I wish I never opened my stepmom's laptop
- Published: 08 October 2019
- I was always a daddy’s girl growing up. My dad and I did everything together, but it got me to end up calling a stranger to our home just to get back at my stepmother!
I can't remember exactly how my family imploded, but My mom found out my dad was having an affair with this woman, Helen. Then my dad left my mom for Helen. Then, worst of all, he proposed to Helen—before the divorce was even finalized! I was devastated. I knew I would never really trust my father again. I convinced myself that Helen had manipulated my dad—he never would have done this to my mom and me if she hadn’t sunk her claws into him. I hated her with every fiber of my being.
I looked forward to the moment my dad would ask me to live with him after the divorce. I imagined all the ways I would tell him NO—that he was a liar, and I wouldn’t live with him for a million dollars. But he never asked, just accepted a custody deal where he got me every other weekend. I was stunned, and so hurt. He didn’t even want me? He would rather have Helen than his own daughter?
My first few visits to his new house were awful. Being in the same room as Helen made me see red. She was loud, annoying, and took up all my dad’s attention. She would talk about all the bad Tinder dates she’d been on before she’d finally met my dad at the grocery store—like meeting a married guy and stealing him away from his family was cute. I wanted to find a way to get my dad to break up with her, and go back to being my dad.
I was talking to my friend about the situation, and she had a great idea. She said I should reactivate Helen’s tinder profile and convince my dad she was unfaithful. That seemed like a great way both to get back at my dad, and to get Helen out of the picture!
Getting into Helen's Tinder account wasn't hard. I knew her email, and she's the kind of person who uses the word “password” as her password. I made a few updates to her profile, posted some new pictures, and voila—within minutes she was getting messages from guys. Which I replied to.
There was one guy, Bill, who really took a shining to “Helen.” I thought it was hilarious to flirt with him. He lived alone and seemed like a total weirdo. He wanted to meet in person, but I kept telling him I wasn’t ready yet. He said he understood, and he kept pouring his soul out to me. He said he felt like we were soulmates. I tried not to crack up. I felt like a spy!
My friend asked why I kept checking my phone at lunch. I told her I was Tinder flirting with Bill. She was like, “okay, but weren't you just going to use this as a way to get your dad to break up with Helen? I mean, technically now you're catfishing.”
“It was your idea!” I told her, a little hurt.
“I know,” she said, “but you seem to be taking it really far.”
Whatever. I loved this. Soon, I would make sure to leave “Helen’s” Tinder profile on the computer for my dad to discover. But one day, I logged on and I had a new message from Bill: if I don't meet you in person, I'm going to die, he said.
I messaged back trying to make light of it, saying that I really needed to get to know somebody before I met with them.
He replied: I'm across the street from you right now, lol.
I freaked out! Was he serious? What are you talking about? I asked. He said, I did some research and I figured out where you live. Don't be afraid of your feelings, Helen. I need to see your beautiful face in person.
Then I really freaked. Was he a serial killer? What had I done? And how was I going to fix this without my dad finding out? I peeked out the window—there was a car idling across the street!
Heart pounding, I messaged Bill that I didn’t want to talk anymore.
If you break up with me, he wrote back, I'll hurt myself.
He couldn't be serious! We didn't even know each other. We weren't dating. We’d never even met in person! But I realized that this guy was actually crazy enough to do something terrible.
I thought about calling my friend and asking advice, but I was still kind of hurt by her accusing me of catfishing.
Bill said, I'm going to come to your door, unless you tell me not to. But if you tell me not to, maybe life is not worth living.
I told myself to just tell him not to. His mental illness was not my problem. But what if you really did something to himself? And all because I had played a prank on him?
It's over, I wrote. Don't contact me again.
Too late, he answered.
I started having a panic attack. My dad came in and found me shaking and in tears, and asked what was wrong. I didn't want to tell him, but somehow the whole story came pouring out. He immediately went outside. I went to the window, and saw him beside the car parked on the street. He was shouting at the driver, then trying to reach into the window. The car sped off, tires squealing.