On Monday morning, Melinda hears all about prom drama. In addition to various scandalous pieces of gossip, she learns that Heather is not in school that day because everyone hated her decorations so much. Melinda imagines that the Marthas are furious. Rachel, meanwhile, broke up with Andy in the middle of prom because he was groping her during a slow song. Afterwards she danced with another boy for the rest of the night and burned all of Andy’s gifts, leaving the ashes by his locker. He, meanwhile, got too drunk at a party and “passed out in a bowl of bean dip.”
Although Rachel may have rejected Melinda’s confession, it is clear that doubts about Andy lingered in her mind on prom night. Melinda’s attempt to communicate was, in fact, more effective than she thought. Melinda even enjoys her role as an outside observer, taking pleasure in hearing about drama without participating in it. The outcome of prom for Andy seems like a comedic comeuppance for him, but this sense of Andy’s arc in the story possibly coming to an end with his embarrassment at prom only makes what comes in the next chapter more intense.
Melinda comments that gossip is the only point of going to class. She imagines high school as “one long hazing activity” during which students prove that they are tough enough to be adults.
Although she is doing better, Melinda remains cynical about high school. Her attitude towards adulthood, however, has become far more positive.