"Seeking the Door" is the 5th episode of Desperate Schoolboys.
Liz, distraught over Josh, makes an unlikely friendship. Meanwhile an angry Joe decides to seek justice and admits to some revelations. When Ali runs away to the city due to a dispute with her new foster parents, Rena must go and find her. And as Josh spreads more pain and continues with his dishonesty, an angry Val swears to uncover his secret.
Rena is seen tossing and turning in his sleep, appearing to be having another one of his nightmares. He suddenly springs awake and sits up, "I'm sorry!" he exclaims. He looks around to realize he's still in his room.
Rena had never really been one for apologies, but ever since deciding he'd murdered his own brother, he found his views on the matter were being pushed out.
Rena takes the photo of the baby he'd found in the woods out from under his pillow, one he's stolen from his mother's room. "Oh... what did I do?" he wonders. Rena's cell phone begins to ring and he sees that it's Ali who's calling him, he answers the phone. "Hey... what's up?" he wonders, "Hey, you know how I came and met you in the woods and you said you owed me one?" Ali asks, "Yeah..." Rena says, "Can you come and meet me in the city?" Ali asks, "I kind of ran away." Rena's eyes widen.
Yes, Renato wished he could escape the situation he was in, had he known what situations lie ahead, he would have wished his predicament would never end.
We all use escapism to seek distractions and relief from reality... Whether it's seeking entertainment...
Flash to Joe sitting on the couch watching TV and laughing.
Or engaging in utter fantasy...
Flash to Ben sitting in front of his computer playing a medieval RPG.
Or trying to convince others you're straight, when in reality...
Josh and Val are heavily making out in her bedroom, Val slips her hand down to the crotch of Josh's jeans and unzips his fly, he moves her hand away with his own, "Um, are you sure?" he asks. "You know, you must be the first guy ever to ask that." she points out. Josh hesitates, "Unless... you don't want to...?" she wonders, "No, no. Of course I do... I was just going to say I don't have protection." he lies. Val opens her draw to reveal an opened box of condoms, "Which isn't a problem..." Josh says, disappointed. "We have about half an hour until my parents get home. You better get to work." She tells him, tearing open her shirt.
Soon, Josh and Val are sitting up on the latter's bed, "So, what? You not attracted to me?" she wonders, "No... I'm plenty attracted to you..." Josh lies. "Well, I'd say it happens to lots of guys, but look at me, I'm a fucking Goddess, of course it doesn't happen to me." she explains. "I've had a long day..." Josh tries. "Oh, shut up! Just admit it! I'm not hot in your eyes, am I?! I mean, you went out with that Liz girl so clearly your type is varied... you prefer geeky and frigid to stunning and willing? I mean, I can do stuff to you that she can't even pronounce!" Val exclaims. Josh stands up and begins to dress. "So that's it?! You're done with me! Get back in my bed and buck up, buck up where it counts!" she yells.
Josh Miller had become a self-taught expert at hiding his homosexuality...
"Forget it, Val. I'm out." he says before walking out of her room.
And for the record, erectile dysfunction is not an expertise he'd advise to follow.
Liz walks down the street, looking down. She sees a boy she kind of recognizes sitting on the curb, also looking down. She calls over, "Hey, there." Nick looks up, "What do you want?" "You just look quite sad. Do you want company?" she asks. "I don't need you to pretend to care. You're all the same," Nick retorts. Liz asks, "Who's all the same?" "You and your crew. You all judge and reject people just for being different," he explains. "Rough night?" Liz sympathizes, "For the record they're not really my crew anymore. Things are a bit awkward since one of my, supposedly, best friends kissed my boyfriend." "Well, isn't life tough on you," Nick mocks. Liz looks down, "And for the record, I don't reject people for being different. It's terrible people are discouraged from being themselves. I find individuality very refreshing." Nick smiles, "You're just being nice." Liz sits down beside him, "No." "Well, you are nice then," Nick says, "You know, there's a band playing tonight, at the village club." Liz looks down, "I know. I'm not going though. My friends and Josh will all be there. And I don't want a scene." Nick smiles, "What if I told you that I guarantee you won't see any of them. Then would you go?" Liz looks intrigued.
Joe is on the phone. "Excuse me," he says, "I just bought a computer from you and it doesn't work - " "Oh, that is terrible," the man interrupts, "Did you try the power button?" Joe retorts, "Of course I did! The computer has a cracked screen!" "Ah, did you drop it?" the man enquires. "I did not drop it! It came to me like this!" Joe gets irritated. "Well, we have plenty of screens for sale. Could I interest you in another purchase?" the man asks. Joe shouts, "No, you can't! I want a refund!" "Oh, well, do you have a warranty or proof that the damage was my fault?" the man asks. "Well, no," Joe says. "Then perhaps I could interest you in a screen?" the man goes on. Joe raises his voice further, "I'm making this very simple. I want my money back!" "I'm sure you do," the man replies. Joe looks flabbergasted, "Oh, I see what you're doing. You're handling me. You're agreeing with everything I say, in hope that I'll tire and go away." "Whatever you say," the man teases. Joe shouts, "I don't believe this! Where is the fairness in this? Where is the justice?!" The man laughs, "If you ever find justice in this world, kid, let me know," before handing up. Joe gives an intense stare of anger before slamming down the phone violently.
