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A pole dancer on stage. | Source: Flickr / GoToVan (CC BY 2.0)
A pole dancer on stage. | Source: Flickr / GoToVan (CC BY 2.0)

Boy Invites Pole Dancer on B-Day Party, Is Dazed to See His Mom on Stage – Story of the Day

Roshanak Hannani
Mar 17, 2023
10:00 P.M.

Mike decided to celebrate his 18th birthday and college acceptance at a local club with his friends, but their merriment stopped when his mother appeared on stage. It was the biggest embarrassment of his life, so he ran off only to witness the most heartbreaking moment later.

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"Mom, I see Jackson with his college jersey, walking with his books, and laughing around like he has no care in the world. I'll never be able to do that," Mike complained to his mother, Belinda, after days of frustration.

"Mike, we can apply for scholarships and student loans. You can easily go to that college if you're accepted. You just need to work hard," his mother patted his arm, but he brushed her off.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

"It's not the same. I'll be drowning in debt if I do that, and I don't think there are any scholarships for me. I'll have to work and study at the same time. I just wish you had money. It's so not fair!" the 17-year-old continued, frustrated.

"She must be good," they commented and watched.

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"I'm sorry. But that's life," his mother shrugged.

"I hate this! You never have enough money. Even for my dream!" he shouted and went to his room, slamming the door. Mike didn't realize that his mother stayed behind, thinking hard about this situation. Belinda never went to college because she didn't apply herself in high school. She hated the idea of more books.

However, she didn't want Mike to have her life, so she raised him to study hard and apply to college no matter what. He had sent his applications a while ago, and their responses would be online later that year. But he was right. Belinda couldn't afford to pay much for him, not with her current grocery store job.

***

Months passed since the conversation with Mike, and he had been accepted into all the schools of his choice; luckily, Belinda couldn't have been prouder after every announcement. He had already chosen his dream school, where his friend Jackson was finishing freshman year.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

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"I have something to say, Mike," Belinda announced after her son texted all his friends with the news.

"Mom, don't worry. I'm sorry about our conversation before. I was wrong. I shouldn't act like a spoiled brat," the almost 18-year-old said.

"Well, I'm proud of you for realizing that, but I'm even prouder of you for all these acceptances. Besides, you'll be 18 soon, so I have a gift," she continued and handed him an envelope. It was a check for the first semester's tuition. It was more than enough for him to get a dorm room and meal plan.

"MOM! What? This is impossible! HOW?" Mike stood after seeing the amount on the check. His eyes were wide and bright, and his smile creased his face.

"Are you happy?" Belinda asked, opening her arms.

"I'm so happy!" he shouted, grabbing a hug. He repeated "thank you" like a prayer and even spun his mother around. They laughed and cried for a few minutes until Mike composed himself. "Where did you get this money, Mom?"

"Don't worry about it. I got a second job. It's good. I should have enough for your second semester by the time you finish your first, so it'll be good. You were not entirely wrong. I should've prepared for your college. But I'm making that up now," Belinda told him, wiping her tears. "You'll probably need to work for expenses, but that should be alright."

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

"Alright? It's more than alright, thank you! I'm calling everyone!" Mike shouted again and jumped like he had won the lottery. In a way, he had. He called all his friends with the news, and they all decided to celebrate at a local club on his 18th birthday.

***

His mother would have had a heart attack if she knew where Mike and his friends were, but this was a special day. He wouldn't have to take out loans and be indebted forever, and he was finally 18. They let all his friends into the club, but they wouldn't serve them alcohol because none of them were 21.

"This is fine. We just came for the show, right?" his friend, Luke, laughed as they entered a booth.

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"I don't feel that great being here," his college buddy, Jackson, said, shaking his head. "But I'm here for you. It's going to be awesome having you at school next year."

"YEAH!" Mike cheered loudly. "Let's invite a girl over!"

His friends agreed, and they signaled for a waitress, ordered some non-alcohol drinks, and requested a pole dancer to come to their table.

"She'll have to finish dancing her normal set first before she can accept your invitation. OK?" the waitress replied. They all nodded and waited for the show to begin on the bigger central stage.

