An aged educator arrives home on Christmas Eve to see the door to her home slightly ajar with many footprints leading in and out — she quickly called the police but did they reach there fast enough?
Mia Park was different. Unlike many people who woke up with lofty dreams like saving the world from global warming and the like, she wanted to be a teacher.
As a child, she would gather other kids on her street and use her small whiteboard to teach them things they already knew — they called her Miss Mia because, according to her, one should always respect the teacher.
Mia's son was always away from home and only rarely visited or called to check up on her | Photo: Shutterstock
Her parents noticed her interest in the field because she was very open about it, and when the time came, they sponsored her college degree in education.
After that, Mia landed a job at one of the local schools close to where she grew up, so she had the luxury of not staying too far from her parents with whom she shared a deep bond.
Her life was a dream; not only was she doing what she loved, but she also got to meet incredible personalities in each generation of children she tutored.
Mia had a very kind nature, but she took her job very seriously: Should one of her students fall behind, she took the time to put them through, so their grades always came out brilliantly.
Her job provided her with fulfillment for many years, then eventually a husband. The man she fell in love with, Tom James, was also a teacher, and they had met when she took her students on a trip to the zoo.
As fate would have it, he had also taken his students to the same zoo, and they had bonded because of the sheer chaos having about 20 kids running around in a zoo could cause.
Mia landed a job at one of the local schools close to where she grew up | Source: Pexels
At the end of that day, he couldn't let her leave without knowing he would see her again. "I'd really like to meet you again," he told her as they left the zoo that day, making her blush.
"Preferably somewhere quiet," she said with a smile, then she kissed him on the cheek and left.
Ever since then, Tom was hooked, and he did not stop loving her until he passed away from cancer twenty years later, leaving Amanda to cater to their boy Adam, who was a college student when it happened.
After his father died, Adam withdrew into himself and started staying away from home, even on holidays. Unfortunately, he failed to check up on her via phone calls as well, and the only time he reached out was when he was in dire need of money.
That year, Mia had only spoken to her son twice, and the holidays were fast approaching. This meant school would close soon, and the kids who usually distracted her from thinking about her own estranged child would stay in their homes till the following year.
Before that happened, the school was to participate in a quiz contest, and Mia was tasked with bringing the students up to speed. One day, she was having a rapid quiz session with her sharpest student, John, when her phone rang. It was her son calling.
"Hello mom, could you please send me some money?" he asked without so much as an inquiry about her health and well-being.
Mia got a call from her son while she was having a rapid quiz with her sharpest student | Source: Pexels
"Why is that the only reason you call me? She asked him, the pain in her voice so raw it caught her students' attention, attracting their gaze.
"What do you mean Mom? Is there anything to talk about?" he asked.
"Right, and that's fine by you?" she asked with a shaky voice.
"Mom, can I have some money or not?" he pressed, now annoyed.
"No, you can't!" she exclaimed sternly, quickly turning her back to the class to stop them from seeing her get so riled up.
"Is that so?" Adam asked. "I guess I'll just have to come over and take it."
"Why don't you try stealing it since you have so much courage?" she asked.
"You misunderstand me, mom. I just don't think it's stealing if it belongs to my mother," Adam replied.
After a few moments of silence, Mia caved. "Fine, I'll send you some money but for a price," she said.
"Let's hear it," he said.
"You must return home to spend Christmas eve with me," she said.
"Agreed," he said without hesitation.
"I'll be waiting for you then," she said, then hung up.
Mia went to the grocery store to buy food items for Adam's favorite dish a day before Christmas | Source: Pexels
After staring at her phone for a few moments, Mia faced her class again, and it was as though someone had hit the play button on a remote because suddenly, there was chatter once more.
"Sorry you had to listen to all that, children," she said apologetically, then continued with the quiz session.
All through that day, Mia was in a good mood. She suspected it was the money that was really making her son visit, but that didn't dampen her excitement — her boy would finally spend Christmas with her.
Mia went to the grocery to buy food items for Adam's favorite dish a day before Christmas. She tried to reach him to know how far he had gotten, but she received no response.
She tried to think of other things, but Mia could not keep the negative thoughts at bay as she crossed the parking lot to her car. Once inside, she tried to reach her son again, but he still didn't respond.
"He probably doesn't need the money anymore so he most likely won't come," she thought, upset. Her drive home took longer because of the snowed roads, and when Mia arrived home, she immediately knew something was off.
As Mia approached the door, she noticed that it was slightly open | Source: Pexels
She could see many footsteps leading to and from her front door, which was strange because no one should have been able to get in.
As she approached the door, she realized that it was slightly open, so she speedily took several steps back and whipped out her phone to dial the police.
"This is 911; state your emergency," a no-nonsense voice said.
"Hi there, I think I may have a burglar in my house — " Mia said, then she summoned up the courage to step into the house.
"What's your location ma'am?" the voice asked, but just as she was about to answer, the lights went on, and she heard a chorus of voices shouting, "SURPRISE!!" Her house was occupied with kids she taught, and they were all there to wish her "Merry Christmas!!!!"
She also saw a lot of people she once taught several years ago. They had all come through to celebrate with her, and she couldn't hold back her happiness.
As she looked at everyone who had come out for her, she offered her thanks, but one thing still bothered her. "How did you guys get in?" she asked as she dabbed at her tear-stained cheeks.
A surprise Christmas party was thrown for Mia at her home | Source: Pexels
"That would be because of me," her son said from behind her.
Mia spun around very fast at the sound of her son's voice, and before he said anything, she launched herself into his arms. "I'm very sorry I've been acting like a prude," he said — words Mia had never expected to hear.
"After we spoke the last time, your students reached out to me. They needed my help with a surprise gift they planned to give you for Christmas, and luckily, I had a key we could use."
"Seeing how these children care for you made me realize how selfish I've been acting," he added. "So that's why I chose to join in. Can you find it in your heart to forgive me?" he asked her.
"I always have, my son," Mia said, tears flowing down her eyes as she walked into his arms.
Afterward, Adam presented her with the gift he got her, which was a pendant with a message engraved on its back — "For my lovely mother," it read.
Her students also gave her a large box containing a small puppy that would keep her company so she would no longer feel alone. That day was a turning point in Adam's relationship with Mia, and they lived happily ever after as a united family.
Mia spun around very fast at the sound of her son's voice, and before he said anything, she launched herself into his arms | Source: Pexels
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