“In 2000, the situation comedy, Early Years, premiered on NBC. The show, in which a young bachelor is forced to reevaluate his priorities when he agrees to raise three orphaned children, was initially dismissed by critics as broad, and saccharine, and... not good.
But the family comedy struck a chord with America and went on to air for nine seasons. The star of Early Years, Theo Raeken, is our guest tonight. Welcome Theo.”
“It is good to be here Charlie. Sorry I was late the traffic-“
“It’s really no problem.”
“I parked in a handicap spot. I hope that’s okay.”
“You parked in a-“
“Sorry, disabled spot. Is that the proper nomenclature?”
“Maybe you should move the car?”
“No I don’t think I should drive right now. I’m incredibly drunk.”
“You’re telling me that you’re drunk, right now?”
“Is it just me or am I nailing this interview? I kind of feel like I’m nailing it.”
“Uh... yes, anyway; we were talking about Early Years. To what do you attribute the show’s wide appeal?”
“Charlie listen, you know, I know that it’s very popular these days to shit all over Early Years, but at the time I can tell you-
is it okay to say shit?”
“-Because I think the shows actually pretty solid for what it is. It’s not Ibsen, sure, but look, for a lot of people, life is just one long, hard kick in the urethra. And sometimes, you get home form a long day of getting kicked in the urethra, you just want to watch a show about good, likeable people who love each other. Where, you know, no matter what happens at the end of thirty minutes, everything’s going to turn out okay.
Because in real life- wait, did I already say that thing about the urethra?”
“Well let’s talk about real life. What have you been doing since the shows cancelation nine years ago?”
“That’s a great question Charlie. I, uh...”
Theo slumps down his stairs at 11am and stumbles to his kitchen, head pounding its usual steady rhythm. His stowaway “roommate”, Nolan, lounging around as he always is, blaring the TV and making Theo’s head ache harder.
Theo grunts in response, not ready to put up with Nolan’s ever-cheerful mood.
“Why so gloomy roomy?” He asks, ignoring Theo’s attitude.
“First of all, we are not roommates you are my houseguest.” He says, shoving fruit into a blender.
“Well we don’t need to put labels on things.” Nolan responds, finally leaving the couch behind and following Theo into the kitchen.
“You sleep on my couch and you don’t pay rent. I’ve had tapeworms that that were less parasitic. I don’t even remember why I let you stay with me in the first place.” He spits back, pouring vodka into his smoothie.
“Because my parents kicked me out and I had nowhere to go and even though you don’t want anyone to know it-“ He pauses as Theo starts the blender.
“- You secretly have a good heart.” He finishes, smugly taking a bite of his cereal.
“You told me they didn’t approve of your ‘alternative lifestyle’. I thought you were a troubled gay teen or something. I didn’t realise by ‘alternative lifestyle’ that you meant you were lazy.” He responds, idly digging around in his cupboards.
“That’s on you for making assumptions. Also, if you’re looking for the Pop Tarts, I got really high last night and ate them all.” Nolan takes another uncaring bite. Theo sighs likes he’s not at all surprised, because he’s not. Nolan has always felt like a huge annoyance for Theo. He slams the cupboard shut, accepting that his spiked smoothie is all he’s going to have for breakfast. He walks back to his room ignoring Nolan’s question as his brain catches up with their conversation and he finally enquires as to whether Theo has actually had a tapeworm.
“Thanks for meeting me here. I would have invited you to my office but the electric company shut off our power.” Corey says, hastily sitting in Theo’s booth in a far from welcoming cafe.
“That’s unfortunate.” Theo replies, not at all sincerely. He stares down into his mug in hopes of hiding that fact. It seems to work as Corey continues.
“Oh, you know, it’s just a little problem with the bank... and a lack of money in it. Now, as you know, Penguin Publishing is very eager to publish your memoirs but you keep missing your deadlines.”
“I know, and I’m sorry, but I am making great progress.” He lies, trying not think about the day before that he spent locked in his home office making next to no progress on the first chapter.
“Look, we really need a bestseller here at Penguin. Things are not that great for me, money wise...”
“Aren’t you an editor at a major publishing house?”
“Yeah a publishing house,” Corey says facetiously, rolling his eyes, “when was the last time you saw a book?”
“I thought I saw someone reading one in the park the other day,” Theo responds, humouring him, “but it turns out it was a take out menu.” He finishes, secretly wondering why he can never seem to say something pleasant. His thoughts, and their conversation, are interrupted by the unamused waitress dropping their bill on the table telling them whenever you’re ready. Corey stares at the piece of paper, then back up at Theo hopeful but expectant. He sighs and pulls out his wallet.
