A Baker's Dozen. That was what was sent to certain addresses due to arrive in multiple areas/doorsteps the following day. Sent by postal service with no return address. As the kids were in the classroom, they had NO IDEA a package awaited them when they got home. The only difference was the absence of student Hannah. The previous yesterday, one hour after school had ended. The first to receive his shoe-box sized package was Clay. As Clay got home and began to open the shoe-box, he came upon a rolled-up tube of bubble-wrap. He then discovered seven loose audiotapes. Since each tape had a Number painted on the right-hand corner with its own number, each tape was front & back (1 & 2 and so on). The last tape was only 1 side. #13.
Clay begins to wonder of why on audiotapes? Thinking no one used them anymore. In search of a player, Clay found one in his garage. It was belonging to Clay's dad. A stereo. (If it works; it works). Clay dragged out a stool, dropped his backpack on the floor and began listening to tape #1.
As Clay began to listen, he began to find out that by listening; everyone had a part responsible for Hannah's demise; including him. Unsure what tape brings him into the story; Hannah promised his name WILL pop-up. She had this meticulously planned out: You listen to the tapes then you pass it on. Clay begins to listen to this in private. Then he began to quit due to his mom walking in. Trying to turn the stereo off before she heard. While yes, it is wrong to lie, sometimes there's a NEED for it. Clay told his mom it was for a class project. Just an instant panic answer. He tried his best to get his mom's attention averted from what he's doing. A History project. After a kiss on the forehead, he is left in peace. When the doors close, he goes back to begin intently listening. A little shaken, he diverts his attention wishing he never seen it. Saying it was easy but, Clay had NO IDEA what he was about to hear. One of the most frightening things he'd ever done. He had to continue on.
Hannah declares that as per directions, if they were tempted to break the foreseen rules, she had made copies of the tapes that were to be distributed in a very public manner if the package doesn't make it through. It was not a spur-of-the-moment decision. They were being watched. Clay hardly knew Hannah Baker. He wanted to. He wanted to know more of her if he had the chance. They had worked together over the summer at the movie theater. Not long before that, they had made out at a party. But never had the chance to get closer. Not once did Clay take Hannah for granted. Clay had thought the situation was a terrible joke at first. Hannah Baker's suicide tapes were getting passed around. Clay began overlooking the situation. Thinking he was involved as a joke. At school, he wondered if he was the butt of an endless prank where he was a victim? He didn't know. Hannah did relay that those who've received the tapes; should've received a map. Clay was indeed on the list.
A few weeks before Hannah had taken the pills, an envelope was slipped through the vent of Clay's locker. It was an envelope that was to be SAVED. It WILL BE NEEDED. Inside the envelope was a folded-up map of the city w/ certain locations marked around town. The methods Hannah used in her tools were learned in elementary school. Clay had kept Hannah's map in his backpack. After forgetting about it for awhile; Clay stumbled upon it. Throughout the tapes, Hannah mentioned several spots around the city for them to see if they wanted more insight if they wanted to know more of Hannah's mystery. After feeling the weight of his backpack upon his leg, Clay found the map at the bottom of the heavy backpack. Listening more . . . . Hannah mentions the FIRST person on the tapes; Justin Foley.
Justin Foley was a senior who was Hannah's first kiss. Her very first hand to hold, but nothing more. An average guy. But, there was something about him that made her want to be his girlfriend. A sense that came through STRONGLY! The previous 2 years when Hannah was a freshman and he was a sophomore, she used to follow him around. Hearing this, Clay wondered when the tape would get to the portion concerning him. Tape 2? 3? Hell, #13? Hannah declared that Justin played a HUGE role in her demise. Whether small-or-HUGE, everyone had a role. Betrayal. One of the worst feelings. NO ONE KNEW just what they'd DONE to Hannah. Clay was taken aback to WHAT?
The summer before freshman year where they lived when they first came to town. That was when Hannah first seen Justin; whom was in love w/ Hannah's best friend, Kat. At the end-of-school dance, Justin & Kat were together. A magical moment between the 2. It wasn't so much of what Hannah said; the meaning was that it had to be said. Hearing this; Clay was wondering What's your point, Hannah? Basketball was when Hannah SEEN Justin playing. Zach Dempsey had come up. The only time Clay seen Zach was when he was with Hannah. The first time he met her. Clay had to think & pinpoint when & where. At first, he thought to throw it all away; the tapes; everything. But, hearing Hannah's voice, Clay couldn't bring himself to do it. And because of the rules, Clay looks at the shoe-box and wondered if Hannah's words & rules were valid about the copies? What If's abound. With the situation at hand, who was willing to test Hannah's bluff?
The party was when Clay had first met Hannah Baker. He thought she was pretty. New to this town, that was what GOT Clay/ There is no better feeling then that to have been GOTTEN! When around the opposite sex, Clay was tongue-tied. But around Hannah Baker, he could be the NEW & IMPROVED high school-er freshman, Clay Jensen. After Kat had moved away before the start of school, Hannah fell in love w/ the boy she left behind. The boy began to fall for her. When around them in school, you want to void classes just to be with them. At Kat's party, everyone's hanging around the patio even though it was the coldest night of the summer. After awhile, Hannah managed to say hello. Leading to a conversation. She left her jacket at home due to wanting her new skirt to be seen. At the party, Clay bent down to tie his shoe during his first conversation with Hannah Baker. Hannah had asked her mom how to get a boy's attention; play hard to get. Sure enough it worked. Zach began waiting around for Hannah after class. Hannah practiced being real calm & confident like she really didn't care. She was cautious. New town. New school. Hannah was in control of how people seen her. How often does someone get to re-invent themselves?
Hannah was excited that Justin was taking down her phone number. along with Justin's interaction with her. From Clay's hearings, he heads over to a friend, Tony's, house for a "project" after this side of the tape ends. While Tony doesn't classify as a close friend, he & Clay would be considered acquaintances. Most importantly, Tony owned a skinny Walkman that still played tapes. Clay took a few of them with him to listen to them on the way through Hannah's old neighborhood. Clay needed room to breathe and take in what he was hearing. What it was that Hannah seen in Justin was the same as the rest of the other young ladies. Hannah goes into the relationship details. By her description of her audio on the tapes, Hannah may have wanted to a kiss. A freshman girl who had never been kissed. He liked her and she was going to kiss him. There is her story. But, there's the other side. A side she begins to tell.
Hannah's first kiss was one of innocence; or that's what she wanted it to be. Innocent. Hannah had taken off her skirt and allowed Justin to filter under her shirt. That was it. But, why the location in a park? Hannah's dream date at the park ventures into a nightmare. Going into detail of Hannah's night. When hearing of their first kiss, it reminded Clay of his in the 7TH grade w/ Andrea Williams, after school behind the gym. Speaking a proposition into his ear, Clay was hard-up for the rest of the day. After the kiss, Clay found he was a pawn on a $50.00 bet. Hannah's first kiss with Justin was at the bottom of a slide in the park. Continuing a canoodling at the park. Afterward, they split up going their own ways. Clay can still see those invited within this situation just as he normally would at school.
Clay wanted to talk to Hannah so many times after Kat's going away party. but was too shy. Watching Justin & his friends, Clay got the sense there was more to Hannah than he knew. Rumors abound overshadowed everything else Clay knew about her. He thought Hannah was too experienced to even think about him. One innocent kiss was wonderful for Hannah. But then Justin began bragging. One thing led to another and the rumor mill began. Trouble is; you can't PROVE a rumor. It wasn't about a kiss; it was about the special memory involved being ruined. One rumor creates a snowball effect. That, for Hannah, is only the beginning.
When Clay gets back to the tapes, Hannah reveals that on Side B, she divulges that Alex Standall was up next. This would be evening around/after dinner. When he first seen the list that was given to him in History class, there were a few names that Clay didn't recognize. Maybe he hadn't met them yet, or wasn't sure he had their names right. But, Clay knew Hannah's name. She was building quite a reputation in a short amount of time. Clay was realizing that Hannah's reputation began in Justin Foley's imagination. Thanks to the teacher approaching, Hannah HAD TO find her name on the list; not even caring about class. Eventually, she found her name. The teacher snatched the list away and Hannah turned forward to pay attention. After getting the nerve to look again, she snuck a peek. A list that depicted the differences between Hannah Baker & Jessica Davis. Clay, himself, disagreed with the list and would've voted Hannah. All the way down.
Clay is listening. Hannah, in audio, had looked over the ENTIRETY of this list. Every single event documented may never have happened had Alex not written Hannah's name on this list. It was just that simple. Thanks to Justin's imagination, Hannah was the perfect choice for the list. A snowball effect. Clay can see that Alex's list was horrible w/ bad consequences that AFFECTED Hannah. Clay begins to wonder what affect he had on Hannah and what views others would have on him? How could his name be on this list? What did he do?
Hannah's old house is flooding Clay with memories of the past. An auto accident had happened in front of her house with a husband, wife & son. The area is just as Hannah described on the tapes. A senior from their school was in the car. Clay shouted for a few of them until his gut told him to stay for an ambulance arrival. Then the husband left to be with his wife. It was then that it HIT Clay of it being Hannah's old house. With Clay in front of Hannah's former home, he goes through and wonders "What If's?" When it came to the list that was passed around, it made Hannah feel as though that list gave people the go-ahead to treat her that way. Ever since her arrival. Hannah rode a blue bike to school with her backpack in tow! Bypassing Clay, he watched her ride down a long path of sidewalk as she disappears. It was amazing how a town can change so much that's been falling apart for years.
