Art is a great way for children to express themselves honestly. But when Steve's mom saw his worrying drawings, she realized that something was wrong. Finally she knew what he was so upset about! But she didn’t see her son’s artwork before it was too late…
Steve Was a Lonely Kid
Steve was a young kid who in some ways had it all. His dad was the bass player of a popular rock band that had found success touring around the world. His mom was a homemaker who was always busy with Steve and his siblings. But despite this comfortable life in Vermont, Steve often felt lonely.
Steve Didn’t Have Many Friends
Although he was a nice kid who was friendly with his classmates, Steve didn’t have many close friends at school. He tried to make friends but it always seemed like he was just acquaintances with his classmates, never good friends. His classmates didn’t dislike him but thought he was a little odd.
His Dad Went Out on Tour
One day in November, Steve’s dad left home to go out on a two-month long tour across the east coast of the United States. Steve would miss his dad terribly and was especially distraught that his father would be away from home on Christmas. Steve’s dad promised to call him as often as he could.
Steve Was Upset
Steve knew his dad needed to go on tour and make a living but he was still sad every time his dad left home. Steve’s mom was always attentive but she had four children to take care of and couldn’t devote all of her time to him.
Steve’s Dad Was His Best Friend
Since he didn’t have many friends at school and was years apart in age from his younger siblings, he often felt like his dad was the one person in the world he could really bond with. So when his dad left home, it was especially difficult.
They Played Guitar Together
Steve’s dad was a bass player and would teach Steve how to play sometimes. His dad had one bass guitar in particular that he loved. He always took it out on tour with him. But this time, his dad had accidentally left it behind. Steve ran to his mom to tell her what happened.
His Mom Told Him It Was OK
Steve’s mom said that his dad had realized he had forgotten his guitar but that it wasn’t a big deal. He didn’t need it. Steve felt otherwise. He knew his father always brought that guitar out on tour. He believed his father needed that guitar. But Steve’s mom insisted it was fine.
Steve Hatches A Plan
That night, Steve worked up a plan in his mind. It might be a little dangerous and he would definitely get in trouble but he felt like he had to do it. He was old enough to go to school on his own, and his mom even allowed him to walk into town by himself sometimes. He felt like he could pull this off.
Steve Puts His Secret Plan Into Action
This next morning, Steve ate breakfast and got ready for school like always. He told his mom that he had been thinking about what he wanted to get his dad for Christmas. His mom thought that was sweet and encouraged him to come up with some ideas. Then Steve headed out to catch his school bus.
His Mom Had No Idea What Would Happen
Steve’s mom couldn’t have guessed what Steve would do next. Steve’s plan would create so much drama and confusion. If only she had sensed that something was up, they could’ve avoided the whole mess. But that morning, she had no idea what her mischievous son was planning.
The Beginning of Steve’s Plan
Steve went outside with his younger siblings to wait for the school bus. But then he told them he forgot a textbook and had to run back inside. He told them to get on the bus and not to wait up for him. They were a little surprised but trusted their older brother. So when Steve went back to the house, they all boarded the bus as usual.
Steve Sneaks Inside His House
Steve ran around the corner of his house and watched his siblings board the school bus. Then, he snuck around back and entered his house through a sliding glass window that he knew would be unlocked. His mom was eating breakfast in the kitchen and had no idea Steve was inside.
Steve Grabs the Guitar
Steve stealthily snuck inside his father’s music room and grabbed the bass guitar his father had forgotten to bring on tour. He carefully packed it inside a case. Then he quietly snuck back outside through the sliding glass door. So far, his plan was working. His mom had no idea what he was up to.
Steve Sneaks Into Town
With the guitar in hand, Steve quickly headed down the street towards town. His house was only a few blocks away from a downtown area that had restaurants and shops. Steve had walked into town before and his parents trusted him to go alone sometimes. He wondered if they would trust him again once they found out about his plan.
Steve Goes to the Train Station
Steve arrived in town and quickly headed towards the train station. He was on a mission. Nobody seemed to pay much attention to him. They probably thought he was just on his way to school. But Steve had other plans. He arrived at the train station and approached a ticket machine.
Steve Buys a Ticket
Steve had never actually used the ticket machine before but he had seen his mom use it many times. He entered the destination and paid with some cash he had saved up. The machine spat out a ticket. Steve was on his way to New York City.
Steve Boards the Train
As Steve boarded the train into Manhattan, a million thoughts were racing through his mind. What would his parents think when they found out what he had done? He figured he would get into a lot of trouble. He was also nervous about the next part of his plan. Getting into town and on the train was one thing, the next part of his plan would be far more complicated.
