A dad heard more than he bargained for after his daughter forgot to turn off the ringer on her phone, and he learned exactly why you should not eavesdrop on others.
Clark was the proudest father in the world when his daughter, Kerry, was accepted to the top university in their town. He and his wife, Amanda, had worked tirelessly her entire life and supported her dreams every step of the way.
But just like many young adults, Kerry distanced herself from her parents after going to college. It happens often because classes and life get in the way. Also, Clark had never slowed down at work.
But winter was approaching, and he wanted to hear about his daughter more often. He tried to call at night, but she was often busy studying or writing a paper.
A close up of a hand holding on to a cellphone | Source: Shutterstock
“I’m sorry, dad. But Mr. Singer’s class is getting insane, and he has the highest standards in the department. I have to keep up or he might fail me,” Kerry said during one of their short phone calls.
“Of course, darling. I’ll let you get back to work. Good night,” Clark replied and hung up reluctantly.
He worried about her schoolwork, especially because Clark remembered how hard it had been for him. However, kids had it much tougher these days, and her chosen field was so competitive that she needed to excel to succeed.
Her first finals were nearing, and Clark hoped to be able to talk to her before it got too stressful. Kerry had always been a “daddy’s girl” as their only daughter, and he knew how to encourage her.
A man sitting outdoors looking at his cellphone | Source: Pexels
That’s why he decided to postpone his afternoon meetings one day at work and dedicated that free time to call her. He even had his secretary hold all incoming calls so nothing could interrupt them.
“Hey, Kerry. How are you doing?” he asked when she finally picked up.
“Oh, hey, dad. I’m doing fine. Everything’s a little hectic right now because exams are just too close, and it seems like there’s so much to read already,” Kerry answered, sounding tired.
“I know, darling. But you are the smartest student in that school. You can outdo them all,” Clark encouraged.
A young woman on her phone with a laptop in front of her. | Source: Pexels
“I don’t know, dad. You won’t believe the number of geniuses at this school. Sometimes, it feels like I’m out of my depth here,” she continued.
“Don’t say that, Kerry. You have always been a hard worker, and remember that grades are not everything. Just do your best,” Clark said.
“That’s the plan, dad. Listen, I have to hang up now. I’m having coffee with a friend, and then, we’re going to do study at the library,” Kerry suddenly said.
Clark didn’t want to hang up just yet, but she needed to go. “Ok, honey. Remember to call me soon, ok?” he finished.
Man looking at his cellphone while outdoors | Source: Pexels
“Sure thing. Bye!” she added. Clark placed the phone on his desk but noticed that he could still hear a voice. It looked like Kerry had forgotten to hang up. He was just about to hang up when her words became clearer.
“I just can’t stand him, Sara,” Kerry said, apparently to her friend at the coffee shop. Clark couldn’t believe it.
“Aren’t you being a little harsh? He’s an older man after all,” her friend replied.
“It has nothing to do with being old. He’s so condescending about everything. I’m so tired of him. I hope I never see him again,” Kerry added.
Two women conversing | Source: Pexels
Clark finally hung up because he couldn’t stand listening anymore. He couldn’t believe that after many years of caring and loving his daughter, she was speaking about him like this. He had been there for ballet recital and every single math competition.
He had attended the daddy-daughter dance during her 1st grade and helped her through every single science project. How could she hate him so much? It made no sense. But it was such a devastating blow that Clark decided to leave work early that day.
“Honey! What are you doing home at this hour?” Amanda said when he arrived home.
“Oh, it’s nothing darling. I think my stomach’s acting up. I’m just going to bed to rest for a bit,” he answered and walk to their bedroom. For the next two days, Clark barely spoke to anyone.
A man meditating outdoors | Source: Pexels
He went to work and came home, but everything seemed meaningless now. Finally, Amanda grew tired of his momentary depression and asked him what was wrong.
“I told you. Nothing’s wrong. I’m just not feeling in top shape,” he answered her.
“That’s a lie. You have been sulking around for days, and I need to know what’s happening right now!” Amanda almost yelled. His wife never acted like this, but he had to admit that his behavior was uncharacteristic too. So Clark finally told her about Kerry’s conversation with her friend.
Woman talking to a man over coffee | Source: Pexels
“Clark! For God’s sake. You shouldn’t have been snooping on your daughter! What if they were talking about something else?” Amanda asked reasonably.
“That’s not possible, Amanda. She had just finished talking to me. They were definitely talking about me. She said I was condescending and hoped to never see me again,” Clark said, almost in tears.
“Oh, darling. Calm down. There has to be an explanation. Your daughter has never hated you. Are you forgetting how much she always wanted to be around you? You were definitely her favorite in this house,” Amanda added.
Clark considered his wife’s words, and it certainly seemed like Kerry loved being around him more than her mother. So, he made a decision. “Ok, grab the keys. We’re driving down to Kerry’s school now!”
Man smiling to a woman across him | Source: Pexels
They called Kerry after arriving at campus and asked her to meet them at the café. She was surprised but sounded excited on the phone. However, she looked really tired and sullen when she arrived.
“Honey! How are you doing?” Amanda stood up from her seat and hugged Kerry as she got closer.
“Oh, mom. I’m doing great! It’s just been so crazy with all my classes. I don’t sleep much anymore,” Kerry answered jokingly.
They made a little small talk while their coffees arrived until Kerry asked, “So, what are you guys doing here today?”
Young woman looking at her cellphone in a coffee shop | Source: Pexels
“Listen, Kerry. Your father heard your conversation with your friends a few days ago,” Amanda explained.
“What conversation?” Kerry asked confused. Then they told her everything about the phone not being off and what Kerry had said about her father. Surprisingly, she started laughing hysterically.
“Why are you laughing? I don’t think it’s funny that you tell your friends you never want to see me again,” Clark said, shocked by his daughter’s reaction.
“I wasn’t talking about you! You called and interrupted the conversation Sara and I had about Mr. Singer. When I thought I had hung up, I continued talking about him,” Kerry replied.
A smiling man with his arm wrapped around a smiling woman | Source: Pexels
“It wasn’t about me?” he asked again out of sheer surprise.
“Of course not! Are you crazy? You’re my father. I love you and Mom so much!” she answered.
Thus, the three of them hugged and laughed about this incident. Meanwhile, Clark never eavesdropped on his daughter again.
What can we learn from this story?
1.Eavesdroppers never hear good of themselves.
That’s a famous proverb, and it’s popular for a reason. But luckily, Kerry wasn’t talking about her dad.
2. Clear up misunderstandings before it’s too late. Kerry’s father sulked for several days before trying to clear things up with her. This mix-up could have led to a deeper conflict within their family.
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