Finch offers a quote by Cesare Pavese: “The cadence of suffering has begun.” Finch is “in pieces.”
The lack of explanation surrounding this quote suggests that Finch can’t explain what’s happening to him. As a result, readers can’t tell exactly what’s going on, only that he’s struggling.
After U.S. Geography, Amanda comes up to Violet and says she has to tell her a secret. Violet sighs but agrees to keep the secret. Amanda says on Sunday she saw Finch at Life Is Life, a support group for teenagers considering suicide. He said that he’d swallowed pills and gone to the hospital.
Amanda seems to recognize that Finch needs people to look out for him—she may be a bully, but she doesn’t actually want Finch to die. By telling Violet, she also gives Violet the important information she needs to realize that Finch needs help.
As soon as school is over, Violet bikes to Finch’s house. He doesn’t answer, and it seems like Finch’s mom and sisters aren’t home. Violet finally heads to her house and sends Finch a Facebook message. He replies like nothing is wrong and says that his birthday is tomorrow. Violet wants to ask him about the pills and the hospital, but she’s afraid he’ll disappear. He tells her to come tomorrow for dinner.
Especially after what Amanda said about Finch, Violet can no longer ignore that something is seriously wrong with him. But he makes it clear here that he’s trying to make everything seem as normal as possible. In this way, he also makes it more difficult for Violet to even consider bringing up that something might be amiss.