Hannah had been viewed according to the list as Best Ass In The Freshman Class. It didn't hurt her; but what right was it for her name to be on that list? She had to dispel what was thought of her due to the list. Clay KNEW what Hannah was talking about when someone had grabbed her wrist and spun her around. He had seen it before. It always made Clay want to retaliate until they let go of Hannah. But, every time he pretended not to notice. They would only be "joking" when he was grabbing Hannah's arm. Staying in Her memory the walk home. First his words - then his actions. Hannah wonders the meanings of words said. What a guy says vs. what he is SAYING! Clay is beginning to understand. He is beginning to see what Hannah means. Opening up a black hole in the pit of his stomach.
The categorical list feels like a given excuse. An exercise for a guy to use Hannah's tip - If you touch a girl, even as a joke, and she pushes you off - leave her the fuck alone. DON'T touch her ANYWHERE! At a friend's house last summer, a game of spin-the-bottle to crack those whom hadn't played the game before. Clay refused to let the game end until his spin landed on Angela or vice-versa. When it came to Hannah, she wanted that to be known. When you hold people up for ridicule, you have to take responsibility when other people act on it. Later on in the night, Clay & Angela made out on the back porch. All because of a list. After Hannah made some clear ups on the list, Jessica was next on the list. This ends Clay's finishing to the 1ST tape. Now, tape #2.
The way to get through these tapes is step-by-step. One foot in front of the other. Things get better or worse; depending on how you see it. Hannah wasn't completely alone the beginning of her freshman year. 2 other freshman whom were both featured in Hannah's tapes, were new to the area. Alex Standall & Jessica Davis. They may never have been close, but they relied on each other the first few weeks of school. Listening to the tapes, Clay wonders if mentioned English teacher, Mr. Porter, had something to do w/ this equation? Clay feels the atmosphere around him swirl. Having to grab onto a tree trunk for stability. He is in the mode of a panic attack. Touching upon his forehead against a smooth back and try to calm his breathing.
When rumors of Hannah's unexplained absence began spreading through school, Mr. Porter asked the class why he kept hearing her name mentioned in the halls? He knew; but wanted to believe otherwise. Staring at Hannah's desk. NO ONE said a word. Then he left. Mr. Porter walked out of class and didn't return for a week. After an incidental meeting, Hannah met classmate, Jessica. Clay had never ridden a city bus before, never had a reason to. Getting darker & colder by the minute.
Taking the bus home at night, the glass may be cold, but resting his head relaxes Clay. He'll just sit & listen to the tapes. Falling asleep in the process. A few months later after Hannah & Justin Foley break up, after the rumors began, Alex began a list. Hot-or-not list. As much as he wants to, Clay wants; but can't rewind the past and prevent Hannah & Justin from meeting. At the beginning with an awkward conversation/introduction, Hannah Jessica & Alex ignited a friendship. Never thinking it would be as it became. Establishment Monet's Garden was their safe haven. Clay knew of it; only being there a few times. Monet's truly filled whatever void needed filled at the time. (Think - The Max from Saved By The Bell or The Peach Pit from Beverly Hills, 90210) The first friend to drop out from Hannah was Alex. Becoming just a Hi in passing one another. Things between Hannah & Jessica began to change fast. Hannah slowly quit going to Monet's as well. Clay makes his way off the bus as he's listening at Monet's.
It was there at Monet's that Hannah was shown a listed presented by Jessica. It was a WHO'S HOT/WHO'S NOT list. Hannah knew what side she was on - according to Alex. Clay had taken a hard swallow when he read; he passed it down the aisle without a thought. Looking back. Clay realizes he should've grabbed every copy he could find and thrown them all away. Hannah seen that she was chosen by Alex to get back at Jessica; but no TRUE intent for HER. Similar to hearing gossip and whether you BELIEVE it OR NOT. When Hannah had moved to town, she thought she had left rumors/gossip behind her . . . .for good. Hannah felt she could TELL the TRUTH; but rumors were against her. When one rumor quells with a previous one, it's even harder for the TRUTH to be believed. Therein lies Justin Foley. It was easier for Jessica to think of Hannah as a bad girl, rather than the Hannah she got to know at Monet's.
Clay remembers a bunch of guys whom were joking in the locker room. Everyone knew what was said. After the crowd cleaned, Alex & Clay remained. Clay did have a tiny bit of jealousy. Ever since Kat's going away party, he couldn't get Hannah out of his mind. Clay didn't want to hear negative of Hannah Baker. Due to Alex's list, Hannah took responsibility where there was NO CAUSE for her to. But all Jessica heard was Hannah taking blame. Therein, Jessica swung, punching Hannah in the face. The scar left on her face Clay noticed at the party. A tiny flaw that he found cute. Moments later, Hannah began to find out. A punch in the stomach and a slap in the face. A knife in her back due to a rumor believed over the TRULY INNOCENT! Hannah wished Jessica noticed the scars she left behind. There was no funeral for Hannah Baker.
In honor of Hannah, Clay considered a hot chocolate. The only coffee shop, Monet's that serves them. But, when getting to the counter and is asked, Clay spouted for a coffee because he's cheap. The hot chocolate is a $1.00 more. Clay pours in half-in-half to coat the bottom of the mug. The rest he fills in with Hairy Chest Blend due to sounding highly caffeinated in hopes to stay up and finish the tapes. He feels in a need to finish them THAT NIGHT! Then doubt intervenes of how. When asked in public what Clay's listening to, he replies with a lie of them being just tapes. He's finding out the waitress was a classmate he shared a class with; wood shop. A classmate Clay doesn't remember. She remembered him as Nice Guy Clay. He wondered if what she was saying would've been a different point of view if she'd heard the tapes? After Hannah's suicide, but before the box of tapes arrived, Clay found himself walking by Hannah's mom & dad's shoe store many times. It was the store that brought her to town many times. After 34 years in business, the owner of the store was looking to sell and retire. And Hannah's parents were looking to move.
Clay was trying to understand what his reasoning's were for trying to connect w/ Hannah outside of school. Looking for answers behind her. The day after Hannah's suicide was the first time Clay found himself at their store standing at the front door. Lights out with a note of CLOSED written in a hurry. After returning a few days later, even more notes were stuck to the glass. On his way home from school, Clay went by the store one more time. The compiling notes were becoming unstuck falling to the ground. Clay simply thought they left without getting things in order. Followed by a fear of what she hasn't said yet, of what's to come, when Clay's turn comes, he knows it's coming and wants it over with. What did he do? Going back to the tapes, thinking it was on mute was really Hannah speaking at a low volume whisper similar to a library, movie theater or church. Clay listens more closer. Sometimes you need to be quiet when you're all alone. Example; Hannah. Hannah brings up Tyler Down.
Tyler is a Peeping Tom. Hannah's trying to understand the excitement of staring through someone's bedroom window. What was Tyler peeping for? Hannah was speaking on the tapes directly from outside Tyler's window. Listing A-4 on a provided map. Tyler had won a statewide contest w/ the lens. The nights Tyler stood outside of Hannah's window, catching her in her natural, unexposed. . . . Clay can hear Tyler's engine idling. Behind her voice, tires roll across the pavement. Tyler didn't stop the engine so, Hannah kept talking. Hearing Tyler's actions. Every story Hannah's telling leaves so many unanswered questions. Hannah's rules were that she isn't allowed to date when the parents are away. The rumors weren't true. Hannah never claimed to be a Goody Two-Shoes. She did go out when parents weren't home, only because she could stay out as long as she wanted. On the night this all began, the boy Hannah went out with walked her all the way to the front door. Waited for her to get inside the door and left.
Hannah knew of a Peeping Tom when someone was standing outside the window she kept open. But she denied it. She still wasn't dumb enough to change in front of the window. She kept precautions of what she'd do in front of the window of a Peeping Tom. She didn't know what to hope for. Hannah figured ignoring him was her best option. Clay thought Hannah should've called the cops. It might've stopped the snowball from picking up speed. Tyler ruined what protection Hannah felt at home by Peeping in. She began wondering the aftermath of when/how. The point was HAD SHE KNOWN! Had she known it was Tyler at the time, Hannah would've gone outside and embarrassed the shit out of him. Hannah thought revenge would've given satisfaction, but it satisfied nothing. She wasn't there to watch him. Spending the evening staring. The more Clay is listening to what Hannah is saying; he begins to sweat. But, he can't stop listening.
Within the silence, Clay realizes how intensely he's been staring at nothing. He's too intimidated to look at the people around him. Figuring he's being watched. Wondering if people wonder why he's listening to outdated audiotapes. Hannah thought maybe Tyler didn't value privacy as much as she did. A table from Clay's opposite side was once seen as Hannah's other safe place. Who was the mysterious girl featured in Tyler's story? He would find out soon enough. At the party, it's dark and Courtney Crimsen doesn't look happy to be there. Nor does she look mad. Why does she look nervous?
Courtney Crimsen is one who seeks attention from the opposite sex. Pictures of her were seen by others; but later posing as though they were meant to be seen. Hannah brought up Courtney on the tapes due to feeling that while Courtney's actions weren't with intent. It was for Courtney to know that her actions affected her/Hannah. With something/someone seeming too perfect; the only problem is BEING perfect. That is why Hannah gives Courtney credit. Everyone will like you and not a soul would hate you. It had NOTHING to do with Hate for Hannah. She, at one point, thought that they were becoming friends. Clay never once seen them hanging out. Hannah seen that she was used by Courtney for a title in the senior yearbook. After Hannah caught onto it and realized it, she watched Courtney doing it to others. Courtney's contribution to the anthology of Hannah's life.
