"Flashes Before Our Eyes" is the 43rd episode of Desperate Schoolboys.
People wait at the hospital for news of Mary's condition, but are met by tragedy. Joe struggles to trust Katie as he is haunted by memories of Silvia. The stalking becomes too much for Ben as he searches for who is terrorizing him, coming to a shocking find. And as Ted keeps the family hostage, desperate to cling onto playing happy families as if nothing is wrong, it is placed in danger when Lydia comes for dinner.
Shocking discoveries were made at Wiksteria Hospital every day. A place that my friends knew all too well...
The school kids from the RV are at the hospital, subsequent to Mary's accident.
They knew it was a place of recovery...
Ben flashes to lying in the hospital bed with his sore leg, after falling down the stairs. (See "Binding Affairs")
They knew it was a place of death...
Rena flashes to sitting with a dying Christina. (See "The Many Final Chimes")
They knew it was a place of comfort...
Joe flashes to his friends visiting him after his kidney transplant. (See "Guilty Until Proven Innocent")
And they knew it was a place of waiting...
Everyone is sitting in the waiting room, looking impatient.
...for uncertain news.
"What is taking that doctor so long?!" Rena asks. Katie strokes his hand in comfort and says, "Waiting is the hardest part." "Have you phoned Miguel?" Liz asks. Rena just nods. Joe asks, "He isn't coming?" "No, he's just sitting at home, drinking his scotch and smoking his cigars like he's done every night since my mum passed...god, I don't want that to be me," Rena says. Everyone searches for words uncomfortably. Suddenly the silence is broken by Katie, "I love the smell of cigars. Reminds me of my grandpa. Morning to night, he use to sit with a great big cigar dangling from his lips. Oh, how I use to sit on his lap and play with the white whiskers beneath his nose. Then I would steal his teeth, with the cigar still in them, and he would chase me all around the room trying to get his teeth back." Everyone looks at Katie in bizarre shock. Rena gets up from his chair and walks over to Ben, who is standing alone by the doorway. Rena tells him, "I don't know what I'll do if she doesn't make it." Ben places a hand on Rena's shoulder, showing he's there for his friend. Suddenly Ben's eye catches sight of someone looking in his direction, he looks up and sees someone standing down the hallway, looking at him, but they immediately walk away. Ben stares in confusion. However the doctor then emerges into the room. Rena runs over, "How is she? Is she okay?" The doctor nods, "She'll be fine." Rena exhales with relief, "Can I see her?" The doctor goes back to a serious face, "But, there was complications." "What does that mean?" Rena demands, "What complications?" "The baby didn't make it...I'm so sorry," the doctor says. Everyone looks as though they will cry, as Rena holds his mouth and struggles to keep it together. He runs past the doctor and into Mary's room. Mary is lying in the hospital bed, bruised and plastered, and trying to hold in tears herself. However as soon as her eyes meet Rena's, she bursts into tears and Rena runs over to hold her tight. They cry in each other's arms.
Discoveries were being made all over town, with a girl discovering her baby would never be born...
Flash to Mary, sitting in hospital, still crying silently.
...A new couple still finding their feet...
Flash to Joe and Katie still in the hospital, hand-in-hand.
...And a boy desperately wanting to unearth his stalker.
Flash to Ben receiving another note.
But due to this preoccupation, my friends barely took the time to notice that their other friend had discovered something to. Something which had landed him in grave danger.
We see Josh lying in his bed at home, waking up. He takes a brief look around before attempting to stand up, however, when he is unable to, he is reminded of the fact that his hand is shackled to the bed with handcuffs. He attempts to pull his hand free, trying himself completely, but to no avail. Eventually, he gives up, and gives off a large sigh. He begins to look around his room; with nothing to do, he leans his head back and we suddenly flash to Josh and Ted playing catch in the park with baseball mitts. Alex sits nearby on a swing, swinging miserably. "You're doing great at this!" Ted exclaims happily, launching the baseball. Josh catches it and throws it back, where it's caught by Ted. "I thought you gays were no good at sport," Ted says jokingly, throwing again. Josh gives a false laugh before catching and throwing. "We should do stuff like this more often," Ted says, as the ball continues to go back and forth. "Yeah, we should," Josh tells him, smiling, "This is fun." Ted catches the ball and says, "You're really coming along as a son," before throwing it back to Josh; Alex continues to look disdainful.
