On Sunday, Simon spends his day on his bed listening to music. He's annoyed that Nora is mysteriously out of the house. He runs through what he knows about Blue, but realizes that he doesn't know much about anyone in his class. He doesn't know about anyone's parents, and Simon thinks that’s kind of terrible. Simon feels like even if he does figure out who Blue is, Blue clearly isn't interested anymore, and it's the worst feeling.
Simon's desire to figure out who Blue is leads him to understand that though he considers himself nosy, he's not genuinely curious about his classmates in a way that helps him get to know them better. This is a major turning point in Simon's coming of age process, as now he'll be able to practice being curious about his peers’ lives.
On Monday, Simon finds a grocery sack looped through his locker. He initially thinks it's a homophobic prank, but it turns out to be an Elliott Smith tee shirt from Blue. Simon considers changing into it, but he feels self-conscious and decides not to. Simon feels happy all day until rehearsal, when he and Cal pass each other on their ways in and out of the auditorium. They smile at each other and suddenly, Simon feels angry that Blue is brave enough to leave a tee shirt, but not brave enough to approach Simon in person. Simon thinks dating at all is pointless.
When Simon is dismissive of Blue's bravery, it suggests that Simon is feeling somewhat vulnerable as the only one of the two of them who is out at school. As Simon sees it, Blue's unwillingness to come out to everyone else is a way for him to tell Simon that he's not interested enough in a relationship with Simon to conduct it in public.
Simon is exhausted all week, as it's two weeks until Oliver opens. Dad is sad that he has to record The Bachelor to accommodate Simon's rehearsal schedule. On Friday, the cast is set to perform the play for the school twice; once for freshman and seniors and again for sophomores and juniors. Nora comes to school early with Simon and tapes up cast lists photos in the atrium. Simon gets dressed and then finds Abby to do his makeup. As Abby puts on Simon's eyeliner, he asks why her dad lives in Washington, D.C. She explains that he's still looking for a job in Georgia, and her brother is a freshman at Howard. When Simon says he feels stupid for not knowing, she insists she never said anything.
When Dad is sad about having to tape The Bachelor, it reminds the reader that Simon's parents lean heavily on their routines and don't adjust to new routines easily, even when it's something as inconsequential as recording a TV show instead of watching it live. Simon's decision to ask Abby about her family shows him being genuinely curious and invested in his friends' lives in a way that will help him form deeper and more meaningful relationships with them.
Abby finishes Simon's makeup with a flurry of powder and tells him he looks extremely attractive. Simon agrees; he can barely stop looking at himself in the mirror. The first performance goes perfectly, and Simon is excited to wear his makeup to lunch. Leah loves it, and Simon notices Bram staring. After lunch, he heads back to the auditorium. Simon is excited at the thought that Blue is out there, even though he's still mad at him.
Simon's interest in his new look shows him that some changes don't have to be bad or uncomfortable; they can, in some cases, make him feel more attractive and confident. This begins to show how theater as a whole allows Simon a relatively safe space to experiment with his identity.
As Abby and Simon peek at the audience and point out Nick and Leah, they notice Cal frowning about whatever he's being told through his headset. After a minute, Ms. Albright fetches Simon and calls him to a dressing room. Martin is already there. Ms. Albright explains that someone altered the cast list in the atrium to "something inappropriate." Ms. Albright explains she's going to chat with the audience before the show and asks Simon if he wants to cancel the show. Simon doesn't. Martin apologizes, but Simon brushes him off.
Ms. Albright's commitment to making sure that bullies face consequences for their actions provides Simon an example of someone who recognizes him as a person worthy of care and deserving of safety. This also reinforces that while Simon is at school, his parents can't necessarily protect him. Therefore, Simon is forced to rely on teachers to fill those gaps and stand up for him.
Simon feels as though he's tired of caring about what people call him. He watches Ms. Albright go onstage with the student handbook to review the school bullying policy. The audience isn't at all interested, and Simon thinks it must be awful to be a teacher. When Ms. Albright is done, she comes backstage with a scary look in her eyes. Simon isn't sure he really wants to perform, but he does anyway.
When Simon thinks that being a teacher must be terrible, it indicates that he's continuing to expand his curiosity and empathy to even teachers. This is a big step for him, given that he's barely spoken about teachers through much of his narration. This suggests he's starting to view them as full people too.