My Best Friend Disappeared From My Life Without A Trace

My Best Friend Disappeared From My Life Without A Trace

“She removed the accounts on her Instagram and Facebook accounts. …. I called her cell phone and was told that the number you dialed has been changed or removed.'”

My last message I wrote an email to her contained a short note:Are you looking for you. That’s all.

This is a love story however not in the way you imagine it is. An account of how we first met and how our relationship developed over the span of 15 years, and finally the way she passed away. She was my first internet-turned-real-life friend.

My Life Without A Trace

Aimee and I were in an Yahoo Chat group that was for young writers in 2005. Myspace was a hot thing and blogging was growing in popularity and Facebook was just a minor glitch on the internet. The internet was beyond Snapchat or Twitter nor Instagram and TikTok. We believed we were at the edge of some incredible technology that would open up the world of possibilities.

Aimee and I immediately connected in the chat room and shared a love for writing, reading and chick lit specifically. We were both inspired and motivated and determined to create books similar to our favourite authors: Jennifer Weiner, Emily Giffin and Laura Dave.

My Best Friend Disappeared From My Life Without A Trace
My Best Friend Disappeared From My Life Without A Trace

In this small group of forty writers Aimee as well as I were able to connect and become friends online. We wrote thousands of words one another and shared our work. we discussed what we’d like to do when (never if) we became famous authors and we stayed in touch each day.

When she wrote to me that she would be in town to attend to Jennifer Weiner at an author event near me, we arranged that we should meet face-to-face. I can remember seeing her in the bookshop’s fiction section, her big eyes open, her smile real, her laughter exuberant. I’m sure we hugged instantly. Friends from the moment we met.

It was not a problem having her meet in person. After the book reading I went to the bar across the street with two women who we had met. We enjoyed a glass of wine, laugh and laughed.

We remained friends for the next 15 years.

Following our first meeting we made plans together with other writers from our Yahoo group to go to an event for writers in my region. Aimee and I agreed that we could share a room in a hotel to save money. When I informed my husband about the plans, he said, “What if she’s an assassin?”

I asked, “What if she’s thinking similar thoughts concerning me?”

My age was higher than Aimee. She was single, however she was in a relationship and had a full-time job in magazines. I was married to three kids, and trying to squeeze in writing time, while dealing with the demands of parenting. Maybe we were attracted to what each other was doing? If so I don’t believe there was any rivalry between us. It was just admiration.

We both began blogging and both of us gained respectable audience and became friends with our readers as well as engaging with other bloggers. Aimee me and myself would share stories about each other’s blogs, and we developed an audience of our own and readers would switch between us and learn about our friendship while enjoying our stories. We started calling one another as BBFFs”Best Blogger Friends Forever. We wrote handwritten cards as well as messages “from the heart of your BBFF.” The novel I was writing, for example: acknowledgements:

To Aimee To Aimee, who has rescued me more times than she could count when I was in writing despair. You’re a good friend and a writer extraordinaire. You will be my BBFF forever and always. I cherish you!

We’d send birthday gifts, something that I’ve never done with anyone of my closest acquaintances or even family members. We would carefully design our birthday boxes with one another, sending each other writing-related items and gifts that brought us back of one another. I would send her the most recent Emily Giffin collection, she’d give me CDs of songs by bands that were new to me. She was familiar with the great music, and was aware that I’d be thrilled by her choices. I listened to the CDs like a teenager who had been given music by her boyfriend. Repeatedly and repeatedly.

We took her there to have her ears pierced since she’d never had the procedure done before and then I went to the first time to get her bikini waxed and held her hand as the technician slathered hot wax before ripping hair off her skin. After that, we had margaritas, ate chips and salsa under the sun at an area Mexican restaurant. I felt like an older sister to her and I loved her. I was sure she felt that way too.

She encouraged me to work to write better; she advised me to try to get published. I advised the writer to send a brief story for an award that was sponsored by one of the authors we both adored. From over 500 entries, Aimee’s story was selected.

I was a different person in our time together I felt like a younger, more entertaining and someone who was laughing a lot. I loved being that way. I was a person I enjoyed being. were at the time Aimee with me.

