Fabian

Fabian was a fairly popular kid in school. He was funny, charming and more daring than most of us. He was the first one to skip school when we were twelve. He would also hang around for hours after school and would return home late, much to the dismay of his parents.

It was during ninth grade that he first got into real trouble. That year, most of us had stuff missing from our backpacks, mainly calculators and loose change that were gone after outdoor recess. Some parents got really angry after their kids came home without their cell phones and the school had to lock the classrooms during breaks.

Fabian was smart enough to convince teachers to let him into the classroom to retrieve something. It was then that he was caught after another expensive gadget was missing and subsequently found in his own backpack. He denied having stolen anything up until this point and claimed that he needed money for his family, which also turned out not to be true.

His parents were ashamed of his behavior but successfully interceded so he wouldn’t get expelled or reported to the police. After this episode, Fabian started hanging out more often with people outside of school; began smoking pot, and spent his evenings setting trash cans on fire or destroying park benches.  

Fabian was smart and nice to talk to but also had an odd and impulsive way of behaving. Because of his intelligence, he graduated high school and decided to go abroad to study computing science. His parents were happy as this meant he would finally leave behind his neighborhood friends who had had such a bad influence on him.


Fabian started his 3-year program abroad but he never finished it. It took several years for his parents (and everyone else) to find out. He told everyone he had graduated but in reality, he had dropped out during his third semester. He couldn’t stand weekly assignments and attendance obligations.

When Fabian was twenty-two he started traveling around Southeast Asia. He had a new girlfriend who was well off and paid for their trips. Back home, we followed their adventures via social media. Apparently, Fabian had gotten very interested in alternative medicine and natural therapies and was ready to open some sort of practice in Thailand.

Fabian advertised his services extensively through Facebook. He organized workshops and retreats even though he had no formal (or informal) training and claimed to cure both physical and mental illnesses. After just a couple of months, they left Thailand and traveled through India, organizing small events and providing therapy wherever they went. It seemed like they were always on the go, setting up shop in a specific city, advertising on social media and quickly wrapping up to leave after a few months or weeks.

Fabian settled close to a city that had been nearly destroyed by a flood. Through various social media accounts, he started fundraising money for a school. Fabian would not only build the school but also teach and manage it himself. He ran into problems with the local authorities and decided to leave the country shortly afterward. He never invested the money in the school and claimed that it had been used to pay for permits and other expenses but that the project had to be canceled.

Back home he had no problem confiding to a friend that all his workshops and alternative medicine practices were scams and that he was lucky he hadn’t been sued by anyone. He felt no remorse and excused himself by saying that he had to make a living somehow.

He stayed with his parents while he prepared for his next destination. He chose South America and this time, he would get into trouble he could no longer run away from. After two years living in Argentina, he got convicted of fraud. This is what his parents feared would end up happening since the day a psychologist diagnosed him with antisocial personality disorder at age nineteen.

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