A widowed mother kept calling her son to come down for breakfast, but after an anxious wait, she checked his room and found it empty. She looked for him everywhere and burst into tears after seeing a note with flight tickets on the table.
Todd and his dad Christopher were very close. Growing up, Todd was inspired by his dad in every way. But an unfortunate car accident changed their lives forever. Christopher succumbed to his injuries, and his dear wife Claire was widowed too early.
Todd was 10 when he marched in tears in front of his dad's coffin. Several years passed by, but Todd couldn't completely get over his dad's loss. However, if there was someone who encouraged him to keep moving, it was his mother.
Claire worked two jobs and always made sure that Todd was happy. Their combined lives were pleasing until one day when Claire told Todd that she would be home late from work…
Even 10 years later, Todd couldn't move on from his dad's death & he missed him. | Source: Pexels
"AND…here you go. Dinner is in the casserole…it should be hot but don't hesitate to use the oven," Claire told Todd. "And DON'T burn your fingers…."
"I thought he was sleeping…I called him several times and checked his room," she cried. "He wasn't there, and I even called his friends but nobody knows where he is…."
Todd had no idea why his mom was making him dinner that morning. He munched an apple and asked her if she was going out with her colleagues.
"Ah, well… I'm meeting someone…a friend, in the evening after work," Claire replied, clearing her throat.
Todd didn't want to hear anything beyond this because he was excited about watching TV and playing on the console longer.
Claire was making an dinner early for Todd because she was meeting a friend after work. | Source: Pexels
That afternoon, Todd returned from his college basketball practice after school. He had to train hard since the national level match was approaching. He was exhausted and called out to his mom. But then, he remembered she would be returning late.
A while later, he served himself dinner. It was the first time in several years he was dining alone. It felt weird without his mom, but Todd knew she needed to unwind.
"WHAT, she hasn't yet arrived?" Todd mumbled when he last checked Claire's bedroom. It was already half past midnight, and he was worried...
Todd was worried because it was half past midnight & his mom hadn't returned home. | Source: Unsplash
"Good morning, my love!" Claire kissed Todd on the forehead the next morning.
Ted was on the couch in their living room, and when he woke up with his mom's kiss, he realized he'd fallen asleep there waiting for her. He watched his mom and noticed she was chirpy and excited about something, the aroma of banana bread and apple pie filling the house. He knew his mom was happy but wanted to know why.
"So…how was your evening yesterday?" Todd asked Claire, munching his cereal.
Claire's face lit up. She glowed, and it was the first time Todd had seen her so lively in years. After his dad's passing, he barely saw her do any touchups to her face or even wear lipstick. But that morning, Todd could spot the difference.
"Did you enjoy your time with your friends? I mean…your colleagues from work, mom?" Todd asked.
Claire told him it was fine and would've been much better if it hadn't rained. She paused and looked at Todd. Then she told him she had gone out with a man she had met at work. Todd was surprised because Claire had never gone out alone with a guy.
"A man???" he asked her. "Do I know him?"
But before Claire could explain, Todd's friends arrived to pick him up. She knew it wasn't the right time to discuss it.
Claire had been out with a man but Todd thought she had gone with her colleagues. | Source: Unsplash
"Bye, mom… see you later!" Todd exclaimed and left for school.
That evening, he returned home to find his mom missing. He called her several times, but all his calls were diverted to her voicemail. Then he found a note stuck to the fridge: "Hey honey, I'll be pretty late today. Dinner is on the table, and I've ordered pizza for you. It should arrive at 6. Bye, love."
Todd was taken aback because Claire had never informed him about this earlier, but he let it slide and went about his business. He never discussed it with his mom, but she did the same thing for the next several days. At this point, he knew something was not right.
He skipped his basketball practice and hurried to the café opposite Claire's office. He saw his mom exit the main door and board a taxi an hour later. He followed her in another cab and saw her getting down two stops later.
"Why is she getting down here?" Todd mumbled under his breath suspiciously.
Todd followed Claire in a taxi. | Source: Unsplash
A little later, Todd saw his mom getting into another car. He followed her until the vehicle pulled over outside a restaurant. Then he saw his mom get down and walk in, followed by a man.
"It must be her new friend…." Todd muttered.
He followed the two into the restaurant and sat across them farther away, ensuring they were visible from a distance. But Claire and the guy had entered the private dining area, and Todd couldn't go in. He ordered a cup of coffee and waited for them to leave.
"I must find out who this guy is…and what she's doing with him for so long every day," he mumbled.
