The Arks: Over Heaven (by Ben)

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The Arks: Over Heaven (by Ben)

Chapter 55.5: In Vain

Part 7/7

As the two arrived back at their own place, Franklin could spot a few large vans parked outside their house. Franklin scrunched his eyebrows at the sight. He could see Mom and Uncle loading in large boxes into the vans, as their grandparents watched.

“What’s going on?” Franklin asked.

No one answered his question. Big Brother let his head drop on the car door, his eyes tired and his body weak.

Dad looked at the two of them, and stopped the car.

“Welp kiddos… I won’t be seeing you for a while,” Dad murmured. Franklin scrunched his eyebrows again.

“What? What does that mean?”

Dad didn’t answer.

“Answer me, Dad!”

Dad stepped outside of the car, and Big Brother did as well. Franklin opened the car door up and slammed it.

“Dad! What is going on-”

Dad put his hand out and ruffled Franklin’s hair.

“I love you, Frankie. You’ll see me next summer, okay?”

“What? Dad-”

“Bye Dad,” Big Brother suddenly said, rushing in to hug him, “I love you too.”

Dad hugged him back, and a few moments later let go of him. He looked at his two boys sadly, before stepping back into his car and driving off, leaving tire marks on the concrete. Big Brother began to walk off to the vans, and Franklin followed him, demanding an answer.

“Boss, what is going on here? What are these vans for and why was Dad acting like that and what did he mean-”

“Don’t call me that,” Big Brother responded, “It’ll just make it worse.”

He pointed his thumb at one of the vans. Franklin looked at it in horror and saw in big fine print, “MOVING SERVICES”. He could spot inside one of the vans, their dining table, and a bunch of old antique chairs. Uncle pushed in Franklin’s office chair, and Franklin turned around to see Mom walking toward them.

“Mom?” Franklin asked, his voice slowly dropping, “I thought we were… Going on vacation?”

Mom paused in her tracks, sighed, and shook her head.

“Sorry Franklin. That was a white lie.”

“We’re moving.”

“What?! Where?”

“More information will be revealed in due time,” Big Brother explained, “Sorry we didn’t tell you sooner. They didn’t want you to be upset, or worry at all about final goodbyes.”

“You knew all along?” Franklin said looking at his Big Brother in horror, “That’s- That’s not like you!”

“Kiddo, you think I want this as much as you do? No, I don’t.”

Mom put a comforting hand on Franklin’s shoulder.

“Just go in the car. Uncle is going to drive you all first. We’ll be driving there. I packed all your clothes while you were away for the weekend so you don’t have to worry.”

Wordlessly, and without protest, Franklin felt himself carry his legs to their car. He opened the car door up, and slunk inside, slamming it behind him. He looked on into the abyss, unsure of what to say.

He felt the car door next to him slam shut too. Franklin heard Big Brother grunt, and shuffle in his seat uncomfortably. Uncle stepped into the driver’s seat, started the car up, and began to drive away. Franklin couldn’t even muster the words to say goodbye to their old home.

As the car found their way on the freeway, Franklin could hear Big Brother whisper a woman’s name. Franklin turned to see Big Brother looking out the window, his hand clutching onto a light blue-white hibiscus. He clutched onto it tightly, before muttering the woman’s name again.

Franklin looked ahead again, his eyes wide and filled with horror. The darkness of the night covered their home in a blanket of darkness, the stars of the faraway non-existent, all but one that shone tones of red, blue, and green. Franklin clenched his fist, his thoughts running haywire. His heart began to pump faster, and a clump began to grow in his throat. He felt his eyes burn, and tears began to shed.

“But, but we’ll come back, right? Next summer that’s what he said,” Franklin wept.

“In 2027,” Big Brother dully replied, “I’ll be in college by then. You’ll be back, but… the others probably won’t either. Their parents grow busier, and so do they. I’m sorry, Franklin.”

Franklin put his head in his hands, the tears overflowing him. He couldn’t believe it.

Their only family reunion after three years of separation was in vain.

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