I received the first email a couple of weeks ago during school when I was disobeying the rules, and checking my email when I was supposed to be researching for a stupid history report on the Civil War.
I mean, it happened back in the 1860's for God's sake, so why in the Hell do we need to learn about it today? I know the teachers say "well, you'll need to know this information later on in life."
Oh sure, like my boss will come up to me while I'm washing tables and scrubbing toilets and say, "Robert! Who led the attack in the battle on September 8th, 1862, huh?"
Did that sound weird to any of you guys, too? Good. I thought so. So if I ever get busted by a teacher, that's what I am gonna say to them.
I was just scrolling through my inbox like a couple of other kids in the class were doing because they didn't want to do the paper, either. All that I had was school, school, school, some dumbass advertisements telling me to buy something that I don't need, and more school. That's what I mostly had in my inbox because no one on this planet liked talking to me.
As I was about to close out of my boring-as-hell email, disappointed and angry, I saw it. The very top email. The title was written in big letters. ROBERT YOU MUST READ THIS PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE READ THIS AS SOON AS YOU GET IT!!! And as I looked to see who the sender was, that's when the confusion hit me.
SENDER: ROBERT WENFIELD
I just froze in confusion. I'm Robert Wenfield. That's my name. Why in the hell was there an email in my inbox that was from myself? I don't remember sending anything to myself, so it definitely caught my eye.
So, instead of closing out of my email like I should've done, I desperately clicked on the email, wondering what the hell it was.
The email itself was weirder than the title.
I HOPE THIS EMAIL FINDS YOU WELL. WAIT, WHAT AM I SAYING? OF COURSE YOU'RE NOT DOING WELL, RICHARD IS STILL BEATING ON YOU AND THAT BITCH JOLANNE WONT STOP HIM. I'M JUST WRITING YOU THIS LETTER TO TELL YOU THAT THINGS WILL GET BETTER, AND I KNOW THAT JACK SAID THAT LAST WEEK, BUT I KNOW FOR SURE. TRUST ME. WRITE BACK WHEN YOU CAN, I'D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YA.
I read the email over again twice so I could at least understand half of what it was saying. Who was this Robert person? And how did he know what Jack said to me last week? He told me that whatever I said in that room stayed in that room.
Jack was my counselor at school that I started seeing after I began to have suicidal thoughts. It creped me out majorly that someone knew what I was saying to Jack. And how in the Hell did this Robert know about Richard? I hadn't even told that shit to Jack.
I got this tingling feeling up my spine, and I twitched. I do that often when my spine gets that feeling.
Before I got caught by the teacher, I wrote this back to Robert.
WHO ARE YOU? HOW DO YOU KNOW ABOUT JACK AND MY DAD? ARE YOU A STALKER? I DON'T LIKE STALKERS.
Sure it was a short response, and I would've written a longer one, but my history teacher had had his eyes on me like a hawk.
Later that day, during my weekly meeting with Jack, I did ask him if he had told anyone about what I said during my recent sessions with him, but he said that he hadn't told anyone, and never will.
That got me worried about the Robert. Who was he? My mind came up with several occupations of him. Murderer. Stalker. Creeper.
Stalker sounded to me like the best thing this guy was.
I got the second email from Robert two days later during the same time: History Class.
I KNOW YOU'RE NOT FOND OF STALKERS, YOU NEVER WERE. BUT DON'T WORRY, I'M NO STALKER, BUT IF I TELL YOU WHO I REALLY AM, YOU WONT BELIEVE ME. HELL, YOU DIDN'T BELIEVE MUCH OF ANYTHING BACK THEN, SO I GUESS IT DOESN'T REALLY MATTER. I'M YOU. DON'T FREAK OUT, DON'T STOP READING, JUST HEAR ME OUT. I AM A FUTURE VERSION OF YOU, TEN YEARS AS A MATTER OF FACT. SOMEHOW I KNEW YOU'D SEE THESE DURNING HISTORY CLASS, WE ALWAYS HATED IT. BTW, YOU GET A D- ON THAT PAPER, AND MOM GROUNDS YOU FOR A WEEK. WRITE BACK SOON, I LOVE HEARING FROM YOU.
After I read that email, I was pretty much certain that I was being stalked.
I mean seriously? A future version of myself? That's gotta be the most shittiest I have ever heard.
I thought about not writing this Robert back, but I did want to know who was sending me these emails, and I wanted to know why. Was it Milton? Was he trying to get me to think I was mentally insane or something?
Nice try, Milton.
I didn't write him back until later that night. It was a short email, just three simple words. I didn't want to write more than I had to.
BULLSHIT. PROVE IT.
I was gonna bring this stalker to justice, and no one was gonna stop me. Still, I found it a little disturbing that he somehow knew about Jack, and Richard.
God, he was probably watching me when I wrote that email to him. Little did I know.
The next day, during the same time, I was deep into writing my History Paper on the Civil War when I got another email from Robert. To be honest, I was a little terrified to read it.
What if he threatened me?
He had to know where I lived, he could come into my home and murder my family.
"No," I remember telling myself, "you're just being paranoid. Go ahead, read it.
And once again, during History, I read my new email from Robert.
