Short Term 12 (2013) Script

Don't worry about it.

On-- on my first day, I forgot everything that they taught me in those classes.

- Really? Yeah.

I mean, day one's always a little tough.

It's like, you know, no matter how the training goes, there's-- there's always room for something that's just totally unpredictable.

Oh, I--

I've got a pretty good story for you if you're ready for it.

- OK. Hey, what's up?

- Hey. Did you guys meet?

No. Nate.

- Hi. Hey.

- Jessica. OK, listen up.

So it's like my first week on the job, and I'm at gate duty, right?

What's that?

If a kid wants to leave, legally we can't stop them, so we put someone at the gate to try and talk them out of it.

Whoa, you got here quick. I did.

Good morning. Hi.

Nate, this is Grace. She's your new boss.

Hello. Hey.

Hi, nice to meet you. Nice to meet you.

I would lose the tie if I were you.

And if you're listening to a story of Mason's, understand that there's very little reality in it.

Hey, don't piss in the water before we put our toes in.

It actually feels pretty mellow.

OK, so Grace, my wonderful new boss at the time, she leaves me at my gate duty for like three hours without a bathroom break.

And I'm dying because I ate the tacos that they serve here, and she failed to tell me that they're a known laxative.

So this kid, 16 years old, this big fuckin' intimidating dude, he's like a foot taller than me.

He walks up and he just cruises out the gate.

It's my second day, so I don't know what the hell is going on.

But Grace, she's standing right there, and she just lets it happen.

Whatever.

What I saw was Mason just sitting there and Wesley smiling at me from the opposite side of the gate because he knows that we can't touch him.

Why not?

Once they're a foot outside the gate, we can't touch them.

So Grace tells me to follow him, so I do for hours, just walking eight feet behind him.

Eventually he gets on this bus, so I get on the bus too.

And at this point I can't think of anything but whatever the hell these tacos are doing to my bowels.

Sol make up my mind, fuck this.

I've got to get off at the next stop or I'm going to lose it in my shorts in front of all these people.

And exactly as I make this decision, Wesley leans his big-ass head over to me from across the aisle, and he says, really calm, I'm getting off at the next stop, and if you do too, I'm going to rip your fuckin' balls off and feed them to you.

Holy shit. Remember what I said.

Hey now, this part is true. I was there.

- Really? Mm-hmm.

- Are you sure? Yeah.

So the bus stops. He gets off.

I wait a second.

I go over to the door, but he's just standing there on the sidewalk like 10 feet away, staring at me, waiting.

What can I do? I have no other choice.

So I step off the bus.

And the second that my feet touch the ground, it is like a knot in my asshole untied, and the fiesta in my stomach just comes pouring down my legs.

So I'm just standing there, shit gushing down my thighs.

I ruined my fuckin' favorite Nikes.

And Wesley is just there, doubled over, losing it.

And he's fuckin' laughing so hard. I've never seen anything--

Here we go, Nate. Wait, what?

Come on, Nate! Go.

Sammy!

Sammy!

Hey, hey, hey, hey! Hey.

Whoa, I got him. Let go, you fucking perverts!

OK. Nate, grab his feet, please.

Just going to sit down here in the grass for a while until you de-escalate.

De-escalate my asshole, you duck fuckers!

I'm not quite sure what you mean by that.

You know the drill, Sammy. Just let it pass.

You all right, buddy?

Whoa, he got pretty far that time. I think it's a new record.

So anyway, after all that he ends up coming back with me, but only because he's so excited to tell everyone in our unit that I pooped my pants.

And he does. He tells everyone.

Somehow it even got back to my mom.

You heard that story, right Sammy?

Yeah.

How are you guys doing over there? Fantastic.

How are you feeling, Sammy? You got it all out?

You want to go take a nap? All right, let's get you up.

Up we go, bud.

All right, I'll see you back at the office.

, man. All right.

This guy's been eating his Wheaties in the morning.

Have you ever thought about the Olympics, Sammy?

Running track?


These are the files on our kids, if you want to see what kind of crap they've been through. How long do they stay here?

Supposedly less than a year, but we have a few that have been here a little over three.

We just keep them until the county figures out where they're going to go next.

Tom!

Go brush your teeth!

Mmm.

Remember, you are not their parent. You are not their therapist.

You are here to create a safe environment, and that's it.

Got it.

And since you're new, they're going to try and test you, see what they can get away with. So just say no for a while.