“We’re living month to month here. We’re kind of counting on your autobiography it save the company, no pressure.”
“That’s actually a lot of pressure.” He replies, placing his cash on the table.
“Have you considered working with a ghostwriter?” Corey asks hopefully.
“Ugh, no thank you. Look, just give me one more week and I will give you some pages that will knock your socks off.” He says determinedly.
“Okay...” Corey doesn’t seem to have high hopes and Theo doesn’t blame him, “...I’ll call you in a week.”
“Yes, one week,” he says, standing to leave, “I’m telling you, this book is a top priority for me.”
A week later and Theo’s phone rings, breaking his attention away from the TV as he nearly spills his scotch. He reads Corey’s name and mumbles to himself, “Oh right, sheesh,” then discards his phone back onto the couch. He laughs at the old rerun of Early Years, waking Nolan up beside him while he informs him he improvised that line.
“I mean, it was written, but I gave it the old Theo spin.”
Nolan looks at him skeptically, “Hey, how many times have you watched this episode?”
Theo ignores the question, continuing to over-explain the joke he laughed at while Nolan walks away unamused.
“Yes Theo, I get it.” He says.
“Ah, you don’t get it.” He mumbles, finishing his drink.
Nolan returns with a pizza in his hands, “Are you drunk?”
“Nolan, it takes a lot of scotch to get me drunk...” He answers as Nolan looks at the near empty bottle on the coffee table “...yes.”
“Uh huh, I think I know what’s going on.”
“No you don’t.” He says defensively.
“You’re just bummed out because Lydia dumped you last night.” He says triumphantly taking a bite of pizza.
Theo’s stomach flips as he remembers the previous night, sitting in a reasonably nice Italian restaurant across from a nervous but seemingly determined Lydia.
“Theo, we need to talk...”
“Hey look at the rug on that guy,” he says, evading the clearly serious topic she was about to bring up, “who does he think he’s fooling? That’s clearly not his real hair.” He keeps babbling too loud and Lydia’s face colours some.
“Stop embarrassing me, that’s Derek Hale, the producer-“
“You know, I am not crazy about the bread here,” he picks and takes a bite of another roll, “but why can’t I stop eating it?”
“Theo. Can you please listen to me for a second?” She says, getting a little desperate.
“You have my undivided attention.” He says, swallowing his bite.
Lydia takes a deep breath, “I think we should see other people.”
She says, letting out the breath.
“Were we not seeing other people?” Theo says after a beat.
“What? Everyone gets a mulligan, my mulligan was Carey Mulligan.” Lydia crosses her arms at that as Theo takes another bite of his roll.
“I’m kidding, jeez. It was Emily Mortimer.” He admits, making Lydia scoff and roll her eyes.
“What’s the problem here? Are you embarrassed of me because I’m a has been? Because you know that I’m writing that book that is going to make everyone love me again.”
“You’re not really writing a book.” She says, unimpressed.
“Well I already spent my advance, so that’s a first a step-“
“Look, this has been a lot of fun.” She continues, “But I need to start thinking about my future.” She finishes, trying to attract some kind of sympathy from Theo. It isn’t working.
“I mean, you don’t even respect me enough to have a family with me.” She says accusingly.
“Wait, what? I never explicitly said that.”
“You said it with your actions. Face it, you’re afraid of commitment.” She says, once again crossing her arms.
“I’m not afraid of commitment. I commit to things all the time. It’s the following through with that commitment that I take issue with.” He says, failing miserably at defending his honour. He stops when he notices he’s lost Lydia’s attention. He turns around to follow her gaze.
“Hey stupid, isn’t that your friend over there?”
He’s offended at that.
“Oh, Scott McCall? God I hope he doesn’t see us.” He says hunching down slightly to no effect, Scott instantly spotting them.
“Is that Theo Raeken?” He yells as he approaches their table.
“Here we go.” Theo mumbles with a heavy sigh.
“Scott McCall and Theo Raeken in the same room, what is this? A crossover episode?” He said jokingly, patting Theo on the shoulder.
“You know, that gets funnier every time.”
“You’re being sarcastic, but I think it does actually get funnier every time.” Scott responds with a laugh.
“We’re actually in the middle of breaking up right now so if you could just-“
“Yeah? You’re in the middle of it?”
“Yeah that’s right.”
“So would it be awkward if I joined you right now?”
