James has learnt to be withdrawn and secretive in a family with long buried secrets. Lonely and confused, he is drawn to one of his schoolteachers, Mr Sutherland, focusing on him as the one person who might understand his inner turmoil. When an older man approaches him in a public toilet, James panics and calls his mother, but refuses to tell her what happened. Late that night, James listens to his parents arguing about him. His fathers offhanded dismissal of his mothers concern results in a vicious row. When a devastated James turns to Mr Sutherland for help, the teachers response leads James to take an irrevocable step.