111. Burnt Bridges, page posted 8/25/21
Page 15 of 28
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Comment ID #17675
Comment ID #17676
Comment ID #17677
At least he’s realizing with Sandy, maybe at least he’ll break up with her
Comment ID #17678
For once he actually seems genuine if i were him i would still call it off with sandy not in a effort to try and patch things up with lucy but because what sandy did was so wrong the relationship will never be the same again and there is so much hurt there
Comment ID #17679
Ahhh, now it's all coming together for me. It seems like the "I know how she felt" line from a few pages back has multiple meanings...
Comment ID #17680
Sandy really did tug Mikes heart strings by telling him things he really wanted to hear all this time and made huge changes in her life to show that she meant it buuuuuut Mike? I am very curious as to how you forgave her so easily too. I can see why you did it, but did you have to? You couldn’t have fought a little harder? The very least you could have done was clear the air between the two of you about Lucy. Sandy had her Francis, and you had your Lucy. The both of you were interested in another person and it’s not fair that Sandy was the only one to confess her side of the story.
That being said, I wonder if Sandy would have been so enthusiastic to give the relationship a second chance if Mike told her about Lucy and how he’s felt about his ex-best friend pretty much their whole relationship.
Comment ID #17681
Forgive yet don't forget...
I think Mike forgot the later point which is why I think he took her back. Though think about it...he might have forgiven her but he hasn't forgiven himself for anything and that is the kicker. I think that is why he is punishing himself.
Comment ID #17682
Oh yeah, good point, good point!
On a similar note, and now that I think about it Sandy made a habit of interrupting Mike during their conversation and enthusiastically talking over him ESPECIALLY when he tried to talk about Lucy or not wanting to get back together. She really treated him like a doormat there, intentional or not. Sandy really made a habit of overwhelming him in so many ways like pushing the fact that she already made so many changes in her life to make room for him (which he disapproved multiple times) and telling him that he was her "one and only". That's a lot to handle especially for a 15 year old, damn!
Comment ID #17683
Not just that, but I think Sandy is at least partly aware that as much as she says she needs Mike, he needs his idea of her even more. She knows she isn't that, but it's very easy for her to pretend because Mike is so desperate for that affection and support that he's kind of settling for a hollow imitation of it.
Comment ID #17684
But he did tell her about Lucy, I remeber back when they had their first phone call he said he needed to tell her the truth on some things. I would assume he also told her about Lucy. But then again on that one dream chapter I guess he didn't tell her about Lucy base off the line "you haven't been really honest" that sandy said to him 🤔
Comment ID #17685
Man, at this point there's been so much damage, the best thing Mike can do is take a break from Sandy for awhile and figure himself out. He's spent most of his life with Sandy and Lucy. Does he even know who he is?
Comment ID #17686
Flip the pronouns and I'm pretty sure Lucy could be saying the same exact thing.
Comment ID #17687
I like how Augustus’s expression has seemingly been changing from anger, to mild disgust, to quiet pity/sympathy. Perhaps he was expecting Mike to be a lot more defensive and aggressive, as opposed to his current state where he just seems…broken.
Comment ID #17688
I think it's more that the veil is falling away. Augustus has always been a fairly quick to judge person and while he IS getting better (though I don't think nearly as quickly as some say) He had probably already condemned Mike in his head. This bit here with Mike revealing that he just feels so confused and like he has no real choices left is likely both hitting close to home, and making him reconsider his decisions about who Mike is.
Comment ID #17689
If you switched the pronouns around, I’m sure Lucy felt the same way
M. L. Scotland
Comment ID #17690
Mike: Are you even listening to me!
Augustus: You have my undivided attention. (three animated animals play "Turkey in the Straw" in his mind)
Comment ID #17691
I love that Mike keeps having moments of what seems to be completely genuine regret and desire to change that end with him not actually doing any better. it just screams teenage experience to me :') ouch
Comment ID #17692
I think alot of that mostly boils down to him not even seeing each instance as being the same thing. Every time he has this breakdown it's him pouring his heart out, someone tells him some platitude about how it'll get better...and then nothing changes. No one treats him different and he's left grasping at the wind trying to even process what he's actually experiencing.