An hour later, Claire and the guy walked out of the restaurant. Todd held a magazine and covered his face because he didn't want his mom to know he was spying on her. He followed them to the main door and froze after seeing them kiss.
"WHAT THE??? MOM, YOU BETTER EXPLAIN THIS…." Todd exclaimed to himself with disbelief. He turned pale because he couldn't imagine his mom had gotten over his dad's death...
It wasn't short of a nightmare when Todd saw his mom kissing the guy. | Source: Unsplash
Although a part of him said it was fine, another part echoed that it was wrong to find love again after a beloved's passing. Since Todd was too attached to his dad, the sight of his mom hanging out with another man angered him.
Todd stormed home, and he knew his mom wouldn't arrive until later than midnight. The following day, things took a different dimension after Claire revealed the truth when Todd confronted her.
"I wanted to introduce him to you this weekend," Claire confessed. "Benjamin is a wonderful man, and I'm sure you'll like him too…."
But Todd was unmoved and pushed aside his bowl of cereal. Claire was shocked and upset because she'd never seen him so frustrated.
"How could you…How could you get over dad and fall in love with a man, mom???" Todd yelled. "You've betrayed dad…I thought you loved him!"
Tears gushed down Claire's eyes, but Todd refused to listen to her further. He grabbed his bag and rushed outside without a word more.
Todd was furious with his mom & he condemned her for falling in love with another man. | Source: Unsplash
After school, Todd knew he wouldn't find his mom home. But to his surprise, Claire skipped work that day. She tried sorting it out with Todd, but he ignored her.
A few days later, Todd apologized and told Claire he would talk later if she wanted. Claire was happy, but she anticipated Todd would explode in a few moments. Just then, the doorbell rang.
"Why don't you go answer the door, honey?" she hesitantly told Todd because she knew who was visiting them.
Todd got up smiling until his expression changed after opening the door. He saw the man he'd seen a couple of days ago with his mom in the restaurant.
"Hey, I'm Benjamin…." the guy greeted him.
Benjamin was standing at the doorstep. | Source: Pexels
But Todd was indifferent. He backed off silently and stared at Claire. She could tell by that gross look that he was angry and upset. He was annoyed the whole day, and he never talked to his mom and maintained a distance from Benjamin.
"Young man, would you mind coming outside for a minute for a man-to-man chat?" Benjamin asked Todd after dinner.
Although he didn't want to talk, Todd decided to at least respect the man and agreed. The two marched into the garden because Benjamin wanted to make sure Claire wouldn't hear anything.
"I can understand your feelings, but life has to go on, right? And I'm pleased and grateful to your dad for raising such a wonderful son with a beautiful woman," Benjamin spoke.
Todd was unmoved. "So, what do you want me to do with that???" he retorted.
Todd remained cold toward Benjamin throughout the conversation. | Source: Unsplash
Then Benjamin told Todd that he'd been in the same situation as a child. As it turned out, Benjamin's dad passed on when he was 15. A couple of years later, his mom married another man who raised him like his own son.
"You see, Todd, it's never too late or wrong to fall in love again," Benjamin spoke emotionally. "If there's nobody to love or share our feelings with, we'd all be robots!"
Benjamin's words moved Todd. He looked at the man and realized that he was right. Todd was sure that his mom still loved his dad, but she needed to move on and be happy.
He smiled at Benjamin and hurried inside to his bedroom. Claire was surprised. She wanted to know what they'd been talking about, but Benjamin assured her that Todd would open the door smiling.
The following day, Claire bawled uncontrollably after finding Todd's room empty…
Claire was shocked after finding Todd's bedroom empty. | Source: Unsplash
"I thought he was sleeping…I called him several times and checked his room," she cried. "He wasn't there, and I even called his friends, but nobody knows where he is…."
Benjamin and Claire searched for Todd everywhere but in vain. He never picked up their call and, at some point, had diverted them to his voicemail. Claire was devastated and went downstairs. There, below Christopher's picture, she found a note. It was from Todd…
"HOPE YOU AND YOUR SOON-TO-BE BETTER HALF HAVE A WONDERFUL TIME!"
Below the note, Claire found two tickets to Hawaii, and a little later, Todd sent her a message saying he had gone to his granny's house for the week.
Claire was emotional as she realized Todd bought the tickets with the hard-earned money he'd saved from his part-time job. She was proud of him and looked at Benjamin, who was overwhelmed with Todd's hearty gesture.
Todd wanted his mom to spend time with Benjamin, so he gifted her two plane tickets to Hawaii. | Source: Pexels
What can we learn from this story?
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