"Worthy of Belief" is the 4th episode of Desperate Schoolboys.
As Ben and Joe are trapped together, they are forced to work out their issues, and also remember the origin of their friendship. Meanwhile Liz is warned of Josh's reputation and that she may get hurt. And after finding a mysterious photo, Rena decides to follow his father into the woods, and comes across a shocking discovery.
Josh and Liz are walking to school together, holding hands. They stop and turn to look at each other. They lean in and kiss. "I think I'm falling in love with you," Liz says. Josh's eyes widen. He avoids having to speak, by leaning in and kissing her once more. Liz smiles and then asks, "Josh, I can trust you right?" Josh smiles back, "Of course." Liz sees her friends ahead calling for her, she turns to Josh, "Well I should get to class. See you later?" "Of course," Josh smiles. They kiss a final time before Liz runs off to meet her friends. Josh stands waiting until she is out of sight, and then takes out his mobile, "Hi, babe. We still onto to meet at the common room after school?" After a pause, Josh says, "Great see you then."
Yes, trust was a foreign thing to my friend, Josh. Because he had never been honest. But alas for Josh he would soon realise the pain dishonesty causes, and hopefully he would then start being, honest with himself
For a friendship to take place, certain foundations must be laid down… A good friend will always keep our secrets…
On the playground, a child is seen whispering into another’s ear.
They will always have our back…
A kid is psuhed down by a bully and another kid steps in to protect him.
And they will always tell us their problems…
Flash to a crying kid being comforted by his friend.
But then we grow up and the true mark of a good friend is the one who opens up and shows us who they really are, and as these foundations are being established, it could mean the start of a beautiful friendship...
In a flashback, we see Joe in the school quad, he’s standing with James, they’re happily chatting with each other. A boy walks into the quad carrying a map of the school, the shot moves up to reveal it’s a younger Ben. He appraoches Joe and James, interrupting their conversation, "Excuse me," he says, "Could you point me in the direction of the science block?" he asks. "Um… sure. It’s right over there." James says, pointing, Ben thanks him and begins to walk away, however, Joe stops him, "Well, the school day doesn’t start for another ten minutes and I have science first too, why don’t you stay here and hang with us for a while?" Joe suggests. "Um… i-if you’re sure," Ben says, folding up his map impecably neatly and placing it into his pocket. "So, you new in town?" James asks. Ben nods, explaining that his father got a job in town so they relocated. Joe mentions that that must have been rough and Ben nods. "Where do you live?" Ben wonders, trying to engage in smalltalk. "A couple blocks away with my mum," Joe says. "Oh… no father?" Ben asks. "…no." Joe states. "Well… it must be nice, just you and your mum…" Ben tries. "Not particularly…" Joe says. "Oh, you don’t get along?" Joe shrugs. "Well, if it helps, I don’t exactly have the best relationship with my mother either," Ben sighs. "Meh… I don’t feel any better." Joe jokes. Ben laughs before Joe suggests that they should be heading off for lessons. Joe bids James goodbye and he begins to walk to the science block with Ben, "Oh, I didn’t catch your name. I’m Joe." he says, extending a hand, Ben then engages in the handshake, "Ben." he says. Ben takes some hand sanitizer from his bag and rubs it into his hands.
And Lord knows that the beautiful friendship between Joe Hadland and Ben Ashdale… was a friendship that endured.
The flashback ceases.
Since Rena had failed to get answers from his mother, he had decided to seek the reasons to his dreams on his own.
