Son Runs Away from Home at 16, Comes Back at 29 to Find Only a Note in Deserted House

Joey, a 16-year-old with big dreams, left his widowed mother, Flora, to pursue a new life. Thirteen years later, he returned to find his childhood home deserted, with only a half-burnt note as a clue to what happened.

Driven by his ambitions, Joey decided to leave the confines of his rural life. He left a farewell note for Flora beside her old sewing machine.

“Dear Mom, By evening, you’ll be back, but I won’t be home. No, I wasn’t kidnapped; I just finally decided to run away,” Joey wrote in the letter he left behind. “No matter how far I go, I’ll always love you. I’m sorry. Take care. With Love, Joey.”

The familiar sights and sounds of the farm would be missed, but Joey had his backpack strapped on and didn’t look back as he walked away. Flora, unaware of Joey’s plans, spent her day on the farm waiting for him.

Joey felt constrained by farm life and dreamed of becoming a doctor, a dream he believed unattainable if he stayed. His attempts to convince Flora to sell the farm and move to the city were futile, as her attachment to the land and memories of his late father held her back. Joey saw no option but to leave.

As he approached the highway, ready to hitchhike to the city, his mother’s plans for dinner and her voice filled his mind.

Joey’s journey to the city began. On the bus, he pondered his decision, feeling the weight of risking everything. Upon arriving downtown, Joey called his friend Dan, who instructed him to get to his home by taxi. Shocked by the $30 fare, Joey finally arrived at Dan’s house, tired and nearly broke but glad to be welcomed warmly.

Dan reassured him, promising not to charge rent until Joey was settled in his new job at a grocery store. Joey’s spirits lifted at his friend’s words, but his optimism was short-lived when Dan reminded him of rent and food expenses on payday, asking for nearly all of Joey’s earnings.

Winter’s harshness and the realization that his income barely covered living expenses made Joey’s college dreams seem distant. One day, Joey helped an older man, Mr. Clark, who had fallen on an icy patch. Mr. Clark, impressed by Joey’s kindness, offered him a scholarship with stipends for accommodation and food.

The prospect of achieving his dream without financial burden was almost too good to be true. But Mr. Clark was serious, and Joey’s desire to call his mother resurfaced. He hesitated, wanting to have more to tell her. Thirteen years passed…

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