"I can't believe we're going to see pole dancers! Are they talking off their clothes?" another friend, Olly, asked conspiratorially.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

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"It's not a strip club. It's just pole dancing, but they will be in bikinis and act sexy," Mike answered, and they all loved it.

Finally, the room got a bit darker, and a voice boomed through the speakers, announcing their next performance. "Now, the returning and lovely Mommy Bebe!"

"I really don't know. I mean… but she did it for you, Mike. It's not ideal, but it wasn't for herself."

The audience clapped loudly, including the men sitting closer to the stage, and Mike and his friends got excited. "She must be good," they commented and watched.

However, they couldn't enjoy a second of it. They all recognized the person who had helped organize a bake sale and rang their groceries at the market when they had to accompany their mothers long ago. Their jaws were on the floor, but Mike felt like he was dying.

"Is that Mike's mom?" Olly asked, and all the others turned to him with shut-up expressions. Mike didn't pay them attention. His eyes were glued to the stage. He hated it but couldn't look away. His mother was moving on the pole, gyrating her hips, and attracting too much attention.

Without realizing it, he was on his feet and moving closer. "Mike! Mike!" he heard from his friends but kept walking closer and closer.

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

***

Although the music was loud, Belinda heard the name and stopped mid-spin on the pole when she saw her son standing in the middle of the club.

"Mike," she whispered, and her son ran off, followed by his friends.

"Hey, keep dancing!"

"I'm not paying if you don't dance!"

She heard the yells from other patrons but couldn't dance anymore. She didn't feel sexy or accomplished anymore. She felt awful, so she ran backstage and explained everything to her manager, who let her off for the night.

She went straight home, where Mike was waiting with the worst outburst of his life.

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***

"HOW COULD YOU? MY FRIENDS WERE THERE! I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS! WHY ARE YOU STRIPPING?" Mike shouted at her, pacing their living room and covered in angry sweat.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

"It's not stripping. I'm just pole dancing! What were you guys doing there? You shouldn't be going to those places, even if you're 18," Belinda tried to scold, but her voice trailed off weakly.

"IT'S NOT JUST POLE DANCING, AND YOU KNOW IT! IT'S DISGUSTING AND EMBARRASSING. MY OWN MOTHER! GOD, HOW? WHY?" Mike continued, pulling his hands through his hair.

"You complained about me not making enough money for your college. I was a pole dancer until I got pregnant and decided to have a normal, minimum-wage job for your sake. But I went back after your outburst and got the money," Belinda explained softly.

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"No! Why? GOD! You shouldn't! NO! I wanted you to have a good job, not something so awful and shameful!" the young adult lamented.

"No job is shameful, especially not one that will pay for your future," Belinda finally had enough. Her voice was ice. "Now, I'm sorry you had to see me dancing on stage. Don't come to that club because I plan to keep working as long as possible."

"GOD! You're a… a…" Mike stuttered, but he finally called her a dirty, disgraceful word. Something Belinda never imagined her son would ever call her. They both froze after the insult came out, and Mike realized his mistake quickly. But he wouldn't take it back. Instead, he ran out of his house, and she let him go.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

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***

"Jackson, open the door," Mike knocked heavily on his college friend's dorm room door, wanting to vent. He wouldn't be caught dead talking to Luke or Olly about this, but Jackson might be more sympathetic and less likely to mock him.

Mike began to rant when the door opened, but he stopped after seeing his friend rushing. "Where are you going?" he asked.

"The hospital! My stepfather called. She collapsed or something. I'm sorry, Mike. I have to leave," Jackson said, frantic. He padded his pockets, found his car keys, and walked outside.

"I'll go with you," Mike said, following after closing the dorm room door. Jackson and Mike grew up together as they were neighbors. But his mother was no longer so nearby.

They had to travel about an hour away because she moved from their town a few months ago when Jackson started school. His stepfather had gotten another job, and they decided to leave finally. After collapsing, she was sent to a hospital closer to their new house, and his friend was driving like a bat out of hell.

"Tell me about your mom. It'll distract me," Jackson finally said after a few silent minutes in the car. Mike didn't want to be insensitive, considering they didn't know much about his mother's condition, but he opened up and ranted. He was not as angry as when he knocked on his dorm, but his words were still heated.

