Posted in Artish, Projects

Polaroid History 4.2

So, this makes more sense if you go back in order and read Polaroid History 1, History 2, History 3 and History 4.1 first.

That said: TRIGGER warning. There is some stuff in here that will be weird for you if you ever experienced sexual abuse, especially within your own family.

This is the end of the sequence.

 

I’d already lost the relationship with my grandmother over this. When I brought it up to my family and close friends, there were a lot of uncomfortable conversations. Most of my family said yeah, that sounds about right. I never told Bill’s parents or my Dad (his brother). They could look it up online if they wanted.

Bill’s former students, every one of them that I called, reported having similar experiences while they were in school with him as their teacher. My good friend John, who went to college with Bill, refused to talk to me about it, then became angry with me more and more over time, and defended Bill. Our friendship crumbled.

Yup. He called me the week he got out of jail. One of the worst phone calls ever. I wrote him an email a few days later telling him that if he ever wanted to speak to me again, he first needed to apologize to all the people whose lived he had ruined, including me. There was an online thread of all his victims, who recounted their stories. Many of them were adults, like me now, with families, and they still had terrible memories from their high school days with Bill – secrets they kept from everyone. The abuse had gone on, teacher-to-student, for almost twenty years.

After his jail sentence, now an official sex offender, Bill somehow was allowed to leave the country. He went with his ‘girlfriend’ to China to teach English. I’m not proud of this – I thought about it a long time before I did anything – but I tracked down his school because he stupidly listed it on LinkedIn. Using an encrypted email service, I wrote the school’s Director and included links to all the legal stuff that had been posted online. They were understandably upset and said this happens a lot with US teachers who are charged with sex offenses and have their teaching licenses revoked.

The Director said they couldn’t give me any detailed information, but said he had ‘transferred to another school’ and Bill’s LinkedIn page disappeared soon after.

My grandmother started speaking to me again, but usually to give me proud news about how Bill was going back and froth from the US to China, was a successful English teacher, and visited them often. I never said a word about any of this.

My friend Andy called me again – the same one who called me to tell me about Bill’s arrest – a former student of Bill’s who had also been a victim – to say Bill’s house had burned to the ground.

Yup. Using the insurance money, Mr. Bill continued to travel the world, teaches English and then, I heard, began ‘consulting’ on Feng-Shui. These days, I’ll occasionally do a quick Google search , but there’s very few new trails to be found. I get reports from my Dad in our phone calls: “Say, did you hear? Bill was here a couple weeks ago and told me he’s teaching again somewhere. Not going back to China though.”

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Graphic designer / project manager / gardener living in Denver, Colorado.

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