One ordinary day, Charles noticed a sudden change in his young daughter. The beautiful, bubbly girl was no longer laughing and enjoying life, instead, she was becoming withdrawn.
When he asked her what was wrong, she shrugged it off and refused to talk about it. Eventually, he would discover the truth about her deep sadness.
He wanted answers, and he knew just what he had to do. He had no idea what he was about to get himself into.
Charles And Erica Mercer
Charles and Erica Mercer were overjoyed to share their seven-year-old daughter, Kristie. They loved her more than they could put into words.
Kristie was their pride and joy and Erica adored the fact that Charles and Kristie were best friends. What more could she possibly want?
Their young daughter was the life and soul of their household. She was always running around the house, singing and dancing. Charles never expected the sudden change in his daughter’s behavior.
Kristie had asked her father to help her get ready in the mornings. Erica didn’t feel left out, after all, she was an ER nurse who usually worked the night shifts. She had to catch up on much-needed sleep in the mornings.
Charles worked from home, which meant that it was easy for him to take over the morning routines.
This is how Charles and Kristie spent every single morning. After a bit of practice, Charles learned how to do his daughter’s hair in all kinds of unique and funky styles. It made her happy, and that was all he ever wanted for her. But soon, Kristie wouldn’t be all that happy anymore.
A Trick Up His Sleeve
Some mornings were quite tough for Charles and his daughter. The winter was settling in, and it was becoming harder to get the little girl out of bed. Luckily, Charles had a trick up his sleeve whenever this would occur.
He used cute and colorful hair accessories to lure Kristie out of bed. She had a deep love for butterflies, and Charles made sure to buy them to put them in her hair.
This always excited Kristie. It made her want to go to school to show all of her friends. But Charles was about to learn that this trick would not always work.
As time passed, Charles became even more skilled in styling Kristie’s hair. He took photos of every style he did, feeling proud of his hard work.
She liked pigtails the most and Charles always made sure to add plenty of butterfly hair clips to make it look extra colorful and beautiful.
One morning, as Charles was doing his daughter’s hair, he noticed her sad face in the mirror.
“Hey, what’s wrong?” he asked her gently, but she just looked down, avoiding the question. Charles knew that something was bothering her.
She wasn’t being her usual bubbly self, and this concerned him.
He watched as tears began rolling down her cheeks. He let go of her hair and held her in his arms. Something was very wrong, he’d never seen her like this.
“I don’t want to go to school today, Daddy.” Kristie cried, confusing Charles. This wasn’t like Kristie. She was always excited to go to school and see her friends.
He frowned, worried as he asked, “Are you sick, Princess?” Kristie shook her head, but she didn’t want to tell her dad what the problem was.
Charles was determined to get to the bottom of her reluctance to go to school.
She Was Nervous
After a bit of persuasion, he got her to go to school. He packed her a special lunch bag with all of her favorite treats before taking her to school. The drive was quiet and he could tell that Kristie was nervous.
When she stepped out of the car, Charles told her that he would be right there, waiting for her as soon as school was out.
Kristie gave her dad a small, sad smile before walking off.
A Lot On Her Mind
When he got his daughter from school that afternoon, she seemed ever sadder than before. He had to know what was really going on.
“How was your day, Princess?” Charles asked, but Kristie didn’t respond. Instead, she sighed. The little girl had a lot on her mind.
As soon as they got home, she made her way straight to her bedroom. Charles felt extremely worried. Was she struggling at school?
A Tough Time
Becoming a father meant the world to Charles. He always dreamed of having a daughter. He was the last in his group of friends to become a parent. When Erica learned that she was pregnant, Charles was overjoyed.
He read plenty of books on parenthood and knew a lot, but he was aware that he was no expert.
But now his daughter was displaying some concerning behavior and he didn’t know what he was supposed to do.
He walked into her bedroom to bring her some lunch. He made her favorite, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cut into hearts.
“Do you want to tell me what’s wrong?” he asked her. But Kristie was playing with her dolls and didn’t really want to talk about school.
Charles needed to find another way of getting her to open up.
Charles tried thinking about the situation. What could make a little girl clam up and not want to go to school anymore?
Was it the schoolwork, was she struggling? Or was it the other kids that were maybe making fun of her different hairstyles?
Things would only get worse and Charles was running out of options on what to do.
The Struggle Continues
The next morning, he struggled to get Kristie out of bed. Sure it was cold outside, but she wasn’t running a fever and didn’t seem sick.
“Daddy, I just don’t want to go today, please let me stay.” Charles gave in and decided to let her stay home.
Maybe he could finally find out what was going on. But it would prove harder than he thought.
Is She Sick?
When Charles’ wife Erica woke up for the day, she was surprised to see her daughter was at home and not at school.
She knocked on Charles’ office door and went inside. She asked him if Kristie was sick and if she needed to take her to the doctor.
