I learned a new word this week, thanks to Bluenose Corrie. Grooming, as in child grooming. It means “befriending and establishing an emotional connection with a child… to lower the child’s inhibitions for child sexual abuse,” according to Wikipedia. It is what Nathan is doing to Bethany.
On Tuesday, his creepy mentoring of her paid off. Bethany unwittingly got very drunk at a bar she went to with Nathan’s assistant Mel. Then, when she was staggering around outside the bar, Nathan curb-crawled his way to her. Oh dearie-dearie, let’s get you safe, you can’t go home in this state, what would your mother say.
So back to his. He tucked her up on the couch under a duvet to sleep it off. Ever the gentleman. Of course, she couldn’t sleep and so she did what he knew she’d do. He’s professed to be her boyfriend after all. Into his bedroom she went. Didn’t want to sleep alone, she said.
He sneaked out of bed after she was asleep and made a phone call. To whomever he is doing this for. She’s coming along nicely, he said, all according to plan. But can’t rush it, must take our time.
You hear about this sort of thing, of course, on the news. But this story is really bringing it home. You can see how easy it is, playing on a girl’s naivety and vanity. It’s Bethany’s dream come true – an attractive older man who sees her as an adult – a very sexy and intelligent adult.
She is willingly walking into the trap. When she realizes it is one, it may be too late. Devastated by the betrayal and her own gullibility. And that would be on top of whatever other physical or psychological methods of subordination that Nathan, Mel and the handler have available to use. This isn’t their first rodeo. Nathan’s lines has sucked in other young girls.
I just want Sarah to twig to what’s going on. Rana, after seeing the state of Bethany on the street, is uneasy. She told Sarah some of it, but left out the part that the man she saw with Bethany is much, much older. So Sarah has some clues, but not enough yet to connect the dots. And with Sarah, you pretty much have to draw the whole map out before she sees it.
Also, with Sarah, it seems entirely possible that, if she did meet Nathan, she might fall for him herself. Her track record with men so far seems to be on track with her mother’s. Even her grandmother’s. Ha! They could craft an intergenerational story of Platt women smitten by a professional child procurer. In addition to jail time, that might be a good punishment for him.