Trapped: The Alex Cooper Story (2019) Script

[choir singing a hymn]

[panting]


[congregation singing]

[congregation singing]

Morning, brothers and sisters.

Thank you for such a beautiful start to the day.

I've been thinking a lot about this life.

Last night, one of my former mission companions passed away.

He had been struggling with demons, not attending church.

The last time I spoke with him, I reminded him that our Heavenly Father loves us and He wants us to spend eternity with Him and our families.

But, that is a privilege, one we must earn by living the way He wants us to.

By making the right choices.

My heart aches for him, and the regret he must feel right now, knowing that he might be alone forever.

I ache even more for his wife and children, they'll never see him again.

I share this to remind each of us, that every day we have breath in our lungs, we have an opportunity to look inward and ask ourselves, "Are the choices we're making bringing us closer to the Celestial Kingdom, or further away?"

There's nothing in this life, no matter how tempting, is worth losing eternity in the next.

We in the Bishop Brick are here if you need us.

We love you.

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

[all] Amen.

[Alex] You promised you'd help me.

They're garbage bins, what's to decorate?

If they don't say recycling on them, people will think they're trash.

Plus, they should like nice.

Like hey, use me, save the planet.

It's 90 degrees outside, can't we save the planet another day?

I told Mr. Puma I'd have them ready for Earth Week.

The mall's air conditioned and we can get fro-yo, chocolate drizzle and chocolate chips in a waffle cone.

Earth to Alex?

Since when do you like them?

What, who?

Oh my gosh, you're as subtle as a fart in a bathtub.

The meatheads, you were drooling.

They're cute, so what?

I wasn't drooling.

Recycling bins this week, I buy froyo next week.

Fine, but we're going to my house.

Someone should invent a portable cloud machine.

Something to block my face from the sun.

Or, you could try a baseball cap.

[both laugh sarcastically]

Hey, what are you guys working on?

Alex is doing her recycling drive for Earth Week.

Cool, you guys remember Collette?

Yep.

[laughs]

Okay.

That's Hannah's girlfriend.

Like, girlfriend girlfriend.

I mean, can you imagine if our parents found out?

I'm sorry.

Guys, this is Frankie.

Frankie this is my sister Daniella and her friend Alex.

-Hi. -Hi, yourself.

Hannah, are your friends staying for dinner?

Yeah, is that okay?

The more the merrier. Alex, what about you?

Sure, great. Sure.

[all chatting]

-Hi again. -Hi.

I'm Alex Cooper.

Alex Cooper, in case you didn't... um...

I've never seen you at school before.

Are you over at Silverado?

I was, yeah. I graduated last year.

Oh, cool, yeah. I'm graduating soon, too.

I mean, I'm a sophomore, so soon is relative.

But, given the age of universe, it's practically like tomorrow.

Future scientist?

-Lawyer. -Ah.

I want to live in New York in one of those Sex In The City penthouses and have a driver take me to work every day.

[laughs]

That sounded totally lame.

No, I was gonna say fancy.

What about you?

I dunno, I haven't figured it out.

I can't think of anything that I'd actually want to do for the rest of my life.

Travel maybe?

Backpack or first class?

Backpack. You?

Both, I guess.

No, you have to pick one.

Okay, first class.

Snow or tropical?

-Snow. -Tropical.

Hotel or home?

-Home. -Home.

But not in Victorville.

Definitely not, no.

So, how do you know Hannah and Collette?

I met them at a rave in LA.

Same night they met each other, actually.

I hear Colette's gay.

Does that bother you?

No, not at all.

It's fine, whatever.

Good, cause I am too and I was kind of hoping we could be friends.

♪ I see your face in my dreams at night, ♪

yeah I hear your voice in my head ♪

♪ I feel your touch and I don't wanna fight it ♪

♪ I want you now instead. ♪

It's time now that I make my move yeah, ♪

the only thing that I know. ♪

♪ I found out I've got nothing to lose, no. ♪

Without you, I'm alone. ♪

♪ I'm coming home, my bags are packed. ♪ Goodnight!

