We all know love doesn’t follow a pattern. It doesn’t follow any societal norms, nor is it bounded by law. When it happens, it just happens. That is precisely what happened in the life of a simple public school teacher Mary Kay Letourneau and her thirteen-year-old student, Vili Fualaau.
For her act of loving a child, she was branded a sex offender and a pedophile. She served two prison sentences and yet, still loved this child even in her last days. But what about the child? He married her as soon as he was legally able to.
Vili Fualaau talks about how it was when he first found out about his lover’s cancer. The couple had been separated for a few years when he got a call from her telling him that she was sick. He immediately booked a flight and reached her side.
After the call, when he met her, he says, she didn’t seem sick at all. Healthy even. But that quickly faded in the days that followed. She would often say and believe a miracle would happen and she’d be cured. What to do after she had passed away was something she had never wanted to talk about.
To Vili Fualaau, his teacher was his best friend. She was the most caring of all. They challenged society’s dynamics at every step of their lives. The only thing that kept them together was their undying love through it all. The boy became a man in a way that we do not want to talk about in our society.
Mary Kay Letourneau’s final words to Vili Fualaau, as recalled by him, were, “The last thing she told me is that I am the most important person to her and that everything will be okay,” he said. He was by his side all that time and more and with her through it all.
The life of Mary Kay Letourneau was a roller coaster of emotions indeed. She knew it was wrong to be attracted to a thirteen-year-old. She knew it was wrong to have feelings for him. She also knew she shouldn’t have kids with that underage boy. And yet, hiding under the guise of consensual love, she did it all anyway.
The then boy, Vili Fualaau, we don’t know just how much he knew what he was doing was wrong. But one thing we do know is that his probably misguided feelings became a core sense of love as time passed on. However, the bill was still due on Mary. She still had to have to serve not one but two prison terms.
Vili Fualaau married this woman as soon as he could. However, their marriage didn’t last long, and they got separated in 2019. He only came back when she called him about her sickness. Cancer had already reached her liver. Her chances were grim. After a while, an accident at home gave her a broken arm and a visit to an ER. Then, they found out it had spread much deeper into her spine and her brain. Vili Fualaau, it was then she finally started to feel she might go. The day she did, she just calmly gave up breathing and left in her sleep in the presence of her youngest daughters and her long-lost love, Vili Fualaau.