Rafe goes into another one of his little dreams. This time he's in Mrs. Stricker's office. Or should we say, Sergeant Stricker's cell.
The guards threw Rafe in the cell hours ago. Or was it days? The cuffs dig into his wrists and sweat trickles down his forehead.
Sergeant Stricker approaches and asks Rafe if he's got something to prove. Why jump Miller the Killer?
Nothing to prove, Sergeant. Miller was the one that started it.
Listen kid, Sergeant Stricker says, I'm on your side. Just want you to live up to your potential…to be the youngest kid ever to get sent to the federal penitentiary.
Then, Sergeant Stricker puts on her brass knuckles and hits Rafe three times until everything turns black.
Down the Drain
Back in the real world, Mrs. Stricker is lecturing Rafe about all the terrible choices he keeps making. Then, she has him wait in the Box (a little windowless room for taking make-up tests) until his mom arrives.
That doesn't go much better.
There's a whole lot of hand wringing. Everyone is really concerned and worried. Rafe gets an in-school suspension for fighting.
Mrs. Donatello has volunteered to help Rafe with his homework twice a week after school. He'll also be assigned a peer tutor—will Jeanne Galletta please report to the office?
Oh, great. Just great.
You Tell Me
Rafe's mom and Bear get into a huge fight that day. Bear thinks Mom is way too easy on Rafe. Eventually Mom has to go to work and it's over.
Leo thinks that Rafe really needs to get back into the game. After all, he's tried to be normal and look what it got him? Everyone thinks he's a huge screw up. He actually is a huge screw up.
But how can he break a rule tomorrow? He's stuck in the Box all day tomorrow during his in-school suspension.
Oh, that would be a challenge, wouldn't it? Leo tells him.
So, Rafe comes out of his room and announces he has to run to the store.
Bear's a little suspicious. For what?
Rafe lies and says for homework. He needs poster board. Bear insists on driving him to Office Mart, so he loads everyone in the car and drives them there.
Rafe runs inside and makes two photocopies of his face…and buys those poster boards, too.
Now he's all set for tomorrow.
It Was Worth a Shot, Anyway
In-school suspension is boring. One of the most boring things on the face of the earth. Middle schoolers have probably died of boredom in that room.
And Rafe knew that he never, ever wanted to go back there after his one day there.
But he also knew that he wanted to break a rule. So, he took his little photocopied face and tied a string to it and made a mask out of it. Then he put it over his own face and tried to sleep. Sleeping in class is against the rules.
Of course, it didn't work for very long. After a few minutes, Mrs. Stricker came in and asked what the heck Rafe thought he was doing.
But something really weird also happened. Mrs. Stricker looked at the mask and then burst out laughing.
It didn't last long, but Rafe knew he had earned his 20,000 points. He was back in the game.