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Child sleeping on a park bench | Shutterstock.com
Child sleeping on a park bench | Shutterstock.com

Teacher Shelters Girl Sleeping on Bench, Learns Her Rich Dad Was His Former Best Student – Story of the Day

Manuela Cardiga
Sep 20, 2022
08:30 A.M.
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A dedicated teacher is shocked to discover that the runaway girl he found sleeping on a bench is the estranged daughter of one of his best former students -- a man obsessed with money.

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What can we possibly gain that could be worth losing the love of your only child? Brian was a man who loved success, and he loved money, because, after all, it is how the world measures success.

Being an attentive father was secondary. His own father had been a workaholic and had spent even less time with Brian than he spent with his daughter, Daphne. He'd grown up OK. He was happy, wasn't he?

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

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But what Brian didn't know was that while he sat at a negotiation in Tokyo, building himself yet another fortune, his only daughter was catching a bus to the small town where he'd grown up.

Daphne had run away from the exclusive and expensive private school where Brian had placed her. She was sleeping on the bench under the stars, instead of under a silk comforter.

When Daphne arrived at the small town she remembered fondly from her summers with her deceased grandmother, it was barely dawn. She got off the bus in front of the town hall and crossed the street.

Remember what is really important to you, what you can't live without.

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The whole town was dead silent, fast asleep. There was nowhere for the tired Daphne to go, so she found herself a bench in the small park and lay down, with her head on her knapsack.

She only meant to rest a little, but she fell into a deep sleep. She woke up with a gentle hand on her shoulder. "Excuse me," a man's voice said. "Are you alright?"

Daphne sat up. There was a kind-faced elderly man standing in front of her, looking at her with concern. "Can I call anyone for you?"

Daphne burst into tears. The kindness was a balm to her heart. "There's no one to call," she sobbed. "My granny is dead. I don't even know why I came here!"

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

"But, my dear," the man said. "What's your name?"

"Daphne Jardel," she said, wiping at her tear-stained cheeks. "Hannah Jardel was ny granny."

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"And Tom is your dad!" the man said smiling. "He was my best pupil back in the day. I'm Mr. Adams..."

"Mr. Adams?" asked Daphne. "He talked about you all the time -- back when he still talked to me."

"Daphne," he asked gently. "Are you running away? I will call your dad now, and he will come and take you home!”

“Don’t do it…” Daphne said. "Please..."

Mr. Adams winced at the bitterness in Daphne's voice. "Alright," Mr. Adams said. "You will stay with me and my wife until we sort this out."

"I don't want to see him," Daphne cried. "Never again!"

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Mr. Adams decided to take matters into his own hands and called Tom's company. "Mr. Jardel doesn't take calls," the secretary told him coldly.

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"Not even when it's about his daughter?" asked Mr. Adams. "I do believe she's missing." Mr. Adams waited on the line for a long, long time.

Finally, an irritated man's voice barked, "This better not be a hoax! What's this about my daughter being missing?"

"Tom, the old teacher said. "This is Mr. Adams, your old teacher. I found your daughter this morning sleeping on a park bench. She ran away. Didn't you know that?"

Tom sounded even angrier when he said, "I just came back from Tokyo yesterday morning! How was I supposed to know? Send her back, please."

"I'm afraid she doesn't want to come back," Mr. Adams said. "She doesn't want to see you. If you don't want to lose your daughter, Tom, you'd better get down here."

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Tom was angry. He was going to lose at least a day's work, just sorting out this mess! He hopped onto his private jet and flew to his hometown.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

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He knocked on Mr. Adams' door, and Daphne answered. "What are you doing here?" she asked angrily.

"I've come to take you home, Daphne," Tom said. "Stop this nonsense..."

"Nonsense?" asked Daphne. "Really? Do you even know why I left, dad?"

"No!" said Tom. "I don't understand you at all. I suppose it's all the teenage hormones..."

"It was my birthday on Saturday," Daphne said softly. "And I heard you tell your secretary that she could book the Tokyo trip for the weekend because you didn't have any important social events. Do you remember that, dad?"

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Tom gasped. "I...I'm sure...So many worries...I forgot..."

"That's fine, dad," Daphne said. "Just stay away from me!" She turned her back on Tom and slammed the door in his face. He stood there for a long time, then walked away. He had an idea!

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

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The next morning, he was back at Mr. Adams' door. "Daphne," he cried happily. "Come see what I got you for your birthday!" He gestured triumphantly at a sleek red convertible. "You have your license, now you have a car!"

"I don't want it," Daphne said. "Expensive presents aren't what I need from you."

Tom was furious. He drove the car back to the hotel he was staying in. "Why can't she forgive me a little forgetfulness?" he asked himself. "It's the first time..."

But was it? Tom tried to remember what he and Daphne had done for her birthday the year before, and the year before that. Nothing. He'd just told his secretary to buy her a present.

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In fact, he'd pretty much ignored his daughter since his wife had passed away four years before. "Oh Daphne," he whispered. "I'm sorry!"

He went back to Mr. Adams' house and banged on the door. "Daphne!" he yelled. "I'm sorry, I'm an idiot. I promise things will be different!"

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

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Daphne opened the door and looked at him. "No, it won't, dad. I will always come second to your business! Please go away!"

Tom went away, but he had an idea, and he was determined to get his daughter back. When he returned three days later, he was carrying a bunch of wild daisies.

"Daphne," he said when she opened the door. "Do you remember how we used to pick daisies together when you were little? We are going to do it again. I've sold my company, honey. I'm going to buy a house here in town, and I'm going to be a stay-at-home dad!"

Daphne started crying, and Tom wrapped his arms around his little girl. He said. "Honey, I nearly lost the most important thing in my life, and I'll never risk that again!"

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What can we learn from this story?

  • Remember what is really important to you, what you can't live without. Tom was so busy making money he forgot to be a good dad to his only child.
  • Presents can't make up for the lack of love and attention. Like so many wealthy parents, Tom thought a new convertible would make Daphne forget how much he hurt her.

Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.

If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about three school friends who are shocked when their favorite teacher who taught them to play the guitar is fired and becomes very ill.

This account is inspired by our reader’s story and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone’s life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to info@amomama.com

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