♪ No there's no turning back, I'm coming home, ♪

♪ cause it's been too long. ♪

I'm coming home, back where I belong ♪

I'm coming home. ♪

♪ ♪

[Frankie] If you guys are all about love, why does Daniella care if her sister's happy?

It's complicated.

Have you ever been religious?

Oh my God, you're not going to try to convert me are you?

No, I was just curious.

I like churches, like the ones in Europe that are centuries old.

I see pictures them and I feel, I dunno, quiet.

I think if I ever visited one, I'd probably pitch a tent in the back and never leave.

Why don't you go visit those churches?

You're done with school.

My mom needs me. Someday.

Hey, I really can't stomach the pizza in this place.

Are you guys up for the buffet or the burger joint?

-We can do tacos again? -Let's go to LA.

What?

Like, right now, why not?

[Hannah] Because it's two and a half hours away and I have a history test on Monday.

Plus, you'd be grounded for like five years.

Collette?

I have work tonight, sorry.

I'll go.

-Hey. -Hi.

-So. -So.

Can I hold your hand?

Yeah, sure.

♪ ♪

♪ Things are not what they seem. ♪

You tried but I won't let you in ♪

♪ Can we go to the start again? ♪

In the night my mind runs wild ♪

All I want is for you to be here. ♪

In the night my mind runs wild ♪

all I want is so crystal clear ♪

♪ ♪

19 and I can't sleep ♪

All I want is to go back inside your head ♪

♪ Hey Hey ♪

♪ Hey ♪ I wish this were the real world.

It is.

You know what I mean.

Let's pretend we're on a deserted island.

Just you, me and some coconut trees.

We can't live entirely on coconuts.

Okay, you and me, some coconut trees and a personal chef to cook us whatever we want.

But he stays on the other side of the island, right?

We don't want him hovering.

Yeah, of course not, that would just be weird.

We can have this, Alex.

All you have to do is say yes.

Yes.


What's going on?

[cop] I'll assume this is her, then?

I'll leave you to it.

Thank you for your help, officer.

No problem.

I didn't mean to worry you guys.

I left a note.

[Dad] Don't disrespect us by lying any more than you already have.

Your mother called Sister Lopez.

Daniella said you went into the city.

Were you at a party?

No.

Was there any alcohol there?

Were there boys?

I'm not a kid, Mom.

So, that's a yes.

I'm not doing anything stupid.

I can take care of myself.

Is ditching school taking care of yourself?

And last year with the pot smoking?

I said I was sorry.

If you were sorry, you wouldn't keep putting yourself in danger.

We were up all night.

To school and back until further notice.

I heard you were grounded for life.

Daniella won't even talk to me.

She said she was really worried.

She doesn't like Frankie, or Colette by the way.

I know.

Are you gay?

No, no, Colette's just one time.

I'll meet a return missionary and get married in the temple and have kids like everyone else.

Why? Are you?

No. No way, no.

I should go, Daniella's waiting.

[sighs]


What if your mom needs something?

Once she's asleep, she's out until dawn at least.

I'm always up before she is, anyway.

I'm really glad you're here.

Me too.

Just so you know, I've never done this before.

I don't need this to like you, Alex.

You're smart and funny and you bowl for [...], but...

I do not.

You set a world record for most gutter balls.

Which is still an achievement, thank you very much.

All I'm saying is, we can just hang out.

I like being with you.

I don't want to just hang out.

What happens on Sunday?

I don't want you sitting in church feeling horrible because of me.

I won't.

If I do, I'll get over it.

Alex.

[sighs]

I know I'm not supposed to feel this way but it feels right.

You feel right.

I don't know what that means, but...

I have to believe I met you for a reason.

[knock on door]

It's noon, get dressed.

Where were you last night?

Was it that boy again?

The one you snuck out with before?

No.

I assume he's a non-member.

Can we please just drop it?

Your mother asked you a question.

I don't want to talk about it.

Are you having sex, Alex?

-What? -Your neck.

Does he know what this behaviour could cost you?

Does he have any idea all that you have to lose?

It's not what you guys think.

Then what is it, Alex?

Because frankly, we have no idea.

It was a girl, okay?

