Fiona Drayton was a single but wealthy mother, and her son, Joe, was her proudest achievement. He was great at school. But one day, his homeroom teacher called and shocked Fiona. Then an older lady came to visit her house, and she was even more surprised by her words.
"Hello?" Fiona Drayton answered the phone. The caller ID said it was from Joe's school, and she was worried. They had never called her before. Joe was a great student and part of the basketball and kickboxing team. Unless there was an emergency, they shouldn't be calling.
"Mrs. Drayton. This is Miss Heller. I'm your son's homeroom teacher. Remember me?" a kind voice said through the phone.
Joe was skipping classes and going somewhere unknown. | Source: Shutterstock
"Of course, Miss Heller. What can I do for you? Is there anything wrong?" Fiona asked, going through some papers on her desk.
"Hello, there. I'm Mrs. Geller. I'm your son's art teacher," the woman revealed, smiling and clasping her hands together.
She was sitting in her office at work going through some papers on her desk. Her wealth came from several transportation companies that she inherited from her father. Joe would follow in her footsteps and join the company as soon as he graduated from college.
"How is Joe feeling?" Miss Heller inquired.
"I don't understand. Did something happen today at school?" Fiona asked in return, putting the papers down and focusing entirely on the phone call.
"Joe hasn't been at school for a week, Mrs. Drayton," Miss Heller revealed, a tone of frustration in her voice as if Fiona should've known this already.
Fiona got a surprise call from Joe's school. | Source: Pexels
"WHAT?" she yelled, standing up from her desk. Joe had been leaving her house at the same time every day. He went to the most expensive private school in Santa Ana, California, and there was no reason he would be skipping school. He couldn't do it, or it would hurt his chances of getting into Stanford.
"I see you don't know about this. Well, I hope you have a talk with him," Miss Heller advised, and Fiona hung up the phone.
Before she could do anything else, her cellphone rang again, and this time it was Mr. Rollins, Joe's basketball coach. He told her the same thing as Miss Heller. Joe had not been to their practices for an entire week, and they really needed him back as soon as possible, as the intercollegiate tournament was starting soon.
She had no idea what to say except to assure him that Joe would be back at school soon. This didn't make sense. Joe was a good kid.
That night, when she got home, she asked Joe about it. He looked at her sadly and said, "I wasn't feeling well."
Joe only said that he wasn't feeling well. | Source: Pexels
"Ok, but where were you going each day? I saw you leaving every day," Fiona demanded, her hands on her waist.
"Nowhere. I wait for you to leave then I come back here," he replied, shrugging his shoulders.
"Don't ever do this again, Joe. Your future is too important to be wasted. Remember Stanford," Fiona insisted, pointing her finger at the Stanford banners on his wall.
Joe nodded and hunched his shoulders, and Fiona thought he had learned his lesson.
The following morning, someone knocked on her door right before Joe was supposed to leave for school. Fiona had planned to follow him and make sure he went into the building.
"Hello?" she said to the strange older lady outside her door.
"Hello, there. I'm Mrs. Geller. I'm your son's art teacher," the woman revealed, smiling and holding her hands together.
An older woman came to their house. | Source: Pexels
"Art teacher? Joe has never liked art. I don't understand. Are you from the school?" Fiona asked, not knowing what to do about this stranger outside her home. Then she heard Joe coming down and he was soon standing right behind her. Maybe he had some answers.
"Oh, no. I'm a private teacher. He has been coming to see me all week, and I thought I should introduce myself to you," Mrs. Geller explained. Fiona was about to say something, but the older woman continued speaking. "Mrs. Drayton, your son is extremely talented, and I have to say, he wants to be an artist."
"I don't understand. What is this woman talking about, Joe?" Fiona asked, turning around to face her son. But Joe had sad and panicked eyes.
Mrs. Geller started to speak again. "Your son has been telling me about everything you expect from him, and he doesn't want that. He wants to be an artist."
Fiona turned to the older woman with wide, angry eyes. "You can't know that!"
Joe confirmed what the older woman said and explained more. | Source: Pexels
"Yes, she can, Mom," Joe interjected before Fiona said more to his art teacher. "I told her. It's true. I don't want the life you want me to have. I hate kickboxing. I hate basketball. I want to paint. I want to travel. I don't want to be tied down forever. I want more. Mrs. Geller found me crying at the park and took me to her house. We started painting, and it was the best time of my life."
Fiona looked at her son and wanted to object to everything he said. She had envisioned his entire life already, but seeing his sad expression, she understood that this was the truth.
"Are you sure of this?" she asked, as if this question would change his mind.
"I'm sure, Mom," Joe nodded and smiled at her mother.
Fiona sighed and turned to the art teacher. "Mrs. Geller, won't you come in, please?"
They had a long discussion about private lessons and how Joe could build a future with art. Fiona was unsure of everything, but she didn't want her son to be unhappy. So she allowed him to quit his school teams and join the art club, continuing his extra lessons with Mrs. Geller.
Joe became a successful artist. | Source: Pexels
He got admitted into the best art school in the state and graduated with honors and several exhibitions to his name. He also traveled the world using his hard-earned money from selling his pieces.
It was a different life than Fiona imagined for him, but he was insanely happy, and that was all that mattered.
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