We flash back and Josh is handcuffed to his bed again, a tear quietly rolling down his cheek, as he continues to lay in silence. The camera then moves down the hall and we are shown the inside of Joanna and Ted's bedroom, where the two of them are sitting up on the bed. The two of them kiss, "No matter what," Joanna says, "I still love you." Ted smiles, "I know." "Of course, I think we should move on soon," Joanna tells him, and Ted looks at her confused. "Are you trying to tell me what to do?" he asks, laughing as though the idea is ludicrous. "Not at all," Joanna says, smiling herself, but feebly, "I was merely recommending it. We wouldn't want any awkward encounters. My new friend Lydia is coming to dinner this evening. She's helping me host the next meeting of our book club and she wants to discuss a few things." "Now now," Ted says, "There's absolutely no need to worry, my sweet." And with this, he lifts his right hand to reveal that he's carrying his revolver in it, before winking at his wife. His wife laughs, and Ted tells her that he's going to go downstairs and make some breakfast. As the two part company, they kiss, however, once Ted is gone, Joanna's smile drops completely, and the shot reveals that her hand is in fact cuffed to the headboard.
At Wiksteria hospital Mary is still lying in her hospital bed as her friends all stand in the room. "I'm so sorry," Liz says, "I can't even imagine what you must be feeling." Rena nods, kissing Mary's hand which he is holding tight, "At least Mary is okay." But Mary doesn't say anything, pulling her hand away from Rena and resting on her side, facing away from the people in the room. "Still no sign of Josh," Joe comments. "I guess we know who our true friends are," Rena says. Everyone gives comforting smiles, but Mary utters, "Can everyone please leave." Rena nods in consideration, "Yeah, it's been a hard day...I thought I was going to lose her...we need some time alone." "Of course," Ben says, as everyone begins heading for the door. "You too," Mary adds. Rena looks at Mary confused, "What?" "I want to be alone," Mary says. Rena nods, "Oh, of course." Rena then awkwardly looks for the door and follows his friends, leaving Mary alone in the room.
Joe is seen laying down a picnic blanket in the park before setting a basket down atop of it. He then sits down, beneath the shade of a large tree, and waits. Soon enough, someone is heard emerging, and Katie's voice says, "Alright, what did you wanna meet me here for—" She then sees the picnic and jumps up and down in glee, before sitting down opposite Joe. "You did all this?" she asks, smiling. "Indeed I did," Joe says, opening up the basket. "I love picnics!" Katie exclaims, "Eating outdoors; reminds me of when I was a kid and we'd sometimes have to trap our own dinner." "Yeah..." Joe utters, looking at Katie's happy face which makes him smile in turn. However, we suddenly flash to Joe walking Silvia to her apartment, the two of them hand-in-hand. "I had a really good time tonight," Silvia tells Joe. "Me too," he assures her, as they stop outside the apartment building. "You don't have to walk me up the stairs," Silvia assures him. "Alright," Joe says, "But I have to do this." He proceeds to kiss her and when he pulls out he utters "I love you". "I love you too," Silvia lies, a believable smile still on her face. As she walks away Joe stares on after her, and we flash back into the present, where Joe is staring at Katie. His wide smile drops to a frown.
In the Ashdale house, Ben is sitting at the living room table on his laptop, while his baby sister is sleeping on the couch. Lydia then enters the room, "Okay, I'm going for dinner now. I won't be back until late, and your father doesn't finish work until late tonight too. Will you be okay babysitting Ana?" "Of course," Ben says, "I don't understand why you're going to the Mannings' alone for dinner though." "Because Joanna has been urging me for weeks at book club to go over to her home for dinner. I think that she's had a hard time making friends since she got here. Besides, she wants to host the book club at her home, and so first I need to ensure its suitable." Ben shakes his head at his mother's condescending tone, before she then says goodnight and leaves. Ben's laptop then makes a ping, indicting a new email. He opens it and reads I saw you with Liz at the hospital today. What happened to your friend was horrible. Ben looks surprised and replies, Who is this? Another message appears, You know who it is, Ben. I told you that I was coming to your door. Ben suddenly looks startled; he looks over to the door and goes to lock it in alarm. He then grabs baby Ana and holds her tight in his arms.
