Thursday, June 28, 2029
“Dad you in here?” Onai asked after knocking on his parents bedroom door with no answer. He called out again and was answered with silence. He sighed, closed the door and headed back downstairs.
He headed into the kitchen to grab a drink when he heard one of the cars start up. How odd, he thought to himself. It was the McParen. It was rarely driven due to the cost of the fuel; $20 per gallon. He grabbed a bottle coke from the fridge and headed out to the garage to see what was going on.
He knew that only his father was allowed to start the car. His parents didn’t even want them touching the car, due to the cost of it. Onai never dared to challenge that demand, other than when his mom asked him to go out and start it while Fang was away in the military. The three times, in four years, he got to start and sit in it was amazing. He only pressed the clutch in, checked to make sure it was in neutral and then turned the key to start it. He knew that if he damaged it or wrecked it, his life would be over. His parents wouldn’t kill him, but he’d never see his friends, the internet, TV or any other fun stuff until he moved out.
Onai stepped out into the garage and walked over to the running super sports car. His dad was just getting out of the car. Fang looked over at Onai.
“There you are dad!” Onai stated, “I was looking for you.”
“Yeah, I’m just going to go drive it around. It’s been too long since it’s been driven. I’ll be back later,” Fang replied then grabbed his wallet from a work table.
“Dad, could I come with you? It’s been years since I’ve ridden in this,”
“I don’t know Onai. I was just going to drive it to the dealership and have them do maintenance on it,”
“Please dad? I’d like to go,” Onai replied, almost begging.
“Fine. Just behave,” Fang replied with a sigh. His annoyed response and sigh saddened Onai, causing him to almost abandon his plans, instead he smiled and said he’d be right back and rushed back inside the house. He returned a couple of minutes later to see the car, and his dad, gone. His shoulders dropped and his tail landed on the concrete floor. He closed his eyes and started to tear up. He stood there for a moment until he turned around and started walking back into the house. He shut the garage door and leaned against it. His eyes was filled with tears and started running down his face. He could almost feel that want to just throw the coke bottle in his paw across the house. He opened his eyes and glared daggers at the floor, at his dad. “Fuck him. I HATE my da- HIM!!” Onai scowled and started walking to his bedroom. As he made it to the bottom of the stairs his phone rang. He didn’t even bother to look to see who it was. He hit the button to answer it, “hello?” He asked.
“You coming or what?” Fang replied.
“You already left. Why would you even call to rub it in asshole?” He replied.
“Onai, I’m sitting out in the driveway and waiting for you. I turned the car off to save gas. Get out here now or I’m leaving,” Fang snapped back.
“You could have called or text me to say that,” Onai replied rubbing at his eyes, “I’ll be out in just a moment.”
After settling in the car and hooking up the seat harness Onai nodded his head, letting his dad know that he was ready. Fang rolled his eyes and shook his head.
It was a near silent two hour drive to the McParen dealership in Orion City. Only the radio was making sounds, playing a mix of rock and rap. The two were silent during the entire ride. The silence between them was unnerving to Onai. Ever since his dad got back home, and especially after he beat up his sister, things were different for the two. Fang was even further distant from him. The two have barely spoken to each other since the incident of him beating Luna up a little over nine months ago. They’ve had their moments together and talked and goofed off but most of the time they avoided talking to each other.
Onai sat on the diner bench and stared at his paws, thinking back on all of the memories of his dad and him when they were both younger. A few tears formed and dropped to his lap. His head was down so no one saw it happen. He exhaled, ran his fingers from his eyes to the bottom of his head, then looked up at his dad. They were waiting for the food to be served.
“Hey dad?” Onai said quietly.
“Yeah?” Fang replied while looking at his phone, looking at an email from Wolfe and Fox about a human employee he was going to have to fire on Monday due to sexual harassment towards one of the fur employees.
“I’m sorry,” Onai said.
“Sorry for what?” Fang asked lowering his phone and turning the screen off. He looked over the table and took in Onai’s expression. Onai’s emotion while he spoke those two words worried him. It felt depressive to him.
“Dad. I’m sorry for being rude and mean to my sisters and mom. I just didn’t know how to feel after you got back home. You changed and it scared me. You’re so much tougher now. Not as in strong but just … mean. The day after you got home and you lifted me up and scolded me for arguing with Luna, it scared me. I was terrified. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to feel about you anymore, I still don’t. You weren’t and still not my dad. Not the one that I knew and loved. I know that you’ve been going to therapy for your PTSD for what you seen and had to do over in North Korea but we haven’t been the same. Ever. I’m sorry for thinking about myself instead of others. Even after I started being nice to my sisters you still never looked or talked to me the same, except for a few times. I want my old dad back. I’ve done my best to be good for you but it seems like everything I try it’s just not good enough. I don’t know. … I’m sorry,” Onai said with a heavy heart. The fear in his eyes and words could were felt by Fang.
