“It sounded like a teenage girl, but they were supposedly a 19 year old boy.”

I’ve had some friendships where I’ve held on longer, even when things have not always been looking super great. One of my memories is a college roommate. She was getting catfished. That was before we knew what that was, before the show, but it was somebody she was talking to on Zoom all the time, and I was convinced that she was getting catfished. And I kept telling her, this person’s not real. And of course like, you know, every time that she would want to have a Zoom video call, they were not interested. You know, their voice didn’t match who they should have been. It sounded like a teenage girl, but they were supposedly a 19 year old boy.

And a lot of her friends were starting to really – like, she was getting into fights of people defending this person and we were roommates so I didn’t want to fight too much but I stayed, you know, as even keeled as I could. And she was annoyed with me. I think she could sense that I also didn’t believe that [name] was [name] and we had a little bit of a tiff, but I kept telling her “I’m gonna love you and be here no matter what. Like if I’m wrong, I welcome it, but if I’m not, I want to be here for you.”

And lo behold, [name] fell off a ladder and he was in the hospital and his sister called her, and what do you know? His sister sounded an awfully lot like him, but it’s his sister, right? And I think that’s when [she] got wise and so I was there. Other friends had been really, you know, condescending about it or “I told you so-y” and I really just felt bad because I could see why you’d want to believe. I mean the conversations they had were really good and they felt really connected, but it was definitely not a boy and it was somebody that just wanted connection and I think [she] understood that too and that it was hard to be angry when somebody was lonely, sought somebody else over the internet and then got so deep into it, but was also so connected emotionally.

We both could see why it happened, and I didn’t think it was right to shove that in her face, like that individual served a purpose too and brought her, you know, emotional support. And so we’re still friends. I mean, she’s moved now, lives in Kansas with her husband, so I don’t really see her, but we connect on Facebook and I’ll always be very grateful to have had the year living with her.

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