ALRIGHT, I'LL PROVE IT TO YOU. HOW ABOUT THOSE PLAYBOY MAGAZINES YOU HAVE STASHED AWAY IN A LOCKBOX HIDDED UNDER YOUR BED, HUH? TO BE MORE SPECIFIC, THE COMBINATION TO THAT LOCKBOX IS 4-3-4-3-9. IS THAT PROOF ENOUGH FOR YOU? OR HOW ABOUT JUST THE OTHER NIGHT WHEN YOU HAD THAT NIGHTMARE THAT YOUR BROTHER, STANLEY, CAME BACK FROM THE DEAD AND ROSE FROM HIS GRAVE? I STILL MISS HIM TODAY, BUT HE'S WITH GOD NOW. I KNOW YOU DON'T HAVE A VERY STRONG RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD, BUT YOU WILL AFTER YOU MEET MARIAH.
That one really did knock me for a loop. How did this Robert know about my Playboy's? Let alone the combination? I had that lockbox buried under the floor under my bed so my mom wouldn't find it. And how the fuck did he know about my nightmare that I had had two nights before? And my dead brother, Stanley? That happened before I even moved there, and…
No. there was no way in hell that could've been me ten years in the future. But no one knows about Stanley except for Richard and Jolanne, and they couldn't of been the one's writing these emails because they had no clue about my Playboy's.
And who in the Hell is Mariah?
Maybe this is me in the future, writing me and telling me that things are gonna get better than they are because right now, my life aint doing so good. Or maybe this is just a huge joke.
I was gonna give it a chance.
So during Study Hall that day, I wrote Robert back.
ARE YOU REALLY THE FUTURE VERSION OF ME? OR ARE YOU JUST FUCKING WITH ME? I DIDN'T BELIEVE THAT YOU WERE REALLY AN OLDER ME, BUT NO ONE IN THIS TOWN KNOWS ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED TO STANLEY, OR EVEN KNOW WHO HE IS, SO IT MUST BE ME. DAMN, I DON'T REALLY KNOW WERE TO START ON QUESTIONS. WHO IS MARIAH? DO I HAVE ANY KIDS? A WIFE? A GIRLFRIEND? HOW DO I LOOK? IS RICHARD DEAD YET? I WANT YOU TO SEND ME A PICTURE SO I CAN SEE THAT IT'S ACTUALLY ME WRITING ME.
After I sent that email, I practically had my eyes glued to my computer screen, waiting for my response, but none came that night.
"This is all just a big joke," I remember thinking, "what in the hell was I thinking? A future me? I have got to be the most gullible bastard on the planet." I then cried myself to sleep, feeling sorry to myself, once again.
But the next day, during Study Hall, Robert wrote back to me. I didn't waste any time clicking on the email.
NO, I AM NOT FUCKING WITH YOU. I THOUGHT MENTIONING STANLEY WOULD MAKE YOU BELIEVE THAT I WAS REALLY YOU. TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS, MARIAH IS YOUR FIANCE, OR WILL BE YOUR FIANCE, I SHOULD SAY. AFTER YOU GRADUATE HIGH SCHOOL, YOU START GOING TO CHURCH, AND THERE, YOU WILL MEET MARIAH. SHE IS A SMART, FUNNY, BEAUTIFUL WOMAN. AW, THE FUN YOU WILL HAVE ON YOUR FIRST DATE WITH HER. I WISH I COULD GO BACK IN TIME AND LIVE THROUGH THAT DATE AGAIN. YOU LUCKY BASTARD. YOU DON'T HAVE ANY KIDS YET, THOUGH, AND WE LOOK PRETTY FUCKING GREAT, ACCORDING TO MARIAH. AND SADLY, NO, RICHARD IS NOT DEAD YET, HE IS STILL THE ABUSIVE ASS-HEAD THAT HE IS NOW. ANY OTHER QUESTIONS?
At the bottom of the email, was a picture of the future me, and I do agree with Future Robert, I did look pretty fucking great. I had a clean, shaved beard, and a full head of hair. You could hardly tell it was the same person, but I did see me in it. So instead of doing my History paper in Study Hall, I wrote me back.
I CAN'T BELIEVE THAT I ACTUALLY LIVE TO SEE 27. HELL, I DIDN'T THINK THAT I WOULD LIVE THROUGH MY JUNIOR YEAR, BUT APPARENTLY I DO. I AM A LITTLE DISAPOINTED THAT RICHARD IS STILL ALIVE. THAT ASSHOLE SHOULD JUST FUCK OFF AND DIE, AND I AM SURE YOU WOULD AGREE, BECAUSE YOU'RE ME.
And that began my relationship with my future self. I told Jack that I took his advice, and made some friends. When he asked who, I told him that I actually made friends from my mind. I am my own best friend, and I write myself back and forth every other day.
I have already written the next ten letters that I will be sending myself, and even though I write all the emails that come from my future self, I still act surprised every time I receive them from my other email as my present self.
It took me awhile to make that picture of my future self, I went to one of those photo generators that can make you look older, and then I did a little bit of editing. I then imagined Mariah looking a lot like Scarlett Johansson.
But now I have to go, because I have to write myself back. And I don't like waiting.