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

"What would you do?" Mike asked, helpless, after finishing his venting session.

"I really don't know. I mean…but she did it for you, Mike. It's not ideal, but it wasn't for herself. Your mom loves you more than anything," Jackson said, wetting his lips.

"We'll figure it out. Together," his mom insisted.

"Yeah, I guess," Mike said, thinking hard. The car got silent again until they reached the hospital. Jackson parked haphazardly where he could and ran inside. Mike followed closely while his friend put his phone to his ear.

"God! Why isn't Carl answering?" Jackson spat, infuriated.

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"Let me ask here," Mike said and ran to the desk, telling them Jackson's mom's name and asking for her room. "Please hurry. My friend needs to see his mom."

They revealed the room number and ran through the hospital again, only to arrive in a room where Jackson's stepfather sat alone on a chair, crying.

"Carl?" Jackson said carefully.

"Oh, Jackson," the older man stood up, crying more heavily. Mike stood to the side and feared the absolute worst, hoping it wasn't what he thought.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

"Carl, please. What… Mom… where?" his friend stammered.

"Jackson, boy. She's gone," he said, and the whole world stopped. The noise of the hospital disappeared, and Mike saw as if in slow motion as his dearest friend broke down with his stepfather. He couldn't help. He had no comfort to provide. He could only be there.

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One nurse came to ask them some questions, but they were in no shape. She tried asking Mike, but he had no knowledge of social security numbers or what they wanted to do for funeral arrangements. Instead, he went outside to the vending machine and bought some sugary sodas. That would help them.

He swallowed thickly and closed his eyes before leaning down to get the cold beverages, and then he returned to the room. Hours might have passed. He wasn't sure, but Jackson finally said, "You can leave, Mike. I think we'll be here a while. Here, take my car. I can get it back later."

"Are you sure? I can stay. I can bring something from their house—anything," he offered, helpless.

"No. Carl and I need to handle things alone," Jackson nodded, patted his shoulder, and pushed him out of the room. Mike left reluctantly and drove back home.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

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***

"Where have you been? I've been worried sick about you! Look, I'll quit if it's that important, but your school –" Mike cut his mother off with the tightest hug he had ever given her. "Mike, are you OK?"

He sobbed in her arms while trying to explain, and Belinda cried, too, because Jackson's mom was also her friend for so long.

"I'm sorry, Mom. For everything. For that word, too. I will never repeat it in my life. I know you were working for me. There's no shame in that job because it brings good money. If you like it, I won't say another word. But if you don't. It's alright. I can still go to school," Mike stated.

Most kids expect to become adults on their 18th birthday, but the occasion doesn't automatically make anyone a man. Mike knew he had become a real adult after witnessing such heartbreak from his friend. He knew he had to value his mother and all she did to raise him independently.

"I love pole dancing, but I think I'll quit. I'm not as young as I was," Belinda laughed wetly, drying her tears with a tissue.

"Good," Mike nodded. He honestly didn't care as long as it was what she wanted. "I'll figure things out for the rest of my college semesters."

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

"We'll figure it out. Together," his mom insisted.

"Yeah," he nodded sagely.

"Help me find a florist. We need to send something to Jackson's mom's house," Belinda said. "You need to rent a black suit. You have to be by his side through this."

"Yeah," Mike repeated and followed her lead.

He was there for his friend through the funeral, burial, and all the days of mourning that followed. Jackson had to return to school quickly for finals, and Mike ensured he wasn't alone.

He got a part-time job for the summer, saving up as much as possible to continue school after the first semester. Through hard work and some help from Belinda, he reached his goal and only had to get a loan in his last year of college.

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He graduated with honors and got a good job at a video game company – his dream. He sent Belinda regular checks, which she saved to open up her own pole dancing studio. Mike was chagrined about that, but it became popular and made his mother happy.

What can we learn from this story?

  • Never disregard the efforts that parents have to make to raise their children. Belinda did everything for her son, and he should've never shamed her for it.
  • Seeing someone else losing something important can be a wake-up call. Mike only snapped out of his petulance when he saw Jackson's suffering.

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 a boy who found boxes on his doorstep the day after his birthday party, which no one attended.

This piece is inspired by stories from the everyday lives of our readers 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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