I like girls.

No, you don't.

I do.

I'm sorry, but I do.

Mom?

Get out of this house.

Go!

[sobs]

[Alex] I told them I like girls and they kicked me out.

[...], Alex I'm so sorry.

You can stay with me.

No, they know you're 18.

They want to know who you are.

Oh my God, they want to arrest me?

They just need time to adjust, they're scared.

Alex.

I haven't told them anything and I won't.

I promise.

Everything's gonna be okay.

It'll all blow over, trust me.

[manager] Frankie!

[...], I have to get back in to work.

I'll talk to you soon.

I'm...

I don't really think I have a home anymore, so...


We thank thee for the food we are about to eat and the blessings we share as a family.

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

[all] Amen.

Alex, I spoke with your parents last night.

They asked about me?

They did.

They didn't want us to tell you, but we thought we should.

They're coming to pick you up this morning.

They're taking you to Utah to stay with your grandparents for a while.

Oh, okay.

Well, on the upside you guys get your couch back.

[all laugh]

[doorbell rings]

They're early.

-Hello. -Hi.

We're just having breakfast here.

Okay.

Time to go, Alex.

Is anyone going to talk to me?

You'll be staying with your grandparents for a couple of weeks, honey.


I need to use the restroom.

Okay.

Hey.

[Frankie] Hey, why are you whispering?

I don't have much time, I'm on my way to Utah.

What?

[Alex] They're having me spend a few weeks at my grandparents.

They're that traumatized? [...].

[Alex] Frankie.

I know, I'm sorry. Utah?

It'll be fine.

I used to spend my summers out there.

I'm their favourite grandkid.

I'm not sure how much I'll be able to call, given that you are the devil that dragged me out of the celestial kingdom by my vagina.

[both laugh]

And listen, you don't have to...

I mean, if you meet someone cool.

Uh, I did already, so shut up about it.

See you in a few weeks then?

Yeah, I'll see you in a few weeks.


Where are we?

Why are grandma and grandpa here?

Dad, who's house is this?

Mom, what's happening?

Mom?

Dad, are you gonna let me know what's going on?

Why are you taking my stuff?

Dad?

Come on, come on, come on.

Don't make this harder than it needs to be.

Alex, I'm Tiana Simms, this is my husband, Johnny.

What am I doing here?

We've been thinking and um...

We're just so worried about you, sweetheart.

You're at an age where you think you know things that you don't, and...

And there are consequences.

You need to change course, Alex.

So you're going to be staying with the Simms for a while.

What?

[Dad] They've helped people like you before.

You mean, people who like girls?

You can be here three months or you can be here three years, it's up to you.

Three years?

Like Johnny said, it is up to you.

Work the program, get better, you'll be home before you know it.

No, no way, I'm not doing this.

[Johnny] It's not your choice to make.

So you know, Tiana and I have both served in the juvenile system here in town.

Which means we know everybody.

Police, schools, courts, they all know us and trust us.

And they know we take in troubled kids like you.

So, you won't get away with any of your usual nonsense here.

Mom, please don't do this.

Dad.

You can't let them leave me here.

We can't let you just fall away, honey.

If you were drowning.

I'm not, I'm not drowning. Mom!

-Do you have the papers? -What papers?

What are those? Are those about me?

You're our responsibility now.

What?

No, these people are complete strangers.

You're not seriously leaving me here with them.

No, Dad, you can't leave. You don't know them!

Mom, mom, mom.

Please don't leave.

No, mom please!

Please don't leave me, please no!

Let's go.

Immodest.

This is just asking for trouble.

None of these.

No wonder you're here with us.

No phones, either.

These are the clothes you'll wear while you stay with us.

Okay.

[Johnny] The boy should be done reading by now.

I'll have Henry get snacks for the kids.

Change clothes.

House rules.

One, don't talk to the kids.

Two, don't take anything that's not yours.

Three, do what we say and you'll be fine.

Four, don't forget we know everyone in this town and everyone trusts us, so it's your word against ours.

Five, the more uncomfortable you are, the more you'll grow.

Heavenly Father never gives us burdens that are too great to bear.

