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I Am the Cheese

Robert Cormier

TAPE OZK014

TAPE OZK013

TAPE OZK014, page 2

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Summary

Narrative

Adam narrates as he spies on the Varney house in the town of Hookset. He sees the bike on their front porch, but there is a constant flow of people in and out of the house. Adam is grateful that his headache is gone—he took some aspirin at the drugstore, but he fears it may not have been aspirin, since pills often look alike. He rules out going to the police to recover the bike, as it is too risky.

Junior Varney steps furtively out of the house and inspects the bike. A woman comes out and they fight out of earshot. Adam observes Junior Varney turn his back on his mother, which angers Adam. Adam starts to miss his own mother. Junior's mother goes inside and Junior rides the bike around to the back of the house. Adam confronts him and demands his bike back. Junior says he bought it that day, so Adam tries to grab it from him. He drops his package and the two wrestle. Junior pushes Adam down, but Adam trips him and Junior lands on the concrete. Adam takes the bike and his package and rides away. Toward Rutterburg

TAPE OZK014

A dialogue between Adam and Brint occurs because Adam cannot sleep. Adam explains that he does not know whether to trust him—he is not even sure if Brint is a doctor, and wonders why Brint seems more concerned with certain information than with Adam's well-being. Brint defends himself, repeating that he is only the guide, and that the information has led to great memory recovery. Adam says he is grateful for Brint's help, but that there are still many blank spots. Adam still does not know why he is here. He decides to talk about Amy. Brint asks if he ever talked about his secret past with her, and Adam says no.

A third-person narrator reveals how Adam desperately wanted to tell Amy the Farmers' secret past and how it made him sad that he could not tell her anything. One day, after returning from a failed "Number" at a church wedding, Adam comes home to his mother, who tells him that Grey called about an emergency.

Brint tells Adam that the sessions are important because they reveal blank spots like the one about the family emergency. Brint says that Adam cannot withhold these memories any longer—he must remember it all. Adam feels the memories bursting inside him, but hesitates, feeling that Grey is his enemy, while also knowing he is dependent on him to fill in the blanks.

Adam remembers his frightened mother's telling him that they have to leave town for a few days. One of Grey's men had overheard a conversation on a wiretap in which Monument and tomorrow's date were mentioned. Adam's mother tells him that they had evacuated Monument on two other occasions, when Adam was younger. Adam's father comes in and, in case of a wiretap in the living room, enthusiastically talks about their upcoming vacation and suggests they find a motel. His face, however, expresses sadness and fatigue.

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