Comment ID #17693
So Mike decided to call her bluff? If so bravo. Good for them to call her bluff. She can't always slap the wrist away. She can't call the shots if she's shooting the victim. ? Like she did too much for all of us to handle with Mike. I just ugh need These kids to not let me drink after this. Lol
Comment ID #17694
Mike KNOWS hes being manipulated. He KNOWS hes being pulled around but hes always been a slave to his feelings he cant help it. Both mike and lucy are being played with becuase sandy cant make up her find. Its kinda fucked how her actions reverberate down the line. Its not easy to say no to someone in that situation i dont blame mike for giving in that much.
Comment ID #17695
That “and I believed her” at the end, that’s very ominous, considering he’s saying it as if she already started reverting to her habits. Maybe I’m too high and reading too deep in, but that’s what I think personally
Comment ID #17696
I feel like people often overlook HOW Mike started this spiral. Everyone likes to chalk it up to narcissistic tendencies or to being malicious. But qe forget that Mike end up so dependant on Sandy because NO ONE was supporting him otherwise. He was expected by everyone around him to be the sole pillar holding up Lucy, even as Lucy was verbally, emotionally and physically abusive to him. The mere idea he had a girlfriend that WASN'T Lucy lead to a gang of other students beating him up. And the person supposedly being Mike's best friend, Paulo, was effectively trying to gaslight him about Sandy even existing. Nothing he's done since he finally exploded over it has been justified, but no one seems to acknowledge that Mike has never been a bad kid, never been someone who WANTS anyone to hurt. But he doesn't have anyone to tell him his pain was valid and to just let him be hurt. It took Daisy and Paulo being drunk to acknowledge they even NOTICED how badly Lucy treated him, and all good will was wiped away when he confessed it was him lashing out that drove Lucy to suicide. And since then, nothing, not really. No one to just say "I get it man. You got hurt, and we helped cause it."
Comment ID #17697
Slight addition to this thought, but a big part of Lucy's growth, and her mindset before December happened, involved her accepting that the way she treated Mike was unacceptable and that he was at least partly right that separating from each others lives, at least for awhile, would be beneficial. They were, effectively, on the same page. The disconnect comes from the fact that NO ONE ELSE IS. A lot of Mike and Lucy's relationship has been shaped and almost forced by people around them, which would only exacerbate the issue because Mike continues to feel like he isn't being given agency in his own life, and Lucy starts to wonder why Mike isn't able to see what everyone else does. Not only do these two need some real, healthy distance(which inudes knowing each other are okay and supported btw) but everyone needs to get off their backs about each other, for like...ever.
Comment ID #17698
reading this made me really happy, i'm glad peoeel are actually thinking abt what brought mike to where he is + realize he's not actually a narcissistic kid at all
its like how he's constantly accused of 'self pity' but i can't really see it as such because everytime he realizes he's done something wrong, the guilt he feels is pretty real ( /because/ he's not as self centered as people make him out to be...)
ANYWAY thank you for this insight, it was really cool to read!
Comment ID #17699
Yeah, I think because of how dramatically it hurt Lucy, people tend to forget Mike was basically suffocating before he said everything he said. Mike was constantly being abused by Lucy, his friends had blinders on about it (often out of jealousy, sometimes because they thought he didn't mind), Sandy was slowly drifting further and even his own pet was basically telling him what to think and feel. And after December...none of that changed. Everyone kept telling Mike what he was doing, telling him his motives and denying his emotions. Augustus might very well be the first person in a looooong time to just take what Mike says as true and heartfelt without responding with empty platitudes. Augustus is the "I get it, you're hurting, but DUDE." Moment that Mike needs right now.
Comment ID #17700
ooooh!! I am so glad you see this about Mike too!! Imma ramble about this little dude, I hope you don’t mind:
[MAJOR RAMBLE ALERT]
Mike at his core is actually a very caring, sweet kid and always has been. There are countless instances through out the whole comic of him helping someone for the sake of just being kind and without any ulterior motive. Whether it be the only one to check up on Paulo after he got assaulted by Abbey in the con bathroom, defend Paulo when Sue or Abbey say something mean about him (ex: c89/p44 and c108/p2) or comfort Lucy and didn’t get grossed out when she unexpectedly got her first ‘time of the month’ in public, the dude does have a kind heart. But it does have its limits. He is what happens when you push a genuinely ‘nice’ person too far.
