In the following weeks things returned to what seemed like normal. Lawrence keep seeing Claire and made sure to time his visits with the bus schedule, he had to make sure that he got home at the same time as the bus so it looks like he took the bus home.
Every time he would go and see Claire at the hospital, he would walk with Heather. In time they became good friends, he told her of Claire, and of Scarlet. She told him of how she lived with her mother, and how her father had died in Afghanistan only a year earlier.
Every so often Lawrence would walk with three of his friends, these friends were the ones he was seen with the most. These friends were, Eugene, Tyler, and Colin. They were not the best of people. Eugene was a person who demanded respect and he would get it one way or another. Tyler was a very violent kid, he had one of the shortest tempers Lawrence had ever seen. Then there was Colin, he was like Eugene in a lot of ways. Only he didn’t demand respect. They weren't bully’s so to speak, but some people were scared of them. Tyler has been know for psychotic episodes in the past, but they did treat everyone fairly.
The reason he was friends with Eugene at least was because Eugene and Lawrence where in a way similar. Eugene’s father, like his own, was an alcoholic. Although Eugene's father never abused him, like Lawrence’s father did. It was because of this that Lawrence looked for a friend in him.
Later that day at lunch, Lawrence sat with Eugene, Tyler and Colin. He sat down and they all greeted him. Scenes they were the people he seemed to congregate with the most, they called him Lawrence as well as Walker.
“Hey, what’s up?” asked Tyler.
“Nothing,” replied Lawrence.
“What’s wrong with you?” asked Colin.
“Nothing,” Lawrence said again.
“OK, so how’s Claire?” asked Eugene.
“Better,” replied Lawrence.
Eugene, Tyler, Colin, and Heather were the only people who knew about Claire in his school. Lawrence appreciated the concern they showed.
“So we’re all going to be playing Halo: Reach tonight, you want to join?” Eugene continued.
“Sure, I’ll be there.”
After lunch Lawrence went to English, Math, and then home. He took the bus that day. He had gotten a call earlier saying how Claire’s condition had changed. He did not what to put the added stress on her of fighting for him.
When he got home his father was gone and his sister was sleeping. So he did what little homework he had and then got online to find Eugene. He found the lobby they were in and joined them. He switched his headset and microphone over to private chat and greeted them. They played a few double team matches. Eugene and Tyler agents Lawrence and Colin. Lawrence could only talk to Colin during the matches and he did so. After a few minutes of talking Colin, who knew about Lawrence’s father, asked “Why did you decided to live with him?”
“I had really no choice in the matter,” Lawrence told him.
“What do you mean?” Colin asked.
“Well I just woke up one morning and my mom was gone. She left without a trace. As if she never existed. The divorce paper where on the kitchen table, my dad signed them. A few hours later some lawyer came and got the papers. The rest is history.”
“I’m sorry to hear that.”
“No big deal. I feel that she’s in a better place now.”
“Probably, still it must be hard living with someone whose ideas and logic could be put to shame by a bowl of soup.”
They both laughed. They played the rest of the match, then gathered in the center of the map so they could all talk.
Well, it’s getting late I’m signing off. I’ll see you guys tomorrow.” Eugene said.
“Ya, it’s late. I’m going to light one up then I’m hitting the hay,” said Tyler. Lawrence was never aware that he smoked, but it was none of his business.
They said their goodbyes then, Lawrence let his head hit the pillow and fell asleep.