The Boy behind the Screen

"Reply to him!" Liz commanded. This boy seemed nice enough from his picture. Liz took the keyboard and typed for me. Soon enough, we were chatting. I laughed, little did I know, this boy would steal my innocence.


4. A new speaker

"Liz, can you come over?" I said, calling Liz on the phone. "Sure, I guess," She replied. As she arrived, I pulled her to the room. Pointing at the computer screen, I said, "Get this off." "What?" She asked, turning toward me. "I said turn it off, or however you're going to get rid of it. I don't want a Kik anymore, I don't want to talk to Brian anymore," I told her. "Well, he's already chatting with you, I mean you can log out but...yeah" Liz wasn't reassuring me. "Hey, you got a message," She said, clicking on the screen. This message read, "Beautiful, I want another picture of you." "Liz, this is why I want it deleted," I said, frustrated. Liz replied to the message, "Okay." Then, Brian messaged back. "One thing, girl, I want you to wear this in your picture." Attached to the message was a picture of a pair of underwear. "What do you mean?" Liz typed slowly. "I want to see a picture of you wearing something like this," Brian replied. Liz turned at me. I was frowning as I said, "I told you I should have never gotten into this." Liz looked worried, she started biting her nails. As much as she would never admit she was worried or wrong, I could tell she was upset. I typed the next message: I don't have a picture of me like that. Brian replied, "C'mon, I'll send whatever you want." I didn't reply to his message. "Hey, hey!" Jacob burst in my room. "Get out!" I cried, quickly changing tabs on the screen. "Go away please," Liz replied. Jacob ran up to my computer and tried to play on it. He clicked on the tab containing Brian's messages. He didn't read them because I quickly pushed him away, but I saw that my notification said "One new message."  As Jacob stomped out of the room, Liz and I anxiously awaited opening the message. "Hey, don't be like that," it read, "Don't make Daddy mad, send what I want." Now we knew we were in trouble. We both jumped as the computer made a ding, telling us we had a notification. As I opened it, there was all caps, reading, "Daddy is getting mad. Why won't you listen to me? Don't make me get mad." I felt frustrated, and turned to Liz. "What do we do now?" I asked. "Well, don't send him the picture," Liz whispered. I listened, and we left the computer alone. A few minutes later, it alerted me again. "Whatever, be that way. I'll get my way eventually, Florida girl." "Liz, look!" I cried, jabbing my finger to the screen. "Macy, that doesn't mean anything," She replied quietly. I couldn't resist, and I was about to type, when I got a new message. "Hey, Miami girl, I want more of you," it read. "Liz, we have to do something, he knows we're in Miami!" I cried. "He, he probably checked the IP address, they can do that now," Liz said, even quieter now. We sat in silence, thinking about what had happened. We both jumped as there was a knock at the door. Mom was knocking at the door. I quickly logged off and replied, "Just a second." As I opened the door, she stared at Liz and I. For a second, I thought she knew everything. "What's going on?" She asked. "Nothing," We echoed in unison. "Well, that means something," Mom said. "No it doesn't" we replied, again at the same time. "Well, whatever it is, you girls can forget and come eat dinner now," She announced.  I actually forgot about Brian for a while until we turned the TV on and I heard the word Kik. "Just let me check," I blurted as I logged onto the website. 7 new messages? This is what I saw: Message one read, "Baby girl, don't disobey Daddy." Message two read, "Baby, stop ignoring me." Message three read, "Just show me your beautiful body." Message four read, "Florida girl, make me happy." Message five read, "Just give Daddy what he wants." Message six read, "I dream of you, my Miami girl." The last message sent chills down my spine, as it read, "Alright baby, now I have to do what Daddy wants to do. Daddy has to listen to himself if baby won't." I contemplated on calling the police, or Mom and Dad, but I realized Liz had fallen asleep. I left it alone and dozed off. 

I hadn't slept at all the next day. Liz and I walked to church together the next morning. "How'd you sleep?" I asked, making awkward conversation. "Uh, okay, and you?" She asked back. "Okay," I lied. As we arrived at church, a new person was on the stage. "Welcome, members," Our usual pastor, John, greeted. "We have a special member today, please welcome him!" Everyone clapped as this new member made his way to the stage. Pastor John went on and on about this new member, apparently named Mike, being a motivational speaker, etc. Liz and I rolled our eyes. We always hated when new speakers came, although we rarely even attended church. After Mike went over some spiritual stuff, he started his speech. "Today, the topic all teens love, Internet!" Mike shouted to the microphone. I felt Liz staring at my face, but I didn't turn toward her. "Teens love the Internet, am I right?" Mike asked, trying to sound cool but just being really cringy. Everyone clapped in agreement. "Alright, well, you teens think you're on top of the world, but you aren't higher than God!" Mike yelled, somehow making the Internet connect to religion. "I'm telling you teens, and kids, that whenever you're online, act as if the world is watching. Don't be a bully, that's not cool. Just because you're behind a screen doesn't mean you're invincible." Mike went on and on about cyber-bullying. "And guys, just because someone seems nice, they might not be! You never know who you're chatting with until it's too late!" I felt Liz watching me. We looked at each other and exchanged a mood between laughing and crying. We grabbed our bags and left our yearly church visit. As we reached the car, we didn't know whether to laugh at the irony, or to cry at the realization of what we had fallen into. "Let's just go home!" I cried.

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