It’s an on-going theme within the comic that his feelings are seldom taken seriously...Especially with people like Daisy, Paulo, and Lucy who are supposedly his closest friends. Mike has tried to open up multiple times to the people around him but was mostly ignored, made fun of, or retaliated especially when he tries to explain himself. When Mike rejected Lucy in “Unrequited”, instead of the people around them leaving him and Lucy the hell alone to process the whole thing, they made it their business to immediately take Lucys side and blame everything on Mike. Instead of sitting back and thinking “Yeah Lucy has always been kind of a dick to him so no wonder he wanted to be in a relationship with someone who is actually nice to him and lets him talk about his feelings”, they immediately call him a “dimwit” and accuse him of creating drama. It also doesnt help the fact that they immediately fawned over how pretty Sandy was when Mike felt like he had to prove he was already in a relationship with someone else which is SO UNCOOL for Lucys feelings as well. Poor girl. :/
Another screwed up thing is literally the whole “Puppy Love” chapter. Where the audience finds out that Mike does not like all of the attention he gets from the girls (and guys) around him. He never asks for it, he doesn’t go out of his way to earn it, and he actually feels bothered by the attention he is given just because he is a naturally likable person. It doesn’t help that Paulo is impressed by how much of a following he has and calls him a ‘player’ even though Mike is clearly not that type of person. But instead of people going “ah yes, we should totally respect his boundaries” he was instead made fun of by Paulo and not taken seriously at all. An interesting parallel to this is in “It’s all in the Mind” where Daisy is accusing Lucy that she could have anyone she desired because all she has to do is exist, but Lucy put her foot down and said that she doesn’t want anyones attention anyway. (c103/p16) But here she was taken much more seriously than Mike.
I understand that some of this is just played up for jokes (especially the earlier chapters) but it still helps explain how Mike came to be who he is. The boy might have many amazing personality traits, but he does have flaws such as being a door mat, being too naive, and being pretty easy to manipulate himself just to name just a few. Him being defensive and “self-centered” is crafted through years of people not taking him seriously and even doubting his coveted relationship with Sandy. There are genuinely few times in this comic that Mike was being a straight up asshole to someone that wasn’t in some form of retaliation. One instance was him being a douche to Daisy during “Witch hunt”. (c105/p25) Damn dude, I hope you apologize to her for that day.
But yeah, Mike is a character that is faaaaar from perfect and made some big fucky-wuckys, but I also am aware that he was definitely pushed way too far in so many ways over the years and to me its no surprise he ended up being the person he is now. In my opinion he was pretty resilient for putting up with so much shit from the people who call themselves his ‘friends’ over the years, but he was bound to break under the pressure. Daisy overly obsessed and overbearing to him, Lucy was obsessed, overbearing AND a dick, and Paulo for the longest time just sat there and never took him seriously.
I believe Mike is a lovingly complicated character that had an interesting downfall and I would love to watch him build himself back up again to become a better person and learn self-confidence and self love.
Comment ID #17701
Another big one people miss is the only person saying Mike came running to Lucy whenever Sandy wasn't around...is not Lucy or Mike. Lucy has claimed she felt less important, that she thought Sandy mistreated him, but she never said Mike treated her as his rebound. The closest Mike has come to saying that is admitting he DID have feelings for her once, and lately has been toying with the concept that MAYBE he never truly got over her(though keep in mind all of that has been said mid-mental breakdown). The person who insisted on that idea...was Paulo. Who originally didn't even think Sandy was real and was nigh constantly projecting onto Mike.
Comment ID #17702
Ooo good point. She can now get the attention she wants from Mike without putting mich effort.
Comment ID #17703
Damn Mike, much as you’re, just, the worst emotional exploder, I know how you feel, mah dude. It’s not pleasant.
But, the trick is, when you recognise you’ve been played, it’s not too late. It’s never too late to make a change for yourself. Agreements made under such emotional manipulation are not genuine agreements. The fact she put you in that situation is unforgivable - you can still forgive, but never trust her again. Seriously.