ILY — Introverts Like You
I’ve always been lonely. I’m an only child, I’ve never met my dad, my mom works double jobs, I never see my friends after school, etc. I don’t have a girlfriend, never have. My name’s Kirt, like Kurt but with an i. Don’t ask why.
I’m an introvert, I have social anxiety, and I hate (well, hated) noise. No parties, school events, nothing. Hell, I even sit outside during lunch break.
To be honest though, I miss it. The stress, noise, bustle. The people, basically. Yeah, pretty weird for an introvert, I know, but I’ll explain why.
Basically, it all started with this stupid dating app called ILY. It doesn’t stand for “I love you,” though, it stands for “introverts like you,” and it’s apparently for finding people who can better understand your social anxiety, rather than the usual swipe-left-or-swipe-right ordeal.
When I first installed it, it asked for the usual permissions for my phone: storage, messages, and so on. It asked for my location, which I declined, because I don’t want anyone knowing where I live, unless I know them really well. Turns out, that was the wrong move. Instead of looking for people who lived nearby, it found a bunch of creepy bot accounts, who were probably from other countries, since they messaged me in poorly translated English.
And that’s when I gave in to the app. I just wanted to meet a real person. So, I turned on my location, and voila! No users found within 60 miles of me. So maybe I really was the loneliest person in my city. So I got tired of dealing with that stuff and went to bed.
And that’s when I first noticed things were weird. My alarm went off around 10 PM, and I went downstairs to wait for mom. She gets home around 10:15 every night, so I always let her in and talk for a minute before she heads to bed for a few hours before her next job. At 10:30, she still wasn’t there, so I called, but the phone wasn’t working. I messaged her, and my data was out. There wasn’t a power outage, the lights were still on, so I was pretty confused, but I went back to bed.
The next morning I got dressed for school, and headed out to wait for the bus. As soon as I left the house, something didn’t feel right. It wasn’t until the bus was supposed to arrive that it hit me. It was quiet. Really quiet. Scary quiet. I live in suburban Seattle, and I hadn’t heard or seen a single vehicle, person, or animal all day.
The bus never arrived. I headed back inside to message some of my classmates on instagram. The WiFi network was still up, and I was super relieved when they responded. They said school was still in session, and they didn’t know what was up with the late bus.
That was weeks ago. I’ve kinda fallen into a routine. Every week or so, I’ll take a shopping cart to the grocery store down the road and pick up some food. There’s never anyone there, but the lights are always on. I’ll take care of myself with the food till it runs out, and then go out again. I’ll spend my day online, taking videos of my life, and calling my friends and my mom. It hasn’t reached the public yet.
But these last few days have been different. I got a message from ILY saying someone requested to match with me. I checked them out and marked their location down, just a few blocks away. I accepted it, hoping it was someone who could help me figure things out. I really, really wish I hadn’t.
They never responded to my messages, asking who they were and how they got here. I watched their location, and last night, they seemed to be heading towards me, fast. I turned off my location, and all the lights in the house, and locked myself in my room. I saw them turn the corner of my street, and my heart stopped.
They looked like a tall, skinny guy wearing some kind of black jumpsuit, and they were sprinting down the sidewalk towards my house, moving as fast as a car. I ducked down below the window, my heart pounding like it wanted to leave my fucking chest.
The doorbell rang. About five seconds later, the screaming and pounding on the front door started, and didn’t stop until morning. I’m sending this to a friend of mine in case something happens to me. Just don’t get that app.