Tired of his dad and stepdad's constant quarrels, a 6-year-old comes up with a plan to reconcile them and fakes his disappearance. Little do the dads know what's waiting ahead for them.
When Sharon and Jonathan divorced, Sharon got their son Paul's custody and Jonathan was permitted to see him on occasion. Jonathan loved Paul more than anything else in the world, and even after the split, his love for him didn't change.
Whenever he was free, Jonathan would rush over to Sharon's house to see Paul and spend time with him. But things started changing after Sharon married a man named Michael. Jonathan already got a limited amount of time to spend with Paul, and Michael's presence in their lives shrunk it even further.
Moreover, Jonathan didn't like Michael. He didn't consider him competent enough to give Paul a good life. Michael's feelings were mutual in the sense that he didn't consider Jonathan to be a good father. Their hate for one other frequently resulted in arguments that both Sharon and Paul were tired of.
To put an end to the continuous bickering, Sharon organized a family bonding trip for Michael and Jonathan to settle their disagreements.
Paul was upset that his dads kept fighting with each other. | Source: Pexels
Paul was super excited about the trip.
"Yay, mom! Where are we going? Are we going to a water park? An amusement park?" he asked innocently and Sharon smiled.
"No, honey," she replied. "This time we're going camping! Let's just hope your dads don't get into another argument!" she sighed.
"YES! WE WILL GO CAMPING!" he chirped.
Sharon couldn't help but smile as Paul leaped around with delight. She hoped that this trip would resolve the conflict between Michael and Jonathan.
Unfortunately, a day before the trip, Sharon had to leave for an urgent business convention and wouldn't be able to join Michael and the others.
Michael urged her to postpone the trip, stressing that he didn't want to go without her. But she smiled and said, "You know this trip was meant for you and Jonathan to forget your differences and reconcile. Please, at the very least, do this for me! I hate seeing you guys fight like animals in front of Paul. That is simply too much for a 6-year-old or anyone else to bear! PLEASE!"
Sharon urged Michael to go on the trip. | Source: Pexels
Jonathan was also opposed to the idea of going on the trip without Sharon around them, but he agreed because Paul was excited about it.
Before leaving for the convention, Sharon urged Michael and Jonathan to put their issues aside for the time being and spend time with Paul. But it was as if her words fell on deaf ears and the two men started quarreling again on their way to the campsite to establish who was in charge.
"Paul and I will put up the tent, and you will take care of the campfire!" Jonathan told Micahel firmly while they were walking to the campsite.
Only in times of crisis can you identify a person's true colors.
Michael abruptly came to a halt and gave him a disgusted look. "Excuse me? Who do you think you are to issue me orders? I get to choose what I want to do! SO I PUT THE TENT UP and you look after whatever's left!"
Jonathan turned around with a frown. "Oh, is that it? Do you honestly believe I'm waiting for you to tell me what to do? Look, Michael!" He took a step closer to him and looked him in the eyes. "If I decide to put up the tent and Paul helps me, you can't stop me! STAY WITHIN YOUR LIMITS!"
Jonathan and Michael were arguing over who would put the tent up. | Source: Pexels
Michael laughed mockingly. "You know what, Jonathan, you can go show these eyes to someone who fears you. I can't care less about what you say! And yes, Paul is now my son! So he's going to help ME out!"
Jonathan shot back. "I'm Paul's biological father! He is MY son! So he is helping me. Hey, Paul, why don't you tell…." When Jonathan looked to his side, he discovered Paul was missing.
Michael and Jonathan were so preoccupied with squabbling that they'd forgotten about Paul, who was now nowhere to be found.
"PAUL! Where are you, honey?" Jonathan shouted, worried. However, there were no responses.
At that point, Jonathan lost his cool. "Because of you, I lost my son. Are you happy now?!" he yelled at Michael and started looking around in search of Paul.
Michael was equally worried. They searched the whole place but didn't find Paul.
At this point, they decided to continue their search deeper into the forest and came to a fork in the road that led to two trails—one marked with a warning sign that read, "DANGER! DO NOT CROSS!"—where they discovered Paul's cap on the ground.
Michael and Jonathan went far into the woods in search of Paul. | Source: Pexels
"Good Lord!" Jonathan's eyes welled up as he picked up the cap. "What happened to him?"
For the first time, Michael consoled Jonathan instead of arguing with him. "WE will find him, Jonathan. Nothing will happen to Paul, alright? You go that way and I'll check on this path…." he said, pointing to the danger sign.
Jonathan was stunned. "But you're not supposed to go there. It's dangerous!"
Michael said he didn't care as finding Paul was his top priority.
Hearing him say that, Jonathan realized how wrong he had been about Michael. Michael loved Paul more than his life!
"Well, Michael," he said. "You don't have to go alone. We're going together, okay?"
"No, Jonathan! It can be dangerous, as you said! You need to be there for Paul in the worst case…." he paused. "I know you'll be a better dad to Paul any day. I'll go…." With that, Michael set to depart. Then they heard Paul's voice.
"Dad! Michael! I'm here!"
They found Paul. | Source: Pexels
They were surprised. "It's Paul! Where is he?" Michael looked around and spotted him on a tree branch.
He was giggling. "My plan worked! You stopped fighting!" he exclaimed, laughing.
Michael and Jonathan exchanged glances, realizing what happened. They helped Paul descend from the tree, after which he confessed to faking his disappearance in order to unite them in searching for him. His cap had fallen off due to the wind, and he was about to go and get it, but they had already arrived by then.
"We're sorry, champ," Jonathan and Michael said as they hugged Paul. "We will never fight again! That's a promise! Please don't do such things ever again...."
After this incident, Jonathan and Michael realized how much their bickerings were hurting Paul. They realized that while they were fighting over him, they failed to notice how much it affected him.
Following through on their promise, Jonathan and Michael reconciled and began to respect each other. They still had minor arguments, but instead of raging at each other, they chose to discuss them like adults. Cynthia was relieved that the bonding trip had been successful!
Michael and Jonathan are on better terms now. | Source: Pexels
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