Rena steps off of his bus and into the city, he begins to walk. Soon he turns a street corner to find Ali standing outside of a building; he approaches her to realize that the building is an orphanage. "Hey..." she says. "So, any reason you wanted me to meet you out here?" Rena wonders. "I was too afraid to go in... and I needed someone to talk to." Ali explains. "But I'll pay for your bus ticket." She promises. Rena tells her that there's no need but Ali insists."So... is this the orphanage?" Rena asks. Ali nods. "Why did you come back here?" Rena wonders. "Well, I had another fight with my new parents, and I sort of found myself climbing out of my window afterwards... and then I sort of hopped on a bus to the city... and then I found this place..." she explains. "And then what?" Rena asks. "I call you." she says. "I kind of wanted you to see this place." she admits. "No photographs?" Rena wonders. "Have you ever seen it?" Ali wonders, "No..." Rena says, confused. "Look, Ali, we should really get you home." he says,."I'm not sure yet," she tells him, "I don't want to go back."
"Josh!" Val exclaims as she approaches him in the school halls. "Yes?" he says calmly, stopping to talk to her. "What that hell was that last night?!" she asks. "Me dumping you." he tells her. "Excuse me? You do not get to decide when we are through. I do!" she yells. "Actually... I kind of have." he makes clear. "Listen to me you son of a bitch! Do you think I don't know you don't give a crap about the girls you parade around here? Do you think I think you give a crap about me? No. I know you don't. But our relationship is different. It's ongoing. We've always fooled around but when I practically beg you to fuck me you fail to rise to the occasion. The hell is that about?" she wonders. "Meh... you're not that attractive." he says. "Don't lie to me. I ain't one of your average hoes. I'm special." "Seem like a regular whore to me..." Josh says. "Oh, please. Men practically cross their legs at the mere sight of me. What's so off about you, eh?" she wonders, "You only seem to understand loud and annoying tones so I'm gonna make this clear. Listen, bitch, I don't want to see you anymore so just stay the fuck away from me you psycho whore!" he exclaims, she steps back, "Okay, bye." he says before smiling and walking away. Val looks on after him, angered.
In the city, Rena is sitting in a café with Ali and talking. "So," he wonders, "What did you fight about with your parents?" "Oh... just... the usual?" she says. "It's usual? You mean you don't get along with them?" Rena wonders. "Not really... They're so damn restrictive. The curfews, the bedtimes, the internet safe searches. Today they were yelling at me because I got a 'D' in math, I mean, come on, it's math, who cares? Finally I just snapped and stormed up to my room. I then never came back out." she explains. "Well, I'm sure they're just trying to look out for you." he assures her. "So much that they destroy who I am." she states. Rena asks her what she means and Ali goes on to explain that back at the orphanage, she was confident and popular, the kind of person who was always the centre of attention, but since moving she's been stuck in the shadows. "Well... I'm sure that's the same for anyone in a new place." "No... I never had trouble making friends... since going home with those people you're the only friend I've got." she tells him. Rena smiles at her and Ali smiles back.
Josh is walking out of school when Ben comes over. Josh sighs, seeing Ben is upset. Ben shouts, "So what happened between you and Liz?" Josh tells him, "Come on, Ben, you know how it is." Ben keeps a firm and angry face. Josh turns serious, "Okay, Ben. It just didn't work out. We both knew it wasn't going to last forever." "What the hell is wrong with you?" Ben asks, "You had her, and you should have treated her better!" Josh goes on, "She was demanding and..." "She's perfect!" Ben interrupts. Josh gets defensive, "Just because you've liked her for so long doesn't mean you own her, or even know her! This is pathetic!" Ben retorts, "This isn't about me. Liz cared about you. And you devastated her."
Liz and Nick are sitting on the roof of the village club. They are listening to the music of the band, alone, smiling. "I told you that we could see the band without seeing your friends," Nick tells her. "This is great," Liz smiles, "Thank you for this." She continues to look down at the band, smiling. And Nick smiles too, while looking at her.
Joe is sitting in his room. He hears Ben saying, "Upstairs in his room? Okay. Thank you, Mrs. Hadland." Ben then enters the room, "Hi, Joe," he notices the computer, "You still got that? Thought you were returning it." Joe tells him, "I tried! All I got was some bad attitude!" Joe then stands up and begins shouting, "What am I suppose to do?! That fucking piece of scum thinks that he can cheat me?! Where is the justice?!" Ben tries to calm him down, "I'm sorry, Joe. But you just need to let it go. Sometimes things don't go well. You can let it get to you. Or, you can just forget it and file away under the heading 'sometimes life sucks'." "Well, that file is beginning to get fucking thick," Joe retorts, "It just annoys me that he's making money of his dirty work. I know why people take matters into their own hands. It would be so satisfying to just do something to him that shows you can't mess with people and get away with it!" Ben tries to smile, "Well, I know you Joe. And I know that you would never resort to that kind of thing," Ben stops and thinks unsurely, "Would you, Joe?"
