‘There’s Something Inside!’ Boy Cries after Sitting on Old Sofa Late Granny Left Him

Ten-year-old Kevin is stunned when he finds a box hidden in the shabby sofa he inherited from his Granny. However, the letter and legal papers inside the box contain even more surprises and help the boy understand a devastating truth about his family. Kevin will have to make a choice that will determine the rest of his life.

Kevin stared at the slightly shabby and stained sofa Granny left him in her will. He cringed when the movers dropped it to the floor with a loud thump. He waved away a cloud of dust as he moved closer to check the sofa wasn’t damaged.

“I’m going to miss Granny,” Kevin said as he ran his fingers over a dark stain he’d caused when he spilled juice on the sofa once. Granny had been so forgiving that day, and seemed more concerned with refilling his drink than the damage done to the sofa.

“Why mourn for an old trout who left you this junk?” Dad shook his head and kicked at a corner of the sofa.

“This isn’t junk, Dad. It’s a memory of Granny. I’ll earn my own money when I grow up, but I can’t make more memories with her.”

Dad’s lip curled into a sneer, and his eyes narrowed. “She’s done nothing but cause trouble for us since your mom died. Have you forgotten that your grandmother ratted me out to Social Services? And what about how she handed you over to that other family?”

Kevin hung his head. “Those people aren’t so bad. They let me come stay here with you for the next few days because of Granny’s funeral. I wish I didn’t have to go back…I want to live with you.”

“We’ll figure it out, kiddo.” Dad ruffled Kevin’s hair. “I’m going to see what I can do to get back custody of you now your nosy Granny isn’t around to push her own agenda. You and I will be a family again.”

Kevin smiled. He stepped closer to hug Dad, but the man had already turned away. Dad got a drink from the fridge, sank into his armchair, and turned on the TV. Immediately, the apartment was filled with swearing and gunshots from whatever Dad was watching.

Kevin hung his head and hunched his shoulders. He’d missed Dad so much…but he was never an affectionate man, unlike Mom. Kevin shook his head. It still hurt too much to think about her. Mom’s funeral six months ago had been the worst day of his life. And now Granny was gone too.

He studied the apartment, but nothing had changed while he was away at Denise and Miguel’s place. This was still his home, and he refused to leave it again. Dad was going to fix things so he could stay here for good.

He sighed and sat on Granny’s sofa. A stiff, pointy thing poked him in the rear. Kevin prodded the seat with his hand and gasped.

“There’s something inside Granny’s sofa,” he cried.

Dad carried on staring at the TV like he hadn’t heard Kevin’s shout. He seemed to be totally engrossed in his TV show. Kevin lifted the sofa seat cushion. Underneath, he found a torn flap of material loosely sewn into place.

Kevin fetched scissors from the kitchen. It was a bit too big for the job, but he clumsily cut the stitches and revealed a small, rectangular box. It was taped shut along the edges and had two words written on it in black marker:

‘For Kevin.’

The boy smiled sadly as he recognized Granny’s writing. He slit the tape with the scissors and sat back on the sofa to examine the contents. He found a sealed envelope, which he set aside to study the folded pages of some legal documents. Then he saw a letter written by Granny.

‘Dearest Kevin, I’m sorry to pressure you while you’re so young, but your well-being and your future depend on you making a smart choice now. You need to know that your father only returned for his inheritance. I’ll explain everything and then you must decide if he’s worthy of your love.’

Kevin frowned. He briefly glanced over his shoulder to check Dad was still distracted, then continued reading.

Grandma Linda panted as she hobbled down the hall to her son-in-law’s apartment. Climbing the stairs had taken it out of her, but she needed to check on her grandson. The message she’d received from her late daughter’s friend in the building had her worried about Kevin’s welfare.

After several minutes of insistent knocking, Jerry threw open the door and glared at her. There were dark bags under his eyes, and he was unsteady on his feet.

“Linda…what you doing here?” Jerry mumbled in a gruff voice.

Linda nearly choked on the stale alcohol stench of Jerry’s breath.

“I came to see Kevin. Where is he?”

“Uh…” Jerry glanced around while scratching his chin. “I dunno…what day is it today?”

“Tuesday.” Linda entered the apartment and stared in horror at the plastic dinner containers, dirty clothes, and empty soda bottles strewn across the floor. “How have you been managing without Kelly?”

Jerry muttered something unintelligible and wandered over to the fridge. He took out a packet of lunch meat and left the fridge door open while he made a sandwich.

“Surely you haven’t been feeding this to Kevin?” Linda waved at the ultra-processed junk food in the fridge.

“There’s nothing wrong with it.” Jerry lifted a microwave dinner out as he returned the lunch meat. “See? Good old mac and cheese. It’s dairy and carbs. That’s good for growing and stuff.”

