Submit Anon: Liar Liar
I live a few minutes away from a private college that is known for its multiculturalism and affiliation with Japan. There’s a Japanese-based company in my town that regularly has Japanese employees live here for a few years, and so their children can keep up with their native studies, the college lets the company use one of their buildings as a school on Saturdays. In addition to teaching Japanese children, the school also has a class, taught by the college’s Japanese minors, for anyone in the community who wants to learn the language. Having just come back from an educational group trip to Japan, and being extremely interested in the culture (not enough to be weebish, thank God!), I enrolled in the class and enjoyed it very much. Being a homeschooled high school student, I began to audit the Japanese courses for elective college credit, which ultimately led to me applying for and being accepted into the college. However, because I audited the classes, I had already finished the entire Japanese program (and even taught the Saturday school class once). So, coming into my first semester of college, I pretty much had a Japanese minor, at least in experience.
One of my friends was beginning the Japanese program, and told me that there was a kid in the Japanese 1 class who had lived in Japan for two years, attending an American high school there, and knew how to speak the language. My sister also told me a similar story about someone. So, I thought, “Okay! That’s pretty neat! This school is affiliated with many countries, especially Japan, so that’s not much of a stretch!” I had no reason to doubt this story, until I met “P”. He was a very odd fellow, wearing vibrant skinny jeans that only made himself look god-awfully skinny, and from the minute I spoke to him, I knew he was full of bullsh!t. He had an interest in anime, and when I asked in Japanese if he had seen various shows, he always responded improperly, probably because he had no idea what I was saying, and would nod and do a little schoolgirl-imitating “un!”. His excuse was that “he didn’t know Japanese because he went to an American school”. But wait…he told my friend that he could speak Japanese! Then, shortly thereafter, he told another one of my friends that he only knew “informal Japanese”, which really isn’t thatmuch different than “formal”. If you know one, you can probably figure out the other pretty quickly, the only difference being conjugation in the method he was learning.
This was only the beginning of the lies. P spoke of his Japanese boyfriend, Takashi (who was “Japanese, but white!”) and produced a photo of a skinny hipster boy with his shirt off and taking the picture with his phone. He also explained that his father lived in Japan, which is why he was there, and that his mother was French. Then, he decided that he “was born in France, and French was his first language”, probably to cover for his obvious lack in Japanese skills. Little did he know, my sister speaks French fairly well, and of course when she spoke to him in French he conveniently “forgot most of it” and began discussing Korean! It still didn’t stop him from alternating between really bad Japanese and French accents. Oh, and you know Stephan, Bill Hader’s character from SNL? Imagine that voice with those accents. Yeah.
So, into the semester, I knew he wass full of crap, but he wouldn’t leave me alone! He latched onto me, probably because I actually COULD speak some Japanese, and absolutely would not take the hint that I couldn’t stand him! No matter how much I tried to get him caught up in his lies with huge loopholes or just flat-out ignoring him, he always came back, talking the same crap! And the sad thing is, many people believed him!
The next semester, I found out that he was taking the Saturday teaching practicum AND was in my microbiology course. His lies warped more and more, as he developed a “Korean boyfriend named Duncan who lived with him and Takashi in an apartment” (I saw a middle-age woman drop him off twice). He would regularly speak of his infidelities between Takashi and Duncan and act like a kawaii uguu~ desu animu schoolgirl. And one time he cornered me in a student lounge, trying to get me to listen to some K-Pop music, so I texted this guy I liked and had him Skype me, thinking that
P would be decent enough to let me talk to him alone, but, of course, he never stopped, and even told me that he was interested in my guy! After suffering in his presence for ¾ of a school year, he vanished for 3 weeks. My friends and I speculated that, based on some comments he had made and his physical appearance, he was in treatment for an eating disorder. Being an eating disorder survivor myself, I felt hopeful that he would get treatment for it, and maybe other not-so-underlying issues, and that he would actually be a decent guy afterwards. But once he reappeared after not once communicating with our microbiology professor and only with a girl in his Japanese class who said he “had the flu”, he began telling me, as well as my friends, that he was out with tuberculosis! Tuberculosis? Really? Of course, no one really knew how deadly and contagious TB is, so they believed him!
Then, he made a big mistake. The Japanese professor at my school is very, very good at what she does, and does not take crap from anyone. During his absence, he was still signed on for teaching the Saturday school classes, and once he came back, he made the mistake of informing the students that he was out because of tuberculosis. Naturally, the students were a bit panicky (if he had only read ahead in the micro textbook- there was a huge section on how extensive and contagious TB is!), and they informed the professor, who also freaked out. She ended up catching on to his little ploy, and after being granted access to his school health records, found him out! He stopped coming to school after that, and was not paid for the teaching practicum.
It’s kinda sad, really, because he probably wouldn’t have been half bad if he knew when to shut up and stopped telling his little stories. I later found out that his father works locally, and he actually has gone to school in the area his entire life. I just don’t understand how he kept the lies going, and especially why he did it at the 5th most expensive school in our state! I really don’t know how far his lies spread, or to whom, but I know from a few people that in the first days of class, he made his little “in Japan for two years” claim openly to some professors.