Chapters 44-45 Summary

Out With the Old

Eventually, Miranda and Ella befriend a crowd of popular kids, leaving Olivia behind. They do not fight about this. They spend a week sitting through “painful lunches” with Olivia until Olivia decides to stop showing up in the cafeteria. Miranda and Ella do not ask any questions.

After a while, Olivia does not even mind the change. She spends several lunches in the library reading War and Peace, and she is amazed at how much it is like a soap opera. It is all about people fighting and dying for love, and Olivia thinks it is great. She wants to marry a man who loves her like that someday.

Eventually Olivia makes friends with a girl named Eleanor she knows vaguely from elementary school. Olivia remembers Eleanor as “a bit of a crybaby back then—but nice.” These days, Eleanor is pretty funny, good at coming up with original one-liners. She admits she used to think of Olivia as overly serious. Eleanor also confesses that she always found Miranda and Ella stuck-up.

Through Eleanor, Olivia joins the clique of smart kids. She is not used to hanging out with such a big group or with so many boys. Soon she notices a skinny bespectacled boy, Justin, who always carries a violin. Olivia develops a crush immediately.

When Miranda and Ella see Olivia in the halls, they say hi, but that is all. Sometimes Miranda asks Olivia to say hi to August too, but Olivia does not do it. She reflects that August is “in his own world these days.” 

October 31

Olivia always gets sad around Halloween because Grans died on October 30. This year, the sadness creeps in as Olivia watches her mom struggle to get her hands on a Boba Fett costume. She ends up buying a Jango Fett costume and painting it, spending about two weeks making it perfect. Olivia addresses the reader about this directly:

And no, I won’t mention the fact that Mom has never made any of my costumes, because it really has no bearing on anything at all.

On Halloween morning, Olivia finds herself crying about Grans. Mom gives her permission to stay home from school, and the two of them spend the morning crying and talking together. It is shaping up to be a great day with just the two of them, and Olivia begins to think she is ready to talk more about Miranda and Ella.

Then the phone rings, and it is the nurse at August’s school saying August is sick. Mom rushes to get him, and the mother-daughter day is over.

When August gets home, nobody asks him why he wore his Bleeding Scream costume instead of the Boba Fett costume. Olivia reflects:

If it annoyed Mom to see the costume she had worked on for two weeks tossed on the floor, unused, she didn’t show it.