No. OK.

Kind of got to be an asshole before you can be their friend.

You're going to be fine.

Community meeting is in five minutes!

- Luis, you better be up. Ugh, I don't want to be.

So this is how it's going to be?

You've got five seconds.

Fuck!

Aah!

Luis!

I love you too.

That's not cool.

Kendra, will you be secretary for us today?

Sure, I guess.

OK, thank you.

Community meeting is now in session.

Community announcements?

No announcements?

What's going on, you guys?

You look a little dead.

What did you do to them? I don't know.

I farted when I was outside. Maybe some of it followed me in.

Did you shart yourself again?

No, Luis, I did not shart, thank you very much.

And that happened one time, and you weren't even here yet, so.

It's still funny. OK, are we done?

I've-- I've heard that story like three times today.

Yeah, but it's a good story. It is a good story.

OK, if no one has any non-poop related announcements, I have one.

As most of you are already aware, Marcus is turning 18 and will be leaving us. Can I have his room?

We are going to be throwing him a little party next week.

Marcus, any requests?

Can I shave my head? I was talking about food for the party.

No, I don't. I don't want food.

I want to shave my head.

OK. As long as I hold the razor.

Cool.

OK, everyone else, thoughts?

Food for Marcus' party, what are we going to do?

OK, OK.

Everyone, one at a time, please.

Luis, thank you for raising your hand. Who's the weird guy over there?

Oh, that is Nate.

Please do not be jerks to him. It is his first day.

Do you want to introduce yourself? Um, sure.

Great.

Yeah. Hey.

Uh, as you know, my name's Nate.

And, uh, I just--

I took a year off of school because, you know, I just wanted to get some life experience.

And I always wanted to work with underprivileged kids.

Hey, what the fuck is that supposed to mean?

Marcus, settle down.

No, I want to know what you mean by that, "underprivileged."

That's not what I meant.

Then think about your fucking words before you speak!

Hey!

Newbie! That's a level drop.

Go to your room.

Go to your room.

Sorry, man.

Sorry.

Um, levels and feelings, you know the drill.

Let's start with you, Luis.

Green. Fine.

Silver. Whatever.

Yellow. I feel funny.

Green. All right.

Yellow. Annoyed.

Short Term 12, this is Grace.

Right now?

So what do you think?

Hmm? The new lamp.

It's really a trip.

You can turn it on and off by touching the metal part.

Try it.

Cool, huh? Hmm.

Look, I'm supposed to be in a group session like right now.

You mind if we walk and talk?

No. This is Jayden.

She just got appointed to us this morning.

Her father's a friend of a friend, real nice guy, very cultured.

Why isn't she with him?

Oh, he lost his wife a few years back.

Jayden hasn't made life very easy on him.

For the past couple of years, she's been in and out of group homes for dangerous behavior.

Last week she bit her therapist's nose.

Great.

Yeah, so we'll have her during the week, but she gets weekend home visits.

All right.

I told her father we'd take good care of her.

I take good care of everyone. I know you do.

That's why I'm trusting you to do the same with Jayden.

When does she get here? She might be here already.

I like your name, Jayden.

It's a boy's name.

Really?

I don't think so. Will Smith did.

OK, well, these things you can't keep in your room, but we'll keep them in the closet out here, and you can check them out whenever you want them.

Yep, I know the rules.

No belts, no razors, no scissors, no fuckin' freedom.

No cussing. Shit, I forgot about that one.

I'm going to let that one slip because it was clever.

All right. Let's go see your room.

Here it is. Wow, it's so inviting.

You can put whatever you want on the walls as long as it's appropriate.

So no pictures of penises?

Not unless it's very scientific.

Oh, wow. This is really cool.

No, that's crap.

If you call that crap, I'm jealous.

If you put your clothes outside the door before bedtime, the overnighters will wash them.

And, um, you can't keep your door closest.

I don't do that anymore.

I'm not saying that you do.

I mean, even if I ever did want to cut myself, keeping the fuckin' door cracked isn't going to stop me.

I already warned you about cussing.

That one's going to be a level drop.

Oh no, a level drop. What am I going to do?

Your attitude is not helping either one of us.


Hey, what happened to that guy? What guy?

The big kid that made you poop your pants.

Wesley. Yeah.

He ran away again, and then two days later someone found him dead in the bushes.

What?

That is the real ending to the story.

I don't like that part.

