"I always thought, when this is over, I'm goin home." BA looked at his mother. "But Hannibal - he takes it for granted we all gonna stay together." He shook his head. "And I went along with him. Just like always."

Mama smiled, laying a hand on his shoulder. "Look across the alley, Scooter. See that latticework?"

BA turned and looked, puzzled. "Yeah. So?"

"See how it's all twisted together, nice and tight? You take one stick out of that latticework, and it's just... not right. You can use that one stick for other things, but... it belongs in that latticework.

"You can come home whenever you want now, Scooter. But this isn't where you belong. And you know it." She gave him a hug and abruptly headed into the living room. "Now, I've got some errands to run."

BA stared at the latticework as the front door quietly shut.