Estimated reading time — 6 minutes
I’m not even gonna try and convince you this is a true story. I mean it is, but I don’t care if you believe it. I just needed to put the words on the screen, and put it out in the world to get it off my mind. Let it be someone else’s problem figuring this shit out.
It started when a friend from high school messaged me on Facebook, let’s call him Jim. (Sorry internet people, no real names. I want to be honest about what happened, but I also don’t want anyone getting doxed over this either.) Now Jim is definitely a good friend and a good guy, but he’s a total bro too. Great to hang out with, not so great to have a conversation with. So I usually hang out with him when I’m back home, but other wise don’t hear much from him. So him sending me a message was already weird.
I tried to copy and paste the chat below as best as possible:
The most fucked up thing just happened
I was watching porn
That’s not really that fucked up
Just listen ok
This pop-up opens. You know with the cam shows
So I went to close it but stopped, cuz it was Jess
Ugh huh…. who?
idk who that is.
She went to high school with us
Well that explains it. I didn’t really know people back then.
She had black hair
Not ringing any bells.
She was super hot.
I kinda figured that from the conversation. Still don’t remember.
Was that the fucked up part?
That you saw a girl from highschool in a cam show pop-up.
Was that the fucked up part?
Oh no. I’m not done.
Oh sorry. Continue.
So she’s doin this strip tease, and has all these toys on the bed.
You wanna maybe skip ahead. I’m at work.
So after awhile there’s like a crash sound from somewhere.
She turns the music off and opens the closet and bends down behind the bed.
Then there was like this weird noise.
and then what?
No I’m mean she never came back.
What do you mean she never came back?
This happened like half an hour ago.
I still have the video open.
Well I don’t believe that. But…
If you are serious, you need to do something man.
Call the police or something.
Maybe she’s in trouble.
I’m sure it’s nothing
“The most fucked up thing just happened”
That was how you started this. Doesn’t sound like nothing.
OK well I should probably do some work today.
Let me know how it goes, assuming you’re not full of shit.
So that was it for a few hours. I know, I know, hardly the “most fucked up thing.” So I finished off the work day and the whole thing drifted out of my mind. I mean, I didn’t live there anymore. I was on the other side of the country, so as weird as I guess it sounded there was little to nothing I could do about it.
So I went home, made dinner, watched Netflix. It was pretty late when Jim messaged me again. The only reason I mention this is because I now live on the West Coast, but grew up in New England. Which is where Jim was. So while it was almost midnight for me, it was around 3 AM for him.
Anyways, here’s that conversation:
Is this that Jess girl thing still?
So what happened now.
I can’t find her
You went to her house?
No I mean I can’t find any trace of her.
Did you ever call the cops?
Ya. They just blew me off.
So then I tried to find her Facebook. To message her or find someone that knew her to call.
That’s actually pretty smart.
But I couldn’t find it
And Matt doesn’t remember her either.
You sure it was her.
Yes. For sure.
So I’m just sitting with this cam still open like wtf
You still have it open?
Can you send it to me? I’ll poke around. Maybe I can find something.
So then he sent me the link. I opened it in a new window in incognito mode. I mean I know that’s not why I wanted to see it, but it was still porn. Just a force of habit I guess.
Just like Jim had described, the room was empty. The closet door was open. Several dildos were displayed on the bed. A chat window on the side trying to entice me to enter a credit card number.
When I asked Jim to send me the link I thought maybe there’d be some clue that he would have missed. One that would either explain what happened, or better yet prove that he made the whole thing up. But there was nothing.
So then I tried to find the missing Facebook account. I copy and pasted “Jess Nolan” into the search bar. I figured if we went to high school together, then we’d have some mutual friends and it wouldn’t be that hard. Nothing. No one by that name from my hometown area, that was the correct age.
So then I started just googling. I figured I could at least confirm or deny her existence. Sadly our school was pretty shitty at record keeping. I tried finding a list of students in my graduating class but it looked like it had lost it’s data when they had redesigned the website a couple years back. I tried the years below mine and the years above, but didn’t find anything there either. So then I tried honors lists from that time, but no luck. Last ditch effort was searching for articles for the girls soccer team. Pretty much every girl I knew of was on it, and they usually won just often enough to get an article about them in the town paper now and then. But this turned up nothing as well.
At this point I felt pretty satisfied that it was a bad prank on Jim’s part, and began putting less and less effort into the search. Eventually I got distracted, and fell down a wikipedia rabbit hole about DC comics villains before realizing it was now pretty damn late and decided to crash.
I had forgotten all about the missing girl/Jim’s prank until I got home from work the next day. When I opened my laptop I realized I still had the window with the cam show open. Honestly my only thought was how glad I was that I hadn’t made this discovery while some one else was around. I went to close it, but then noticed the chat window.
The start of it was exactly what you’d expect, generic “Want to come over? Just enter your social security number” kind of stuff. Except for the last two lines, which had timestamps that were about when I had finally gone to bed.
The first line was something along the lines of
“You should stop looking for her”
Followed by simply by:
Then my computer froze. Quickly I restarted. I wanted to get a screenshot of this, already foreseeing how unbelievable this story would be. I don’t know why the creepiness of the situation hadn’t hit me yet. My computer rebooted. I looked in my history, and remembered I had opened the page in incognito mode. I opened the link in my Facebook chat with Jim again, but just kept getting a 404 error.
I thought about calling Jim with this new detail, but thought better of it. If it was still a joke, I wasn’t going to feed into it by calling Jim in a panic in the middle of the night. Though I was much more doubtful that it was a joke now. Instead I started writing this.
So I wrote the first part of this story about a month ago. The plan was to ask Jim about it, give it some kind of proper conclusion, then post it on Tumblr so my friends could see it. But as much as I like writing, I’m pretty bad about keeping focussed. I eventually forgot all about it again, as I was afraid in the end other people wouldn’t find it that interesting or weird. Back then, working on something creative only to have no one care was probably my biggest fear. That changed today.
Sometime during work I got a notification that I got a new match on tinder. By the time I checked it I had a message from the girl too. Her name was Jess. I opened the app and looked at her profile. She had black hair, was about my age and was very pretty. I didn’t recognize her or remember swiping right for her. Her bio was left blank, but it said she had been active a few minutes ago and was less than a mile away. I opened the message. All it said was:
Thanks for not posting that story ;)