Rena is inside his parent's bedroom, alone. He is raking through draws, throwing papers and old photographs onto the floor. He takes the baby rattle out of the draw, looks at it peculiarly, but then discards it, throwing it onto the pile. He then comes across an old photograph of a baby, near the bottom of the draw. He doesn't recognise the baby. However it looks very similar to himself. Suddenly Justine walks into the room, "Rena? Rena, what are you doing?" Rena looks up, photograph in hand, ignoring her, "Mum, who is this?" A scowl appears on Justine's face, "Rena, you shouldn’t be in here!" Rena stands to his feet and pushes the photograph towards her, "Mum. Who is this?" Justine gives a large sigh, then grabs Rena by the shoulders, "Please, Rena. I asked you to drop this. Now, I beg you." Rena pushes Justine's hands off his shoulders, "Tell me now! Who is this boy?" Justine gives another defeated sigh, "He was your brother." Rena's mouth widens with shock, "My brother? What happened to him?" Justine bends down, "He died as a baby. Before you were born. We never told you because it was too painful for your father and I. It still is. So, please, let's not talk about this." Rena thinks to his dreams, "How did he die?" "Rena, you know me to be a very traditional woman. Nothing is more important than family. So when I say it's in your best interest to forget this, you know I'm telling the truth. I love you so much, Rena. I don't want you to go through any pain. Now, promise me that you will never bring this up again," Justine tells him. Rena looks into her terrified eyes, "I promise, mum." Justine smiles relieved and they hug warmly, however Rena has his fingers crossed.
Yes, Rena was desperate for answers. And he was determined to find them, even without his mother's blessing.
Ben is walking down the halls soon before the morning bell rings and Joe begins to follow him down the hall, "Hi." he says, simply. Ben stops and turns to him, "What?" he wonders, bluntly. "Well… I’ve been told that the best way for us to move past this silly business is to talk, so I’m giving it a shot, I’m talking. Hi Ben." Joe says. "Hi." Ben says, he gives a sarcastic wave before turning around and continuing to walk. Joe runs ahead of Ben, blocking his path, Ben stops. "So, what’re you doing?" Joe asks, noticing the cleaning products in Ben’s hands. "Well, the janitor isn’t here today, so I thought I’d go and swap his… mediocre cleaning supplies with these… real ones. That way, maybe I wouldn’t have to trudge through a school filled with muck and…" he makes severe eye contact with Joe, "Pests." "Sounds fun," Joe lies, "I’ll come with." Ben continues walking as Joe follows. They soon come to an empty room with some stairs that lead down to a door, Ben soon opens that door and Joe follows him down the stairs. The janitor’s closet is fairly cramped, dirty and secluded. Ben wretches before taking the working-class cleaning products and replacing them with his own. "We going now?" Joe asks, "I am." Ben says. He is about to leave but lets go of the door to quickly give the shelves a quick clean with an anti-bacterial wipe. The door closes and Ben says, "Now we’re going." Joe goes to open the door but can’t, it’s clearly stuck. "Uh-oh." Joe says. "What? Uh-oh what?!" Ben cries. "It unlocks from the outisde." Joe mentions, Joe and Ben stare at each other before proceeding to simultaneuosly smash their fists against the door, crying out for help.
Liz walks into the cafeteria smiling. She sits at a table with her friends. Her best friend, Katie, turns to her, "What are you so happy about?" "Things are just going really well with Josh," Liz tells her, "I've never felt this way about someone before." "Well, that's great," Katie smiles, "But aren't you afraid this might mess things up? I mean, with you's being such good friends." Liz shakes her head, grinning, "We won't let anything ruin our friendship. He really cares about me." Suddenly her daze is broken by snickering from across the table. Liz raises her head to see, Valentina laughing, "Is that what you think?" "What do you mean?" Liz asks. Val goes on, "Look at his past relationships, he's dated almost every girl in this room, and they all ended badly. Josh is a player. And it won't be any different with you." Liz acts defensively, "Josh and I care about each other!" Val smirks, "Well, we'll see."
"Well, well done. Your OCD has us locked in a closet," Joe retorts. "Well, maybe I wouldn’t have been so distracted if you hadn’t have been following me around!" Ben yells. "Um, you let go of the door because you went to wipe down a shelf. And I wouldn’t need to follow you around if you’d just talk to me!" Joe yells. "Well, if you hadn’t snapped ofr no reason, maybe I’d be talking to you!" Ben cries. "I have a feeling we’re going around in circles." Joe says. "Oh, you think?" Ben snaps. "Hey, no need to get snippy. We’re trapped in a closet." Joe states. "Yes. I’m well aware of the situation." says Ben. "Ugh, you’re impossible. Anyways, I’m sure the janitor will come along soon and get us out." "Were you not paying attention?! I was coming down here because it’s the janitor’s day off! He won’t be here until tomorrow!" Ben yells. "Oh, great, so I could be trapped for 24 hours with you." Joe sarcastically states. "Well, you wanted to talk… It’s so filthy in here." Ben says. "Okay, what is up with you?! Will you give the compulsion a rest?!" Joe asks, "It’s what got us in this mess." "Hey, I’ve gotten better since we met." Ben says. "You came here to swap cleanign supplies," Joe reminds him. "Yes, after yesterday where I remembered what a filth-pile this school is, I mean, I’m pretty sure I saw a cockroach fornicating with a group of dust bunnies on a grey carpet I’m pretty sure used to be white!" Ben exclaims. "…the grey carpetis what’s messed up about that story?" Joe asks. "Not the point!" Ben yells. "Anyway, we need to find a way out of here or we’ll be stuck in here all night." Ben says. "You mean I’ll be cramped in a small space with you for a night? Shall we return to banging on the door and screaming?"
