Denise Wilson boarded the New York City subway, heading back towards her home in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, when she noticed something a little out of the ordinary. Across from her was a man in red (whom she later learned to be one Corey Simmons), struggling with what appeared to be math homework. A few stops later, another passenger boarded the train and began nosily looking over Simmons' shoulder. What he did next "filled [Wilson's] heart with warmth."
These are the stories you need to put out there?— tkuch (@tric99) April 27, 2018
It turns out Simmons was re-learning fractions to help his son, and the stranger on the train just happened to be a former math teacher! Wilson told the story to People:
I saw him open the notebook watched him go through it, and a few stops later, another guy got on the train and he started leaning over and being a little nosey, trying to see what he was doing. Then I overheard him tell the stranger that his son failed a math test, so he was relearning fractions to help him because he hadn’t done them in years…When I saw that, my heart filled up with so much warmth. Dads don’t get enough credit sometimes, I feel like. And come to find out, Corey is a single father. That’s amazing to me.
This is why I love this city. We have each other’s backs. Unless you’re blocking the exit door with your backpack then god help you— Master Debator (@Master__Debator) April 27, 2018
Wilson says the stranger was a patient teacher:
Everything that Corey didn’t understand, the guy broke it down for him and showed him different methods on how he could do it.
Why can't we all just be like this with each other, helpful and loving. Just doing things for other people without anything in return— Christy (@Bearsgirl72) April 27, 2018
Wilson posted a picture of the pair on her Facebook later that night, and it quickly went viral, with over 44k shares and 123k.
Simmons, the man in the red jacket, later told CBS New York he's glad a friendly stranger was there to help:
You need help sometimes, and you shouldn’t want to bite your tongue,
tonot ask for the help. So don’t feel shy to ask someone for help. It’s okay. It doesn’t matter if you fail, it’s what you do after you fail.
It seems not all the stories that come out of the big city are sad and cynical. Wilson commented to People:
It felt good that two complete strangers could come together — regardless of skin color — to teach each other. I feel both of them left each other with a gift.
The kind of news we love to hear about ❤️— Samara ✨ (@MizzSamz) April 27, 2018