“Yes actually, it’s very awkward? Is that not clear?” Theo says, starting to panic slightly.
“Yeah, this is awkward right now?” He asks, pulling up a chair.
“Yes, please leave.” Theo says, pinching the bridge of his nose in frustration.
“How are you Scott?” Lydia asks, seemingly okay with fuelling the flame of Theo’s embarrassment.
“Living the dream, Lydia. Living the dream...”
“Why are you making conversation?” Theo asks accusingly.
“Oh, let’s see, what’s that word again? It’s called being polite Theo.” She says cruelly.
“But am I crazy that this is a bad time?” He asks, feeling he’s the only one that sees the ridiculousness of the situation.
“Always a Clydesdale, never a Clyde, eh Theo?” Scott asks.
Theo squints at his apparently meaningless comment for a second, “What?”
“You’ll get that one later, man.” Scott explains, standing and moving his chair back to its previous table. He walks off spotting another person he knows. Lydia looks at Theo accusingly.
“Would it kill you to be civil? This is why we’re breaking up.”
“So it’s not because of the family thing?”
“It’s because of a lot of things!” She snaps, “Waiter could we please have the check? Thank you.”
“We haven’t even ordered yet.”
“I have wasted so many dinners on you Theo Raeken. I don’t know how you can expect anyone else to love you when you so clearly hate yourself.” She says, now exhausted from her outburst.
The waiter places the check on the table with a quick, “Here you go.”
Theo snatches it immediately, “Let me see that.” He says examining the paper. His eyes narrow and Lydia braces herself.
“$10 for bread! What kind of restaurant doesn’t have free bread?” He asks heatedly.
“It’s free if you order a meal, sir.” The waiter explains.
“How much bread could I have possibly eaten for you to charge me $10?” He challenges.
“You ate three baskets, sir.”
“Three- really? Great, now I’m going to feel like a fat ass all week.”
After reluctantly paying the bill they leave so Theo can take Lydia home. They sit in silence for a long while until Theo breaks the heated it.
“You’ve seen me naked. Do you think I’m getting chubby?”
He asks, growing self conscious.
“Do you want to know the real reason we’re breaking up?” She asks, ignoring his question.
“What was that!? Sorry, I couldn’t hear you over the sound of my calories not metabolising.”
“This is so classic you. You’re using this bread thing to avoid talking about our relationship.”
“No,” he denies, “that is definitely not what’s happening.”
“I’d like to go home now.” She announces.
After a beat Theo narrows his eyes, “You think I’m fat.”
Nolan hums questioningly bringing Theo back to the present.
“Okay yes,” he admits, “technically I was dumped. But the real headline of the evening was, “Dumb Guy Eats Breads, Gets Fat, The End.””
“What kind of headline is that?” Nolan asks, clearly amused.
Theo ignores him, “Wasn’t there a pizza here a second ago?” He asks. Nolan holds the now empty pizza box, Theo apparently having finished it in record time.
Nolan rolls his eyes. “You’re not fat.” He seems to get a thought soon after and Theo dreads whatever it is he’s about to suggest.
“Oh hey, let’s throw a party! That’ll cheer you up.”
“No, it won’t. It’ll cheer you up. I’ll stand in the corner by myself eating cotton candy until I barf like I did at your last party.”
“But that was a great party.”
“Who even told you Lydia and I broke up?” He asks suspiciously.
“She did.” Nolan says pointing behind Theo.
“What?” He turns to see Lydia crossing her arms and glaring at him.
“You never took me home, Jerk!” She exclaims.
“Oh everything’s my fault!” He yells incredulously.
“Take me home!”
“Okay, fine. But I’m not looking for parking in Silver Lake. I’ll slow down to a crawl and you can duck and roll.” He says matter-of-factly, crossing his arms.
They’re nearing Lydia’s apartment complex when she finally speaks up.
“You know what? You can take a last look at this face because it’s the last time you’re gonna see it-“
“Oh look we’re here, goodbye.” She glares at him gets out, slamming the door as she goes.
Barely a minute after he drives off his phone rings, a woman on the other end declaring, “I’ve got Lydia Martin for you.”
“Uh, okay.” He says confused.
“Theo!” She greets enthusiastically.
“Oh my god we just broke up.”
“Yeah but I’m still your agent. I pride myself on my ability to seperate my professional life from my personal life.” She states
“Great. Then as my agent, do you think I’m getting fat?” He asks challengingly.
“No way! You are in the prime of your life, never looked better.”
