Ellison, known as 'L', is a carefree, ordinary 18-year-old who's been driven to fight for his life in a war no one notices. He is a whip-smart Harlem kid with no greater concern than to hook up with his girlfriend and hang with his friends. Ellison has been brought up by his proud and loving father, Sam, since the death of his mother when he was just five. The father and son share a relationship that fulfills and nourishes them both, and that insulates 'L' from many of the world's harsh realities. Then one fateful morning his life is turned upside-down when his father dies and he soon finds himself out on the streets. Marooned with only a backpack and his meager part-time wages, Ellison's options dwindle as steadily as his invitations to crash on friends' couches. Despite his circumstances, prideful Ellison bravely refuses to give up on himself.