Rena and Mary enter the Belindro house - Mary looking incredibly depressed and Rena almost cheery, carrying the bags from the Winnebago and saying, "We're home!" Miguel then enters the room with Rocky, who Rena immediately strokes. Miguel stumbles over, with a rough beard and grimy clothes, and glass of scotch in his hand - this being his common state now, since Christina's passing. "I'm so sorry about what happened," Miguel utters. "At least Mary is okay," Rena smiles, kissing Mary's hand, "I couldn't bear losing her." Mary pulls away her hand and says, "I'm going to lie down." "What do you want for dinner?" Rena asks. "I'm not hungry," Mary states, before ambling off like a zombie. Miguel looks over to Rena, "You want to talk, son?" Rena shrugs, "There's nothing to talk about." Rena then walks off to make dinner, as Miguel watches before taking a drink of his scotch.
Joe and Katie are still seen at their picnic. "And then, you'll never guess what happened..." Katie says, part way through a story. "Let me guess," Joe says monotonically, looking bored and sad, "She returned the puppy?" "No, actually she killed herself..." Katie says, "A shame really but the moral still stands: always—" she notices that Joe is looking in the opposite direction, "Is something wrong?" Katie wonders. Joe then looks up at her, "I'm sorry, what?" he asks. "I said... is something wrong?" Katie asks again. "Is something wrong?" Silvia asks when Joe suddenly flashes back again. Joe, who, in the flashback, is simply staring at Silvia, replies with, "No, I was just thinking about how perfect you are." Silvia then smiles that perfect fake smile of hers, before kissing her boyfriend. We flash back to present. "Nothing's wrong!" Joe snaps. "Alright..." a reproachful looking Katie says afterwards, "It was just a question, it's not as though you robbed a pet store against your will."
The Mannings are seen to be watching television, Ted and Joanna on one sofa, Josh and Alex on the other. The revolver is seen to be on the armrest next to Ted. Suddenly, Joanna's drink spills down her blouse. "Oh, dear!" Joanna exclaims dramatically. "Have a little accident, did we, darling?" Ted asks, looking at her. "I'm afraid so," Joanna tells him, "I better go get a cloth and wash this up." "I think you better had," Ted tells her. Joanna then makes her way around the sofa, and before her husband can react, she grabs the revolver, slams back the hammer, and aims for her husband. Ted looks up at her and sighs, before standing up and casually standing face-to-face with his gun-toting wife, who is now shedding tears. Josh watches in worry but Alex continues to watch television with disinterest. "Are you going to kill me, my lovely?" Ted asks, a chuckle in his voice. Joanna keeps the gun aimed at Ted's head, but the gun is seen to be shaking in her nervous hands. "Well, here I am," he says, now more sternly, "Shoot me," he orders her, however, Joanna continues to fumble with the gun, more tears streaming down her face. "You really shouldn't have hesitated," Ted tells her, before raising a hand and smacking her across the face, causing the gun to go flying out of her hands. He continues to advance on a shaking a frightened Joanna, however, Josh suddenly hits Ted around the head with the remote control, and yells to his mother, "RUN!" Josh and Joanna run through the hall and to the front door, as Alex sits casually on the sofa, not even turning his attention away from the screen. "I wouldn't do that if I were you," Ted tells Josh and Joanna, who are next to the door. He emerges into the hall, the revolver now back in his hand. "You know what you've done?" Ted asks, as he approaches them, "You've upset me. I've been nothing but hospitable, and this is the thanks I get?" Josh and Joanna both shake their heads, both tearing. "W – we're s – sorry," Josh utters. "I know you are," Ted says, "And I know that it will never happen again... I'll make sure of that..." Josh and Joanna nod shakily but Ted continues to raise his gun, his finger firm on the trigger, "But I wouldn't want anyone to think I've gone soft." He aims at Joanna's head and she closes her eyes and fearful anticipation, however, instead of a gunshot, the doorbell is heard, and Joanna's eyes shoot open. "That'll be Lydia," Joanna says, "I invited her over for dinner." "Oh yes," Ted says, hiding the revolver around his back, "I remember... I do love guests," he continues, regaining his cheerful demeanour, "Let her in." Wiping the tears out of her eyes, Joanna opens the door, and Lydia is seen to be standing on the other side. Without waiting for invitation, Lydia immediately steps inside, taking a look round and judging everything. "Well..." she says to herself, "Could be worse." "Welcome to our home," Ted says, extending his non-revolver hand. At this, Lydia takes a handkerchief from her pocket and shakes Ted hand, the material preventing any skin from making contact.