The bell rings for end of class. Liz walks out and sees Josh, standing waiting for her. He greets her and they begin walking down the corridor together. "How was your day?" Josh asks. "Not so good," she admits, "People have been talking to me about us." Josh stops, "Saying what?" Liz explains, "Well, Josh, you do have a history. I just need to know that I can trust you." "You can, " Josh promises, "Who has been talking to you?" "Well, Val mostly," Liz says. Josh's face turns more serious, "Just ignore her. Okay?" "Liz smiles, "Okay."
Rena returns from school. He shouts through to Justine that he his home. She comes through and greets him with a hug. Rena then goes up stairs, telling her he has homework to do. Not long after his dad, Rudolofo, comes in from work. Rena walks to the landing, to go downstairs and greet his dad. However he stops when he overhears them talking. "What's the flowers for?" Justine asks. "I'm going for a walk in the woods," his father answers. Justine tells him, "Well, I know what that means." "And I know you won't want to join me," Rena's dad responds, before exiting the house. Rena runs down the corridor, opens the window above the garage, jumps out and climbs down the garage roof to the ground. He peers over the side of the garage to see his dad exiting their village home, and walking into the woods behind their complex. Rena sneaks after him. Following him into the woods. After a long trek, off-path, through the tall grass, Rudolfo stops. Rena stops behind a bush and looks over. Rudolfo gets down on his knees, places down the flowers and utters, "I'm so sorry," before shedding a few tears.
Ben sits against the door that Joe is still slamming his fist into, "You’re giving up?" Joe asks, stopping. "Yes. It’s no use. No one can hear us." Ben states. Joe sits down next to him. "You know, I’m not even sure why I’m so mad at you." Joe says, "It was my fault, I shouldn’t have snapped. I shouldn’t have ignored you guys. I mean, I thought you were excluding me, but really, I was excluding all of you. I mean, you invited me to the theme park and I turned you down. I want you to know that that really was nothing personal. I just really had some stuff to think about." Joe assures him. "Oh, yeah? Like what?" Ben wonders. "Like the same kind of things I snapped at you for prying into in the first place," Joe states. "I wasn’t prying..." Ben says. Joe stares at him, "Okay, so maybe I’m a little to blame," he concedes. "But, just so you know, I’m here if you ever do decide to talk." Ben says. "I know. And I appreciate that." Joe says. They smile at each other.
"You know, this place is still filthy. If I’m going to spend the night here, can I at least clean it?" Ben asks. "Go ahead," Joe says. Ben stands up and begins to wipe the walls down with more anti-bacterial wipes, "You know, you have improved. Now you can shake someone’s hand without sanitizing your own," Joe laughs. "Yeah well, I guess you guys have had a good effect on me," Ben says. "Yeah… How did you ever get like that in the first place?" Joe wonders. "Oh, well, you know. I would always get punished if I forgot my manners or I forgot to do some chores. I always cleaned because I was too scared not to, and then I discovered that all of my anger that had built up towards my mother for making me do the housework, I could let out through, well, doing housework. It’s actually a fantastic outlet. You should try it." Ben suggests. "…I think I’ll stick to the therapy," Joe states. He then asks why Ben is so germaphobic, Ben explains that soon enough, given his new outlet, any mess began to make him more angry, so he let out that anger by cleaning it, soon it got worse, he got money, and the shops had hand sanitizer. "It forced me to admire perfection… and then I saw Liz… and she’s so perfect." Ben states. Joe nods, "Well, here’s to our positive effect." he says. Ben, who throws away another wipe, still cleaning the walls, replies with, "Yeah… great job."