Clay searches the map for the red star at Tyler's house. Clay feels weird about his tracking's. Feeling obsessed. Part of him wants to deny. Looking at it another way, Clay doesn't see an obsession; he sees a means of fulfilling Hannah's last request. Hannah felt used by others and then thrown away. Friendly to get what you want and then completely ditch after you've gotten it. Until the night of the party when Tyler needed her again.
Clay HAD TO walk away from the headphones and the tapes; come back to it later. Taking a coffee break at Monet's for 15 minutes. Getting back on his bike and headphones. The bus is at the far corner and Clay finds an empty seat; looking out the window. On the tapes, Hannah brings Courtney into the mix; beginning at the party. Whenever crossing paths in the hallways, Courtney would go over to someone else; losing more of Hannah's respect in the process. She began to wonder how many people in the hallways felt the same? Courtney was one no one could trust and flirted with everyone. In a way, Hannah felt less than with certain girls around. Clay was wondering why that if Hannah knew this, then why she still went? Hannah's theory at feeling why she was wanted to be seen at the party was due to being pissed at being ignored by Courtney. At the very least, Hannah was hurt; which wasn't good for their reputation. Having to be fixed.
Hannah depicts a location for which Clay finds on the map. D-4; Courtney's house. Clay thinks that the directions and map were enough. He knew he had to see why. Clay needed to understand. Whatever it takes, Clay needed to understand what happened to Hannah Baker. D-4 was only a few blocks from Tyler's house. Hannah wanted to be wrong about Courtney. From arriving to a party together v. getting a ride there. How the party ended; that was a weird surprise. Clay took the bus that neared Courtney's house and further onto Tyler's. Due to parties begging for a police visit, that was why Clay didn't go to many of them. They were so close being valedictorian. One mistake could ruin it all. The party was already in full swing. Football players were collecting money.
Clay doesn't remember any stories of Courtney and football players, Basketball players, yes. Many of them. But, No Football. Courtney wanted to split up from Hannah. Leaving Hannah to herself. After saying the magic words "Goodbye", that was exactly what Courtney meant. An icy chill shoots up Clay's spine. Hannah seen that as Courtney leaving her - Goodbye.
Clay hears his name called from Skye Miller, his 8TH grade crush. From 8TH grade to where they are now, Skye insists on remaining an outcast. She stopped trying to be a part of anything. Clay is almost at his destination on the bus and gets off where he arrives. He heads his way to Tyler's house. Clay knows where it's at; but doesn't have the address. Hannah doesn't provide it on the the tapes. Trying to find the house based on what Hannah said. The journey gives Clay a smile; his first one in months. After finding it, the smile is gone. As Clay gets closer, he can almost picture Hannah beside his window whispering into a recorder. Finding it off-putting that someone is watching. Clay stumbles upon Marcus Cooley from school. At this point, Clay is exhausted. Marcus doesn't answer if he is on the tapes. He didn't need to! Marcus isn't ashamed to be on them. Clay was the 3RD to visit the location from the tapes. They were ALL on the list. ALL of them. They were guilty of something. Marcus wasn't up to anything. It was how Hannah depicted things to be done on the tapes.
Of course, with no answer to what Clay wanted, he thought Marcus was being a dick. They were both on the tapes. After Clay had turned away leaving, he pulled the headphones from his neck and continued to hear more of what is on the tapes! On the tapes, Hannah felt used by Courtney. In Hannah's eyes, that party turned into a night of firsts for Hannah. She felt Courtney was polishing her image. From seeing her first fistfight, it disgusted her. Hannah ran to a bathroom feeling mentally sick at the display. Clay began on the next thing from Hannah's list after staring at her dark, empty house. Hannah felt like she was having a migraine emotionally. In a way, she needed to emotionally vomit her way through. Courtney's reputation was more important than Hannah's. Hannah didn't know if she was seen as a friend or as a charity case. After finding the fistfight over and things returned to normal, Hannah needed to leave.
The outside temperatures continue to fall. Clay tightens his arms as he walks. After approaching the gate to leave, Tyler Down was there fully equipped with his camera. He tried to shield the camera from her view. Trying to hide the obvious. Tyler, himself, is on the yearbook staff. All an aftereffect of someone else's callousness. Beside the pool, Courtney was talking to 3 boys from another school.
Hannah began to socialize & soften. Letting her guard down. She could've been right about Courtney saving an image. Hannah was being passed off and ignored at the party. But what exactly happened Hannah? After speaking to him for awhile, this guy had a confession to make. At first, it seemed like a put-up job by Courtney; but after him overhearing about her, that's why this guy came & found Hannah. This guy stated that he heard Hannah was fun to hang out with. Fun how? She/Hannah began to rebuild her wall back up. Courtney had told this guy that Hannah had a few surprises buried in her dresser drawers; initially setting Hannah up. Hearing this; Clay's breath stops like he's been sucker punched in the stomach. Clay KNEW Courtney had made that shit up. Out of the corner of Hannah's eye, tears began to well up. Tyler Down began to walk away smiling. When asked why did they believe what's been said about Hannah Baker? At first, she was told to calm down. What was said ABOUT Hannah Baker MATTERED! She thought to leave him with a little conversation over by the keg pool; but Hannah had a different idea in motion.
Hannah ran up to Tyler and stood in front of him and sarcastically asked if he wanted a picture? She told him to follow her; grabbing his arm and leading him across the yard. It hit clay that she was talking about the picture from the scribble book. Hannah wanted him to take a picture of her & Courtney. He began to see something in it; Hannah with the back-rub girl. Asking if Hannah was alright . . . her exact quote was "Yeah, no, sure, fine." In the picture, Hannah's arm is wrapped around Courtney's waist. Hannah maybe laughing; but Courtney wasn't. And now Clay knows why. Courtney had only used Hannah to up HER/Courtney's social game. She needed Hannah for an entryway into this social scene. It was then that Hannah discovered and realized she was sick of this town and everyone in it. Clay can SEE where she was coming from because he was seeing the same in Hannah's eyes in his.
The photo in question was that taken from a party with Hannah's arm around Courtney seeming to be having a good time. Hannah corrected them. They were just acquaintances. Sometimes what is seen in a picture are moments that stay forever. Everything about or in the photo was false. Right there in the office, with the realization that NO ONE KNEW the TRUTH of Hannah's life. Her thoughts about the world were shaken. Courtney thought she could jerk Hannah around. Other than the valentine, what TRUE reason did others have to pick Hannah? Other than a rumor? Whomever picked Hannah was probably told to or guilted into it. Clay thought if he had been smart, he would've described Hannah Baker in his questions. Have a SERIOUS discussion outside of school or at their place of employment.
Hannah KNEW of the criticism behind the list. She wasn't setting herself up. But, if she called it correctly, it was an excuse for rumors to abound. For the first time, Hannah seen the possibilities in giving up. She even found hope in it. Ever since Kat's going away party, Clay couldn't stop thinking about Hannah. He was too afraid to find out for sure. Too afraid she would laugh if he asked her out. In the end, Hannah left the office with the survey unsure of what she was. When Clay went into the movie theater the previous summer for a job application, he pretended to be surprised that Hannah worked there. But, she was the ENTIRE reason why Clay applied. On his first day at work, they placed him in the concession stands with Hannah. She showed him how to pump "butter" topping into the popcorn. Hannah stated her way to get customers back in throughout the movie. But, Clay never did that due to it being Hannah he was interested in. The thought of her doing that for other guys made Clay jealous.
After finding out her career answers from a survey, Hannah hadn't decided to find out about the survey match. When no one was in line at the office, she thought what the hell? Hannah's answer from the compatible match was printed on the list. Hannah agreed that it wasn't a bad list, but it wasn't wonderful, either. It wasn't the most scientific of surveys. Agreeing that 2 names on the list matched her fairly well. This is where the person in question is revealing who Tape#3 is about. The guy who paid the $1.00 for it. After asking and seeing him in the office, it was Marcus Cooley. Marcus was whom Hannah was referring. Marcus was one of the biggest goof-offs at school. Hannah didn't take his Valentine at face value due to his humor-ism. She honestly seen him as though he was joking. So, she thought to make him squirm a bit. Play it up. Now it was Marcus' turn to blush. The invitation was to be at Rosie's Diner and Clay knew exactly where it was located on the map. Hannah promised to convey the details the next day. The cheerleader wanting details was Jenny Kurtz. Clay, like everyone else, had no clue of Jenny's connection to Hannah. With every side of the tape, an old memory for Clay gets turned upside down. A reputation twists into someone he doesn't recognize. Clay felt like when he seen a reaction like hers, with Mr. Porter, it threw him back to the moment he found out about Hannah himself. When Clay actually did cry. When instead he actually got angry. If you wanted the FULL Hannah experience, go to Rosie's and see for yourself.
Hannah had never been to Rosie's. A cool, quirky place to hang out. No one went there alone. Whenever Hannah was invited, she always had a prior family obligation. Rosie's always had a mystery about it, and a history among its young locals. Hannah was a little way of Marcus. A little suspicious. She wanted to be able to be SEEN based on HER; not what's heard. SEE PAST the rumors. Alex began hanging out w/ Marcus. Since Alex started the "WHO'S HOT/WHO'S NOT" list and Marcus hung out with him.
