Charlie’s English teacher, Bill, takes an interest in Charlie’s potential at the beginning of the school year and lends him books for extra reading. Besides Aunt Helen, Bill is one of the few adults who make Charlie feel special and give him confidence in his intellectual abilities. Bill even invites Charlie to his house for lunch, and later to his wedding. As a younger adult who isn’t too far removed from his own teenage years, Bill is able to be both a mentor and a trusted confidant to Charlie, and he provides Charlie with a trusting, healthy relationship with an adult male—something Charlie doesn’t experience with his dad or older brother. Bill is the person Charlie trusts with the information about his sister getting hit, in response to which Bill explains that people accept the sort of love they think they deserve. This becomes one of the novel’s main lessons about how to relate to other people, as Charlie interprets it to mean that he has to love himself before he can love or be loved by anyone else. Bill also demonstrates another form of healthy masculinity for Charlie by being an attentive, nonjudgmental lister and by being gentle and kind.