Catfish, Broken Phones, and Headlocks
How My First 'Fight' Went Down
Catfishing, of course, comes in many shapes and forms. Whether it’s from a dating site, or that Nigerian prince who keeps emailing you to ask for money, or just plain snooping on people, it can range from just being irritating to very dangerous (only if you’re stupid enough to fall for it). Though, I think my high school friend had found a new form of the art not yet discovered: pretending to be someone else just for the hell of it.
It all started my freshman year of high school. I was still socially unstable, stupid, geeky, and getting picked on. None of that really changed until junior year. Before that, I had to overcome being a stupid freshman sitting in front of his TV, playing Xbox in his room. My phone went off, revealing a text message from an unknown number. I asked who it was and the person on the other line said they were Ripley, one of my best friends from middle school. So, believing this was my childhood friend, I carried on a conversation with this person.
The next day, I had completely forgotten about it. I was hanging out by the front doors by the cafeteria before school started. I was with my other friends who were also outcasts from the rest of the school. That’s when my friend, Brenden, asked me how my conversation with Ripley went. I was confused and asked him how he knew about it. He then revealed he was the one who was texting me, not Ripley. I was nothing short of impressed. Not only had I fallen for it, but he was able to give detailed stories and scenarios without skipping a beat during our conversation. I should’ve known it was him, because he had the worst grammar and spelling imaginable of a cockroach. It was so bad that he had to start lying to people, saying he had dyslexia just so people would stop making fun of him for it.
We laughed about the whole situation; it was a harmless joke that had no real-life consequences. I hadn’t given any personal information and we didn’t make anything more than small talk. It was just a prank between two bros. A couple minutes later, he was showing me something on his phone, I saw this as an opportunity to keep joking about the situation. However, I should’ve done it a WHOLE lot better.
When I took his phone, in a joking tone of voice I asked, “Is this the phone you used to catfish me?” He started to get grabby and a little upset. I didn’t catch on to it that well, so I started to pull it away from him, trying to tell him I’m just joking. I should’ve just given him the damn phone and THEN explained that I was kidding instead of the other way around, but we’ve already established I was stupid. He put his arm around my neck as a warning that I should give it back. However, I misread the situation and thought he was going to start the strangle right away. In a panic, I dropped his phone while I used my hands to try and get him off me. This busted his phone against the pavement, pissing him off, making him start actually choking me. So he was choking me because I thought he was going to choke me, prompting him to choke me when he originally wasn’t going to choke me. Go figure.
My face turned red as we slowly went towards the pavement. I looked around to see if anyone would notice. Nope. The popular kids didn’t even give us a side-glance, we were like ants fighting to them. But every other fight at that school would have a crowd around them, chanting, screaming and filming. But us nerds? Not even worth a passing glance. Sure, our group of “friends” noticed. Only one of them went to go get security while the rest stood over us, watching with unamused faces. I believe I recall one of them eating trail mix.
When the real MVP friend went to go get help, that must’ve reminded my “girlfriend” at the time that she should probably be concerned. She walked up to us, tapped Brenden on the arm, and lazily whimpered, “Stop.” When she saw it clearly had no effect on releasing his anaconda grip, she shrugged and walked away. Keep in mind that I can’t breathe at all while all of this is happening. Needless to say, I broke up with her shortly after this.
When security had finally arrived on the scene, Brenden saw them and released me. I sat up, catching my breath and rubbing my neck. He walked over to retrieve his phone, went up to me, and roundhouse kicked me in the chest, knocking me back down. As he walked away again, one officer went after him while the other grabbed me and took me to the security office. After discussing it with the principal, it was decided that I “instigated the altercation,” leaving me suspended for three days. When I got home, I was asked by my parents why I didn’t fight back. I admitted that it was because I didn’t want to get in trouble.
Around my senior year, Brenden and I reconciled and put our differences aside. He quickly became one of my best friends I ever had once again. We had both matured enough to look back at the situation and laugh, just like old times.