Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Brave Child

We've all received the out-of-the-blue phone call or letter that momentarily rocks our world. In my case, it was a Facebook message from a woman who used to live in my old neighborhood.

At first, I couldn't place her name-- understandable since 30 plus years have passed-- but I knew what she meant when she said, "I am two years younger, but I remember you...long story short, you gave me some really important advice back then about a teacher I had at the time."

This particular elementary school teacher I warned her about was a pedophile who made me the object of his desire for an entire school year. I don't remember telling her about him. In fact, I don't really remember telling anybody about him at the time.

In subsequent emails she gave me more details about our encounter and her dealings with him.
"You pulled me aside and told me not to be alone with him. Make sure there is always someone around because he was a pig and tried something on you. I, of course didn't understand the exact magnitude of your advice at the time, but I followed it. Prior to talking to you, he was always hugging me and rubbing my shoulders and I really didn't think anything of it. (I had a f'd up family life so I sucked up any affection an adult would give me). One thing I remember vividly is when I would raise my hand to use the ladies room he would always make me tell him what I needed to "do" there. And to make sure I used the proper word. Weird. I'm not blowing smoke up your butt, I have always thought that you saved me from him. You were such a brave child to help another child like that."
I guess I was a brave child. I have to say, I feel pretty pleased with my past self.

We all wonder from time to time if we've done enough good in our lives or if our existence really means anything. I suppose I can put "saving a child from a creep" in the plus column.

No comments: