When a boy arrives late for class, the teacher chastises him and asks to speak with his parents. The youngster is absent the following day, though, and only his grandmother shows up, claiming he is ill. After making an unexpected visit, the instructor, who still doubtful, finds that the boy’s life is far more problematic than he initially believed.
There was excitement on Mr. Morgan’s first day of work as a new history teacher. A few minutes after the lesson began, the door to the grade 7 classroom creaked open, and he was inside, prepared to wow the class with his presentation on the Great Depression and World War II.
Everyone in the class turned to look at the person interfering with their lecture, and a quiet descended. With his eyes locked on the ground, a youngster entered the room and sat down without saying anything or raising his gaze to address the teacher.
“Good morning, young man,” Mr. Morgan remarked in a firm tone. “You’re twenty minutes late for class today, it’s 9:15. Do you have a valid excuse?
But the boy did not answer; he just sat.
Would you kindly take a seat and give me a brief introduction? Mr. Morgan continued.
The child got up and looked up, rubbing his sleepy eyes. “I’m Archie,” he said. Archie appeared extremely messy and lightheaded, as if he hadn’t slept a wink the night before.
“Hi Archie, nice to meet you. I’ll be teaching history to you now. You arrive in class late. Could you please explain why? You simply entered without giving an explanation, and I won’t put up with that kind of behavior.
Archie paused for a moment. “Sir, I apologize. I slept in too late. I apologize for being late. He couldn’t contain his yawn as he said, “I was just tired, sir,” to the amusement of the entire class.
“Quiet!” Mr. Morgan made a demand. “Archie, you can’t arrive at class late like this.” Could you show me your homework? I’ve heard that you had homework every weekend from your former history teacher. Could you show it to me please?
When Archie turned in his notepad, Mr. Morgan’s face became uncomfortable. “It appears that you did not complete your homework at all,”
The boy shyly said, “I didn’t do it, sir,” as the teacher turned to turn the next few pages.
What is this, Archie? And this, too? This entire term, you haven’t completed any of your homework, Mr. Morgan reprimanded. “I want to see your folks tomorrow, please, first thing in the morning. Alternatively, I’ll take you directly to the principal’s office. Is that understood correctly?
“Yes, sir,” Archie said as he sagged into his chair.
However, when the boy failed to appear for class the next day, Mr. Morgan became concerned.
That is strange. Archie isn’t here today even though I instructed him to bring his folks.Hopefully I didn’t frighten him. Mr. Morgan worriedly finished the remainder of his lecture, saying, “I just wanted to help him.”
“All right, everybody! I’ll see you tomorrow.Remember to turn in your assignment, too. It’s due in two days,” he declared as he started to pack his things and get ready to go. It was then that he observed an older woman waiting outside the classroom; she looked to be in her 80s.
“Pardon me, are you trying to find someone?” It was Mr. Morgan who questioned her.
The woman said, “I’m Willow, Archie’s grandmother,” while clearing her throat. “Mrs. Parker.”
“Oh, Mrs. Parker, great to meet you. Today, Archie did not attend school. Is he doing well in every way?
Grandma gave a shake of her head. “No, I told my grandson not to go to school since he was a little sick this morning. You wanted to meet his folks, he said. What then would you like to talk about? My daughter is unable to attend. You can let me know, and I’ll let her know.
Mr. Morgan expressed his worries regarding Archie’s tardiness, incomplete assignments, and subpar academic performance. He underlined that in order to resolve these concerns as soon as possible, Archie’s mother and he needed to meet.
Grandma Archie consented to set up a meeting between Archie and his mother. Despite feeling a little relieved, Mr. Morgan was nonetheless worried about the boy’s scholastic achievement. He frowned and watched as Archie’s grandmother exited the school.
Mr. Smith, the principal of the school, came over a little while later. Could you please visit my office? I want to talk about something significant.
The principal connected his fingers on the steady surface while seated at his office desk. Archie is a lovely youngster, but things are not easy for him right now, Mr. Morgan. Since you’re new, you might not be aware that his mother has problems and that his father passed away. His grades have been affected by these things. We have decided to deport him next month since he cannot continue.
Mr. Morgan objected, stunned, saying, “Expel him? However, why? Yes, he is problematic, but kicking him out isn’t the answer. Instead of rejection, he needs direction. What happens if he takes the incorrect turn?
“We have to stick to our standards. Archie has been given opportunities, but nothing has changed. Our academic numbers are being impacted by his presence,” Mr. Smith shook his head.
Mr. Morgan made an unsuccessful attempt to argue further. He was given the task by the principal to draft an evaluation for Archie’s formal dismissal. However, the newly hired history instructor was unable to take a backseat.
In an attempt to notify his mother, he drove to Archie’s residence that evening. He knocked repeatedly, and when there was no answer, he gently opened the door. The room was filled with the sight of empty whiskey bottles all over the place and the stench of rancid booze.
“Mrs. Parker? Archie? He let out a cry, but was startled to see Archie’s grandmother there.
“What brings you here, Mr. Morgan?” She questioned, looking equally shocked.
“I desired to speak with Archie’s mother and discuss… All I’m worried about is Archie. What is his location? He asked.
