This is a package sent to Reader 1 from “Warrior Eli.” It contained fifty plastic bracelets meant to raise awareness to Eli Dirr’s cancer battle, pictures of Eli printed out and suitable for framing, and several drawings by Eli that are pretty impressive for a 6 year old but not so hot when you realize they were drawn by someone who is 22.
im so disappointed. you came into my life at the most vulnerable time for me, when i was just diagnosed with crohn’s disease at 12 years old, and i started talking to you when i was 13. i had no friends. i was lonely and miserable. you talked to me when i was sent to memphis for boarding school and were a friend through my darkest times. you were there when i battled a drug addiction, when i went through side effect after side effect of my medications for crohn’s. you listened to me about my worries of my boyfriend leaving for the Marines. You know everything there is to know about me. i trusted you.
in return, you fed me crap. i thought i had a serious friendship with you. you were my online big brother, and now i find out you’re not even real. i put so much of myself into your story. your “family” i handed out at least 200 Warrior Eli wristbands, and advocated for him on my own facebook. i cried when Dana died. i even offered to fly up to Canada to help you with your kids the second i turned 18.
I bought all of this story that you fed to me. i really did. i really thought i could trust you. im in so much pain right now because i can’t even grieve over the loss of a friend because that friend didn’t exist. I keep logging on to facebook excited how i can vent about these recent turn of events, until i remember that you’re not there anymore.
you lied until the very last second. you had the chance to come clean with me, and you kept lying. that hurt the most. Honestly, after 4 years, even if you said that this was all a lie, and you were sorry for everything, i would have been mad obviously, but who wouldnt? but eventually, i would have healed. i would have forgiven you. and i would have been able to be there for you when you were REALLY discovered.
but instead, you didnt trust me. you just used me, for unknown reasons.
i have no idea why you kept up this friendship with me, as far as i’m aware of, there are only a few people who actually maintained a relationship with you for a long period of time. i dont understand what the point of me was. i didnt donate money, i passed out bracelets that i got for free. I thought, maybe, you kept me around because you needed a friend, because you were lonely, but its not like you told me anything real. everything we talked about was either about E, your kids, Dana, or your job, and none of these things exist.
I wanted so much to believe you. I was defending you against the people that showed me the wordpress site. but then i saw lily and jude, oh sorry, kate and adam, on another person’s blog. and then all your other kids from random people’s facebooks around the world. it killed me.
my lesson is well learned, never trust someone you meet on the internet. i haven’t even begun to recover from the fact you sent me hard copies of pictures of a sick child you never even met, and that you drew pictures with crayons saying they were from a boy who didnt even exist. the boy who likes Cars the movie and loved his family more than life. who comes from a family of ice hockey players and once referred to me as his girlfriend.
i keep trying to brush this off as if it was no big deal, what should i have expected? you’re just someone on the internet. but its more than that. i got so attached and so involved, and now its gone. i miss J. i miss my friend who was there for me during the hardest 4 years of my life. but he was never even real. nothing that was part of him was real. and that kills me.
i knew you lied to me, at least a little. it was the little things, like your tattoos, i looked at all your pictures, and i couldn’t find a single one of you with the tattoos. so i thought maybe that was a lie to look cool. The rebellious teen who got stupid tattoos when they were younger. Then you told me the story of Sammy, and i couldn’t find it anywhere online, so i thought you either made it up or were exaggerating. or maybe you changed his name. i didnt really care. you talked about it like it was important to you, so i went along with it because i cared.
Then it was Dana. i thought no one could be so sick that they would make something like that up online, but you did. i tried to believe you. but the way you acted when she was gone was the calling card that you were lying. at first i thought it was just shock, but you made a mistake. you started talking different. using different words than J would have, you even sent a smiley face on the facebook chat when you said you were just happy about having Evelyn, i knew something was off. J NEVER sent smiley icons. come on, i’ve been you “friend” for four years. i know better.
i wish i knew better than to have believed all of this. so much time and effort was put into helping you and your “family” and now im destroyed. i told you how i dont really have that many friends anymore, and now i just have one less.
i cried for hours after i saw the post with your apology letter. you acted like it was no big deal. whatever, people got hurt, who cares?
did 4 years really mean nothing to you? was this roleplay just one big game to you and you dont care at all if anyone gets hurt?
i got hurt.
So this is it. i said what i needed to say. i dont have anything left of me to give you, because you know every single detail about me. what i want to do with my life. my fears of my boyfriend leaving and me relapsing on drugs. my family problems.
i know absolutely nothing about you. i know about a fictional character. but i know nothing about the real person behind it all.
i dont expect you to respond honestly. you can if you want, you can email taryn, or you can email me directly. but i know you wont. you’ve hidden behind facebook walls through other people’s names and pictures for so long, you probably feel like you dont owe me anything.
I know one thing for sure though. I already miss JS and Eli so much. and dana, timmy, dougie, katie, marko, tayo, lily, jude, jack, and the baby i never got to learn the personality of, evie.
i miss the whole family. and i miss my friend.
i hope this was worth it to you.”