TWO | THE MUSIC CONTINUED TO PLAY
Below, you'll find a breakdown of the day of the Amor Brothers' party, from beginning to end.
THE MORNING OF THE PARTY
“Now vamo, Jay… Chop! Chop!” (Pg 17)
“Vamo” is Jay and Braden’s way of saying “let’s go…” Shortened Spanish slang for “we go” or “come on."
Jay's mom texts him, “LOVE YOU” and Jay responds with “Love you more!” Then, she replies with “That’s IMPOSSIBLE!:)”
This is something my family’s been doing since before I can remember, and we still do it, so I knew it needed to be put in Jay’s family dynamic
A couple of the girls are from Hollywood, which, according to Jay, is where “Braden spent most of his weekends when he wasn’t working at the nightclub down here in Torrance.” (Pg 20) This has heavily influenced Jay and Braden’s dream of opening up a nightclub.
Josh says, “You and Braden have always been the cool brothers, and I don’t wanna get in the way of that. I’ve never been to a party… I’ve never even drank before. I don’t wanna do something stupid to embarrass you guys.” (Pg 21)
Here, I wanted to show peer pressure at play. While Josh is sitting here, his conscience is kicking in while he’s in his right mind.
JAY TAPS INTO HIS GIFT
“A kid in a backwards trucker hat and a loose flannel made his way across the room to talk to a girl accompanied by her friend… Let’s call him “David.” He looks like a “David.” David struggled to stand up straight, speaking his mind to this girl we’ll call… 'Jessica.'" (Pg 24)
Jay sits on the kitchen counter, where he enjoys to PEOPLE-WATCH from. We see him use his “gift” for the first time on “David” and “Jessica.”Jay utilizes his extreme self-awareness to read lips, body language, and catch minor details that contribute to these character breakdowns.
JAY READS REBECCA
“She’s the girl Josh was going crazy over last week. I had never seen him so captivated by anything in his life. Let’s call her… “Rebecca.” (Pg 25)
He begins to see Rebecca indulging in some heavy drinking while dancing, and then he notices Rebecca’s friend slip her a clear baggy filled with what Jay assumes is cocaine. He quotes Nate… “Nate was right. She’s a wild one,” (Pg 25) which Nate says on page 14 in Chapter 1.
“The people dancing around her didn’t acknowledge her, as she was almost entirely one with the party…” (Pg 26)
We find 3 things here:
1. Jay is witnessing Rebecca deviate from sobriety.
2. The further Rebecca deviates from sobriety, the more synchronized she becomes with “the party,” as if it consumes her.
3. She becomes completely present in the moment, almost as a form of meditation.
“I had always known I was good at reading people. It didn’t take long for me to figure out people’s intentions, regardless of how they tried to present themselves on the outside. My mother would tell me it was my God-given gift, and I exercised it regularly.” (Pg 26)
We witness Jay acknowledge his gift for the first time.
Josh recognizes the girl from school and when Jay asks if it’s “Rebecca,” Josh snaps back with, “Is that her name??” Jay quickly deflects the question by saying, “I don’t know. I’m drunk. It’s probably not.” (Pg 27)
Here, I wanted to show how Jay is so confident in his ability to read people, that the names he labels people with become concrete along with his perception of them.
“The key is to bounce to the rhythm of the music, each beat moving closer into the direction you want to head toward… That way, you don’t have to shove your way through or give off confrontational vibes.” (Pg 28)
Here, I wanted to build on how strategic Jay is when it comes to partying. He almost sees it scientifically. I also do this "dance-bounce maneuver" in real life and it works most of the time.
“You know how I feel about models. I’m not like them… Like, I hate relying on looks… I hate it. I like using my head, but I guess in a way, this is sort of like using my head. I can use the money I make to invest in something or to grow in some way.” (Pg 29)
Jay and Val talk in the backyard. Val opens up about how she’s gonna be pursuing modeling instead of going to college. I use Val to tap into Hollywood satire here, where a career that appears to be surface-level can be used to find a deeper form of fulfillment, which Val is saying she’s setting out to do.
“The sound penetrated my mind and body with such force and intensity, I immediately became sober.” (Pg 33)
This sets the tone for the way the final 3 pages of the chapter are written because now Jay is in shock.
“The music continued to play."
After every 2-3 paragraphs after the gunshot, I inserted this line to show how Jay is navigating through the screaming crowd of people. He doesn’t have full control of his mind due to the shock, so his mind keeps getting pulled back to the music.
“Was it one of Carter’s friends that fired? Was it one of Braden’s? Who shot? Who got shot? Where are Braden and Josh?” (Pg 33)
Jay is trying to process where the gunshot came from and as he looks around the backyard, he notices that the original troublemakers who had guns were just as confused as Jay. I added this to build suspense along with a twist.
“It’s Braden’s supply. Let’s dip before the cops get here." (Pg 34)
Through this brief dialogue between Braden's friends, I wanted to portray how fake some “friends” turn out to be. You’ve got your friend’s dead brother lying in front of you, another brother traumatized and calling for help, yet the focus is still primarily on the drugs and themselves not getting into trouble.