A dad decides to check his teenage daughter’s backpack after getting a call from her school principal that she hasn’t been attending her classes. To his surprise, he saw wads of cash inside bundled up with rubber bands.
Michael was about to head home from work when he received a call on his cellphone. “Hello, this is Michael. How can I help you?” he answered.
“Hello, sir. This is Mrs. Watson from the high school. I called to check in on Deborah. Is she alright?” she asked him.
“My daughter was fine when she left for school today. Did something happen?” he said, suddenly worried if Deborah was alright.
“Sir, Deborah hasn’t come to school this entire week. It’s Thursday, and she still hasn’t shown up. So I wanted to check in and ask if she was sick,” Mrs. Watson revealed.
Michael was stunned because he had been having breakfast with Deborah every day before he left for work. He’d even ask her about how school had been going, and she’d always respond that everything was going well.
Upon looking under the bed, he was surprised to see her favorite backpack—in it, a secret compartment filled with rolled wads of cash inside, bundled in different denominations.
Michael rushed home to speak to his daughter. He went into her bedroom, only to find out she wasn’t home yet.
Seeking potential clues as to why she’s been missing school, Michael searched around her room. Upon looking under the bed, he was surprised to see her favorite backpack—in it, a secret compartment filled with rolled wads of cash inside, bundled in different denominations.
“What is she doing?!” he thought to himself, nervous about what kind of trouble his daughter was getting herself into.
All the worst possibilities troubled Michael’s mind while waiting for Deborah to get home. When she did, Michael was waiting for her by the front porch. “Where have you been?” he asked her.
“Sorry, dad,” Deborah replied. “I got caught up in the library at school,” she lied.
At this point, Michael was growing impatient and wanted answers from her. He was angry that she was lying to him, but he knew that if he pressed her too hard, she’d continue to lie to him. Instead, he decided to follow her the next day.
When they ate breakfast together, Michael pretended to believe that Deborah had been going to school as usual. Before she left that day, he told her to “have a great day.”
Michael followed a couple of meters behind Deborah when she began walking. Instead of turning left to head to school, she turned right towards the main road. There, she started to set up on the street by putting a cap on the floor and taking her violin out from its case.
“Why is she playing the violin?” Michael asked, speaking to himself. Before he could approach her, two cops appeared on the street and walked up to Deborah.
“Do you have a performer’s license?” the policemen asked her. Deborah’s eyes widened, and she grabbed her things from the ground before running away in fear.
While she was running, she bumped into her father’s chest. Upon looking up, Deborah had a look of both relief and fear in her eyes. “Dad!” she cried, hugging him tightly.
“Deborah,” he comforted her and asked her as soon as she was settled, “What have you been doing on the street? Why are you busking?”
Deborah apologized to her dad for lying and for not going to school. “I’m only trying to help, dad,” she started. “My friends and I have been raising money for one of our classmates who needs spinal surgery,” she finally revealed.
“So you and your classmates have been missing school because of it?” Michael asked her. “Why didn’t you just do it after school?”
“Spinal surgery is expensive, dad. We need all the time we can get to earn money for him. The sooner we raise money, the earlier we can go back to school,” Deborah explained.
Michael shook his head. “You need to go back to school, honey. There are more ways to raise money for your friend,” he told his daughter sternly. Before the girl could object, Michael was headed somewhere.
Deborah watched her dad approach the cops who apprehended her for busking on the street. “Dad, what are you doing?” she asked, trying to catch up to him.
“Don’t fine the kids, officers,” Michael said. “They were just trying to raise money for a friend who’s about to undergo a major surgery,” he explained. “I’m Michael, this young lady’s dad,” he said, pointing back at Deborah, who was hiding behind his back.
The officers decided to let the kids go with a warning. Michael gave his calling card to one of the police officers and said he’d be in touch.
When Michael and Deborah got home, he asked her to go back to school that coming Monday. “Please, Deborah. Your teachers might give you failing marks if you continue to miss your classes. I’ll take you to school myself next week, alright?” he told her.
Deborah nodded her head, knowing her dad only wanted what was best for her.
The following week, while Deborah and her classmates were in the first period, Michael and the same two cops who had confronted her entered the classroom. Together with their teacher, they revealed that they had scheduled a community charity concert at the school for their classmate who needed surgery.
“The fundraising concert will be this Saturday and Sunday,” their teacher announced. “Tickets will be sold at forty dollars each, and all of you will be in charge of the performances. Are you up for that?” she asked her class.
The class eagerly cheered that they were determined to make the concert a success. They spent their breaks practicing and promised to sell at least fifteen tickets each. They also asked for help from other grade levels so they could sell even more tickets.
By Friday, the class sold enough tickets to fill the whole auditorium, with some people choosing to donate more than just forty dollars. They successfully raised a total of $21,000, which was enough to cover the cost of their classmate’s surgery.
When the class presented the money to their classmate’s parents, they revealed that he had been primed for the surgery for a few weeks already, and all they had prayed for was the money to pay for it as the tests had already been done.
“I can’t thank you enough,” his mom cried. “You are all heaven-sent. Because of you, my son will be well again. Thank you so much,” she said, hugging each and every one of the students who came to give the cash.
On the day of the surgery, Michael was scheduled to pick up his daughter from the hospital on the way home from work. As she left the building, she had a big smile on her face. “Our classmate had the surgery, dad! He will recover soon!”
“That’s great news!” he said, opening the car door for her.
When Deborah got in, the first thing she did was apologize. “I’m sorry for worrying you, dad. I was only doing what I thought was the right thing,” she explained.
Michael nodded and gave her a kiss on the forehead. “Don’t worry about it, Deborah. You’re a great friend, and I’m really proud of you for that.”