Ren: Please don’t hate me. I don’t want this to change how you — I don’t want to feel like this. Please believe me. I started to hope that you would just guess. If you did realize though, I couldn’t tell. But if there’s any chance, I had to tell you.[Ren’s mother appears on screen. She walks into Ren’s room.]
Ren’s mother: Are you almost ready? You’re not even dressed yet.
Ren: I have to pack.
Ren’s mother: You have weeks to pack, get dressed. We’re already late.[Ren and his mother are sitting in the car, parked.]
Ren’s mother: I don’t know if you noticed, but the car has stopped.
Ren: I think I’ll just sit here for a while.
Ren’s mother: What is going on with you lately? You are going inside, Lawrence, I don’t care if I have to drag you. Don’t forget his present.[Ren, his mother and Eli’s parents appear on screen at Eli’s graduation party.]
Eli’s mother: I’m so glad you could make it.
Ren’s mother: Lawrence wouldn’t miss Eli’s graduation party for the world.
Eli’s mother: Well, I know that Eli will be happy to see you. It’s been too long. Speaking of Eli, I think all the kids are inside. Go on. In August already Eli is going to Georgetown.[Eli appears on screen with two friends.]
Friend 1: Tell me, well, I had, because I don’t know. I think psychology, maybe sociology just because I’m interested in it, the way you can get inside the brains of people.
Eli: I think I’m going to go undecided at first. I really don’t know exactly what I want to do. I thought about doing maybe like history or —
Friend 1: Nice suit.[Ren appears on screen in front of Eli and his friends.]
Eli: Ren. I didn’t know you were coming.
Ren: Yeah. Right. So, how you —
Eli: I’m not totally sure
Ren: — been? —
Eli: what I want to do yet. I was thinking about something involving like history or science, but yeah, I don’t know. I feel like that would just be the —[Ren starts to walk away.]
Eli: — hey, wait! Here.[He hands Ren a graduation card.]
Ren: You got me a card?
Eli: No. I mean, my mom did. She told me to give it to you.
Ren: Yeah, right. I think I had some present I was supposed to give to you too. Probably just some trinket my mom picked out.
Eli: Don’t worry about it. I’ll see you around.
Ren: Yeah. Yeah, I’ll see you.[Ren opens the envelope Eli has given him, seeing a graduation card with “I’m sorry. Good luck at Dartmouth.” written in it. The letter he gave Eli is enclosed as well. Ren leans against his car, reading the letter he gave Eli.]
Ren: I’m sure this is the kind of thing I should be telling you in person. But the thought of having to look you in the eye and see your response stopped me every time I tried. I started to hope that you would guess. I don’t know how maybe by the way I looked at you or how we stopped being able to talk the way we could as kids. If you did realize though, I couldn’t tell.[The screen flashes back to Eli and Ren in a library, studying.]
Eli: So, the Huguenots were Protestants in France. Please, if the exam is this easy, it’s going to be a walk in the park.
Ren: Okay, smartass. What year was the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre then?
Eli: 16—? 15—?[Eli begins to flip through pages in his book and sees a letter Ren has put in his history book. He pulls it out to begin reading.]
Eli: What’s this? You put this in here? I guess we’ll just have to find out.
Ren: Wait, wait. Just wait til you get home.[Eli leaves. Screen flashes back to present.]
Ren, reading from the letter: Yeah. I love you. And I don’t mean as a friend. Or even as family. I just love you. I’m not really sure where to go from here. Could we talk sometime? – Ren.
Senior Clarisse Gamblin wrote and produced “Graduation” in her Postproduction class. It follows the story of a teen as he tries to tell a friend of his feelings before they leave for college.