Comp 17 Bluest of whales.
Blue whale. An Internet game that seems like no big deal, until you are stuck. Trapped and can’t get out of a situation you put yourself into unknowingly. You can’t get out of until it’s too late.
A ding and the screen lighting up on my phone catches my attention. I reach for it, and I see it’s a text from my best friend Andrei, he’s been in my life since I was four. I’d be lost without him. I practically grew up with him before all my siblings came to the house, since my dad is definitely not my first choice on a list of people to be around. He sent me a text that read:
“Hey, I can’t hangout today, my moms been on my back about the homework this week and I guess I’m grounded until it’s finished.”
I tell him it’s fine because it is, but I’m feeling pretty down and was exited to see him. Especially because of this time of year. It’s basically summer already and we only have a week or so left of school until break. So we normally end up doing things outside, which is enjoyable, because sometimes I get much too bored inside the house all hours of the day.
Which is normally how it is for me, I’m usually babysitting which doesn’t seem like a big deal for a 15 year old teenage boy, unless you have six siblings that are barely your siblings and your dad doesn’t come home five nights a week because he’s too busy screwing girls who mean nothing to him and selling dope to people he shouldn’t. My dad has never been much of “dad” I mean it’s not easy when you have seven kids who are nothing but another bill to pay, but that’s his issue not mine, I have a life I should be able to live, not being a Nanny to my half siblings who were all dropped off at the door because their mothers were all just as bad as my father. The thing is, their mothers did not have a babysitter, my dad does.
Night time is the absolute worst for me, all the thoughts in my head are far to much. I often get very sad and cry, a lot. It’s embarrassing to say as a 15 year old male, but it’s true. There are times when I want nothing more in the whole entire world than to be out of the whole entire world. I would not have to babysit everyday of my god damn life, or be disappointed when my plans are ruined once again due to my father’s bad habits.
I’ve tried to talk to a counsellor at school but I feel too vulnerable talking about my feelings to someone I know. So instead, a few days back, I decided to join a group chat online, it seems like a good place to express how I feel and talk to people going through the same thing, emotionally and or physically. I really enjoy talking to the people and saying the things I would like to hear from others if they try to comfort me. Maybe that sounds weird but to me it’s helpful.
I’m on my computer, just casually scrolling through Facebook and I just got a message from the online group chat. It’s a message that reads “Blue Whale” followed by a link. I click it.
It’s been weeks since I last saw my parents, or spoken to them even. They’re always away for “business trips” but they never tell me where they went, I think these “business trips” are all just lies. I have a right to know where they really went, I might one day, but maybe the truth will be harder to swallow than an excuse.
Everybody says I have a perfect life, oh man, if only they knew. They tell me “oh Anastasiya you’re so pretty” or “oh Anastasiya you’re rich, what problems could you possibly have?” Maybe they would understand a little bit better if they knew that I’ve been spending the past three weeks with my “Nanny” or whatever the hell you want to call her, I’ve been basically looking after myself because she is only getting paid to keep the house in order, not the people in it.
I feel as though nobody listens or takes my problems seriously only because of my financial state, or how I dress and look, maybe those things shouldn’t matter, maybe people should pay attention to what’s going on inside my head, not what’s going on , on the outside. Because it’s pretty easy to paste a smile on your face and say you are happy, the saddest part; people will believe you.
The only person who really listened to me was my best friend Misha, she was always there for me and always listened, without judging me based off of what she saw. She moved about seven or eight months ago, it killed me to say goodbye. She was the only strong connection I had in my life, she was the only person I could get ever get through to. The only places I ever really feel happy at was Misha’s house and at school.
School makes me happy because when I am there I don’t have to be the Anastasiya who has parents who leave her with a babysitter for weeks at a time, I can just be a normal 15 year old, with a normal life, whether that life Is fictitious or not. I can forget about everything that my life really is for seven hours a day. It’s a lot harder though, when I get home and reality hits me like a truck, because I’m forced to remember everything my life is and isn’t.
Because nobody else listens to me and nobody takes me seriously, I decided to join an online group chat a few days back, everything is anonymous so I don’t have to worry about my personal information or my life being spilled on the internet. It’s nice to be able to express myself and talk about my issues without being judged, the group chat is just very easy to confide in. As I’m sitting here scrolling through my phone, I have a notification from the group chat. It reads “Blue Whale” followed by a link. I click it.
I slam my door crying and I look in the mirror, studying my face long and hard. The blood dripping out of my nose, the tear drops that have fallen on my shirt and the blurriness of what I see in the mirror because of swelling around both my eyes, when I woke up this morning, my eyes were a faded grey and now there is no way in hell makeup will cover up what I see on my face.
I shouldn’t have to wear long pants and sweaters or make sure to change in the bathroom during gym class at school, be ashamed to look at myself and wear makeup just to hide the bruises my mothers boyfriend gives to me like presents on Christmas morning.