Sugar, coming with me? I'm going to clear my head.

That was a good first day, Nate. Thank you.

See ya. All right, man.

Yeah, take it easy. All right.

I'll see you tomorrow.

Grace?

Come on in, Hon.

So the test did come back positive.

Lovely.

How are you feeling?

I already did, like, seven of those tests at home, so I'm not really surprised.

OK, well, you have a few options to explore.

And we can go over it for--

We can just make an appointment for Saturday.

You don't want to hear the other options?

Uh-uh.

OK.

Have you ever been pregnant before?

One time.

OK.

Hey, stinker, what took you so long?

Oh, no.

I didn't know you still had that stupid hat.

I will always have this stupid hat. What's going on in here?

Well, since you were out cheating on me with your bike, I decided I'd make myself some chiles rellenos, homemade tortillas, and my mom's famous salsa.

Mmm.

Looks like there's enough for two.

All right. I doubt it.

Mase, you don't have to be jealous of Floyd.

Floyd? Your bike has a name now?

Of course he does. We're very close.

I don't know what you see in him.

Mmm. Nice grip.

Comfy seat.

There is no way his seat is as comfy as mine.

You're right.

I think I'm going to go take a shower.

Floyd got me all sweaty.

I hate that bike!

Fuck you, Floyd.

OK, I'm done with mine.

On, yeah.

OK, yep. Almost there.

Um.

Those are some crazy last-minute changes you're making.

Yeah, well, I really suck at noses.

OK, you go first.

Aw, damn it.

Yours are always so good.

Thanks.

I look like a homeless guy, though. You do kind of look like a homeless guy.

Oh yeah, thank you. What's that on my face there?

Oh, that? Yep.

Mmm.

Well, that's the piece of avocado that's in your beard.

No. Yes.

Oh, fuck. Yes.

It's been there the whole time. Ooh, yeah.

So now you're all nicely painted.

Thank you for saying something-- sooner I did. I just--

OK. Um, all right, here we go.

Just take it easy, OK, because you're going to freak out when you see this.

I think it might be my best one yet.

OK.

Hmm? Come on.

Oh, wow. You can't fuck with that.

I can't fuck with that.

That nose is amazing. Yeah.

And I was going for kind of a mushroomy thing in there.

Is that a beard?

No. I was, uh--

I was trying to shade. I think it looks pretty cool.

Yeah, it looks very cool.

What's growing out of my head?

Oh, these? Flowers.

Mmm.

They represent the peculiar thoughts that grow out of your gorgeous mind.

Why are you so nice to me?

You being serious now?

Mm-hmm. Well, it's easy.

It's because you are the weirdest, most beautiful person that I've ever met in my whole entire life.

Whoa.

Hmm?

Um. Nothing.

It's just been a long time since you kissed me like that.

That's not true.

Well, we haven't had sex in 9 days and 13 hours.

Down to the hour, huh?

Did I do something?

No.

You're wonderful.

What is it, then?

Hey. Hey, hey.

Please, you have to let me in your head once in a while or I'm just going to go nuts, OK?

Shh.

Are you doing this just for me?

You OK?

Yes.

Yeah?

You don't want me to stop?

Stop. Why?

Stop! Ow!

Shit.

What the hell, Grace?


OK, everyone.

I think most of you have already met her, but we have a new member of our community.

Jayden, would you introduce yourself?

Please don't be offended if I'm not very friendly, but I'm going to be living with my dad soon, and I don't really like wasting time on short-term relationships.

So, you know, it's nothing personal.

Wow.

She seems like a really nice girl.

Hey, I think we all can respect her space, OK?

OK, what do we want to play for rec today?

Wiffle ball, dude!

OK. No, man.

You're always playing that stupid game.

Because you always suck at it.

Until you get good at it, maybe we could stop playing it.

- Watch your mouth, bro. Both of you, cut it out.

Any other suggestions? Yes, Sammy?

Can we play Big and Small?

Is that a real game, or is that a game you just made up?

It's a real game that I just made up.

OK.

Well, maybe you can explain that to me later.

Straight line, guys.

I'm going to do room checks, so I'll meet you.

Oh, OK.


Hi, Nas.


Come on, guys. Let's go, Shawnta, let's go!

All right, we got a baseball game.

There you go. You got this.

Sammy. Hey, yo, Sammy.

Get-- get the ball! Run, girl, run!

Come on, Sammy!

