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The boy, no older than six, was sitting in the bus alone | Source: Midjourney
The boy, no older than six, was sitting in the bus alone | Source: Midjourney

Bus Driver Finds a Kid Abandoned in the Backseat, Claiming to Be His Son — Story of the Day

Mariia Kobzieva
Jun 04, 2024
04:45 A.M.

Jack had just finished his shift and parked his bus at the depot when he noticed a small boy in the back seat. Walking closer, he saw his scared eyes. The kid whispered, "You're Jack, right? Mom said you're my dad." Hearing this, Jack felt like the ground was moving under his feet.

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Jack's life was defined by the relentless rhythm of his bus route, which circled the town like a carousel that never stopped. Each day, the sun would climb the sky only to descend until the bus was as empty as the life he led outside it.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

Jack penned the words of his own novel in one of these quiet evenings, bathed in the soft glow of a solitary lamp. His fear of sharing it with the world grew as the manuscript grew.

“Who would want to read about dreams when they can barely stand their realities?” Jack muttered to himself one evening, staring down at his completed manuscript. It lay there, a stack of pages that felt as heavy as his heart.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

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His days were a sequence of stops and starts until that fateful evening when the unexpected happened.

As Jack switched off the engine at the depot, a small voice broke the quiet of the night: “Please, don’t let them take me away.”

Jack turned to see the boy, no older than six, clutching a frayed teddy bear. His heart skipped a beat. “Hey there, what are you doing here so late, buddy?”

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

The boy sniffled, “You’re Jack, right? Mom said you’re my dad.”

Jack’s world, which had orbited so predictably around his daily routines, suddenly tilted. Questions raced through his mind, but he swallowed them, focusing on the child’s immediate need.

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“What’s your name?” Jack’s voice was gentle, trying to mask his shock.

“Sam,” the boy mumbled, tightening his grip on the teddy bear.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

“And where’s your mom, Sam?” Jack asked, stepping closer.

“She’s... she’s gone to heaven. She told me to find you.” Sam’s eyes were hopeful yet scared.

Jack knelt beside him, placing a reassuring hand on his shoulder. “Okay, Sam, you can stay with me tonight. We’ll figure this out tomorrow, I promise.”

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

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Driving home, Jack kept glancing in the rearview mirror at Sam, who had fallen asleep, his face peaceful against the window. Jack’s thoughts, however, were anything but calm. He was a bus driver, not a father. He wasn’t prepared for this.

Arriving at his apartment, Jack carried Sam inside and tucked him into the couch, covering him with a soft blanket. Jack tried to sleep but found himself lying awake, staring at the ceiling.

For illustration purposes only | Source: pixabay

For illustration purposes only | Source: pixabay

***

As the first morning light sifted through the blinds, Jack quietly approached the small, worn backpack that Sam had clutched tightly when he arrived.

"There must be something here to help me understand," he whispered as he gently unzipped it.

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The backpack contained a child’s treasures: crayons, a few dog-eared children's books, and a few stones from the park. But beneath these items, Jack's hands found a sealed envelope.

His hands trembled slightly as he pulled out the letter, addressed simply to "Jack."

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

The handwriting was familiar; it was from Anna, a girl he’d loved at university, whose smile had faded from his life as quickly as their graduation caps had fallen back to earth.

"I’m not here anymore," the letter read, "but our little boy needs you. I’ve seen you from afar, how you live alone, how much love you have to give. Please take care of our Sam. He knows all about you. I’ve told him every story, and he loves you already. I do not want my mother to take care of Sam. She has always been greedy, and under her care, Sam would likely never experience the kind of love he deserves."

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Jack sat down heavily, the letter falling to his lap. Outside, the world was waking up, but inside, Jack’s world was reshaping itself around the reality of a son he never knew he had.

He looked at Sam, still sleeping peacefully on the couch. Jack's thoughts spun. He knew little about raising a child; his life had never demanded such responsibility.

"I can't be a good father for you, Sammy."

For illustration purposes only | Source: pixabay

For illustration purposes only | Source: pixabay

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***

When Sam's eyes finally fluttered open, Jack offered a reassuring smile.

"Morning, Sam. Did you sleep okay?" he asked gently.

Sam nodded, rubbing the sleep from his eyes. "Yeah."

After a moment of silence, Jack had to take the next step.

"Sam, I'm going to call a place where they care for kids to ensure you're okay until we figure things out."

Sam's eyes widened, "Are you going to send me away?"

"No, no, not like that," Jack hurried to reassure him, realizing his words might have sounded harsh.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

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"I just want to talk to them and get some advice on how to do this together. I’m here for you, Sam. We’re in this together, okay?"