She quickly replied, “He’s out getting medicines,” but her gaze flitted across the space.
“By yourself? Is he not ill? Mr. Morgan wrinkled his nose and asked.
“He is capable. Her hand swung around in response, “I’ve got things to do here.”
Mr. Morgan reluctantly nodded and got up to excuse himself. But Archie was coming back just as he was heading out. The teacher stopped abruptly at the sight of the disheveled boy, who had filthy clothes and a heavy tobacco odor.
The youngster gave him a wide-eyed look before taking off running.
“Archie, hold on! Mr. Morgan said, rushing up to him, “Don’t run. “I stopped by to visit with you. What is happening? Why do you have a smokey smell?
Archie fidgeted, then glanced up at his instructor. “Sir, please leave now and don’t come here once more. Well, I’m just tired and in need of cleaning up.
“You’re worn out? Your grandmother claimed you were sick since you didn’t show up for school. You’re hiding something, I know it. Tell me how I can help, the instructor pleaded.
Even after Archie begged him to go once again, Mr. Morgan refused to give up. The principal intends to have you expelled, Archie. You must tell me what’s happening, but I won’t allow it to happen. “Why did you not attend the school?” he demanded.
The child hesitated, but as he let go of what felt like a lifetime of burdens on his shoulders, the floodgates quickly opened.
“My mom borrowed money from shady people when my dad passed away. She began drinking while working at an illicit cigarette plant. I noticed her holding a needle. I help with her debt by working part-time in the factory,” the young man admitted, casting a downward glance.
“This is too young for you. It ruins your health. Isn’t this a poor choice?
“Wouldn’t you do the same for your mother?” Archie shot back.
Mr. Morgan shook his head, expressing annoyance rather than denial. “You belong in a better place. Take a look at your hands; they belong in books, not in smoke. We’ll assist your mother if you return to school, he offered.
What impact does it have? You could turn in a poor evaluation and cause my expulsion. Nothing will change—I’m the weakest student in the class,” the dejected boy said.
Archie resisted Mr. Morgan’s attempts to convince him and turned to go. Mr. Morgan, I’m alright. I have to make my brothers dinner. Granny’s broth is terrible!
What happens if we trade places? You work on your homework while I prepare dinner. You can continue working, but concentrate on your academics when you get home, Mr. Morgan said.
“Go ahead and burn your fingers in my kitchen if you want to!” With a shrug, Archie said.
To assist Archie in concentrating on his academics, Mr. Morgan prepared meals for his family. It turned into a rut. Occasionally, dad would go to the factory to help Archie with his homework. They were closer than they could have ever imagined as they worked and studied together and spoke.
After a month, Archie’s academic performance improved, leading the principal to reevaluate the expulsion. I’m grateful, Mr. Morgan. Archie choked on his words, “I couldn’t have done this without you.”
“No, Archie, it’s your hard work,” a jubilant Mr. Morgan shot back.
A knock on the door cut short their jubilation as they were eating. When Archie replied, the Child Protective Services social workers standing outside made his heart accelerate.
They said, “May we come in and meet your guardian?” Before the boy could respond, they came in, and they quickly made the decision to act.
One of the staff members apologized, “but we have to take you and your brothers to a temporary group home until we find a better placement.”
“No! This is where we live. Archie objected as they encircled him with their arms, “We’re not leaving.” He cried aloud as he struggled against the workers. “Leave me alone… Don’t take us away, please. Grandma Mr. Morgan, provide a hand.
Mr. Morgan assured Archie that all will work out in the end as he watched them go.
Archie begged desperately, but they were brought to a shelter. For a period, the kid made unsuccessful attempts to get in touch with both his mother and Mr. Morgan.
Archie was certain, for whatever reason, that the principle was solely to blame for this. He had been the only bad guy in the small child’s life and had once tried to kick him out. He therefore developed a strong animosity toward the elderly, bald man, but it vanished after he and his siblings were adopted.
After fifteen years, Archie went back to his previous school. There was excitement and nostalgia in the familiar hallways he was walking down. He paused as he heard a familiar voice over the school intercom.
When Archie went to go to the principal’s office, he found that Mr. Morgan, his old history teacher, had taken Mr. English’s place.
“Are you the new instructor of English?” Mr. Morgan inquired, wearing a charming smile.
“Mr. Morgan! Archie, it’s me. Do you still recall me? The child who never completed his homework and had a tobacco stench? Archie came out as himself.
Seated together, they discussed life and their experiences since their last meeting. Mr. Morgan then cleared his throat, and his subsequent remarks were melancholy and solemn.
That day, I gave CPS a call. All I wanted for you kids was a better life. I apologize for keeping it from you.He said, “I hope you can forgive me,” and then let out a burst of wind.
“I sensed there was a problem. Archie laughed but became serious. “At first, I thought it was Mr. Smith, but then I realized he was just concerned about my grades.” “Mr. Morgan, I owe you everything. When others didn’t believe in me, you did.
Archie swallowed and stopped for a moment.
The young man chewed his lower lip to conclude, “There are times when the best choice is also the most painful one.”
Mr. Morgan covered his eyes to hide the wetness and nodded. God be praised.
Please share this story with your friends and let us know what you think. It could uplift them and make their day.