You too good for this game? What?

Too good for wiffle ball?

I don't like sweat.

Hey, you know what, Connor? Just come-- just come closer.

It's Marcus. He ain't going to hit it.

You sure you don't want to get the fat bat?

No?

Strike one, everybody.

Strike one.

That wasn't no strike. That was right down the middle.

This is the big leagues, boy. You can't handle it?

Better keep flapping them gums.

Hey. You want to jump rope with us?

Um.

No?

Sorry.

We're not supposed to.

That's not what we meant.

Can I hear?


Strike three. Change it up.

Bet your ma is real excited to see you next week, huh?

Marcus! What the fuck?

Hey!

What the fuck did you about my mama, you little bitch?

Hey! Hey!

What are you doing?

Get your ass over to the bench.

Come on, come on. Guys, get Luis out of here.

Is Marcus OK? You good?

Yeah, I got it. Luis, come on.

Come on.

OK, where-- where where-- where does it hurt?

Come on. Come on, sit over here.

We're going to sit down for a little while, OK?

You OK, man? How do you feel?

Not good. I mean, that-- that was crazy.

They just fight like that?

Nate, I'm not asking you how you're feeling.

Right.

I'm sorry.

How are you?

You need to tell me what the hell is going on.

Assault and drug possession.

You realize that's enough to get your ass thrown in juvie.

Do you think I give a fuck?

You're out of here in less than a week.

You're so much smarter than this.

I know it's scary out there. I ain't scared of shit.

All I'm saying is, getting thrown in jail is not what you want to do.

My dad has been in there for 10 years.

I don't want that for you.

- Straight to your room. No free time until all your chores are done.

What's going on with him?

He doesn't want to leave.

Should I go talk to him?

Yeah.

All right, I'll just be inside letting Marcus kick the shit out of me. Have fun.

You got some new lyrics you want to try out on me?

There's a lot of fucks in it.

I won't tell.

Mm-hmm. Those are pretty much it.

It's slow. All right, let's see.

Let's see here.

Like that?

Yeah. All right.

It don't matter now, damn near 18.

All the pretty pictures in my fuckin' head is faded.

And when I think about that trick that raised me, I think about sick, because the bitch is crazy.

Fuck that bitch, nigga, fuck that pain.

Your body's in a ditch inside this turned up brain.

I mean, I can't see how you claim it, you being ma?

Doctors snatched me out the snatch of pure evil with eagle claws.

Ho, ho, ho, slut, fuck the way you want it.

Got your young, dumb son pitching pigeons for money.

I mean, it's colder than the bitch when it's sunny.

Blows raining down on the glow.

Got the nerve to tell me you love me?

I said, again? Again?

Sell it again? Bitch, I'm 10.

Let me go outside and function with friends.

You say you ma? You mother?

You the father-fucking queen?

I say, all right, I love her so I flip it again.

No, not this time, bitch, because I'm stronger than you.

Not this time, bitch, swinging harder than you.

No, not this time, bitch, you ain't leave me a choice.

You just a body in a ditch in the brain of a boy.

All fucked up now, damn near 18.

All the pictures in my past ain't never fading.

I'm always wishing for something amazing, but when your life is shit then it ain't no trading.

So put me in your book so you know what it's like to live a life not knowing what a normal life's like.

Put a label on my head so you know what it's like to live a life not knowing what a normal life's like.

Look into my eyes so you know what it's like.

Look into my eyes so you know what it's like to live a life not knowing what a normal life's like.

Yeah, I-- I don't--

I don't know what to say, man.

It's cool, man.

I just need to shave my head.

You think Grace will still shave it?

I like the new wall decor.

Thanks. They're actually very informative.

Can I draw with you?

When I was 9 or 10, I used to draw portraits of all my mom's boyfriends.

And then I'd sell them to her for $10 apiece.

How many boyfriends did she have?

Enough that I was able to save up and buy one of those portable CD players with anti-shock protection.

You're old. Whatever.

Those things were cool.

You know what's weird?

Whenever I was drawing portraits of, you know, those guys, I would always take forever.

30, 40 minutes just stringing them along, saying, oh, I've just got to do a couple more shadows, or, I'm just fixing the nose.

I don't know why I did that.

I hated every single one of them.

Maybe you were just trying to keep them away from your mom.

Yeah.

Maybe.

Are you done? Almost.

I've just got to add a few shadows and fix the nose a little.

