Jodie, a working mother who is business-oriented, despises the time her son spends playing video games. Jodie never anticipated the day when she would beg her kid to quit staring at his phone.
When his mother, Jodie, seized the phone from Ben, 11, as he was ready to beat the most recent boss in his game.
Ben yelled, “Give it back!” as he reached for his phone, but Jodie was keeping it out of his hands.
“You use that device far too frequently. You always have your eyes riveted to the screen when I see you. Have you even heard me call to invite you to dinner?
“Pardon me, Mom! I’ll lose everything if you don’t give me my phone back,” Ben pleaded.
“Ben, it’s just a game.” Jodie poked him with her finger. To succeed, you must spend more time in the real world; otherwise, you risk becoming like your useless father.
I don’t have a heart of stone like you do, at least.
How dare you, Jodie cried as her face turned pale and her lips trembled. You don’t seem to appreciate any of the things I go out of my way to give you. Enter your room now.
Ben dashed to his bedroom. He climbed into the wardrobe after grabbing his Naruto plaid off the bed. He felt guilty for upsetting his mother, but she didn’t get it. She only yelled at him.
Ben’s finger was moved through the flimsy beam of light that touched his plaid. His hero would never leave a hurt man behind. Ben could reconcile with his mother if he could use kindness to transform evil into good. After her divorce, she was probably just as lonely as he was.
My mother was cooking. When Ben walked in, she raised her head.
“Mum, can you join me at Comic-Con?” Ben enquired.
comic… what? Jodie scowls.
“I have no time for this nonsense!”
Ben snarled, “You didn’t even ask me when it was coming.” When I genuinely want to do something, you refuse to let me, despite your constant shouting at me for being inactive. You never want to be around me, I tell you!”
Jody was troubled by Ben’s statements for a week. It was challenging to juggle running a business and having kids, but she understood Ben was right. One day, she arrived home early to surprise her kid since she wanted him to feel delighted.
Ben was supposed to go to the park with Jodie. She also purchased donuts for them to enjoy. She took repeated quick glances at her watch while she waited. Ben’s typical arrival time home from school was drawing near, and Jodie started to worry.
Ben was still away from home thirty minutes later. By now, he was typically at home, playing games on his phone or laptop. Jodie bit her fingernails. She never anticipated missing video game sound, but she did. When Jodie called Ben, nobody picked up.
It came out that Ben’s phone battery was dead after 37 calls. Jody was upset because his phone wasn’t working. Between Ben’s room and the living room, she paced before rushing to the garage to get in her car.
Jodie rolled into Ben’s school’s parking lot. She saw Ben’s friends on the playground as she was making her way to the principal’s office.
“When did either of you last see Ben?” Jodie questioned as she approached the playground.
The kids exchanged glances before shrugging. One of them was the only one to advance.
“Ben was with a man wearing a chicken suit the last time I saw him. With him, he departed the school.
The blood in Jodie’s veins froze. The person wearing a chicken suit? What was his appearance?
“Uh, tall, yellow, and feathered,” I said. The moment the boy turned to face his friends, they all started laughing.
Jodie hurried to the school’s principal. She got there just in time to catch the principal as she was leaving.
Jody grabbed her arm and said, “My son has been kidnapped and you have to do something about it.
As she saw Jodie, the principal scowled. I’m sorry, but the school is not in charge of its pupils after hours.
“How are you so uncaring?” Although Jodie knew it would be ineffective, she really wanted to shake the woman until she offered a better answer.
Jodie returned to the vehicle and took the wheel instead. Ben would be located by her. It shouldn’t be too challenging to spot a man wearing a chicken suit. Her son was nowhere to be found as she drove from one end of the town to the other.
Jodie was sobbing. When she noticed the poster on the wall, she was just about to drive up to the police station. During a traffic jam, Jodie applied the brakes. She didn’t care that the cars behind her were honking.
Jodie mumbled, “Comic-con.” I didn’t even inquire as to the date, yet today it is! Ben must be present.
Jodie stepped on the gas and sped out in the direction of the convention center where the event was being held. “Thank you, God, for that sign!”
Jodie realized right once upon entering the structure that she would have a difficult time locating Ben. Adults and children alike filled the space dressed in a variety of outfits, some of which were so ornate that more closely resembled life-sized puppets.
Jodie moved toward the door and ascended some crates adjacent to a display stand. She turned to face the multitude of fantastical beings. Then she noticed it! She could make out a hideous chicken costume in the distance, not too far from the stage. Jodie was faintly aware of it, but she chose to concentrate on the youngster who was pacing close to the chicken.
She leaped to her feet and started to weave through the mob. The scenario was approaching rapidly. The large red dragon jostled Jodie as she tried to avoid it, but she tripped over its tail and fell to the ground.
Jodie fought to stand up as others gathered around her. She feared being trampled, but two fuzzy paws extended and assisted her in standing.