“I see. How long have you known that I’ve been going to therapy?” Fang asked.
“Since a week after you and mom had that huge argument six months ago or whenever it was. You know everyone in the house heard it,”
“Yeah I know. It’s why I started going to therapy. Just so you know, I made up to your mom about that argument,”
“Okay. Good to know,” he replied just as the server walked up with their food.
Onai quietly sighed. He was hoping that he could patching things up or get his dad to talk to him more. He wanted anything from his dad.
“Thank you,” Fang said to the server as she sat his plate down.
“Thank you,” Onai replied as well, not wanting to be rude.
The rest of their lunch went by in silence while they both ate. Onai ate a bit slower than normal, replaying what he had just told his dad in his mind. After about twenty-five minutes both were finished and awaiting the bill, which came a few minutes later.
After another half hour the two were back at the dealership. Fang was looking at the new models, not wanting to buy though. Onai in the meantime quietly sat in a very comfy couch in the lobby. It was brown leather, real leather. The cushions were soft to the touch and he could feel himself starting to doze off.
After a while Fang walked over and gently shook Onai awake. He looked up and rubbed his eyes. His vision cleared up to see his dad standing there, his arms crossed and his facial expression neutral.
“Come on Onai. It’s time to go home,” he said then turned around and headed for the main entrance.
Onai nodded and sighed, stood up and followed about four meters behind his father. They both shuffled into the super car and headed out of the parking lot.
About ten miles outside of Greenwood Fang pulled onto the side of the road and parked. Onai looked up from staring silently at his paws resting on his lap, again. He looked out the window and then to his dad who had opened the door and was leaving the car. He watched his dad walk to the front of the car and across it and headed to a nearly open field. It was a good sized field with trees scattered around. The field was mostly open land, roughly 600 feet by 700 feet, past that was more densely land filled with more trees, but not as thick as the woods at the Wolfe house.
Fang walked into the open field and looked around. Onai sighed and got out of the car and walked over to his dad, curious about what he was doing. “What are you doing?” Onai asked.
“Just looking,” Fang replied and walked further into the field. Onai clinched his right paw into a fist. He wanted more than just a few words from his dad. I wanted to have an actual conversation that didn’t end in either one of them walking away in frustration or an argument. He stood there and watched his dad pull his phone out and start to walk around, he stared at the phone the entire time. It took Fang about ten minutes to do whatever he was doing. He walked back over to the car and leaned against it and started tapping on his phone. Onai was sitting on the ground, bored out of his mind, his phone had died and didn’t have his charge cable.
“Onai,” Fang said loudly.
“Yes dad?” Onai replied.
“Come walk with me,” he replied and walked back into the field.
Onai grumbled, stood up and rushed up to his father, knowing not to make him wait. They walked in silence around the entire open field loop in silence. After they made it back to the car Fang looked over at Onai as he sat back down on the ground again.
Fang exhaled, walked over to Onai and sat down.
“Onai, I’m not perfect. I never have been and never will be. No one is perfect, not you, me, your mom, grandma, not anyone. I could blame PTSD but I won’t, I can’t blame it fully. I just don’t know… It’s difficult to raise a kid when you’re just a kid yourself. I wouldn’t change anything that’s happened, especially having you and Luna and Laika so young. I’m sorry that I’ve failed you as a father. I guess we’re more like brothers, which is nice but also wrong. You need a father, someone to teach you, love you, protect you. I’m sorry for being such a jackass and a bastard to you since I returned from the military. I’ll do my best to be your father again, if you’ll be my son again,” he said.
“You mean it?” Onai asked.
“Yes, I mean it Onai. You’re not a bad cub. You’re a good cub and good son. You were lost without a father, without me. I wasn’t making things any easier between us. I was acting like a cub, acting immature. Going into the military showed me that I was no man. I was just as lost as you were, just as you currently are,”
“Dad,” Onai managed to squeak out before falling against his dad, crying. Fang patted his back and soothed Onai as much as he could.
“I’m so sorry Onai. I hope and wish that we can repair our relationship. I’m at fault for all of this, not you,” Fang said and pulled Onai into a tight hug.
