A grieving mother is frozen stiff in disbelief when she hears her son’s voice a few days after his death and decides to check his room.
Amanda raised her son Eric alone after her husband died of cancer and left for his heavenly abode. Eric was merely four then, and raising a kid alone was nothing but challenging for Amanda.
However, as time went on, she somehow reconciled with the situation and gave the best of everything she could to raise her boy. Problems arose only when Eric started growing up and became a teenager.
The boy, like many other children his age, became very quiet and began to distance himself from his mother. He spent most of his time in his room, either playing video games or studying, and spent very little time with Amanda.
Amanda didn’t pay much attention to Eric’s sudden behavioral change, thinking it was just one of those adolescent phases, and assumed things would improve with time. But contrary to her expectations, they grew further apart over time.
So one afternoon, Amanda eagerly awaited Eric’s arrival after preparing lunch. She had prepared his favorite dishes and planned to talk and sort things out with him, but Eric was late.
Worried, she called his teacher, Mrs. Matthews, and inquired whether there were any extra classes that day. But Mrs. Matthews informed her that there were none. Amanda later called all of his friends to see if the boy had stopped by their house after school, but no one knew anything.
At this point, Amanda’s heart started racing fast. She dashed out of the home to the neighbors, asking if Eric was there. But it was all for naught. In the end, Amanda decided she would file a missing report. As she was about to leave for the police station, her phone rang and a piece of terrible news awaited her.
“Am I speaking with Amanda Jones?” a deep, manly voice inquired.
“Ye – Yes? Who is it….” Amanda asked, her voice shaking.
“This is Officer Ben Davis, ma’am,” the man replied. “It’s about your son, Eric Jones.”
“Oh, officer, I am glad you found him. I was really worried….I keep telling Eric…but he doesn’t….”
“I’m sorry, ma’am,” Officer Davis interrupted her. “I’m afraid I don’t have good news. Your son’s body was discovered in a lake near his school. We discovered an ID and other items from the lake, which led us to your contact information. We would appreciate it if you could come and confirm the boy’s body is Eric’s as soon as possible. He was attempting to save a classmate when the ice under his feet unexpectedly cracked, causing the boy to fall in the lake and drown.”
The whole news came as a shock to Amanda. “Officer,” she said, pretending to be stern while her heart was sinking, “I think you are mistaken. It can’t be Eric. He is just late today. He never…”
“We understand it’s hard for you, ma’am, but you need to stay strong. Hello? Ma’am, can you hear me?” Officer Davis repeatedly asked, but there were no replies, and the call was disconnected.
Worried about the single mother, Officer Davis dispatched a team to Amanda’s house, where they found the woman unconscious. She had collapsed due to the shock of her son’s death.
When she recovered a few days later, though, she went to identify Eric’s body and couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw her baby, her son Eric, lying lifeless in the morgue. “Honey! Wake up!” she sobbed to the ground. “I will get you everything you want. I will never scold you again.”
Amanda kept crying for several hours that day and the next when her little boy was laid in a coffin and buried under a fresh mound of Earth. “I’ve been a terrible mother, and that’s why God took him,” she thought as she saw the sunset and darkness take over.
She slowly rose from the ground and proceeded home, where she sobbed herself to sleep in the living room. But the next day, at around 9 a.m., she was startled awake by a sound coming from Eric’s room. She felt as if Eric was calling her.
The mere thought of it brought tears to her eyes.
“If it’s a dream and my boy is calling me, I don’t want to wake up,” the woman thought as she proceeded to Eric’s bedroom. But there was no one inside the room. She looked around several times, but it was dead silent. She was about to leave the room, discarding everything as a suspicion, when her attention was drawn to the bed’s corner. She sensed a sudden movement inside the room and headed carefully towards the bedside.
“Hi, mom,” a squeaky voice suddenly said.
However, there was nothing by the bedside. Amanda now knelt to look under the bed when the voice repeated itself. “Hi, mom!” She threw up the blanket that had been dangling from the bed, and what she saw under the bed left her stunned.
“Eric?!” the woman gasped, teary-eyed. “Oh, dear! Did you….”
Amanda was taken aback when she discovered a parrot inside a cage, repeatedly saying, “Hi, mom!”
“Where did this parrot come from? Did Eric buy it?” she pondered as she opened the cage. The parrot quickly hopped outside the cage and flew out the window.
“No, wait,” Amanda cried as he followed the bird outside. She stepped out and noticed the bird perched on the shoulder of a boy standing on the next street.
“Excuse me,” she called out to him. “Can you please wait there? I need to get the parrot back.”