Clay gets a call from his mom. While forgetting to call, he can't go home. He had to stay and help Tony with his school project. But, he was almost done with this tape and has one more with him. He asks his mom for a favor. He left some tapes on the workbench for his "project". Clay begins to wonder if his mom knows of what's been going on! Mentally questioning any aspects. He wanted and needed to do this privately. Clay's mom is getting out anyway to shop for his lunch. Leaning into the bench at Tony's, what falls out in his lie is that Clay is at Rosie's. He tried his best to get off the phone with his mom to focus on the mission at hand. Listening to the tapes from Hannah as she makes a valid point to prove hers. As Clay sits at Rosie's Diner, he begins to get Hannah's viewpoint. When you go somewhere to wait for another or a certain party, after a bit and they arrive; that's one thing. As Hannah waited for her Valentine's date, after 15 minutes, you order a shake. Somebody isn't coming. If 30 minutes isn't coming, you dig in then get the hell out of there; which is what Hannah did. Marcus was a complete ass.
The last movie of the night is playing, so the box office is empty. It was Clay's chance, at this theater. to reach Hannah. His chance and Clay thinks he let it slip away. Hannah wonders if she'll ever have control or would she always always be shoved back and be pushed around by those she trusts? Will her life ever go where she wants to go? The next day, Hannah decided to do something in regards to Marcus. She decided to find out how people at school might react if one of the students didn't come back? Clay is listening to someone give up. Someone he liked. As he worked the box office one night, Bryce Walker arrived. Bryce arrived with a girlfriend-of-the-moment. You could tell that Bryce was one who had/used young ladies as an arm accessory. When the movie was over, he leaned against the concession counter, talking Hannah's ear off as everyone else left, due to the girlfriend tearing out of the theater holding her wrist. As Hannah was talking to Bryce, the entire time, Clay was wanting to flip the CLOSED sign. But, it was Hannah's job. After selling his last ticket and flipping the sign over, Clay exited through the box office and locked it behind him. Hannah began cleaning . . . reassuring Clay that she knows who Bryce is. He didn't want to see a look of disappointment or frustration on her face directed at him. Hannah stated something that STUCK w/ Clay even though he tried, "You don't need to watch out for me, Clay." He did and she pushed him away. "Why didn't you try harder?"
After taking in the aroma of Rosie's Diner, Clay sits at an empty counter as Hannah suggested. 15 minute wait. 15 minutes and then order. Something was wrong w/ Clay and his mom could hear it in his voice. His mom sits on the stool next to him and pulls out a menu. Beside her, on the counter, is Hannah's shoebox of tapes. If his mom stayed, Clay was willing to talk. She had NO IDEA of the shoebox. Still under the presumption that Clay was working on a school project. A small mother/son moment before laying $10.00 on the shoebox for her son's shake. Before leaving, she advises him not to be out so long. But it's a hurt smile. 4 tapes remain. 7 stories. And still, where does it get to Clay? Clay's mother wants him to be careful with whatever endeavors he's involved. For which after she leaves, Clay goes back into the shoebox to the untouched tapes. Clay rolls the 3 tapes he's already heard into the bubble-wrap and place them back into the shoebox. Finished. Done. Clay unzips the largest pocket of his backpack and shoves Hannah's shoebox inside it.
Clay gathers the next 2 tapes, blue nail polish labeling them 9, 10, 11 & 12 and hides them inside his jacket pocket. The last tape; the 7TH tape, has a 13 on one side; but nothing on the other. He slips that tape into the back of his jeans. Hannah was talking about the class she had taken: Peer Communications; which was a class of NONSENSICAL PROPORTIONS to which they should've TRULY needed to learn. At the back of the classroom stood a wire book rack. The kind that you spin. At the beginning of the year, each student was given a paper lunch bag to decorate as they chose. Then they were hung to the book rack with a couple pieces of tape. The teacher, Mrs. Bradley, know people had a difficult time saying nice things to one another. so this plan was devised to be anonymously said. If you can't say it to their face, then leave a note. Clay had noticed Hannah had gotten a haircut. In the photo at Monet's, her hair was long. That was how he always pictured it. Even now. But, that's how it was at the end. For Hannah's wonder, what was Zach Dempsey's excuse for what was left for her?
Next thing Clay knows is that Tony is standing beside him. His finger on the pause button wondering if the Walkman was his? Obviously. Clay doesn't say anything, because he could read Tony's expression. It was the same look he gave when Clay helped him with his car. Worry & Concern. Clay KNEW Tony was in his right to ask about the Walkman. Clay refers to thinking he asked if he could borrow it. The feeling that Tony was projecting onto Clay was misdirected for his dad. Tony could SEE and KNEW why the reasons behind Clay's actions. He KNEW! Clay just had to return the Walkman when he was finished. No need to rush. As far as Clay knew, Zach was a good guy. Too shy for people to even want to gossip about. Like Clay, Zach had feelings for Hannah Baker. Clay closes his eyes to picture what Hannah is saying/describing. He opens his eyes to the row of empty stools on his side of the counter. After Marcus had left her, Zach began to sit across from Hannah. She pretended not to notice him due to her heart & trust were in the process of collapsing. That collapse created a vacuum in her chest. Every nerve in her body was disappearing. Hannah sat & thought. The more she thought, connecting the events in her life, the more her heart collapsed.
Clay's eyes began to burn. He reached forward and slid a hand down his frosted milkshake glass. The icy coldness clung to his skin and he used it to cool them down. Hannah sat and thought, connecting the events in her life, the more her heart collapsed. Zach was sweet. He went on letting Hannah ignore him until it became comical. Hannah lifted her head onto the tape and touched the base of her glasses. That was the only sign he was going to get that she was listening. He asked Hannah if she was alright, and she forced herself to nod. She began to mentally wonder over-and-over if that was what it felt like to go insane? Part of her felt she was being hit on. Soon, getting nothing from Hannah in response. Zach left a few bucks on the table and returned to his friends. Clay kept stirring his melted, although there wasn't any left, he didn't want the glass.
Hannah's eyes began tearing up, but she couldn't break herself from her stare. If she uttered a word, she would've broken focus. Meanwhile, Clay kept stirring while listening. Directly in the same spot where Clay is sitting, the worst thoughts imaginable came to Hannah's mind. It was directly in that same spot where Hannah considered what she cannot say aloud. Hannah knew Zach tried coming to her rescue; but that wasn't why he was on the tapes! However long it took for Zach to get the tapes; that's how long his discretion was kept. Clay wonders HOW MANY SECRETS CAN BE HELD IN 1 SCHOOL? Hannah wondered if Zach was dared to ask her out? He told his friends to watch while he put the moves on her. . . .with Hannah hardly responding.
Clay had seen it ACTUALLY happen; someone be dared to ask out another. Someone dared him to ask Hannah out. They all worked together at the Crestmont. He knew Clay liked Hannah and that Clay didn't have the nerve to ask her out. He also knew that for the past few months, Hannah hardly spoke to anyone, making it a double challenge. Due to Hannah's staring gaze, Zach took it into initiative to repay Hannah by stealing her paper bag of encouragements. It wasn't the bag itself; it's contents of what it held gave Hannah HOPE! ANY & EVERYONE were given notes of encouragement for the most MUNDANE things. There were people in class Hannah considered & thought of as friends who would've given notes after she chopped of her hair. When Hannah first walked by Clay w/ her short hair, he couldn't keep his mouth from falling open. And she looked away. Out of habit, Hannah kept up characteristics as if her hair were still longer. It occurred to Hannah that the very day she cut her hair, that was the day she met Marcus Cooley at Rosie's. The warning signs were there. She needed a change; so she changed her appearance. The only thing she still had control over. Looking back, Clay is beginning to see the signs he missed from Hannah. Even a week after her haircut, then 2-3 weeks later, she still received NOTHING encouraging from anyone. It was time to find out what was going on . . . .So, Hannah wrote herself a note. The very next day, the note was gone w/ NO WORD from ANYONE! It may have seemed like nothing to Zach; but Hannah's world was collapsing. She needed those notes. ANY NOTE OF HOPE was stripped from her.
The longer Clay listens to the tapes, the more he feels he knows her. Not the Hannah from the records few years, but the one from the past few months. The Hannah Clay is beginning to KNOW is the one one at the end. The people who passed Hannah in the halls, or sat beside her in class, what would they have done? The day her self-written note went missing, Hannah stood outside the classroom door and began talking with someone she'd never spoken with before. The very next day, Hannah had gone into Mrs. Bradley's room during lunch. She had taken her paper bag off and reattached it with the tiniest sliver of tape. Inside, she placed a little note folded in half. This time, Hannah waited and watched. The perfect setup. She visually caught Zach red-handed stealing HER encouragements. They turned for just a moment to see if Hannah was watching. For just a moment, Hannah was scared. As she stood alone watching them getting away with what they've done, Hannah seen that she wasn't worth an explanation or a reaction. Not to Zach, she wasn't. At this point, Hannah admitted she was at a point in her life where she could've used any kind of encouragement one might leave. Encouragements that Zach had stolen and stripped from her. When confronting Zach in the hallway, Hannah tearfully asked him Why? Clay heard about this incident. He thought Hannah flipped out for no apparent reason, embarrassed herself in the process. They were wrong. There was a reason.
