Cassette 6: Side A
After he finishes vomiting, Clay asks Tony again why Hannah gave him the second set of tapes. Tony explains that one day Hannah came over to his house and gave him her old bike. At the time, Tony thought Hannah’s gift was odd, but didn’t question her about it. Now, he knows that giving away possessions is a symptom of suicide.
Tony refused to take the bike for free, and asked Hannah if there was anything she wanted in return. She asked Tony how he recorded his cassettes for his old Mustang, and he gave her his dad’s old tape recorder. Again, at the time Tony didn’t think much of the gift, but now he and Clay realize what Hannah needed the tape recorder for. Both boys feel guilty because they missed the signs Hannah was exhibiting.
A few days after Hannah visited his house, Tony received the package of second tapes on his porch. He raced through them, trying to figure out if he was on them. When he reached the end and his name was mentioned, he realized that Hannah had given the second set to him. But, confusingly, Hannah had been at school that day. She hadn’t committed suicide yet. Tony called Hannah’s parents frantically to warn them, but it was too late. Hannah was gone.
It took Tony a few days to recover, but eventually he did. He began to notice as the people on Hannah’s list received the tapes. The physical impact of Hannah’s tapes made them easy for Tony to identify, especially since he already knew who should receive the tapes. Tony doesn’t know for sure why Hannah picked him as the recipient of the second tape set, but thinks it’s because he gave her the tape recorder. Perhaps Hannah thought Tony would have a stake in her story, and ensure that her final wishes were fulfilled.
After explaining to Clay his role in Hannah’s story, Tony has to go back home. Before the boys split up, Clay calls his mom and has Tony cover for him by saying that Clay is staying at Tony’s house for a school project. Clay’s mother believes his lie, and Clay has his alibi for staying out late. Clay thanks Tony for being there for him, and watches him drive off before hitting play on the Walkman.
Back at the party, Hannah stumbled into the living room after she and Justin broke their painful stare. She sat on the piano bench, and reeled over the night’s horrible events. As she sat, Jenny Kurtz, the friendly cheerleader from Cassette 3: Side B, came over and offered Hannah a ride home. Hannah agreed, and the two girls left the house and walked towards Jenny’s car. Hannah felt safe and secure in Jenny’s presence because the other girl didn’t try to engage in small talk or ask questions. She just buckled Hannah into her car and drove off. The rain and the sound of the car’s windshield wipers lulled Hannah into a dreamlike state, a state Hannah was ripped out of when Jenny ran over a stop sign at an intersection. This was the same intersection where Clay witnessed the deadly car accident occur, seemingly not long after Jenny ran over the stop sign.
Clay is stunned because he now realizes that Jenny caused that car accident, the accident that killed a senior from their high school. He wonders if Hannah knew about the accident and death Jenny caused. Standing up, Clay leaves his spot in front of the party house, and begins to walk towards the intersection where the car accident occurred.
Jenny exited her car, inspected the damage, and was relieved that she only hit a stop sign. She got back into her car and tried to start it up, but Hannah stopped her. Hannah tried to convince Jenny to leave her car for the night because she clearly shouldn’t have been driving, but Jenny refused to listen. She ordered Hannah to get out of her car. Before Jenny drove off, Hannah asked to borrow her cellphone so they could report the fallen stop sign. Jenny said no because she was afraid that the call would be traced and she would get into trouble. She sped off, leaving Hannah in the rain.
Clay arrives at the intersection and sees the new stop sign installed there. As he listens to Hannah blame herself for failing to prevent the car accident, Clay thinks that they all could have done something to stop the bullying, to stop the rape, to stop Hannah.
The next day after the accident, Hannah sat in class and began to think about her funeral. Before now, she had thought frequently about her death. But for some reason, her funeral was harder to visualize because she didn’t know how people would respond to her death. Would they miss her? Or would they ignore her absence? Jenny, for example, ignored and avoided Hannah in the weeks following the death of the senior. Clearly, she wanted to forget that night and what she had done. But she, like Hannah, can never forget.
After Jenny drove off, Hannah went to a gas station and used their payphone to report the fallen sign. The operator tells her that the accident had already been reported, and Hannah thought it was Jenny. Of course, the accident the operator was referring to wasn’t the fallen sign, but the car accident. Hannah doesn’t find this out until the next day at school. Relieved, she hung up on the operator and walked the streets of their town, trying to calm down before going home. She walked through the cold and mist of the night, and wished she could disappear into it.
