After Bella’s disclosure Naomi and I sat and discussed options.
There was just no way I let this go unaddressed. We were very upset. Naomi’s confused. It’s quite understandable as the dementia kicks in when there’s pressure on. For all my own shortcomings and misdemeanours, I have never treated anyone, male or female with anything but respect. This boy needed to be told, and warned. The problem was how to do it without 1. Letting her parents know we’re involved, 2. Getting into trouble with the police, 3. Into trouble with the school, or 4. Making it worse for Bella. Hmmmm…..
As Bella had told us and not her parents, and she isn’t keen on their being involved, (dad will just explode and mum will want me to change schools), we felt duty bound to honour her privacy at this point, and work to resolve it quietly.
Naomi and I chose a day that Bella thought the young man in question would be around and staked out the main entrance to the college. Bella texted us when she was coming out and we hid behind the bus stop with her and waited.
There he is, the one with the red backpack and long blond hair…
Shit! Why does he have to be 6 feet tall and weigh 90 kilos!? He looks like a Greek wrestling god!
Maybe I won’t try to threaten him with violence….
I wait until he’s on his own. He’s walking towards the car park. I call out to him:
“Excuse me Norman, (not his real name) may I speak to you for a minute?”
He looks around hesitantly. Not sure if he’s the one being spoken to.
Me? Sure mate! Whaddaya want?
“I have a granddaughter here at the college who has been molested by some lowlife, I’m trying to find out who it is so I can lay a complaint with the college and the police. She won’t tell me his name, but I’m determined to find out who he is. Someone mentioned your name as being quite high up in the school, so I was wondering if I could enlist your help to identify him. I’m sure you’d agree that it needs to be stopped?”
Ahhhhhh, sure boss. (Looking taken aback!)
“Sorry to put you on the spot, but I figured you’d be one of a few I will approach. She doesn’t want to cause any trouble, but I sure do. You’d have to admit that guys going around touching girls without their permission is unforgivable, eh?”
Oh absolutely mate! Shit yeah. Bloody dorks! (Yep, that was his word!)
“I was just wondering if you would make some discreet enquiries for me? I mean, it would be really great to nail him. She was thinking of putting him on Twitter or Facebook or some such thing but I told her to leave it. I know a few in the legal profession and some high up police, so best to let them handle it, eh? So any thoughts or clues you have would be gratefully appreciated. You look like such a nice young man!” (I say it as sincerely as I am able, although it sticks in my throat)
F**k! You’re serious man!? Sure, sure! I’ll keep an eye out.
He started to walk away, but I called him back….”You better take this…my card with contact number… just in case you find something….can I get your number?”
His hand was actually shaking as he wrote down his number I had to look away! “Thanks for your help! I’m sure between you and a few of your mates we’ll find him! Appreciate it!”
And with that he was gone!
Not sure if I’d done the right thing. It goes against my morals to lie, but if it gets some results…
I relayed it all to Naomi when I got back to her and we walked to the bus. She just about wet herself! I wasn’t quite that happy.
Do you think he believed you Mr Holmes? She said laughing.
“I reckon he did my dear Watson. I reckon he just may have!”
We went into the city and had a meal then caught a late ferry back to Waiheke. Bella was in our bed, sitting up watching some movie. She looked worried.
It’s all good sweetie, grandad did a great job. Hes got your culprit on the lookout for himself!
She looked at Naomi and then at me. So I explained what I’d done.
“Now, tomorrow I want you to just tell one or two of your friends, boys and girls that they better be careful. Norman or whatever his name is, is on the lookout for guys that touch girls without permission!
With that she jumped up and gave us both a huge hug! I could tell she was relieved.
Are you two coming to bed? Hurry up! I’m staying the night! I’m sleeping between you two, so there’s no sex tonight!
She’s taken over our bed as well!!!
It’s the end of the academic year here now. The latest news from Bella as the school shuts down, is that it’s around the school that Norman is got himself into some trouble, and to stay away from him. Some of Bella’s friends have confided in her some secret “goss” about he and his mates. So I think we may have taught him a lesson. The Sex Ed teacher gave the senior school a talk on “permission” after the final assembly! Bella told her grandmother that she knew it all because: “grandad gave me a lecture about it last week!”
So, the college year has ended successfully for Bella, despite not having a boyfriend just yet. She sticking close to Naomi and I in the meantime. So she suggests we go ‘nudey rudey‘ swimming most nights now! We’re mostly being well behaved though…mostly!