Julia calls the hotel where Angie works, and, once confirming that Angie’s there, hops on a train to get downtown. She marches in the front door, and approaches Angie at the front desk. Angie is clearly nervous to see Julia, and tells her she can’t talk right now, but Julia, faking pleasantness, says she must have some time to talk about her dead pregnant sister—and her married boyfriend. Angie, blanching, tells Julia that she’ll take her out for a quick coffee.
Julia is determined to confront Angie and get the truth of what she knew about Olga out of her once and for all. Julia knows how to run her mouth—and is not afraid to confront Angie with it at her place of work.
At a nearby coffee shop, Julia asks Angie why she didn’t tell Julia the truth. Angie insists that no one would have “gain[ed]” anything from learning the truth—Olga is dead, and the truth would only have hurt people. Sometimes, Angie says, “people don’t need the truth.” Julia begs Angie to tell her the name of the man Olga was seeing, but Angie refuses, and asks how Julia learned all of this in the first place. When Julia says she went through Olga’s emails, Angie calls her snooping “messed up.” Julia insists that nothing is more messed up than Angie’s choice to keep Olga’s secret for her. Julia wonders how she is going to keep the secret for her whole life—her parents deserve to know, and she doesn’t want to live a lie. Angie, crying, implores Julia to understand that “some things should never be said out loud.”
Between Amá’s secret and Olga’s, Julia has a lot burdening her mind and her heart. She’s beginning to see how naïve she was about so many things, and how blind she’s been to the turmoil that’s been boiling just below the surface of the family. To the loudmouth, confrontational Julia, all of this seems like too much to bear—but Angie’s perspective lets Julia see that perhaps the best, kindest thing she can do is keep these things to herself. Julia is learning the difficult and morally ambiguous lesson that, sometimes, airing secrets and lies can do more harm than good.
Julia heads to Wicker Park to meet up with Connor at the bookstore. They don’t hug or kiss as they see one another again for the first time, and Julia is surprised by Connor’s short haircut. The two of them walk through the store and catch up on what’s been going on, and then make their way to an outdoor park. Julia asks Connor if he’s seeing anyone new, and though he laughs at the question, he doesn’t say that he isn’t. When Julia asks if he’s gotten into any colleges, he reveals that he’s been accepted to Cornell—his first choice. Julia congratulates him, and says that she’s hoping to end up in New York, too. Connor says that if she does, he promises to come and visit her. Julia says she isn’t sure if she’ll get in, but Connor tells her to believe in herself.
Things with Connor are different than they were before, but Julia still likes him and he obviously still cares for her. In the midst of all the insanity Julia’s going through, having a kind (and oblivious) friend and outlet in Connor is a good thing—and Julia is, in a way, testing her secret-keeping skill out on him.
As the sun begins to set, Julia asks what happens next. Connor says he isn’t sure—all he knows is that he’s missed Julia terribly. He suggests that since they’re both going away to college soon, they should enjoy their time together without overthinking things. Julia is slightly disappointed, but agrees with Connor’s plan.
Julia and Connor are at a strange time in their lives—they’re both preparing to move on to bigger and better things. Being communicative about their ambitions and their desires to take things as they come allow them to have a freer, more equal relationship, one that’s open and giving even though it’s shrouded in secrets and half-truths. Julia is learning how both of these qualities can exist in any given relationship. At the same time, Connor is content as always not to try too hard. His position is both pragmatic and just a tad lazy and selfish. Somehow in the book he always seems cocooned just a bit in his privilege. That doesn’t make him bad, any more than Amá or Julia are bad for their failures, but it is a facet of his own human imperfection.