A mother is concerned when she discovers her son has not attended school for a week and decides to investigate why. But before she can do so, her son arrives home with a stroller and confesses something that shocks her.
Emma Spencer was a single mother who solely raised her son, Theo, after her husband, Clark, died of pneumonia two years ago. Theo was just ten years old when it all happened, and Emma, who was a housewife back then, struggled for months to land a job in New York City where they lived.
Two years after this, when Theo was 12, he insisted Emma let him go to school alone, just like his friends. Emma didn't want to do that because Theo was still too young to be left alone, but because the school was nearby, she caved and gave him a phone and a notebook with important contacts to call in case of an emergency.
Emma was a single mother. | Source: Unsplash
A few months went by, and Emma became too preoccupied with her job to check on Theo and how things were going at his school. One day, while packing his backpack, she suddenly came across his report card and discovered his grades were at an all-time low.
Emma was stunned, to say the least. She confronted him about it, but in response, Theo began lashing out at her. "Mom, stop acting like that! I am not a child, and you have no right to search my stuff without my permission!" he screamed at her as he grabbed his bag and left for school.
"Theo, where are you?" she asked desperately. "I hear a baby crying in the background."
Emma was shocked and couldn't believe her son was acting like that. At the same time, she was concerned that he was not paying attention to his studies and decided to discuss it over the weekend when they were both free. But before that, on Friday, she received a call from his school that shook her.
"Hello, Mrs. Spencer. Is everything fine at home? It's been a week, and Theo hasn't shown up at school! I was wondering if he was sick," his teacher, Mrs. Davidson, revealed over the phone.
Mrs. Davidson called Emma to inform her about Theo's absence from school. | Source: Pexels
Emma was baffled and almost dropped the phone. "What? But he goes to school every day. I don't get it!"
"That's odd, Mrs. Spencer. He hasn't shown up at all this week. It's probably time to pay attention to what he's up to...You know how easily kids can go astray these days," Mrs. Davidson warned her and hung up.
Emma's heart was racing as she got off the phone. Theo's grades were dropping, and he wasn't showing up at school! Where was he going all this time when he left for school? She immediately called him to find out where he was, but he didn't answer. However, she wouldn't give up.
She kept calling him, and after several attempts, he finally answered. "Theo! What the hell happened to you? And why are you not in school? Your teacher called me a few minutes ago to complain about you!" she lashed out at him.
"I am—" Theo was about to say something when Emma heard a baby crying in the background.
Theo avoided Emma's calls. | Source: Pexels
"Theo, where are you?" she asked desperately. "I hear a baby crying in the background and—" Emma was shocked and enraged when Theo abruptly ended the call before she could finish.
On her way home that evening, Emma's only thoughts were of the baby's cries and Theo's absence from school. She had made up her mind to sit him down as soon as he got home.
To her surprise, as she was nearing their home, she noticed Theo with a stroller near their house. She slammed on the brakes in shock and ran over to him, unable to believe her eyes. Inside the stroller was a baby girl wrapped in a towel.
"WHERE DID YOU GET THE STROLLER, THEO, AND WHOSE BABY IS THIS?" she inquired firmly.
Theo didn't even look Emma in her eyes. He stood speechless, his head down and his hold on the stroller's handle firm.
Emma was shocked to find Theo with a baby in a stroller. | Source: Pexels
Emma figured that being stiff with Theo might not be the best method to extract an answer from him. So she calmed herself down and repeated herself. "Where did you get the baby, honey? And why have you not gone to school for a whole week?"
After a brief silence, Theo spoke up. "I'm sorry, Mom. I couldn't leave Annette alone. We must keep her safe."
"Keep her safe? Where did you even find her, and why is she here?" Emma asked, confused.
Theo knew he had no way out, so he ultimately divulged the entire story, which horrified Emma.
Theo revealed the whole truth to Emma. | Source: Pexels
It turns out Theo was on his way to school when he saw baby Annette asleep in a stroller next to a shop with several beggars. He happened to notice the same thing the next day and the next.
Then one day, as he was crossing the street, he overheard the beggars and discovered Annette had been abducted by them. They also stated that they wanted to avoid the cops' attention and flee after they had some money. Theo assumed Annette was in danger and stole her stroller from the beggars.
He brought Annette to a nearby abandoned garage and began spending time with her there. With the money Emma provided him for lunch, he would buy her diapers and milk. Then at night, he snuck out of the house to be with Annette, returning only in the mornings when Emma was asleep.
When Emma called to inquire about his absence from school, he realized he couldn't hide the truth and brought the stroller home. "I'm sorry, mom! I was scared you would scold me, so I didn't tell you the truth," he confessed. "I couldn't leave her. I had no idea what her name was, so I gave her the name Annette. Can we please keep her?"
Theo revealed he found Annette on a street with beggars. | Source: Pexels
Emma shook her head in disbelief. She was shocked Theo had been up to so much behind her back, and she had no clue. However, deep down, she was proud of him for saving a baby's life.
"Theo," she said gently. "I'm glad you saved Annette, but I'm furious that you lied to me. Lying is not a good thing, honey."
"I'm sorry, mom," he replied, dropping his head. "I didn't want to lie, but I couldn't leave Annette in danger. Can she stay with us?"
"No, Theo. We can't keep someone else's child like that, but if I call the cops and tell them the truth, we can help Annette find her parents."
"But what if the officers don't find them?" Theo asked sadly.
"Then maybe we can keep her after the cops agree!"
"Really?" his eyes lit up.
Theo and Emma decided to inform the cops about the whole situation. | Source: Pexels
"Yes, honey! You see, honesty is always the best policy! Do you promise to always be truthful with me from now on?"
"Yes, mommy! I promise! Now let's call the cops and tell them about Annette!" he said joyfully.
"All right, then..." Emma phoned the officers and told them about the situation. She also asked the cops if she could keep Annette with them until her parents were found, and luckily, they agreed to it after document verification.
While Annette was staying with Emma and Theo, the detectives tracked down and arrested the beggars who had abducted her from a nearby town. They also tracked down her mother, Julia. She was a single mother like Emma and revealed that baby Annette's real name was Lily.
Julia was in tears when she got Lily back. She couldn't stop thanking Emma for keeping Lily safe and looking after her. Emma and Julia have been close friends since that day, and they often see each other on weekends so that Lily and Theo could spend time together.
What can we learn from this story?
If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a mom who asks her old neighbor to babysit her children only to return home and find them missing.
This account is inspired by our reader's story and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone's life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to email@example.com.