Homewood was a nice neighborhood, relatively poor by some standards but nice. Most people owned their own homes and took pride in the upkeep. Lawns were freshly mowed, bushes trimmed and flowers blooming in the spring. Most of the neighbors knew each other, were cordial and sometimes even friends. It was a time when the streets were safe, you played outside until the street lights came on. Life was simple or so it seemed if you were a nine year old boy.
Its 6:00 in the morning, Andre is awake and getting ready for school. He looks out the window and sighs, it's going to be a cold snowy day. Fortunately the walk to school is not far. Andre is only nine years old and for the most part takes care of himself. He washes his face, gets dressed, goes into the kitchen and fixes himself a bowel of fruit loops. It's his favorite cereal, he loves the different colors and the way they make the milk change colors. His mother was still asleep, passed out from the night before, he didn't mind, it was better when she slept.
As he headed out the door he noticed that it was snowing heavier than before. Time for galoshes. He really needed boots but his mother could not afford them. As he trudged though the snow Andre couldn't help but think how much he disliked school. All of the other kids made fun of him, his old clothes, no father to speak of and his mother received food stamps. Nothing was more embarrassing then going to the store and pulling out the book of stamps that looked like monopoly money. Everyone knew you were a welfare child.
Because of his circumstances Andre was shy and withdrawn. He had no brothers and only one sister, Rebeca who was a senior in high school. Rebeca was sometimes mean , never had time for him and made fun of him as if she was better.