My Teen Son Got New Clothes & Headphones, Lied That It’s from Dad – I Decided to Follow Him

Cathy is perplexed to see that her son is wearing new clothes and has new headphones on. One day, wanting to discover where or from whom he has been getting everything, she makes the decision to follow him. When she realizes what it is, it takes her back to her childhood.

I just recently realized that my son Alex has been dressing up in new clothes that I did not purchase for him. Yesterday, I saw that he had a new pair of headphones hanging around his neck.

“Please tell me where you purchased the headphones.” I asked while I was making breakfast.

With a shout, he texted back, “From Dad.”

“And the clothes too?”

“Um,” he muttered. Yes, in fact.

It made sense because Alex and I were always gifting Alex new things, making it difficult to keep track of them. I was divorced from Alex’s father, Ian.

Still, Ian was a grounded individual. It was me, not Ian, who went shopping and overspent on things. He usually gave Alex really nice things, especially clothes. But never name brands; Ian hated spending money on them and felt they were a complete waste.

Red Nike Sweater | Source: Unsplash

Unsplash | Source: Sweater by Nike in Red

Since Alex was wearing name brands all of his new clothes, I had my doubts.

Ian said, “Cathy, I don’t know what to tell you,” into the phone. But it was not me. Maybe he picked up a side gig somewhere.

Ian is fourteen years old. That’s more than he could get paid for any part-time work.

Ian comforted me, saying, “I’ll ask him.” “We’ll look into it in great detail.”

I have never wanted to be a mother who micromanages every choice her child takes. However, nothing made sense because Alex couldn’t have obtained the money on his own.

After dinner that night, I overheard Alex whispering into his phone.

He said, “Mom,” as he entered the kitchen. “Okay, so I’m going to my friend Jeremy’s house so we can collaborate on this project,”

Do you really need me to go? With my hands wiped, I asked.

No, it isn’t too far away. I’ll take a walk.

After a short while, he left.

This was my one chance to see if Alex was up to something. He had an early advantage because I was seeing him via the glass.

I grabbed my keys and phone and followed him.

Alex crossed two lanes and got into an unknown car with a blonde woman. I had to move closer since from where I was I could not see her features well.

A realization hit me like a ton of bricks as I got closer to the car and could finally see her face. Standing there, I watched Lia turn her face in the car while holding Alex.

Even though I hadn’t seen her in a while, her golden hair, glittering in the streetlights, framed the face I knew from my early years.

When I discovered that Lia, my sister who had long ago disappeared from our lives, had come back and was now very much a part of my son’s world, I was overtaken with emotion.

Person walking at night | Source: Pixabay

Stroller at night | Source: Pixabay

Background: Lia and I were close till we were teenagers. I had grown into a little replica of my mother, always ready to take care of my dad and run the family. But Lia had turned into a wild adolescent who didn’t give a damn about the law or safety.

The summer after high school, she and her boyfriend had disappeared. For years, my parents and I were unable to locate Lia. The cops told us we could either continue our quest or go on with our lives.

My mother felt as though she had lost her child as she bemoaned Lia. On the other hand, my father became enraged because he thought Lia had betrayed him.

I continued to look for her. After Alex was born, I stopped seeking for leads even though I had become friends with the local police department.

I was finally able to accept Lia’s want to stay anonymous.

But now she was in her car, sitting next to my son.

I walked over, opened the back door, and slipped into the car.

“Mom!” Alex let out a cry. “What brings you here?”

“Why are you here with my son, Lia?” I persisted.

Lia stared at me with her big eyes.

“You disappeared, and now you’re back, using my son to meddle in our lives?”

My long-lost sister’s eyes softened and displayed a complexity that mirrored the convoluted tapestry of our past.

“Nope, Cath,” she answered. “Please don’t get in the way. I found Alex on Facebook and got in touch with him. I thought he could be the one to mend our friendship.

Laptop opened to Facebook | Source: Pexels

The laptop launched Facebook | Source: Pexels

Her words had a lot of weight; they were laced with unsaid pain and unresolved business from a common past.

That’s when, of course, the floodgates opened. I sat back and cried.

You can’t just waltz back into our lives after all these years, I said. “In addition, Alex is not a pawn to help you undo the harm you did.”

Lia’s gaze sank, and for an instant it appeared as though the weight of the past was bearing down on her.

“Cathy, I apologize for my error. Though I’ve changed, I still feel bad about hurting the family and you. And I would appreciate a chance to make amends.

I said nothing. I just sat there and observed, as Alex had turned from the front seat and was staring at me.

“Alex, let’s go outside.”

We walked back home in silence.

When he was done brushing his teeth, he said, “Mom.” Aunt Lia is a pleasant person. She’s been nice to me. She got me the new items, not Dad.

“Why didn’t you tell me about it?” I asked.

“Because I didn’t want to exacerbate your already intense feelings about the split.”

“Oh my gosh,” I exclaimed. It’s not your fault, I said.

“And Aunt Lia has been here, talking to me about everything in the world. I had no idea how I felt when you and Dad got divorced, but Aunt Lia helped me understand. I can see why you find her offensive. But she’s really come through for me.

I went to bed thinking about what Alex had said. He had mentioned the Lia that I was familiar with and adored when I was a little girl—the Lia who would go above and beyond to help someone, even if it was only to listen.

I was also ignorant of Alex’s difficult divorce proceedings. It was barely six months prior. Lia’s involvement with Alex before to approaching me infuriated me, but I was grateful for her help in helping my kid transition to life after the divorce.

Woman sleeping | Source: Pexels

Woman sleeping | Source: Pexels

And my son was someone I knew. His eyes showed love and affection when he spoke about Lia. He had feelings for her. She’d not only purchased him new clothes, but she’d listened to him when he couldn’t understand how his surroundings had changed.

I asked Alex to call Lia the next day and extend an invitation. When we were kids, I had baked her favorite cheesecake—or at least it had. And as we sat and spoke for hours on end, she informed me about her life up to this point.

She was excited to see our parents again, but she was also ready to apologize and discuss everything.

I am still furious with her for what she did. But even though Lia and Alex were new to each other, he trusted her enough to confide in her, so I’m glad he had her support.

A few months later, we had two family brunches with our parents, and they immediately extended their forgiveness to Lia. And it seems that we’re all on the path to repairing our ties to one another as family.

Have you and your siblings ever been apart? What happened

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