Chapters 86-87 Summary

Via’s Secret

At home, August’s mom discovers that Via and Justin are taking part in a school play. Mom is angry that Via said nothing about it, and their conversation soon turns into a screaming argument. August is in his room, but he can hear a lot of it with the help of his new hearing aids. He hears his mom ask why Via is so moody this year, and he hears Via defend herself. Eventually, Via screams an accusation:

You’ve been really good about leaving me alone my whole life, so why you chose high school to suddenly be interested I have no idea….

After that, the conversation gets too quiet for August's hearing aids to pick up.

My Cave

At dinner, Via and Mom do not seem to be fighting anymore. However, the meal is fairly quiet because Dad is gone and Daisy, the dog, is sleeping off another bout of illness. Eventually, August asks if they are all going to see a play at Via’s school. Mom tells him that he would not be interested. She says that Dad will go to the play while she and August stay home.

This announcement makes Via angry. Now that her parents know about the play, she wants both of them to go. Her mom seems exasperated by this, and she says she has to take “everyone’s feelings” into account.

When August asks what this is about, Mom and Via tell him it has nothing to do with him. He immediately guesses what is really going on. He calls them both liars and accuses Via of being embarrassed of him:

You just don’t want your brand-new fancy high school friends to know your brother’s a freak!

With that, August flees to his bedroom and builds himself a little cave of pillows and stuffed animals. He crawls inside to hide his “disgusting face,” and he waits for Mom to come and comfort him.

She does not come, which shocks him. She always comes to help him, so why should today be any different? He wonders if she is giving Via grief for making him feel bad, and if their dad will do the same when he comes home. August hopes Via is feeling super guilty for making him feel the way he feels now.

Outside August's cave, the house is silent. He peeks out to check the clock, and he realizes that it has been half an hour. He is starting to get worried. Then the door opens, and Via comes running in.