A young boy finds himself out on the streets when his mother throws him out and rescue comes from the most unexpected quarter.
Leona Rodgers believed she was living the perfect life. She was happily married to the man of her dreams and they shared an adorable son. Her husband Lee was a handsome, charming man who made Leona feel like she was living a fairy tale romance.
Unfortunately, one day that fairy tale came to an end. Out of the blue, Lee came home and announced that he was leaving. When the bewildered Leona asked why, Lee was brutally honest.
“Look, babe, we had good times, right? But I met someone else, someone younger.” He smiled that charming smile. “You understand don’t you?”
But Leona didn’t understand at all. She was still in love with her husband. She couldn’t understand how the man who had been so loving and attentive a week ago could suddenly be out of love for her.
Leona plunged into a deep depression, and all she wanted to do was wallow in her pain, but her son Lee Jr., was just eight and he needed her. So Leona was forced to pull herself together.
Lee Jr. was a sweet, loving, bright boy, and he loved his mother, but unfortunately for him, he was a miniature copy of his handsome cheating father. Every time Leona looked at little Lee she was reminded of her pain and humiliation.
So Leona started punishing little Lee for all the pain big Lee had put her through. Big Lee was out of her reach, but little Lee was right there, and he was too young and vulnerable to defend himself.
Leona considered herself a good woman, so she never struck her son, but she made every minute of his every day a misery. Nothing little Lee ever did was good enough for her.
In fact, the harder Lee tried to please his mom the angrier he seemed to make her. Lee’s life got harder and harder over the next two years until his mother met Mark Masterson.
For a while, Leona even seemed to forget that Lee existed. She was in love with a new man who was even more adoring than her first husband had ever been. Finally, life was giving Leona what she felt she deserved.
Mark proposed and Leona accepted joyfully. “Leona,” Mark said, “I promise you that I will love your son as if he were my own.” Leona smiled, kissed Mark, and admired the sparkling ring he’d just put on her finger.
As for Lee, he hoped that Mark would be kind to him, a new dad, someone who’d play catch with him and come to his soccer games. And Mark was all that and more. He sat with Lee and helped him with his homework, and often stepped in when Leona was too harsh.
But if Lee had hoped that being happily remarried would soften his mother’s attitude towards him, he was in for a sad surprise. For Leona, Lee was a bitter reminder of her past unhappiness and failure, and a warning that it could all happen again. So Leona was sweet and sexy and funny with Mark, and harsh and cold and cruel to Lee.
Mark was saddened by her attitude towards the boy, but nothing he said seemed to have an effect — it just made Leona angrier at Lee.
Mark thought that maybe a change of scenery would do them all good, so he bought three tickets to Cancun and booked them in a family resort. He came home and told Leona to pack. “I’m taking us all to Mexico for a week!” Mark said smiling.
“Us all?” Leona asked, surprised, “What do you mean ‘us all’?”
“You and me and Lee,” Mark said. “A proper family holiday!”
Leona was far from happy at Lee’s inclusion in what she’d thought would be a romantic getaway but she hid her chagrin.
The week in Mexico was the best time of Lee’s life! Mark always found a way to include Lee in their activities and even taught him how to surf. In the relaxed atmosphere of their tropical resort, Leona softened.
Lee was delighted. Maybe his mom was changing, becoming the sweet woman she had once been! But once they were back home in Detroit, it was like flipping a switch. The old nasty Leona was back with a vengeance.
One evening, Mark came home from work early to spend some time with Lee only to find him gone. “Leona?” he asked. “Where’s Lee? I told him we’d work on his math, but he’s not in his room.”
“He’s not in the house,” Leona replied in a cold voice.
“He’s gone to Jack’s?” asked Mark.
“He’s gone to hell, for all I care!” Leona cried. “I told him I wanted his room spick and span and it was a pigsty! I’ve had enough Mark, he’s gone!”
“Gone?” Mark was bewildered. “What do you mean gone?”
“I kicked him out!” Leona screamed. “He can go to his no-good father if he can find him!”
“Leona!” Mark gasped. “He’s just 12 years old! You threw him out of the house?”
“It’s my house and my son!” Leona shrieked, “So don’t you dare judge me!”
Mark turned his back and walked out. He went from hospital to hospital for the next eight hours looking for Lee. He visited Lee’s best friend Jack and went to the local police station to file a missing person’s report, but there was no sign of the boy.
Just when he was losing hope, Mark caught sight of a small figure curled up in a doorway close to Lee’s school. It was Lee! He was shivering and soaked through, but he was alive and safe at last.
Mark took Lee to his bachelor pad, tucked him into bed, and fed him hot soup. Over the next week, he nursed the sad little boy back to health. “Mark, why doesn’t my mom love me? What’s wrong with me?” Lee asked.
“Listen, buddy, there’s nothing wrong with you,” Mark told him fiercely. “It’s your mom’s problem, not yours. She doesn’t know what love is.”
Shocked by Leona’s attitude, Mark fell out of love with her and divorced her. He asked for custody of Lee, and a year later, he adopted him as his own boy. As for Leona, she couldn’t understand Mark leaving her.
Leona blamed it all again on Lee, never realizing that she was the only person responsible for her unhappiness.