The boy nodded to her with a smile as he stroked the parrot that sat quietly on his shoulder. When Amanda approached the boy, she thanked him. “Thanks for waiting. I think this is my son’s parrot. He seems to like you, though.”
“That’s because I know him. His name is Henry. He used to be my pet, but I sold him to Eric because he gave me his toys.”
“You sold it?” Amanda asked, dumbfounded. “And you know Eric?”
“Yes,” the boy said, nodding his head. “I used to live in an orphanage, but they mistreated me and didn’t feed me well, so I ran away, and now I have to beg on the streets. I met Henry in the park one day, and he has been my friend ever since. But when I was out of food and money, I met Eric, who gave me his toys in exchange for the bird. He said that he wanted a pet. I liked his toys. They were brand new. I sold them and used the money to buy a nice meal.”
When the boy said that, Amanda remembered the conversation she’d had with Eric a few days before he died…
One afternoon, after returning home from school, Eric insisted on having a pet animal like his other friends. Unfortunately, Amanda was not financially secure at the time. In fact, she’d been working a night shift as a nurse, and the pay was barely enough to cover their expenses, so she told Eric she couldn’t get him one.
When Eric heard her mother’s disapproval about buying a pet, he lashed out at her. “What the hell, mom?! Why won’t you get me a pet? You said no to video games last month, and now you’re acting the same way this month! Why are you so rigid in everything?”
“But honey,” Amanda spoke, trembling. “You know we’re having a rough time. I promise I will get you one as soon as I get a good job. Please try and understand.”
“No, mom!” Eric spoke adamantly. “I don’t want to hear your stupid excuses! You act that way because you’re the one who makes money! I swear I’ll never act like you once I start earning money!”
“But honey, listen to me. I just….”
Before Amanda could finish her sentence, Eric cut her off. “To hell with you and your excuses, mom! I don’t care. I HATE YOU! YOU’RE TOO BOSSY, AND THAT’S WHY I HATE YOU! DO YOU GET IT?!”
“Honey…” Amanda tried to talk to Eric again, but it was pointless. The boy had already gone to his room and slammed the door behind him.
“I’m sorry, honey,” Amanda whispered to herself, teary-eyed. “I promise I will get you a pet soon. I don’t want to be bossy. It’s just that….” She sobbed loudly enough for Eric to hear, but the boy didn’t even come out of his room to console his sobbing mother.
Instead, he secretly purchased a pet parrot the next day after trading his limited edition transformers collection that his father had bought for him.
Amanda had no idea her son had a pet because the boy had forbidden his mother from entering his room without his permission. She was also afraid of interfering too much in Eric’s life because she already feared becoming estranged from her son, as had been the case.
As a result, she avoided doing anything that would displease Eric. But who knew fate had something even worse in store for them?
“Oh dear,” Amanda covered her mouth in shock as the boy shared the whole story. “So that’s how Eric got the parrot. By the way, do you have no one to return to? Where do you sleep?”
“It depends,” the boy replied, a faint smile on his face. “Sometimes I sleep in the park, and other times I sleep under a bridge.”
Amanda felt really terrible for the boy after hearing his story. “What’s your name, boy?”
“My name is Christopher, but you can call me Chris,” the boy said.
“Listen, Chris, pay attention to what I’m saying. You’re not going to beg on the streets anymore, okay? We need to notify the police about your orphanage so that they do not mistreat other children.”
“Can we do that?”
“Yes, Chris!” Amanda replied, smiling. “But before that, you need to wash up and eat something, okay?”
The boy nodded at her and accompanied her home. Later, Amanda called the cops and informed them about what Chris told her about the orphanage.
The cops informed social services of the situation, and they took the boy with them shortly after, but Amanda’s heart began to miss Chris as much as it missed Eric. Sometimes when she fed the parrot, she felt as if Eric was still nearby, smiling at her. And the next thing she knew, she was thinking about Chris’s smile and the cheerful boy he was.
So after some thought, Amanda decided to adopt Chris. The adoption process took some time, and two months later, Chris had a new home and a loving mother, while a grieving mother now had a lovely son.
Amanda still feels Eric’s presence around her at times. “Perhaps he, too, is relieved that Chris has found a home,” Amanda thought. However, she still mourns the fact that she was never able to sort things out with Eric.
What can we learn from this story?
Not all heroes wear capes. Amanda’s adoption of Chris demonstrates that there are still people among us who care about others and help them without expecting anything in return, thus appearing as a hero in their lives and saving them.
Make amends before it’s too late. Amanda would never be able to sort things out with Eric, and that’s something she still regrets.
If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about an orphan boy who waits for his mother at a bus stop until a woman gets off the bus and offers him help.