The next day at school Lawrence meet up with Eugene, they walked for a bit. Then Eugene pulled out a cigarette. Lawrence always found it odd just how many people would smoke in the school and just how little was done about it. At least Eugene had the decency to blow the smoke out a hallway window. Upon seeing the cigarette Lawrence remembered what Heather had told him about Anna and Eugenes break up. Lawrence felt obligated to ask him about it.
“So you holding up well?” Lawrence asked.
“What are you talking about?” replied Eugene.
“I know.” Lawrence said and it was all he needed to say.
“Oh, you mean Anna. It’s whatever, I don’t care.” Eugen told him blowing another puff of smoke out the window.
“How many is that this morning?”
“Jesus! What happened to quitting.”
“Whoa, hold up. I said I was quitting for her and she’s not around any more. So what’s it matter.”
“Look I know it’s not my place to say, but at least try to pace yourself.”
Eugene was about to respond when they heard shouting from down the hall. It was their principal, Mr.Becker. The only person trying to stop the smoking problem in the school.
When Eugen saw Mr.Becker coming he pretended to flick the cigarette out the window, when he reality crushed it up and put it in his pocket. Both Eugene and Lawrence started to walk away, but Mr.Becker stopped them.
“Eugene! Was that a cigarette I saw in your hand?” shouted Me.Becker.
“I’m sorry sir, but you must be mistaken. That was merely a toothpick.” Eugene replied.
Mr.Becker turned to Lawrence for the truth. Lawrence was a good kid and he didn’t know what came over him, but some force made him lie. Whether it was the loyalty to a friend or the fear of consequences, Lawrence wasn’t sure. All he knew was he lied to Mr.Becker.
“Yes sir it was only a toothpick.” he said.
Mr.Becker went over to the window to see if he could find anything, but he did not. Just then the bell for they first class rang. Lawrence had never been so relieved to hear that sound.
“Get to class, both of you.” Mr.Becker said with anger in his voice.
As he walked away Eugene turned to Lawrence and thanked him, then he took the cigarette out from his pocket and flicked it out the window. Then they left for class.
During lunch Lawrence sat with Heather. She seemed undisturbed by what Lawrence had told her, whether it was just an act or she really wasn’t dazed Lawrence could not tell.
“Hey Lawrence I need to ask you something.” Heather said when he sat down.
“What’s that?” Lawrence replied with a smile.
“Do you ever fear of becoming your dad?” the moment she said that the smile faded from Lawrence's face.
“Why do you ask?”
“I was reading an article online yesterday and it talked about a study that said: domestic abuse can be in genes. Something like it runs in the family or something.”
“I don’t believe that’s true. It’s saying that just because my father is abusive I’m going to be too and not just me, but every kid like me. Saying stuff like that is just unfair, those people aren't even giving the kids a chance.”
“Lawrence I’ve never seen you this upset before.”
“Sorry, I just I can’t stand it when your not given a chance to prove yourself.”
“Well when you put it like that I can see why.”
“Anyway I don’t think I’ll end up like my father and whenever I think that I am, I tell myself something and I know I won't.”
“What is it?”
“The thing you tell yourself, what is it?”
“Let not the blood of the fathers dictate the blood of the sons.”
“Ya, so can we change the subject now?” Lawrence asked the smile now returned to his face.
After lunch the rest of school went fast and the trip home even more so.
It was close to six in the evening and Lawrence, Tyler, Colin, and Eugene where all online together. They talked for a bit and played a few games then Lawrence’s door started to bang and he could hear his father’s slurred speach on the other side.
“Lawrence open this door!” he shouted.
Lawrence placed his controlled down a took his headset off. He went and unlocked his door. The minute he did Lawrence's father forced his way in and threw Lawrence to the ground. He had a cigarette in his mouth and a half empty bottle of whisky in his hand.
“I thought I told you to come home every night after school!” he shouted.
“What are you talking about?” Lawrence shouted back.
“Scarlet told me about you not coming home until the next morning! You want to explain that to me?” he continued.
Lawrence stayed silent. He knew no matter what, that he could never let him know about Heather.
“Useless.” his father roared. As he swung the back of his hand across Lawrence's face, cutting open his bottom lip.
Lawrence could feel the blood slowly going down his chin, it was warm.
His father was about to leave, but stopped and turned back to Lawrence to insult him further.
“You know what Lawrence? You are useless, completely useless. You are a waste of space and organs. I hope you realized that.”
Lawrence looked at him and chuckled.
“Well if I’m a waste of space and organs, I don’t know what that makes you. You alcoholic piece of trash.”
“What did you just say to me! Let me remind you that I’m your father and no matter how I spend my time, you will show me nothing more than the upmost respect! If you ever speak to me like that again, you’ll be outside picking your teeth up of the ground! Am I understood?”
“You want to talk about respect? Why don’t you show Claire some respect? Do you even care that she is slowly slipping away into death? Do you even know? You know what maybe mom was right to leave you.” Lawrence yelled.
Upon the mere mention of his mother. Lawrence father went into a blind rage. Pulling the cigarette from his mouth he took Lawrence by the arm and once again placed it against Lawrence’s forearm.
This one hurt more for some reason it was not like all the other time’s. Lawrence shouted in pain, louder than he had ever done before. With that his father left.
Lawrence grasped his arm trying to make the pain stop. Then he realized his head set was still on and his friends had heard every word.
“You guys still there?” Lawrence asked.
“Ya.” they all replied.
“I, um, I gotta go now. I’ll see you guys tomorrow.” Lawrence said.
Then he turned off his Xbox and went to tend to his wounds.