Esperanza's aunt gets her a job at a photo lab. Esperanza is really nervous on her first day. An older man offers to be her friend, and she starts to feel better, until he forces her to kiss him.
Esperanza goes to see a "witch woman" named Elenita to see if there's anything in her future about a house. Elenita only sees "a home in the heart," and Esperanza is disappointed
Esperanza makes friends with a sophisticated girl at school named Sally. She wonders why Sally rubs off all her makeup before she goes home, and imagines a house for Sally, where she could be free and happy.
Esperanza gets embarrassed when she tries to rescue Sally from a group of boys who persuade her to kiss them all in the garden. Sally doesn't want to be rescued, and tells Esperanza to go away. Esperanza feels foolish, and hides herself in the garden to cry.
Esperanza arranges to meet Sally at the carnival, but Sally never shows up at their meeting place. While she's waiting for Sally, a group of boys accosts her, and one of them rapes her. Esperanza is mad at Sally for having lied to her.
Esperanza confesses to Alicia that she feels like she doesn't have a home. Alicia convinces Esperanza that, like it or not, Mango Street is her home, and that she'll have to come back one day to make it better, because the mayor's not going to do it.