What events lead up to mike's hospitalization in That was Then, This Is Now?

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mlee13 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mike's hospitalization is another example of the issues within society.  This particular event shows the division between races.  Mike's friends are teasing a black girl, and eventually he tries to calm her down and offers to take her home.  When they arrive at her house, her friends see her coming home in tears, accompanied by a white male, and they arrive at the wrong conclusion (that he is the cause of her tears).  Her brothers ask her what she wants them to do to him, and even though he helped her out and took her home, she replies that they should "kill him". Mike is not killed but does need to be hospitalized, which is where he meets Mark and Bryon and tells them the story of why he is in the hospital.  Towards the end of their conversation, Mike said that even though the girl told her friends to kill him, he doesn't hold anything against her.  This baffles Mark completely, and he says he would never be able to forgive anyone if they did something to betray him.  The theme of betrayal is something that both main characters will face as the novel continues.