Sam nodded, and Jack put down the phone without making the call. Today was not a day for calls. It was a day for father and son.

"How about we spend the day together? Just you and me," Jack suggested with a smile.

Sam's face lit up. "Really? Can we go to the park and maybe have lunch outside?"

Jack smiled, "Absolutely."

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

***

They headed to the local park. It was a beautiful day; Sam ran ahead, laughter echoing as he chased a fluttering butterfly. Jack watched, his heart warming with every giggle and shout from Sam. It was like seeing the world anew through the eyes of a child.

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At lunchtime, they walked to a nearby café, a small, cozy place where Jack had often had lunch alone. Inside, the smell of freshly baked bread and coffee filled the air.

For illustration purposes only | Source: pixabay

For illustration purposes only | Source: pixabay

They chose a table near the window, and Sam, still buzzing with energy, noticed a waitress' face behind the counter.

"That's Suzie!" Sam exclaimed, pointing. "She looks just like the lady in your story!"

Jack glanced towards the counter where Suzie, a young woman with a bright smile, was serving customers. His heart skipped a beat; he often came here just to catch a glimpse of her. He shyly averted his eyes, hoping she hadn’t noticed his lingering stares.

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"You think so?" he murmured to Sam, his voice barely above a whisper.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Suzie noticed their exchange and waved back, going over to their table. "Hello there! What can I get for two handsome gentlemen today?" she asked with a warm smile.

Sam took the lead in their conversation. "Jack writes stories, and you're in one of them!" he declared proudly. Suzie looked amused. "Oh, is that so? I'm a character in a story?"

Jack's face turned a shade of red. "Sam has a vivid imagination."

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

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But Sam was insistent, his excitement undeterred. "Why don’t you join us for lunch, Suzie?"

Suzie laughed, her eyes sparkling. "I’d love to, but I'm still on the clock. How about a fruit tea with you both during my break instead?" Sam agreed eagerly, and Jack, despite feeling embarrassed, nodded. "That would be nice," he said.

As they waited, Sam leaned closer to Jack, whispering enthusiastically.

"Life’s about doing fun things, Dad, not just watching someone else do them!"

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

When Suzie joined them with her tea, the atmosphere lightened. Sam didn’t hesitate. "You’re the heroine of my dad’s novel. He wrote about a waitress who spreads warmth everywhere she goes!"

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Jack, mortified, tried to silence him. "Sam, please don’t make up stories."

But Sam recited a passage from Jack's manuscript that vividly described a kind-hearted waitress remarkably similar to Suzie. "She smiles; just like that, winter melts into spring."

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Suzie's eyes widened with surprise. "That's beautiful, Jack. You really should consider getting it published."

Caught between embarrassment and irritation, Jack muttered, "It’s not ready. It might never be."

"But it is!" Sam insisted. "You're a great writer, Dad." Feeling overwhelmed and anxious, Jack quickly left money on the table, apologized to Suzie for the abrupt departure, and took Sam by the hand.

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"It's time to go home, Sam."

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

As they left the café, Jack's mind was a whirlwind of emotions. Sam’s words, his encouragement, lingered in his thoughts. Maybe, just maybe, it was time to face his fears—not just for his sake, but for Sam's too.

***

The morning sun barely lit the sky when a sharp knock echoed through Jack's small living room. He opened the door. Linda, Anna's mother, stood on his doorstep.

"Jack, Sam has run away from my house. You must be hiding him here!" Linda accused, trying to peer around him as if searching for evidence of her grandson.

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Recognition dawned on Jack as memories flooded back. He remembered Linda from their only encounter years ago at the university graduation. She had approached him with a cold look, subtly demanding that he leave her daughter Anna alone.

"We are moving abroad," she had said then, marking the end of his relationship with Anna. Jack had always wondered if Linda had engineered their separation, cutting short what could have been.

Now, seeing her after all these years, pieces of the past clicked into place.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

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"Linda, I didn’t know I had a son. He was left on my bus. He’s safe; that’s all that matters right now," Jack responded. Linda glanced past him at Sam sitting quietly on the couch, watching the scene unfold with wide, fearful eyes.

"Well, I've begun the process of getting legal custody of him. He's coming with me now," she declared, stepping forward.

Sam jumped up and ran to Jack, clutching his hand tightly. "No, please! I want to stay with Dad!" he cried.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

Jack knelt, trying to calm Sam, "It’s going to be okay, buddy. I promise."

