Estimated reading time — 10 minutes
A few years ago I did something. Something terrible. Sometimes that I really wish I didn’t. Something I can never take back. It all started when my girlfriend,well ex girlfriend, broke up with me. I know this might seem trivial and just a part of life and growing as a person. However unfortunately for me, it had the complete reverse effect. I know you all will think I’m childish and I just needed to take it on the chin and deal with it and you’d be right. But I didn’t. I just didn’t. I was hurt, more than hurt I was offended. Insulted. I mean how could she?! After everything I’ve done for her. It was me who gave her a place to live. It was me who helped her pay off her debts. It was me who helped her get a job. And she wants to throw it all back in my face? I wasn’t going to allow that to occur unpunished.
I know know it was petty and I was wrong. I was so so very wrong. But you have to understand I was desperate. I was hurting so deeply. It honestly felt as though my heart was aching, it was throbbing so hard I honestly thought at any point it would explode and kill me instantly. I know that sounds dramatic and I’m honestly not looking for sympathy, I’m not. I don’t deserve it. I’m not the victim here. Well not anymore. I made sure of that. And I’m sorry. I’m so so sorry. I wish. I wish I just took my own life instead then maybe. Maybe not of this would of ever happened.
I was so down and furious. I couldn’t even sleep. I was just so frustrated. I was angry. I honestly could feel my body shaking with rage. So I got up. I got up and with hatred and darkness in my heart I booted up my laptop.
I wasn’t and am not a stranger to the dark web. I’ve spent countless hours trying and failing to navigate it to quell my boredom. I only ever found the usual rabbit holes falling into the typical drug and honey trap sites and forums, lots and lots of forums. And although I didn’t really know what I was looking for or even where to find it if I did. In truth, subconsciously I guess in some way, I knew. I just wanted for to her to hurt. I wanted her to hurt like she hurt me. I wanted her to feel the embarrassment I had felt and suffered at her hands.
My original plan, although very distasteful and wrong of me wasn’t malicious in intent, at least not violent anyway. I just wanted to humiliate her like she had humiliated me. I still had photos and videos of her from our time together, you know personal shall we say videos and photos of her. And in my pent up anger and depressed state I thought it was a good idea and a just idea to use these against her. I see now I was wrong from the start but I wish. Oh how I wish I had just done that.
As awful as it seems, that was nothing to what I actually did.
I couldn’t find it. I just couldn’t. I wish I had given up. But of course I didn’t. I kept digging. And digging. Clicking link after link. Until eventually I clicked on a link and I found something that caught my attention. It was a forum. A forum called The naughty list… On it read a question. “Do you now someone who has been bad? If so, maybe you should put them on the naughty list” Perfect I thought. This has got to be it. I’ll upload all my personal photos and videos on there and maybe even link her social media and we’ll see who’s laughing then. I thought about adding her address but as she was back living with her family, even I drew the line there. And I know how noble… I was so… I am so pathetic.
The forum wasn’t what I expected though. You couldn’t just upload to their home page, there were different sections to it or “punishments” as they called it. I remember thinking how dramatic. How dumb and naive I was. There was several different sections; “elf on a shelf, Krampus Kramps and frozen fields” among others. Yeah I know very Christmassy right? I thought so, it kind of made me chuckle. I guess that’s why I just didn’t think this was that serious. A school boy mistake. And as you all know mistakes always have consequences. Anyway with the sections, elf on a shelf kind of made me crack half a smile but that’s not what I went with. I chose something called “Sleigh Snatcher”.
I don’t know why I did. It was just kind of funny to me. After clicking on it. I had to wait a good minute and a half before this bright white page loads up filled with a few black text boxes and text that read “Santa is waiting to write up his naughty list, please fill in the details and he’ll do the rest”. Cute. I thought. I just thought it was kind of stupid. But that’s what I did. I filled it in regardless. Name. Age. Birthday. Links to the person’s social media. It was all there. Everything I was so desperately looking for. And of course. Photo uploads. Jackpot, I remember slimily smiling to myself, half cackling in the process. It wouldn’t allow me to upload any videos but the photos were more than enough for me.
