Ally Becker came home from school after Varsity basketball practice and was extremely gleeful. She looked frantically for her Father and walked into the kitchen, the laundry room and finally the living room. “Dad!!” Ally yelled.
“I’ll be right there, Ally,” he said calmly. Ally could not contain herself and certainly could not sit. After two minutes, her father walked into the living room to greet her.
Without even saying ‘Hello’ or letting her Father say ‘Hello,’ Ally burst into words.
“Dad! Dad! You’ve gotta meet this woman who spoke at my school this afternoon. She’s one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met! Her name is Alecia Manning and she’s part owner of this R & B club downtown that just opened. She’s invited the entire school to come by anytime to check out what she’s created through inspiration. ”
“Ally, I’m tickled that you’re excited,” her Father said with joy. “When are you planning on going to this R & B club?” “Tomorrow – Friday,” said Ally. “Tomorrow night, I have an appointment with Evans…” “Dad! Why can’t –“ “BUT,” He interrupted his daughter. “I will phone Evans and let him know if we can schedule an earlier appointment. He’s pretty cool about those things. Ally, I have got to meet anyone who inspires you this much!” “Dad!” she said with exasperation. “I will be at the club tomorrow night. I have always done the things that were important to you. I have always made time to see all of your home Varsity basketball games. I have rearranged appointments to see your away games.” “You’re right, Dad. You have been there for me since Mom died. I know you’re doing your best to do what Mom used to do for me and –“ “No, Ally,” he interjected. “What your Mother did for you was amazing. No one can take her place.” Father and daughter hugged tearfully.
The next night, Mr. Becker went to the club’s entrance only to find a couple of men standing guard. Both men looked like they could play defense for any NFL team. “I’m sorry, sir,” one of the men said regretfully. “You’re gonna have to stay here for a few minutes.” “That’s fine,” said Mr. Becker. Becker pulled out his cell phone and made a call while he was waiting. As soon as he hung up his mobile phone, he heard a loud joyful female yell.
“Mr. Becker?!?” yelled the woman. “Alecia?” asked Mr. Becker pleasantly surprised. The woman ran to him and gave him a gigantic hug. “Oh, I’m sorry, Mrs. Manning,” said one of the men at the entrance. “I didn’t know he was with you.” “That’s alright, Wyatt,” Alecia said to the man with a huge smile. “This is a very dear friend. The man who I told you all about that gave me the chance to start and succeed. The man who helped me get scholarships from the store where I worked and where he was store manager.” Mr. Becker smiled proudly of the woman. The woman continued, “Mr. Becker is the man who got me reasonable daycare for my son, Alfonzo. He’s 11 now.”
“Alfonzo is 11?” asked Mr. Becker with disbelief. “Was it really ten years ago, Alecia? You were just out of high school and it was just you and little Alonzo.” “Big Alonzo, now!” exclaimed Alecia. They both laughed heartily. “You’re the Alecia who inspired my daughter,” Mr. Becker said with affirmation. Alecia and Mr. Becker walked through the club’s entrance and he was amazed by all that Alecia was responsible for. “You always said that you wanted to open a club. You did it!” said Mr. Becker sounding like a proud Father. “Thanks to you,” Alecia said with a tear in her eye. “Ten years ago, you’re the only one who believed in me, Mr. Becker. You always told me that whatever I strove for, I could get.” “Remember what I used to always tell you about Michael Jordan,” Mr. Becker reminded her. “He was not a great high school basketball player, but all it took was one person to tell him that he believed in him.” “Just like you did with me,” Alecia reminded Becker. “I remember you as Alecia Harris when you worked at the store,” recalled Becker. “Yes I was Alecia Harris, then Jamal and I got married,” she explained. “You and Jamal got married?” Becker asked gleefully. “Five years ago.” “Congratulations!” “Thanks,” she grinned. “I didn’t know his last name,” Becker said apologetically. “Otherwise, I probably would have known you were the one who inspired my daughter by the talk you gave at her school this afternoon. “Yes, I did give that talk this afternoon. Mr. Becker, my schedule can be so hectic nowadays with promoting the club and giving talks to students. It’s hard to keep track of what I did yesterday.”
As the two continued to talk, a high school gal walked up to them. “Dad! Mrs. Manning!” she said with delight. Becker and Alecia smiled. “Well, Hello Ally,” said Alecia. “Mr. Becker is your Father?” Alecia was delighted with wonder. “You two KNOW each other?” asked Ally. “Yes,” said Alecia. Ally’s jaw dropped as Alecia continued. “He’s the man I spoke about this afternoon at your school who used to tell me all the time about the Michael Jordan High School story. He’s the one who inspired me to earn my Bachelor’s degree.” “MY Dad is the one who did that for you?” Ally asked in amazement. “Yep,” Alecia said affirmatively. “You see, Ally,“ she continued. “Your Dad knows more than you think.” She looked at Becker. “My Dad tells me that Michael Jordan story all of the time,” gasped Ally. “He’s right, you know,” said Alecia convincingly. “All it DOES take is one person to tell you that he or she believes in you.” “Wow!” Ally said with newfound excitement and knowledge. “My Dad IS pretty cool after all.” They all laughed.