A teenage boy discovers that his mother makes late-night trips after he sleeps off at night, then he finds out whom she often met.
Kai awoke with a start.The 16-year-old boy had fallen asleep while playing Red Dead Redemption, a game about cowboy despots and outlaws trying to survive.
A quick glance at the wall clock showed it was almost 12 a.m, and he sighed. He had fallen asleep behind a screen again — something his mother hated but rarely caught him doing.
Kai noticed that his mother, Jessica, always snuck off at night after he sleeps. | Source: Shutterstock
In fact, it had only happened twice, but the experience was not pleasant, and he did not want to endure it again, so he hurriedly stood up and turned off his monitor and gaming system.
He got into bed and started waiting to fall asleep when he heard footsteps coming from his Mom's room.
"She's probably coming to make sure I'm in bed," he thought. "Phew, that was close."
His mother, Jessica, usually checked in on him late at night to make sure he was not staying up texting with friends or playing games.
This time was no different; she opened his door slightly and peered in for the few moments it took her to decide that he was truly sleeping.
Usually, he would be, but on this particular night, Kai was wide awake and in a jubilatory mood. He almost never got away with fooling his Mom, which is why he gave up and started sleeping early in the first place.
Jessica opened Kai's door slightly and peered in for the few moments it took her to decide that he was truly sleeping | Source: Pexels
She was not always as strict until his father passed away while trying to save people from a burning building. That was about a year ago, but Kai and his Mom were not healed from the grief yet.
After the man died, Jessica had to start working more jobs to cater to her kid, and he resented her for staying away so much when he needed her.
He had loved his father intensely and had shared a deep bond with him, so after the man died, Kai shut everyone out, including his Mom.
He became rude and would often hurt her with his cutting words without apologizing, not caring that she slaved to put food in his belly or that she had health troubles accumulating from her working too much.
In return, she had also gotten more distant with him, only caring that he stayed out of trouble and followed her instructions.
Of course, he regularly flouted them, but when she started dishing out real punishments like seizing his gaming system for weeks, he started to avoid crossing her.
That night, he was happy that he had not been caught behind his system again, but the emotion gave way to curiosity when he realized that her steps had not returned to her room. Instead, she was moving towards the living area and quietly too, but the creaking stairs gave her away.
Kai stayed up until 5 a.m when he heard his mother return | Source: Pexels
Soon after he stopped hearing the creaking, he heard the front door open and close.
"Where is she going?" he wondered as he watched her ride off on her pink bicycle.
That night, the boy stayed up worried about his mother. While he waited, he tried to play more games, but his treasonous mind would not stop thinking about extreme things.
Gun violence was cracking up in the US, and he did not like the idea of his Mom roaming around at night. When games didn't take his mind off her, he devoted time to rationalizing why she went out.
Was it to the pharmacy? Is she ill? he wondered. Or she found a man. Kai did not know where the thought came from, but it got stuck immediately, and anger followed.
"How could she?!" he yelled to himself. "It hasn't even been that long since dad passed."
The resentful boy stayed up until 5 a.m when he heard his mother return. Unsure of how to act, he kept his observation to himself, but the next night, he loaded up on coffee so he wouldn't sleep — he had to know if her midnight trips were a regular thing.
The same thing happened the next night too. His mother was absent, proving that whatever it was had been going on for much longer.
"So this is why she always makes me sleep early," he thought to himself.
From that day forward, Kai started to resent his mother even more | Source: Pexels
The following day, Jessica went to the supermarket and left her phone at home. Kai found it and accidentally saw a message notification on her phone's screen.
It was from some Kevin Green who wanted her to meet him again at 2 a.m "at the same place!"
"So I was right," he said to himself, tears in his eyes.
From that day forward, Kai started to resent her even more. His harsh words intensified to the point of abuse, and his tantrums expanded to breaking things.
One day, his Mom returned from work laughing happily while reading a text on her phone, and Kai went into a rage, abusing and humiliating her until she raised a hand to him in anger.
In response, he pushed her and ran away from the house to stay with a friend. Later that night, he received a call from the doctor.
"Hello Kai, you're listed as an emergency contact of Miss Jessica O'Shea; I'm calling to inform you that she was brought in unconscious and is receiving care at the Cedars Sinai hospital.
When he arrived there, Kai saw a stranger waiting just outside his mom's ward, and he approached the man. "Hello, you must be Kai, Jessica's son, I'm Kevin Green," the man said, extending his arm out for a shake.
Kai stared at the hand for a moment before ignoring it.
"You're the one she's been creeping out to see every day isn't it?" Kai asked.
"What? I think you have this all wrong," Kevin said.
It turned out Kevin Green was the director of a warehouse, and Kai's mother was working as a mover there | Source: Pexels
"Why don't you enlighten me?" Kai shot back with a determined look. Turns out the man was the director of a warehouse, and Kai's mother was working as a mover there.
"She is a longtime friend of mine and when she lost Ted, I decided I would help out any way I could, so when she told me how she needed a side job to save something away for your university, I told her to sign up as a mover," Kevin said.
This was news to Kai, and he slowly started to realize that he had wrongly judged his mother. Meanwhile, Kevin took his silence as a cue to keep talking.
"I guess she has been working too much because that night, she suddenly collapsed and hit her head against a table on the way down."
Kai remained mute as he listened, even though unshed tears had made his vision blurry. He thanked the man for his benevolence after they spoke some more then he went to his mom's side.
She did look tired, and her hand felt light as he took it in his. He promised to be on his best when she recovered.
From that day, Kai took her place at the warehouse, spending all the money he earned on medicine for his mother. When it didn't seem enough, he borrowed money from friends and sold his gaming system just to keep up her treatment.
It took a couple of weeks, but eventually, his mom recovered, and since then, Kai took over the job of keeping the family afloat.
It took a couple of weeks, but eventually, his Mom recovered, and since then, Kai took over the job of keeping the family afloat | Source: Pexels
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