There’s this huge, end-of-the-year thing going on for school, involving a giant bicycle race through a huge, weird cavern. The bikes are special bikes that send information to a Nintendo of some kind, so while you physically bike around, other kids are watching a TV screen with a video game on it, and their friends who are on bikes are in the video game. I am in the race and I am doing OK, even though there are certain parts where it is almost impossible to pedal because the incline becomes really suddenly steep. Also, there are big crowds of students doing other things that you have to bike through, which is dangerous. It’s a really long race, it’s taking over an hour even though the area for each lap isn’t all that huge. On my 3rd lap, I feel somebody’s hand on my back, pulling at my shirt. I protest, but the smiling student to whom the hand belongs informs me that stuff like that is totally OK since it’s a video game. “Alright,” I say, “Then you’re gonna see some real Road Rash shit now!” I push a different kid over with one hand as I pass him, his bike and everything falling right over, and I can tell it hurts even though this “is a video game.” I decide to try and just win on speed.
I notice a huge screen above me that has peoples’ high scores from earlier games at this end-of-the-year party. “MC Lickatung” has all the high scores for a sit-down Mario Kart tournament. “MC Lickatung” is the Instant Messenger name my friend Elizabeth used to use, and I haven’t seen her in a while, so I’m determined to find her. I don’t know where to start looking, but I see this kid Greg that she used to like, and I wonder what he’s doing here.
The race ends abruptly. I go to my locker but I can’t remember the number, just the combination. When I find out which one is mine (with some help from this big jock named Ramas) I forget the combination. I try a few things and luckily my third try is correct. The locker is empty, though. I pick up my backpack and start running for the front of the school. I know that something changed and my bus used to be one of the last to leave, but recently it’s always been one of the first and I have missed it every time. As I’m running, I bump into my friend Jake’s mom who offers me a ride home. I tell her I really want to try and make the bus but I end up talking to her for too long and once I finally make it outside to the front of the school, my bus is gone, I can just tell. I take out my cell phone and call Jake’s mom to see if she’s left yet. She hasn’t. I get in her car and find out that we are on our way to Ocean City and that my sister is going to be there.