After everything, Zach and Justin take Bryce back to his house and decide to stay the night. They put on a movie and just sit in front of it without speaking.
It isn't long before Zach and Justin both fall asleep. But Bryce doesn't. He sits there starring into nothing. He sits there thinking. He replays the night over and over.
Each word runs through his head on repeat. This continues all through the night. He doesn't move an inch. He just sits on the couch between Zach and Justin. He waits until Justin wakes up.
"Hey. How long you been awake?" Justin sits up and runs his hands through his hair.
"Never went to bed."
"Actually... I think I'm great."
"Hey." Zach wakes up. "What's going on?"
"Well apparently Bryce here is doing great!" Justin says sarcastically.
"Really?" Zach sits up.
"Well, I've been thinking about it all night. I'm done with Clay. What he said really was the final straw. I'm always going to love him, but he's not healthy for me.
I"m finally in a good place and I don't want to ruin that. If he wants to fix himself then great. If not, then that sucks."
"You sure?" Justin is worried.
"No. But... but I think it's the best option right now."
"Then we support you."
"Totally." Zach smiles and leans into Bryce. "We've got you all day and night."
"Now, what are we doing today?" Justin looks to them.
"Actually, I have somewhere I need to go. But how 'bout we hangout afterward?"
"Sure." Zach stands up.
"We should go to the movies," Justin suggests.
"Yeah. That sounds fun. Then maybe come back here and go swimming." Bryce stands up.
"Sounds perfect." Justin takes his phone out.
"How 'bout we all meet at the theater in two hours?" Justin and Zach nod. "Great." They both leave.
Bryce gets changed before heading out. He drives just right out of town and to the last place he ever thought he'd be. He knocks on the door.
"Bryce..." Monty answers the motel room door.
"Hey." They just stand there for a second, in complete silence.
"Come in." Monty snaps out of it and walks in.
Bryce looks at Monty, worried. His normally spiked hair is down in front of his eyes. He's wearing a red t-shirt with tons of holes and rips and shorts that are way too short and big for him.
He looks around the small motel room. It's dark, damp, and extremely dirty. Clothes and food are all over the bed, tables, and floor. It smells like sweat and dirt.
"So I'm guessing you already know what happened...?" Monty pushes some food to the other side of the bed and sits down.
"Well I did hear some things, but I wanted to come and hear it from you. And make sure you're doing well."
"Well..." He looks around the room. "I"m obviously doing great. I have this whole place to myself." Monty just starts showing a big fake smile.
"Don't do that."
"The lying. Look at where you are. This is not doing great. Trust me. I know what it looks like to hit rock bottom."
"I heard what happened. I tried to go to your place, but no one was there."
"My mom and I went away for a while."
"Are you doing better?" Monty seems truly concerned and Bryce is happy to see that.
"I am. And I always wished my friends would come and check on me."
"Friends? Is that what we are?"
"We used to be the best of friends. Basically brothers."
"Very close brothers." They both laugh.
"Yeah. That made things a bit more complicated."
"Yeah... but it was always fun."
"You're not wrong." Bryce takes a seat in a chair across from Monty. "So... tell me... tell me everything."
"It's all good dude."
"Monty..." Bryce just looks into Monty's eyes.
"Fine. I snuck into this Hillcrest party and started making out with this guy in one of the rooms upstairs. I don't even remember his name, I was completely wasted.
Quickly we started having sex. Then the door opens and someone takes a photo. I didn't even see them walk in. The next day at school everyone is laughing and calling me names.
It all just went by fast. Somehow my dad learned about it." Monty's eyes start getting watery. "He attacked me. More than usual. He yelled at me. More than usual.
He literally kicked me out of the house. He didn't let me back in to get my stuff. I've tried going back, but he's changed the locks and... and I'm too scared to really try anymore."
"Monty... I'm so sorry that happened." Bryce puts his hand on Monty's leg. "How do you afford to live here though?" Bryce has been thinking about this and going down some very dark thoughts.
"The club down the street." He looks embarrassed and looks down at his feet.
"The... the male strip club?" For some reason, this idea never crossed Bryce's mind.
"Yep. It pays enough. Enough for the room and food. Then I get to keep any clothes from the lost & found." He puts on a small smile, trying to act like it's all great.
"No. Bryce. I've really been wanting to say this to you. Before you say anything else. I just really have to tell you how sorry I am." His eyes begin to get more teary-eyed. "I am so so sorry.
" He starts to cry. "Everything I said to you. About you. Everything I did to you. It's truly the worst thing I've ever done. To know that it's my fault all of this happened to you...
" He gets choked up.
"This isn't your fault. Everything that happened to me happened for a reason. I did what I did to myself by choice. No one made me do it."
"But I could've been there for you. I could've helped you."
"Maybe. Maybe not. I was going down my own spiral and I don't know if anything or anyone could've stopped me." Bryce grabs Monty's hands. "I can tell you this for sure.
I am not mad with you about anything. If anything I just want to help you. Helping you will help me. So please just let me help you."
"Thank you." Monty leans forward and begins kissing Bryce.
Bryce is in shock, but he doesn't stop him. They continue kissing. Monty moves off the bed and to his knees. They stop kissing and Monty quickly unzips Bryce's pants.
He grabs his growing penis with his hand.
"No." Bryce finally snaps out of it and stands up.
"It's okay. It will just take a minute." Monty looks up at Bryce.
"No." Bryce steps back and zips himself up.
"But..." Monty stands up.
"This isn't the time. This isn't..." Bryce takes in a deep breath. "I'm not in a good place to be starting something right now. And I don't believe you are either.
I'm not trying to be mean or anything, and I really hope you understand this. It's just not the right time or place for the two of us to do anything."
"I understand." Monty sits back on the bed.
"How about you come to the movies with me? I'm meeting up with Justin and Zach. I'm sure they would love to hang out like old times."
"No. I'm good. I doubt they'd even want to see me."
"You're underestimating them, and yourself. I think they'd really like to make sure you're doing alright." Bryce walks over and grabs Monty's shoes. "Put these on.
We're going back to my place and getting you some real clothes to wear. Then we're going to the movies and do things one step at a time." He puts the shoes in front of Monty.
"You can't move forward until you're willing to try. If it doesn't work, then it doesn't work. Then you come back here and try again another day. Just try."
"Fine. For you." He grabs the shoes.
"No. For you." Monty puts on his shoes and they leave.