I was a one-eyed woman with a shadowy past. I was a sophisticated 16-year-old searching for her sister, gone missing in Tokyo. Naturally, I was also the sister; I was a lot of people on gURL.com.
If you click through now you’ll see a lot of cheery drawings and tween-friendly listicles, but when I was 11, the site was a janky message board with a spare black and purple layout. The blankness appealed. Over the course of a year, I created eight or nine accounts there, each one a different character with their own unique mannerisms, diction, posting schedule, all part of a larger narrative. I’ve forgotten most of the plot now, but people were always receiving cryptic emails and smoking in great outfits.
I was careful to not to have my accounts interact too often, partially to add realism, but primarily because I enjoyed chopping up the story up and scattering the pieces for the other girls to find. I’d post a new clue and wait for someone to notice, but hardly anyone did.
Then an older girl followed the trail—and called me out. I was outraged, certain I was right, but unable to explain myself.
In the end I just played dumb “Huh?? What’s a troll? o_0??”