In a flashback to the late 1990s, a middle school-aged Earn (Alkoya Brunson) comes to school wearing a yellow FUBU shirt he ecstatically picked from Marshalls. However, another student named Devin Meyers comes to school wearing an extremely similar shirt and word quickly spreads that one or both are counterfeit; ridicule from upperclassmen also accompany these accusations. Once the school day ends, Earn is close to being exposed but Alfred (Abraham Clinkscales) interjects and deflects the accusations onto Devin. The following day, Earn's homeroom class is informed that Devin committed suicide, with early theories stating that the choice stemmed from trauma from his parents' divorce compounded with the bullying; the latter appears to be unknown to faculty. Earn is guilt-ridden but keeps it to himself. Alfred, alternatively, seems apathetic.