|James as he appears in All Prior Engagements Are Cancelled.|
When James was a young boy his father died after being struck by lightening and suffering cardiac arrest. His mother fell into a deep depression, while his older brother avoided his family, which led to James becoming more mature (since he basically had to take care of himself) and spending a lot of his time at home reading.
One night while James was in line to see The Butterfly Effect at the movie theater, a drive-by shooter takes three shots, one of which lethally hit a student from one of his classes. Each student present at the shooting had to go see Ellis to deal with any emotional trauma. This leads to James's mother wanting to see the doctor.
While his mother discussed setting up an appointment, James spoke to a fellow student named Dawn for the first time after hearing about and seeing her at school. At this point growing up for James was normal for the most part, except for some odd occurrences with his mother; this lead to his suspicion of Ellis, and later easy acceptance that he is a shady person.