“What about as my ex-girlfriend?”
“You look like a pile of crap ate a second pile of crap and then crapped out a third pile of crap.”
“Wait, wait, so which pile of crap do I look like?”
“The third one.”
“What? That’s the worst one.”
“I’m not calling you as your ex. I’m calling you as your agent. Remember that book you’re pretending to write? Well Penguin wants an update on your progress. Does Tuesday work for you? Or are you going to be too busy this week masturbating to old pictures of yourself?”
“I told you that’s not what was happening that time. I was masturbating to what the picture represented.” He defended heatedly. “You walked in at the worst possible moment.”
“So... Tuesday though?”
“You don’t have anything!?” Corey repeats manically. This was going about as well as Theo expected. But he’s not the type to admit when he’s screwed up so he just changes the subject, ignoring the outburst.
“Hey, you got the electricity back. Good for you.”
“This company is in dire straits. We made a series of very bad investments. Did you ever hear about a young adult franchise called Swamp Monsters of Malibu?”
“Then why did we spend $20 million on marketing!?” He throws his hands up, defeated. But then he gets serious, a determined look on his face and tone in his voice.
“Look, I know you’re a busy guy-“
“Actually I am a busy guy. I live a very active lifestyle.” Theo replies form his high horse.
Corey clears his throat, trying to muster of the rest of his courage. “We’re tired of waiting. We’re hiring you a ghostwriter.” He explains and hands Theo a business card.
He studies it carefully, “Liam Dunbar?” He asks.
“He’s great. And he’s got a thing for actors,” he picks up and hands Theo a book about James Dean, written by one Liam Dunbar, “check this out.”
Theo takes the book and perks somewhat, “Hey, James Dean. You know, I always wanted to play James Dean in a movie, he’s kind of my personal hero.” Theo explains.
“I could never get the project off the ground though. There was this one time a few years ago when I came close but the studio cancelled production.”
“Don’t tell me, tell him!” Corey explains, losing patients as his stress overcomes him. Theo flips the book over and looks at the picture of the author on the back.
“He’s cute.” He says softly.
“Call him. And that’s a loan by the way. We can’t afford to be giving out free books to people. But you can take anything you want from the Swamp Monster swag box.”
At that moment, the electricity is cut yet again.
Theo paces back and forth in his living room, Nolan watching him and offering his support.
“Oh god, I’m a failure.”
“You’re not a failure.” Nolan says easily.
“Why did I think I could write a book?”
“Because you have an amazing story to tell. Relax.”
“Relax? Easy for you to say. You’ve never had a day of stress in your life.” He continues pacing as Nolan seemingly spaces out, deep in thought.
“I never should have signed this book deal. You know what my problem is? I can’t say no to people because I want everyone to like me.”
“You want everyone to like you?”
“Yeah, why? Do people not like me?”
“Uh... What were we talking about?”
Ignoring him, Theo continues ranting, “I can see the headline now, “Stupid Theo Writes a Stupid Book About His Stupid Life, comma, Nobody Cares.””
“What newspapers are you reading?”
“Why don’t you just let that guy write your book and be done with it?” Lydia chimes in from the kitchen.
“Better question, why are you in my kitchen?” Theo asks, once again avoiding the issue.
“I’m making breakfast, we had sex last night dummy.”
“I’ve really got to start putting my phone on airplane mode when I drink.” He says pinching the bridge of his nose.
“This guy probably thinks I’m just some dumb sitcom actor.” He says picking up the book and glaring at it. “I hate him and his stupid last name.”
“You haven’t even met him, give him a chance.” Nolan says non-convincingly, “Oh, you should invite him to the party.”
“What party? Why are you so obsessed with throwing a party all of a sudden?” He asks, getting more frustrated by the minute.
“Because parties are fun?”
“This book is really important to me, I don’t want to just hand it off to some stranger.” He says matter-of-factly.
“If it’s so important why have you written literally nothing in the past year and a half?” Lydia asks, eyebrows raised questioningly.
“It’s too much pressure. This book is my one shot at preserving my legacy. I’m a joke, and if this book isn’t good, I’m going to be a joke forever. Everyone thinks that I’m just this washed-up hack, but actually -“ Theo rants, panic starting to rise in his chest.
“Oh god, what if they’re right? I can’t breathe. Am I dying? Toast! I smell burning toast!”
Lydia turns around frantically to the counter saying, “Oh my god, my toast.” as Theo dramatically falls to the floor.
Nolan kneels by his side.
