(Strip Number 1034, Original Publication Date, 11 April 1986)
Panel 1: We find Mike on the bed reeling from the "fact" that Phil expects him to be BETTER than Marsalis if he expects him to love him and asking Lizzie why they all pick on him and expect so much of him.
Panel 2: Since Elly doesn't understand what Mike thinks is happening and assumes that he's play-acting just to make her feel bad, he complains about how he's totally alone in a world that doesn't care about his feelings. (Which he kind of he is, come to think of it.)
Panel 3: Elizabeth asks if she should leave; he says no.
Panel 4:, As the two of them lie on the bed, Michael says being alone is easier when you have company.
Summary: This is sort of nice but also sort of disgusting. Phil didn't really mean to be a jerk BUT his inability to understand kids means that he does NOT and will continue to not understand that Mike thinks that he was told "Be better than this guy or I have no use for you." Meanwhile, we have Elly and her reluctance to admit that children don't bounce back from pain or hurt or embarrassment just because she doesn't want to deal with the fall-out making Mike realize that no one cares.