This is the story of a young boy. The boys name is Lawrence, Lawrence Walker. His life is not the same as everyone else, he has had trouble in his life. It starts on a school bus heading for homes all over the small town of Long Port. Lawrence sat at the back of the bus, hood pulled over his head covering his eyes, sleeves covering his arms, and no expression in his face. Not happy, but not sad. People asking one another why he was wearing long sleeves in 80 degree heat.
Lawrence never said a word, not on the bus to or from school, and barely at school. He would only speak to his closest of friends, and even then his words were slim. He sat and stared out the window of the bus, lost deep in thought, when a young girl not even six came to him and tapped his shoulder. He looked at her with the one eye not covered by his hood and waited for her to say something. She looked scared to be standing where she was as if Lawrence was some sort of beast from her darkest dreams. She extended her arm and placed in Lawrence hand a small yellow dandelion. She then hurried back to her seat, Lawrence looked at the flower and could not help, but smile.
The bus stopped at a small gravel driveway, Lawrence stepped off the bus and walked toward the house at the end of the driveway. It was his home though it did not feel like home to him. He did not like to be at home, in fact he hated it. He lived with his father and younger sister, Scarlet she was only five. Lawrence did not like to stay at home because his father was an abusive man. He would burn Lawrence with his cigarettes, he told him it was because he screwed up and he needed to be set straight. Lawrence knew this was not true, it was because his father just needed something to hurt. After his mother left, his father turned to him. Lawrence only stays because he fears for his younger sister, if he left maybe his father would abuse her.
For now she was fine and that is all Lawrence cared about, aside from his older sister, Claire. She is 19 and was diagnosed with Leukemia when she was 17. She had been in the hospital ever since, his father was one of two things when it came to this, either he did not know or he did not care. Lawrence on the other hand did his best to see her.
As he opened the door Scarlet came running to him laughing and yelling “Lawrence, Lawrence, I’m so glad your home.”
“Hey, little one, how was your day?” he asked
“Great, I made a painting in class today and Daddy put it on the fridge.” she replied in her innocent, young voice.
Lawrence picked her up and carried her into the kitchen. There he saw his father sitting at the table and drinking again. Lawrence did not like Scarlet to be around so much alcohol. He was about to leave when his father stopped him and shouted “Lawrence, put you sister down and get to your room. You got homework to get done.”
Lawrence did as he was told. He wished he could spend more time with his sister, but he could not stand to be in the same room as his father. So he stayed in his room most of the time he was home.
He stayed in his room all day doing homework, playing Halo and Gears of War with his friends online, and thinking of his mother who he never saw. He never had any of his friends over because he never wanted them to meet his father, this was their third town to live in and he decided that he would spare his friends the torment of meeting his father. Every now and again Lawrence would sneak out and go see Claire at the local hospital. It was harder for her because every time Lawrence would move, she would want to be transferred to the same town. She never wanted to leave Lawrence until it was time.
He would often sneak out of his home or leave school to see her. She would always smile at the sight of Lawrence. It was hard for him to see her, for his father was strict about him leaving the house. To Lawrence it was because he thought he was scared that Lawrence would tell someone of his fathers abuse. In a way he was right.
Although he had nothing to fear, Lawrence knew better than to go to the police or to someone with authority. He knew because he would probably just be sent to his father’s father who was no better, but he was not about to put the stress of another move on his sisters.
After his homework was done he sat on his bed and played Halo for about an hour before his father burst in shouting (and halfway drunk.)
“Every time I come in here, you're on that God forsaken thing! Now tell me, did you finish your work?”
“No Dad, I just decided to blow it off and throw away my grade.” Lawrence said very sarcastically.
“Don’t you get smart with me Boy.” he said through his teeth.
“Boy” being one of the better ways Lawrence’s father referred to him. Lawrence then threw him his notebook.
“Well it’s done, but is it right?”
“You tell me?”
Lawrence’s father being a high school dropout, wouldn’t be able to tell the differences between a steak and a cow. He threw Lawrence back the notebook. Lawrence then went to the kitchen and made dinner. He made it every night for everyone, him, his sister, and his father. After that it was bed.
At about midnight Lawrence’s door creaked open, he pulled the chain to his lamp to reveal it was Scarlet, she was shaking and had tears rolling down her eyes.
“What’s wrong Little one?” asked Lawrence
“I had a bad dream.” she said her voice still sobbing
“Can I stay in here with you?”
“Sure, come here.”
Scarlet then climbed into bed with Lawrence and he wiped her eyes with his blanket. Scarlet handed him a book and asked if he would read to her. It was Jack and Jill, her favorite. By the time the story ended Scarlet had stopped sobbing and was fading fast to sleep. Then with a voice ever so innocent she looked to her brother and asked “Lawrence do you think Mommy will ever come back?”
For what felt like an eternity he laid there in silence, he then told her the same thing he told himself when he thought of the same question. “I don’t know.”, but she had fallen asleep. In away he was not answering Scarlet, he was answering himself. After he said that he kissed the top of her head and drifted off to sleep.