A boy got worried when his mother didn’t return home from work for 48 hours, so he visited her office to inquire about her whereabouts. Upon asking her boss, the teen learned that his mother had left the office two days ago, and no one had seen her after that.
“Mom, could you please close the curtains? My eyes are burning,” 14-year-old Brad tossed and turned on his bed as warm rays of the midday sun shone through his bedroom window.
He had stayed up late the previous night playing video games and wanted to sleep in a little longer. So Brad was so irritated, thinking his mother, Janet, had opened the blinds as she always did to wake him up every morning.
“Mom? I told you to close the….” Brad angrily rose from the bed, rubbing his eyes, and realized nobody was standing there…
It had been two days since the boy had left his room as he was playing video games on the console he got for his birthday last month. Brad had been awake all day and night, dining on packets of chips and cola, lost in the virtual world under the blanket.
He was so occupied with beating his opponents online that he didn’t even bother to leave his room or check on his mother. It was already noon, and Brad was hungry, so he finally got out of his room and made his way downstairs to the kitchen to fetch a snack.
“Mom…where did you go leaving me alone? Please come back.”
As he marched into the kitchen, something didn’t feel right when he noticed the sink overflowing with dirty dishes just the way he’d seen it the morning two days ago. It was strange because his mom was a stickler for cleanliness and would never leave dirty dishes in the sink.
A feeling of dread crept up on the boy as he wondered where his mother could be and why the kitchen was in such disarray.
“Mom? Where are you? I’m starving… Can you please make me a sandwich?” Brad called out to Janet. He checked the pantry to see if she was in there, but she was not. Janet would always be home for lunch by noon, but the house was unusually quiet that afternoon.
“Mom? Can you please come over here?” Brad shouted again. But there was no answer.
The boy looked around and saw Janet’s purse and laptop were missing, and the coat hanger was bare, indicating she was not home.
“Fine…She must’ve gone to her office,” Brad sighed as he made his way to the fridge, assuming his mother would’ve left him some cold cereal or fruit salad like she always did.
But the boy recoiled in shock when he opened the fridge and saw his mom hadn’t left him anything to eat. A cold shiver ran down Brad’s spine as he realized something was seriously wrong.
His mother’s disappearance, the dirty dishes and kitchen, and now the missing breakfast — it all started to add up. Brad’s mind was plagued with strange questions, but none of it seemed to make any sense to him.
He searched the house again, moving from room to room, checking every nook and cranny, but nothing seemed out of place. The eerily silent house only made him more nervous.
“Where did mom go without telling me? Is she mad at me for what I told her?” the boy worried.
The teen felt a creeping sense of uneasiness when he remembered the heated argument with his mother that afternoon two days ago.
Looking around at the mess in the kitchen again, Brad realized that his mother hadn’t returned home since that day. He quickly grabbed his phone and called her, but to his shock, her phone was switched off. It only added to his fears and the strange possibilities haunting his mind.
“Mom…where are you? Why is your phone switched off? What happened to you?” Brad feared and decided not to wait for his mother until evening.
He knew he had to act quickly and find her, so he bolted to the nearest taxi stand and hailed a cab to his mother’s office. Brad’s mind raced with fear as he sat in the backseat, staring blankly out the window, hoping his mother would be somewhere on the way.
As the cab sped through the busy streets, Brad tried calling his mom again, but her phone was still switched off. A sense of panic swelled in his gut as he worried about what could’ve gone wrong.
“Did someone kidnap mom? Damn…what am I even thinking? She must be in her office…But why is her phone off? Mom never turns her phone off….” the boy thought frantically.
Upon arriving outside the law firm where Janet worked, Brad hurried to the door and heard muffled voices coming from inside.
He pushed the door open, hoping to find his mother safe and sound. But as he made his way down the dimly lit hallway, looking around for his mother, her colleague recognized him and stopped his way.
“Brad?” the man asked the boy.
“I’m looking for my mother…She hasn’t come home yet. I thought she’ll be here,” the boy interrupted him.
