Feverish and partially delirious, Melinda imagines her life as a talk show, and wonders if she was in fact raped. She decides that Oprah would say that she was, because she was only 13, and because Andy put his hand over her mouth; it doesn’t matter that she was drunk. She imagines Oprah’s co-hosts, Sally Jessy and Jerry, sympathizing with her, offering her tissues, and begging her to tell someone.
Much like the poster of Maya Angelou, the imaginary Oprah cast allows Melinda to voice positive things that she herself can’t say. Significantly, the Oprah passages are the first time that Melinda uses the word “rape,” signaling that she has begun to accept and understand what happened to her, and to see it as something that someone did to her rather than something that she caused to happen to herself.
Feeling even sicker, Melinda wishes for a coma or amnesia to get rid of her trauma. “Did he rape my head too?” she wonders. In order to escape, she watches Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and falls asleep.