In chapter 3, Jonas sits down to do his homework and notices that Lily's ribbons are untied. He recognizes that there will surely be an announcement over the Speaker directed towards Lily and begins to think about something that took place last month and which resulted in him being chastised over the Speaker. Jonas is unable to focus on his homework as he recalls the strange incident, which took place during a recreation period. Jonas was playing catch with Asher using an apple when he suddenly noticed that something about the apple began to change. As the apple was in midair, Jonas noticed that the shade of the apple changed, but he could not specify any physical difference in the apple.
The change in the apple took place four times, and Jonas even tested his vision by squinting. Jonas ended up taking the apple home with him to study it but discovered that there was nothing spectacular about the apple. Later that evening, an announcement was made singling Jonas out for taking food from the recreation area. Jonas does not realize it yet, but he was experiencing the Capacity to See Beyond and was actually seeing the red color of the apple, which is an extremely rare gift in his community. As Jonas remembers the strange incident, he cannot focus on his homework, and Lowry writes,
Now, sitting at his desk, staring at his schoolwork as his family hovered over the newchild in its basket, he shook his head, trying to forget the odd incident.