You are such a smartass.

That's a level drop.

Oh no, not a level drop.

I wanted to play foosball later.

Hmm.

Too bad.


OK.

Finished.

You want to take a look?

Looks great, Marcus.

Check it out.

Is it lumpy?

What do you mean?

I usually keep my hair long.

It's where she used to hit me at.

Is it still lumpy?

No way, man.

Not at all.

See for yourself.

Pretty smooth.

What about the back? No scars?

No-- no nothing? Uh-uh.

It looks really great.


Mason.

Hmm?

I have something to tell you.

Yeah?

What's up?

We're going to have a baby.

What?

We're going to have a baby.

We are?

Mm-hmm.

Whoa.

Whoa.

Whoa.

OK.

Um.

Um.

Um.

Uh, give me a minute.

Oh. boy!

Holy shit.

Whoa!

OK.

Hey.

You know we can do this, right?

Because we are going to be some amazing parents.

OK?

I love you so much, Grace.

So much it's insane.

Let me see. Hmm?

You can't tell yet.

Come on.

That is so crazy.

Hmm.


Did you hear about Sammy? What?

Last night they took all his dolls away.

His therapist is calling it a lesson in letting go.

Bullshit.

Those are all his sisters, right?

He's not ready for that.

It's time for your meds, Sammy.

I'm sorry, bud.

Jayden, meds.

How'd you sleep? Like crap.

Can you tell the doctor I need a higher dosage of Trazodone?

Mm-hmm, I will tell him.

Happy birthday.

And it comes with this.

Mason made that.

Thanks.

I heard your dad's picking you up.

Yep. You excited?

Whatever.


Dan, you have a visitor at the front gate.

Dan to the front gate.

The barber of Seville!

Bye, Shawnta.

Bye. Bye, Shawnta.

Bye-bye.


To encounter so many sharks can be--

The fact that this occurs on the eve of the summer solstice left me wondering.

Damn it. Will you watch the kids?

Sure.

Nate.

Jayden.

Come on, you know you can't keep the door closed.

Stop pushing on the door.

Hey. Hey, Jade.

I'm really sorry about your dad.

Why can't she close her door? She's a cutter.

I can fucking hear you, dick!

Maybe I'll just cut myself right now, and you'll all lose your fucking jobs!

Come on, Jade.

Don't fucking call me Jade, you bitch!

Jayden, come on. Please, just open the door.

If you just open the door, then we won't bother you anymore.

If you're not going to open the door, then we're going to have to force it.

Can you help me?

Yeah, yeah.

Yeah.

OK.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.

Get the fuck out of my room, you fucking-- stop touching me!

All right, easy, easy, easy.

One, two, three, down.

Ah, fuck you!

Luis, sit down.

You're fucking squishing me, you fatass!

Sorry, how's that?

Let me go!

You shouldn't be here, Grace. What's wrong, Mason?

Can't handle me for yourself, you weak-ass fuck?

Need the bitch to do it for you?

Hold her good, Nate.

Yeah, hold me good, Nate.

Sorry, man.

You're going to be OK, Jayden. It's going to be OK.

I hate you.

I hate you. That's fine.

You don't have to like me right now.

Just let it pass.

How we doing, Nate?

Not so good. You're doing good.

You're doing really good.

Grace, how's my cupcake?

The ancient islands are cold.

How is she? I guess she's in the cool-down room now.

I need that.

Common gray seals can be found here in abundance.

In fact, Scotland is home to 40% of the world's gray seal population.

Everybody grab one.

Come on.


You want to see mine?

Shit.

That one's from a sneeze.

Slipped and cut too deep.

Almost cut my achilles.

Why?

Hmm.

My mom died.

I went to live with my dad and--

it's impossible to worry about anything else when there's blood coming out of you.

God, I hate that thing.

Me too.


Take as much time as you need.


Happy birthday to you!

Blow them out! Blow them out!

Go!

Jayden!

Jayden!

Ah, big booty, big booty, big booty!

Big booty number four.

- Number four, number five. Number five, number six.

- Number six, number five. Number 5, number 10.

Number seven, big booty.

Big booty, number 10.

Aw!

Come on, she works here.

She should be embarrassed.

I am embarrassed.

Hey, it's OK. It happens to all of us.

Let's go for another round Ready?

Ah, big booty, big booty--


Hmm, slow this down a little bit.

