Scene 4: Flashback – careers interviews
The scene changes to another flashback to events earlier that year, just after Matt’s careers interview. Matt talks, rather dismissively about his talent for art and the likelihood of his going on to college to do an art foundation course when he is sixteen. Mike points out that if he does then it will be the end of “M&M” (Eminem) – their name for their “partnership” - as Mike would be staying on to do A levels. Matt asks what Mike is going to do after that. Mike’s parents want him to go to University to study Law or to be a doctor – he is clearly a “high flyer”.
Matt had thought that Mike wanted to be a vet. Mike then talks about hearing on the radio about the high suicide rate amongst vets and the reasons for it. Matt talks at cross purposes about Radio 1 and the model, Jordan. He doesn’t really listen at all to what Mike is saying. Mike concludes by saying that he’d “best not be a vet when he is older.”
The scene comes back to the present and the imagined Mike uses the flashback as evidence of Matt’s lack of sensitivity to his situation. They argue. Mike accuses Matt of being worried and having concerns but preferring not to act on them as it was easier that way. The scene ends with:
Matt Anyway, I reckoned that you were just a bit, I dunno, depressed or something. Thought you’d get over it.
Mike Oh well that’s all right then...
Matt What do you mean?
Mike Well that’s just a nice little excuse isn’t it. So long as you think like that it means that you don’t actually have to do anything!
Scene 5: Talking about Music
Time passes. Again we are back in Matt’s bedroom. He is trying to revise but he can’t get Mike out of his head. He is still thinking about Mike and having imaginary conversations with him. Matt remembers that in the last few weeks before Mike’s suicide he hadn’t seen so much of Mike. Mike had been spending a lot of time on his own and seemed to not want the company.
“Mike” reminds Matt of a conversation they had ha in the summer holidays about music and once more we enter into a flashback.
Mike is excited and wants to tell Matt about a new band he has discovered – Evanescence. Matt is not really interested – he prefers dance music to the “indy” music that Mike likes. Mike insists that Matt listens to the cd. Reluctantly Matt listens to the cd on a personal cd player.
As he does so, Mike talks about the music and in particular the song “Bring Me to Life” which clearly resonates with him as does the video of the song with its imagery of the lead singer falling from a building. He reveals that he too feels that he “is living a lie” and he “has nothing inside”.
When he asks Matt what he thinks, Matt says “Well you can’t dance to it.” He clearly hasn’t heard what Mike was saying at all. Mike declines to go to a party that Matt knows about and the flashback ends. Back in the present the imagined Mike accuses Matt by saying, “ You never really listened Matt – did you?”
Scene 6: That Night on the Bridge
Again Matt is trying to study but now Mike is a constant presence who haunts his every moment. The mock exams start the next day but Matt can’t even begin to concentrate – he feels that he may as well give up now.
The imagined “Mike” seems to know what Matt needs. He needs to go back to the bridge, so that he can finally come to terms with what happened. In the company of “Mike”, Matt sets off for the bridge once more.
When they arrive (inreality – this is not imagined) at the bridge, Matt and Mike talk through the events of that night. Matt relives what happened in his imagination: Mike carefully taking off and folding his jacket before climbing on to the parapet; waiting for the right train to come along; turning so that he fell backwards like the girl in the Evanescence video and finally jumping from the bridge in front of the train.
This imagined memory is so vivid that Matt runs to the parapet, shouting, “Mike Mike!” and peers over the side as if hoping to see his friend. In his emotionally confused state, Matt clambers on to the parapet, putting himself in his friend’s position, calling, “So this is what you did, is it?”. Then, realising where he is standing, he wavers on the edge.
Sarah enters in the background and watches Matt on the edge of the bridge. Gently she calls to him and helps him to get down. She is clearly concerned about Matt and asks if he was about to commit suicide. Matt quickly denies this saying he was, “….just trying to put myself in his shoes – I guess.”
Sarah tells Matt that she comes once a week to put flowers on the spot where Mike died for her mum. Matt confides in Sarah that he does feel to blame – that there were signs that he should have seen. She too, however, has changed and she says that she feels guilty as well. She explains that she had drifted away from Mike and confesses that she felt jealous of his seemingly easy success and the attention he got from their parents.
She asks Matt if he has told anyone about the letter, reminding him that, for her parents’ sake, no-one must ever know “the truth”. She then admits that despite swearing him to secrecy she had had to talk to someone about it all and had been seeing the counsellor at school. She suggests that perhaps Matt should also see the counsellor. She is clearly concerned about having found Matt standing on the bridge.att is almost overwhelmed and in his emotional state tearfully tells Sarah that he “misses him (Mike) so much.” He quickly remonstrates with himself and assures her that he (Matt) is not “gay”. Sarah gives him reassurance and then reminds Matt that he can talk to her at any time.
She says to Matt:
… we shouldn’t blame each other. Neither of us made Mike do what he did. You know Matt, I think we should try to build bridges. Not throw ourselves off them - don’t you?She places the flowers she has brought on the parapet of the bridge and they exit - linked arm in arm.