If I Stay

Mia Hall Character Analysis

Mia Hall is the seventeen-year-old protagonist of If I Stay, and the novel is told from her point of view. A passionate and talented cello player from Oregon, Mia is likely Juilliard-bound after she graduates from high school. She is close with her Mom, Dad, and eight-year-old brother Teddy, as well as with her Gran and Gramps, her father’s parents who live nearby. Quiet but driven, Mia spends most of her time with her family, her boyfriend, Adam, and best friend, Kim. Music is very important to Mia, as her parents were members of the punk rock scene in their younger days, and she grew to have a deep love of classical music. She often feels out of place in her family, though, due to her commitment to classical music rather than rock.

Mia Hall Quotes in If I Stay

The If I Stay quotes below are all either spoken by Mia Hall or refer to Mia Hall. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Sacrifice and Choice Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Speak edition of If I Stay published in 2010.
7:09 AM Quotes

Just like with Shooting Star’s meteoric rise, my admission to Juilliard—if it happens—will create certain complications, or, more accurately, would compound the complications that have already cropped up in the last few months.

Related Characters: Mia Hall (speaker), Adam Wilde
Page Number: 7
Explanation and Analysis:
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I know it’s silly but I have always wondered if Dad is disappointed that I didn’t become a rock chick. I’d meant to. Then, in third grade, I’d wandered over to the cello in music class—it looked almost human to me. It looked like if you played it, it would tell you secrets, so I started playing. It’s been almost ten years now and I haven’t stopped.

Related Characters: Mia Hall (speaker), Denny Hall (Dad)
Related Symbols: The Cello, Punk Rock and Classical Music
Page Number: 8
Explanation and Analysis:

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I’d actually rather go off with my family. This is another thing you don’t advertise about yourself, but Adam gets that, too.

Related Characters: Mia Hall (speaker), Adam Wilde
Page Number: 10
Explanation and Analysis:

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8:17 AM Quotes

As usual, there is a battle for stereo dominance. Mom wants NPR. Dad wants Frank Sinatra. Teddy wants SpongeBob SquarePants. I want the classical-music station, but recognizing that I’m the only classical fan in the family, I am willing to compromise with Shooting Star.

Related Characters: Mia Hall (speaker), Kat Hall (Mom), Denny Hall (Dad), Teddy Hall
Related Symbols: Punk Rock and Classical Music
Page Number: 13
Explanation and Analysis:
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9:23 AM Quotes

Am I dead? I actually have to ask myself this.

Related Characters: Mia Hall (speaker)
Page Number: 19
Explanation and Analysis:
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Sometimes I did feel like I came from a different tribe. I was not like my outgoing, ironic dad or my tough-chick mom. And as if to seal the deal, instead of learning to play electric guitar, I’d gone and chosen the cello.

Related Characters: Mia Hall (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Cello, Punk Rock and Classical Music
Page Number: 23
Explanation and Analysis:

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I was still scared, but it was somehow comforting to think that maybe stage fright was a trait I’d inherited from Dad; I wasn’t just some foundling, after all.

Related Characters: Mia Hall (speaker), Denny Hall (Dad)
Page Number: 26
Explanation and Analysis:
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10:12 AM Quotes

“I’m obsessed with music and even I don’t get transported like you do.”

Related Characters: Adam Wilde (speaker), Mia Hall
Page Number: 39
Explanation and Analysis:

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12:19 PM Quotes

A small part of me felt like even applying was some kind of betrayal. Juilliard was in New York. Adam was here.

Related Characters: Mia Hall (speaker), Adam Wilde
Page Number: 48
Explanation and Analysis:

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When we got back home, Gramps dropped me off and enveloped me in a hug. Normally, he was a handshaker, maybe a back-patter on really special occasions. His hug was strong and tight, and I knew it was his way of telling me that he’d had a wonderful time. “Me, too, Gramps,” I whispered.

Related Characters: Mia Hall (speaker), Gramps
Page Number: 51
Explanation and Analysis:
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.
4:47 PM Quotes

I didn’t mind. I was excited about a baby. And I knew that Carnegie Hall wasn’t going anywhere. I’d get there someday.

Related Characters: Mia Hall (speaker), Teddy Hall
Page Number: 86
Explanation and Analysis:

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5:40 PM Quotes

“Mia, Mia, Mia,” he said, stroking the tendrils of my hair that had escaped from the wig. “This is the you I like. You definitely dressed sexier and are, you know, blond, and that’s different. But the you who you are tonight is the same you I was in love with yesterday, the same you I’ll be in love with tomorrow. I love that you’re fragile and tough, quiet and kick-ass. Hell, you’re one of the punkest girls I know, no matter who you listen to or what you wear.”

