"All for the Best" is the 7th episode of Desperate Schoolboys.
Rena attends Rudolfo's funeral, as Ben and Ali seek to comfort him, however Justine assures him it is for the best. After his visit to the prison, Joe, tries to convince himself that his anger is behind him. And Josh seeks to tell Liz the truth, however her friendship with Nick makes it difficult, and how will she react?
Since Joe Hadland had partially confronted his father, he had convinced himself that he had overcome his anger. He was now walking with a spring in his step, of course, not even he knew that the spring was put on by himself...
Joe walks into Dr. Sonya's office, seeming tranquil, he lies on the couch. "You seem different, Joe." Dr. Sonya says. "Thank you." Joe tells him, lying down on the couch. "Is it a compliment?" Sonya wonders. "Why, of course." Joe assures him. "Why is that?" Dr. Sonya asks. "I confronted my past." Joe say. "Really? How did you do so?" Sonya asks. "Um... by standing on my father's grave." Joe lies. "Oh?" "Yes." "So, you had issues with your father?" Joe's fists clenched, he smiled it away, "Yes... but not major ones." his fists unclenched. "I sense you're lying, Joe." Dr. Sonya says, "I'm a therapist, I can read people. And you're not just lying to me, you're lying to yourself." he says.
But, of course, Joe refused to admit this.
"I assure you, Doctor, I'm fine. Now, shall we see what else I have to discuss today?" Joe asks.
Because, ever since he had visited his father, he had been more terrified than ever.
There always comes a time where we must move on... whether we feel pressured to move on from our secrets...
Josh sits on his bed again, flicking through his magazines.
Or wanting to move on from our affections...
Ben sees Liz at school.
And then we have those who don't want to move on, but are forced to, much too early...
At the local church, the organist begins to play as the pall bearers lift Rudolfo's coffin up off the ground. Rena and Justine watch it as it's walked down the aisle, Rena cries and Justine offers him a hanky, also crying. "It's okay, my dear. Let the tears out." she reassures him. Rena is silent. "He died so far before his time..." Rena says, sadly. "Yes, but you must remember, it's all part of God's plan." she assures him. Rena asks her how she could say that but Justine defends herself, saying that she's only trying to help. "Why would anyone plan this?" Renato asks, "I'm not saying that, sweetheart..." she tells him. "But what you must remember is that it's all for the best." Rena seems confused.
At school, Liz is walking towards the cafeteria when Josh comes running over, "Liz! Liz! I need to talk to you." Liz shakes her head, "I already told you, Josh. I don't want to talk to you." "You don't understand," Josh goes on, "I want to be honest with you... I..." "Josh," Liz interrupts, "We have nothing to say. Because, frankly, I don't care. Now, Nick is waiting for me, please." Josh sighs, "Okay. So you like Nick then do you?" Liz chuckles, "Nick? No, we're just friends." "Oh," Josh goes on, "Well, I'd be careful then." "What do you mean?" Liz asks. "Well, he clearly likes you," Josh tells her. Liz shakes her head, "We're just friends, Josh. He's been there for me while I've been separated from my group." Liz walks off.
Joe is walking through the halls in school and comes across Josh, he walks over to converse with him. "Hey, Josh, long time, no see." Joe points out; Josh nods before Joe asks where he's been and what he's been doing lately. "Oh... I've just been hanging around with some new people." Josh lies. "New people?" Joe asks. "Like whom?" Josh is now annoyed, "Better people. Interesting people. Popular people. Much better than you bunch of nobodies." Josh states. "Oh, thanks," Joe retorts. "Look, I gotta get to class, see ya' later... maybe." Josh says. "Wait, we didn't even get to catch up..." Joe points out, "Joe, will you please just let me be! Fuck off!" Josh exclaims. As Josh walks away, Joe's fists clench tightly.
Liz walks over to Nick. "Hi," Nick greets her, "I had a lot of fun the other night." "Me too," Liz smiles. "What are you up to after school?" Nick asks. "Oh, I have loads of homework," Liz tells him. "Ah, the studious type," Nick chuckles, "You sure you don't want to do something?" Liz looks into his puppy-like eyes, "I really can't." Liz begins to walk away. However Nick shouts after her, "I guess I just needed someone to talk to." Liz turns back around, "What?" "You knew my neighbor, James, right?" Nick asks. "Eh, yeah," Liz says. Nick explains, "Well, I think his death is just hitting me. I would come home from a hard day at school. Feeling very lonely. No one to really talk to. But James, next door, was always there. I would talk to him, and I no longer felt so alone. But it's okay, Liz. I'll be fine." Nick begins to walk away, however Liz shouts after him, "Nick! I'll meet you here after school." Nick smiles, "You will?" "Sure," Liz says. "Great," Nick tells her.
