A boy ignores his grandmother’s calls while he plays games on his new phone. Three hours later, he hears his phone ring again but sees an unknown number on the screen. “Who’s that?” the boy wonders, unaware that answering this phone call will change his life forever.
“Grandma!!” George exclaimed as soon as he entered his grandmother’s house with his parents. He wrapped his arms around her, hugging her tightly as if he hadn’t seen her for ages.
“I missed you so much, honey!” Martha ruffled her grandson’s hair with one hand and wrapped the other around his back.
“Come on, Mom,” Martha’s daughter, Melissa, said. “You met George last weekend! How can you miss him so soon? Don’t you get tired of his never-ending tantrums and demands?”
“I can never get enough of my darling grandson!” Martha patted George’s cheek while holding him close to her. “He’s my best friend!”
Like every weekend, George’s parents dropped him at his grandmother’s house. It had become a ritual for the 8-year-old to spend Saturdays with his beloved granny. He had been doing it since he turned three.
George’s parents often wondered what their son did at his grandmother’s. What made him want to visit her every weekend? What was so special about Martha’s house that George never skipped going there?
The answer was simple. George enjoyed his grandmother’s company more than anyone else’s. He loved playing board games with her but didn’t know that his beloved granny would let him win every time to see a smile on his face. He could never get enough of the delicious buttered popcorn Martha would make for him.
On most Saturday evenings, George walked in the park with his grandmother and raced with her back home. He enjoyed every minute spent with her because she made him feel special by pampering him with her never-ending love.
“You are my number one… My everything…” George would sing his special song with Martha before his parents came to pick him up at night. He had written this song with his grandmother, and no one else knew about it.
“It’s our song! Our special song, Grandma!” George would tell Martha. He was grateful for his grandmother’s presence until she gifted him a smartphone on his ninth birthday.
“No way, Grandma!!! You bought me the phone I always wanted?” George grinned from ear to ear while unboxing the new smartphone Martha had gifted him.
“I hope I bought the right model,” Martha smiled. She felt happy to see how excited her grandson was.
“This is the exact phone I wanted!” George said. His eyes sparkled as he slid his hand over his new phone’s metallic body. “I am going to download all of my favorite games in it. Thank you so much, Grandma! You are the best!”
“All my friends use their phones whenever they want! Why can’t I?”
“You’re always welcome, George,” Martha patted his back. She felt delighted after watching her grandson dance in joy, unaware that her gift would slowly cause him to drift away from her. Since she didn’t own a smartphone and relied on her landline phone to call others, she didn’t know about the harmful effects of having a phone. Not until she witnessed George falling prey to them.
A few weeks later, George’s parents dropped him at Martha’s house. As usual, the older lady cooked his favorite pasta and made popcorn, expecting she and George would play games.
“Lunch is ready!!” Martha cheered while placing the pasta bowl on the table. “Come on, George!”
On most days, George would immediately come to the table when his grandmother called him, but he didn’t respond this time. Feeling worried, Martha rushed out of the kitchen to see where George was.
To her surprise, he was sitting on the couch with his eyes glued to his phone screen. She saw his fingers move quickly over the screen while he played his favorite game on the phone.
“Oh no!!” George shouted when his opponent won the match. “No way!!”
“Put your phone down, George!” Martha said sternly. “I made pasta for you. Come and have it.”
“I’m not hungry,” George lied as he rested his head on the armrest, spreading his feet towards the other end of the sofa. “I’m playing my favorite game, Grandma!”
Martha shook her head in disappointment and walked back into the kitchen. That was the point where she regretted giving a phone to George. She thought she could have waited for a few more years.
A few minutes later, Martha entered the living room and noticed George was still playing games on his phone. She sat on the couch across from him and started singing songs to grab his attention.
Instead of singing along with his grandmother, George ignored her and kept staring at his phone screen. He didn’t care about anything except his new phone and the games he played on it.
“That’s enough for today, George,” Martha said while wrapping her fingers around his phone. “I’m confiscating your phone now. You’ll get it back when your parents come to pick you up at night.”
“But why?” George’s brows furrowed as he protested.
“I wanna play more games!!!”
“George, you have been playing games since you entered my house. You need to limit your screen time, okay? It’s unhealthy to use your phone for prolonged hours. It strains your eyes and makes you feel lazy. You don’t want to fall sick, do you?”
“All my friends use their phones whenever they want! Why can’t I?”
“I’m not stopping you from playing games on your phone, honey. I’m just limiting your usage so you can enjoy other activities,” Martha placed her hand on George’s back. “Come on now, let’s go to the park!”
George unwillingly accompanied his grandmother to the park but didn’t enjoy his time there. He kept thinking about his phone instead of playing with Martha or running in the park. The older lady noticed the strange change in his behavior, so she bought ice cream to cheer him up.
“Here you go! I bought your favorite chocolate cone!” She handed the ice cream to George, who was least interested in having it. He hesitantly took the cone from Martha and licked it while looking toward the ground.
Martha noticed that her grandson was unenthusiastic and lazy the entire time at the park until he got his phone back at home. She saw his face light up upon holding his smartphone, making her feel that his reaction was alarming. She believed George was slowly embracing an unhealthy lifestyle because of his new phone. “I shouldn’t have bought it in the first place!” she thought.
Later that night, George happily returned home with his parents. The following weekend, Martha expected her grandson to visit her, but she received a phone call from Melissa telling her that George wouldn’t come that day.
It turned out that the boy didn’t want to visit his grandmother because he knew she would ask him to play with her and go to the park. He wanted to play games on his phone all day instead of being around Martha.
“I’m your grandmother’s lawyer,” the man said.
George skipped visiting his grandmother for the next few weekends. This was the first time in years that Martha hadn’t seen her grandson for more than seven days. She missed playing, singing, and going to the park with him every Saturday, but there was nothing she could do to convince him to visit.