Related Characters: Adam Wilde (speaker), Mia Hall
Page Number: 100
Explanation and Analysis:

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7:13 PM Quotes

“Look, I accept Adam because you love him. And I assume he accepts me because you love me. If it makes you feel any better, your love binds us. And that’s enough. Me and him don’t have to love each other.”

Related Characters: Kim Schein (speaker), Mia Hall, Adam Wilde
Page Number: 116
Explanation and Analysis:

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9:06 PM Quotes

And that’s how I know. Teddy. He’s gone, too.

Related Characters: Mia Hall (speaker), Teddy Hall
Page Number: 152
Explanation and Analysis:

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When Teddy slid out, he was head up, facing the ceiling, so that the first thing he saw was me.

Related Characters: Mia Hall (speaker), Teddy Hall
Page Number: 158
Explanation and Analysis:

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10:40 PM Quotes

“In my ideal scenario, my bighearted pushover husband and I die quickly and simultaneously when we’re ninety-two years old…Mia plays at our funeral. If, that is, we can tear her away from the New York Philharmonic.”

Related Characters: Kat Hall (Mom) (speaker), Mia Hall, Denny Hall (Dad)
Page Number: 173
Explanation and Analysis:

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Dad was wrong. It’s true you might not get to control your funeral, but sometimes you do get to choose your death.

Related Characters: Mia Hall (speaker), Denny Hall (Dad)
Page Number: 173
Explanation and Analysis:
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2:48 AM Quotes

Sleep without dreams. I’ve heard people talk about the sleep of the dead. Is that what death would feel like? The nicest, warmest, heaviest never-ending nap? If that’s what it’s like, I wouldn’t mind. If that’s what dying is like, I wouldn’t mind at all.

Related Characters: Mia Hall (speaker)
Page Number: 179
Explanation and Analysis:

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“It’s okay,” he tells me. “If you want to go. Everyone wants you to stay. I want you to stay more than I’ve ever wanted anything in my life…But that’s what I want and I could see why it might not be what you want. So I just wanted to tell you that I understand if you go. It’s okay if you have to leave us. It’s okay if you want to stop fighting.”

Related Characters: Gramps (speaker), Mia Hall
Page Number: 181
Explanation and Analysis:

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4:57 AM Quotes

Something had happened to my playing in that audition; I had broken through some invisible barrier and could finally play the pieces like I heard them being played in my head, and the result had been something transcendent: the mental and physical, the technical and emotional sides of my abilities all finally blending.

Related Characters: Mia Hall (speaker)
Page Number: 200
Explanation and Analysis:
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“…I do know that if you want to stay and be with him, I’d support that, though maybe I’m only saying that because I don’t think you’d be able to turn down Juilliard. But I’d understand if you chose love, Adam love, over music love. Either way you win. And either way you lose. What can I tell you? Love’s a bitch.”

Related Characters: Kat Hall (Mom) (speaker), Mia Hall, Adam Wilde
Page Number: 211
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

5:42 AM Quotes

So I played. And even though you wouldn’t think it, the cello didn’t sound half bad with all those guitars. In fact, it sounded pretty amazing.

Related Characters: Mia Hall (speaker), Adam Wilde, Denny Hall (Dad)
Related Symbols: The Cello, Punk Rock and Classical Music
Page Number: 227
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

7:16 AM Quotes

“I can lose you like that if I don’t lose you today. I’ll let you go. If you stay.”

Related Characters: Adam Wilde (speaker), Mia Hall
Page Number: 231
Explanation and Analysis:
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Yo-Yo Ma continues to play, and it’s like the piano and cello are being poured into my body, the same way that the IV and blood transfusions are. And the memories of my life as it was, and the flashes of it as it might be, are coming so fast and furious. I feel like I can no longer keep up with them but they keep coming and everything is colliding, until I cannot take it anymore. Until I cannot be like this one second longer.

