Summary: Chapter 53

During the last week of life drawing, Mr. Hrbik meets with each student individually to review their progress. Susie emerges from Mr. Hrbik’s office with teary eyes. When it’s Elaine’s turn for review, Mr. Hrbik praises her progress, and points out a line that’s more relaxed. He then places a hand over Elaine’s, and they kiss. After, Mr. Hrbik takes her home in a taxi. Elaine has sex for the first time. 

Their romance continues all summer. Elaine takes a job waitressing at a restaurant called Swiss Chalet. She moves into an apartment with other girls she knows from work. Elaine only sees Mr. Hrbik twice a week because he still sees Susie. Mr. Hrbik begs Elaine not to tell Susie because she would be hurt, and Elaine enjoys being entrusted with a secret. 

At a French restaurant, Mr. Hrbik tells Elaine that she’s his country, and Elaine realizes she’s sad. 

Summary: Chapter 54

Elaine agrees to meet with Cordelia on her coffee break. Cordelia looks distinguished. Elaine realizes she looks messy in her work uniform and has dark circles under her eyes from staying out with Mr. Hrbik. Cordelia has a summer job at the Stratford Shakespearean Festival playing minor roles. Elaine suddenly feels as if she’s done nothing all year. Cordelia gushes about how the director, a famous English director, thinks she might be up to playing First Witch in Macbeth. Cordelia then brings up the cabbage incident, but Elaine doesn’t want to remember their past. Cordelia mentions that the only thing she liked about those days was shoplifting because it gave her something she could own. 

Elaine goes to see Cordelia perform in The Tempest as one of Prospero’s attendants but cannot tell which attendant Cordelia is because of the lighting effects. 

Summary: Chapter 55

Mr. Hrbik arranges Elaine like he does his models. She catches a glimpse of herself and realizes she looks like a Pre-Raphaelite painting. They go to the restaurant on the roof of the Park Plaza Hotel, which is one of the tallest buildings in Toronto. Mr. Hrbik talks about how he longs to go to America and start working in film. He asks if Elaine would do anything for him, and Elaine says, “No.”