Hazel’s mom talks to the doctor and to the Genie Foundation, and soon it is decided that Hazel can go on the trip as long as her mother goes along. By the end of the afternoon, the decision is made—but for some reason Hazel feels out of sorts.
Alone in her room that afternoon, Hazel asks herself why she tensed up when Augustus touched her. She calls Kaitlyn, who is excited that Hazel has such a hot romantic interest. Unfortunately, she has no advice to offer. She is more interested in the idea of sex with a one-legged boy. “Do you think you’d have to be on top?” she asks.
After getting off the phone, Hazel begins wondering about Augustus’s former girlfriend, Caroline. She visits Caroline’s Facebook page and realizes that the two of them look very similar. The page contains many postings about cancer and death. It is a grim thing to read, and Hazel is especially bothered by a comment saying that everyone who knew Caroline was “wounded” by her illness and death.
During dinner, Hazel snaps at her parents repeatedly, and her mom complains that she is being “teenagery.” Hazel points out that her parents keep making her hang out with teenagers. She tells them that she does not want to be social anymore:
I’m like a grenade…and at some point I’m going to blow up and I would like to minimize the casualties, okay?
For Hazel, the idea of hurting people is intolerable. She does not want to be like Caroline and leave everyone around her "wounded." She says that she will spend time with her parents, who are “too invested” to avoid the pain of her loss, but that she does not want to form close connections with anyone else, not when she knows she will just die and leave them to suffer afterward.
After saying all this, Hazel retreats to her room and texts Augustus to say she does not want a romantic relationship with him because she cannot stand the idea of hurting him when she dies. He says he understands, but it seems clear that he hopes she will change her mind.
A while later, Hazel’s parents come to her room and say that she is “not a grenade,” at least not within their family. “The joy you bring to us is so much greater than the sadness we feel about your illness,” her dad says. When Hazel accepts this, her parents say that she does not have to make friends or go to Support Group if she chooses not to. With that resolved, they say goodnight, and Hazel goes to sleep—until she awakes with “an apocalyptic pain” in her head.