An older teacher becomes a poor girl’s fairy godfather and sews her dream prom dress to make sure she has the most magical prom experience ever. Years later, the kind teacher is in for a sweet, tear-jerking surprise when she has her baby.
“And don’t be late today, did you hear me, my dear rascal?? Don’t forget it’s our wedding anniversary, sweetie!” Mr. Griffin heard his wife Juliet’s faint voice as she blew him kisses from their doorway.
Griffin, 67, taught Literature and would stay back daily after school to help weaker students improve their grades. Besides offering them free tuition, he taught them good morals and always went out of his way to help them whenever possible.
That day after school, Griffin entered the class to tutor his students and help them prepare speeches for an upcoming debate. He looked around, and one of the girls who needed to improve her speech-writing was missing…
“Where is Shirley? I saw her in class this morning. Has she gone home?” he asked the students.
“We don’t know, sir.”
Griffin was worried. He had prepared a beautiful speech for Shirley. When he finished tutoring, he left the classroom and found Shirley standing in the corridor, crying.
“Shirley?? Where have you been? Why didn’t you come to class?” Griffin worriedly asked. He noticed her tears and grew anxious.
“What happened, my dear? Why are you crying?”
Shirley refused to speak out and continued to cry. It pricked Griffin’s heart because the girl was his best student whose compositions he loved. When he realized Shirley would not speak out, Griffin thought of a way to make her open up.
“Alright, then!! Shirley, I am giving you some homework for missing class. I want you to write an essay on the topic, ‘If a Miracle Happens,’ and you have to submit it tomorrow first thing. Am I clear? This essay should be about the recent things you experienced.”
A devoted teacher is like a glowing candle that consumes itself to light up the lives of others.
The 14-year-old girl agreed, knowing little it was her teacher’s sweet trap to churn the truth out of her.
Griffin returned home and saw that his wife had decorated the house to commemorate their 40th wedding anniversary. It was just the two of them, as they had no children. Griffin’s dark past still haunted him, and he chose not to raise a family.
The couple toasted and danced to their favorite classic songs on the gramophone, but Juliet could tell her man was worried.
“What is it, darling? You look tense.”
“Nothing, doll…I was thinking about my student. I’m curious to know why she was crying today. She is a very cheerful girl, and I haven’t seen her so sad before.”
Griffin and Juliet danced, toasted, and had a hearty meal, but the older teacher was worried and could not wait to read Shirley’s essay the next day.
Griffin hurried to school, certain he would find answers. After the class was over, Shirley walked over to Griffin and handed him her essay.
“That’s wonderful, Shirley! See you at tutorials!”
Griffin then started reading Shirley’s composition.
“I want to be happy and laugh like my friends. And dance around showing my beautiful prom dress. But I don’t have one,” it began.
“What do I do? Fake a fever and take leave on prom? Or ask my dad to buy me a new dress? He cannot see me sad and will sacrifice his meal to save money and buy me one. But I don’t want my dad to go to bed hungry. I cannot do that because I love him, and he’s sick. Are miracles a lie? If not, will I go to the prom wearing a magical prom dress?”
Tears fogged Griffin’s eyes when he learned what had made Shirley cry—It was a prom dress, and she didn’t have one. Her dad was sick, and due to poverty, Shirley could not afford a new fancy prom dress like the other girls.
“I need to do something. I cannot see my best student disappointed and heartbroken,” Griffin thought. He hurried to the games room and searched for Shirley’s spare jersey and learned she wore a size M. Griffin then rushed home after his last class to put his plan into action.
He climbed up the attic, looking for an old sewing machine. It was the only treasured memory he had of his late mother, and it reminded him of his dark childhood, one he never wished to revisit again.
When Griffin was little, his widowed mother taught him and his four siblings how to sew. They would sew beautiful dresses and suits and sell them in flea markets for a steal to make ends meet.
Griffin never had a rosy childhood and remembered the times when he would get only a slice of bread for dinner. His family was so poor, and time had taught them the importance of hard work and money. Though he established his life well later, the rough days of his childhood still haunted him. He decided not to have any kids because he feared he would die early like his dad, orphaning his wife and kids and making them struggle.
A cloud of dust made Griffin cough as he snapped back to reality and began setting up the sewing machine in his garage. He got to work day and night after Juliet fell asleep.
Juliet had no idea what Griffin was up to until one night when she found him missing on his bed. She heard loud whirring sounds from the garage and barged in, only to freeze in shock after seeing what he had made.
“Sweetie, that’s so BEAUTIFUL!! For whom is this lovely dress??”
Griffin smiled, and tears rose in his eyes. “Remember the girl I was talking about the other day? It’s for her. I hope she likes it!”
The next day after school, Griffin surprised Shirley with a gift box.
“What is it, sir? It’s not my birthday today!”
“Go on, open it! And tell me if it fits well!”
Shirley unwrapped the box and gasped in tears as she took out a gorgeous ball gown. It looked so beautiful, like the ones princesses wear in fairy tales.
“How did you…how did you know??!” she cried.
Griffin coughed and smiled, wishing her a lovely day a the prom, which was arriving in two days.
Shirley wore the dress to the prom and garnered everyone’s attention. She looked so pretty, and it added more shades to her joy when she was crowned prom queen. Shirley enjoyed the best day of her life, unprepared for the painful blow coming her way. Her dad, who was sick, had lost his battle with cancer.
It pained Griffin and his wife when they saw a bereaved Shirley refusing to take her eyes off her father’s coffin.
“What will happen to the poor child? You told me that her dad was all she had. What will she do now? Who will take her in?” Juliet cried on Griffin’s shoulders.
At that moment, a strange idea struck Griffin.
“Why don’t we adopt her, darling?”
A bright glow lit up Juliet’s eyes because she loved children but never had any due to her respect for Griffin’s wishes. Nothing seemed to have made her so happy as when Griffin brought up the idea of adopting Shirley.
The couple took Shirley in a few months later and raised her. They gave her the best life and proved to her that miracles exist.
Years later, Shirley walked in Griffin’s footsteps and harbored a love for Literature. She became an accomplished writer and married her best friend, an editor in a famous publishing house.
The couple welcomed a baby boy who Griffin loved to the core. He retired from work and visited Shirley’s house daily to play with his grandson.
“Shirley, honey, look…Dave is taking his first steps…look…look!!” Griffin once shouted in joy as his little grandson held his finger and learned to take his first baby steps. Being around Dave comforted Griffin and helped him cope with the loss of Juliet, who had died a year ago.
Time flew by, and Griffin always had new reasons to laugh when around his grandson.
“Grr-grrr-and-GRANDPA..!!!” little Dave chuckled one day as he ran to Griffin with his arms stretched. Griffin burst into tears because nobody had called him grandpa before, and now he had more reasons to shed tears of joy.
What can we learn from this story?
All children need is a little hope, a little help, and someone who loves them. When Griffin learned Shirley did not have a prom dress, he sewed a beautiful dress for her. Years later, he uplifted her life by adopting her when she lost her dad.
A devoted teacher is like a glowing candle that consumes itself to light up the lives of others. Griffin devoted his life to teaching and always walked the extra mile to help his students achieve good grades and become good human beings.
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A grandpa goes out of his way and dresses up as a cowboy to dance with his granddaughter with cerebral palsy. Teens mock him at the prom and regret it as soon as he takes the mic. Click here to read the full story.
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.