Violet walks out the front door in the morning and finds Finch lying in her lawn. His bike is in the street. He grouses about Violet ignoring him as Violet grabs Leroy. Finch asks where they’re going wandering tomorrow, but Violet thinks about her invitation to go with Ryan to the drive-in. She says she’s not free tomorrow. After riding for a bit in silence, Finch says that since he saved Violet’s life, he should know what happened during the accident. Violet wobbles, and Finch reaches out to steady her bike.
Given what Finch revealed in the previous chapter (that he intends on using his relationship with Violet to stave off another mental health decline), it seems likely that Finch is in Violet’s yard for this reason. But because Finch is so unwilling to vocalize what exactly he’s struggling with, Violet has no way of knowing that, and Finch’s behavior is confusing.
After another minute of riding in silence, Finch asks what happened and offers to tell Violet how he got his scar. He says he wants to know because he likes Violet as a friend—and talking might help her. He agrees to go first and says he was playing a show in Chicago. Some guy got upset that he played so well and cut him with his guitar pick. Violet can’t tell if he’s lying or not, so she says she’ll only tell him if he tells her the truth. Violet speeds ahead to the bike rack and Finch pulls in behind her, laughing. Just then, Violet gets a text message from Suze that reads, “Theodore Freak?!! WTF?!” She tells Finch she has plans tomorrow night, and he calls her “Ultraviolet” as he walks away.
Violet’s uncertainty about whether Finch is telling the truth about his scar or not suggests that Finch’s attempts to keep people guessing about him have worked. Even if a story seems outlandish, Violet realizes that she has to at least consider the possibility that it’s true. Meanwhile, the text from Suze forces Violet to confront that while she may be having fun with Finch, her friends have different ideas about who she should be hanging out with. In this way, they pressure her to maintain a certain identity that may not match up with how she feels inside.
On Saturday, Violet agrees to talk on the phone with the reporter. But when the reporter asks if Violet got closure since she could save Finch but not Eleanor, Violet hangs up. She’s seething when Ryan shows up. They walk to the drive-in, find Amanda and Roamer, and climb into Roamer’s Impala. As the movie starts, Ryan, Roamer, and Amanda talk about their plans for Indiana University in the fall. Violet thinks about how rude she’s being to Finch when he saved her life. Wandering with him would be more fun than this.
The reporter suggests that closure and grief are neat and tidy: Violet will feel better because she saved Finch, thereby making up for not being able to save Eleanor. Sentiments like these contribute to Violet’s sense that nobody understands her. For one, people don’t know that Finch was the one who saved her. They also don’t seem to grasp that Violet’s grief is complex and nuanced than this—it’s not something she can easily move past.
When the second movie starts, Roamer and Amanda go to the front seat. Violet tries not to listen to their slurping sounds. She tries to talk to Ryan, but he tries to put his hand up her shirt. Unwilling to have sex in the back of a car, Violet gets out. She wonders what Finch is doing and thinks she owes him a wander. Ryan kisses Violet and for a while, she lets him. She imagines it’s last year, when she, Eleanor, Ryan, and Ryan’s older brother were here at the drive-in. Violet pulls away and says she has a curfew. Ryan walks her home, but Violet doesn’t let him kiss her goodnight.
After spending a bit of time with Finch, Violet’s other friends don’t seem nearly as interesting or fun anymore. This makes it clear that Violet is starting to reconsider the kind of person she’d like to be. While she can’t escape her memories of a happier past, she nevertheless realizes that the activities she used to do and the relationships she used to have are no longer fulfilling.