“Alan, honey, why don’t you play with your siblings?” his mother asked.
Like most kids his age, Alan didn’t like spending time with his siblings and parents. It was Christmas Eve when his younger siblings were playing their favorite video game in the living room and wanted Alan to join them.
“Mom, he never plays with us!” one of Alan’s brothers complained.
The teenager looked at his brother and rolled his eyes, pretending not to hear his mother’s words. He didn’t want to play with his siblings and it bothered him to see his mother supporting them.
“It’s okay, Alan,” his mother said. “Why don’t you help me pack these Christmas presents for the party tomorrow.”
“Yes, we could really use your help right now,” Alan’s father added.
“I’m fine here,” the youngster replied. “I don’t want to do anything.”
Alan’s mother frowned after hearing his response.
“Why honey?” she asked worriedly. “Is something wrong? Something seems to be bothering you, what is it?”.
The last thing Alan wanted was to answer his mother’s questions. Like other teenagers, his behavior changed after he reached puberty. He had become rebellious and didn’t want to be around his siblings or parents. He only enjoyed the company of his friends and felt that his family did not allow him to live independently.
“Nothing, Mom,” Alan replied as he scrolled aimlessly on his phone.
As he continued to look at his phone sitting on the couch, he felt someone’s hands on his shoulders. When he looked around, he saw his mother standing behind him.
“My baby!” she said as she ran her fingers through his hair. “I know you’re hiding something from us, but I won’t force you to tell us what it is.”
“Mom, please!” he replied rudely.
“What’s the matter, honey? I’m just…”
“I’m tired of you!”.
“I want you to leave me alone!” cried Alan. “I’m so tired of you people sticking your noses into my life – I want to live alone!”.
No one in the room thought Alan would suddenly have a seizure. His siblings and parents watched him in silence as he made his way to his room upstairs.
He entered his room and closed the door.
“I’m so tired of this!” he said before jumping into his bed and closing his eyes to sleep.
The next morning, Alan woke up and went downstairs to ask his mother for breakfast. To his surprise, neither his siblings nor his parents were home.
“Mom, Dad?” he called out, but no one answered.
“I thought they wanted to take me to the party, too. Why did they leave me alone?” he wondered.
Then he opened the refrigerator and took out the leftovers from dinner. I’m glad they left me alone, he analyzed before putting the plate in the microwave.
Alan played video games and watched his favorite cartoons for the next few hours. He was happy to have the house to himself, but soon, he realized he needed his parents’ help.
I guess I should call them and ask them where they are, Alan thought and picked up his phone. First he called his mother, but her phone was turned off.
“That’s weird,” he thought and called his father.
To his surprise, he couldn’t reach his father either because his number was disconnected.
“What am I going to have for dinner now?” said Alan. “I don’t know how to cook anything.”
Alan had always relied on his mother for meals because she always cooked for the family. He had never even cooked an egg in his life. At that moment, he wished his mother was home.
Since he could not reach his parents by phone, he tried to satiate his hunger by eating an apple. Suddenly, he heard the doorbell ring.
“Oh, finally, Mom and Dad are back!”. He was glad and rushed to open.
When Alan opened the door, he saw one of his neighbors standing in the doorway.
“Hi, Mr. Andres!”, Alan smiled at him.
“Hi, Alan, could you ask your dad to move his truck? It’s blocking my driveway,” Andres said politely as he looked over Alan’s shoulder.
“Dad’s truck? He’s not home.”
“Okay, then ask your mom.”
“Well, Mom’s not home either.”
“They’re not home? Oh, God!”.
At that point, Alan felt helpless because he didn’t know how to drive.
“I guess I’ll have to call the police to have your father’s truck removed,” Andres complained and left.
Alan couldn’t help but feel guilty because he couldn’t do anything to help his neighbor. He realized that living alone wasn’t as easy as he thought it would be, and there were so many things he couldn’t do without his parents’ help.
He watched as the tow truck pulled his father’s truck out of Andres’ driveway and wished his parents were home that day. Later that night, Alan couldn’t help but wonder how he depended on his parents for so many things. He realized he was incomplete without them and wished they would come home soon.
The next morning, Alan woke up and heard his siblings talking in the hallway.
“Oh my God, they’re back!” he exclaimed and ran out of his room. When he came downstairs, he immediately hugged his parents.
“I’m sorry for everything I said to you that day,” Alan apologized. “I shouldn’t have spoken to you so rudely.”
Alan’s mother smiled and hugged him while his father patted him on the back.
“I spent the whole day alone yesterday and realized I’m nothing without my family,” Alan cried.
“Come on, honey. Stop crying,” his mother told him, as she gave him a kiss on the cheek.
“We left yesterday to teach you a lesson,” his father said. “We wanted to show you that living alone isn’t easy, especially when you’re a teenager.”
“I know, Dad,” Alan said. “You guys do so much for me. I took it all for granted.”
That day, Alan realized he couldn’t survive without his siblings and parents. After spending a day alone, Alan never misbehaved with his parents again or told his siblings to leave him alone. He realized the importance of family and never wanted to live without them.