Study Guide

Brian Cookson in Hard Love

Brian Cookson

Loyal, optimistic, and constantly in love, Brian isn't exactly the type of guy we'd picture John hanging out with. He's pretty much our main man's total opposite after all; still, though, the guys have been friends for a long time. The reasons for their connection are pretty elusive, though. Perhaps they stay friends because they're each the only person the other one has, or maybe there is something deeper between them than John realizes. Importantly, Brian makes it clear that John does crave some amount of connection—even if he's not the best at showing it. John confides:

I guess I couldn't blame him for not knowing, since I usually act like I'm doing him a big favor hanging out with him. There must be some secret formula for how much to tell people about that kind of stuff. Not too little, but not too much either. Obviously, it was a secret nobody told me. "Who else would be my best friend?" I said. "You and Marisol. You're my only friends." (13.17)

Okay, so this isn't quite the same as saying "You complete me" or anything like that, but for John, it's a big deal. He doesn't like letting people in, and Brian's ready excitement over everything from prom to girls is good for John to be around sometimes. Brian sticks it out with John even when the guy's a jerk to him, too, so we're thinking he sees through John's tough exterior, just like we do.