Remember that on the hard days.

Questions?

When can I talk to my parents?

Once a week, if you act right.

And when can I see my grandparents?

Not for a while.

Once you prove we can trust you, we might take you to church with us, but even then we don't want them talking to you.

Change is hard, you need to focus.

Three months, or until you're 18.

It's all up to you.

Boys homework, girls play.

I have a joke.

Don't listen to him.

Everyone, everyone settle.

This is Alex.

Alex, that's Damon and Henry, we're helping them, too.

And these are our kids.

Can I get you anything to eat?

No, I'm fine, thank you.

Get back, play.

[all chatting over video game sounds]


Can I go back to the room?


Goodnight, I love you Emma.


[sighs]


Johnny, it's time to go!

We have an appointment at the alternative high school.

You'll do lessons here with us while you rehabilitate.

[Johnny] Kept me up all night, I'd only just gone to sleep when you came in.

[Tiana] Maybe it's time to try the chiropractor Sister Franklin recommended.

The consultation's free.

[Johnny] Consultation's free and then what?

I've gotta get my prescription, babe.

I know, I'll figure it out.

How far did you say you were from my grandparents again?

[Tiana] We didn't.

I work in youth treatment, sweetie.

I've met 10 year old's sneakier than you.

We're open eight to four, Monday to Friday.

Make sure you bring the records from his previous school and any paperwork from the judge.

You're so very welcome.

Good to see you Tiana, and you must be Alex.

From California, is that right?

Yeah.

She's all mine for now.

[receptionist] Let me just enter this in the system, we'll get her packets and you can be on your way.

What do you want?

Are you eating yet?

I'm not hungry.

But I do need to go to the bathroom.

Make it fast.

I need help, please.

No habla Ingles.

Phone, por favor?

Phone, phone.

[Frankie] Hello?

Frankie, it's me!

[Frankie] Alex, where are you?

My parents sent me to this place in Utah with these people I don't even know.

They're making me live with them and they took away everything.

-My clothes, my phone... -Alex!

No please, I want to come home!

We said no phone.

[shouting]

Someone help. Please help me!

These people aren't my parents, I don't even know them.

Please, no you have to help me!

Help, no! Someone!

Please help!

Get in the car!

[Johnny] You think you're smarter than us?

You think we haven't dealt with kids like you before?

You're wrong.

[video game sounds]

Stand up.

[groans]

This is what happens when you try things like that.

We warned you.

Before we get started, we have a new member of the household.

Does anyone know why Alex is here?

Because she was bad?

Was she arrested?

Did she steal something?

No, but those are all very good guesses.

She's here because she made some bad choices and she got confused and now she thinks she's gay.

It's a choice that some people make, but that's not how Heavenly Father created us.

Now, I know you were taught the plan of salvation, but do you really understand it?

I do.

Then you understand how choosing that lifestyle makes it impossible for Heavenly Father to let you into the Celestial Kingdom.

Frankly, I don't see how he can love you like that but he is forgiving.

He doesn't want you to be all alone, away from your family forever.

Damon, name a time when you felt like you had to wait forever for something.

My court date.

Waiting to hear if I get probation or jail.

Henry?

Senior year of high school, I just wanted to get out of there.

[Jimmy] Alex?

The drive here.

A few weeks, a few months, a few hours.

What if you were still waiting, right now?

Feeling that pit in your stomach, all those nerves.

Imagine you had to feel that until everyone in this room was dead.

Until everyone on Earth was dead.

Until the sun was dead, the planet itself.

Imagine, all that time.

And that is nothing compared to eternity, nothing.

And that's why you're here, Alex.

Tiana and I, we want to help you so you don't ever have to suffer like that.

[sighs]

[Alex] Hi, you'll probably never read this but I'll write it anyway, because why the hell not?

Look, I'm even cursing now.

Well, privately anyway.

These people say they'll keep me until I'm 18 or cured, whatever that means.

I think my parents would actually let them.

I'm mad and sad.

I'm scared.

I never get to leave the house.

People come over and I'm invisible.

I talk to Mom once a week, Dad sometimes.

But they're not real conversations.

