Chapter no 25 – ‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌Apples‌


My birthday is October 10. I like my birthday: 10/10. It would’ve been great if I’d been born at exactly 10:10 in the morning or at night, but I wasn’t. I was born just after midnight. But I still think my birthday is cool.

I usually have a little party at home, but this year I asked Mom if I could have a big bowling party. Mom was surprised but happy. She asked me who I wanted to ask from my class, and I said everyone in my homeroom plus Summer.

“That’s a lot of kids, Auggie,” said Mom.

“I have to invite everyone because I don’t want anyone to get their feelings hurt if they find out other people are invited and they aren’t, okay?”

“Okay,” Mom agreed. “You even want to invite the ‘what’s the deal’ kid?”

“Yeah, you can invite Julian,” I answered. “Geez, Mom, you should forget about that already.”

“I know, you’re right.”

A couple of weeks later, I asked Mom who was coming to my party, and she said: “Jack Will, Summer. Reid Kingsley. Both Maxes. And a couple of other kids said they were going to try to be there.”

“Like who?”

“Charlotte’s mom said Charlotte had a dance recital earlier in the day, but she was going to try to come to your party if time allowed. And Tristan’s mom said he might come after his soccer game.”

“So that’s it?” I said. “That’s like … five people.”

“That’s more than five people, Auggie. I think a lot of people just had plans already,” Mom answered. We were in the kitchen. She was cutting one of the apples we had just gotten at the farmers’ market into teensy-weensy bites so I could eat it.

“What kind of plans?” I asked.

“I don’t know, Auggie. We sent out the evites kind of late.”

“Like what did they tell you, though? What reasons did they give?”

“Everyone gave different reasons, Auggie.” She sounded a bit impatient. “Really, sweetie, it shouldn’t matter what their reasons were. People had plans, that’s all.”

“What did Julian give as his reason?” I asked.

“You know,” said Mom, “his mom was the only person who didn’t RSVP at all.” She looked at me. “I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

I laughed because I thought she was making a joke, but then I realized she wasn’t.

“What does that mean?” I asked.

“Never mind. Now go wash your hands so you can eat.”

My birthday party turned out to be much smaller than I thought it would be, but it was still great. Jack, Summer, Reid, Tristan, and both Maxes came from school, and Christopher came, too—all the way from Bridgeport with his parents. And Uncle Ben came. And Aunt Kate and Uncle Po drove in from Boston, though Tata and Poppa were in Florida for the winter. It was fun because all the grown-ups ended up bowling in the lane next to ours, so it really felt like there were a lot of people there to celebrate my birthday.

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