Yo, y'all ain't got no rhythm, man.

Tell me about it.

I'm trying to keep them in line.

It's just so hard.

Mase, I love you like a brother but I got to say that when it come to being discreet, you're a disgrace.

I mean, he think we all don't know about him and Grace on the low undercover trying to date.

I don't know what you're talking about.

Uh, I'm out the gate, right?

My name is Nate.

When I came here, y'all tried to player-hate.

Everyone sit down, please.

We have an AWOL.

Jayden!

Grace! Stay with the kids!

I'll call you when I get her.

This happens. It's fine.

Jayden!

Jayden, can you slow down, please?

I feel like I'm going to barf.

Keep-- keep the same distance.

Stop!

OK. OK.

You can't touch me outside of the grounds.

Well, can I walk with you?

Walk all you want, but I'm not going back there.

Let's walk, then.


Jayden, you know you're not supposed to be here.

Hey. Um, we're at her dad's house.

I don't think that anyone's here, but she went in anyway.

OK, thanks.

He's not home?

Do you want to go back?

OK.


You OK?

I'll see you tomorrow.

You want to hear a story I've been working on?

Of course.

Well, it's a kid's story, so there aren't any big words.

OK.

Once upon a time, somewhere miles and miles beneath the surface of the ocean, there lived a young octopus named Nina.

Nina spent most of her time alone making strange creations out of rocks and shells. And she was very happy.

But then on Monday the shark showed up.

"What's your name?" said the shark.

"Nina," she replied.

"Do you want to be my friend?" he asked.

"OK.

What do I have to do?" said Nina.

"Not much," said the shark.

"Just let me eat one of your arms."

Nina had never had a friend before, so she wondered if this was what you had to do to get one.

She looked down at her eight arms and decided it wouldn't be so bad to give up one.

So she donated an arm to her wonderful new friend.

Wow.

Every day that week, Nina and the shark would play together.

They explored caves, built castles of sand, and swam really, really fast.

And every night the shark would be hungry, and Nina would give him another one of her arms to eat.

On Sunday, after playing all day, the shark told Nina that he was very hungry.

"I don't understand," she said.

"I've already given you six of my arms, and now you want one more?"

The shark looked at her with a friendly smile and said, "I don't want one.

This time I want them all." "But why?" Nina asked.

And the shark replied, "because that's what friends are for."

When the shark finished his meal, he felt very sad and lonely.

He missed having someone to explore caves, build castles, and swim really, really fast with.

He missed Nina very much.

So he-- he swam away to find another friend.

Jayden?

Did your dad ever hurt you?

Does he still hurt you?


We can't let her go back there.

That's not going to happen.

You were pretty amazing today.

Thank you.


Hmm?

More, please.

More for everyone. More of everything.

Anyone, dessert first?

Dessert? Dessert first?

Excuse me, excuse me.

Hello, hello.

Hi. Um.

Ahem.

But I'm going to say it in English so I don't embarrass myself any more than I need to.

Uh, I just want to take a moment to say thank you, Mama, Pops.

I don't think anyone here thinks of you as just our foster parents.

I don't even know what that term means because to me, you're just Ma and Pa.

And I think I speak for everyone here when I say, thank you for taking us in.

For taking me in when I was just a punk kid who was scared of everything.

When I had no one else, you accepted me and you showed me what it was like--

um, what it was like to be loved.

And none of us would be here if it weren't for you.

Just look at this beautiful family you made.

So let's all lift our glasses to our king and queen.

Happy 30th, you guys.

Everything good in my life is because of you.

Salud.

Salud!


Will you marry me?

You're serious? Yeah.

I'm dead serious.


Mmm.

Who the hell is calling on the land line?

Hello?

Yeah.

This is, uh, actually her, uh, fiance.

And if this is about her dad, it'd probably be best if you just let me relay the message.

Mm-hmm.

Oh, shit.

Who was it?

Um.

That was someone from the probation department.

They said that your dad's probably going to get released next month.


Hey.

I really think we need to talk through some of this stuff.

Not right now, Mason.

I'll be fine. I just--

I just need to work.

Hey. Hi.

Marcus' fish died last night.

What?

He thinks Luis had something to do with it.

Did he?

Tell me you didn't do something to Marcus' fish.

What? Luis, tell me.

I don't know what you're talking about.

I swear!

I'm really sorry, Marcus.

It wasn't Luis.

It don't matter.