Clay walks away from the stop sign. He pulls out Hannah’s map, looks at it one more time, crumples it, and throws it away. Walking down the street aimlessly like Hannah did the night of the party, he fights back his tears. When the tape ends, he opens the Walkman and flips to the other side. He’s so close to the end.
Cassette 6: Side B
Hannah begins Cassette 6: Side B by acknowledging her own culpability in her decision to commit suicide. Though most of the tapes have been about exposing the people that drove her to this point, Hannah knows everything begins and ends with her. On the tapes, she runs through the different methods she could use to commit suicide, before deciding on pills. Then, she announces that she will do it the next day.
Clay and Hannah both reel at Hannah’s pronouncement. Clay is stunned because though he knows Hannah is already dead, and it hits hard to hear her say it out loud. Hannah is astonished because after months of considering suicide, she’s actually decided to commit it.
After discussing her thoughts about her upcoming death, Hannah shifts focus to the topic of this tape. During one of the very last weekends of her life, there was another party a few doors down from a house Hannah was house-sitting. Hannah didn’t go to this party because she was still traumatized by the last one. She barricaded herself in a room and blared the TV in an attempt to drown out the party’s noise. After the party ended, Hannah decided to go outside to get some fresh air. She walked by the house where the party happened, Courtney Crimsen’s house, to see if there was anyone drunk and in need of a ride home.
Instead of going to Courtney’s house as directed, Clay begins to walk towards Eisenhower Park, the site of Hannah’s first kiss.
Hannah didn’t see anyone outside of Courtney’s house, and thought everyone was gone. She was wrong. Bryce Walker was still there. When he saw Hannah, he invited her to join him and Courtney in Courtney’s hot tub. Hannah knew what a bad idea it would be to accept Bryce’s offer. She did it anyways because she wanted her world to completely crash around her.
Hannah went into Courtney’s backyard, stripped to her underwear, and joined them in the tub. After a while, Bryce swam over to Hannah’s side of the tub and sat down next to her. He began to touch her stomach, and this was when Courtney left them alone in the tub. Hannah protested, but eventually gave up. She let go and sat limply as Bryce sexually assaulted her.
Hannah didn’t succumb to Bryce’s advances because she desired him. She let him have his way with her body, the only time she ever gave in to the promiscuous reputation her classmates made for her, because she needed to completely let go of her sense of self. Once Bryce finished, Hannah got out of the hot tub and walked back to the house she was house-sitting. The night was over, and she was done.
Clay is filled with rage as he listens to Hannah’s story about Bryce. He pounds his fist into a fence and slices his hand open on it. Before he goes to the Eisenhower Park, he goes to a gas station and buys rubbing alcohol and bandages for his wound. Once he’s disinfected and bandaged the cut, he jogs to the park.
Cassette 7: Side A
At the park, Clay stands at the entrance and takes it all in. This is where he’ll hear Hannah’s last words. He climbs the ladder to Hannah’s favorite rocket slide and settles in with the last tape.
This tape begins with Hannah whispering. She explains that this is her last try at giving life a chance. She’s asking Mr. Porter, her English teacher and guidance counselor, for help. Clearly, since Clay and the others received the tapes, Mr. Porter failed.
Hannah stuffs her recorder into a backpack, and enters Mr. Porter’s office with it still on, purposefully recording their meeting. The meeting begins amicably enough. Mr. Porter tries to get Hannah to explain what’s wrong, which is hard for Hannah to do because her problems seem suffocating. She eventually manages to tell Mr. Porter that she wants everything to stop, which alarms him. He asks if she understands what she just said. Did she mean to say that she wants everything, including her life, to end? Hannah apologizes, but says that’s why she’s here. So she can stop feeling this way.
Eventually, they arrive on the topic of the rumors circulated about Hannah, and the impact those rumors have had on her life. Hannah tells Mr. Porter cryptically about the encounter with Bryce in the hot tub, but doesn’t reveal his name. When Mr. Porter hears that Hannah wouldn’t classify what happened with Bryce as rape, and that she doesn’t plan on pressing charges, he tells her she has two options. One, they can have a group session with Bryce to discuss what happened, or two, she can try to move on.
