There was once a young boy by the name of Felix. He was small in stature, with deep blue eyes and light brown hair; his complexion was that of complete innocence. Felix had a wonderful life, with two loving parents and numerous caring friends. While he was an only child, Felix found joy in the simplest things. He and his best friend Alec would spend hours exploring the wood around Felix's house. They would often return to their respective homes a mess of dirt and mud, but neither cared. Thus were the summers that Felix spent in childish bliss.
But as they say, bliss and ignorance are one and the same.
Felix's father worked at a respectable law firm. While he had no idea what a law firm was, Felix supposed that it was a pretty important job. He would always brag to his friends about his father, claiming that he was a shimmering example of how all fathers should be. In short, the boy adored his father. As such, I'm sure one can imagine the tragic disappointment which overcame Felix when he found out his father lost his job.
He remembered his parents talking one night, about how they hadn't enough money to support the household. Tears ran down Felix's face as he heard the grimness in his mother's voice.
"Honey, what are we going to do?"
His father sighed, "The only choice we have... is to move."
"Oh but what about Felix? You know how much he loves it here... It would break his heart to move."
"Darling, we have no choice. We either move or declare bankruptcy."
And so it was; by the end of the summer, Felix and his family had moved out and were heading south, to a place called Georgia. Felix hated the sound of it. The word alone made him cringe. He said his goodbyes to Alec and the rest of his friends before driving away with his mother. For some reason Felix couldn't understand, his father had stayed behind.
"He will fly down and meet us in a week. He's tying up a few loose ends with the house, honey. Don't worry about it."
But Felix did worry. He missed his father terribly already. For the innumerable hours that passed before arriving, Felix devised dozens of ways in which something could go wrong with his father. He continued this thought process as he stayed in the apartment with his mother. The week passed by slowly, and Felix was elated when his father called to say he would be there by morning. Finally comfortable, Felix slept well, dreaming about his father's arrival.
He woke up to his mother crying hysterically. The television buzzed with the drone of a news reporter's voice. Felix jumped out of bed and ran into his mother's bedroom. She was collapsed on the floor, still sobbing and moaning. She didn't even notice Felix. He wandered in cautiously, unnerved by his mother's unusual behavior. He looked at the television and saw pictures of a plane. It was beaten up badly, a wing ripped off and half of the plane virtually crushed.
Felix didn't understand why his mother was crying. He'd never even seen his mother cry before. He realized that was muttering something, a name. It was his father's. He furrowed his brow, confused as to why she would be saying his name and crying. He looked back at the television.
"...only five people out of eighty survived the crash. There's more speculation on..."
Dad was taking a plane wasn't he? That couldn't be his plane, could it?
"Mommy, where's dad? It's the morning, isn't it?"
She started, apparently ignorant to Felix's presence until this moment.
"Oh gosh, honey, come here!"
She embraced Felix tightly and rubbed his back.
"Mommy, Is dad okay?"
Five months passed, and much had changed for Felix. He went to a brand new school, his mother had a new time-consuming job, he'd lost all of his old friends, and worst of all, he no longer had his father. Felix was numb day in and day out. He was quiet in school and never acknowledged anyone unless he was asked a question by the teacher. The other children labeled him as an outcast and treated him as such.
Felix almost never saw his mother. She left him a microwaveable dinner and a note every night. It wasn't until after Felix was asleep that his mother would come home, sapped of all energy and spirit. The only time they got to see each other for more than a few minutes was on Sundays, when they went to church together. Except for his mother, Felix never willingly talked to anyone. Everyone was a stranger. No one would ever understand.
Felix cried often. His usual day consisted of getting up, going to school, coming home, crying, eating, crying more, then falling asleep. He was usually too distraught to care about homework or grades, though his mother pushed him to do well in school. Without his father, Felix felt empty. He had no friends to fill the gaping hole in his heart, and his mother was usually never around to comfort him. Crying was the only way Felix could ease his emotions. He had forgotten to count the days as they passed with painstaking deliberation.
Every day was like this for Felix.
That is, until he found the factory.