If I Stay

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If I Stay 9:06 PM Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Mia then hears a raspy, familiar voice, and realizes it belongs to Brooke Vega, the lead singer of Bikini, the popular indie band that Shooting Star was supposed to open for in Portland. Adam’s plan is to have Brooke make enough of a ruckus in the ICU to distract the nurses, while he and Kim run to see Mia. Brooke begins an impromptu concert in the hallway outside the ICU, distracting a few of the nurses. Adam makes a break for it, followed by Kim. Nurse Ramirez, the nurse who told Mia’s grandparents that Mia was “running the show,” tips them off as to which room is Mia’s. Though they enter Mia’s room for a moment, they are quickly escorted out by security.
Adam’s involvement in Shooting Star is one of the main tensions in their relationship—both because the punk-rock scene is foreign to Mia and because its Northwestern location may end up causing a rift in physical distance between them—but the fact that the entire band came (along with a famous singer) to help Adam see Mia is incredibly moving to her. Though the whole event is somewhat of a disaster, it is a brave show of Adam and Kim’s love for Mia.
Themes
Sacrifice and Choice Theme Icon
Music and Harmony  Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Relationships  Theme Icon
Life and Death  Theme Icon
As Kim and Adam are being led away by security, they run into Willow, who has come from the hospital where she works to the hospital where Mia is being treated. As a nurse, she is able to convince the guards to let Adam and Kim go. Willow says she can talk to Mia’s grandparents about arranging for Adam to be able to see Mia.
When the head nurse tells Kim and Adam that only Mia’s “immediate family” is allowed to see her, it becomes clear that she does not truly understand the situation. Willow uses her connections as a nurse in a nearby hospital to advocate for Adam and Kim.
Themes
Sacrifice and Choice Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Relationships  Theme Icon
Life and Death  Theme Icon
Mia recalls that when Willow began to date Henry, her Dad’s band-mate, Henry was a “total drunk playboy,” but that Willow whipped him into shape, and they now have a daughter. Mia believes in Willow’s ability to fix any tough situation, but it hits her that if Willow is here in Portland, it means that she’s not back at the local hospital near the accident with Teddy (where Mia believed her to be). It also occurs to her that no one in the hospital is discussing Teddy’s condition, or splitting their time between two hospitals. Mia then realizes that Teddy, too, has died.
Though Mia is initially delighted to see Willow helping her friends, she is also horrified to realize that Willow’s presence here means that Teddy has died. We wonder if Teddy, too, had an out-of-body experience like Mia, and if he then decided to join his parents in death.
Themes
Sacrifice and Choice Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Relationships  Theme Icon
Life and Death  Theme Icon
In a flashback, Mia remembers how on the day her Mom’s water broke with Teddy, she still insisted going holiday shopping at the mall as planned. Several hours later, Mia accompanies her mother to the birthing center, and watches her mother give birth to Teddy. When, after the birth, Henry comes to bring food to the new family of four, he tells Mia the story of her own birth, when her father allegedly “cried like a baby.” When Teddy is born, the first person he sees is Mia, and she cuts his umbilical cord. Later, Mia’s Mom jokes that Teddy “imprinted” on Mia, because they have a special bond, and she is often the only one who can make him feel better.
Mia and Teddy have a strong bond, one that extends beyond the usual bickering relationship between a brother and sister. Mia’s presence at Teddy’s birth is representative of the responsibility she holds in the family, and is also the reason why Mia feels so powerless when realizes that Teddy has died—even though he did not die immediately in the accident, she was unable to comfort him in his final moments, as she was able to in his first moments.
Themes
Sacrifice and Choice Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Relationships  Theme Icon
Life and Death  Theme Icon
Get the entire If I Stay LitChart as a printable PDF.
If i stay.pdf.medium