It also asked for the persons address but as I’ve previously said I wasn’t really ready to go that far. But I did write in her hometown. Our hometown. Something I really wish I didn’t do. I just wish I didn’t do any of it. After I had finished putting in her information without even a moments hesitation I clicked submit. After a few seconds a little text box appeared asking “are you sure? Santa won’t forget. He checks that list twice. All names are final”. I smugly pressed yes. And that was that. Perfect I thought until I was redirected to another page.
It took a few minutes to upload but when it did it caught me off guard. It said simply thank you for submitting to the naughty list we really appreciate it. Sit back, relax and Santa will sleigh snatch those hoe hoe hoes! Santa will empty his sack and then put them in one! He knows when you’ve been naughty!” This took me back a bit. It took me a few minutes to process what it was saying and I just laughed. As awful as that sounds it’s true. I mean come on. It was gross and yeah admittedly sick but it was kind of funny and there’s no way it could be real anyway. I didn’t care. I had achieved my goal. I thought job done, it’s all uploaded and people will see them and message her on social media. Then she’ll be humiliated. She’ll be the one pushed down into the dirt. So feeling better about myself I calmly and confidently shut down and wiped everything correctly, making sure I couldn’t be traced or implicated in anyway. I was already heavily protected, I knew that, but as anyone who uses the dark web will tell you, it’s better to be safe, than sorry.
The next morning I awoke with the biggest, most disturbing smile I have ever produced. I honestly must have looked like the grinning Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland. I was so damn pleased with myself, looking back on it now, it honestly makes me feel sick. I couldn’t wait to see the fruits of my labour. I was so excited to see her suffer. I wanted her to hurt and I wanted her to know, well more accurately, think it was me but have no way to prove it. I wanted to break her and for her to feel as worthless as she had made me feel. But to my absolute dismay and disappointment nothing happened. I waited and I waited. But nothing. No angry phone calls or texts. No outraged social media post. Nothing at all. I thought maybe at first, she could of been trying to ignore it or maybe she has reported the abuse and had been told to not engage any potential troll or creeper. I mean surely it worked right? I mean there’s no way I could check. I couldn’t find that link again even if I tried. Anyone who had surfed the deep web will know this to be true. It’s just not cataloged, it’s a mess. And I only stumbled across it by chance in the first place. Oh how I wish I hadn’t.
So a few more days go by and by now my excitement has faded and I feel dejected and genuinely upset that it clearly hasn’t worked. Nobody could be so calm if it had. And I couldn’t exactly ask her or go check that would just point the finger straight at me. So after a while I just gave up. In truth the whole ordeal was now tiresome to me and as sad as it sounds it had strangely made me feel better. Like I had gotten it all out of my system some how.
A few days later, I was awoken to a loud knock on my door. The previous drama of my former relationship had completely escaped my mind at this point. And just for some context, I live alone and don’t get many visitors all too often. So I was more annoyed to have been woken up than curious to see who was at my door or for what reason. So you can imagine my shock when I flung open my door only to be greeted by the stern faces of two police officers. Shit. I thought. This is it. I’m going to prison. Everyone is going to think I’m some kind of freak. Which I guess in all fairness I was at the time. They asked to come in and I of course obliged. Not wanting to make a scene and make things potentially worse for myself. I remember thinking at the time, they’ve only asked to come in, as of right now I’m not under arrest or anything, so I better see what they want. But what they asked my completely and utterly knocked the wind out of me. “When was the last time you saw Katie….?”
I was speechless and for a second I must have looked like the most guilty and suspicious person in the world. Realising this I quickly shook the look of surprise and dread off my face. And answered as calmly as I could muster, not since we broke up, around two weeks ago. This was true but it still didn’t save me from their line of inquiry and their barrage of intense scrutiny and questioning. “Where were you on the night of…?” I told them the truth, at home. “Can anyone verify this?” I said well no, I live alone but I did get dropped off at home after work by one of my colleagues which is routine after every shift so he can, I guess. “And what time was this?” I told him the truth around 10:30 the cameras at work should show me leaving about 10:20 and it’s only about a ten minute drive here. “Did you leave your property at any point after you returned?” No I meekly but as authoritatively as I could retorted. And there’s a camera by the apartments entrance that will show I’m telling the truth. His face and intense stare of concentration into my eyes seemed to waver and loosen ever so slightly. So I thought I’d push my luck and ask, what’s all this about? He stated that although he can’t give me details of ongoing investigation, Katie… had been reported missing and had not been seen for close to a week. She was last seen by her mother leaving their home to shop and browse the stores but never returning.
