Michael and Healy text back and forth about Sasha, and Slater includes their frequent messages, using a font and size of print like a cellular phone display. Healy tells Michael that Sasha is now responding to texts. “They are!?!?!?” Michael asks, surprised. Healy confirms, although he doesn’t know if Sasha will answer tonight—"their first surgery is tomorrow,” he says. The two talk back and forth for a bit about school and Sasha’s attack, and then Michael says that “there’s pretty much no way that it wasn’t a hate crime.” “Uh-huh,” Healy responds.
This chapter makes Michael and Healy’s text messages seem more realistic. Instead of simply saying that Michael and Healy communicate via text, Slater presents their messages just as they would have received them, and this has the effect of making them, and Sasha, appear like real people who are dealing with real problems. Discrimination and violence are urgent issues faced by many people, and this chapter highlights this unfortunate fact.