The girls enter the cemetery, still mocking the Smeaths. Cordelia sits down for a cigarette, and the girls stare at the Eaton Mausoleum. Elaine announces that Mrs. Eaton is a vampire, which Elaine knows because she, too, is a vampire. Cordelia tries to laugh, but Elaine continues the ruse in a serious tone. Elaine realizes she enjoys making Cordelia uncomfortable and feels stronger than her.

Summary: Chapter 43

In eleventh grade, Elaine develops a reputation for being mean to other girls, which makes her popular. She believes she doesn’t need to fear boys. Cordelia, of course, is Elaine’s favorite target, and Elaine torments her for everything she does.

Elaine starts dating. She has long phone calls with boys that are mostly silences because these silences allow them to escape from adults and other teenagers. Elaine believes she understands what goes on in boys’ heads and thus can dodge the words like “bitch” or “bag” that they use for other girls. She sees these words hanging around the other girls she sees at school trying to impress boys.

Summary: Chapter 44

Elaine tries to help Cordelia with her physics homework. Stephen interrupts and tells them that the model of the atom is out of date. In reality, atoms mostly contain empty space and only have a tendency to exist. He claims that Cordelia only has a tendency to exist. 

Cordelia also goes out on dates, but she unnerves the boys with her politeness and attention. Through Elaine’s eyes, Cordelia talks to boys like a grownup and doesn’t know about male silence.

A professional theater troupe performs Macbeth at the school in collaboration with the students, and Cordelia manages the props. At the end of the play, Macduff tosses a cabbage meant to represent Macbeth’s head onto the stage. Cordelia notices the prop cabbage has gone moldy, and replaces it with a fresh one. During the performance, the cabbage bounces. The professional actors laugh it off, but Cordelia feels horrible. Elaine teases Cordelia at school the next day.