I know my parents think they're doing the right thing, but I wish they could love me the way I am.

[Man on TV] Parents must be watchful, ever vigilant, to ensure that wickedness such as homosexuality does not infect their family circle.

There are those that say such unnatural tendencies are inborn and cannot be overcome, not so.

Our Heavenly Father loves his children.

Why would he do that to anyone?

[Alex] The only thing that keeps me going sometimes is knowing you're looking for me and I might get to see you again.

But of course, I also worry.

What if they find you first?

I hope you're looking at the moon right now, I like the idea of us seeing the same thing.

It makes the world feel smaller and this place not so far way.

Good night.


You're going to church today.

[Minister] Every soul confined in a prison of sin has a key to that gate and that key is called repentance.

What a blessing that is.

The opportunity to start each day anew in the name of Jesus Christ.

Amen.

Amen.

♪ ♪

♪ Come, come ye saints, ♪

♪ no toil or labour fear. ♪

♪ What a joy wend your way. ♪

♪ Though hard to you ♪

♪ this journey may appear, ♪

♪ Grace shall be as your day. ♪

♪ 'Tis better far ♪

♪ for us to strive ♪

♪ Our useless cares ♪

♪ from us to drive; ♪

♪ Do this, and joy ♪

♪ your hearts will swell ♪

♪ All is well! ♪

♪ All is well! ♪

Green beans?

Get six.

What else did she say?

More chicken broth.

Hey, do you see a smile on my face like I just won the lottery?

Um, no.

Get the two for ones.

Sorry.

[Johnny] Trust me, if we were made of money, we'd be living with our kids, that's it.

-Chicken broth you said? Yeah.


Oh, I had a question about chicken broth.

Last time I was here...

[laughs]

I'm sorry about this.

I've told her it's not funny to play pranks on people.

[screams]

Stop, ow stop, please!

[Jimmy] I want to pick up on Bishop Carver's talk from last Sunday about prisons of sin.

I want to hear about the things that got you here.

[Tiana] And we want you to be honest.

Henry?

I was ditching school, getting bad grades.

I kissed a boy in my music class and that was all wrong.

So, thank you for showing me the way Heavenly Father wants me to live.

Damon?

I was hanging out with the wrong crowd.

Started stealing, got caught.

I'm grateful the judge offered that you guys could show me a better path, so I don't throw my life away.

Good.

Alex?

I fell in love.

How should we refer to her anyway?

The dyke?

The lesbo? The homo?

Her name is Frankie.

Frankie.

What's Frankie's last name?

[Tiana] She's older than you, isn't she?

She saw a troubled girl and she took advantage.

You weren't gay before.

Yes, I was.

You can't change if you keep protecting her, Alex.

Like we've said, you can stick with the problems that got you here, or you can choose obedience and happiness.

It's up to you.

If it were up to me, I wouldn't be here at all.

No one talks, no one moves.

Where are you gonna go?

[sighs]

Your continued defiance is a problem, Alex.

You're so determined to hold onto this false belief about yourself, that you're ignoring who you truly are.

Since you can't feel the spiritual burden of homosexuality, we're giving you something physical to serve as a reminder.

You'll wear this from morning through evening until you get it.

Now.

[sighs]

[sighs]


[sighs]

Are you ready to give us Frankie's last name?

Henry, go get another rock.

Make it a good sized one, or you'll wear a backpack, too.

I'd have taken the jail time.

[...].

If you want to screw yourself, fine, but do not mess this up for me.

Johnny.

It's okay.

Don't talk to anyone, not even me.

I have a job here to do today, you're just here to observe and see how good you've got it.

What are they here for?

Drinking, drugs, arrested for this or that, all headed down the wrong path in some way.

Being a parent, you'll do anything, give anything.

But a place like this costs an arm and two legs and some families just don't have it.

That's why we do what we do, me and Johnny.

If you don't make this work, this is your next stop.

And you will come here knowing that it cost your parents every penny they worked their whole lives for.

I know it's a lot at first, but it really does help.

[Johnny] This is what your parents want.

We told them we're not sure if you're ready for a visit, but since it's Thanksgiving.