Charles assured her she was fine but told her something else was wrong that made Kristie not want to go to school.
A Worried Mother
Erica was puzzled. She decided to talk to Kristie and figure out what was going on. But she just burst out crying.
Erica became upset and couldn’t understand why her daughter was so sad.
She was clearly distraught about something and Erica and Charles needed to help their daughter before it was too late. It would prove difficult for Kristie’s parents.
Tear Filled Mornings
For the next few mornings, Kristie would have tears in her eyes when the time came to get up for school.
Charles tried to make her mornings special with breakfasts and even bought new colorful ribbons for her hair.
When Kristie said she didn’t want to go to school again, Charles knew the situation was more serious now. She began sobbing and was so upset that he couldn’t console her.
Trying His Best
Her unhappiness continued for weeks, although this time, Charles managed to get her to attend school.
He made sure she looked pretty each day and packed the most delicious and cute-looking lunches that he could think of, all in a bid to make Kristie look forward to going to school.
He spent hours on YouTube looking for new fun ideas, but it all amounted to nothing.
Time To Intervene
When Charles attempted to ask her about school again, she just shut down completely and remained silent. Any parent in his position would be worried.
He just couldn’t let this continue to happen. His precious girl was upset and he was completely heartbroken seeing her like this.
He could no longer handle her sadness. He decided to do some investigating.
A Big Move
They had just moved to Kansas City from St. Louis, and he figured it was the move to a new school that had possibly made his daughter anxious.
They found a great school in their area and Kristie seemed happy.
When he fetched her from school each day, he could see she had a few friends and they seemed to get along well. What had been the problem then?
She Was Happy At Previous School
She hadn’t been this unhappy at her previous school. She was always upbeat and happy to go to school, even though Charles hadn’t even started doing her hair and packing her lunches.
Maybe that was the problem, he thought. But she loved the hairstyles he did for her and she never complained about it nor did he receive any letters from the school.
Could this new school be the problem?
Kristie had been getting good grades at her previous school.
She was a straight-A student and her teacher sang her praises and said she was the top student in the class.
Charles noticed when she started at the new school, everything was fine in the beginning until now. It looked like her grades were dropping. It was not a good sign.
He needed to get to the bottom of the situation and fast because Kristie was shrinking away and no longer the happy little girl they knew her to be.
They had a stable home environment so it could not have not been something in their home that was causing her distress.
He thought for a moment, how was he going to do this?
He knew he needed to act fast because he didn’t want to leave his daughter in this state for too long.
These were her formative years and what happens in these stages helped to mold her into the person she would be in the future.
The developmental stages were important and it was crucial that Charles help her as soon as possible.
Charles and Erica spoke about what they could do to help their daughter. They were overwhelmed and stressed because of her unhappiness.
They struggled to sleep because they knew that every morning would bring another issue and Kristie would refuse to go to school.
Then Charles thought of something he could get that would be the answer to their problems.
It was a bit far-fetched but Charles thought it could possibly be the only solution that he could come up with.
He would get a listening device and plant it somewhere so that he could listen in remotely. That way he could hear if there were signs of any bullying going on.
He could then also use it as evidence if needs be. Charles set his plan in motion.
A Small Device
Once he purchased the listening device, it was quite small and it would be perfect to hide it somewhere where no one would get suspicious.
But where would he hide it? He could put it in Kristie’s book bag.
But there was the risk of it moving around and the audio getting muffled by all her books.
The Perfect Hiding Spot
It was then that he came up with his craziest idea yet. He didn’t know if it would work but it had potential.
With careful placement, it could be the perfect hiding spot.
If it worked, they would finally be able to get to the bottom of what was bothering their daughter and come up with a suitable solution.
Plan Of Action
The next morning, it was crucial that Kristie went to school. It was their only chance. Erica was up even though she needed to sleep but she made sure to make a good lunch for Kristie.
Charles was doing her hair and he intricately weaved a style to place the listening device into her braids.
It was risky, but it sat snugly in her hair and he didn’t tell her about it in case she got distracted. Everything was in place and now they waited.
The Truth Revealed
During the course of the day, Charles would hear what was going on. It was the teacher and she was being particularly mean and hard on all the students if they didn’t know their work.
He didn’t specifically hear the teacher berate Kristie, but during the day he could hear his daughter console one of her friends who was very upset when the teacher shouted at her.
Charles had enough and he had to do something to help Kristie and the rest of her class.
The next day, Charles went into the school and spoke to the principal, and played the recording for her to hear. She was taken aback and assured him that the teacher would be disciplined for her conduct.
Over the next few days, he could immediately see the difference and Kristie seemed happier and more willing to go to school. It seemed his little plan helped not only his daughter but all of her friends as well.
Disclaimer: To protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.