A/N: Dreary, like the last chapters. Read the same way. Lots of details being worked out by me, so slow in writing…


Chapter 2 of Forgotten Left by Cianwood


Quickly entering the front door of his flat, Martin walked straight into his mother's low, black coffee table. It happened occasionally when he was in a hurry or when it was dark out. Today he had both problems. It was only four o'clock, but the rain had kept the sun unfocused the entire day.
Martin began to cry as he rubbed his shin where it stung. He had restrained himself all day, through the counseling sessions with Mr Richards, through the classes with his staring peers, through the lunch he ate that he knew was the last that his mother would make. He shouldn't be crying, he thought to himself, because he was strong, but he just couldn't fight the overwhelming feeling of sadness that swept over him.

Martin had been sad before, but not like he was now. Before he transferred to the private school where Robert and he now attended, Martin had been in a public school nearer to where he lived. The conditions were poor, the teachers didn't teach well and he was always being picked on. It was not until Martin's mother Sherry transferred him out to a private school in another part of the city that Martin stopped being teased. Of course, even then Martin was poorer than most of his classmates, and he felt alone in a different way.

Just as Martin set his bookbag down, he heard the doorbell ring. He walked to the door and opened it, half mumbling about the bother, half wondering who it could be. He opened the door abruptly as he rubbed off the tears on his face. A lean figure stood in the doorway, under the cover of the apartment porch. The glair of the clouds from behind the visitor made it hard to see who it was at first, just that he carried an umbrella. When Martin's eyes focused, he saw that it was Robert.
Martin couldn't remember the last time someone he knew visited him at his home. His mother had always visited friends at coffee shops and Martin never had a reason to invite someone over. He was glad, however, because the flat that he and mother shared was old and dingy. They couldn't afford any better, but his mother kept it clean. It was their home, after all. It had been, at least.
"Want to get a bite to eat"
Robert sounded his normal self. Martin could tell, however, that Robert was inwardly grieving. Still, the question shocked Martin.
"Ah, I... I better stay home tonight," stammered Martin hesitantly.
"Sure. See you."
Then Robert walked away towards the apartment stairs.
The moment that Martin closed the door, he was sorry he had turned Robert down. It must have been difficult for Robert to get up the nerve to ask Martin. And how sad both of them must be feeling, with no parents for the first time in their lives. Martin was the more alone of the two, having no one around. Robert was lucky, thought Martin, because of his parents' company.

Robert's family owned a property investment company called ReedCorp. It had been started by Robert's grandfather and was now owned by Robert's father, Michael. At least it had been, up until his death. It was likely that some business partners would take over the company activities, but Robert would inherit the ownership.
Because of Robert's parent's company, the family was relatively wealthy. The housing and apartment boom in the downtown area recently had increased the price of property dramatically. Any company that owned shops or buildings in the sector was instantly rich. ReedCorp was one of the top investment companies now because of their investments.
Robert had grown up relatively spoiled. His parents always bought him the new toy as a child, and the new tech gadget when he was older. Robert always had a sense of guilt, however, from all of the attention, and he ignored most of his possessions. He was more interested in himself, it seemed, than in material things. Given a choice between keeping the company or leaving it, Robert would have probably have taken his share of the profits and sold off the company. However, it was expected of him to run the family business and to maintain the family dignity.
Martin only knew a little about ReedCorp. Sherry had worked as a low-level secretary at the company for five years. Her wages were good it seemed, because she began to make enough to send Martin to a private school. Martin would probably end up working there as well, he imagined.

Martin sat down on the edge of his bed and stared at the floor. He would probably make himself some "instant noodles" for dinner, since that was almost all he knew how to make. He did know how to make a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich, he remembered.
If only his life would be as simple as making himself dinner, he thought to himself.
It would be hard, he knew. He just had to figure out how he was going to cope.