Liz is walking down the school corridor, she shouts over to Katie, who is approaching from ahead, "Hi, Katie. You seen Josh?" "Yeah, I saw him going into the common room," she replies. "Thanks," Liz smiles, before walking past her and towards the room. As Liz approaches the room, her steps get smaller. Her smiles drops. She hears a girl's laughter from inside. She gently pushes open the door and see's Josh and the back of a girl, whom he is making out with against the wall. Josh spots her, "Liz!" The girl turns round, revealing to be Valentina. Liz gasps, then turns round, dripping with tears as she runs back the way she came. Josh looks distressed and begins to run after her, pushing the not so guilty looking Val to the side.
The end-of-the-day bell rings and Ben and Joe hear it from the closet, "Well, there it is, we’re never getting out." Joe says. "Don’t be silly. The janitor will stop by tomorrow," Ben assures him, "Plus our parents are sure to be worried." he says. "Yeah, I suppose your parents are bound to be worried," Joe tells him. "Well… at leats we’ll come out friends again." Ben says. Joe turns to him and smiles, "Yeah," he agrees. "So, I shared my roots, why don’t you share yours?" Ben asks. "Isn’t that why I snapped in the first place?" Joe asks. "Yes… but we have nothing but time… you may as well." Ben says. "Why are you so angry, Joe?" Ben asks. "Never mind that. I just… I just… I wanna overcome it." he tells him. "How?" Ben wonders. Joe pauses, "By exacting my revenge," Joe states. "Revenge on what?" Ben asks him. Joe pauses again. "Is that a wrench?" Joe asks. "What?" Ben is confused. Joe crawls over to pull a wrench out from behind the shelves, a large one. "What about it…?" Ben wonders. "Well… how strong is that door?" Joe asks. "Pretty strong… the wood isn’t hollow… I don’t think a wrench’ll break it." Ben says. Joe looks disappointed. He drops the wrench and takes out a screwdriver instead, "What if I were to take it off its hinges?" he wonders. Ben says that he doubts that would work, Joe looks through some more of the janitors tool and pulls out a functioning drill. Joe takes the tool and puts it to the door, the drill moves through it with ease. Joe does this a few times before attacking the multiple holes with the wrench, beating away the now weak wood before busting the wrench all the way through the door. Joe puts his hand through the door and places iton the door handle on the other side, he opens the door.
It's night. The forest is dark and misty. Rena emerges from the bushes, with shovel in hand. He looks around and works out where his dad went to earlier that day. As he looks, he finds the flowers, indicating that he has found the correct place. He proceeds to dig. Spooning out the earth with his shovel. He continues to throw the mud to his side, looking around the spooky forest. Until, eventually, his shovel hits something. After jumping at the sound of the thud, Rena gets down on his knees and pulls a wooden box from the ground. It's a child's toy chest, worn and fifthly. He opens the stiff box, with a large pull. After the old box creaks open, Rena drops it to the ground and jumps backwards in fright. He puts his hands over his mouth and falls backwards. A repulsive, pungent stench fills the air. Rena, breathless and white, stands up. He peers once more into the box, and stares. Stares at the bones and remains of a small child.
Trust is a fragile thing. Once earned, it can show us the light, through honesty and facts...
Rena looks away from the box and vomits onto the ground, collapsing to his hands and knees.
...Whether it's the understanding that a friend will always be there for you, because they really care...
Flash to Ben and Joe’s walking out the basement together, smiling.
...Or the realisation that a boy doesn't deserve our faith, because, care, he really doesn't...
Flash to Liz walking away crying, as Josh looks behind her.
...But a shocking discovery and betrayal of our trust can show a whole new light. That we can't always trust others to provide the truth. And sometime we need to conclude the facts on our own.
Rena, still in the woods, gets out his phone and dials a number. Ali answers, "Hello?" "Ali, I had to phone you. I had to talk to someone," Rena tells her. "You sound scared. Rena, what's wrong?" she asks. "I've realised what my dreams mean. I remember what it was that I did," he goes on. She asks, "What?" Rena admits, "I killed my older brother."