Hannah's parents were in the news every night, warning that if a huge shopping center went up, it put downtown stores out of business, including Baker's Pharmacy. When that happened, her parents became distant. Pressure mounted to make ends meet. When Hannah cut her hair, her mom didn't even notice. But, Clay did notice Hannah's short haircut. With the paper bags hung in Mrs. Bradley's classroom, Hannah wrote a note to Mrs. Bradley that stated SUICIDE was something she'd been thinking about. Not seriously, but in the mind that might escape but ALWAYS returns. Writing the note over-and-over 12x before delivering it. Write-and-rewrite. Hannah was trying carefully never to give herself away. Clay BEGAN NOTICING Hannah's change with her haircut. Averting her eyes in the halls. Careful for signs; but they were still there. Just like that, Hannah snapped out of it; or so Clay thought. A few days before Hannah took the pills, she was herself again. It was so drastic because it had been months since she was her REAL self. Even after Mrs. Bradley brought it up, Zach did nothing to react. The class itself couldn't've helped due to coming with annoyances & pestering. Hannah would've taken in the class discussion of suicide, but for some reason they refused a discussion without specifics. Based on what he was told at the party, Hannah would've wanted Clay to see it. She would've looked directly at him, praying for him to see it. At the end of class, Mrs. Bradley passed out a flyer called The Warning Signs Of A Suicidal Individual. Top 5 included a drastic change in appearance.
When it comes to thoughts we have, whether expressed or not, that is what is interesting and what Hannah loves about poetry. The more abstract. The better. You have an idea of the author's message but you're not completely sure. A metaphor. Hannah hated poetry until she was shown how to appreciate it. See poetry as a puzzle that seeks to be solved. The results can be amazing . . . .and scary. But, it's always deeper than a therapist. Hannah tried it for awhile w/ a couple of days a week. Her first few attempts were subtle. When Hannah reads a few examples on the tape Clay is hearing, there was a sudden deep ache in his chest. Just knowing she'd be going to Monet's to write poetry made the days more bearable. To Hannah, these tapes are a form of poetic therapy. Telling these stories, Hannah is discovering certain things about herself as well as things about those on these tapes. The more connections, deep connections, are linking one story into the next. Hannah was wondering if those listening to the tapes are making the connections she hasn't. Meanwhile, Clay is listening and is barely keeping up. Hannah reassures that when the tapes finish, they will be one tight, well-connected, emotional ball of words. Looking back, Hannah stopped writing in her notebook when she stopped wanting to know herself more.
When Hannah & Clay were alone at the Crestmont, it was easy for him to be himself. When others came around, he cleaned up. He didn't know how to act anymore. In the tiny fishbowl of a box office, Clay's only connection to his co-workers in the lobby was red phone. Whenever Hannah answered, Clay got nervous even if the call was work related. He was always trying to be his best self in the workplace for Hannah. Those moments in the workplace with Hannah Baker made Clay feel so special. Due to the workplace, no one would think of or read into it. Hannah had a bad reputation. A reputation that scared Clay. The truth came to light a few weeks ago at a party. An amazing moment when everything else seemed to be falling into place. Looking into her eyes, Clay couldn't help telling Hannah he was sorry for waiting so long letting her know how he felt. For a brief moment, he was able to admit it. To her. To himself, when he found his courage to tell Hannah, she was gone. With Clay's feeling, he feels so much hate. To himself to be on this list. If he wasn't afraid of everyone else, he might've been able to tell Hannah someone cared. She might still be alive.
Sometimes Hannah would stop by Monet's for a hot chocolate. Sometimes she'd do homework or read. Hannah stopped writing poetry anymore. She needed a break . . . .from herself. After stepping away from poetry, Hannah missed & loved poetry. She decided to go back to it. Using it to make herself happy. 2 women pictured on a flyer at Monet's taught a free course called Poetry To Love Life. How to love poetry, but through poetry, how to better love yourself. Hannah signed up at the public library. When at the poetry class, everyone seemed happy to have her there - to provide the "female teen" perspective. After arriving, it didn't seem like the positivity Hannah was looking for when they were wanting to hear your deepest & darkest. In the end, Hannah only made it through 3 of these poetry groups. Someone else from the group, Ryan Shaver, was in there. Ryan Shaver. The one who released Hannah's privacy. While he may not have seen it as a big deal, Ryan had released and exposed any kind of privacy Hannah held dear to her. Clay is trying to help keep himself composed hoping to relax and stay in check. Emotions taking their toll cause Clay to need water before closing time at Monet's.
After the 2ND week of class, they sat on those library steps, reading some of their poems to one another. Poems written at different points in their lives. Only happy, positive poems; NOT disclosing the painful ones inside. The 3RD week, they took the biggest chance of all and handed each other their ENTIRE notebooks of poetry. That took ALOT of COURAGE for Hannah, as well as it must've been for Ryan. For the next 2 hours, they sat and READ. Hannah felt Ryan's were much DEEPER than hers. AMAZING! Ryan's were beautifully written. As she sees hers, Hannah felt she should've taken the time to choose more emotional words. But one of her poems grabbed him, he wanted to know more. Hannah kept that inside. Ryan wanted to know why Hannah wrote a poem, the poem spoke for itself. Hannah was interested in knowing what he thought it meant. Ryan thought that on the surface, the poem was about acceptance - acceptance from her mother. Acceptance & approval. She wanted certain people - a particular boy - to stop overlooking her.
|Hannah Baker's poem|
Hannah refused to confirm or deny. Becoming a parody in class. Making a mockery of Hannah's pain; hoping to get under her skin. After Tyler's escapade, the school; what was a safe haven for her, felt that way no more. There was no safety in a school where Hannah felt safe. Clay seen the ridicule and felt what Hannah did. He knew how she felt. She was on her own. Very nice, Ryan Dorsey.
Rosie's Diner LOCKED upon Clay's departure. Wondering where to go, Clay hears Tony from his truck. Tony & Clay had known each other for years, working on projects and joking around after class. Throughout their friendship, they've never had a deep conversation. Now, Clay is afraid of having one with him. Tony isn't looking Clay in the face. He reaches out having Clay get in his car. Clay places his backpack, with Hannah's shoebox inside it, on his lap, unknown of where he's going. While driving, he won't face Clay. The moment Clay pulls the door shut, like a pistol to a trigger, Tony tells him that Clay is the 9TH person he's had to follow. He tells him that the 2ND set of tapes were in his possession. Hannah wasn't bluffing. Tony DID have them. What information that Clay is taking in is taking a toll on him. Clay can't look at him in fear of what Tony may already know about him. He can try & deny it, pretend he had no clue of what he's talking about. Tony wondered what tape Clay is on? He stated he was on Ryan Dorsey's tape. A poem. Clay wonders why Hannah gave Tony the tapes. The ONLY thing Tony can say is that Clay is to listen to the next tape. The next tape (Tape#5 Side A) is now at Clay Jensen.
Hannah wasn't even sure how much of the REAL Clay Jensen she got to know over the years. Most of what she knew was secondhand information. That was why she wanted to know him better. Everything she heard - was good. Once she noticed it, she couldn't stop noticing. Overhearing gossip about Clay became a similar distraction. It wasn't anything about Clay. It was just hard for Hannah to believe that someone like Clay was just HONEST-TO-GOODNESS GOOD people. How long could Hannah go on hearing nothing but good things about Clay Jensen? Normally, when someone is on a pedestal, another person is wanting to tear them apart. One fatal flaw to expose your TRUE self. Not with Clay. It seemed as though Hannah set him up as Mr. Perfect only to tear him down. Hannah Baker was the one waiting in the wings for Clay. Waiting for a flaw, according to Hannah, and he found it. In Hannah's DEEPEST heart; Clay DID NOT BELONG on the list. Maybe concentrating on the coldness will help Clay hold it together.
Clay did not belong in the same way as the others. He needed to be there if Hannah was going to tell her story. COMPLETELY! Clay wondered why didn't Hannah just skip him if he didn't belong? He could've been happier never having heard it. Tony knew it would drive Clay crazy not knowing what happened to her. He was right. Hannah wanted Clay to know. While there may have been MAJOR gaps in Hannah's story, some parts she just didn't know how to tell. Or she couldn't bring herself to say it out loud. Events she couldn't come to grips with. What Hannah comes to terms with doesn't diminish everyone else. It magnifies them. At home. At school. When you mess with one person's life, you're not messing with just that part. You're messing with their ENTIRE life. Everything. . . . affects everything. The next few stories are centered around one night. The party. Centered around Clay & Hannah's night. Their night due to all the years they've spent going to the same school, working together at the movie theater, there was only one night they connected. TRULY connected. A night that drags many of them into the story as well. A random night that no one can take back.
For some of them, the consequences may've been minimal. Maybe shame. Or embarassment. But for others, it was hard to say. Hannah wasn't even supposed to be there. Her grades were slipping fast. Parents asked for weekly updates from teachers. When none of them came back with improvements, Hannah was grounded. During one of her Clay moments, Hannah found out that he was going to be at a party. Clay Jensen at a party was unheard of. Clay studies on the weekends, There's a test in most classes every Monday. No one could figure out why Clay was never seen out socializing on the weekends. No negative answers. Just a wonder. Hannah gave a direction of where the party was located. A star on the map in Cottonwood.