Just remember, seeing them is a privilege that can be taken away.

Come in Alex, come in.

So, we have good news.

We're working on moving here to Utah to be closer to you.

What?

No.

No, you have to take me home.

Honey, we've talked about this.

I can't stay here with them.

Come on, don't make this harder for your mother than this already is.

They can't change how I feel, Dad.

I know you think that God wants me to be different.

You think?

Please, I don't even know where I am on a map.


They hit me, Mom.

They make me wear a backpack full of rocks.

You have to believe me.

Like we believed you when you said you were spending the night at Daniella's?

Look at this.

Mom.

We're trying so hard.

So hard to do the right thing here.

Look.

We're not spending eternity without you.

Dammit, look at me!

Please.

I love you so much Alex.

[door opens]

Alex.

Your parents told us that you tried to convince them to take you home last night, and you also asked them to not tell us you did that.

[Johnny] They want you home with them, but everything that's happening right now is your choice.

You're the one running from the girl God created you to be.

Today you stop running.

Give us Frankie's last name and address,

right now.

I have nothing to say about her.

Jonathan.

Jesus was tempted, we all are.

But until you're willing to do what's right, not only will you wear that backpack all day, you will wear it facing the wall from breakfast to bedtime.

Starting now.

Here.

No more running.

[sighs]


[groans]


One, two, three, four, five, six, seven.


Time to go to bed, Alex.

[sighs]

[sighs]


[whispering] Dear Heavenly Father, please help me find a way out of here.

1,972...

Please help me.

Help me.

Help me.

Please.

Elder Sanders, Thompson, come in.

I hope you like pasta.

We love anything we don't have to cook ourselves, thank you for having us.

Thanks so much, Brother Simms.

Hey, Elder.

At this rate, I'll never get back to work.

We'll see what the PT has to say on Monday.

He's useless, T!

Bend this, stretch that, how is any of that supposed to help?

Kids, go play in your room.

Damon, Henry, shovel the walk.

Alex, go check the pantry, see how much ramen we have left.

[Johnny] We could kick you out, you know.

Then what would you do?


Dear Mom and Dad.

I want you to know how much I love you.

I know you love me, too.

I know you do.

I wish I could be who you want me to be, or that I was good enough just the way I am.

I know you thought this would help, but I can't do it anymore.

Fight them, fight you, fight something in me that can't be fixed.

Thanks for calling earlier to wish me happy birthday.

16, so weird.

I wish I'd gotten to hear your voices one last time.

I love you.

I'm really sorry.


[Tiana] Get up.

Wake up, come on Alex.

Wake up, get up!

[coughs]

How could you do that in our home?

In our daughter's bedroom?

Dry off, get breakfast and don't think this changes anything.

This, what you did today is just another way of running and we won't have it.

Sister Simms, good to see you.

-You too, Bishop. -Alex, come on in.

So, how are you?

I want to go home.

I miss my friends, my school,

the way it used to be with my parents.

Have you spoken to them since your overdose?

It wasn't an overdose.

I tried to kill myself.

Have you spoken to them?

They came to visit me at Christmas.

I was hoping they were going to take me home.

But, they're so worried about the next life they can't see what's happening to me in this one.

Please, Bishop, you have to help me.

No one else is.

Your parents I know are good people.

They want what's best for you, we all do.

[Alex] I wear a backpack full of rocks.

Johnny and Tianna make me stand at a wall all day.

I've known them a long time.

My shoulder and back hurt so much.

People come to visit the house and I'm standing right there.

You used to do drugs, didn't you?

Just pot and not in forever, and it's not about that.

I know.

There's a difference between feelings and actions, Alex.

You can't always choose the former, but you can choose the latter.

You can choose a path that takes you closer to our Heavenly Father or you can choose one that tears you from him and we're all trying to help you understand that.


[Alex] I've tried so hard to protect you, to protect myself, but I'm tired, sad, lonely.

I'm in constant pain, I can't sleep, I can't stay awake.

709 more days until I'm 18 and I just can't do this anymore.

I'm so sorry.

I just need this to stop.

I made you some breakfast.

