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Pen Pals

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There was an 11-year old girl named Melanie who lived with her parents in a remote country area. Every morning, the journey to her school took almost one hour. She had a lot of friends in school, but because she lived so far away from them, she spent most of her evenings alone. Melanie began to grow very lonely. For her birthday, the young girl’s parents decided to buy her a smart phone. They told her she could use it to keep in touch with her friends after school. However, Melanie found that her friends were often too busy to chat to her on the phone in the evening. Her feelings of isolation only grew worse.

Then, Melanie’s mother had an idea. She suggested that it might be good for her daughter to have a pen pal. Melanie searched the internet and found a website where people could advertise for pen pals. She left a message, asking if anyone would be interested in conversing with her.

A few hours later, Melanie’s mobile phone buzzed and she found that she had received an e-mail from someone named Fred.

The subject line read: “Friend Wanted” and it contained a short message: “Hi, I read your post online. I’m lonely too. Would you like to be pen pals?

Melanie was delighted and immediately accepted the offer. From that moment on, she had a new pen pal. They exchanged e-mails on a daily basis and soon they were the best of friends, despite the fact that they had never actually met in person.

As they chatted, Melanie began to realise that she had feelings for the boy. She wondered if he would be her first boyfriend. He was so easy to talk to, often had witty things to say and always made her feel good.

However, the girl began to feel that the conversation was very one-sided. The boy was always asking questions and seemed reluctant to write about himself. He knew all about her,but she didn’t even know which school he attended or where he lived.

One day, the boy sent Melanie an e-mail asking if he could call her. “That way we can talk directly,” he wrote, “and besides, I’d love to hear the sound of your voice.”

Melanie wrote back to him, saying, “Yes, I’d really like that. Here’s my number. Call around 8:00PM tonight.”

The young girl was very happy and couldn’t wait to talk to him. Melanie had a recording feature on her phone, so she decided that when he called, she would record their conversation. She wanted to be able to listen to the sound of his voice whenever she felt lonely.

A little after 8:00PM, her phone rang and her heart began racing as she picked it up and pressed the record button.

They spoke for hours and it was almost 11:00PM by the time they said goodnight to each other.

When she hung up, Melanie lay back on her bed and tried to imagine what the boy looked like. He sounded like he was very handsome. She tried to remember what they had talked about, but it was all a blur. For some reason, she couldn’t recall anything about the conversation. The only thing she could remember was that it had been a lot of fun.

After a while, she began feeling very sleepy and decided to go to bed.

Suddenly, she heard a voice screaming, “Melanie! What are you doing?”

Melanie woke from a deep sleep and looked around groggily. The hands of the clock were pointing to 2:00AM. She saw her mother standing at her bedroom door. There was a look of horror and astonishment on her mother’s face.

The girl looked around and realized that she was halfway out her bedroom window and on the verge of falling out. Her mother rushed over, grabbed her by the arm and dragged her forcefully back into the bedroom.

“What were you thinking, Melanie?” she cried, tears forming in her eyes. “You could have been killed!”

She couldn’t explain what she had been doing and it took her a while to come to her senses. Gradually, she realized that if her mother had not heard strange noises and come into her bedroom, she would have jumped out the window while sleepwalking.

Melanie’s mother kept asking her, over and over, what she had been doing, but the young girl had no idea.

Then, her mother grabbed her phone and saw that there was a recording on it. She pressed the play button.

The mother and daughter sat together on the bed, listening as the male voice on the recording repeated over and over, “Jump out the window and kill yourself at 2:00AM tonight… Jump out the window and kill yourself at 2:00AM tonight… Jump out the window and kill yourself at 2:00AM tonight… Jump out the window and kill yourself at 2:00AM tonight… Jump out the window and kill yourself at 2:00AM tonight… Jump out the window and kill yourself at 2:00AM tonight…”

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