Chapters Three & Four
Summary: Chapter Three (Evanston Will)
Tiny calls Will and tells him that he should attend the GSA meeting tomorrow. Will does not want to go, but Tiny tells him that school funding is based on attendance numbers. Jane messages Will over Facebook and flirts with him. Will states that flirting violates his two rules, and he should add “never kiss a girl you like” to his list. Will arrives at the meeting after school and sees Jane and Tiny there. Gary and Nick arrive and have apparently just broken up. Mr. Forston, an English teacher at the school, is the faculty member responsible for the group. The group discusses whether they should put resources into awareness and education, or if they should fund a musical that Tiny has written, Tiny Dancer. There is some debate, during which Gary tries to dismiss Jane’s opinion because she is not gay. Tiny immediately tries to convince Jane and Will to date, making Will embarrassed and angry.
After the meeting, Tiny invites Will to a different concert. Will does not have a fake ID, so Tiny calls Jane and has her take Will to a photocopy store in Chicago. On the ride over, Jane tries to kiss Will, but he stops her, saying that he likes her but does not want to be in a relationship. Jane takes the rejection well.
At the copy shop, Paulie, the heavily tattooed employee, quotes a price of 100 dollars for fake ID. After Jane pays, Will asks for a card identifying him as Ishmael J. Biafra, age 22. Will feels conflicted about being attracted to Jane because it violates his personal rules. The ID looks flawless, and Will and Jane skip down the sidewalk outside.
Summary: Chapter Four (Naperville Will)
On Saturday, Maura comes to visit Will while he is working at CVS. She asks him if he is gay, and he is rude to her. He does not consider her a close enough friend to confide in her. He knows that telling her would mean that she would stop trying to pursue him romantically, but he fears that she would then try to make him her “gay pet.” Maura leaves, upset, and Will is irritated that he is going to have to be nice to her to make up for it.
When Will gets home, his mother is re-watching the Pride and Prejudice miniseries. Isaac is not online, so Will sits and watches with his mother. Maura comes to Will’s house, because he has been ignoring her calls all night. Will takes her to his garage to talk. She asks him again if he is gay and asks him about Isaac (she has seen him writing Isaac in his notebook repeatedly). Maura says that if Will is keeping his sexuality from her, then they are not really friends. To avoid hurting Maura, Will tells her that Isaac is just a character that he made up. Maura assumes that this means that Will is not gay. Will fears that she will share more of her morbid poetry with him. He knows that she might later accuse him of leading her on, so he decides that he should find someone for her to date.
After Maura leaves, Will talks to his mom. She is sad and lonely, and Will tries to reassure her. Will talks with Isaac on his computer. Isaac describes being with Will and holding him lovingly. The thought makes Will happy, but also sad, because the words are not reality. Isaac says that they should meet on Friday, only six says away. Will is excited and does not want to tell his mom or any of his other friends.
Analysis: Chapters Three & Four
Evanston Will believes he is perfectly content in remaining stagnant, and he recounts the events of the past week with satisfaction in the monotony of being a background character in his own life story. His policies on shutting up and not caring are his armor from the discomfort of change and growth. He is so afraid of this discomfort that he is in denial of his desires and even his sexuality. When Jane flirts with Will and attempts to kiss him, Will invents an excuse for why she might act in this manner that doesn’t involve true feelings for him. Tiny knows that Will will not open himself to the truth of his desire, so Tiny pushes them together. When Will resists, Tiny arranges for Will to get a fake ID. This plot forms a bond between Will and Jane and allows Will to live out some of his truths under the armor of a fake identity. Tiny knows that Will needs to be pushed outside of his comfort zone and beyond denial in order to live his life with truth which is why he formulates plans to bring Will and Jane together.
Mirroring Evanston Will, Naperville Will also avoids the truth of his life. He avoids telling Maura the truth about his sexuality because he is afraid she will treat him like a pet or a token. Instead, he harshly pushes her away. He reveals his truth of actually caring about her when he plans to smooth things over. If he did not care, he wouldn’t try to make it better. However, when she reaches out to him, he avoids her calls. In the garage, he lies about Isaac even though it is clear that Maura knows Isaac is real. Will also hides behind disdain for his mom to avoid getting close to her. The truth of his care for her can be seen when he gives her romantic advice. The culmination of his avoidance appears in his conversations with Isaac. Once again, Will can only be truthful in the anonymity of the internet. He feels good about being authentic in his sexuality with Isaac, but he is ultimately left feeling dejected as he recognizes his relationship with Isaac is more of an illusion than reality.