Summary: Chapter 46

Elaine starts avoiding Cordelia, although Elaine doesn’t understand why. When they walk home together, Cordelia talks a lot, pausing occasionally to ask what’s going on with Elaine. Elaine always replies that nothing is wrong. Cordelia jokingly asks Elaine what she thinks of her, and Elaine’s response to this is also to say that she thinks nothing of Cordelia. Cordelia continues to fail classes. Eventually, Cordelia’s parents move her to another school.

Elaine takes her grade thirteen exams. While drawing diagrams for the biology section, she realizes that she will be a painter, not a biologist.

Not long after exams, Cordelia asks Elaine to visit her. Cordelia speaks to Elaine in the same overly chipper voice she uses on boys. Her parents have gotten her a tutor to help her with her summer courses, which means Cordelia failed her year again. Cordelia brags about how she distracts her tutor from studying. Elaine admonishes Cordelia that she has to do something, although she knows Cordelia will never have to earn a living because of her family’s wealth. Cordelia believes that if she goes to university, she’ll end up like her tutor. 

Cordelia mentions the cabbage disaster at the production of Macbeth and begins reminiscing about the past. Elaine becomes desperate to end the conversation before Cordelia takes her memory back any further and makes excuses to leave. 

Summary: Chapter 47

In the present, Elaine waits for Jon to arrive for the lunch they’ve planned. He arrives late, and the two fall into a pattern of gentle ribbing. Jon tells Elaine that she looks well for having sold out, and Elaine mocks his film prop career. Elaine brings up the harsh newspaper write up, but Jon doesn’t see it as harsh. Elaine remembers the way they used to throw things at each other, but with their current distance, she can now feel fondness for Jon. Jon reveals that his new wife has left him and admits some responsibility for it. The two reminisce about an incident that landed Elaine in the hospital that neither of them will take responsibility for. Elaine wonders why it’s easier for her to forgive men than women. 

As she leaves Jon, Elaine remembers a painting she did called Falling Women. She used to think of fallen women as women who hurt themselves on men, as if the men were a rock the women tripped over. The painting depicts women falling off a bridge into a ravine, in which Elaine imagines men that lurk. 

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