Thank you.

I'll get it, you sit.

Everyone's still asleep?

Yep.

Tianna.

I'm ready to quit.

Take your backpack off, come sit.

You understand, we just want you to be honest.

[Tiana] We want you to focus on getting better, on living the values we teach in our home and your parents teach in theirs.

Her last name is Jackson.


For 52 days, I followed every single rule.

Whenever they asked, I told them I was straight, cured.

52 days, and then I finally got out.

It was just to a museum, but it was a whole afternoon.

That was 25 days ago.

77 days since I've had to wear a backpack or stand at a wall.

They're letting me go back to school now.

They trust I'd do anything to stay away from that wall, and they're right.

I'm so sorry I let you down, I still think about you all the time.

I hope you're safe and that you can forgive me someday.

[Tianna] Tell people you moved here to help your grandparents.

And remember, we know all the teachers and everyone who works in the office.

Alright, class.

Grab our mixing bowls and muffin tins, Rhys, Molly if you could preheat the ovens please.

Jason Miles Macy, 17, obsessed with Sleigh Bells and St Vincent, I once jumped out of a perfectly good airplane and I bake extraordinary honey oatmeal muffins.

You?

I'm Alex.

Okay Chatty Cathy, let's start with the basics.

How old are you?

16.

Where are you from?

California, but I moved here to help my grandparents.

In the middle of the school year? That sucks.

At least I get to go to school.

If you say so.

Favourite band?

I like 80s stuff, but new stuff is cool too.

Sleigh Bells, Tegan and Sara.

You're sitting with me at lunch, by the way.

It's okay, I'm actually kind of allergic to sunlight.

I guess we're sitting inside then.

This is Carol Lynn's room, you'll love her.

Cookie cutter relief society president, she is not.

Carol Lynn's Mormon?

[Jason] Uh, yeah.

Carol Lynn, Alex.

Alex, Carol Lynn Nielson, English teacher extraordinaire and maintainer of my sanity amidst the madness of this world.

Lovely to meet you, Alex.

You too, Mrs. Nielsen.

Please call me Carol Lynn or you'll make me feel old.

Did you just move here?

From California.

I'm here to help my grandparents.

I'm sure they appreciate that.

So, what did you do at your school back home, any clubs?

Carol Lynn coaches the debate club, the environmental club and the gay straight alliance.

Alex did a recycling drive before coming out here, maybe she should join the environmental club?

I forgot my lunch in my locker, nice to meet you.

I spoke to Mr. Ballard this afternoon, he said you were a nice addition to his math class.

Good, I'm glad to hear that.

[Tianna] And Jennine said you passed by the office before fifth period, got lost on your way to biology, huh?

Yeah, I got turned around in the quad.

I made it before the bell, though.

I know.

What did you do at lunch?

I met the teacher who chairs the school environmental club.

My parents probably told you I did a recycling drive at my school back home.

I was thinking of maybe doing one here, too.

That sounds like a nice idea.

Boys!

Hands to yourselves.

[Alex] [gasps] I think your feet are melting.

[Jason] Oh my God!

They are melting and so are yours!

What? No!

[both laugh]

How can you be gay?

I mean, out.

Here of all places.

Well, it wasn't exactly a stroll down the runway.

I spend more time getting stuffed into my locker or having trash dumped on my head than sitting in class.

Most of the teachers don't do anything about it, obviously.

One, who shall remain nameless was literally five feet away when this meathead gut punched me and he just kept walking into the teacher's lounge like nothing happened.

I'm so sorry.

Yeah, I was like...

This close to done, you know.

Why didn't you?

I couldn't do that to my mom.

Not without telling her why at least.

We were in the mall, I don't even really remember what we were shopping for and I wrote her this note.

I'm gay.

I was like totally shaking, mentally preparing myself for how I'd do it if she...

But she just hugged me and told me that she loved me no matter what.

Anyhow, it made everything easier.

So did finding Carol Lynn.

Having a place to go.

Sounds amazing.

[Johnny] You think you know anything?

Let his be a lesson to you, Henry!

You wanna go to jail, Damon? Is that it?

