"Sick Kids in Love" by Hannah Moskowitz, List 2

September 27, 2022
After meeting Sasha in the hospital drip room, sixteen-year-old Isabel considers breaking her no-dating rule and giving love a chance.

This list covers "What's Your Favorite Subway Line?"–Chapter 11.

Here are links to our lists for the novel: List 1, List 2, List 3, List 4
“You don’t like Christmas lights?”
“I’m Jewish,” he says. “You’re Jewish!”
“Lights are nondenominational.”
He has this long, loping walk on those skinny legs.
He plunks down a tray with two hamburgers, two milkshakes, and a ton of fries. “ Truffle fries,” he says.
But I have an awesome distended stomach like a starving orphan because my spleen and liver are enormous.
I roll my eyes, stuff a few more fries in my mouth, and go over to interrogate some people on their favorite subway lines (the 3 and, inexplicably, the 6).
I say, “Y’know, you’re standing there all smug, and you should probably literally be at home on oxygen right now.”
Some things you can have great, invigorating discussions about.
“It was like, I wrestled with the decision for ages, but then once I made up my mind, that was it. Like I didn’t waver for a second.”
It’s not really a mess, though, it’s more... disheveled. There are little kids’ soccer cleats stacked unevenly at the front door, and coats thrown over a chair in the living room instead of put away, and books flopped open on the kitchen table.
He has a plaid bedspread and a small TV and blinds instead of curtains. It’s very generic teenage boy, if you ignore the oxygen tank tucked into a corner and the collection of pill bottles on his nightstand.
It’s tiled in white to make it look bigger, but the grout is gray at this point, and some of the tiles are chipped.
There’s a big gouge in one of the tiles by the sink where someone must have hit it with something.
She’s found a sliver of the couch that isn’t taken up by science project supplies and is curled up with a book.
He’s asleep on the bed, on top of the covers, his body sprawled out like a starfish.
“He’s a pathological liar. He’s not even really my father. Who is this man? Call the police.”
I don’t really know enough about Sasha’s dad to get all the nuances of this, but I like Sasha acting like I do.
She comes up to my room with Tupperware containers full of pie and kisses my cheeks and primps in my mirror, and I sit there and smile at her.
“I made lemon meringue pie just for you. Everyone was like, why is there lemon meringue pie on Thanksgiving, and I was like don’t you dare even touch it.”
A woman walks by with four kids she’s trying to wrangle all at once.
“On a Saturday?” Sasha says. “That’s bleak.”
“It’s not bleak! It’s proactive.”
One of the last things she did before she died was go to this protest against Eisenhower intervening in Guatemala.
And she was really into, like, traditional Mexican culture and matriarchal societies and stuff like that.
I’m going to smell like oil and onions from the latkes for days.
Before he helped eradicate yellow fever in the U.S., it was going around killing people left and right.
And RA is the tenth most debilitating illness there is.
“I don’t know why it’s important for us to establish some hierarchy of who’s sicker than who,” he says.
So I’m the girl who’s got a lot of odds stacked against her here that she’s not going to be a good person, and then we’ve got my history of feeling like a sick person, and now I’m sick, and it really doesn’t look like I’m going to be the one to break the pattern and head down the path of righteousness or whatever.
“Y’know, it’s probably blasphemous to talk about being sick like it’s a religion.”
And you’re way too self- deprecating to ever trick me, so I don’t think we need to worry about that. You’d sell yourself out instantly.

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