Ben is still on his laptop, looking nervous. Suddenly there is a knock at the door, he goes over to it cautiously but relaxes when he peers through the window and sees Fraser. He opens the door, "Hey Fraser, what can I do for you?" "I'm missing Katie," Fraser says, "Do you mind if I come in?" Ben nods, "Sure." Fraser smiles, before entering the living room, "I didn't know where else to go. You've been good to me lately, inviting me into your group of friends." Ben goes back over to his laptop not really paying attention. "What are you up to?" Fraser asks. Just then another email pops up, Your blue shirt looks nice...is it new? Ben looks down at his shirt startled, he gets up to the window and looks through it, before closing the curtains. "Did you see anyone outside?" Ben asks. Fraser looks confused, "No, I don't think so." Another email then appears, Your little sister is beautiful...I can't wait to hold her in my arms. Suddenly Ben looks angry, he goes over to the door, "Will you watch Ana for me, Fraser?" "Um...where are you going?" Fraser asks. But Ben already leaves the house, slamming the door behind him. Fraser shrugs before smiling uncomfortably at the baby girl on the couch.
"So, what are you studying for when school restarts? Got any plans or career prospects for the future?" Katie asks, desperately trying to carry the conversation. "Yeah, I guess..." Joe says monotonically. Katie appears confused, "Are you even listening to what I'm saying?" "I don't think our healthcare system can be reformed," Joe replies randomly, and Katie looks insulted, before standing up. "You know what? Screw you and screw your damn picnic!" she exclaims, before marching off. Joe suddenly looks up, realizing what's happening, and his eyes widen, before he stands up and begins chasing after his date. "Katie, wait!" he calls after her. "Oh, I've been waiting, Joe!" Katie shouts, turning back to him, "This whole date, and you've been acting like you're not even there!" She continues walking and Joe walks after her until the two of them are in the woods near the park. "It's just, I was thinking of Silvia, my last girlfriend, and how she betrayed me, and that I couldn't go through that again!" Joe tries to explain, but Katie continues to march away from him. "Oh, so you think of other girls when you're with me, I'm that boring, am I?!" Katie yells. "No, that's not it at all!" Joe calls after a still-mobile Katie, stopping to catch his breath, "I wouldn't have even been thinking about that if I didn't think that you and I had the potential to get serious! I really like you Katie, and I wanna be with you! Just please answer... Katie? Katie?" Joe calls, but Katie is out of sight now, and silent, suddenly, a loud scream is heard. "KATIE!" Joe yells, following the direction of the scream. Soon, he finds a bewildered Katie, who is staring at the dead body of a young woman lying at her feet and crying in empathy. Joe silently approaches her and takes out his cell phone, dialling 911. As he does so, Katie turns to him for comfort and cries into his shoulder, unable to contain the horror of what she is witnessing.
Josh, Alex, Joanna and Ted are seen around the dinner table with Lydia, who is silently judging everything that happens. "So, I've come into your home and eaten your food and I still know barely a thing about you. How did you two meet?" Lydia asks politely. "Now," Ted says, staring directly into Lydia's eyes, "I think that's a story best saved for desert." "Oh my..." Lydia utters, her bosom heaving slightly. "But," she says, snapping out of it, "I don't think I'll be able to stay for another course. I have a newborn at home and she can't get to sleep without me." "Of course," Ted tells her, "Rude of us to keep you." "No, it's been lovely," Lydia assures him, "This will be a fine setting for the next meeting of our book club, Joanna. And the food was delicious, you've outdone yourself." "Thank you, Lydia," Joanna says hollowly, "May I show you the door?" As Lydia begins to stand up, Josh says, "Mrs Ashdale, before you leave, can I just... show you... my bike? My bike, outside?" Josh asks. "Um..." Lydia starts. "Now now, Joshua, you're being rude," Ted says kindly, but giving Josh a stern look. "You get home to your child now, I'll show you to the door myself," Ted tells her. Ted and Lydia then walk to the door together and bid each other goodbye, before Lydia exits the house and the door is closed behind her. Ted then walks back into the dining room, his revolver now in tow. "Well, that settles it then," Ted tells the silent Joanna, Josh and Alex, "We're moving."
