I met him at the grocery store. A fairly normal spot to meet a person I think. We exchanged numbers and talked every day. He was nice. Kinda bland when it came to creative fun but was a great conversationalist and a perfect gentlemen on dates. We often talked into all hours of the night and he never hesitated to provide any information about his life. I had even seen his ID (because I do that type of thing.)
One night, we were supposed to hang out for his birthday after a dinner party with his family. But at the last minute, he called to explain that there was a surprise party at the bowling alley and since his friends didn’t know about me yet, I hadn’t been invited. I expressed my regrets and he lamented that he’d much rather be with me. Before ending the conversation, he said “I know what I would want for my birthday but I know you ain’t gone do it.”
(Now know this about me. I hate when someone withholds a secret to my face. I hate it. Don’t tell me you would say or do something but don’t say or do it. I rather you just not say anything. The curiosity will make me eat your face off!)
So I said, “Tell me! Pleeease!” and he proceeds to ask me to send him some sexy pics.
Yes, I had heard the horror stories. Yes, I was aware he could do anything with my pics but I figured I’d be smart. I wouldn’t show my face! And what are the odds that the cute elementary school janitor I’d been dating for the last few months would do something crazy with my pictures if we broke up.
Well, I wouldn’t have to wait long to find out. That night, after he had coached me thru sending the perfect pictures, he ghosted. Yup, before I even had a name for it, dude disappeared never to be heard from again. I was upset but quickly moved past it. I never would have guessed what happened next.
Early one morning, about 2 months later, I get a call from my best friend. It goes like this:
Him: Yeah don’t be mad but I can’t fix it.
Me: Fix what?
Him: I called the company, I threatened them but they say they bought them and have the legal right.
Me: Right to what? What company?
Him: I’m sorry yo. I don’t’ know what to tell you. I’m sorry.
He disconnects. Before I can call him back, he sends a text with a simple link. On my little flip phone, I follow the link and am met with a warning: Are you at least 18 years of age or older?
As soon as I respond yes, there I was. Well, parts of me. With the subtitle “Freak of the Week.” Yup, the pictures I had sent this guy were on a website called “Home Grown Freaks” and I was the Richmond, VA Freak of the Week. Not only that, but there were pictures of my actual face and a link to my Facebook page!
To make a long story short, the police officer didn’t help. I think he downloaded the pics and saved them when he pulled off. By the time the website took the pictures down, they had been downloaded well over 500 times. So far, I’ve yet to encounter anyone who has them but every once in a while, a stranger looks at me weirdly. I even did a TV special about “Revenge Porn” where they disguised my voice and blacked out my face. (Some people guessed it was me!)
I never heard from dude again. Even though I saw his ID, I couldn’t remember any of the details so not much could be done. It sucks that those pictures are out there but what can I do. I’m sure they’ll resurface when I’m famous. My lesson has been learned. Sexting is stupid, no matter who it’s for. I didn’t even have sex with the guy! We later found out that he had sold pictures of over 60 different women. (And as soon as my mom reads this, I’m dead.)
I’m still embarrassed by it but at least I can say in the summer of 2007, I was Richmond, VA Freak of the Week!