Dad's in his usual mid-night attire. A dirty wife beater and a pair of stained boxer shorts. He likes to sit in the living room after supper reading his paper with his gin sitting along side him. Tonight his weight carries him through the door and around the table to chris. Dad knocks the of the table in his fluid motion sending it screatching acrossed the floor. Stumbling Chris works himself to his feet, breaking for the door. Dad catches him by the collar. On the way down Chris knows how the rest of the evening will play out. Luckily he's knocked unconcious when he hits the floor.
The house on 5th street isn't bad. It needs paint and a new front porch, but no one ever comes to visit so neither Chris nor his dad feel the need to fix it. Chris and his father, John, moved onto 5th street after his mother's death. She had died when Chris was 6. Now 16 Chris had lived in the shadow of his father for an entire decade. John started drinking the night after the funeral. Within a week he had begun to haunt his own son.
Chris is bright but he hasn't any friends. He attends South Portland High school where he excels in nothing more than going unnoticed. He lives his life by making each day last as long as possible and wishing each night would end as soon as possible. During the summer Chris spends his days linger around the old army bunkers near the edge of the river. sometimes when Dad is drinking he finds his way there at night, seeking refuge between the cold concrete walls. He usualy finds himself sitting atop the old look out tower. It sticks up only a few feet over the rest of the compound. It's open more than half way around and the roof is a shallow pyramid. Mostly Chris sits on the roof and watches the river pass him by.
this summer a family has moved into the house across the street. A mother, A father, and a son. The mother seems quiet. She is small and always in a dress. Her face is framed by tight dark curls. Though she hardly talks. She moves softly like she's afraid of being seen. The father is tall with dark hair and strong arms. Andrew, their son, his much the same. He has dark hair, broad shoulders and a strong back. At night Chris can see Andrew sitting on the roof line just out side his bedroom looking into the night. Chris watches from the shadows of his own bedroom until the other boy crawls back inside his house and shuts of his light.