Sweet Valley High #41: Outcast
The Big Deal: None, everyone is too depressed.
Everyone in Sweet Valley is mourning Regina Morrow. The twins’ parents have a family meeting, for which Steve even comes home from college, and the ghostwriter takes a stab at writing a scene with an important message about drugs. It’s pretty weak though, with Alice asking the kids to come to her if they ever think about using drugs and Ned vaguely saying Regina had “other options” if she didn’t want to talk to her parents. Jessica expresses her hatred for Molly Hecht and blames her for Regina’s death, but Ned and Alice tell her it was Regina’s choice to do the cocaine, it just happened to be at Molly’s party. But everyone is blaming Molly, including Molly herself. Even her parents blame her, and that’s how we know they aren’t up to Wakefield standard and are probably the reason Molly does drugs to begin with. Also, they’re divorced, so that’s a double whammy. Molly asks if she can transfer schools, but her parents think she deserves whatever her classmates dish out.
Jessica wants to do something special in Regina’s memory. She comes up with the idea of a scholarship that can be given out every year to someone who overcomes a disability. She gets all the Pi Betas on board and everyone starts talking about ways they can raise money. Liz is bursting with pride for her sister. Of course, once Jessica starts trying to do some actual planning she gets overwhelmed, but not to worry! Ned offers to administer the fund for her so she just has to hand over the money when she gets it. Incidentally, Ned makes this offer after the whole family has enjoyed a feast of Chinese food. We have been told numerous times that Ned is “allergic” to Chinese food (though how that happens, I have no idea), but the writer makes a point of making sure we know he’s eating it, too. Whatever.
Molly’s having a rough time. She tries to talk to Liz but gets the cold shoulder. Then she goes to the cemetery and thinks maybe she can apologize to Regina, but Nicholas is there and he screams at her to get lost. Feeling hopeless, Molly goes home. Then Buzz, the drug dealer who brought the cocaine to the party, calls and actually offers comfort. He wants to meet Molly at Kelly’s that night and Molly is happy to accept. What she doesn’t know is that Buzz just needs money so he can get out of town. The police are still looking for him. Liz feels bad for shunning Molly and decides to call Justin Belson, the guy who took Regina to the party but who nobody’s mad at for some reason, and asks him to be a friend to Molly. Justin tells Liz he doesn’t want anything to do with Molly. He stopped hanging out with her when she got into the hardcore drugs and he doesn’t feel like it would be healthy for him to be her friend. Liz is disappointed in him. Ugh, you be friends with her then, yabitch.
Molly meets Buzz at Kelly’s as planned. Feeling drunk from the one beer she’s had (and I thought she was hardcore), Molly lets Buzz make out with her and then get her stoned. Then Buzz tells her he’s running away and wants her to come with him. She’s got a couple thousand dollars in a savings account and she tells Buzz she’ll withdraw it and meet him at Kelly’s again the next night.
The next morning, Nicholas shows up at the Wakefields’ and offers to drive Liz to school because he wants to talk to her. He tells her how mean he was to Molly at the cemetery and asks Liz to tell her he’s sorry if she sees her. Liz agrees and they both talk about how wrong they’ve been to treat Molly so badly. But when Liz gets to school she can’t bring herself to say anything to Molly. She still thinks Justin should be her friend, so she finds him and tries to talk to him about it again. He finally relents and says he’ll think about it. Then Liz decides to find Molly and finally talk to her. She stops by Jessica’s table at lunch to ask if anyone’s seen her. Jessica, Lila and Cara are appalled that Liz is going to apologize to “Regina’s murderer,” but Cara tells her she overheard Molly asking someone about buses running past the bank. Liz shows up at the bank right after Molly withdraws $2,300. Liz tells Molly she wants to talk, but Molly doesn’t want to hear anything Liz has to say and tells her to “take your talking and shove it.” Nice. Liz gives up and goes back to school. Justin decides Liz was right and he cuts his afternoon classes to try to find Molly and talk to her. Chrome Dome finds him skulking outside Molly’s last period classroom. Just then the bell rings and Justin sees Liz coming toward him, but then Jessica comes along and distracts her. Before she has a chance to get rid of her, Chrome Dome whisks Justin off to detention.
Liz and Jessica are in the newspaper office writing an article together about Regina’s memorial scholarship when Penny, Olivia and Mr. Collins come in. They all love Liz’s article and it gets them talking about Molly. Mr. Collins agrees with Liz that they’ve all been too hard on her. Something he says finally makes sense to Jessica and she decides not to hate her anymore. Penny thinks Liz should write another article about how everyone should help anyone who’s on drugs get off them.
That night, Justin is sitting around worrying about Molly. He calls Liz and they decide to go to her house and talk to her. When they get there, they see Molly getting into her mother’s car with a knapsack. They follow her to Kelly’s, where she meets Buzz and gets into his car. Liz goes to the payphone and calls the police to tell them the drug dealer they’re looking for is heading south on Route 7. Justin follows them. He passes Buzz’s car and slams on his brakes, forcing Buzz to stop. Justin pleads with Molly not to throw away her life. Buzz is pissed and tries to pull Molly back toward his car, but she’s seen the light and doesn’t want to go. So Buzz tries to take her bag because he needs her money. Justin shoves him and Buzz threatens him with a knife. Justin beats him with a stick and knocks him out. Then the police come and everything is okay again. Molly vows to turn over a new leaf.
Setup for the next book: Sandy Bacon is secretly dating a Mexican kid named Manuel and everyone cares for some reason.
Buzz…pulled aside the fly-specked window shade. Through the window he had a great view of the back of another run-down apartment building. Sagging clotheslines were draped between the brick buildings above the alley.
Buzz must be hiding out in the Martins’ neighborhood.
“I have to find Molly. It may already be too late.”
Elizabeth Wakefield: Queen of Melodrama.
The Cover: I think the real reason nobody likes Molly is because of her haircut.