A few days later, George was playing a multiplayer game with a friend on his phone when Martha’s call interrupted his match. “Oh no!!” George said and quickly tapped on the red button to decline her call.
A few seconds later, he saw his grandmother’s name again on the screen. Feeling annoyed, he declined her call again.
He had no idea that Martha was calling him for help. She was in trouble, and the first person she called for help was George, but the boy ignored all her calls.
Three hours later, George was at the dinner table with his parents when he heard his phone ring. He quickly ran towards the couch and picked up his phone. “Who’s that?” he wondered upon seeing an unknown number on the screen.
“Hello,” George answered the call.
“Hello. Am I speaking to George?” a man on the other end asked.
“Yes,” the boy replied.
“I’m your grandmother’s lawyer,” the man said. “I’m with her in a local hospital. She asked me to call you here to solve some inheritance matters, George. Your grandmother called me here and wants you to come over. I’ll wait for you.”
Feeling shocked, George lowered the phone from his ear and kept it back on the couch. “Who was it?” Melissa asked him after she swallowed a bite of the meatloaf.
“It was Grandma’s lawyer, Mom,” George stared at his mother with wide eyes. “He said she is in the hospital and wants me to come here. I don’t know what happened to her.”
“What???” Melissa gasped in shock. “Mom is in the hospital? Oh my God!!!”
Shortly afterward, George arrived at the hospital with his parents to meet Martha. No one knew what had happened to the older lady until they met one of the doctors in the hospital’s corridor.
“I’m Martha’s daughter,” Melissa introduced herself to the doctor. “What happened to my mother? Is she okay?”
“Oh, I’m glad someone came to see her,” the doctor heaved a sigh of relief.
“An ambulance brought her in three hours ago….”
“Three hours ago?” George thought. “That’s when Grandma called me!”
The boy heard the doctor tell Melissa that Martha was not in good condition. “She needs someone to take care of her. Otherwise, things could get complicated, and her condition could become life-threatening.”
George hung his head after hearing what the doctor said. He felt ashamed because he deliberately ignored Martha’s phone calls. “She must be calling me to ask for help, and I ignored her when she needed me the most! I’m such a bad grandson….” George shook his head in regret.
A few seconds later, Martha’s lawyer approached Melissa and her husband. “She asked me to prepare her will because she thinks she won’t live long. She wants to leave everything to you and George,” the lawyer said while showing the documents.
“Oh God…” Melissa’s hand went to her mouth as he studied her mother’s will. “Why does she think she will leave us so soon? I won’t let her go!”
Shortly after talking to the lawyer, the doctor allowed George and his parents to meet Martha. “Please ensure she doesn’t feel stressed,” the doctor warned them.
However, when George entered his grandmother’s room with his parents, they couldn’t speak to her because she was sleeping. George sat on a chair beside Martha’s bed and stared at her wrinkly face.
“We’ll be right back,” Melissa whispered into her son’s ear before leaving the hospital room with her husband. She wanted to talk to the lawyer about her mother’s will.
Meanwhile, George kept looking at his grandmother while she slept peacefully. Then, he gently placed his hand on hers and began singing in a low voice, “You are my number one… My everything…”
Suddenly, he saw Martha’s eyes open, and her lips moved as she tried singing along with him.
“You are my number one…” she sang in a shaky voice while smiling at George.
“I’m so sorry, Grandma!” George wrapped his arms around his grandmother’s shoulders and rested his head on her chest. “I’m sorry for not answering your calls and not visiting you. I shouldn’t have ignored you like that!”
“It’s okay, my baby,” Martha rubbed George’s back while her eyes welled up with tears.
“I don’t want to lose you, Grandma! Please don’t leave me,” George cried. “I love you the most.”
Seeing Martha lying lifelessly on the hospital bed made the young boy realize he wasn’t ready to lose her. The thought of her death made him realize how much he loved her. He instantly regretted playing games with his friends instead of spending time with her.
Since Martha stayed in the hospital for a few weeks, George visited her regularly. He would bring her flowers and tell her everything about his day.
“George, I feel so lonely when you go home,” Martha complained. “I have nothing to do here.”
“Don’t worry, Grandma. I have got an idea!” George grinned.
Later that day, the boy asked his parents to buy a smartphone for Martha. Once they bought it, George took the phone to the hospital on his next visit and gave it to his grandmother.
“What is this for?” she asked him. “I don’t need a phone to keep me entertained, George. Take this back with you!”
“This is for you, Grandma! It won’t let you feel lonely after I leave!” George said as he handed the smartphone to Martha. The older lady couldn’t understand what George meant until he left the room and called on her phone from the hospital’s waiting area.
“Hey, Grandma!! Accept my video call!!” he exclaimed.
Martha looked at the phone screen and tapped the green button to accept the video call. She felt happy to see George’s face and hear his voice simultaneously.
“Do you like it?” George asked her. “I can talk to you like this after I go home. You won’t feel lonely then!”
Later that night, George chatted with his grandmother over a video call. They sang songs and laughed until Martha felt sleepy. This way, George ensured his grandmother didn’t feel lonely in his absence.
A few days later, the doctors discharged Martha after her health improved. Once she reached home, George visited her and spent the entire day with her like before. He played games with her and went to the park instead of using his smartphone.
What can we learn from this story?
Never value things over people. George thought playing games on his phone was more important than spending time with his grandmother. However, he quit thinking like that when he understood the true meaning of relationships.
Appreciate your loved ones while they are around. When George saw Martha in the hospital room, he instantly regretted ignoring her phone calls. The thought of her death made him realize he should appreciate her presence while she was still alive.
Share this story with your friends and family. It might inspire them and brighten their day.