Steve Arrives in New York City
A few hours later, Steve arrived in New York City. He immediately became nervous and wondered if his plan was a bad idea. He didn’t know where to go and hadn’t spent much time in the city before. What if he got lost? He was taking a huge risk with this plan. But it was too late to turn back.
Steve Gets Lost
Steve knew where he needed to go, Madison Square Garden, but he soon got lost. He tried to find the right streets but kept going the wrong way. Eventually he found it. Now he just needed to figure out a way to get inside. He had no idea how he would pull it off.
Steve Tries to Sneak Inside
Steve walked around Madison Square Garden and wondered if there was a way to get inside. He knew there would be security guards around preventing people from getting inside. But he wondered if maybe he could convince someone to let him in. He had to try. After all, he’d come this far already.
Steve Talks to a Security Guard
Steve found a security guard near one of the entrances and approached him. The guard seemed a little surprised to see a kid with a guitar case. Steve said he was the son of one of the band members performing tonight and he had something for his dad. The security guard asked Steve if he was by himself.
Steve is Forced to Lie
Steve lied to the security guard and said he was with his dad. He said that his dad had told him to drop off his guitar inside. The security guard seemed suspicious of this story. The guard then talked to someone over a walkie talkie. After a few minutes, he told Steve he could go inside but had to go straight to the dressing room.
Steve’s Plan Works
Steve couldn’t believe his plan had worked thus far. The security guard opened up the entrance and took Steve to the dressing room. Steve thought his dad would be surprised to see him but hopefully wouldn’t be too mad. Steve was both nervous and excited as he approached the dressing room.
Steve’s Plan Falls Apart
But then Steve’s plan started to fall apart. As he approached the dressing room, he realized his dad wasn’t there yet. Steve’s dad was scheduled to perform later that night but Steve thought his dad would be at the arena already. The security guard showed Steve where to leave the guitar case.
Steve Leaves Something for His Dad
Steve put the guitar case on a table in the dressing room. Then he reached into his back pocket and pulled out an envelope that said “Dad” on the front. He had made a special message for his father that he intended to give him in person. But he supposed his dad would see it later that day.
Steve Leaves the Arena
With that, the security guard escorted Steve back outside. The guard asked if Steve was okay and knew where to go. Steve lied again and said he was going to meet his dad across the street. The guard said okay. Steve scampered off across the street, hoping the guard wouldn’t chase after him.
Steve Heads Back to the Train Station
Steve then retraced his steps and made it back to the Moynihan Train Station. He bought a ticket home and waited for his train. Steve had planned to see his dad but his plan hadn’t worked. He didn’t know what hotel his dad was staying at. So he figured he would have to just head home and probably get in a lot of trouble when his mom found out what happened.
Steve Boards His Train
After waiting for a while, Steve went to Gate 13 to board his train. He took a seat and looked out the window. He was sad that he hadn’t even been able to see his dad. After the stunt he pulled, he’d be in a lot of trouble. But it wouldn’t be worth it without getting to hang out with his dad.
The Train Leaves
Steve sighed as the train left the station. He knew he was in big trouble but thought maybe his mom would take pity on him. As the train slowly left New York City and headed into the mountains, Steve drifted off to sleep. Little did he know everything was about to go from bad to worse.
Steve Wakes Up
Hours later, Steve woke up to find a train conductor shaking him. The conductor was asking to see Steve’s ticket. Steve quickly sat up and handed the conductor his ticket. The conductor glanced at the ticket, then at Steve. He asked Steve if an adult was with him. Steve lied and said his mom was meeting him at the station in Vermont.
Steve Becomes Terrified
The conductor then told Steve that he was on the wrong train. The train to Vermont left from Gate 12, not Gate 13. Steve was on his way to Massachusetts. Steve was terrified and shocked. How had he made such a careless mistake? He had no idea what to do next. The conductor told him to wait there.
The Conductor Helps Steve
The conductor came back a few minutes later and told Steve he could take the train to Boston, then another train conductor would meet him there when he got off and make sure to put him on the right train to Vermont. Steve thanked the conductor many times and apologized for boarding the wrong train.
Steve’s Mom Panics
Meanwhile, back in Vermont, Steve’s mom got a call from the school. They said they needed her to confirm that Steve was out sick since he didn’t show up for school that day. A wave of panic flooded over her. She said Steve wasn’t sick and should be at school.
The School Searches for Steve
The principal of the school was notified of the situation and quickly sprang into action. She ordered the entire school be searched up and down for Steve. All the teachers were told to make sure he wasn’t around. The principal searched every classroom, every closet, the gym, and the cafeteria. Steve was nowhere to be found.
Steve’s Mom Searches the House
Steve’s mom frantically searched the house. She couldn’t find Steve anywhere. She grabbed her coat and ran out the door. She jumped into her car and sped off to the school. She thought she was living a nightmare. How could her son have gone missing? Something like this had never happened to her before.