Since no one knew exactly where they'd fit onto this list, they'd have to wait until their names pop-up to hear Hannah's tale. The night of the party, Hannah thought it was nice out to walk. Relaxing. A beautiful night out for the first time in months. A night that felt life held possibilities. Limitless. For the first time in a long time, Hannah felt hope. Clay did as well. Forcing himself to that party and ready for something new to happen. Something exciting. Knowing what happened between Hannah & Clay, would he still have gone? It truly was the calm before the storm. Clay would've gone, for Hannah, either way. Even the best moments of the night were affected by 1 incident - in front of Hannah's former home. Sometimes you can't go home again. All you truly have is now. Clay sees it from, not only his point of view, but from others whom experienced it, those listened or received tapes CAN'T go back either. They were FOREVER different. Clay receiving these tapes was Hannah's apology to him. To explain.
The party could've been like any other; except to one thing . . .Clay Jensen. While everyone else seen him as a part of the party, Hannah seen Clay as her reason for being there. With everything going on in her life and in her head, Hannah wanted to talk with him. A chance to know Clay. Clay, himself, was afraid he had no chance with her. Sometimes, in life, Clay was in fear that Hannah wasn't the girl he thought she was. THAT would hurt the most. As Hannah stood in the kitchen, in line for her 1ST fill-up beverage, Clay walked up behind them acknowledging her. When she first walked through the front door, Hannah had caught Clay off-guard. Like a freak, Clay turned around, ran through the kitchen and straight out the back. It was too soon. After the promise he made to himself, Clay began to to back and focus on his personal mission at hand. But then, she walked in and he freaked out. Hannah couldn't believe it. He wasn't there; just out of the blue, there he was. For Clay, it wasn't out of the blue. He paced around the backyard trying to psyche himself to talk to her. After almost missing a chance and beating himself up, Clay walked back to the front door. After being greeted again by the drunken kids, Clay took his shot and went for it. It took him all the guts in the world to keep the conversation going. Guts and 2 Red Solo Cups of beer. Clay did walk up to her with the intention that they'd need to talk. Hannah agreed. Clay offered 1/2 of his drink to Hannah w/ GENUINELY NO ILL INTENTION! Keeping a GOOD momentum going. So, they walked into the living room where one side of the couch was occupied. By Jessica Davis & Justin Foley.
There was room so they sat at the other end and began talking just like that. Clay felt like Hannah couldn't escape her past. Everything Hannah could've hoped for was happening. The questions were personal, but they never felt invasive. Hannah's voice through the headphones come through. She didn't feel invasive because she wanted Clay to know her. Clay just couldn't believe that he & Hannah were finally talking. He loved talking with her. He felt like Hannah could've told him anything. He kept shut gave her space to vent; spill her guts until there was nothing left if she wanted to; but she didn't. Hannah may have wanted to tell Clay everything. But some things were too scary. Some Hannah didn't even understand. Hannah may have thought of venting to Clay was too soon in their friendship. He seen it otherwise. Clay wondered why Hannah chose NOW? Her words now burn into his heart & mind. Clay never explained what kind of friendship would evolve between he & Hannah.
Hannah wondered, how would Clay know they would've been a good relationship? Hannah had already previously seen herself with a life plan of graduating and leaving town. Then, she went to a party. A party to meet Clay. Hannah felt she was/had suffered long enough for waiting so long. Hating herself because it wasn't fair to Clay. Clay seen those tapes as Hannah being unfair. He was there for her. They were talking. She could've told him anything. He would've listened. Due to a girl a drunkin' mess at the party, laughing & bumping into things. Maybe the girl wanted the couch to herself and her guy, so Hannah & Clay left. They just needed to laugh and live to themselves to hear each other. Winding themselves in the doorway to an empty room. Clay remembered everything perfectly; but how did Hannah? When arriving at the party, for the first time in a long time, Hannah was connecting/connected - with another person.
How was Hannah alone? Even though she had Clay, she wanted to be alone. It was what made sense to her. Connecting with someone was thrown back in Hannah's face. Everything seemed good for Hannah, but like a house of cards, one false move could make it break. Clay wouldnt've let that happen. When Hannah would pull the conversation to lighter topics, Clay would make her laugh. Becoming exactly what she needed. So, they shared a beautiful kiss. He wondered what it was for? An amazing moment Hannah & Clay shared. A memory he dearly holds. A moment Clay kept private to himself. That night was the last night Hannah thought what others cared about her. Tony keeps driving as Clay is listening with a muffled scream. As Hannah continued, Clay began to recite that he was So Sorry. Inside, he felt happy & sad at the same time. Kissing Clay made Hannah regret her other firsts. She began thinking Clay was ruining theirs. She put an IMMEDIATE STOP to it. She hid the reason and Clay never figured out why that night.
Hannah kept hearing everyone else in her head. What she saw was in her head. Everyone who caused her to be so intrigued by Clay's reputation - Oh, how his reputation differed from Hannah's. He seen them as the same. She thought that Nice-Guy Clay didn't deserve someone with Hannah's reputation. Clay didn't see that from her. He wasn't like that. What began as messing around, she put a STOP to and asked Clay to leave. When he began to talk to her, she screamed into a pillow. He heard Hannah. It wasn't until then that he seen she was serious. With her face buried into a pillow, Clay got up and left. He was gone. Listening to the tapes, Clay wondered why he left? But, he did what Hannah wanted. He, too, was scared; same as she. After Clay's departure, Hannah slid off the bed and down to the floor. Hugging her knees and crying in regret. She wanted him to go; but she didn't. That was where Clay's story ended.
Clay didn't think his story should've ended there. He was there for Hannah. She could've reached out to him, but she didn't. He seen it as though Hannah pushed him away. He wanted to and would've helped her. Hannah seen it as though after Clay left the room. they never spoke again. He seen as though her mind was previously set. In the hallway at school, he tried to catch her eye, but she always looked away. That night when Hannah got home, she tore a page from her notebook and wrote down one after another. All the names that were in her head after she kissed Clay. At least 36 names. Then . . . . she made the connections. Beginning w/ Justin -then to Alex - to Jessica. Bypassing names that didn't connect. She emotionally went back from anger & frustration w/ all of them to tears. Back to anger & hate w/ every new connection. Then Hannah reached Clay; the reason she went to the party. Circling his name and drawing a line and back. Back to Justin Foley. Soon after Clay had left & shut the door. . . . Justin reopened it. Hannah did say that Justin's name would reappear, He was at the party on the couch w/ Jessica. In a roundabout way, Justin caused a new name to be added to the list. The one who should receive the tapes after him.
Clay's eyes were stinging because he hadn't closed them since learning Hannah cried when he left the room. As Clay is taking in Hannah's words from the tapes physically & emotionally, Tony slows the car and worries of Clay's well-being. He wasn't okay. He truly missed her. You don't know what you got, til it's gone. Clay's voice breaks and in that break comes a flood of tears. Tony gives Clay the space he NEEDS to grieve. He was being there for Clay when a friend is NEEDED MOST! While Tony's was driving, Clay feels like Tony is stalling for time. He needed to know that Clay was going to be okay. Impossible for him to answer. Clay did what she asked and left. When he should've stayed. He needed to hear from someone else that Hannah's demise wasn't his fault even though NO ONE BLAMED HIM! In order for Tony to answer Clay's questions, he drove him to the party house. Soon after Clay had left the party, the couple from the couch walked into the bedroom. Stumbled into. The girl was smashed! Clay had passed them in the hall. One of Jessica Davis' arms were flopped over Justin's shoulders. The other arm groped to the wall to steady herself. Of course, Hannah didn't see them come in. She was still on the floor, her back against the far side of the bed and it was dark. The sofa buddy kept Jessica from stumbling too hard in the nightstand. When she rolled off the bed . . . .twice . . . he lifted her back on. Keeping the laughter to a minimum. Hannah thought the guy would take the girl to lie on a bed and leave. Clean getaway. End Of Story. But, No!
Hannah wasn't Clay's first kiss, but the first kiss that MATTERED! After talking with her for so long that night, Clay presumed it was just the beginning. Something, a spark, was happening between Hannah & Clay. You could feel it between them. With no destination in mind, Clay left the party. Instead of leaving, he began to kiss her. 2 things kept Hannah down that floor at the party. Her alcohol intake made her balance not what it should've been. The other was that Jessica Davis seemed to be completely unresponsive. From what Hannah could tell, it didn't seem to go beyond kissing. One-sided kissing. But, he did NOT take advantage of the situation. He tried to get a reaction out of her. Jessica wasn't completely passed out. He did the right thing. He tucked her in, said he'd check on her and left. While Clay was listening to the tapes, leaving the party, the atmosphere was a misty haze. The guy in question on this tape REMEMBERS this. Hannah would've loved to see what he denies what it was that she witnessed.
Clay wonders what else could've gone wrong that night? Hannah knew that this girl wasn't this mysterious guys girlfriend. He barely knew her. Hannah began to stand up, stabilizing herself with one hand on the bed. The shadow of shoes were still visible in the light coming in under the door. When he left, they took up post right outside. As Hannah began to walk toward the opened door light, halfway there, 2 more shoes came into view and she stopped. Hannah's heart was pounding. The bedroom opened again. But again, they pulled it shut. Hannah remembered it all; even though they didn't. Hannah was silently a witness in tears in hiding. No one heard what Hannah seen thanks to the loud music. Bryce Walker was in that room. Hannah could've stopped what happened. She didn't. She mentally & emotionally had NO excuse. For Hannah, the world did end. But, for Jessica, the world went on. But then, Hannah hit her w/ these tapes. Hannah remembered and could STILL FEEL being there. Waiting for the the closet doors to be opened. To be yanked out of her hiding place. After she came out of it, she wondered what could happen to her. Hannah had been witness to a sexual assault from Bryce Walker on Jessica Davis from the closet. The person in question to which this tape evolves around is . . . .Justin Foley. Justin started an entire chain of events that ruined Hannah's life and was beginning to ruin Jessica's.