Linda came closer to Sam. "Come now, Sam. This is for the best. You need a stable home."

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"But he is my dad! He cares about me!" Sam protested, his tears beginning to spill over as he gripped Jack’s hand even tighter.

Linda sighed, "I know this is hard, but it’s the adults' decision now." Sam let go of Jack’s hand and took his grandmother's, casting a longing look back at Jack as they walked away.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

***

Seeking solace, Jack later found himself at the local cafe. Suzie immediately noticed his somber mood. "Jack, what’s wrong?" She brought a cup of coffee, setting it before him with a gentle hand.

"It’s Sam. His grandmother took him. She's started the custody process," Jack explained.

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Suzie’s voice softened, "I’m so sorry, Jack. But remember, this isn’t over yet. You can fight for him."Jack looked up, meeting Suzie's eyes.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

"I don’t know if I can... What if I'm not what Sam needs? What if I fail him?"

"You won’t know until you try, Jack. And I’ve seen how Sam looks at you. You’re already what he needs. Moreover, you have a few friends here who see your worth, even if you don’t see it yourself," Suzie smiled.

He nodded, feeling a flicker of hope stir within. "Okay. Let’s do this. For Sam."

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

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***

In the days following, Jack focused on solidifying his new role as Sam's guardian. He prepared all necessary documents, ensuring everything was for any potential home inspections that might be part of the guardianship verification process.

With Suzie's help, Jack also transformed his apartment to make it more suitable for a child. They painted the walls of Sam's new room and set up a cozy study area with a sturdy desk and shelves filled with books suited to Sam's age.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

They hung colorful posters of superheroes and vibrant landscapes, making the room a welcoming space that any child would dream of.

Suzie was a pillar of support, encouraging Jack every step of the way. Inspired by her, Jack took another significant step by submitting his manuscript to a literary agency.

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When Jack felt he had done everything possible, an envelope arrived from the literary agency. His heart raced as he tore it open.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

The letter inside was an offer to collaborate and publish his novel. Jack read the letter several times.

He was excited about how quickly his life started to change. But he was still ready to face the difficulties because the most crucial question needed to be resolved. Jack waited for the court decision to hug Sam again.

***

The courtroom was steeped in silence. Jack's gaze often drifted to where Sam sat, a small, anxious figure with his feet barely touching the floor. Suzie offered a steady stream of supportive smiles. The judge looked over his glasses, capturing the attention of everyone present.

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"In Samuel's guardianship," he began, "this court decides that Jack..."

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

At that moment, the rest of the world faded for Jack. The judge's words became a distant hum as tears streamed down his cheeks. For the first time, Jack fully grasped the depth of his love for the boy.

Across the room, Linda's face twisted into a scowl of displeasure. Without a backward glance at her grandson, she briskly exited the courtroom.

Sam's face lit up with a radiant smile, and he dashed towards Jack, throwing his arms around him. A soft sob could be heard somewhere in the background.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

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"We did it, buddy. We're officially a family now," Jack whispered into Sam's ear, holding him close.

Sam's "Yes!" rang out, drawing gentle laughter from some courtroom staff.

Later, Jack, Suzie, and Sam walked through the park, the world around them seemingly more vivid. Jack briefly revisited the letter from the literary agency: "We believe your novel has significant potential."

The setting sun cast a warm, golden glow around them, and Jack knew it was the perfect moment. He took Suzie's hand.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

"Suzie," he began, his voice trembling, "you've been with us through everything, supporting us, believing in us. I can't imagine a day without you." Tears shimmered in Suzie's eyes as she smiled, her hands squeezing his. "What are you saying, Jack?"

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"I love you, Suzie. Will you marry me? Will you make our family complete?"

"Yes, Jack. Yes, I will," Suzie responded, tears turned into a beautiful smile.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

"Does this mean Suzie is going to be my mom now?" Sam wondered.

"Yes, Sam," Suzie replied, bending down to envelop him in a warm embrace. "And I couldn’t be happier."

Jack felt an overwhelming sense of peace and fulfillment as they stood there. With Sam by his side and Suzie now officially part of their family, he was more than ready to embrace whatever the future held.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

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Tell us what you think about this story, and share it with your friends. It might inspire them and brighten their day.

If you enjoyed this story, read this one: Grace is a shy widow working as a governess at Claudia's house. She sees Claudia throwing away letters from her admirer, disgracing him for his lack of wealth. By accident, Grace reads one of these letters. She decides to write back, pretending to be Claudia. Read the full story here.

This piece is inspired by stories from the everyday lives of our readers and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone’s life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to info@amomama.com.

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