“Janet is not with you? But we thought….” the man paused in shock as Brad ran upstairs and burst into his mother’s boss’s office.
“Hey, what are you doing here, kid? What do you want?” Janet’s boss, Mr. Chad, was startled when Brad stormed into his office without knocking.
“I am Brad…My mom works here…She is your secretary,” the boy gasped, barely able to catch his breath.
“Your mom? Are you Janet’s son?” Mr. Chad asked anxiously.
“Yes! Mom hasn’t come home for the last two days,” Brad explained. “I’m worried…I want to see her. Where’s she? She never told me she had overtime.”
Mr. Chad’s brows raised in a surprised arc, and his response was not what Brad had come prepared for.
“Janet’s not home? She last reported to work two days ago. I called her, but she didn’t answer. I even rang an alternate number she gave me, but the number was not reachable.”
A prickling sensation of fear shot up Brad’s spine.
“She’s not here? Then where did she go?” he gasped, feeling something was very wrong.
“But I thought mom was here…she hasn’t come home for two days. Can you please check? She does overtime sometimes.”
“We haven’t had any extra shifts this whole week, kid,” said Mr. Chad. “We last saw her two days ago…Janet didn’t come to work after that.”
“I thought your mother was sick, and that’s why she’d taken leave. But Janet never takes days off without informing me. I thought something was wrong and even wanted to call the cops when she never answered my call. But I decided to wait, thinking she’d get back…Look, I think it’s better to report to the cops now.”
Before Mr. Chad could even finish talking, Brad bolted out of the office onto the streets, not knowing where to go and look for his mother. He kept calling her, but her phone was still off.
Brad’s mind raced in fear as he darted through the streets, looking around for any sign of his missing mother.
“Mom, where are you? Please come back,” Brad burst into tears as he ran into a park. His thoughts scattered in different dimensions, fearing what could’ve happened to his mother.
The boy felt lost and helpless and even called all her friends to find out if they’d seen her. But it turned out it had been a while since they’d last seen Janet.
“Mom…where did you go leaving me alone? Please come back… I’m sorry. I won’t hurt you again,” Brad cried, his eyes brimming with tears as he sank onto a wooden bench. His heart shuddered with regret when he recalled the last time he saw his mother — the fateful afternoon two days ago when he yelled at her to stay out of his life.
That day, Janet had come home for lunch in a terrible mood after a frustrating client meeting. When she walked into the kitchen, she was greeted with a sink overflowing with dirty dishes, which angered her even more.
Her son had promised her to do all the dishes and tidy up the kitchen every morning during his summer break in exchange for a gaming console for his birthday. But Brad failed to keep his word once he got what he wanted and was always occupied with playing video games instead of helping his mother.
Although Janet tried to hold back her frustration, she had lost her cool after seeing the messy kitchen and stormed to Brad’s bedroom.
But instead of apologizing to his mother and making up for his mistake, Brad’s anger boiled over, and he lashed out at his mother.
“Are you outta your mind, mom? You are always behind my back, nagging me like a broken record. It’s so damn annoying… And now you’re telling me I can’t play video games coz of some stupid dishes?” Brad fumed at Janet.
Brad felt he was suffocated by his mom always watching over him, and her constant criticism made him feel very low. And that day, he, too, was in a terrible mood as Janet had interrupted him in the middle of an important online match, causing him to lose the game.
“Stop acting like you’re my boss, okay? It’s summer break, and I’m supposed to be having fun. You can’t even afford a vacation or let me do what I want. Stop treating me like a kid. I’m fourteen,” Brad argued, his voice seething with anger.
“Look, you can hire a maid to do all this crap, alright? Or you can wash those damn plates yourself. I’m not here to do dirty dishes. I have my own things to do, so stop bothering me and leave me alone.”
“Don’t you dare raise your voice to me like that, young man? I’m your mother, and I deserve some respect. This is not how you talk to me,” Janet was taken aback by her son’s disrespectful behavior.
And in the heat of the moment, she snapped back, unplugging the boy’s console from the charger, threatening him she would seize it if he didn’t apologize.
