Summary and Analysis
The narrative returns to Ronnie and Blaze, who are headed toward the diner to get Blaze something to eat. Ronnie admits to herself that Wrightsville may have some small town charm. At the diner, Blaze asks about Marcus and tells Ronnie that she used to dislike Marcus until a couple of years ago when he was there for her. She also tells Ronnie that when she responded to her old gymnastics coach with a "whatever," he said that was teenage code for "F$%# you."
Ronnie and Blaze then talk about the worst things they have ever done. Blaze admits to using Roundup to destroy a neighbor lady's flower beds. Ronnie initially admits to not talking to her dad for three years, but Blaze dismisses that, so Ronnie admits to shoplifting.
Just as Ronnie steers the conversation to why Blaze did not go home last night, Marcus, Teddy, and Lance arrive. The boys end up eating most of Blaze's food, but Blaze doesn't say or do anything about it.
Ronnie sees that Blaze allows Marcus to treat her like dirt, seeing parallels between Blaze and her friend Kayla back home. Ronnie and the reader learn that Teddy and Lance are brothers who work at the motel that their parents own, the same motel where Marcus lives.
Marcus invites Ronnie to a party that night, and when she does not answer him, he gets up and leaves the diner.
Ronnie's wanting to give up vegetarianism is indicative of her attempts to find her place in the world, trying to establish what her beliefs are and why.
Blaze, who previously mentioned that her stepdad encouraged her to explore college, now shares fond memories of visiting the diner with her biological father. These details demonstrate that Blaze is choosing to ignore positive role models and influences in her life, paralleling the development of Ronnie's character.
Blaze's gymnastics coach had an interesting take on the word "whatever." He seems to have taken a word used solely as a dismissive comment and has extrapolated a meaning that is much harsher; now, his obscene understanding is the meaning that Blaze associates with the word "whatever."
A significant development occurs as Ronnie and Blaze elect to share secrets: Ronnie's revelation that she was twice caught shoplifting enables a jealous Blaze to strike back at her new friend.
Marcus again demonstrates that he is rude, inconsiderate, self-centered, and egocentric. In his world, everything is "all about Marcus, all the time."
Babe the Pig title character of a 1995 movie about a pig that wants to be a sheepdog