Friday, July 31, 2009
Matthew Lawrence Waits.
Matthew Lawrence waits for his mother near the train station in Cloverdale. Its getting late, which worries him. She's never taken this long before. He pulls his hood up over his head to hold off the rain and cold.
Matthew is an only child. He doesn’t know his father. He’d like to but his mother won’t say anything more than, “We had a few drinks and a few laughs.” After a pause she adds, “He’s not the kind of man you want to know, so leave it.” Matthew leaves it.
“I’m the product of a few drinks and a few laughs,” Matthew tells his closest friends. He looks like he's not bothered, his way of hiding his feelings. They understand. Many of them come from similar situations. They've formed their own gang and look after each other.
Every evening, after his mother comes home from work, they take a long walk through the village to collect her medicine. Matthew stops and waits near the train station. She won’t let him go further. She walks alone a few hundred yards and disappears down Potter Lane.
When Matthew was younger he wondered why she didn’t buy her medicine from the Chemist’s Shop like everyone else.
“They don’t have my medicine honey,” she told him. “Mommy’s medicine is specially made. I buy it from a different shop.”
After thirty minutes or so she returns to collect Matthew at the train station. He helps her home. She stumbles a bit and relies on his strong arm. Once home she goes straight to bed leaving Matthew to find his own dinner.
An hour has passed. She is still missing. Matthew stands up and walks to Potter Lane. He looks down the narrow street made of dark gray row houses connected to each other with common walls. It is drizzling with rain and getting darker. The street lamps are flickering on. She could be in any one of them. If he starts knocking on doors someone will become suspicious of a young boy out alone at night looking for his mother. The police would be called. There would be questions.
“Never call the police, Never,” his mother had taught him.
Matthew walks back to the station, sits on the curb and waits. He watches people rush out of the arriving train raising their umbrellas to protect themselves from the wet night.
He will stay there until she returns.