Related Characters: Mia Hall (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Cello, Punk Rock and Classical Music
Page Number: 232
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Mia Hall Character Timeline in If I Stay

The timeline below shows where the character Mia Hall appears in If I Stay. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
7:09 AM
Love, Family, and Relationships Theme Icon
One winter morning, seventeen-year-old Mia wakes up to find snow covering the front lawn of her family’s Oregon home. When... (full context)
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When Mia’s Mom asks if she would like more coffee, Mia mentions that she is considering going... (full context)
8:17 AM
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The family piles into their old Buick, and Mia’s Dad begins to drive them to Willow and Henry’s house. Though Dad used to be... (full context)
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...on the radio: Mom wants NPR, Dad wants Frank Sinatra, Teddy wants Spongebob SquarePants, and Mia wants to listen to classical music. To compromise, Teddy is allowed to use the Discman... (full context)
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Mia suddenly wakes up to find the family car “eviscerated,” even as the radio somehow continues... (full context)
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Mia pinches herself while looking at her body in the car, but feels nothing. She attempts... (full context)
9:23 AM
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Mia, in a panic, asks herself whether or not she is dead, and thinks she must... (full context)
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...cars, and one woman throws up at the sight of the carnage, while others pray. Mia is convinced she’s dead because, given her injuries, she should be in agony. But she... (full context)
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In the first flashback of the novel, Mia remembers herself at age ten, when she first fell in love with the cello. Her... (full context)
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Despite their initial incredulousness, Mia’s parents supported her musical talents, and ensured that she was always able to study the... (full context)
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Mia recalls her first recital, years before she ever worked with Professor Christie, when she was... (full context)
10:12 AM
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When Mia’s ambulance arrives at the hospital, doctors frantically work her on to keep her stable enough... (full context)
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While on the helicopter, Mia recalls how her best friend Kim, an aspiring photographer, once accompanied her uncle on a... (full context)
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In a flashback, Mia recalls being asked by Adam if she has “ever heard of this Yo-Yo Ma dude”... (full context)
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...he has two extra tickets to a Yo-Yo Ma concert in Portland that Friday, and Mia agrees to go with him, unsure if it is a date. When Adam holds her... (full context)
12:19 PM
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When Mia arrives at the Portland hospital, she is rushed into surgery to be treated for a... (full context)
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As the operation wears on, Mia wonders what the limitations of her state are. She attempts to walk through a wall,... (full context)
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In a flashback, Mia recalls that it was Gran’s idea that she audition for Juilliard. An independent woman from... (full context)
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Gran had planned to take Mia to her Juilliard audition in San Francisco herself, but she sprained her ankle at the... (full context)
3:47 PM
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Mia is moved from the recovery room and into the intensive-care unit. She is plugged into... (full context)
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In a flashback, Mia recalls that she and Adam did not transition from friends to boyfriend and girlfriend as... (full context)
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Mia notes that had it not been for Adam’s warm relationship with her family, their romance... (full context)
4:39 PM
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Many of Mia’s relatives, as well as her best friend Kim and Kim’s mother Mrs. Schein, arrive at... (full context)
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In a flashback, Mia remembers how she and Kim hated each other when they first met in middle school.... (full context)
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After the fight between Mia and Kim, Mrs. Schein, Kim’s overprotective mother, would not allow Kim to visit Mia’s house.... (full context)
4:47 PM
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In a flashback, Mia remembers being snuck into a casino by her Mom and then watching her Mom gamble... (full context)
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A social worker acts as the link between Mia’s fluctuating condition and her waiting family members. She informs Mia’s relatives that while she is... (full context)
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Though Mia knows Gran and Gramps to be tough people, both of them pause when they see... (full context)
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In a flashback, Mia recalls that while neither she nor her brother, Teddy, were planned pregnancies, her parents never... (full context)
5:40 PM
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After visiting Mia in the ICU, Gran and Gramps discuss whether it is true that Mia will be... (full context)
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In a flashback, Mia remembers Adam showing her a Mozart Halloween costume he spent $100 putting together. At the... (full context)
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Mia decides to follow Mom’s advice of “Fake it til’ you make it,” and dress up... (full context)
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After the show, Mia asks Adam if he prefers her punk-rock persona to her quiet classical music personality. Adam... (full context)
7:13 PM
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Much to Mia’s relief, Adam finally arrives at the hospital, accompanied by members of Shooting Star. From the... (full context)
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Mia notices the late hour, and realizes that Shooting Star will probably not be playing their... (full context)
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Unfortunately, when Adam and Kim reach the ICU to see Mia, they are denied entry to see her because they are not “immediate family.” While Mia... (full context)
