from War of the Buttons by Jonathan Dorf

Genre: Dramedy

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Ticker, about 12, a hyperactive imp who has just gotten into a fight with some students from the nearby prep school, talks to Charlie, 15. Charlie's parents have left him—and it's starting to look as if it's for good. They're on a sidewalk, where Charlie sits with his family's luggage.

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I'll stay with ya'.
You gonna' eat that cone?
(Beat, then Charlie gives it to him. Ticker takes a bite, then devours it. As Ticker talks, the lights should dim almost imperceptibly as it grows later.)
My mom said I might be able to get these new pump sneakers. She found this mail order place that sells 'em for ten bucks less than K-Mart.
(Charlie nods distractedly.)
If I come up with twenty from my paper route, she'll do the other half.
(Ticker takes off one of his worn sneaks.)
Need 'em bad. See?
(He removes a piece of colored construction paper from inside the shoe; it covers a hole in the sole. He shows Charlie.)
Stole ten sheets off the art teacher's desk. Good as new. Rubs somethin' bad though.
I gotta' get home or I won't get dinner. She says if I miss again I'm not eatin'. Period. And when she says period...  You wanna' come for dinner? There probably isn't any extra, but I'll give you some 'a mine.
If they don't come back, and you want somethin' to eat, just throw stones at my window like on TV. I'll save some 'a my dinner for ya', just in case.
(Ticker drifts toward the exit.)
You'll be at the factory tomorrow—right? 'Cause they're gonna' beat the hell outta' me if you don't come.