After Rena has convinced Ali to go home, the two of them are walking to the bus stop together. "You know we missed a day of school for this." he smiles. "Yeah... thanks for coming out here for me." she says. "Are you kidding? How couldn't I?" he points out, Ali smiles. "Well, it's just most people wouldn't agree to hop on a bus to the next city over for a girl they barely know." she says, "But you're not most people." "I know you plenty." he assures her. "There's still a lot to learn." she assures him. "And I look forward to learning it." he tells her. Ali leans in and kisses Rena, as they pull away, she tells him, "I love you." Rena is taken back. "I'm so sorry. It just slipped out. Is it too soon?" she wonders. "No, no. It's nice." he tells her, "So... anything you'd like to say to me?" she wonders. "Yes... I love you, too." he states. They kiss again before arriving at the bus stop. "So, we spent the whole day talking about my problems. How are yours going? We haven't spoken much since... you know... the..." she whispers the next part. "Baby skeleton." Rena's face goes pale. "I'm not sure... I mean... I'm pretty sure... I'm pretty sure... I'm a murderer." he says, again, whispering the final part. "Listen to me, Renato. The day I believe you'd ever hurt somebody... like that... it's the day hell freezes over." she tells him. "Really?" he asks her, needing reassurance. "Really." she assures him.
In the dark street, Joe stands outside the computer shop. He is facing the large window of the shop, with a heavy rock in hand. He prepares to throw it through the window, when suddenly, Ben shouts from behind, "Joe, stop!" Joe turns, "Ben? What the hell are you doing here?!" "Stopping you from doing something really stupid. Now let's go!" Ben tells him. "I will not!" Joe shouts, "I know that this is wrong, Ben. But I don't care! This is the only thing I have left to get even!" Ben walks over to him, "Just give me the rock!" Joe steps back, "No! Now just go home, Ben. This isn't your concern." "Yes it is," Ben tells him, "You're my friend. And...and...remember that day, during my first year here, someone stole my clothes while we were swimming. I went looking, with just a towel on. And then, that bully Kimo, he snatched the towel from me and pushed me into the girls changing room." Joe looks confused, "Yes. Why are you telling me that?" "Because, I was humiliated," Ben tells him, "I went home and cried my eyes out. I was so desperate to get even. But I didn't. And do you know why?" Joe asks, "Why?" "Because if you act like a barbarian then you become a barbarian. And only then, has the bully taken away something even more important," Ben explains. Joe sighs, "Fine. I suppose if you were strong enough to show restraint after such humiliation, then I can let go of this. Not to mention the pictures." Ben asks, "What pictures?" "Oh, you didn't know," Joe says, "When you came out without the towel, Kimo took and posted pictures everywhere. Anyway, that's beside the point. Here. I won't need this." Joe hands Ben the rock, and begins to walk away. Ben grabs it, "I'm proud of you, Joe." Ben then flings it into the window of the shop. The glass shatters and an alarm goes off. Joe looks shocked, "Ben? What the hell did you do?" Ben faces him with a smile, "I took a blow for justice for the little guys! Now, quick, let's get the hell of here!" The two being running down the street. However Ben turns back to the window and empties his wallet inside it. Joe shouts over, "What are you doing?" "I may have become a barbarian today, but, I'm still the gentleman type who pays for his pillaging," Ben explains, before running back down the street with Joe.
The two run for a while, before stopping for a breath. They laugh at the pump of adrenaline in their systems from the crime. Joe says, "Ben. I know that you know there's more to my anger here, than what I'm saying." "I know," Ben says, "but you don't have to tell me." "I think I want to tell you now," Joe says. Ben's eyes open, "Oh?" Joe goes on, "You've opened up to me a lot over the years. Now, I should do the same." "Only if you're sure?" Ben says."I'm sure," Joe assures him, "I went to find my dad over the summer. And it didn't end well."
Josh is walking home from school and Val catches up to him, "Ugh, what the hell do you want now?!" he exclaims. "The truth." she states. "Meaning?" he wonders. "Meaning I don't buy that crap you gave me about me not being attractive. I think you're hiding something. Whether it be a fetish or a disorder or whatever... I will find you out... so help me, God..." she assures him. "Go ahead and try. By all means." he tells her, faking his confidence. "Oh, I will. No one treats me like you did and gets away with it." she says. "Really? Well, good luck on your pointless venture." he says. "Thanks. Not that I'll need it." she says, smiling. "Good day, Josh." she says. "Bye-bye, Val." he says, they smile at each other and depart.
There will always be times where we feel trapped, and for every one of these times, there will be a need to escape... whether you escape your home by running away...
Flash to Rena with his arm around Ali on the bus that takes them home.
...Or escape your past with excessive actions...
Flash to Ben and Joe walking home together.
...Or using a person to escape past feelings...
Flash to Liz walking past Nick at school, they smile at each other.
...And the true mark of escapism is those who try and run away from their feelings, and how do they do this? They start by blocking these feelings out and filling them with another...
Flash to Josh departing from Val, he seems worried that she's on to him.
Val is walking away from Josh and an evil look appears on her face.