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In a flashback, Mia remembers how she and Kim developed a theory that everything in the world can be... (full context)
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Though Adam fits right in with Mia’s family once they begin dating, Mia is upset when he and Kim do not become... (full context)
8:12 PM
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Mia comes to understand the terms of her out-of-body condition, in that she can press elevator... (full context)
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Mia searches the hospital to find Adam and Kim again, and discovers them looking for nurse... (full context)
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In a flashback, Mia remembers that when she began to play the cello, she noticed how different it was... (full context)
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When she arrives at the camp on Vancouver Island three months later, Mia is miserable at first, since she doesn’t know anyone. However, she soon makes friends with... (full context)
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Mia is kept busy all day at camp playing music in the context of an orchestra,... (full context)
9:06 PM
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Mia then hears a raspy, familiar voice, and realizes it belongs to Brooke Vega, the lead... (full context)
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...into Willow, who has come from the hospital where she works to the hospital where Mia is being treated. As a nurse, she is able to convince the guards to let... (full context)
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Mia recalls that when Willow began to date Henry, her Dad’s band-mate, Henry was a “total... (full context)
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In a flashback, Mia remembers how on the day her Mom’s water broke with Teddy, she still insisted going... (full context)
10:40 PM
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Mia runs through the hospital, distraught after realizing Teddy has died. She then goes back to... (full context)
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Mia recalls other people in her life who have died, such as her Great-Aunt Glo, who... (full context)
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When Kerry dies, Mia, her family, Adam, Willow, and Henry drive several hours to Kerry’s hometown to attend his... (full context)
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Mia muses that to some extent, her Dad was wrong—in Mia’s scenario, she does seem to... (full context)
2:48 AM
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After several hours in surgery, Mia’s body is returned to the ICU in stable condition. Willow convinces the nurses to let... (full context)
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As Mia listens to Gran drone on, she thinks about how nice it would be to fall... (full context)
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Eventually Gran and Willow leave the ICU, leaving Mia with Gramps, who cries over Mia’s body. He speaks to her body, telling her that... (full context)
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In a flashback, Mia recalls that prior to Teddy’s birth, Dad’s band was fairly popular in college towns across... (full context)
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Meanwhile, Gramps is upset at Dad’s transformation into a more parental figure for reasons Mia can’t figure out. Gramps finally explains that he misses the music Dad used to write,... (full context)
4:57 AM
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Mia mulls over the lyrics her father wrote years ago, meditating in particular on the lyric... (full context)
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Meanwhile, Willow convinces the head nurse to allow Adam to visit Mia. Fatigued from the surgery, Mia (the out-of-body Mia) is unable to leave the room, despite... (full context)
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Nurse Ramirez leaves Adam and Mia alone in the room. While Adam is initially in shock when he sees the state... (full context)
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In a flashback, Mia recalls that before Adam, she never expected to fall in love. She and Kim always... (full context)
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However, Mia recalls fighting with Adam more than ever that past fall, usually due to the tension... (full context)
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After Mia aces the Juilliard audition, she first tells Adam she just did “okay,” then changes her... (full context)
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Mia and Adam try to diffuse the tension by joking about Mia going to a local... (full context)
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But Mom recognizes that Mia seems upset. They discuss Mia’s worry about the future of her relationship with Adam. Mom... (full context)
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In another flashback, Mia recalls the last time she and Adam discussed the future of their relationship, on Adam’s... (full context)
5:42 AM
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Adam leaves Mia’s hospital room abruptly, telling Nurse Ramirez that he has forgotten something and will return shortly.... (full context)
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Mia wonders what death would feel like—whether it will be a whole lot of nothingness, or... (full context)
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Kim ends her story to Mia about Brooke Vega’s distraction and the security guard by noting, “going to jail would be... (full context)
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As Kim describes being saved from jail by Willow, Mia imagines Kim and Willow becoming close friends, and meeting every so often to remember Mia... (full context)
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In a flashback, Mia recalls an impromptu Labor Day party hosted by her family, attended by about twenty of... (full context)
7:16 AM
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It’s finally morning, and doctors are evaluating Mia’s body. Mia is tired, and hopes it will all be over soon. Kim has left,... (full context)
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Adam soon comes and collapses into a chair next to Mia’s bed. He has clearly been crying, which Mia has only seen him do in moments... (full context)
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Adam puts headphones around Mia’s ears, and plays Yo-Yo Ma’s Andante con moto e poco rubato. Mia is hit with... (full context)
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Mia concentrates on the feeling of Adam’s hand in hers. She summons all the love she... (full context)