“Nolan, on my grave, I want it to say that I was born in 1997-“
“No ones going to believe that.”
“Dammit, can’t you respect a dying man’s wish?”
“You’re not drying.” Nolan says back, accompanied by the biggest eye roll in history.
Theo, Lydia, and Nolan wait in Theo’s hospital room watching more episodes of Early Years. Theo, being his dramatic self, had insisted on going to the hospital, apparently never having had a panic attack before and therefore not realising he wasn’t actually near death. They’re just finishing a season finale in which the father dies “of a broken heart” due to the kids not appreciating him enough.
“We might have gone too dark on that series finale.” Theo says, turning the dvd off.
Nolan looks at him with a raised eyebrow, “Do you just bring those dvds with you everywhere you go?”
“Linus walked around with a blanket all day, no one gave him shit for it.”
“How long is that doctor going to take? I have a meeting with another client at 3:00.” Lydia asks, looking up form her magazine.
“You have other clients?” Theo asks.
“No, I make a living off you sitting on your ass all day.” She says sarcastically.
“Are your other clients more talented than I am?” He asks, suspicious. When she doesn’t respond he says, “Your silence speaks volumes.”
“That was my intention.” She replies with a heavy sigh, exaggerating her boredom.
The doctor walks in explains that Theo just experienced a mild anxiety attack.
“Jesus, if that’s mild, I don’t want to know what spicy feels like.” He replies, the resulting silence telling his joke clearly didn’t land.
“Too smart for the room? It was a salsa joke people.”
The doctor then tells him he needs to take it easy and that he’s been over-stressed.
“Take it easy? He doesn’t have a job. He has no real responsibilities, he doesn’t do anything but take it easy.” Lydia argues.
“Well can he take just a little easier?”
“I can try doctor. I can try.” Theo says dramatically.
“Look this book deal is obviously stressing you out. Will you just call the ghostwriter already?”
“What you want me to call this guy? On the phone?” He asks, clutching his chest. Ten minutes later, and after his second anxiety attack of the day, which the doctor so helpfully informs him he’s just had another. Theo goes back to usual self.
“And entertainment weekly said I wasn’t consistent.” He says, his joke once again not landing.
“Really? Not even a pity laugh? You know I did almost just die.”
Nolan just lets out a a single “Ha” while the doctor exits the room saying he has other patients to check on.
“You have other patients?” Theo asks, his insecurity coming out again.
“Theo. Let’s have a party, okay?” Nolan says, still not taking no for an answer. “I’ll organise the whole thing, you can invite the ghostwriter, and have a nice, casual conversation in a fun, pressure-free environment.”
“Okay, fine. We’ll have a party.” Theo says, throwing his hands up in defeat.
“Thank god.” Nolan says with a huge grin.
“But we’re not getting a cotton candy machine, I can’t control myself around those things.” Theo says folding his arms.
“I totally hear what you are saying, and I will do my best.”
Later that night, Theo stands idly by the cotton candy machine on his balcony. He looks around at all of the people Nolan invited, not recognising a single face he sees. He sighs and leans back against the wall, wishing he hadn’t agreed to host the party. He was absolutely right when he said it would cheer Nolan up but would in no way make him feel better.
A few minutes later he stands up straight and opens his eyes to update himself on the goings on around his home. And right as he does, he finally spots a familiar face standing by the edge of the balcony. The ghostwriter Corey had hired for him. He didn’t remember inviting him, he can only assume Lydia did it for him.
He works up what little courage he can and heads in the writer’s direction. He doesn’t get far before he’s interrupted by another familiar face shouting his name excitedly.
“Oh, good lord.” He says but reluctantly changes his path and meets Scott half way.
“Can you believe this? The two of us,” he gestured between them, “in the same house? Is this a crossover episode?” He laughs.
“No, I’m just kidding around man. Seriously though,” his hand finds its way to Theo shoulder again, “how are you?”
“Well I’ve been kind of up-
“Living the dream, huh? Yeah. Hey, we’ll catch up later, alright? I want to talk to you.” He leaves Theo the same way he did the previous day, greeting someone else he knows.
Theo sighs and heads back outside. He leans on the edge of the balcony and stairs blankly at the view of LA.
“Hey, Theo right? Theo Raeken?” A smooth, slightly shy, voice wakes him from his daydream.
“Yes. Oh I’m- Im sorry,” he stutters, realising he’s forgotten the boy’s name, “I don’t want to miss-pronounce your name...”
“Oh! Liam.” He says nervously.
