Since Principal Wertz called Violet’s parents when she didn’t show up to school, Violet is now sitting across from Violet’s mom and Violet’s dad. She explains that she was across the street from the school with Finch, the boy she’s doing the project with. Violet’s mom says she’s disappointed, and Violet’s dad says that Violet can’t keep using Eleanor as an excuse to misbehave. Violet says she’s not misbehaving, she’s just tired of trying to keep up with everyone else. She wishes her parents would just send her to her room. When they don’t, she leaves them in the living room and goes herself.
To Violet’s parents, it’s unthinkable that “misbehaving” is actually how Violet is starting to heal. Finch has shown Violet that she can write again, that she doesn’t have to play by the rules, and that life is worth living. So, it’s especially insulting to Violet when her parents refuse to see how much she’s changing for the better. Now, Violet realizes that making her own choices, rather than trying to live up to other people’s expectations, is what’s going to make her happy.
Violet eats dinner with her parents in silence, and afterward, Violet’s mom follows Violet upstairs. She studies the bulletin board and asks Violet about what this project is. Then, Violet’s mom takes a seat and starts asking questions about this new web magazine. Violet wants to create a place where teenagers can get advice and help, and where they can feel safe. But this, she explains, is just a “germ of an idea.” For the next two hours, Violet and her mom come up with an outline for a web magazine. As Violet’s mom leaves the room, she asks Violet if she can trust Finch. Violet says she can—Finch is her only friend.
Here, Violet’s mom demonstrates how supportive she is of her daughter. Even though she’s perplexed and annoyed with Violet’s behavior, she nevertheless wants to see Violet happy and able to throw herself into something fulfilling. And Violet’s goal also suggests that she wants to help kids who are struggling with some of the same problems she and Finch are, which would allow her to pay forward Finch’s help.
Violet knows she can’t create all this content herself, so she writes a list of people she thinks might want to contribute, like Kate, Brenda, and Jordan Gripenwaldt. She discovers that germmagazine.com is available and registers the site. Then she gets onto Facebook and messages Finch. She says that her parents are upset, and that she and Finch might have to stop wandering together.
As Violet reconnects with herself as a writer, she also takes steps to connect with other people. Registering the domain is the first step toward creating a wider online community, while considering which classmates might help also shows that Violet is starting to look outside of her usual friend group for connection.
As Violet lies in bed, she realizes she forgot to cross off the day on the calendar. Though she gets up and uncaps her marker, she decides she can’t do it. She throws the calendar into her closet and slips down the hall to Eleanor’s room. Violet sets Eleanor’s glasses on the desk and thanks Eleanor for the loan—but she says the glasses are ugly and make her head hurt.
Violet’s is starting to realize that she was marking time in a way that was unhealthy, as she was fixating on the future rather than enjoying the present moment. Meanwhile, by giving Eleanor her glasses back, Violet shows that she’s now going to try to be herself rather than trying to be like Eleanor in an effort to keep her sister’s memory alive.