Dad Learns Daughter Stays with Coach In Cloakroom Longer Than Others, Gets Suspicious — Story of the Day
When a father walks into his daughter's school after receiving a call from her teacher, a familiar voice from the cloakroom catches his attention. Curious, he opens the door to witness his daughter standing close to a man he has never seen before.
"Dad, I don't want to go to school today!" 15-year-old Lily protested while sitting in the passenger seat of her father's car as they neared her school building.
"Come on, Lily," Paul tried to cheer up his daughter. "You spent the weekend doing nothing at home. Why don't you want to go to school?"
"I want to sleep more!" Lily cried. "I don't want to go to school."
Paul looked at his daughter as his lips curled downward. "It's a beautiful Monday morning, Lily, and I am sure you will have fun learning new things in class. Your science teacher told me she has planned an activity for you all week and thinks you'll like it!" Paul cheered. "Come on now. We're almost here!"
Paul drove towards his office after dropping Lily at school. Being a single parent, he wanted to do everything possible to make his daughter feel comfortable. He never wanted her to feel her late mother's absence.
Once Paul reached his workplace, his manager bombarded him with two days worth of work and am impossible deadline. The single father had been struggling to balance his growing work responsibilities with his personal commitments. "Life has become so difficult without you, sweetheart," he would say while thinking about his wife.
Paul had to do everything on his own after his wife's sudden demise. From waking Lily up to cooking dinner, he tried to be the best parent while juggling chores. He thought he had everything under control, unaware that something bothered Lily at school.
"Look at her face!” Lily's classmates laughed at her. "It looks like someone pinched her cheeks too hard!"
Meanwhile, Lily covered her face with her hands and avoided eye contact with the boys bullying her. Like other teenage girls, Lily was experiencing changes in her body, including a breakout of acne on her skin. But her classmates showed no mercy. She lost her confidence as they said mean things to her, making her insecure about her looks.
"Sir, I wanted to talk to you about your daughter, Lily," the teacher said.
Later that evening, Lily told her father about the bullying. "Dad!! Everyone in my class makes fun of my acne! They call me names and laugh at me because of these pimples!" Lily cried while pointing toward the bumpy skin on her face.
"Don't let their words bother you, honey," Paul hugged his daughter. "Let them say what they want!"
"But Dad," she complained. "No one's ever going to be my friend...or love me because of my horrible acne. I'm never going to have a boyfriend!"
"It's not a big deal, Lily," Paul tried to comfort his daughter. He felt clueless after learning about Lily's feelings and didn't know how to respond. "I think it will get better if you wash your face with soap regularly."
After confiding in her father, Lily felt he didn't understand her feelings. "I wish you were here, Mom," Lily thought as she wept before sleeping.
Two weeks later, Paul was working in his office when he received a call from Lily's teacher.
"Sir, I wanted to talk to you about your daughter, Lily," the teacher said. "Are you free to talk right now?"
"Sure," Paul replied. He expected the teacher to talk about Lily's extraordinary performance in class, but what she said next shocked him.
"I'm not sure if you are aware of this, but Lily arrives late to class every morning. She's been doing it for a few weeks now," the teacher revealed.
"What?!" Paul was shocked.
"That's not all," Lily's teacher said. "I've noticed that your daughter stays in the cloakroom with Coach Matthews longer than the other kids. I think you should talk to Lily and see if she needs help. We have counselors in school who can help you in this regard."
"Thank you for informing me," Paul managed to say before he hung up. He was shocked to learn about Lily's strange behavior. "Why does she spend time with the coach?" the concerned father wondered.
The following day, Paul dropped Lily off at school and parked outside the building instead of going to his workplace. He lied to his manager that he had to attend a meeting with Lily's teacher.
Determined to find out what was happening with his daughter, Paul entered Lily's school. He looked around and saw a bunch of students playing basketball on the playground. "Where's the coach?" he wondered.
Then, Paul entered the school building and headed towards the cloakroom. He was about to open the cloakroom's door when Lily's voice caught his attention. However, before he could comprehend what she said, he heard a manly voice say, "Now, I'll put it on your face!"
Imagining the worst, Paul twisted the doorknob and pushed the door open. He was surprised to see his daughter standing close to an unknown man, who was rubbing his fingers on her face.
"Dad?" Lily stepped back when she saw her father in the cloakroom.
Meanwhile, the man turned around and introduced himself to Paul. "Hello! I'm Mark. Coach Matthews. Nice to meet you, sir," he extended his arm for a handshake.
"What are you doing here with my daughter?" Paul's eyes reeked of suspicion and anger.
"I was just helping her," Mark replied. "I saw her crying here a few days ago. That's when I learned that her classmates bullied her because of her acne. I was just applying this soothing lotion on her face."
