Pardon for my English as it isn’t my first language. I was browsing /r/askreddit and came across a thread about whatever happened to that trenchcoat kid at your school. I was that trenchcoat kid and I came back in town and destroyed it (years ago).
As a background, I grew up in a conservative little town in a conversative rural area heavily dominated by religion. This makes people put great stock on moral purity and appearances. Keeping up the facade is the most important thing. Everyone must go to church weekly and people are heavily judged for appearing sinful. This was a bad thing for me as the cards were heavily stacked against me from birth.
You see, I’m a rape baby. My mother lost her parents when she was young and was taken in by her uncle and aunt. The uncle had an important position in the local religious hierarchy. So when he and a couple of his friends started sexually abusing my mom, it was ignored by everyone. When she got pregnant, it was painted at showing that she’s a harlot running around seducing married men. She was cast out. Why she didn’t move out of town, I don’t know, but yeah. There I became into the picture, born out of wedlock and with no father, branded as a sinful outcast.
My childhood was shit. I don’t go into details, but enough to say that by the time I started going to school, I was quite damaged. School made it worse. I was bullied relentlessly. Teachers were part of it, since they were all part of the religious community, which saw me as stained. Imagine being the only black kid in a town run by KKK and you get close to how it was.
So yeah, in school I became that trenchcoat kid or its local cultural equivelant. I became weird and hostile on purpose to turn people off. People were casting me into the mold of being damaged and stained, so yeah, I took it and turned it into something to protect myself with.
Despite all this opposition, I managed to graduate with decent grades. A distant aunt, my only decent relative, helped me get into a college in an actual city. She was the black sheep of the family and saw herself in me, maybe? Around this time my mother drank herself to death. Can’t blame her for it. She had a life insurance policy that helped me study. City life liberated me. I went into therapy and managed to treat the wounds that town had sliced into me. I got rid of that shitty town, but I guess some part of it never left me.
Years went by. I became a sort of… analytical consultant. I work for an international company that does sort of out of the box analysis for other companies. I won’t go into details to protect my identity, but we assists in solving all kinds of situations. Well, in my line of work, I’m sometimes called in to help downsizing operations. This sucks, I feel for the people who get fired, but if I wouldn’t do it, someone else would. A couple of years ago I got an assignment to go into three different factories and assess them wholesale, then come with a suggestion on which of them to move abroad. My home town was among those three factories.
You see, the shitty town I grew up in was one of those “one smoke stack towns” like we say in my country. There was one factory and some agriculture – everyone worked in those jobs, like 60% of people in the factory. Rest of the economy rolled around supporting the factory and the people working there. Most of the people were looking forward at nothing but a job at the factory after getting out of school. The religious community running the town ran the factory as well. The big shots in the community tended to be bosses in the factory. This meant that the factory wasn’t run that well; promotions were based on “holiness”, not on merit or skill.
The trip back to the home town was glorious. Most people didn’t recognize me at first. The chubby outcast had become outwards just another corporate drone. I inspected all the paperwork, listened all their speeches and lies, audited the processes. In the process I dropped hints and finally they got who I was.
The factory people threw a party for me then for the old times sake. Many of my old school “buddies” were there. We remembered fake good times together. I threw shadow on every part by pulling up some certain event of bullying I had endured, just see the atmosphere turn awkward. Then I laughed at it like it was always a joke and I had grown out of it. Inside I was seething with hatred and enjoying this all. I really loved seeing their faces, seeing what they had become, because fuck it, I was going to take it all away from them. In the end they seemed relieved, believing that they were lucky it was me doing the audit, that the hometown boy would protect them.
After my visit – lasting a couple of days – was over I cruised around the town in my rented car, just to see how the people lived and to remember what it was like. My state of mind was something close to sexual arousal. I had never understood why people pursue positions of power, but yeah, now I understood.
The rest is, as they say, history. I wrote a really scathing report, documenting every little flaw and mistake ever done in the town plant. I didn’t need to lie or fabricate – I simply took things that existed and polished them till they looked even worse than they were. The factory was shut down and in the following three years, the town died. No business venture ever came to replace it. Drug use and alcohol use spiked, as did crime and domestic violence. Lives fell apart, families fell apart. They still haven’t recovered, save for a few brighter souls who moved away.
I still stalk them on social media sometimes, enjoying how shitty their lives are, how they all finally got to pay for what they did to me and my mom. I don’t feel a slight bit of remorse. If I could do it all again I would – only I’d first make it so I could be present to watch when they received the news about the factory being shut down. Hell, in my fantasy version of the events, I’d stay in town for a year just to see everyone fall apart.
In reality, I will only go there back once – when my uncle finally dies, I’m going to go and piss on his grave.