We moved to our new house back in November. Foolishly, we didn’t hire a moving company. We did it ourselves with the help of family, friends and friends of friends. It took us four days and we ended up begging help off anyone who had free time.
One of the people who came to our rescue was a man named Ron. I can’t begin to tell you what a sweetheart this guy was. He was one of those facilities guys at a local company. You know the kind, the ones who have to do all the thankless heavy lifting and yet always have a smile on their face. Ron borrowed a truck and came and helped us move for two days straight. We tried to pay him for his time. But he wouldn’t hear of it. He thought so highly of our mutual friend that he simply couldn’t take money from us. His generosity, humility and graciousness were deeply moving.
We did get him to accept an old but in excellent condition sofa bed. He was grateful because he was in the process of furnishing a tiny house across the border in Mexico that he had just built for his elderly, infirm mother. He financed it from his meager pay, odd jobs and excess lumber that he’d been given for free from construction sites here in the US. Even co-workers at his company donated what they could. He was just that kind of guy. The selfless kind who makes others feel as if they are in the presence of a saint.
Helping Ron during our move was Danny. Danny is the 12-year-old son of Ron’s “girlfriend” Corine, who works for the same company. I put that in quotes because it was one of those ‘nice guy’ relationships. From what little I gathered from my friend, it appeared Corine was guarding her heart closely and was afraid to let herself admit her feelings for Ron. But Ron was good to her son. He helped her out with babysitting. Took the boy to sporting events, made sure he did his homework and encouraged him the way you want a man to encourage your son if you’re a single mom. Very fatherly. In fact the only way we did finally get Ron to take money from us for the move was to ask him to put it in a college fund for Danny. This long suffering man who’d been wooing his sweetheart for three years, was clearly thinking long term
And Danny was a just a doll. Energetic, bright, eager to please and very obviously fond of Ron. While they were helping us move Danny had a little accident and cut his cheek really bad. Michael freaked out and wanted to rush him to the hospital. Ron was very calm but insisted that they didn’t want to be any trouble. He administered a little first aid, compressing the wound until the bleeding stopped and then bandaged it up. After that and a Tylenol Danny was running around happy as a clam.
I spoke with my friend today. Ron got fired from his job a few weeks ago over Corine. Or more accurately over Danny. It seams Corine found blood in her son’s underwear. Since she doesn’t speak much English she went to the legal department at her job for advice. They did a thorough background check and quickly learned through Megan’s Law that Ron is a registered pedophile. The company moved quickly to fire him (since he’d lied on his application.). Ron moved quickly to get across the border before Corine had a chance to alert authorities (he's got a house there already remember.) Danny is in therapy. Where I’m sure he’ll be for a long time.
My friend was practically near tears as she has been friends with this guy for years. I’m sick to my stomach. There was no sign. I’m telling you none! I keep going over it. On the first day some of the other guys helping us had quietly joked that Ron seamed a bit effeminate. But this guy radiated goodness, I’m telling you, he RADIATED IT! After the first day we all just took it for granted that this guy was an Angel. But we didn’t know that he was raping the little boy who appeared so devoted to him. We didn’t know that the man who built a house for his ailing mother was telling Danny that if he told anyone that his mother Corine would go to jail and he’d never see her again. We didn’t suspect that this patient hardworking church-going man had been pretending to pursue a single mother’s affection for three years while he sexually assaulted her son.
How in the hell are you supposed to know? Was that why he didn’t want to take Danny to the hospital? Was he afraid to have the boy examined by a doctor? Should we have suspected? Was the whole spiel about Corine not wanting to commit (which my friend got from Ron) really a cover for the fact that Ron was more interested in the boy? Should we have read between the lines? And then I think, Jesus, did he agree to take that sofa bed for his house across the boarder because it would a nice comfy place to rape young boys? God, is that house even for his mother or is it some perverted NAMBLA love shack? Does this sick bastard even have a mother?!!
Was there something, anything that should have made us stop and say, “something about this feels wrong.” I keep thinking about it. But I can’t come up with anything definitive that wouldn’t require me to be a raging paranoid busy-body in order to pick up the phone and call the authorities. Because for every meager “clue” (and there weren’t many) there were five reasons not think anything of it. How in the hell are we supposed to protect our children when the pedophiles and predators are so good at duping us? God, I feel sick.
I prayed for Danny and Corine. I truly hope that his therapist, his mother and God's love can help heal that boy. Because he truly is a sweetheart. And even in my anger I have to pray for Ron. This man is truly sick. And it's very possible and even likely that he himself was a victim of this kind abuse at one time. Of course, if he ever shows up around here, I'm pretty certain that Michael's gonna deliver him a good ass-whoopin' between the time I pick up the phone and the time the police arrive. My man may be forgiving but not that forgiving.