Ok so look at Maggie’s face, the slow smile developing, while Alex is TechnoBabbling.
Maggie loves it.
And it shows with the affection in her voice – and Alex’s pleased response – when a moment later she calls her “Nerd.”
AND ALEX HAS NEVER FELT THAT WAY BEFORE. ABOUT BEING CALLED A NERD.
Because hear me out:
She is indeed a GIGANTIC nerd. And she’s from an entire family of GIGANTIC nerds.
She’s used to being called a nerd.
And it never bothered her – not exactly – because she had pride in her family, and Eliza and Jeremiah taught her to value being smart, to value knowledge, to value being passionate, to value being on top of her game. So being called a nerd relentlessly never bothered her. Not exactly. Family pride. Pride in herself.
But she never exactly loved it, either.
Because the other kids? They meant it to make sure she knew that she was other, that she was different. And she liked being different. But it also… tugged at her. That they kept calling her a nerd to separate her from them.
It made her lonely. Even if she would never admit it.
And then MAGGIE SAWYER comes along and calls her a nerd, with so much affection, with so much turned-on-ness, with so much admiration and KIND teasing. The kind of teasing that is intended to make you feel CONNECTED, not separate; like she belongs with Maggie.