Charley’s World Episode Three

Charley wondered who would be calling him at 9:30 at night. Normally he would not answer the call, but as fate would have it, he did answer the call this time.

“Hello, this is Nellie. Natty just went to sleep. I wanted to call you to say how wonderful it was for you to see that she was safe. And that book you gave her…I’ve never seen her get excited about reading before. I’m not a very good reader myself so I know how important reading can be. So thank you so much.”

“Actually I should thank you and Natty. My wife and daughter were killed by a drunk driver and I’ve been in a funk since then. This was the first time that I had felt like my old self. Do you know why she got off the bus where she did?”

“We don’t have much money so Natty has to wear clothes given to us by our church. The clothes aren’t very fashionable, and the kids were making fun of her. I guess she just couldn’t stand the teasing anymore, so she got off the bus. The bus driver should have stopped her but he didn’t.”

“Maybe God intended this to happen. I’ve been doing nothing since I got a huge financial settlement from the loss of my wife and daughter. So I’ve just been sitting at home doing nothing. I’m glad I was there for Natty.”

“Maybe we can make this her normal stop after school. I’m just waiting to return to the University next fall and like I said, Natty helped me return to my old life. I’d love to teach her reading and anything else she’s struggling with. You can think of this as an after school program.”

“That would be so wonderful. Natty gets home 2 hours before I do and I don’t like her being home alone. I could drive by your house and pick her up each day after work.”

“Let’s start tomorrow,” Charley responded.

While Charley had been preparing to go to sleep, he was too excited. Then he got the idea to do a Google search to understand how reading skills are developed. As he read article after article, what he discovered was that he already knew what it takes to develop reading proficiency. He never realized until that moment a skill that he already had.

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“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” – George Eliot