Rusty-James’s life is going downhill fast. He gets expelled from school because he generally does not care about school. He will be sent to Cleveland High, “the school where they sent everybody they didn’t like” (p. 63). Rusty-James says he does not really care, but he also tells his counselor he does not want to go.
“Rusty,” he said, “they are equipped to handle your kind in Cleveland.” (p. 63)
The counselor asks Rusty-James to start doing some serious thinking about his life, but he has so many serious problems he does not have time to think about his own life.
Things go from bad to worse. Motorcycle Boy, Rusty-James’s brother, decides to let all of the animals go so he robs the pet store, but he is shot by the cops and dies. Rusty-James goes color-blind and half-deaf from the pain.
Since most of the book has been a flashback, it ends with Rusty-James accepting Steve's invitation to dinner, but knowing he won't go because he does not want a reminder of the past.