As Ronnie watches Will play volleyball, she begins to imagine enjoying herself this summer. Ronnie's private thoughts are interrupted by Ashley, who comes over to Ronnie and introduces herself. She mentions the places that Will took Ronnie, making it sound like Will does that with all the girls he is interested in and successfully upsetting Ronnie. Ronnie leaves the volleyball match without saying goodbye.
Back at her father's she begins to pack because she wants to leave, but she realizes that she can't because of the pending charges against her. Will shows up at the house, but Ronnie refuses to talk to him. Instead, she helps with dinner while Will waits outside for her. And he is still there four hours later. Ronnie notices her father reading the Bible again, and Jonah's comment, "How long is he going to sit there?" finally pushes Ronnie to go outside and talk to Will.
In trying to find out what Ashley said to Ronnie, Will reveals that Ashley is his former girlfriend; this is news to Ronnie. Will cannot get an answer from Ronnie and leaves for the beach. As Ronnie watches him leave, she notices a fireball on the beach. Marcus is out there. Even though she is scared of Marcus, Ronnie refuses to back down. She stands in the circle of the porch light and stares into the darkness. When Marcus extinguishes the fireball, Ronnie is nervous that he might approach. But still she stares — defiantly. Marcus decides not to approach the house, and Ronnie goes inside.
Ronnie goes through a few emotions in this chapter. Initially, she is intrigued by her interest in Will, since they don't seem like each other's types. Will and Ronnie are a clear case of opposites attracting, what with Will's determination and Ronnie's stubbornness. She is pleased — that is, until she is upset by Ashley's hurtful remarks. In contrast to Ronnie, whose emotions are clearly on display, her father is more reserved. His comment "if I can" when asked about visiting New York is quite the understatement because he knows that he probably cannot; Ronnie does not understand his remark.