So I'm writing a story and it's getting near the end. And I just realized that the plot that I had planned out might not be plausible. I'll try and explain the situation... just bear with me. And by the way, I leave a LOT of details out because I don't want to give away the ending on the off chance someone happens to read it. So here's the part of the story I'm stuck on: It's the year 2000 (might be relevant because technology was slightly different back then), you have a married couple with a 10-13 year old son. The father is married to his job, and that pisses the mother off... and to an extent the son is also disappointed that his father isn't around much. Eventually she just runs off and takes the son with her and doesn't tell him where they are going. Just wants to take a break from the relationship. So she never officially asks for a divorce, but they are separated while she figures things out. And she never tells her son what is going on, so he just thinks they are on vacation (this is actually very important). So they go to New York. A week into their "vacation", they are walking down the street and a mugger spots the two of them walking down the street at night. Tries to rob the mother, she fights back... gets stabbed and eventually bleeds out and tragically dies. Of course, the father doesn't know they are in New York and thinks that his wife just wants space, so he doesn't even think she might be missing until about a few weeks later when he still hasn't heard from her. Meanwhile the son, who has no reason to think that the father doesn't know where they are, thinks that he's been abandoned when he doesn't show up to get him after about a week or so. And I guess the dad assumed the son died in the robbery attempt as well (or ran away)... which is why he never tried to look for him. Here is where I've written myself into a corner. What happens in the story is that ten years later they meet up again. But the problem is I don't know what I should have the son doing until then. My original idea was that he was put into a foster care system, grew up... maybe went to college even. But it just dawned on me that since the father still exists, it would be on his records... they would find him (and his father is a public figure, so he'd be easy to find) and send his son back. I was going to try to write it as a case where the son just kind of fell through the cracks of the system and that's why they didn't think to try and find other family. The other option is that after the robbery/murder, he just kind of runs away. However, I'd rather not do that because his character in the story doesn't really reflect someone that was a homeless street kid. When he runs into his father again, he's this really smart, really tech saavy person. So I wouldn't know how to go from "homeless street kid" to "guy that can hack into a computer"... which is why I went with the foster kid angle. Anyways, I hope I've explained the scenario enough and didn't confuse anyone.