I find Chess’s attitude immature and selfish. As she wakes up that morning without Tate, she feels a vacuum in herself, and she admits that she misses Tate’s presence and optimism. Then Chess remembers the last time she saw Barrett Lee before this summer. After their terrible picnic when Chess got sick, her parents and everybody else assume that this was the only time Barrett saw Chess alone. Actually, the following autumn as Chess was at university in the middle of a huge feast for the party, several friends tell him that a cute blonde guy is looking for her, but Chess can’t image who the man must be. When she drops by her dormitory to leave the proceeds of the barbecue she was in charge with, Barrett is there waiting for her. Chess gets annoyed because for her Barrett belongs to another context, and deep down she doesn’t want her friends to know that she hangs out with someone who hasn’t even gone to college. So Chess unceremoniously tells him that he has to go as she has other things to do. Chess sends him off even though she feels guilty, because of what her mother would say, not because it is unfair of her to treat Barrett like that. This is the last time Chess saw Barrett until now. She now thinks about Barrett asking her on the date, and her turning him down. She told him to ask Tate instead, and Barrett says that Tate was his first choice anyway. Chess wonders why she didn’t tell Tate about Barrett saying that she had been his first choice, and not Chess. I think what Chess is too worried about is to project the right image, and even though her sister would have loved to hear that she wasn’t second best, deep down Chess can’t bring herself to give Tate that satisfaction. I think Chess’s concerns about self-image is what has landed her in the problems she has. The reason why Chess went out with Michael in the first place was not because she liked him as a man, but because he was the kind of person that would make her look good, and her parents would approve of him completely. Nick, though, was the wrong choice as he had no job, led an unstable life, and was the kind of person his parents would not have approved of. I really don’t pity Chess, because she is in the situation she is now out of her own volition. She should have broken up with Michael as soon as she realised she wasn’t in love with him, but she was too worried about what others thought of her. I wonder what she had done if she had just met Nick from the first. Would she have gone out with him, knowing what kind of person he was?
If I had little patience with Chess before, now my dislike has doubled. When Tate appears that morning, looking happy, Chess feels jealous of her happiness, and instead of telling her she missed her as she admitted to herself just some minutes ago, she is nasty as she says that the house was better without her presence. What a horrible sister and person!!!