Boy Loves His Half-Brother More than Parents, One Day Parents Find They Disappeared – Story of the Day
A young boy and his half-brother who share a father vanish and when their frantic parents find them, they are shocked to discover what motivated them to run away.
The saddest thing about divorce is that the people involved forget they once loved each other, that they believed their happily-ever-after would be together. When marriages end, in their bitterness, the man and woman even forget there are others involved.
They forget that their children, the living proof of that love, are just as bewildered and unhappy as they are. Things fall apart, and the adults go on with their lives, but the children remain just as lost and confused...
Chuck and Ethan were half-brothers but they were as close as twins. | Source: Shutterstock.com
Jean and Harry had married very young, and for years they were happy, but then things started to change. Perhaps they grew apart, or perhaps their life goals changed.
At first, the two were horrified to feel their bond fraying thin, so they did what many struggling couples do — they decided to have a baby. The baby, they felt, was the next step, the thing that would bring them back together, resurrect their happiness.
It was a lot to expect of the little person that slid yelling into the world and into Harry's waiting hands. Charles, or Chuck as his parents immediately started calling him, was no miracle worker.
He couldn't fix his parents' marriage, and within a year, Jean and Harry were in the midst of a savage divorce, and in the middle was of the mess was Chuck. Both wanted Chuck, and so the judge gave them shared custody.
Jean and Harry thought their love would last forever. | Source: Unsplash
That only made things even worse for Chuck, who was just two years old, especially when Harry started dating another woman. Within months of their first meeting, Harry's new girlfriend Stacey was pregnant.
Jean was devastated and she plunged into a deep depression. One day Harry came to pick up Chuck and found the house in a mess. Jean was fast asleep while Chuck was sitting on the kitchen floor in a sodden diaper, crying.
For Harry, it was an opportunity he just couldn't pass up. He immediately called Child Protection, and within days, his lawyer had filed for full custody. Jean's lawyer tried to fight back, pointing out her client was ill, but to no avail.
Chuck was taken away from Jean, who was allowed to see her son only twice a week in supervised visits. The confused little boy went to live with his dad and his new wife. Harry was kind and attentive to Chuck -- until Stacey's baby was born.
Jean and Harry started to drift apart. | Source: Pexels
Little Ethan was the sweetest baby and he became the apple of Harry and Stacey's eyes, and Chuck fell under his little brother's spell too. He was the most adoring and caring big brother anyone could imagine.
As for Ethan, as soon as he could toddle, he was following Chuck everywhere. He couldn't say 'Chuck' so he called his brother 'Cluck.' Harry was delighted, but Stacey was more than a little jealous.
Her little stepson was far and away Ethan's favorite person in the world, so she tried to win him away with extravagant gifts, toys, treats, and outings -- but Chuck was never included.
Instead of standing up for his son, Harry went along with whatever Stacey wanted. He couldn't admit to himself that every time he looked into Chuck's little face he saw Jean.
Harry and Jean thought a baby would save their marriage. | Source: Pexels
Things came to a head when Ethan turned nine. Stacey planned a weekend at Disneyland for Ethan and four of his little friends. Ethan was excited. "Cluck!" he cried. "We're going to Disneyland! I want to see the pirates first!"
Children are not to blame for their parents' problems.
"Sweetie," said Stacey with a smile. "I'm afraid Chuck isn't going. He's getting to be a big boy now and he doesn't want to hang around with the small kids..."
"I won't go without Cluck!" cried Ethan. "He's my brother and I love him more than anything!"
"More than your own mother?" screamed Stacey. "Well, he's not going and that's final!"
They loved their baby but it didn't solve their problems. | Source: Unsplash
Ethan ran to Chuck and told him everything. "It's okay, Ethan," he said. "We'll have our own secret celebration when you get back."
There were tears running down Ethan's face. "I want you there, Cluck, it's not fair! Why don't they love you?"
Chuck's shoulders sagged. "I don't know, Ethan," he said. "Dad said he wanted me, he won't let me be with my mom...But he doesn't really care about me at all. If I left they wouldn't even notice."
"I would," said Ethan stoutly. "If you go, I go! Let's run away! Do you think your mom would love ME?"
Jean and Harry ended up fighting over Chuck. | Source: Pexels
Chuck grinned. "I KNOW she would," he answered happily. "She's the best!"
