When Violet comes downstairs in the morning, Finch is eating breakfast with Violet’s dad. He tells Violet she looks better without the glasses and then explains that he came to talk to Violet’s parents about skipping school yesterday. Violet’s dad says they have an understanding; they just need contact information for Finch’s parents. He asks if Finch’s dad is the Ted Finch of Finch Storage. Finch says he is, but his dad left when Finch was 10. Violet knows this is a lie. She watches Finch write out his and his mom’s numbers in neat letters. This isn’t his handwriting, but she doesn’t tell her dad that.
The way Violet’s chapters are titled has changed. She’s not counting down to graduation anymore—it seems like Violet is now ready to focus on enjoying her life in the present. Finch shows here that he knows how to modulate his identity to please protective parents like Violet’s. He can change his handwriting and convince Violet’s parents that he’s trustworthy—but Violet, because she knows Finch, knows this is a front.
With that out of the way, Violet’s mom asks Finch where he’s going to college. Finch asks if she’s read For Whom the Bell Tolls and says that, like the protagonist, he’s trying to live as if he only has two days left. Violet’s dad launches into an explanation of Hindu theology, and as he quotes an ancient Vedic hymn, Finch finishes it. The last line is about water, and Finch says he “ha[s] this thing about water.” For the rest of breakfast, Finch and Violet tell her parents about their project. By the end of breakfast, Finch is on a first-name basis with Violet’s parents. Afterward, Violet asks how Finch could lie to her parents. He says it’s not a lie if it’s how he actually feels. Violet is incensed—what else is he lying about?
Though Violet’s mom and dad seem to take Finch’s explanation as proof that he’s trying to live every day to the fullest, the fact that Finch is trying to live like he has two days left is ominous. He’s almost constantly thinking about suicide, which implies that a two-day countdown could start at any time. While Violet sees Finch’s lies as a betrayal, Finch suggests that lies can actually give important information about who a person is.