“Miss, are you okay?”
The vivid pink leopard, who had assisted Jodie in standing up, offered tissues to her. Take them so you can make yourself presentable.
“I appreciate it. I’m trying to find my son. Jodie searched the crowd, but she couldn’t find the ugly fowl. He has the chicken with him, I see.
The pink leopard answered, “I haven’t seen a chicken.” “You should inquire whether they can issue a statement to assist you in locating your son. The information box, I believe, is in place.
The pink leopard pointed out her route of travel, but she had a more intelligent plan. Jodie approached the stage and ascended it. She was halted by a security guard who suddenly emerged.
Jodie begged the guard, “I need the editor-in-chief to issue a statement. “Please, I need your help; my son is here and I can’t find him.”
Jodie’s cheeks were wet as she spoke. She felt awkward and out of place, but she had to find Ben and give him a hug. She would never let go of him once she had him in her arms.
The security officer felt sorry for Jodie. He let her speak to the event’s organizer.
Can eleven-year-old Ben come up to the stage?
“Your mother is worriedly searching for you.”
The event host repeated the announcement while Jodie stood on the steps going to the stage and observed the attendees. Though only a short while had elapsed, it seemed like hours before Jodie found her son among the crowd.
Until she observed the ugly chicken sitting next to Ben, her heart was filled with delight. When the man removed his disguise, Jodie recognized her ex-husband Chris and was overcome with a burning hatred. She now understood why she had recalled the revolting costume: he had used it to distribute leaflets for a fast food restaurant after losing his job at a marketing firm.
Chris walked over to her and begged, “Pls don’t punish Ben. “I just wanted to be with him,” he said.
“Mom, don’t get mad.” Jodie gave Ben her hand. “I asked Daddy since you indicated you didn’t want to go. See the awesome Naruto outfit he created for me?
“I didn’t agree to let you see our son,” she said. Jodie gazed at Chris while visibly shaken by emotion. In actuality, nobody even informed me of this arrangement. You too!” She turned her attention to Ben. Why didn’t you pick up the phone? I made several calls. I was going crazy with worry!”
“Mom, I’m sorry. Ben embraced Jodie. “I had so much fun with Dad, I completely forgot about my phone. Would you kindly join us?
Jodie looked at her son in amazement. Ben never left home without his phone or his games. She had hoped he would forget his phone, and the fact that he said so gave her hope.
“Yes, please join us,” Chris said.
Jodie took turns looking at her husband and son, who were staring at her with puppy dog eyes. She could never resist that pleading look.
“But I don’t have a costume to wear,” Jodie said, pointing to her dress.
Chris reached under the wing of his suit and pulled out a roll of cloth, which he handed to Jodie. When she saw the brown wig with distinctive tufts on either side, a wave of tenderness swept over her heart.
“Princess Leia. You remembered my favourite movie.” Then she noticed the unevenness in one of the hemlines. “You sewed that for me?”
Chris gave her a smile. Behind them, the event host announced the start of the competition and Ben immediately insisted on entering. As Ben hurried to the stage, Chris pulled Jodie aside.
“Look, Jodie, we need to talk.” Chris sat down on the grass and invited Jodie to sit beside him. “People get married and divorced all the time. It’s normal these days. But if our love for each other has faded, we still have a child together that we both love very much.”
“I know we’ve had our differences, but I respect you as Ben’s mum. I was glad Ben stayed with you because you make more money and can give him more, but I still want to be part of his life.” Chris looked at her seriously. “I have a good job now and I want to see him at least once a week, please.”
Jodie wiped the tears from her cheeks.
“This is important to me, Jodie.” Chris put his hand on top of hers. “Think about what a good example we can set for Ben by showing him how well we can communicate despite the fact that we’re divorced. The fact that we still respect each other will help him be happy when he gets married one day. Don’t you want him to be happy?”
“Of course I do, Chris. I want him to be as happy as we are.” Jodie looked into Chris’s eyes. She felt a familiar warmth sweep over her as he approached her. As she moved towards him to give him the kiss she felt was going to happen, a big red bird fell on them.
“Sorry!” The bird ran off, leaving Chris and Jodie looking at each other awkwardly.
“We should go and support Ben at the competition,” Chris said.
Jodie nodded and they hurried to the stage, arriving in time to see Ben with a wide grin on his face giving a thumbs up.
“I never give up!” – Ben exclaimed.
“Naruto! Naruto!” – shouted Jodie and Chris. Soon the whole crowd joined in their shouts. On stage, Ben looked like he was about to burst with happiness.
After that day, everything changed. Ben spent time with Chris once or twice a week, which allowed Jodie to relax. Ben was no longer tied to his phone and spent more time with family and friends. Jodie and Chris gradually built a strong co-parenting relationship that continued to strengthen even after they were married to new partners.