I hate my house, and my family, and my school, hence why I don’t go very often. I probably won’t go for the rest of the year because there’s only about a week or so left and neither one of my “guardians” because god knows I am not calling them parents, will make me go anyway. I might like school better if we could afford a good one, my school is the roughest one in my area but I shouldn’t complain because at least my mother can afford a school.
You see, Tony is my mother’s boyfriend who is also a bastard, abusive, and a big huge gambler, when he first met my mother he made it quite obvious he would make the rules and then flat out robbed her of cash and money out of her bank account, the first month he blew that money at a local casino, but then stole her credit card and uses it whenever he pleases, I beg my mother to tell somebody but Tony threatens not to or else things will get “worse” he says. He has a problem, well to call it a problem using a singular term is not only wrong because he has multiple, but it would be an understatement.
So that’s why we are broke and ya know, only have supper once or twice a week. There are so many things wrong in my head and it’s all because of my messed up
house and the messed up person who I am forced to label as my “step dad” although I have never and will never call him that.
I don’t have anyone, no friends I can trust, nobody to depend on or to be there for me, and furthermore, anybody whom I have thought I could trust in the past have failed to prove me right, so instead of real people, a few days ago I found an anonymous online group, lately it’s been like a stress reliever to just talk about all my issues, it’s like a huge weight has just been lifted if my chest, I finally feel happy, I just got a notification from the group chat, it reads “Blue Whale” followed by a link. I click it.
I’ve been redirected to what looks like a text message screen but it’s not on my texting app. I’m getting bad vibes but not in a dangerous way, it just seems freaky. It shows that someone is typing, I read the message they send:
“Are you ready?”
Am I ready for what? I don’t know what this is or who I’m talking to, but I reply anyway:
“Ready for what?”
“We have reached out to you because we feel you have something special. Something we look for in many people but can only find in you.”
I don’t know what to do or what to even respond, I want to say yes but this is weird, I don’t know why I said this because people are always told to do the opposite of what I just did but I replied with:
I don’t know what I’m expecting, but I get another reply and maybe I won’t regret this.
“This is a challenge only people with real skill can complete, you will have to complete a series of tasks, if you don’t complete the task, you will be punished. Good luck, we will pair you with a challenge administrator before tomorrow. Expect a message.”
What I have just gotten myself into? I’m not too worried, but those bad vibes haven’t gone away, if something were to happen though, maybe it won’t be so bad. Maybe this is a good thing, maybe, just maybe, this will help.
I’ve been staring at my computer screen for hours just waiting for a message to pop up, or to see a notification on the screen, I wait until my eyes sting from the light on the screen, but I can’t look away, it’s like I’m hooked on something I haven’t even started, but I had to know more. Finally, after hours and hours of sitting and waiting, I see a notification come from the website, I click on it. It reads
“I am your challenge administrator. I will be with you over these 50 days to keep watch and make sure you complete these tasks. Each day I will give you a challenge, you will complete it and will show photographic evidence as proof. Keep in contact with me once throughout the day, as you will need a new task. I wish you the best. I shall give you your first challenge before the day is over.”
More waiting? Great. Just tell me it now, oh well I now have even more of a reason to sit in my room and do nothing. I wait again for what feels like a day before I see another message. I open it I read what it says and I jump a little. It says
“Your first challenge: you must carve “f57″ in the palm of your hand, then you shall send your photo evidence, if not you will be punished.”
It’s not that bad, I mean, maybe it’s a pact, like blood brothers. People do that all the time so I wasn’t too shocked. I walk to the bathroom and take apart a razor. I use the blade to lightly carve the phrase “F57” into my palm, it stings and I wince with pain as I feel it cutting through my skin. It’s not as bad as I thought it would be, it kind of gave me a rush, I know its wrong but it felt good because I knew I just completed a challenge.
I take my phone and take a photo of the bloody mess on my hand. I go back in the website and select the photo to send to the administrator, I hope this is the only task that has to hurt. I send the photo and wait to hear back from them.
I look at the open cut on my hand with a look of admiration, a little bit proud of it. I finally felt like I belonged to something, something big, something that would change things. I felt like I, in a way, had power. I felt good about myself, someone had noticed me and thought that I had something about me that would make me a better challenger than others. I was exited. Maybe there would be a prize for the first person finished these tasks, maybe money! I would be able to get out of this house, I could leave, and never come back. I could go somewhere bigger, better and more exiting. I could have a life and I could start new. I wouldn’t have to be taken for granted and I could do something other than babysit. I took one last look at my hand, closed my fist, and walked out of my room with pride.
I was going to text Andrei to tell him, but I don’t think he would answer. If I had to be honest he would probably ruin this for me, tell me that it’s a scam or that it’s dangerous, I don’t believe that. I think it’s cool, it’s sketchy for sure and if anything really bad happens I’ll probably just give up on it. That’s what happens anything I like gets shut down by him. He’s my best friend but sometimes I wish he’d support me more.
It’s been a day since I last checked the messages between the administrator and I, I’m somewhat nervous to see the newest tasks as I will have an everlasting memory scarred on my hand to remind me of the last one.