Linda pressed a hand to her forehead. She’d never understood what her daughter saw in this man, but regrets wouldn’t help her salvage this situation.

“Jerry, the boy needs fresh fruits and vegetables, grains, and unprocessed meat. I send you money every month to ensure Kevin has everything he needs! Yet I hear Kevin runs around in torn clothes looking filthy. What is going on in this house?”

Jerry yawned. “Torn and dirty clothes are a sign of a healthy, outdoors lifestyle. That nosy Tina down the hall’s been talking smack about me behind my back, hasn’t she? You shouldn’t believe a word she says, Linda. I know how to look after my boy.”

“Yes, I can see that by the number of liquor bottles lying beside the armchair and this dirty mess hiding the carpets. When last did you do laundry? And…”

Linda narrowed her eyes as she realized something was missing from the mess “…where’s Kevin’s toys and sports equipment?”

“He’s more into electronics. Kids these days.” Jerry shrugged.

“But I pay for him to attend a soccer club.”

“He didn’t like it,” Jerry replied. “Are you done with your questions?”

“He doesn’t like it or you were too lazy to take him to the training?”

Jerry groaned and rolled his eyes. “Stop being such a busybody. Everything is under control.”

“It definitely isn’t under control, Jerry. There’s no proper food in this dirty house. Kevin isn’t attending the sports clubs I’ve been paying for, and you don’t even know where he is!”

“Now listen here,” Jerry pointed at Linda, “just because you send us some money doesn’t mean you get to decide how I live my life, or how I raise my son. You’re not the boss of me, Linda.”


Linda turned just in time to open her arms for a hug as Kevin rushed toward her. He grinned at her, and her heart broke to see his greasy, unkempt hair, rumpled clothes, and tattered sneakers.

“Good Lord,” Linda said. “Whatever have you been doing? School ended ages ago.”

“I walked home.” Kevin shrugged and turned to Jerry. “You said yesterday you’d pick me up from school, but you never came.”

“Huh…” Jerry scratched his chin. “I meant tomorrow…yeah, I said I’d pick you up tomorrow. You must’ve gotten confused, kiddo.”

Kevin pulled a face. He was about to say something, but Jerry told him to go and get started on his homework. Once Kevin had left the room, Linda rounded on his father.

“Listen here, Jerry. I’m only going to say this once. I know it’s been rough for you since Kelly died, but it’s been months now and you can’t carry on like this. Kevin needs stability, safety, good food, a good education, clean clothes…you’re his parent and it’s up to you to ensure his needs are met.”

“You interfering, old…” Jerry screwed up his face. “I told you, you don’t get to come in here and tell me what to do just because you help out with the bills. This is my house, and I’ll do as I darn well please.”

“Then consider this fair warning, Jerry.” Linda shook her finger at him. “I won’t let you ruin my grandson’s life. You may think that lying in front of a TV and pickling yourself in alcohol amounts to a good life, but you’re wrong, and that’s not what I’m sending you money for.”

Linda picked her way over the dirty clothes on the floor. “Pull yourself together, Jerry, or face the consequences. I won’t sit idly by while you fall apart, or let you drag my grandson down with you.”

Weeks later, Linda sat on the sunny porch of the main building in her nursing home. She’d brought her current sewing project out but couldn’t focus on it. She was waiting for someone, a person who might be able to save the terrible situation she found herself in.

A nurse walked around the corner, and Linda immediately waved at her and beckoned for her to approach.

“Something you need help with, Linda?” the nurse asked.

“Yes, Denise, there is, but I’m afraid it’s a big favor I have to ask you.”

Denise frowned and sat down in the chair beside Linda. “This sounds serious…is everything okay?”

Linda shook her head. “I’ve been to court and Social Services to have my son-in-law’s parental rights removed, but it hasn’t gone through yet. That man is hopeless! I fear Kevin’s welfare will only get worse if I can’t take him out of there.”

“I’ll talk to my husband and see what we can do,” Denise replied. “Miguel and I would love to take Kevin into our home if Social Services will agree to it.”

Linda sighed in relief. “I can’t thank you enough. I know you love him as much as I do, and if you take him, I’ll feel certain that he’s safe and loved.”

Denise squeezed Linda’s hand. “You’re doing the right thing for Kevin. Don’t worry; we’ll take good care of him.”

Back in the present, Kevin blinked at the words on Granny’s letter. He turned the page to read the last part of Granny’s message.

“Please stay with Denise and Miguel, Kevin. They are good people, and your father doesn’t deserve to look after you. You know that I love you, and so did your mother. Make the right choice, my boy. Love always, Granny.”

Kevin folded the letter and tucked it into his pocket. He reached for the legal documents next and began to read.

He would have a difficult decision to make soon.

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