Right outside the house, Clay had to throw up. Hanging his head over the gutter. Hannah could tell and seen pain in Justin's face. Tony gave Clay the space he needed. Clay assured Tony he wouldn't puke in his car. Hannah wasn't blaming Justin entirely. She knew that she & Justin both had let Jessica down for not standing up for her. The reason this tape is about Justin Foley is that he knew what they knew. Justin KNEW what happened in that room. That's why. Clay, himself, begins to hyperventilate. Having to keep Tony's truck door open for air. Tony COULDN'T answer ANY questions until Clay listened to the tape in full. How did Justin feel about his friend, Bryce, now? Would Justin Foley be friends w/ that same guy if he KNEW Bryce was a rapist? Hannah felt both she & Justin weren't there for Jessica. They were both at fault. From there, Clay finishes the 5TH tape and onto #6.
Tony had been holding back something he now needs to tell Clay. Clay's stomach is settling by this point. Hannah had gone over to Tony's house. THAT was Tony's chance. Tony seen ALL the signs for Hannah were there then. Clay begins to tell him that he, himself, missed his chance at the party after their kiss. Inside the car it was dark & quiet. Tony felt they all had a little part to play. When Hannah had gone over to Tony's, he was working on his car. Hannah had never gone there before which surprised Tony. She had gone to give Tony her bike wanting him to have it. She was all of a sudden done with it unexpectedly. She didn't have one. Right there, Tony seen it as a sign. Giving away possessions. She thought that if her car ever broke down, she could borrow Tony's. Considering Tony's car always breaks down, he told her that he couldn't take her bike. Not without giving her something in return. The LOOK in Hannah's face, in her eyes, was one Tony'll NEVER forget. They NEVER looked away. Straight into his eyes and began crying w/ tears. Hearing her, Clay felt he should've emotionally done something for her. The signs were all there for anyone to notice.
When asked what Hannah had asked for; Hannah had asked Tony how he made his tapes? He told her of his dad's old tape recorder. She then asked if he had anything to record voices? After finding something, Tony gave it to her UNKNOWING of Hannah's TRUE intentions. She had her mind MADE prior to Clay's asking. Clay KNEW Hannah wanted him to stop her. A few days later, when Clay gets home from school, there was a package w/ the tapes. But, it didn't make sense to Clay. Tony didn't listen to all the tapes like Clay did. He just fast forward to what concerned him. But, that's when he found out that he was given the 2ND set of tapes. After calling Hannah's parents of her whereabouts, Tony finds out that Hannah wasn't at school the next day. Tony left home from school that day early. It took him a few days to pull himself together. But, when he returned; Justin Foley & Alex Standall looked like hell. Tony thought most of them deserved it, so he was going to fulfill Hannah's request. MAKE PEOPLE HEAR WHAT SHE HAD TO SAY!
Tony figured Clay out easy because of Clay stealing Tony's Walkman. With everyone else, Tony had to run his car after the last bell and drive as close to the school front lawn as possible. When he seen whom was next, a couple of days later after Tony knew the last person had heard the tapes; he'd call them out and inform them. The only reason they can figure out that Tony had the tapes was because he had the tape recorder. That was Tony's portion. He helped Hannah with a tape recorder. From then, Tony himself, had to go. His dad was going to wonder if his son had broken down somewhere. Clay began to call his mom informing her of his whereabouts. Tony, who was still with Clay, attested to Clay verifying the reasons Clay had given his mom. After talking with Clay's mom, Tony wonders if Clay wanted to be taken somewhere? No, thanks due to being at the location of the party. Clay TRULY was THANKFUL to Tony for LISTENING to him. For trying to make him laugh on the most horrible night of Clay's life. Making him not as scared to keep listening to the tapes.
After leaving Tony, Clay goes back to listening. Back to the party is where ALL and everyone's stories are connected! After the situation w/ Justin & Hannah, Hannah wondered down the hall and back to the party. Clay sits on the curb a few feet from where he had vomited outside of Tony's car. Hannah had grabbed for the piano in the living room; then the piano bench and sits. She waited to leave; but not right then. Where would she go? She was too weak to walk and/or try. All she knew was that she wanted to get out of there. Just then, Jenny Kurtz, gently squeezed her shoulder. This was where Jenny's story comes in on the tapes. Jenny had asked if Hannah needed a ride home? Obviously, she did. After getting some assistance from her, they began to exit the party. Somewhere in that moment, Clay was walking from block-to-block wondering why he left the party? Trying to figure out what exactly happened between he & Hannah?
Jenny didn't say a thing. Making Hannah feel very grateful. Maybe she'd seen things at the party she didn't wait to discuss. Jenny had led Hannah to her car. Getting her in and belting her in. Then they left. In Jenny's car, Hannah felt secure. The rain outside had brought Hannah into the car. Into reality. Next thing, Hannah knew they were in a car accident WAKING her UP! They were in shock! They had only hit a sign. At first, Hannah thought that Jenny was only worried about . . . .her car; not the passenger. After checking the car and seen no injuries, she tells that she wasn't drunk. That wasn't what bothered Hannah. Jenny had gotten away w/ much more than knocking down a sign. Once again. Hannah could've somehow stopped it. They ALL could've stopped it. The part that mattered to Hannah was a knocked down sign. A sign located on the map. 2 blocks away from the party. On that night of the accident, one of the drivers died.
NO ONE knew the cause of the accident. Not those indeed. Clay KNEW that Jenny & Hannah did. Maybe Jenny's parents; due to her bumper being fixed quickly. Hannah NEVER KNEW the guy in the car. All she knew was that he was a senior. After seeing his picture in the newspaper, she didn't recognize him. Just one of many faces. Hannah didn't know it was a man from her former home. Hannah watched him drive away without noticing her. Some of those on the tapes were at his funeral. Clay knew the guy was driving to return a toothbrush for his granddaughter. Next thing you know, then the police came. The school day was quiet on the day of the funeral. Staff would've remanded those whom attended the funeral. Mr. Porter knew funerals were part of the grieving process. But, Hannah doubted that very much. She could've stopped it. On the day of the funeral, in every class, the staff gave them free time. For the first time, Hannah thought about her own funeral. Hannah could truly picture life and everything moving on without her. But, she couldn't picture her funeral. She couldn't imagine who would be there or what they'd say. Clay didn't know what others thought of Hannah. No one knew how to tackle the conversation about her.
A couple of weeks after the party, Jenny had done a great job of avoiding Hannah. Forget what they did in the car w/ the STOP sign. But, Hannah won't forget. Clay seen that maybe no one didn't know what to think of Hannah due to her not giving them enough to go on. If not for the party, Clay would NEVER have gotten to know the REAL Hannah. He liked her. Maybe even could've loved her. But, Hannah decided not to allow that to happen. At this point, Clay begins to leave from the STOP sign. Eventually making it to a gas station located on the map to alert police of the crash. Hannah was IN TEARS trying to give information to the police. They were already on their way en route. Hannah was in shock that Jenny had already done so. When Hannah went to school, it was there that she received the FULL story. Jenny called the police to report an accident. An accident by a fallen sign, for which Hannah NEVER WOULD'VE KNOWN! After hanging up the phone, Hannah began to wonder the streets some more. To stop crying before she got home. Going home, Hannah couldn't answer the unanswerable.
That was EXACTLY what Clay is doing NOW! Staying away. He wasn't crying the night of the party; but he can barely hold back now. He CAN'T go home. Hannah walked for hours imagining the thick of the night swallowing her whole. The thought of disappearing just like that made her so happy. Clay pops the tape from the Walkman and flips to Side B. 1. Side A is Jenny Kurtz. By this point, Hannah feels she's already given up. No matter what's happened so far, it ALL ends w/ Hannah Baker. Her voice sounds content w/ what she's saying. Before the party, she thought about giving up so many times. Everytime something bad happens, she thought about it. SUICIDE! The anger, the blame, it's all gone. Her mind is MADE UP. The word is NOT a STRUGGLE for her anymore. Becoming even scarier when you feel you MEAN it. She began to think of her options. Pills were her second choice. The next day, Hannah began to get up. Walk to the post office and mail a bunch of tapes to Justin Foley. After that, there was no turning back. When she later went to school, she KNEW it was the last time. Which brings Hannah to her very last weekend. The weekend following the accident. The weekend of a new party. A party she didn't want to attend due to house sitting that weekend. A friend of Hannah's fathers was out of town and she was keeping an eye on things due to there being a supposed rager a few doors down. There it was. Maybe not as big as the last party, but definitely not one for beginners.
Clay thought that even if Hannah might've been there, he still would've stayed home. With the way he was ignored at school, he presumed she would ignore him there too! Hannah had heard of others' bad experiences w/ tequila that FOREVER follows them. While just hearing the word of it, it twisted her in knots. One week was nowhere enough time to get over to the last party. Hearing her on the tape, Clay remembers the last time he seen Hannah. Eventually, there was a time when the party died down. After being shut in for so long, she decided to catch a breath of fresh air from the party. Clay wondered what was it in Hannah's eyes? Sadness? Pain? She moved around him as she tried brushing her hair away from her face. Hannah's fingernails were painted dark blue. He watched her walk down the hallway. Clay didn't care. He stood there and watched her disappear FOREVER! Hannah continued to confess the events of the party. Her plan was to just walk by. Maybe spot someone struggling to get in their car with their keys. Clay began going down to Eisenhower Park, the scene of Hannah's first kiss. Hannah, on tape, began to hear her name from the side as she walked the street. Hannah's name was being called from Bryce Walker whom called her over to the party.