Brad was so angry at this point that he refused to back down.
“I’m NOT sorry, okay? Did you hear me, mom? You can’t control me or take away my things,” he yelled, grabbing his console from Janet’s hands.
“I can’t wait to turn 18 and just get the hell outta this damn house and get rid of your stupid rules,” Brad yelled at his mother as he sank into his bed.
“You’re the worst parent ever, mom! All my friends have the best parents who give them everything they ask for. But not you! You can’t even afford to take me on vacation. And you’re always on my back ordering me around. You’re so damn annoying…I wish I never see you again. And you know what? I now know why dad left us. Cuz you’re so irritating. You’re unbearable…do you even realize what I go through every time you keep nagging me?”
Janet’s heart shattered to a million pieces as she burst into tears. This was the least she’d ever wanted to hear from her son. She couldn’t believe Brad would say something so hurtful like that.
“Get out of my room…and from my life! And don’t come back…did you hear me? Just leave me alone and don’t come back.”
Brad’s angry voice kept ringing in Janet’s head as she stormed downstairs, tears streaming down her face.
That was the last time Brad saw his mother, her silhouette disappearing down the stairs as he slammed the door shut behind her.
“I shouldn’t have told you that, mom…I’m sorry,” Brad cried, the weight of his words crushing his soul as he snapped to the moment.
It was getting dark, and he was still sitting in the park, scanning the faces of random strangers, hoping to catch a glimpse of his missing mother. Brad prayed his mom would suddenly emerge from the crowd and take him home. He had never felt so miserable before, and his heart trembled with fear and confusion.
“What happened to her? Where is she?” the unanswered questions felt like daggers in his mind.
Regret fed Brad’s thoughts as he sat alone on the bench, recalling the times he had hurt his mother with his selfish behavior and rude words.
It was not the first time that Brad had hurt his mother. He did it often, sometimes even for silly things like not winning a bike race with his friends or not getting the coolest toys.
Sometimes, Brad treated his mother like an emotional punching bag to vent out all his anger and frustrations and never attached any importance to how it must have hurt her.
But now that she was mysteriously gone without a trace, Brad started feeling guilty and lost. He could not forgive himself and realized he had always been an awful son and prayed for just one chance to set things right with his mother.
“I’m so sorry for what happened that day, mom. Please come back. You are the best mom ever! I won’t hurt you again. Please get back to me,” Brad cried as he collapsed onto his knees, staring at his mom’s picture on his phone.
The deeper he delved into his past, a wave of emotions swept over him, making him realize how much he’d taken his mom for granted.
Janet’s life had always been only about Brad, right from the day when he was born and abandoned by his father. She’d faced every obstacle that came her way with courage, making every little effort so that her son would have a better life.
The countless hours Janet had spent working hard to provide the best for Brad, the sleepless nights she’s spent by his side whenever he was sick, and the unwavering support she’d always offered him — it all came rushing back to his mind.
Janet worked hard just to give her son the best of everything. And every penny she made was a step closer to securing Brad’s life. But the boy was never satisfied, and he grumbled over every little thing.
As he grew older, his demands saw no end. Brad wanted the latest gadgets, branded clothes, and the most expensive toys. He was never satisfied with what he had, and his mom’s hard work was never enough.
She worked overtime, sometimes even graveyard shifts, to meet his demands. Almost half of her earnings went to Brad’s education. The expensive gaming console she’d gifted him on his birthday came from her hard-earned savings from the overtime she did. But Brad was not thankful. He never was!
But now, the boy felt a pang of guilt, and he feared the argument he had with his mom two days ago would be their last conversation ever.
“What have I done? Mom, I’m so sorry…Where did you go? I’m scared…Please come back,” Brad burst into tears and finally decided to go to the cops when suddenly, his phone vibrated in his pocket.
The boy’s heart raced in fear as he slid out his cell phone and saw an unknown number flashing on the screen. A strange feeling of uneasiness settled over Brad, and he hesitated to answer the call.
“Whose number is this, and why are they calling me now?” he thought.