One call to your parole officer.

One phone call and I will make it happen.

[Tiana] Alex, will you pass me the butter?

Thanks.

I have a girlfriend.

I'm not helping my grandparents.

My parents sent me to live with these people who are trying to cure me form being gay.

[...], dammit.

I shouldn't have said [...] or dammit or any of that.

I'm sorry.

It's okay Alex, everything's okay.

No, please. Do not tell anyone.

We won't, but you can't go back, you're not safe there.

I'm fine, it's not a big deal.

Alex, let me help you.

They know everyone Carol Lynn.

Cops, teachers, my teachers, Jennine in the front office is in their ward.

You can stay with me, my mom will totally let you.

My parents gave them custody.

The cops will just take me right back.

I should call Paul.

You think that's a good idea?

Who's Paul?

Paul Berg, he's an attorney I know in Salt Lake who can help.

I can't be late for class, I'll call him tomorrow okay?

I promise.

You'll be alright tonight?

I've lasted this long.

[grunting]

[kid] I made this for you.

It looks like a sun.

-It's beautiful, Emma. -Thank you.

[Johnny] Alex, make a snack for the kids.

Paul, it's Jason, I'm here with Alex.

The girl I told you about.

[Carol Lynn] I'll keep this safe.

Thank you.

Hello?

Alex, this is Paul Berg, how can I help you?

[Alex] Um, well...

I came out to my parents and they sent me to live with these people who said they can make me straight.

They hit me sometimes.

I had to wear a backpack of rocks and stand at a wall all day.

I tried to kill myself.

Failed, obviously.

I also like dark chocolate, cheesy music and long walks on the beach.

How about you?

It sounds like you've been through the ringer.

If you want an attorney, I'd be happy to work with you pro bono, for free.

I'd like to get you out of there.

Would you be able to help my girlfriend, too?

I mean, she's not my, I don't know.

My parents want her arrested.

[Paul] I'll do everything I can.

Thank you, thank you so much.

Ideally, I'd like to call a few other people who can help us, but if you're in imminent danger I will not leave you there.

[Alex] I'm okay, I promise.

[Paul] If anything changes, you have Jason call me, otherwise we'll talk tomorrow.

Sound good?

Sounds good.

[Paul] Okay, bye.

He's gonna help me.

[bell rings]

Oh no!

You're late.

Let your brother play, okay?

You be good.

Henry, have a seat.

Does anyone have anything they'd like to say?

You can't keep anything from us, you all know that, right?

Alex?

We got a call from school today.

You were late to class.

What were you doing at lunch?

You're an impressive liar, you know that.

We actually believed you were on the right path.

Since we can't trust you, we're pulling you out of school immediately.

And you'll go back to the wall with the backpack.

Now.


[panting]

-Morning. -Hey.

Would you like me to call the police, sweetie?

No, please don't.

I just need to get to school, can you please help me?

Hop on.


Alex?

They put me on the wall again.

I can't!

Everything's going to be okay.

I'll call the police and child services.

No, they know them!

Everyone knows what they do.

I will not let anyone take you back, neither will Paul.

Please, Alex?

Trust me.

This girl is in danger.

If any of you notify the Simms that she's here, you will go to jail.

Any questions?

Jennine?


Thank you.

Hey Sandra.

Thank you for bringing her in.

You must be Alex.

You're in good hands.

How long were you there?

You don't have to tell me any details you don't want to.

I just want you to know that whatever happened, it's not your fault.

243 days.

Eight months.

[knock on door]

What if they come here?

They won't be allowed on the premises, you're safe.

If my parents want to send me back, can they do that?

You've got a lot of people helping you, including an attorney, which most kids don't have.

And I've got the feeling he's not the quitting type.

We're not all like that, you know.

Mormons, I mean.

We're not all like the Simms and those people who thought it was okay, the things they did.

How they tried to change you.

I know.

For what it's worth, gay, bi, straight, love is love.

And you're perfect, Alex, just the way you are.

That's what I think anyway, and I'm pretty sure God does too.

Is there anyone you want me to call for you?

Anyone you want to know that you're here?

[car approaches and stops]