It’s the little things. The way he excels at math, and has trouble reading books she’s been reading for years. The outstanding way he scores on math, and the low grades he gets on reading comprehension. It's the letter home saying they need him to see an educational psychologist. It's the way he bows his head when his parents are reprimanding him for doing this out of some twisted need for attention.
It's the results coming back, dyslexia typed perfectly. It's the nauseating turn in her stomach as she watches her parents lips turn down into frowns. It's the hushed arguments that become louder and louder until they were screaming matches. It's the Thunderkids huddling together in Max’s lair with Billy on Max’s lap, Nora on her’s and Chloe sandwiched in between.
It's the way Max’s class schedule gets switched around. It's the way one kid calls him retarded. It's the way Oyster leaves the school with bruised knuckles and a suspension for fighting, and the other kid leaves in an ambulance. It's sitting with Max for God knows how long as he does his work. It's him being too stubborn to admit he needs help at first. He’s gotten by his whole life without it after all. It's reading him passages after he asks. It's her parents refusing to look at their eldest child.
It's watching his nose scrunch up on a word trying to piece the letters together. It's basically being able to see the cogs in his brains turning while reading a book. It's taking his chronicle, and taunting him about what could possibly be in it. It's the spelling mistakes. All the spelling mistakes.
It's Cherry’s soft words. “I don’t understand, but I know.” It's Cherry admitting she has severe adhd. It's Billy timidly admitting he thinks he has the same. It's the twins suggesting he get it checked, and him immediately shutting them down (he’s seen the way their parents have been treating Max). The twins knew he didn’t want that to happen to him, and they knew it wouldn’t.
It's that she doesn't know how to explain to her little brother that it wasn’t dyslexia, it was Max. That it had been happening behind closed doors all their lives. That in her parent’s eyes this was the cherry on top of the cake for Max. It was that she knew Max felt like a disappointment, and she knew her parents knew it too.
It was that she knew Max wasn’t. That he’d be a great hero, or villain, or whatever. It's that at sixteen years old, she decides parents are overrated if they can't see how wonderful her brother is.
It's packing up their bags, that blasted rabbit tucked securely under her brother’s arm. It's the mega argument that breaks out if they should go to Oyster’s or Cherry’s. “Oyster’s parents won't care,” “Yeah! Because they don’t care about him, Max!” It's the way his shoulders bow and his head hangs low, “They don’t care about me, Pheebs.” It's the way she knows they aren't talking about Oyster’s parents anymore. It's the way she nods her head, and grabs his hand. (They end up staying at Allison’s instead.)
It's the way that Oyster knocks on their door, a split lip and a black eye. (It's the way Allison’s parents don’t even blink.) It's they way they were teenage runaways, Phoebe got drunk for the first time that night-her brother and his best friend high as a kite next to her. Cherry is over, and her and Allison seem to have ditched the scotch for shotgunning with a roll up. Phoebe isn't even surprised honestly, if she wasn’t so drunk she probably would’ve asked Max for the money he owes her for losing their bet. A quick glance to the left proved her brother was to occupied playing tongue tango with Oyster to care.
It's the way she leans back on the floor of her best friend’s bedroom with her best friends getting handsy, and her brother grinning like he used to when they were kids. It's the fact she misses her siblings something terribly, but made it a point to see them as often as she can (she knew Max does too). It's the way she wonders if they were known as the stoner kids (probably). It's the way Max finally has a family, a messed up, crazy family, but a family. (And so does Oyster, Cherry, Allison, and her.) It's that they were each other’s family!