“I’m sorry too dad. I forgive you for being so tough on me,” he sobbed.
“You have nothing to apologize for Onai. You did your best to try to be my son and a good cub even through trying times. I’m proud of you for that,” Fang replied.
Fang stood Onai up onto his paws and smiled at him.
“Come on, I have some work to do. You want to help? I’d like to get your input and thoughts about a new project I’m thinking of doing,” Fang said.
“Sure dad,” Onai smiled while still sobbing. He rubbed tears from his eyes.
“You going to be okay?” Fang asked.
“Yeah, I think so,” Onai replied with a smile.
“So what are we doing out here dad?” Onai asked.
“Well son,” Fang said placing his arm around Onai’s shoulders and walking out further into the field, “we have some work to do. I’m wanting to build a housing development out here. 500 acres for houses, and maybe around 600 to 1000 acres total for roads, decorations and all that stuff.”
“I thought you bought all this land to stop houses from being built?” Onai asked.
“True. But we are losing money yearly on the property, something to the tune of $8,265,218 per year. That includes the loan payment, the insurance and property taxes,”
“Holy fucking shit dad. Really?!” Onai asked, completely floored at the cost.
“Yes, really. I know we bring much more than that in, but it’s still a loss of money. If I plan this just right, I’ll be able to pay the loan, the insurance, taxes AND make a profit. But it’ll be a thin line, since I’ll have to get insurance on each and every house that’s built, upkeep and maintenance and other stuff, then there’s the building permits for each house lot,” Fang explained.
“Hmm, how much are those building permits?”
“Eh, like $125 per house. There’s an additional cost for the entire project, I think I was quoted $250,000. Then for the town to lay sewer and water that’ll be like another $250,000,”
“This isn’t a cheap project dad. What does mom think of it?”
“She doesn’t know yet. It’s why I’m doing all the research and planning first,” Fang replied then looked at his phone after walking 4700 feet from the road. They couldn’t even see the road anymore due to the thick woods.
“It’s going to be a big place,” Fang said.
“What do you mean?”
“This is around where the subdivision will stop at from that little wooden post that I put into the ground 200 feet from the road.
“Oh, yeah but it didn’t feel like a long walk,”
“Cause we were talking and not paying attention,” Fang replied.
“Ah yeah, I guess so. So it’s just going to be houses?”
“Not exactly. There will be multiple subdivisions in this area. Each one will have their own artificial pond, playground and a few other things like that. But most of it will be houses. I’m thinking of making one area with high dollar houses surrounding a much larger pond,” he explained.
“Ah okay,” Onai replied clearly confused.
“Okay Onai, let’s head back. I need to get two more GPS points and then we can head home,”
“Sure dad,” Onai replied.
Back in the car, Fang buckled his seat harness then looked over at Onai.
“Onai, I honestly never meant to be so tough on you after I got back from the military. I didn’t mean to treat you like one of my soldiers. It’s tough going from commanding Army soldiers, well, mostly snipers, back to being a civilian. It’s a jarring change. I’ve still got a long road ahead of me to recover from what I saw and did over there. I hope that you can help me out. Let me know when I’m pushing you too far or too much, even if it means that you have to tell me to shut the fuck up and back off,” Fang said then heavily exhaled.
“I will dad. I hope you can recover. You’re scary when you get all mean and military on us,” Onai replied.
“I’m sorry buddy. I honestly don’t mean to do that. I’ll do my best to stop if I happen to do it,”
“How about we head home now? I have to do lots of math and spreadsheets and more. Then at some point I have to talk to your mom and try to convince her to letting me build this housing development,”
“Sounds good, but I’m hungry again,”
“How does Norbert’s sound?”
“Sounds good dad!” Onai replied.
“Onai, there’s one more thing I want to say,” he said and paused.
“I want you to understand that there will be times that we fight and argue and will get on each others nerves. We’ve done it before I went into the military. I think it’s just a part of family life. I want you to always remember that I will love you no matter what. Even if we get into a giant argument and we just don’t talk for days or a week or longer. I want you to be able to come to me and talk to me no matter what it is. I don’t want you being afraid of coming to me if you did something or had something happen to you. If you knock up some girl, I want you to be able to tell me without fearing that I’ll punish you severely and unfairly. I don’t want you scared to come to me if you get in trouble or break something or whatever it might be. I don’t want you to be scared of me for any reason,”
“Thanks dad. I’ll do my best and try to be a good son and cub,”
“Alright Onai. How about we go and eat now?”
“Sounds good dad!” Onai replied just as they pulled back onto the road.