between them—just like a normal couple. Dori Dilson does not sit at her usual table, now that Susan sits with Kevin and Leo, but Leo does not mind. He is no longer Mr. Stargirl; instead, he is proud to be attached to Susan Caraway. They no longer “card” strangers, deliver violets, or peruse bulletin boards for interesting tidbits of information.
When they share a pizza and Leo remarks that no one he knows eats anchovies, she picks them off her half saying, “I don’t want to be like nobody.” She chooses her clothes not for fashion but for the prominence of the designer labels, and she is constantly quizzing Leo about whether their imaginary friend “Evelyn Everybody” would do such-and-such a thing. Susan tries to be what every teenage girl is, but it is not working.
Leo fails to notice it; but Susan sees that the shunning continues, that they still do not like her. Leo is hopeful that after this weekend and the state basketball championship has been decided, she will be forgiven. When they do their homework together at her house that night, he sees only two stones in Susan’s happy wagon. The next morning, Susan is sitting in the courtyard with an oversized backscratcher in her hand and a sign around her neck saying, “TALK TO ME AND I’LL SCRATCH YOUR BACK.” There are no takers, and Leo avoids her. When he sees her later, the sign is gone and neither of them mentions the incident.
The next morning Susan greets Leo with tremendous excitement and shares her exciting news—everything is going to be okay. She visited her enchanted place in the desert and had a vision. In another week, when she wins the state oratorical contest, she will arrive home in victorious triumph, with streamers and banners and a sea of smiling faces to greet her. Her excitement is contagious, and even Leo begins to believe.
The announcement over the PA system wishes Susan good luck, then she leaves for the competition in Phoenix. Susan and Leo are in the backseat and Mr. McShane is their faculty driver. Susan was allowed to invite two guests, but only Leo is with her. Dori Dilson declined the offer.
Susan is in high spirits and buckles herself into the middle seat so she can sit closer to Leo. She explains that although Dori believes Susan has compromised herself to try to...
(The entire section is 900 words.)