I'd like to be left alone, if that's cool with you.

OK.

Just let me know if you need anything.

Have you guys seen Jayden?

Uh-uh.

Jess? Where's Jayden?

Oh, her dad showed up last night and took her on pass for the weekend.

What? Jack signed off on it.

Are you fucking kidding me?

How could you let her go?

Uh, Jan, let me call you right back, OK?

The man called. He apologized.

He had a personal emergency.

That's not even the point, Jack. Did you read my report?

Of course I did, and I was very concerned.

But when Jayden's social worker asked her about it, she said her father had never been abusive in any way.

Of course she said that.

She's fucking scared!

What the fuck did they teach you guys in grad school?

Jack, in her mind he is always right behind her, watching her.

When she is sleeping. When she is taking a shit.

When she is alone with her therapist, he is right there watching her, ready to pounce.

And you just expect her to just come out and say it?

Are you guys fucking stupid?

Because she was here asking for help, and you just send her back to the fucking shark.

I realize you're upset, Grace.

But yelling at me isn't an effective form of communication.

OK.

OK, Jack. Jack, I'm sorry.

Please cancel the pass until we figure this out, because I know her and I know that things are not good at home.

And how do you know that?

Because she read you a children's story?

Don't fuck with me, Jack.

I am on the floor every day with those kids.

And last night, that girl sat next to me and she cried, and she tried to tell me the only way that she knew how.

Grace, you are a line staff.

It's not your job to interpret tears.

That's what our trained therapists are here for.

Then your trained therapists don't know shit.

Did she tell you that she was being abused by her father?

She didn't have to.

If I'm going to take that child away from her biological parent, yes, she does.

This is bullshit.

Grace, I have been working with these kids longer than you've been alive.

And there's not one of them that I wouldn't die for.

I look into those broken eyes.

I want to go out and find the asshole who did that to them and beat the shit out of them.

But although I feel that way every single day, I know I can't track down everyone who's hurt them.

I know I can't heal all their wounds, and I can't start accusing all their parents of being sexual offenders.

Especially when they're friends of friends, right, Jack?

We're finished here, Grace.

Jan--


Sam.


Marcus?

Marcus?

Marcus?

What are you doing in Luis' room?

Oh, no.

Luis?

Luis!

What? No.

Shit. Shit!

Mason! Somebody, anybody come!

Help me! Luis!

Luis, I need your pillowcase right now. Give it to me.

Quicker, please. Marcus?

Marcus. Marcus, please look at me.

Marcus, look at me. You're going to be OK.

I just need you to look at me.

Marcus, look at me.

What the fuck is taking so long?

Now I have a real friend.

I'm going to call you, uh, Dudley.

Dr. Stone--

Blake Johnson, dial 93, please.

Blake Johnson, dial 93.

They still don't know anything.

I can't do this.

Grace. Hey.

Grace, where are you going?

I can't do this.

OK, let's go. Let's go.

I'll drive us home.

Don't want to go home.

That's not what I'm talking about.

I know it's been a really fucked up day, OK?

Mason, you have no idea what I'm going through right now.

Then tell me. That's how this works.

You talk to me about it so that I can take your hand and fucking walk through this shit with you.

That is what I signed up for, OK?

But I cannot do that if you won't let me in.

I can't.

I'm sorry.

You're sorry?

Grace, are you serious?

I've been waiting for you for a really long time, and I wouldn't take a second of it back because I love you so goddamn much, OK?

But I have been waiting for three years for you to tell me why you still don't trust me.

I've been waiting for three years for you to just once take the advice that you give your kids every fuckin' five minutes and learn to talk about what's going on inside your head.

You can't do that for me?

Whatever it is, OK, just talk to me.

But I can't do this.

I can't--

I can't marry you.

I can't have your baby.

I can't have any of it.

I can't do it.

So what do you want to do?

Hmm?

Do you want to get an abortion?

I already made the appointment.

Do whatever you want, OK?

Because I'm done.


Kids don't care nothing about it.

Ed, do you want some vittles today?

I do, Granny.

I worked up a right smart appetite fetching sticks for old Duke.

Yes, that's the trouble around here.

The critters are taking over.

Billie Mae has done made pets out of everything but my pickled turnips.

What are we going to do for vittles?

Wait, I remember someplace to drive near--

What are you doing?

That's a little extreme, don't you think?


Are you going crazy?

Probably.