At these words, Hannah shuts down. She thanks Mr. Porter for his time, and leaves his office. Mr. Porter tries to get her to stay, but when she leaves his office, he doesn’t run after her. He allows Hannah to walk away. She walks down the hallway, apologizes to her listeners, and clicks the recorder off.
Atop the slide, Clay cries and screams into the night. His head pounds, and his hands throb. He can’t believe he just heard the last words he’ll ever hear from Hannah Baker.
Cassette 7: Side B
Clay never hit stop on the Walkman, and so the tape clicks itself over and continues playing. Clay lets the hum of the static wash over him. The hum, along with the peacefulness of the night surrounding him, relaxes the tension in his body. Suddenly, a click comes through his headphones, followed by a slow breath of air. Hannah, with a warm tone, says thank you.
Hannah’s part of Thirteen Reasons Why comes to a close in this chunk of the book, but not without more revelations. Hannah reveals that Jenny, the friendly cheerleader from Marcus’s tape, caused the deadly car accident Clay witnessed on the night of the party. When she exposes Jenny, Hannah says she knows Jessica wanted to avoid the repercussions of running over the stop sign. Hannah’s determination to make her peers realize the repercussions of their actions are partly why she exposes Jenny. Though Jenny wants to forget, Hannah refuses to let her.
Interestingly, despite her dedication to exposing the truth, Hannah doesn’t reveal to her listeners that Bryce was the person who raped Jessica, or that Jessica was the girl who got raped. Clay only knows because he was there the night of the rape, and personally witnessed the events leading up to it. Hannah claims that she doesn’t reveal Bryce’s identity because she fears he wouldn’t pass along the tapes, and would flee town. Though she doesn’t admit it, Hannah also probably wanted to preserve Jessica’s right to privacy regarding the traumatic and violent event. After remaining silent when Jessica was lying comatose and defenseless, Hannah most likely felt that she owed the other girl her silence now.
Though Bryce goes unnamed on Cassette 5, he is finally named as one of Hannah’s reasons for committing suicide on Cassette 6. Acting on the rumors he’d heard about Hannah’s promiscuity, Bryce sexually assaults her in Courtney’s hot tub. Though Hannah doesn’t protest when Bryce begins to touch her, she does start to cry, and Bryce continues anyway. Again, like the moment with Hannah in Blue Spot Liquor, and the horrible scene from the party where he raped Jessica, Bryce thinks he’s entitled to use and abuse the bodies of the women around him. The only difference is that this time, Hannah did not explicitly protest at Bryce’s overtures. This is not because Hannah wanted to be with Bryce. Hannah let Bryce touch her because she needed to completely give up on herself. She needed to give in to her classmates’ lies and misconceptions about her, so she could hit rock bottom, thus justifying in her eyes her decision to commit suicide.
On Bryce’s tape, Hannah discusses how exactly she intends to end her life. The matter-of-fact way she reasons through the different methods, weighing their pros and cons until she decides to use pills, demonstrates that for Hannah, the conflict has ended. She is no longer struggling internally with her decision. Her mind is made, and everything else is just details. She’s no longer angry, and her tone is no longer vengeful or bitter towards her classmates. She is at peace (396). Alternatively, Clay is reeling. He knows that Hannah is dead, but going on this journey step-by-step with Hannah via the tapes makes it feel as if everything is happening in real time. Though he already knows the end result, it feels as if Hannah is still alive, and has yet to make her decision between life and death. This makes the moment when Mr. Porter fails Hannah all the more painful and devastating for Clay.
In addition to having potent emotional and psychological responses to Hannah’s tapes, Clay has strong physical reactions as well. Throughout the novel, the physical impact of listening to the tapes has been painstakingly detailed. Clay has experienced nausea, vomiting, exhaustion, and a horrible headache. During the last cassette, this headache reached debilitating levels, but rather than try to rub the pain away, Clay let it pound. He wanted to feel this pain because in some way it connected him to Hannah. The pain and tension is only released from Clay’s body when he hears Hannah saying thank you on the B-side of Cassette 7. Clay can only let go after Hannah thanks him for fulfilling her last request.