“Thanks for inviting me to your party.” The writer says, stepping slightly closer. “Sorry I haven’t been mingling, I get kind of awkward at parties.”
“Have you tried alcohol?”
“I don’t know, parties make me anxious in a real broad sense. Like, look at that guy, he’s having fun, why haven’t I figured it out?” He says with an awkward laugh.
“No, there’s no guy there. It’s just like, a guy, you know?”
“Oh, okay, yeah.”
“I’m probably just overthinking it because I never got the practice because I didn’t get invited to any parties in high school. What am I talking about? You don’t care about any of that. Shut up Liam.” He continues, awkwardly trying to fill the silence under what theo suspects is a judgemental gaze coming from him. “You’re at a party, compliment the host...” He laughs nervously while he looks around trying to think of a compliment.
“You have a lovely home.”
Theo just takes the awkward outburst in his stride, “Yeah well, if you’re gonna spend most of your young life on some dumb sitcom you might as well get some sweet house out of the deal right?”
Liam ignores that, clearly noticing that Theo hadn’t meant to show a personal side so easily.
“So what are you working these days?”
“Well mostly I just sit around the house and complain about things.”
“Yeah? How’s that working out for you?”
“Well I can’t complain, so, you know.”
They’re interrupted by Scott in the living room making a scene and joking around with another party member Theo doesn’t recognise.
“Ugh, do you know who that is?” Theo asks.
“Yeah, he was on that show about that woman who adopted those three kids. What a dumb idea for a TV show.” He spits bitterly, crossing his arms. He turns around and leans on the railing again.
“He’s so stupid he doesn’t even realise how miserable he should be. I envy that.”
Liam turns to lean beside him, “Hey, do you know the story of the Dad from The Brady Bunch?” He asks.
“Do I know his story? If I recall correctly, he was bringing up three boys of his own.”
“They were four men living all together but they were all alone. That is profoundly sad.” Theo finishes.
“No, the story is that the guy who played the dad hated being on The Brady Bunch because he was a real actor and he considered it beneath him. Sound familiar?”
“That’s not all that was beneath him.” Liam just looks at him.
“Gay joke. Sorry, I’m better than that.”
“Most people don’t even get to do The Brady Bunch version of the thing they want to do with their lives. You’re actually in a really good position now. Because you can pretty much do whatever you want. You’re responsible for your own happiness, you know?” Liam finishes his analogy, hoping to have gotten through to Theo.
“Good lord that’s depressing.”
“No, it’s not.”
“I’m responsible for my own happiness? I can’t even be responsible for my own breakfast.”
“What would make you happy?” Liam asks, trying to find a solution for Theo, even though they just met. Theo can’t help but it admire that and resent it at the same time.
“Well, finishing my memoir I guess.”
“Is that all? I can help you with that.”
“Yeah? I mean, would you even want to? You’d have to spend a lot of time with me. You’d probably get sick of me.”
“I don’t think that’s going to happen.”
“No?” Theo asks, just to sure.
“No, Theo.” Liam replies earnestly. And Theo suddenly feels a lot better.
“Okay. Well than I guess you’re hired. But don’t put all that stuff about how sad I am in the book.”
“Oh, that doesn’t count, we weren’t on the clock yet.”
“Yeah, exactly. You’re only my ghost writer starting... now.”
“You got it.” Liam says with a sincere smile.
“Theo!” Scott suddenly heads in their direction.
“Ugh, this guy.” Theo says before he’s in ear shot.
“Hey man, wanted to let you know, you are out of beer.”
Theo just shrugs.
“Oh, I see you’ve met my beautiful boyfriend Liam Dunbar.”
Theo’s eyes widen slightly and he puts up his hands as if asking them to bare with him.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait a second...” He points at Scott. “You drank all my beer? Also, you two are dating?” He asks, pointing between the two.
“You’re dating him?” He asks, gesturing to Liam then Scott.
“This is your boyfriend?” He asks again pointing to Scott.
“That is correct.”
“You,” he points to Scott, “are going out with you.” He points to Liam.
Liam once again replies with “Uh-huh.”
“But in a sexual way, not just as friends?”
“That’s right.” Scott confirms.
“You have seen him naked?”
“Many times, yes.” Scott answers, happily humouring Theo’s repetitive questioning.
“You’re attracted to this?” He asks Liam once more.
“But in a sexual way?”
Theo pauses for a few beats. “Huh.”
He then, as predicted earlier, releases the contents of his stomach - most of which is cotton candy - over the edge of his balcony.