Mary enters the living room of the Belindro house, were Rena is sitting at the table, writing. "What are you doing?" Mary asks quietly. "I'm writing a letter to who owned that construction site, the scaffolding fell so easily. They should be held responsible," Rena says, still writing. Mary nods, "Your head is so clear...mine is a jumble." "What do you mean?" Rena asks. "I mean, I don't understand how you can write...or eat...or smile as if nothing is wrong," Mary says. Rena sighs, "Mary, I've been through enough to know that you can't change what's happened. And if you let the pain of today consume you, then there will be no tomorrow." "There is no tomorrow for me," Mary says, "I can't think of tomorrow...I can't think of later...all I can think of is our future with our baby that we now will never have!" "We still have each other though," Rena smiles, getting up from his seat. However now standing, Rena sees the packed suitcases by Mary's feet. He looks at them in despair and then stutters, "Where are you going?" "I can't live here anymore," Mary says, "The pain is just too much." Rena begins to tear, "What? No, you can't leave. We need each other now more than ever!" Mary begins to tear too, as she grabs her bags and heads for the door, "I'm sorry." Rena goes after her to the door of the house, "Mary, please, you can't leave! I need you!" Mary utters, "Thank you for everything you've done for me, Rena. But we can't be happy together now. The pain of this will ruin us." "You're not thinking clearly!" Rena tells her. Mary turns and begins heading down the street. Rena watches after her, screaming, "Mary, please!" But she is too far gone to hear him as he cries to himself, "Don't leave me..." He then stumbles back into the house alone, sitting on the couch and stares into space, before picking up a baby's rattle. He suddenly bursts into tears, holding the rattle tight, his eyes bleeding with pain.
Ben is wandering the streets near his home, with a face of determination. He stops still in the dark street and looks around, hearing footsteps going in the opposite direction, as if someone is leaving due to his presence. He sees the shadow of someone enter the park. "Stop!" he shouts, before running after them into the park. He runs into the unlit woods, but stops still, searching for noise. He hears nothing but the eerie wind wailing between the trunks of the disordered trees. The thick air from the exceeding moisture swirls around him, creating a hazy mist. Suddenly he feels the cold as he holds his arms over his chest. But he drops his arms at the first sound of life - rusting in the trees behind. He faces their direction and shouts, "Who's there?!" He runs with his possessed look of pursuit, but he loses his footing and bearings, suddenly surrounded by only trees. But the rusting noise continues. He utters, "Who are you?!" But then he screams it, "WHO ARE YOU?!" Suddenly the rustling stops. He hears nothing but his own breathing. But someone is there - behind him. He feels their presence, and slowly turns to face them. His face is overcome with shock as utters, "Emma?" The camera spins to reveal Emma Swift standing in the woods, "Hi, Ben."
Shocking discoveries are made every day. Especially in the town of Wiskteria. You may discover the return of an old love, who isn't finished with causing you pain...
Flash of in the woods, Ben stares in shock at Emma.
You may discover the leave of the girl you thought you'd spend the rest of your life with...
Flash to Rena crying to himself on his living room couch, he looks at a happy picture of him and Mary.
You may discover that a man was not who he said to be, and it may cost you your home...
Flash to Ted packing bags with a smile, but the family watch with frowns.
Or you may discover a horrifying sight...
The police are all circled around the body, as Joe and Katie are sitting at the outskirts. Katie is still crying and Joe is holding her. The police look at the bodies and one says, "Broken legs...choked with a thin object...it's the same guy alright. We have a serial killer on our hands." Joe hears this and his eyes open with fear.
...which comes with the news, that there is a monster in town.