The phone continued to vibrate, distracting Brad from his thoughts. He took a deep breath and swiped to answer.
“Hello? Who is this?” he said, his voice shaking with fear.
There was a brief pause on the other end of the line, and Brad could hear some background noises of people and ambulances.
“Hello, we’re calling from the City Hospital. Your mother gave us this number,” the caller finally said.
A sickening wave of fright welled up Brad’s gut.
“The City Hospital? M—My mother? Wh—where is she? What happened to her?”
“We’ve been trying to reach out to this number since morning but ’twas not reachable. Your mother Janet is admitted here…Could you please come to the address…please note it down….”
Brad took down the address, and the caller hung up before he could ask them for more details.
The boy’s hand went up to his face, hiding his terrified scream. He felt a knot of fear settle in his stomach, and his mind wouldn’t stop scaring him with awful thoughts about what could’ve happened to his mother. The clock was ticking away, and every second counted.
Brad bolted to the road and hailed a taxi, begging the driver to go faster. When he arrived at the hospital, he shook with fear as he stepped down from the cab, making his way to the reception.
“Excuse me! I got a call…My name is Brad. They said my mom Janet is admitted here…please, can you tell me which ward?” Brad was so anxious. He refused even to imagine what could’ve happened to his mother. He couldn’t forgive himself for hurting her and was worried something awful had happened to her.
“Hey, I was the one who called you,” replied the receptionist. “It’s the seventh ward on the first floor to your right.”
Brad darted upstairs to the ward, his heart racing in fear, praying his mother would be alright. When he entered the ward, his feet froze on the ground.
“MOM….” was all he said, trembling at seeing Janet lying in the hospital bed, with IV patches in her hand.
“Mom…what happened to you…mom? Wake up…mom….” Brad ran to his mother and hugged her, begging her to get up.
“Mom, I’m sorry…N—No…please don’t do this to me…Mom…wake up,” he burst into tears, and his heart shuddered at the sight of his mom lying on the hospital bed.
A sliver of relief sprang into Brad’s eyes when he saw his mother slowly flicker her eyes open to his warms tears spilling on her face.
“Brad…honey, I’m so glad to see you!” she cried. “I missed you so much, darling.”
“Mom, I was looking for you everywhere,” Brad stammered, tears streaming down his cheeks. “I even went to your office. I thought you were at work. I’m so sorry. Please forgive me for what I said that day. I didn’t mean it…Oh my God…what happened to you? How did you hurt your head?”
Janet weakly lifted her hand and rubbed Brad’s cheek, revealing what had happened that fateful afternoon after they fought.
“I was on my way to the office. I thought of taking a shortcut and headed to the underpass…A gang of masked men stopped my way…they beat me up and robbed my wallet and phone, and fled. I don’t know what happened after that. When I woke up today morning, they told me someone brought me here. I gave the nurse your number as they wouldn’t allow me to go home without someone coming for me.”
“Mom, thank God you’re alright! I was so frightened…I’m so happy I found you!”
Brad hugged his mother tight, promising her he would never hurt her again. And when she got discharged and returned home the next day, she was in for a tear-jerking surprise.
Janet was overwhelmed with joy when she walked into her house and could not hold back her tears when Brad greeted her with her favorite plum cake. He’d even done the dirty dishes and tidied up the kitchen. Janet forgave Brad and showered him with hugs and kisses, and from that day on, the boy never took his mother’s love for granted and honored her.
What can we learn from this story?
Appreciate and be grateful to your loved ones while they are with you. You may never know when they might disappear from your life. Brad was never thankful to his mother despite her being the only one who cared for him all his life. However, he realized his mistake and was guilty of hurting her when she suddenly disappeared for two days.
God does not break open from the skies. Instead, He sent mothers. So love and respect your mother, and do not forget you are here today because of her. When Brad’s dad abandoned him, his mother stepped into the shoes of both a father and mother for him. She struggled to raise the boy, but he never respected her until fate made him realize she was his everything, without whom he would never be able to survive.
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