The next morning, when Stacey walked into Ethan's room to get him up for school, she saw that her son wasn't there and no one had slept in his bed. "Harry!" she cried. "Ethan is in Chuck's room again! Please get him!"
Harry jogged up the stairs and opened the door to Chuck's room. No Chuck, and no Ethan -- and no one had slept in that bed either. A thousand horror stories about kidnappings flashed through Harry's mind.
He called for Stacey and said, "They're gone, both of them. We have to call the police!"
Harry remarried and welcomed Ethan with his new wife Stacey. | Source: Unsplash
Half an hour later, Harry and Stacey were sitting down with a detective who asked about every detail of their day and evening, then he said, "I'll need recent photos of both boys..."
There were plenty of recent snaps of Ethan, but then Harry noticed the most recent photo of Chuck was three years old, and a school photo. He looked around the living room. Anyone seeing the family photos would think Ethan was an only child.
Harry jumped up and ran upstairs to Chuck's room. He sat on the bed and started sobbing. "Chuck," he whispered. "What have I done?" After he calmed down he got up to go back downstairs and his foot slipped on a toy car.
Harry bent down to pick it up and saw a note that had fallen under Chuck's bed. It was in Ethan's big sprawling handwriting and addressed to 'Mom and Dad.' Harry took it downstairs and quietly read it out to Stacey and the detective.
Chuck adored his little brother. | Source. Unsplash
"Dear Mom and Dad, you know that I love Chuck more than anything but you don't. Chuck can't stay because you don't love him -- but if I go with him we will be happy cause we're brothers and we love each other a lot.
"Don't worry I'm sure you can have another baby and love him more, just like dad loved me more than Chuck when I was born. Chuck says his mom makes great pancakes!"
Stacey was deadly white. "This is YOUR son's fault!" she screamed. "He KIDNAPPED Ethan, and your ex-wife is involved!"
That was when Harry's phone rang. It was Jean and he answered it straight away. "Harry? Chuck and Ethan are here! They hitchhiked...Oh my God, what happened?"
Chuck and Ethan were best friends. | Source: Unsplash
"They're safe?" asked Harry hoarsely.
"Yes, they're having breakfast," Jean said. "I told Ethan I was calling you to come to fetch him but he got very upset."
"Please, don't worry," Harry said. "We'll be there in half an hour." He said to the detective, "The boys are safe with my ex-wife, Detective. I'm sorry about this..."
"I insist you press charges against Jean!" cried Stacey. "She's going to rot in jail for this!"
"STOP IT!" Harry shouted. "None of this would have happened if you weren't such a jealous, hard-hearted woman! We are not suing Jean! In fact, I may talk to my lawyer about filing another type of action: A DIVORCE!"
Stacey told Ethan that Chuck wasn't going to Disneyland. | Source: Unsplash
Stacey shut up immediately and kept quiet all the way to Jean's house where Jean was standing outside with her arms around both boys. "I won't go back!" cried Ethan. "I want to be with Chuck!"
Stacey stepped forward. "Honey this boy kidnapped you..."
"No, Mommy!" Ethan interrupted her. “No one kidnapped us. I just want my brother to be happy. He won't be happy with you, and I won't be happy without him!"
Harry knelt on the grass so he could look both his sons in the eye. "Listen, boys, we are going to find a way for you two to be together as much as possible and that's a promise.
In the morning, Stacey and Harry discovered the boys were gone. | Source: Unsplash
"Chuck, I'm so sorry I haven't been there for you, and I haven't been a good father. If you want to live with your mom you have my blessing. I know we haven't made you feel part of the family, but that's something else that's going to change."
"Dad," Chuck said weeping. "I thought you didn't love me! I love you and I love mom and I want to be with you both and Ethan too -- but I know it's impossible."
"Not quite," Harry said as he hugged his sons. "But we are going to be a family, that I can promise you."
So Chuck moved in with Jean, but Harry made sure that his two sons spent time together almost every day. He and Jean had become good friends and great co-parents and Stacey learned to deal with her insecurities and jealousy.
Harry became a devoted dad to both his sons. | Source: Unsplash
What can we learn from this story?
- Children are not to blame for their parents' problems. Harry was bitter and angry after the divorce and he used Chuck to get back at Megan.
- It is never too late to admit to your mistakes and correct them. Harry was brave enough to own up to his failures and did all he could to make his sons happy.
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If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a man who was stunned when his grandmother, who had raised him after his parents died, insisted he call off the wedding to the woman he loved.
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