Phuc is a young Vietnamese boy who grew up on a small farm with his grandfather. His grandmother died in the war, his mother left for America when he was very young, and his father has always been shunned by his family for some reason. When his grandfather died, Phuc came to America by himself, and has since been adopted by a single mother. At Southie High, he is bullied because of his bad English and strange mannerisms—he just doesn’t fit in. Eventually, Phuc gets fed up and gets involved in a stabbing incident when a group of black kids jumps him and his stepbrother. As a reward, his stepbrother shows Phuc where he keeps a secret gun and Phuc steals it to protect himself in school. The first day Phuc brings the gun to school, he runs into his crush Amina, a beautiful Somali girl, in the hall and shows her his gun as a way of saying _I can protect you with this. _She mistakes it for a threat, however, and cops begin to chase after Phuc, who runs away to the abandoned top floor of the school. Meanwhile, Reginald Claude, a math teacher who catches a glimpse of Phuc’s gun in the hallway, is triggered by the sight and starts disclosing details of his trauma to his class. When everything quietens down, Phuc escapes the school and sees Amina kiss another boy. The boy pulls out a knife and approaches Phuc, Phuc pulls out his gun, and Amina quickly gets between the two boys to try and convince them to both put down their weapons. A cop arrives and orders Phuc to put down the gun, but he doesn’t, and the four of them stand still, frozen like statues.