A four-year-old boy, abandoned to his fate, cries and asks for his mother to come back, but the only help he can get is from an old woodsman. Years later, the boy meets his mother again, but this time their roles are reversed.
Jaden Morgan stood in his office in New Jersey, looking out through the floor-to-ceiling windows at the panorama of skyscrapers and rooftops. Twenty-five years had passed, but Jaden had not forgotten his tragic past. He remembered that his mother, Alice, had abandoned him and never picked him in her arms.
When Jaden was four years old, Alice left him to fend for himself in the woods where a small colony of forest rangers lived. At that time, Alice was 20 years old, and she realized she wanted more out of life, which certainly didn’t include caring for a child who was just a memory of failed teenage love.
“Jaden, honey,” she said. “We’re going to play a game, okay? If you wait long enough for Mommy in the woods, she’ll bring you lots of new toys! What do you think?”
“New toys, Mom?” asked Jaden curiously. Alice nodded and smiled at him, and Jaden bought it. “Okay, Mom! I’ll be waiting for you!”
“You’re a good boy, Jaden. The rules of the game are this: you can’t ask anyone for help, and you have to wait for me, okay? The game starts in three, two, one, and Mom is now…” Then Alice left, leaving Jaden and his suitcase in the woods.
“I’m going to win, Mom! I’m going to get new toys!” – Jaden shouted excitedly as she disappeared from his sight. He sat on his suitcase, enthused and wondering what toys he would get. But the whole day passed, and Alice still wasn’t coming back.
It was already dark, and Jaden was frightened. “Mom, please come! Are you there?”
Jaden got up from his suitcase and looked around, but saw no one. At this point he couldn’t hold back the tears and began to cry profusely.
“Mommy, please come! Where are you?” – he repeated and sobbed over and over again, wandering in fear in search of Alice.
Suddenly he heard scraping sounds among the wild bushes that grew chaotically in the forest. He was terrified, thinking it was a wild animal.
Frightened, Jayden took a step back, but suddenly a bright light flashed and he saw an old woodsman standing in front of him. The elderly man was carrying several logs and holding a lantern.
“Boy? What are you doing out here in the woods alone, kid?” – he asked, kneeling down in front of Jayden.
Jaden began to cry even harder and told him everything. “Mom didn’t come for me… She left me alone!”
The old woodsman, whose name was Edward, followed Jaden to where he had been abandoned, picked up his suitcase, and took the boy home. He knew there was a small chance that Alice would return to Jaden.
Edward’s home was a modest shelter that he had built himself out of tree trunks in the woods. It wasn’t big, but it was cozy and warm. Edward offered Jaden hot broth and bread before he fell asleep listening to his story.
Edward himself had had a difficult life: he had lost his wife and child in a house fire. He was so devastated by this loss that he took refuge in the woods to recover. Nature was friendly to him, and the trees, bushes, and shrubs became his life, helping him to overcome his suffering.
The next morning, when Jaden woke up, Edward told him that his mother had left him in her care and would be back soon. “She doesn’t want you to win the game easily,” he said to keep the boy from crying. “But we will win! Chin up!”
Fortunately, Edward had old contacts in the police and social services, so he called them and told them about Jayden’s situation. He insisted on looking after Jaden and raising him if his mother didn’t return.
When Alice didn’t show up for months, Edward took custody of Jaden and raised him as his own. He homeschooled him for a few years, and then placed him in the city school. Edward walked several miles a day to pick up Jayden and take him to school. And on his 13th birthday, he told Jaden the truth.
“Your mother’s not coming back, Jaden,” he said. “I’m sorry I kept the truth from you for so long, but I wanted to tell you when you were old enough to understand…”
To Edward’s surprise, Jaden hugged him and said: “I know, Edward. Do you really think I still believe that Mom will come and bring me toys? No, I don’t. Thank you for loving me and raising me. You are my DAD. And I love you, Daddy!”
The years passed, and Edward and Jaden lived happily together. Edward supported Jaden and sent him to a good university. Jaden did not disappoint Edward. He graduated with honors and became a successful businessman.
And so the day came when Jaden stood in his office, looking out the window. He smiled, thinking that he would soon meet his mother. Finding her hadn’t been easy, but luckily he knew her name, and there were only a few Alices left for him to check on. When he finally found an Alice who looked like the one he remembered, he knew he had found her.
A few moments later, his secretary entered the office with the new clients, and Jaden smiled when he saw them.
“Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Fisher! Pleased to meet you,” he exclaimed, extending his hand for a handshake. Mr. Fisher held out his hand, but Alice did not. Instead, her smile faded as she stared at Jaden’s face. After all, she couldn’t help but recognize her son!
She was afraid that Jaden would reveal their past, but he didn’t. Instead, he dashed the couple’s hopes by canceling the deal they had made and declaring that he would never do business with them.
At this point, Mr. Fisher left the office in a rage, but Alice did not. Instead, she had the nerve to still be angry with Jayden and take her frustration out on him.
“You did it on purpose, didn’t you? You knew who I was! I was right to leave you as a child! You’ve been such a jerk since you were a kid!”
“Well,” Jaden said with a smile. “You can think what you want, Mrs. Fisher. I’m leaving you today, like you left me years ago. I think we’ve settled the score now. NOW GET OUT OF MY OFFICE!”
After that day, Jaden never hoped to see Alice again, but seven years later they met again. He saw her begging in the streets a few blocks from his office. He approached her to give her money.
When he handed her a five-dollar bill, she immediately looked up to thank him, but froze when she recognized him.
“How can you treat your mother like that! Can’t you see I need help?” – she screamed at him in desperation, but he told her only one thing.
“You’re not my mother just because you gave birth to me. Stop acting like you have rights and believing that the world revolves around you. That day, Mother, you didn’t abandon me, you spared me from a terrible relationship and you helped me find someone who really loves me. Good-bye, and I hope our paths don’t cross again,” he added before he left.
Jaden didn’t know what had brought Alice outside, but he didn’t care. Alice got what she deserved.