Mark showed the bottle of lotion to Paul. "My mother worked as a dermatologist all her life, so I know quite a bit about skincare," Mark continued. "My face was always full of pimples when I was a teenager, and my classmates bullied me every day, too. I can relate to Lily's situation. It feels terrible to get bullied for something not in our control."
Paul heaved a sigh of relief after learning that the coach didn't have malicious intentions. The loving father was happy to know that his suspicions were incorrect. He was glad his daughter found someone who understood her worries and wanted to make her feel better.
"Thank you for supporting Lily, Mr. Matthews," Paul smiled. "I'm sorry if I sounded a bit harsh earlier. This school is blessed to have such a compassionate teacher like you. Thank you for addressing her concerns and making her feel better about herself. I am so grateful to you!"
"I'm always here for my students. Especially the ones who get bullied," Mark looked at Lily. "I think all teachers should work on their students' mental well-being besides their grades."
"I agree," Paul said. "I think this world needs more teachers like you, Mr. Matthews."
Then, Paul hugged Lily and apologized for not understanding her feelings. "I am sorry for not taking action when you told me how much your acne bothers you, honey. I wish I had taken things more seriously."
"It's okay, Dad," Lily looked at her father. "You still are the best father in the world!"
A few days later, Paul took Lily to see a dermatologist. Over there, he learned a lot about teenage acne and what he could do to make Lily feel better.
A few weeks later, Mr. Matthews called Paul to share some good news.
"I'm prescribing a few gels and medicines for her," the dermatologist told Paul. "Please ensure she applies the gel regularly. I'm sure her acne will lessen, and the scars will fade too."
"Thank you," Paul smiled. "What else can I do to make Lily feel better? Her acne affects her mental health because her classmates bully her. You know how mean teenagers can get. It just makes me feel so helpless."
"I can understand. I am so glad to see how eager you are to make things better for your daughter," the dermatologist appreciated Paul.
She shared a few tips with Paul and told Lily not to worry about what her classmates said. "You don't let others define your worth, sweetheart. Don't let their words bring you down," the kind doctor told Lily. "You're a beautiful girl; nothing in this world should make you believe otherwise."
After returning home from the skin clinic, Paul cooked dinner for his daughter, and they talked at the dinner table. "Thank you for everything you did for me, Dad," Lily said. "Your support means the world to me!"
"I'm always here for you, my child," Paul patted her shoulder. "Plus, you don't need to worry about anything when you have people like Coach Matthews. He's an asset to your school."
Later that night, Paul sat at the desk in his room and took out a clean sheet of paper. He wanted to repay the coach for helping Lily, and he thought the best way would be to write a letter of commendation to the school district. Paul thought Mark was quite underappreciated and deserved more respect. He wrote:
"Mr. Matthews helped my 15-year-old daughter regain confidence when her classmates bullied her. Besides being an exceptional coach, Mr. Matthews looks after his students and genuinely cares for their mental and physical well-being. He changed my daughter's self-perception by uplifting her morale and telling her she shouldn't let others define her worth.
One of the qualities of a good teacher is that they care about their student's well-being besides their grades. Mr. Matthews has proved to be an exceptional teacher and deserves to be appreciated. As a parent, I believe my daughter is lucky to have him as her teacher, and I would like the school district to appreciate his sincere efforts."
Paul sent the letter to the school district, hoping to help the coach make a mark in his career. A few weeks later, Mark called Paul to share some good news.
"Sir!" Mark exclaimed on the phone. "The school district has nominated me as a finalist for the 'Teacher of the Year' award. I wanted to share the news with you because you are one of the few people who praise me. I can't believe I made it to the top five nominations in this category!"
"That's such a big achievement, Mr. Matthews!" Paul cheered.
"You deserve every bit of praise that comes your way, and I am sure you will win this award!"
Paul never told the coach about his letter to the school district. He kept it a secret because he wanted Mark to feel special.
As weeks turned into months, Lily's acne got better. She used the medicines religiously and didn't let other people's opinions bother her. Soon, she started enjoying her time in school because her classmates had stopped bullying her. She made new friends and met a boy who told her she was beautiful.
"A guy in my school told me he's interested in me, Dad!" Lily told her father. "I could never imagine having a boyfriend a few months ago because I was so insecure about my looks."
"You're the most beautiful girl in this world, Lily!" Paul hugged his daughter. "You're the light of my life, and I love you the most!"
"I love you too, Dad!" Lily hugged him tight. "Thank you for being my biggest supporter!"
What can we learn from this story?
- Always listen to your child's problems. At first, Paul ignored Lily's concerns about her acne, but he later realized he was wrong.
- Never allow others to define your worth. When Lily stopped paying attention to her bullies, their words stopped affecting her, and she felt confident about herself.
Share this story with your friends and family. It might inspire them and brighten their day.
Click here to read another story about a poor boy bullied by his seniors at school. Soon, things took a sharp turn when his ex-convict brother decided to teach the bullies a lesson.
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