The police officers left soon after that and actually thanked me for my time. They did check the CCTV and with my boss and colleague who confirmed my story and that I was telling the truth. Days turned into weeks and still nothing. It seemed as though she had just vanished into thin air. I couldn’t believe it. It couldn’t could it? It couldn’t have been because of me? I thought maybe it’s possible some creep stalked her socials and found her address after I posted them along with the images but surely it just had to be a coincidence. That stupid forum couldn’t be real, I mean Santa’s naughty list? Come on. Get a grip I thought to myself.
The longer it went on the more horrible I felt. I know I wasn’t physically responsible but in one way or another I had caused this or at least put the wheels into motion. I felt just as guilty as if I had done something to her. I mean this is the girl I once loved, the girl I still love. And I. I had done this. I had caused this. And her poor mother. They had been estranged for years. And it was me who finally got them to reconcile. And for what? So I could just destroy her worse than she could of ever possibly envisaged. I couldn’t live with myself. With what I had done.
I tried to get on normally with my life but it was hard. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t eat. And you know something, I knew I deserved it. I would cringe every time I caught myself feeling sorry for myself. I’m no victim. I’m a monster. A wolf in sheep’s clothing. I deserved it not her. I was selfish. I was disgusting and pathetic. I was weak ,I was so so very weak. I took to drinking to make myself sleep. Anything to numb the pain. Anything to get the image of her face and the sounds of her screams out of my head. I couldn’t go to the police, how could I? If I confessed my life was as good as over. Selfish as it was, I just didn’t believe it would even help find her if I did. Maybe I was just being a coward but it was hopeless. She was gone. I waited every morning for a update, every “no new information today” update killed a little piece of me, each and every time. It was torture until one day. They did find her. But as I’m sure you all can already tell this story doesn’t have a happy ending.
It was weeks. But she was eventually found in an old abandoned factory in the outskirts of the next town over. I just couldn’t believe it. I could feel my throat tighten to the point I was struggling to breath when I heard the news. Please no. I thought. In my head I was begging and pleading with whoever, whatever could hear me that it must be some kind of mistake. A mix up. That it wasn’t, it couldn’t be down to me. But unfortunately it was no mix up. There are no mistakes when you answer yes I’m sure. I wanted her to suffer. And. I guess I got my wish.
She was found stuffed down the one of the now defunct chimneys. Her body was… her body was stuffed inside a sack. A toy sack. I couldn’t believe it. I felt sick. I feel sick thinking about it now. This must be some kind of sick joke I kept trying and failing to convince myself. I felt my body tremble. She was found completely naked, her body had badly deteriorated at this point. But they knew it was her. They knew because stuffed into her eye socket was a small piece of paper. A small piece of paper. That read
“Naughty list, Katie… you should of been good”
I blacked out. I collapsed where I was standing and I hit my head pretty hard. When I regained consciousness I hoped, I prayed it was just a bad dream. But of course it wasn’t. It was real. It was all real. And it was all because of me and I’m sorry Katie. I’m so so sorry.
I’m sorry for what they did to you. I’m sorry for what I did to you. I have to live with the guilt everyday. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about confessing or ending up my own life. In some sick way I sometimes think that would make up for it or at least make us somewhat even somehow. Even though I know that would be impossible. I can’t imagine what they did to you. What they put you through. I can’t imagine the fear and terror you must of felt. I can’t imagine your final thoughts or how confused or alone you must of been.
Nothing will ever make up for the torture I subjected the girl I once loved and cherish too. All because of my own ego and misguided sense of pride and self worth. I wish I could take it all back. I really do but I can’t and that will sadly never be able to change. You deserve justice Katie, you deserve to be able to rest in peace at the very least. Maybe confessing will bring you and your family closure. Maybe ending my own life will make us even. But regardless of the answer, I’m far too much of a coward for either.
Credit : Calum brooks
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