Steve’s Mom Meets with the Principal
When Steve’s mom reached the school, she immediately ran into the principal’s office. They both informed each other they’d looked everywhere and couldn’t find Steve. The principal confidently told Steve’s mom that they would find Steve and not to panic. But Steve’s mom was terrified by the situation. She wasn’t sure what to do next.
Steve Arrives in Boston
Meanwhile, Steve’s train finally arrived in Boston. It was past the end of the school day now. Steve knew he was in big trouble back at home. He was worried that his mom would panic. He had planned to be home by the time school ended but knew he screwed up big time by boarding the wrong train.
Steve Boards the Correct Train
The train conductor in Boston made sure Steve boarded the correct train. There was barely any time to catch the train so Steve and the conductor rushed to make sure he’d be on it. Steve gave the conductor his home phone number and asked if the conductor would call to tell his mom he was on his way home. The conductor promised to make the call.
The Conductor Calls Steve’s Home
The conductor called Steve’s home but nobody was there. Steve’s mom was at the school with the principal. So the conductor left a message. As Steve rode the train back to Vermont, he became increasingly worried about what was happening back home. He didn’t mean to upset his mom. He felt awful and vowed to never pull a stunt like this again.
Steve’s Mom Calls His Dad
Steve’s mom and the principal had decided the best thing to do would be for them to alert the police. So they did. Then Steve’s mom went home to wait for Steve there while the principal kept an eye out at the school. Meanwhile, the police would search around town for Steve. Steve’s mom video called Steve’s dad to let him know what was happening.
Steve’s Mom Talks to His Dad
As Steve’s mom video called her husband, he was headed into the dressing room of Madison Square Garden. He answered the call and was stunned by what his wife told him. He was worried beyond belief. But then he saw it: an envelope that said “Dad.” He ran over to the envelope.
Steve’s Dad Opens Steve’s Note
With Steve’s mom still on the phone, Steve’s dad opened the note Steve had left him. Inside the envelope was a hand-drawn card from Steve. It read “Dear Dad, here’s an early Christmas gift. Can’t wait until you are home again. Love, Steve.” The drawing on the card was of Steve and his dad together with the bass guitar beneath a Christmas tree.
Steve’s Mom Bursts Into Tears
When Steve’s mom saw what Steve had drawn on the card, she burst into tears. All at once, she realized what had happened. Steve had snuck off into the city to drop off his dad’s bass guitar. She was shocked he had done this. But she knew he did it only because he missed his dad. Now Steve was missing. The realization of all of this was so overwhelming that she couldn’t stop crying.
Steve’s Mom Arrives Home
Still wiping the tears from her face, Steve’s mom arrived home. She called out for Steve but he wasn’t there. Then she checked the home phone for messages. She listened to the train conductor’s message about Steve’s whereabouts. She started crying again out of sheer relief. She knew where Steve was now.
The Conductor’s Message
The conductor’s message said what time Steve would be arriving at the train station in Vermont. Steve’s mom realized his train was scheduled to arrive in only 10 minutes. Filled with joy and relief, she ran back out to her car and drove off to the train station to pick up her son.
Steve’s Mom Calls Everyone
Steve’s mom called her husband to let him know what was happening. He was just as relieved as his wife. He asked her to call him right away as soon as she had picked up Steve. She promised she would. Then he hung up and looked down at the note Steve left him and burst into tears.
Steve Arrives at the Train Station
As Steve’s train arrived at the station in Vermont, he was filled with fear. He knew his mom would be furious at him. He was afraid of the consequences he was about to face. But he knew he had it coming. He had done something very wrong, and he knew it.
Steve Sees His Mom
As Steve got off the train, he spotted his mom running towards him. He cried out, “Mom!” She ran up to him and scooped him up in her arms, crying. She thanked God for bringing back her boy to her. Steve started crying as well, apologizing profusely. His mom had never hugged him so tight before.
Steve’s Mom Tells Her Husband Steve is Safe
Steve’s mom then video called Steve’s dad to show him Steve was now safe and sound. His dad’s eyes filled up with tears when he saw his son. He knew then and there that he would never be away for Christmas again. The thought of his son being in danger simply because he missed his dad was almost too much to bear.
Steve Goes Home
Steve and his mom went home. His siblings were all happy to see him. As he reunited with his family, he promised his mom he would never scare her like this again. Steve’s mom held him tight. In between hugs, she said she had never been happier to see him but also that he was grounded for a month. He and his mom both laughed.
The events of this story are entirely fictional and are products of the author’s imagination. Images included are meant for illustration purposes only. Any resemblance to actual events, places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.