A teacher learns her pupil is skipping school and tending to his little sister alone when she pays him a surprise visit. Little does she know she’s about to discover a heartbreaking truth about the boy that would change their lives forever.


Mrs. Whittaker’s heart sank that morning when she returned from the school playground. For the first time that year Jamie had opened up to her about his family.

As a teacher, Mrs. Whittaker was aware of her limitations and that it wasn’t her job to pry into her students’ lives. But little Jamie was so different. Not because she had a soft corner for him but because he was the sweetest and kindest boy in her class.

Despite being only seven, he’d never been a trouble for anyone. And he’d always been too quiet for someone his age. So that day, when she saw him in the playground with a polaroid camera, she decided to have a little talk with him. If only she knew that talk would change her life forever…

“That’s a lovely camera you got, darling,” Mrs. Whittaker remarked, and the young boy turned to face her.

“Thank you…” he said quietly. “Daddy got it for me.”

“So, have you got any pictures in there? May I look?”

Jamie shook his head. “Not yet. But I know I’ll get some pretty clicks. Daddy was a photographer, and he loved taking pictures.”

“Oh, did he? Well, I guess that’s what smart daddies do!” she said with a smile. “You know, my daddy was a literature professor, so his talents were explaining Shakespeare and Dante and all those writers to his students! Not as fun as photography, you see!”



It was then she noticed the boy’s eyes well up. “But he can’t get me anything now…” he whispered. “Daddy’s gone… He went to the angels.”

Since she’d started teaching Jamie, Mrs. Whittaker had always wondered why the boy never spoke about his family. She’d once seen his mother during the parent-teacher meeting but never got the chance to ask her if Jamie was happy at home.

After learning about his father’s death, Mrs. Whittaker’s heart sank. “You’re a brave boy, Jamie,” she told him calmly, “and I’m sure your father is telling the angels what a beautiful son he has! Isn’t that right?”

Blood is NOT always thicker than water.
Mrs. Whittaker noticed a weird sadness in Jamie’s eyes as he nodded and returned to class that morning. She stood there, watching him leave and wondering how terrible the loss must’ve been for a little heart like Jamie’s to bear.

Unfortunately, she had no idea that he was so devastated after losing his father that he couldn’t bring himself to part with his camera. He carried it everywhere he went and even skipped classes on occasion to photograph landscapes and nature.

Something similar happened one day. Jamie didn’t show up at school that day, and Mrs. Whittaker couldn’t reach his mother. She assumed Jamie was sick and would return to school soon, but that didn’t happen.

Days passed, and Mrs. Whittaker received no communication about Jamie. She tried to reach his mother, but all her calls went straight to voicemail. Mrs. Whittaker’s mind told her that she could be overthinking things and that Jamie would be back to school.

Maybe he was really sick? Maybe his mother would notice her missed calls and reach out to her?

But when that didn’t happen, something in her gut told her that the child was in danger. So, after the lessons, Mrs. Whittaker grabbed her purse, searched the school book for Jamie’s address, and decided to drive to his house.

When she arrived, she found herself on the front porch of a decent but neglected house. She rang the doorbell and looked around. The lawn needed urgent mowing, and fence pickets were missing. What was going on?

Mrs. Whittaker rang the bell again because it wasn’t answered the first time. As the door opened, she was shocked to find Jamie in the doorway, a little baby in his arms.

“Oh, dear! Jamie! Are there no elders at home?” she asked worriedly.

Jamie’s shoulders slumped. “We’re alright, Mrs. Whittaker,” he admitted glumly. “You could come later. Granny is not home…”

Mrs. Whittaker knelt to face Jamie and asked, “Where’s your mother, darling?”

She noticed Jamie’s eyes well up. “She…” he said. “She isn’t home.”

“Well then,” she said. “I’m coming in to look after you until she returns!”

Mrs. Whittaker stormed into the house, and her hands went to her mouth in shock. Half-buttered bread was lying on the kitchen counter, and toys were littered around the living room. Then she noticed the dirty milk bottles on the front table and a pram beside the couch.

The house clearly looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in days, if not weeks. And Mrs. Whittaker was slowly getting an idea why Jamie was missing from school for days.

“Would you kindly hold my sister, Camila, Mrs. Whittaker? I can make you some tea. And I’m hungry. I need to make sandwiches.”

“Well, honey, I’m not in the mood for any tea, and I suppose I can make you a sandwich instead! But you really need to tell me whether someone is watching out for you and your sister. This house appears to be in disarray to me, and your mother should be thankful no one called the cops on her!” she exclaimed. “So you sit right there on the couch and leave things up to me!”

Mrs. Whittaker buttered the bread and made juice from the oranges she found in the fruit basket. She then handed Jamie a large glass of juice and a sandwich and rocked Camila while he ate.

Suddenly, Jamie spoke up. “Granny will be home soon. Thank you.”

“Ah, well, alright,” Mrs. Whittaker replied as she looked around the house. She could see another room right beside the kitchen, and it had photographs on the walls. One of the photos was clearly visible, and she recognized it as Camila’s polaroid. She couldn’t resist asking Jamie about it.


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