Mrs. Shelby stopped trudging as the pedestrian traffic light turned red. She watched the cars drive past her and began to ponder about retirement.  Her passion for teaching had dried up. Her savings from enduring entitled middle schoolers for decades were enough to live her golden years peacefully. She pulled out her smartphone, about to notify the school principal, when an SUV pulled up next to her and honked.

“Hey! ” he yelled from the driver’s seat.   “Are you Mrs. Shelby?”

“I am Mrs. Shelby.”

The man beamed.

“It’s me. Silly Steve!

The man hopped out of his SUV. He might be called Silly Steve but there was nothing silly about him. His suit and tie and his demeanor screamed prosperity and generosity.

“Steve Baumbach?” she asked.

The man hugged her.

“You remember me,” he said.

How could she forget one of the most antagonizing students she ever had? Steve was always daydreaming in her class. He didn’t do any homework. He barely passed the tests. The only thing he was great at was giving his classmates and his teachers an unpleasant time. He wasn’t dubbed Silly Steve for anything. He clearly earned it.

“What are you doing here?” she asked.

Steve told her the good news – his wife was pregnant. They decided that it would be practical to raise their child in the city because their parents were just a five-minute drive away. Mrs. Shelby was delighted to learn the news. She provided some parenting tips and to her surprise, Silly Steve took notes. Steve offered her a ride home but she politely declined because she needed the fifteen-minute walk for her aging knees. Steve then replied with an apology, confusing her.

“Why are you apologizing?”

Steve told her that he was apologizing for not paying her the respect and admiration she deserved when he was a teenager.  He promised her that he will make sure that his child will pay all of his debt when she finally meets him in her classroom.

And that was all it took to change her mind.

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Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
6 months ago

Hi Jim and welcome to Voice.club. This is a super first story to warm the heart. Well done.

Henry Vinicio Valerio Madriz
Henry Vinicio Valerio Madriz(@henry-vinicio-valerio-madriz)
6 months ago

The moral of your story is a very noble one: recognition of a well-done work and a life of service. I enjoyed reading it.

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
6 months ago

Welcome to voice club, Jim. I love it. It was a superb first story with a great moral lesson. Well done. Keep on writing. 

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Jim Well
6 months ago

You’re most welcome, kababayan!

Linda Rock
Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
5 months ago

How many of us look back on our school days and wish we’d acted differently? I loved how Silly Steve recognised the error of his ways and his determination to make amends. A heartwarming story Jim and, for me, an avid movie fan, just a little reminiscent of ‘Goodbye Mr. Chips’.

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Allan Neil
Allan Neil(@allan-neil)
5 months ago

We had a boy in our class who seemed to have been written off by teachers and pupils alike. After a gap of fifty years I met him again and discovered that he was a highly respected engineer with letters after his name. Your story took me right back to my schooldays and that later meeting, Jim. Morals in stories really do have a power to amaze.

Kayja Daniels
Kayja Daniels(@kayja-daniels)
5 months ago

I know the story comes with a hearty message, but I just really love the lighthearted feel.

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