Rena is sitting on his doorstep sometime after school hours, still wearing is suit from the funeral, he's approached by Ben who is also dressed in black. "It was a lovely service," Ben tells his friend who thanks him. "I haven't been to a funeral since my grandfather's," Ben continues, sitting down next to Rena, "I didn't know how I was going to get over that when it happened... and now you, and your father... I can only imagine how that must feel... I just want you to know that it's okay to let it out." Rena begins to tear up again, "He wasn't supposed to die..." Rena cries. Ben replies that nobody is meant to die but Rena goes on to explain that his father seemed quite off-put right before his death. "He wanted to get something off his chest... I could tell... I knew him," Rena says, "And do you know what my mother said to me as he was being ushered back down the aisle? She told me it was all for the best. Can you believe that?" Rena asks. Ben shakes his head. "It's almost as if she doesn't even care," Rena states. Ben assures him that that's not true, comforting Rena. "Actually I do!" Ben exclaims. "What?" Rena wonders, "Do what?" "Know how I got through it," Ben proceeds to take out a book from his rucksack, he hands it to Rena. "A storybook? You're right. You can only imagine." Ben shakes his heads, telling Rena that stories help us more than we know and that when characters go through something the way of doing so can be extrapolated and transferred. Rena looks at the book and raises and eyebrow.
Liz sits down for lunch, when Katie comes over, "Can I talk to you?" "It's a free country," Liz remarks. "I'm sorry that we haven't talked much. But, Liz, please, you have to come back. We miss you," Katie tells her. "I'm not hanging out with you, as long as she is there," Liz responds. Katie explains, "Lots of us are friends with Val, Liz, you can't expect everyone to just discard her." Nick walks over, "Hey, what's going on?" Katie looks up, feeling she's intruding, "Well, I just wanted to say sorry." Katie walks away. Nick sits down beside Liz, "Yeah, right. As if an apology is gonna make everything better." Liz continues to look silent. "What you thinking?" Nick interrupts. "Oh, just that I do miss my friends," Liz says, "And this is all Val's fault. Not theirs." "But they all took her side. Failed to comfort you," Nick informs her. "Yeah. I guess," Liz says. "We still on for after school?" Nick asks. "Sure," Liz smiles.
Joe is in line at the cafeteria when Kimo cuts in front of him, "Hey! I've been waiting forever to get served!" Joe exclaims. "So wait a little longer..." Kimo says. "Um, no, fuck you and move," Joe states, fuelled on his anger at Josh. "Oh, yeah?" Kimo asks, "Make me." Joe takes a deep breath and smiles at Kimo; he then punches him hard in his stupid face. Kimo, completely furious now, moves in to attack Joe and slams him up against the wall, Joe spits on his face and Kimo, disgusted backs off, Joe proceeds to kick him in the shins and Kimo throws a punch at Joe, hitting him in the eye. Joe leaps for Kimo and the two wrestle, causing tables and chairs to clear as they throw punches at each other and wreak havoc, gaining the attention of everyone. Kimo grabs Joe from behind and compresses his throat, Joe begins to choke but quickly flips Kimo, flooring him, and he kicks his neck, knocking him out. "I told you I've been waiting forever." Joe walks over to the stunned lunch lady and requests the chicken.
It's night. Liz and Nick lie on the grassy hill, looking up at the night sky. "You know," says Nick, "The stars up there may not even exist. It takes so long for the light to travel here, that they could be well gone by now. It kinds of shows. What we think we understand. What we think is important, it's not. The problems in our life are nothing, in the grand scheme of things." "I wish that was true," comments Liz. "It is," Nick sits up, "And you know, that's what James was. A blip in time. You know, he was alive, now he's dead. But, maybe, in the grand scheme of things, it's not really that big a deal." Liz sits up, "Do you really think that's true?" "What will be will be," Nick tells her, "There's no point of worrying in life. Just sit back, and enjoy the ride." Liz smiles.
Rena and Ali are walking to school together, they are approached by Ben. "Hey, just wanted to know if you gave the book a read?" Ben wonders. "Um, no... I decided I don't need outside influence and that I'm just gonna move on and face whatever needs to be faced," Rena states. Ben nods and tells him that that's a good decision. He then asks why Rena is coming to school after what happened, "Oh... my mom decided it would help me move on. Which is ridiculous," Rena states. Ben agrees and bids him a farewell. Ali turns to Rena and smiles. "I think it's amazing how maturely you're acting," she tells him. "Oh, yeah?" he asks, she nods. "I've been through a few tough times myself." "Like what?" Rena wonders. "Well... back at the orphanage... I went through some stuff... but I got over it the same way you did. Facing what needed to be faced." Rena asks her what her problem was. "Oh, really, it's nothing... I mean... they thought I was crazy in this place, all because... because I said some things that they deemed as untrue... they treated me like a mental patient..." Ali explains. "What did you say?" Rena asks, stunned. "Nothing important," she assures him. "Well... what happened?" he wonders."I grew up and realized that even though I knew I wasn't crazy... I wasn't gonna let them make me believe I was... so I went along with it." "Wow," Rena says. Ali smiles at her love and kisses him, "But of course Rena," she says, "I'm completely sane." Rena smiles at her, but, when he turns away, he looks slightly worried.
