I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings Chapter 31
Dolores has waited for them. Maya hears her father in the next room arguing with her. She says that he's let Maya come between them, and he leaves angrily. Maya thinks he is mean, even though she doesn't like Dolores: "He had enjoyed his Mexican holiday, and still was unable to proffer a bit of kindness to the woman who had waited patiently, busying herself with housewifely duties." Chapter 31, pg. 237 She tries to tell Dolores that she isn't trying to come between them, but Dolores will not accept her kind gesture. She tells her to go back to her mother, saying, "she's a whore." Chapter 31, pg. 239 Furious and threatened, Maya attacks Dolores. They scuffle, and Maya pushes her away, leaving the house. She then discovers she is bleeding. She waits in her father's car until he and the neighbors calm Dolores down. Then he comes out to see her. When she tells him she is bleeding, feeling superior to everyone and everything, he takes her to a friend's house. The friend treats the wound, and Maya is disappointed that it isn't more serious: she was prepared to die, or at least go to the hospital, but her father wants to avoid a scandal. He then takes her to another strange trailer and tells her he will pick her up in the morning. She is undisturbed: "At fifteen life had taught me undeniably that surrender, in its place, was as honorable as resistance, especially if one had no choice." Chapter 31, pg. 243 The next morning, however, she thinks it over: why should she wait for her father? He would be better off if she just left. She thinks about going home to Mother, but knows that she could not hide her wound from her mother. It makes her think of Mr. Freeman, and she feels guilty even so many years later.