An elderly teacher becomes a poor girl’s fairy godmother and sews her dream prom dress to ensure she has the most magical prom experience ever. Years later, the kind teacher gets a sweet, tearful surprise when the student gives birth to 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. Günther heard the weak voice of his wife Juliet as she threw him kisses from her door.
Mr. Mark Günther, 67, taught literature and stayed behind every day after school to help weaker students improve their grades. He not only offered them free tuition, but also taught them good manners and always made every effort to help them whenever possible.
That day after school, Mark entered the class to tutor his students and help them prepare speeches for an upcoming debate. He looked around and one girl who needed to improve her speech writing was missing…
“Where’s Shirley? I saw her in class this morning. Has she gone home?” he asked the students.
“We don’t know, sir.”
Mark was worried. He had prepared a nice speech for Shirley. When he was done with the tutoring, he left the classroom to find Shirley crying in the hallway.
“Shirley?? Where have you been? Why didn’t you come to class?” Mark asked concerned. He noticed her tears and became restless.
“What happened my love? Why are you crying?”
Shirley refused to speak and continued to cry. It stung Mark because the girl was his top student and he loved her essays. Realizing Shirley wasn’t going to speak up, Mark thought of a way to get her to open up.
“Very well!! Shirley I’ll give you some homework for the missed classes. I want you to write an essay on ‘When a Miracle Happens ‘ and you have to hand it in first thing tomorrow. Am I clear? This one Essay should deal with recent things you have experienced.”
A devoted teacher is like a lighted candle that consumes itself to illuminate the lives of others.
The 14-year-old girl agreed, not knowing it was her teacher’s cute trap to tease the truth out of her.
Mark returned home to see 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. Mark’s dark past still haunted him and he had chosen not to start a family.
The couple toasted and danced to their favorite songs on the gramophone, but Juliet could tell her husband was worried.
“What’s the matter, darling? You look tense.”
“Nothing, Scatz… I was thinking about my student. I’m curious to know why she cried today. She’s a very happy girl and I’ve never seen her so sad.”
Mark and Julia danced, toasted and had a hearty meal, but the older teacher was concerned and couldn’t wait to read Shirley’s essay the next day.
Mark rushed to school, sure he would find answers. After class was over, Shirley went to Mark and gave him her essay.
“That’s wonderful, Shirley! See you at the tutorials!”
Mark then began reading Shirley’s essay.
“I want to be happy and laugh like my friends. And I want to dance around and show off my beautiful prom dress. But I don’t have one ,” the essay began.
“What should I do? Fake a fever and take a vacation on prom day? Or ask my dad to buy me a new dress? He can’t see me sad and will sacrifice his food to save money and buy me one. But I don’t want my dad to go to bed hungry. I can’t do that because I love him and he’s sick. Are miracles a lie? If not, will I go to prom in a magical prom dress?”
Tears welled up in Mark’s eyes when he found out what had made Shirley cry – it was a prom dress and she didn’t have one. Her father was ill and due to poverty, Shirley couldn’t afford a new fancy prom dress like the other girls.
“I have to do something. I can’t see my best student disappointed and heartbroken,” thought Mark. He rushed into the playroom and looked for Shirley’s spare jersey and was told she was a size M. Mark then rushed home after his final lesson to put his plan into action.
He climbed into the attic and looked for an old sewing machine. She was the only precious memory he had of his late mother, and she reminded him of his dark childhood, one he never wanted to revisit.
When Mark was little, his widowed mother taught him and his four siblings how to sew. They had sewn beautiful dresses and suits and sold them at flea markets for a bargain to make ends meet.
Mark had never had a rosy childhood and remembered the times when he was only given one slice of bread for dinner. His family had been so poor and time had taught them the importance of hard work and money. Although he did not establish his life well until much later, the hard days of his childhood still haunted him. He had decided not to have children because he feared he would die young like his father, orphaning his wife and children and leaving them to fight.
A cloud of dust made Mark cough as he came back to reality and started setting up the sewing machine in his garage. He had to work day and night after Julia fell asleep.
Juliet had no idea what Mark was up to until one night when she didn’t find him on his bed. She heard loud whirring noises coming from the garage and stormed in, freezing in shock when she saw what he had done.
“Honey, this is so BEAUTIFUL!! Who is this beautiful dress for?”
Mark smiled and tears welled up in his eyes. “Remember that girl I was talking about the other day? It’s for her. I hope she likes it!”
The next day after school, Mark surprised Shirley with a gift box.
“What is it, sir? It’s not my birthday today!”
“C’mon, open it! And tell me if it fits well!”
Shirley unpacked the box and gasped in tears as she pulled out a beautiful ball gown. It looked as beautiful as the ones worn by princesses in fairy tales.
“How…how did you know that??!” she cried.
Mark coughed and smiled and wished her a nice day at the prom, which was coming in two days.
Shirley wore the dress to prom and turned heads. She looked so pretty and it added even more shades to her joy when she was crowned prom queen. Shirley enjoyed the best day of her life, unprepared for the painful blow that awaited her. Her father, who was ill, had lost his battle with cancer.
It pained Mark and his wife to see a grieving Shirley refusing to take her eyes off her father’s coffin.
“What will happen to the poor child? You told me that her father was all she had. What will she do now? Who will take her in?” Juliet cried on Mark’s shoulders.
At that moment, Mark had a strange idea.
“Why don’t we adopt her, darling?”
A bright glow lit up Julia’s eyes because she loved children but never had any because she respected Mark’s wishes. Nothing seemed to have made her happier than the idea of adopting Shirley when Mark approached her.
The couple adopted and raised Shirley a few months later. They gave her the best life and proved to her that miracles happen. The couple took Shirley in with them a few months later and raised her. They gave her the best life and proved to her that miracles happen.
Years later, Shirley followed in Mark’s footsteps and nurtured a love of literature. She became an accomplished writer and married her best friend, an editor at a famous publishing house.
The couple welcomed a baby boy whom Mark loved deeply. He retired from work and visited Shirley’s house daily to play with his grandson.
“Shirley darling look…Dave taking his first steps…look…look!!” Mark once cried out in delight as his little grandson held his finger and learned to take his first baby steps. Being close to Dave comforted Mark and helped him cope with the loss of Juliet, who passed away a year ago.
Time flew by and Mark always had new reasons to laugh when he was around his grandson.
“Op-op-Grandpa..!!!” giggled little Dave one day as he ran to Mark with outstretched arms. Mark burst into tears because no one had ever called him grandpa, 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 to love them. When Mark found out Shirley didn’t have a ball gown, he sewed her a beautiful dress. Years later, he improved her life by adopting her when she lost her father.
A devoted teacher is like a lighted candle that consumes itself to illuminate the lives of others. Mark dedicated his life to teaching and always went the extra mile to help his students achieve good grades and become good people.
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