When I was your age, I had to stand in a courtroom with a bunch of strangers and tell them all the ways that he abused me.

What he hit me with.

How he got drunk.

How he forced me to take a shower with him.

Got me pregnant.

I sent him to prison.

I didn't talk about it.

I didn't think about it.

Until I met you.

And I don't know.

I have a baby inside of me, and I don't know.

I don't know what I'm doing.

I was just trying to help you.

Oh my god.

He loves the belt.

It's such a cliche.

Jayden, we have to do something about this.

Should go bash his face in with a baseball bat while he's sleeping?


Uh, we should get out of here.

He'll sleep through anything.


OK. Now we should get out of here.


They're going to ask you a lot of questions.

It's going to be hard.

I'll try to leave out the part about you breaking into that house with a baseball bat.

Thanks.

You're going to be a really good mom.

I told him this was going to be the last time I came home.

Because I'm not going to take his shit anymore.

And that set him off, of course.

But I didn't care.


I'm sorry.

I didn't mean what I said earlier.

I'm just really messed up right now.


Marcus is going to get better.

I think I am too.

Grace, I know talking like this is really hard.

But this is our fourth session together, and I'd really like you to try, OK?

I don't really know what to say.

Your dad's getting out of prison in a week.

Do you want to talk about that?

OK.


Are you OK?

Mm-hmm.

Watch that monitor over my shoulder.

I think he's-- there we go.

There he is.

Stay with it. Hang on a second.

Hang on.

That's-- that's the baby's heartbeat, man.

Oh, man.


So you need to get ready for this because it's so fucking unbelievable.

It's going to seem fake, but I promise you it's not.

Grace will vouch for it. It depends if you tell it right.

There is no way not to tell this right.

It is a storyteller's wet dream.

What? Get ready for this.

OK, just in time. I'm going to start at the beginning, OK.

OK.

So three years ago, right, we have this girl here named Liza Green.

She's 17, older than everybody else on the unit at the time.

And I don't mean this in a pervy way or anything, but she's real pretty.

She was gorgeous.

All the guys on the unit want her, but she won't give any of them the time of day because she was busy.

She was always studying. She was very smart.

Mm-hmm. Really smart.

So two weeks before she turns 18 and leaves, we get this new intake.

It's a 15-year-old guy. He's really tough.

He's really quiet. But he's cool.

He's just kind of like kicking back, checking out the scene.

And I swear I didn't hear him say a word the whole first week he was here.

But then one day we were doing community meeting, and we ask for announcements.

And this guy raises his hand.

And he looks directly at Liza Green and he says, I know you don't know me.

I just got here.

But I just want to say that I've been watching you.

I think you're the most interesting thing about this place, and I'm really sad I'm not going to get to know you before you leave.

I just wanted to tell you that.

What a pimp!

What did she say? Nothing.

Nothing? It was so awkward.

Yeah, so fuckin' awkward I couldn't stand it.

And then she left, and never talked to him.

The kids teased him for like a year.

Aw. Oh, that blows.

No, he didn't give a shit. No, didn't even faze him.

It was like he knew something everybody else didn't.

Who is this guy? That was Marcus.

What? I never heard this story.

Oh, wait. It gets so much better.

Yeah. Yeah, so check this out.

Grace and I are getting coffee at Ronnie's this morning, and we walk in.

And who do we see sitting there alone at a table?

Marcus.

How's he doing? Oh!

He looks great. He's so good.

Buttoned-up shirt.

He's sippin' on a cappuccino.

Marcus drinks cappuccino? Yeah.

Apparently. Yeah, I guess so.

Apparently now he does.

So we're talking to him and we're catching up.

And he's telling us about his new job at the aquarium and how much he takes home in tips.

And now he's going to start applying for classes next semester.

Oh my god! Yeah.

And it's weird because I'm like, I have not heard Marcus talk this much ever, since I met him.

Like, what is the deal? Is he excited to see us?

Is he nervous about something?

And that's when I notice there's another cappuccino on the table and an empty chair next to him.

And then just like in the fucking movies, bathroom door flings open, out walks Liza Green.

They were on a date? It was like their fifth one.

Yes! Oh!

As soon-- as soon as she sits down, dude just goes beet-red.

He's so embarrassed. Oh, it was so cute.

Oh, it was so fucking cute, I almost pissed my pants.

- Oh Jess, they look so happy together. So happy.

And there's just--

Here we go.

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