Simon tries not to think about his email to Blue as he heads to school for the Sunday matinee performance. He barely remembers the performance after it's over. Afterwards, the seniors get roses, and Ms. Albright gets a huge bouquet. Simon thinks about how she promised to get the bullies suspended, and wishes he'd gotten her something. Then, the cast changes into their street clothes to take down the set. Simon finally leaves at six. He tries to not feel too excited, since Blue might not come to the carnival, but he can't help it.
When Simon wishes he'd done something for Ms. Albright, it shows that he's learned that teachers are people too, and he understands that they can be appreciated just like his peers. This suggests that while Simon wasn't able to follow through in this instance, it's hopeful that he'll think about it next time as he continues to develop his sense of curiosity about others.
Before heading to the carnival, Simon drives home to get the Elliott Smith shirt that Blue gave him. After the shirt is on, Simon feels something pokey on his back. He discovers a piece of paper taped inside with a postscript. It says that Blue loves Simon's smile, hair, and gray eyes. Underneath is Blue's phone number. Simon feels warm and decides not to call and instead, hopes he'll find Blue at the carnival.
Again, Simon's warm and fuzzy feelings here show that there are clearly gains to be had from choosing to give up control, as it makes the carnival and the hopeful meeting between Simon and Blue all the more exciting.
Simon gets to the carnival by seven. He's worried that Blue has already come and gone, but busies himself buying tickets and riding all the rides. He notices Abby and Nick sitting on a curb, surrounded by stuffed animals that Abby won for Nick. Abby invites Simon to sit with them and apologizes. Simon apologizes too, but Abby insists he gets a pass since he was blackmailed. Abby asks if Simon's shirt has to do with the guy he's clearly looking for. She tells him it's okay to be romantic and says she hopes he finds whoever he's looking for.
When Abby can very clearly tell that Simon is looking for someone, it shows that Abby is the person who brought positive change and a deeper understanding to the group. She's the one most responsible for teaching the others, mostly Simon, of the importance of being curious about others and tuned into what they're feeling.
By eight thirty in the evening, Simon still hasn't found Blue. He feels like an idiot for having had Blue's phone number under his pillow for two weeks, and reasons that Blue could've changed his mind since then. Simon has a few more tickets, so he rides the Tilt-A-Whirl. He figures he won't find Blue there. Simon belts himself in, and then Bram asks if he can join Simon. He comments on Simon's shirt and is aware that it shows Elliott Smith. Simon and Bram stare at each other for a minute, and as the ride starts spinning, Bram apologizes for being late.
Considering the fact that Blue—who is finally revealed as Bram—left his phone number for Simon after their final email argument about meeting in person, his phone number becomes an even bigger indicator of his desire to get to know Simon and step outside his comfort zone. By riding the Tilt-A-Whirl, which he hates, Bram shows Simon again that he cares for him and is willing to do hard things to be with him.
Simon does his best to keep the ride from spinning too much as Bram holds his hands over his nose and mouth. They step out and to the curb when the ride stops. After a minute, Simon says he had no idea that Bram was Blue. Bram says he thought it was obvious, and he didn't tell Simon outright because he knows that if Simon had wanted Bram to be Blue, he would've figured it out. Simon desperately wants to touch Bram and isn't sure how to respond. Bram explains that his email address, bluegreen118, is his birthday (January 18) and a play on his name, Bram Louis Greenfield. Simon wants to “smack” himself for assuming that Bram would be white.
Bram's insight points to the way that assuming something—like Simon assuming Blue was Cal—requires that the person assuming wants, on some level, for their assumption to be true. Simon’s embarrassment over assuming Bram would be white shows that he wrongly gave into the narrowminded idea that white is the “default.”
Simon apologizes for not figuring it out, and Bram insists that all of Simon's dropped hints didn't do as much as the fact that Simon writes the way he talks. Simon scoots closer and asks how Bram is a president. Bram says his full name is Abraham. Simon whispers that he wants to hold Bram's hand, and Bram tells him to do so.
Getting to the point of holding hands like this impresses upon Simon that in order to form these closer relationships with people, he needs to actually ask for what he wants and be willing to engage with people on their terms, both of which he does here.