The first night I raced online in Mario Kart 8, Minarchist had eluded me on every track. I could only watch as he sped into the distance on one of his motorbikes, vanishing on the horizon to claim first place. He may as well have been continuing his time trials, the rest of us left in the dust to combat for lesser glories.
The second night I crept closer, occasionally seeing him far on the track ahead, as if demonstrating to me the proper way to drift those tight corners and snag those coins. I never really was able to keep up, but just seeing him ahead of me was a delight. I was starting to keep up, and I didn't need to sink hours into racing ghost data on time trials to do it.
The third night I neared him, almost overcoming him in first. I had struck him with a properly timed shell and began drifting into a corner, my Larry Koopa cutting on the inside edge, ready to hit that boost and surpass him. Even if it was going to be for five seconds, I was going to be in first place. My heart lifted. I was about to achieve a personal goal set back when joining the Goodjers with Karts tournament online.
And then Manach crashed right through me with her starman, sending me into third place and stealing my victory — no matter how brief it would have been — away from me.
That's okay. Revenge is a dish best served by a raging, heat-seeking red shell.