As Lazarus grew, he began to exceed his sister and eventually their father paid attention to only him. He barely noticed as Lazarus' older brother was executed for stealing, nor did he notice his wife's depression after. Lazarus composed a piece in memory of his brother and instead of noting the meaning of the music, his father only seemed to think of the money it could make. The compositions he found on Lazarus' desk were fresh, contemporary - for the time - and it was exactly what people wanted. He insisted that Lazarus show his mother and sister what he had written.
‘That's beautiful,' his mother murmured as he let the final note ring out. She smiled proudly at him when he turned to face her.
‘It's missing something. And it doesn't help that the piano has gone out of tune.' He muttered.
‘Don't be so ungrateful!' his father scolded. ‘You know we can't do anything about it. If you want it tuned, tune it yourself, or pay for it out your own wages.' Lazarus gave his father an icy glance. ‘Anyway, the point was, you could make a lot of money out of that music. Maybe you could end up with a new piano, rather than a fixed up one.'
‘I don't appreciate you talking about me like I'm a ticket out of the poor part of town, father,' Lazarus retorted. He stood up and pushed past his parents. ‘I'm going to evening Mass. I suggest you come, too, and ask God to forgive you for treating your son as a potential gold mine, whilst neglecting the rest of your family,' he stormed out into the street and for a moment his parents were stunned that he had so openly defied them.
‘Lazarus!' his father roared, recovering quickly. ‘Get back here!' he chased after his son angrily, pushing people out of his way.
‘No! I'm never playing for you again, you son of a-' Lazarus was cut off as his father caught up and grabbed his arm, roughly turning him to face the angered man.
‘Don't you dare,' he started , his fist grasping the teen's flesh like an iron vice. He ignored that his son was struggling and shouting abuse at him, ‘ever speak to me like this again!' he slapped Lazarus around the face, hard, and let go of him so he fell to the ground. Lazarus pushed himself up and gingerly touched his nose. When he took his hand away, he saw blood glistening on his pale skin. He looked up at his father, with more hate than he knew he could possess, and picked himself up. He stared his father in the eye for a second, his pale blue eyes penetrating his father's dark brown ones.
‘We look nothing alike.' He stated calmly as blood dripped down over his lip, into his mouth. He didn't wipe it away. ‘every night I pray. Know what I pray?' he asked, moving one foot back, ready to run the moment he thought his father was going to strike him again. ‘Want to know? I pray that I'm not related to you. You're just someone I'm forced to live with.' He turned suddenly, leaving his father standing, shocked, in the road.
The man watched as Lazarus ran towards the thick woodland behind the church. The woodland that belonged to the Emerson family. The woodland that was strictly out of bounds.
‘Lazarus! Get back here, boy! Do you have a death wish?' he hollered after the teen, but Lazarus never turned back.