The Mysterious Texter

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"So, when was the first time this person texted you?" My dad's question came out as more of a demand. He was using his "attorney voice".

"Um... I think it was February 26th?" I picked at my lime green nail polish, nervously.
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The hallway was an orchestra of obnoxious laughter and slamming lockers that day. I was pulling on Dan's sweaty hand, trying to mow my way through the Ugg infested hallway.

"Tara, stop!" his shoulder had slammed into a freshman girl, sending her flying into her friend. They both gave him equally mean looks.

"Dan, I have to find Michelle so we can go to work!"

By this point we had reached the Jock Lot and Michelle was waiting for me by the doors to the parking lot. "Okay, bye!" I exclaimed as I gave Dan a quick hug and kiss. I bounded over to Michelle who was smiling smugly. "What?" I squinted my eyes at her.

"You guys are SO cute!" she said sarcastically.

"Look who's talking!" Michelle and her boyfriend have been dating for a million years.

It was cold out, and Michelle's tiny red car took forever to warm up. On the five minute ride to the salon, we discussed which stylists would be there and how busy it would be. Michelle and I are shampoo girls at a hair salon. It's a busy job, but its a fun one, especially since we're good friends.

I blew on my hands to warm them up as we walked into the salon. The receptionist, Ashley, gave us a fake death stare as we walked inside as always. There were clients in every chair and people sitting with foils in their hair under the dryer. I smiled and waved at everyone as I walked to the back room to hang up my coat. "Will you go check the coffee?" my boss had walked into the room behind me. Hello to you too...I thought as I shut the door behind me.

I had just put the coffee pot down, when Michelle tapped me on the shoulder.

"Your phone went off!"

I hurriedly made my way to my jacket and smiled as I took my phone out. Dan had probably texted me already. I frowned though, when I saw that I had a text from a number that I didn't know. Then time froze.
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"Okay, and what did the text say?" My dad questioned me as if he were prosecuting me in trial. Sometimes my dad's mind is always in the courtroom.

"It just said 'Dan cheated on you.'" I looked up from my chipping nail polish, finally.
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"Michelle!" I thrust my phone in her face as soon as she walked into the back room.

"Tara, who the f*** is this?"

"I have no idea." I shook my head and swallowed. I felt my eyes stinging although I was more angry than sad. My face was burning and probably red. I had a ringing sound in my ears, that made me feel like no one could hear me.

The only thoughts I had for the rest of the day were names. Names of everyone I have ever pissed off, names of every girl that had ever liked Dan, names of guys who didn't like us together. But still. Who would want to hurt us so bad?

I knew Dan didn't cheat on me. There was no way. Did I consider the thought? Yes, but not for long. Dan and I stayed up late online trying to track the number, texting our friends to see if anyone knew anything and making a list of "suspects."
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"And you didn't find out who it was?" My dad ran his stubby fingers through his silvery hair. He looked old.

"No. The number was made up on a website called Pinger. "
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The next day had been hell. In each of my classes I spent my time looking at each and every person I had ever talked to and wondered if it was them. There was the girl first period who had liked Dan. Did she still? There was that chick in the hallway who had never liked me. Did she want to bother me? There was that crazy girl fourth period. Is she THAT crazy? Then I thought of my friends. Did one of them have some pent of anger toward me about something? I didn't know who to trust, and I didn't feel like being nice to anyone, because it might of been them.
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"And you recieved two more texts after that?"

"Yeah. About a month apart. All saying the same thing."

"Well, I want to hire a private investigator and take some legal action."

His words made my heart drop. Legal action? Wasn't this just some petty drama? People would think I was overreacting. Just another girl who took things too far. I also didn't want the person who was doing this to get any attention.

The next day at school I brought it up with Dan.

"Why would you hire an investigator?" He crossed his arms. "Just forget about it."

"Yeah, I get that but they've texted me three seperate times."

Dan told me not to do anything about it. And even though I felt that what this person was doing was wrong, I tried to forget about it and not obsess over who it might be.

About a week later, I picked up my old friend, Matt, who I hadn't seen in a really long time. We hung out for about a half hour. Matt and Dan had a rocky past but I figured it would be okay. The next morning I woke up and checked my phone. What I saw infuriated me.

"Tara, were you with Matt yesterday?" Dan's text read. "A fake number texted me that you were with him yesterday."

I could tell Dan was really angry with me, and I was done with the "mysterious texter." Not only had they gotten involved in my relationship once again, but they may have been stalking me. I hadn't told anyone that I had hung out with Matt, which meant that this person was either following me or "just happened" to see me. I decided that I was done with these mind games and all the drama, and thought that I should hire an investigator.

Dan still thought that I should ignore the person, and that this was what they wanted. But I told him no, the person obviously wanted us to break up but we weren't going to. Many people at school told me that I should shake it off, but I had done that the first three times, and I wanted to know who it was.

"Dad, can you talk to the investigator?" My dad was sitting in his recliner, reading his newspaper.

"Sure, just write down the numbers." He glanced up at me and then back down at his newspaper. After writing them on a post it i handed it to him.

"It's all gonna be ok. You're making the right decision." he said as he pocketed the note.

A few weeks later I was sitting in history class pretending to pay attention to the cold war when my phone buzzed. I slowly checked it, as I was falling asleep. It was a text from my dad.

"Do you know a Sanja Cuciani?" the text said.

"No?" I replied. I figured it was one of his clients kids who he was wondering if I knew.

"Thats the name that the phone numbers traced to. Its fake and legal." What my dad meant was that the name was fabricated to hide the person's identity and that they couldn't look any further into it without a sepina. They couldn't get one because it was legal to hide your identity.

I sat there in history just staring at my phone. Was that it? It was done? I would never find out who it was? I felt defeated, like the person had gotten away with it. But I couldn't say that I didn't try to find them. And for that, I was happy with my decison to try to hunt them down.





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