Clay could see it. This could've only ended one way. If anyone can shovel more shit onto Hannah's life, it's Bryce Walker. Clay had seen him multiple times w/ any of his girlfriends; grabbing their wrists and treating them like meat in public. Hannah's body, shoulders, everything was set to keep walking on by. And she should have. But her face turned toward him and just then Hannah seen Courtney Crimsen pop-up next to him. The coincidence was that Courtney used Hannah as a chauffeur to attend a party. Here, Hannah was crashing hers. Hannah KNEW joining them was the WORST POSSIBLE choice. They were all just relaxing a bit. Afterward, Courtney was offering Hannah a ride home. Hannah was willing to forgive Courtney. But, they still needed to hear her out. After hesitating for a minute, Hannah joined them in the hot tub. Seeming so inviting. Hannah had stripped down to her "bathing suit" attire to join. The calming water also came w/ terror. Hannah knew them each well enough not to trust them for long. Clay narrows his eyes as he walks, wanting to completely shut them. He doesn't want to envision anymore of what Hannah is describing. He swings a fist to the side and rattles a rusted down chain-link fence. Shutting his eyes and dragging his fingers across the metal holding tight to the fence and keeps walking forward with his skin sliced open. It was THEN that Clay hears the DETAILS that Bryce Walker violently sexually assaulted Hannah Baker in the hot tub pool. Hannah FOCUSED elsewhere as Bryce continued his violent assault. She continued that until and when Bryce was done, she got out of the hot tub and walked home. The night was over. Hannah was done.
Through Clay's teary eyes, he watches blood squeeze through his fingers. No matter where Hannah wanted to go next, Clay knew where he was spending the rest of his night. Mending the injuries caused on his hands within a gas station bathroom. After reaching the sidewalk, Clay began jogging again. There was only 1 tape left. #13.
Eisenhower Park was completely empty. Clay figured to spend the night to listen to the last words Hannah Baker wanted to say before allowing himself to fall asleep. Sitting on the bottom half of the rocket slide, Clay steps onto the area and onto the lowest level. When he stands up, his shoulders poke through the hole. Climbing onto the first platform, Clay reaches into his jacket and presses PLAY on Hannah's FINAL tape: She was giving life one . . .last. . . try. By this point, the recorder Hannah was using is close to her mouth and with each break in her words. Clay can hear her breathe.
Hannah is giving life one more chance. This time, she is asking for help because she couldn't do this alone. She tried that. Although Clay tried to be there, she told him to leave. Only one person stood between them and the collection of audiotapes:Mr. Porter. Clay thought Mr. Porter couldn't have known this. He & Hannah both had Mr. Porter for 1ST Period: English. Clay thought bringing an adult into this, someone from school, was beyond what he imagined.
Hannah was shoving the recorder into her backpack as she quietly spoke into it. Recording the foreseen conversation w/ the English teacher, but also the guidance counselor, Mr. Porter. Trying to make Hannah feel comfortable enough to open up and talk. Hannah was wanting to talk about everything. Mr. Porter gave Hannah as much time as she needed. Whenever she was ready. Her voice was shaky. She didn't know where to begin first or how to sum it up. Mr. Porter just wanted her to begin where she felt comfortable at first. She admitted to feeling lost and empty. She didn't care anymore about ANYTHING; school, friends, or herself. When asked about friends or those Mr. Porter had seen her converse with in the hallway, she didn't see anyone that she could turn to when . . . . That was why Hannah was turning to Mr. Porter. It was hard enough for her to set up this meeting. Hard enough to get herself there. Mr. Porter wondered once Hannah left that office, how did she want things to be different for her? All Hannah knew was that she needed everything to stop. People. Life. Mr. Porter wondered if Hannah KNEW EXACTLY what she was saying? She KNEW and wanted Mr. Porter to notice what she said and HELP HER! Mr. Porter asked if Hannah wanted her life to stop. Her life? Being very serious words, Hannah had NO RESPONSE! She didn't want her life to end. That's why she went to Mr. Porter. Hannah summed her feelings as being a snowball effect. One thing on top of another becoming too hard.
Clay's bandaged hand hurts as he strings to put weight on it; but he didn't care. Mr. Porter gave Hannah an unopened box of tissue. Making her be able to laugh. Mr. Porter tried to get her to begin conversation with talking about school. How did she get to this point? School was hard due to certain people she was required to be with in school. Certain people. Hannah felt others were out to get her due to rumors being spread about her. Mr. Porter hadn't heard any rumors. But, not all of them were rumors. Hannah began to tell him of the list ranking polls. People reacting to it ever since. Hannah began to tell Mr. Porter about the details of events at the party. One of the WORST nights of her life. Mr. Porter had suggested she move on without direct detail of the reasons. Suggesting she move on due to "this person"; Bryce being a senior and gone next year. Wanting Hannah to move beyond whatever happened without knowing. Hannah wasn't able to move on from being sexually assaulted. For Hannah, she got what she went to Mr. Porter for and from that, she was DONE! She RECEIVED Mr. Porter's underlining message.
Hannah leaves Mr. Porter's office w/ her footsteps picking up speed. His door is closed behind her. Staying closed! He was letting her go. Clay did NOT want Mr. Porter allowing Hannah to leave that room without help. Clay begins to have the onset of a headache beginning w/ pounding behind his eyebrow. On the tape, Hannah states that she has made herself very clear, but no one's stepping forward to stop her. Clay wonders who exactly was Hannah CLEAR with? Her parents? Him? She wasn't very clear w/ him. Hannah continued that while others cared, it just wasn't enough. THAT was what Hannah needed to find out. But, Clay didn't know what Hannah was going through. He did find out. He was sorry. From that, the recorder clicks off. Clay begins to cry. If anyone in the pack seen him, he didn't care. He just heard the very last words he'll ever hear from Hannah Baker. The ONLY words Clay can muster to find were an HONEST & SINCERE I'm Sorry. Those words will FOREVER remind him of Hannah. Some people won't be able to say those words back. Some will carry their anger for Hannah's suicide and blame others. Clay would've helped her because he wanted her alive.
The tapes circles itself over and continues playing. Over 7 tapes and 13 stories, Hannah's voice was kept at a slight distance by a steady hum in the background. Clay allows this sound to swallow over him, reminding him of everything he's heard over the past day. His breathing begins to slow and the tension in his muscles begin to relax. Then with a click of the headphones, a slow breath of air, Clay looks up at the moonlight with Hannah on his mind and IN his heart as he genuinely thanks Hannah for including him and allowing him to be a part of Her and this experience.
The following day after Clay mailed the tapes onto the next on Hannah's request list, he is fighting every muscle in his body begging him to collapse and SHUT DOWN! Take an extra day to hide out. But, no matter when, he eventually has to face everyone on the tapes. Clay approaches the school welcoming them back to high school. With a full parking lot he's never noticed, this was the first time Clay's been late until that day for 2 reasons. The first reason was for Clay to mail the package onto Jenny Kurtz; changing the way she'll forever see life. The second is for Mr. Porter; Clay's first period class. The empty desk next to Clay's belonged to Hannah Baker. While everyone stared at her desk everyday, Clay seen it profoundly different than he ever will again. So, Clay bid his time taking it slowly. How many memories did Clay have with Hannah within these school walls? He had NO IDEA how she felt about him. No idea who she truly was. Clay mistakenly believed what others believed. He was afraid what might've been said about him if it was KNOWN he liked her.
Clay began to think of times after the party that he said or did something wrong. Too afraid to try again. After she died, his chances forever disappeared. It all began a few weeks after when a map was slipped through Clay's locker. Right outside Mr. Porter's door was directly where Clay last seen Hannah Baker alive. Over the next week or so, as the tapes move on, Clay will begin doing the same to the rest of them. After Mr. Porter comes down the hall asking Clay to take something to the office for him, Clay finds himself having bumped into Skye Miller. The back of his neck begins sweating. When she looks at him and he holds her gaze for a few steps, she turns to keep walking. The previous last night, Clay left without talking to Skye. He's wanted to talk to her, he's tried to, but he let her slide out of the conversation! Over the years, Skye's learned how to avoid people. Everyone.
As Clay sees her walk down the hallway, stepping away from his locker, he wants to call Skye's name; but his throat closes. After watching Hannah slip away, Clay refuses to make the same mistake twice. He can still hear Skye's footsteps. Clay starts to walk towards her. In one hurried glace towards Skye's walking direction, Clay joins her as they both begin to enter Mr. Porter's class. A flood of emotions run through him. Pain and anger. Sadness and pity. But, the BEST feeling Clay could POSSIBLY feel: HOPE! As he catches up, Clay's throat begins to relax s he begins and is READY to move from tragedy, sadness and loss - to HOPE!
In 2017, a series was popularly featured on Netflix featuring this EXACT book with a TERRIFICALLY ENSEMBLE cast featuring Dylan Minnette as Clay Jensen; Newcomer Katherine Langford as Hannah Baker, Justin Prentice as Bryce Walker, Brandon Flynn as Justin Foley, Miles Heizer as Alex Standall, Sosie Bacon as Skye Miller and, Derek Luke as Mr. Kevin Porter.