The next day, at school. Liz walks through the cafeteria to see Josh sitting alone, looking down. She walks over to him, "Josh, you okay?" "I'm fine," he says. "You don't look fine," she sits, "You know, if there is something going on then you can tell me." "I don't know what you're talking about," Josh shakes his head. "Josh, you wanted to tell me something yesterday. I'm sorry I didn't want to listen. I do care about you. And you can tell me," Liz smiles. Josh looks up at her, "I'm gay." Liz's eyes widen. She looks down, "Oh, eh, I don't know what to say." "Which is why I haven't told people. I only wanted you to know because you deserve the truth, after how much I've hurt you," Josh explains. "How long have you known? Did you know before we started dating?" Liz looks a little hurt. Josh tells her, "I did care about you. I never lied to you. The only person I've lied to is myself." "Why?" Liz asks. "Because I don't want to be gay," Josh admits, "My dad expects me to grow up to have a wife and be normal. And once people here find out, they'll see me different. I'll just be 'the gay kid', Everything will change." "That's not true," Liz comforts, "Your friends. They're good guys. Tell them the truth, Josh. They'll understand." "I can't!" Josh tells her, "I can't ask them to be okay with me, when, I'm not." Liz holds his hand, "You're a good guy, Josh. And I love even more, now that I know who you really are." Josh holds her hand tight and they both smile. However, behidn them, creeping at the edge of the wall of the cafeteria, is Val. She gasps, having listened to everything. She smiles with delight.
Joe is sitting on the couch in the middle of the day flicking through channels, his mother walks in and asks him why he isn't in school, "Oh, yeah, I was suspended... I not mention?" Joe tells her. "Suspended?! What for?!" she demands. "Oh, there was this guy, he was being a real douche, so I stomped on his throat," Joe informs her rather casually. "Joe! This is serious! You could get expelled if you're not careful!" she exclaims. "Why would you care? It's only my future that's affected... not your favourite singles' bar." Annie is speechless. "Who do you think you are talking to?!" she demands again. "A regular human being, who shouldn't demand respect she hasn't earned," Joe tells her. "You need to stop with the anger, Joe, it becomes tiresome!" she yells. "Oh, that's rich!" he exclaims, standing, "You know?! I honestly thought I was getting better... but no... Even after I went to see dad..." Joe starts. "You saw your father again?" Annie asks. "I'm talking!" he yells, carrying on, "I mean... I never knew how hard it was to stop the anger... pretty soon, and I know this, you'll end up friendless, without family, completely alone and secluded from the rest of the world with no one to love you and no one to care all because you never knew how to just stop being angry, how to channel it or control it or to... or to just let go. And you know how I know? Because it's exactly what happened to dad," Joe explains. Annie is stunned at his reaction, "Where did you see him?" she wonders. "Prison... should've known he'd end up there eventually..." Joe tells her, "You know... you never told me why you fell out with him over the summer... you two were getting along quite well..." she says. "Yeah, well, things change. Hell, you should know. You change bed every night."
Nick is walking through school, when Josh approaches him, "I need to talk to you." "Shoot," Nick tells him. "I think you should leave Liz alone," Josh tells him, "She needs to be with her friends. You're just making it harder." "Liz is capable of choosing who she spends her time with," Nick responds, "Give her more respect than that." Nick attempts to keep walking, but Josh grabs him by the shoulder, "Let me be straight. You are a sad loner. And the fact that you think Liz will ever like you is pathetic. Stop wasting your time. And leave her alone!" Josh turns on his heels and walks away. Nick stares after him, with angry eyes, and clutches his fist.
There will always come a time where we need to move on... some of us must move on from our past to get rid of the anger that accompanies it...
Flash to Joe walking past school on a school day, people are inside but he keeps on walking.
Some of us must move on from our personas to be who we truly want to be...
Flash to Josh walking along a corridor with Liz, the two are conversing.
Some of us must move on from a difficult situation in order to dig deeper...
Flash to Rena looking at his supposedly mourning mother, who doesn't look saddened at all.
Yes, there will always come a time where we must move on, but there will always be some of us who fail in this, and what they choose not to move on from, can end up being dangerous... for everybody.
We see Nick on his bed, looking at blue prints of the school and mapping out exits, he looks over to a picture of Liz that he's hung on the wall. "Don't worry, my love, I will rescue you," he says before kissing the photograph. He proceeds to roll up the blueprints and place them under his bed, next to several boxes of matches.