Chapter no 12 – ‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌Home‌


As soon as we had walked at least half a block from the school, Mom said: “So … how’d it go? Did you like it?”

“Not yet, Mom. When we get home,” I said.

The moment we got inside the house, I ran to my room and threw myself onto my bed. I could tell Mom didn’t know what was up, and I guess I really didn’t, either. I felt very sad and a tiny bit happy at the exact same time, kind of like that laughing-crying feeling all over again.

My dog, Daisy, followed me into the room, jumped on the bed, and started licking me all over my face.

“Who’s a good girlie?” I said in my Dad voice. “Who’s a good girlie?”

“Is everything okay, sweetness?” Mom said. She wanted to sit down beside me but Daisy was hogging the bed. “Excuse me, Daisy.” She sat down, nudging Daisy over. “Were those kids not nice to you, Auggie?”

“Oh no,” I said, only half lying. “They were okay.”

“But were they nice? Mr. Tushman went out of his way to tell me what sweet kids they are.”

“Uh-huh.” I nodded, but I kept looking at Daisy, kissing her on the nose and rubbing her ear until her back leg did that little flea-scratch shake.

“That boy Julian seemed especially nice,” Mom said.

“Oh, no, he was the least nice. I liked Jack, though. He was nice. I thought his name was Jack Will but it’s just Jack.”

“Wait, maybe I’m getting them confused. Which one was the one with the dark hair that was brushed forward?”


“And he wasn’t nice?” “No, not nice.”

“Oh.” She thought about this for a second. “Okay, so is he the kind of kid who’s one way in front of grown-ups and another way in front of kids?”

“Yeah, I guess.”

“Ah, hate those,” she answered, nodding.

“He was like, ‘So, August, what’s the deal with your face?’ ” I said, looking at Daisy the whole time. “ ‘Were you in a fire or something?’ ”

Mom didn’t say anything. When I looked up at her, I could tell she was completely shocked.

“He didn’t say it in a mean way,” I said quickly. “He was just asking.”

Mom nodded.

“But I really liked Jack,” I said. “He was like, ‘Shut up, Julian!’ And Charlotte was like, ‘You’re so rude, Julian!’ ”

Mom nodded again. She pressed her fingers on her forehead like she was pushing against a headache.

“I’m so sorry, Auggie,” she said quietly. Her cheeks were bright red. “No, it’s okay, Mom, really.”

“You don’t have to go to school if you don’t want, sweetie.” “I want to,” I said.

“Auggie …”

“Really, Mom. I want to.” And I wasn’t lying.

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