My family was awed by Aimee as well. My kids would be thrilled whenever she visited and my daughter would cry at the time she left. Then Aimee relocated from in the East Coast, and I relocated into that region on the West Coast. We’d be friends forever We promised one another. Distance wouldn’t be an issue.

As we were friends online at initially, we were accustomed to living apart. We used to text and chatting with one another when we felt we needed to hear from a listening ear, person to listen or just a laughter that made us laughter.

I believed we’d always be there for one another. I didn’t think there would be a day when we were not friends.

Here we are. Or, here I am. Since she’s gone missing.

As COVID-19 erupted the scene, I was aware of her absence. It took me some time to recognize, and I thought that life was difficult for all. I realized that my messages to her weren’t getting responses. I noticed she wasn’t commenting on my posts on social media and she wasn’t commenting on her social media accounts. I started to be concerned. I texted her and emails. We contacted few of our mutual acquaintances:

“Have you had a conversation with Aimee?”

None of them did.

It seems like she isn’t interested in being found. It’s not her desire locate her.

Why? I’m not sure.

Here’s my opinion. What do I worry about and here’s what I know. She got married , and then moved to in the East Coast to the South. She never talked about her husband any other woman, and this always raised an alarm to me. I tried to contact her by sending casual DMs via Instagram or Facebook.“Are you fine?”

I got a quick response from an Instagram message that stated that the pandemic was having an impact on her mental health as was all the social media content about it, therefore it is likely that she had gone offline.

This doesn’t sound anything like her. Not at all. I was connected to her for over 15 years. It was my attempt to convince her contact me, but this was a very unusual DM was it.

In the next few minutes, after receiving the DM the girl shut off the accounts on her Instagram as well as Facebook profiles and also shut the blog. There’s an LinkedIn account that has her name and a previous job however, there is no profile photo. The emails I sent bounced back from her various accounts. There is no evidence of her online profile. I called her at her number and was shocked when I received the automated response:

This number dialed was changed or removed.

She’d had that number since I knew her. Who would change their address after 15 years? The numbers didn’t match. Was she in any kind of trouble? Or maybe she’s just bored with COVID, Facebook and other social networks and changes happening around the globe?

I began to think about what could be happening to her. I knew her address, and I knew her marriage name. I knew lots about her however there was many things I didn’t know. I looked up her siblings and family members on Facebook I perused the death notices hoping to God I didn’t come across her name. I then searched her and her husband’s name separately and in combination; I found their address on Google, searching to find clues about Zillow even. I located her husband’s phone number, dialed it and received his voicemail. I left a message that was never answered.

“Hi I’m trying to get in touch with Aimee. I’m Stephanie. I would like her to call me. .”

I’ve become a little obsessed. I’m like a stalker, or a ex-love, who writes her letters , which are hidden in my drawer of tops and imagining that one day I’ll be able to send them out certified, to see if there’s an answer. In order to ensure that she’s still alive. I’m curious about how someone could disappear completely from the internet quickly, and without leaving a trace? What could have caused me to lose contacts with them after 15 years of dating?

Two decades later, do not know.

I’m sure I’ll never know the details of what transpired. It could be something very serious which required her to be away from the internet to remain secure. It could be that the social media world became too to handle for her. Perhaps Aimee was bored with our relationship and wanted to break it up. Although that could be the most straightforward answer however, it’s a tough answer to take.

When I’m nostalgic about my friend, I’ll head down a rabbit hole looking for answers. It’s funny, since her was one of the people to teach my about Google as well as search engines as well as how to search for old friends before the advent of social media. And now I’m employing those techniques to search for her.

I’m sure that I will continue to search for her on the web however, I honestly do not know what I could say or, more crucially I’m not even sure how she could say. It’s a bit confusing and difficult, and it makes me think about every second of our relationship. I’m wondering whether genuine friendships can be built on the internet or if they can be lost with the pressing on an unfollow link. Does a virtual connection transform into a long-lasting, authentic and genuine relationship?

I’d like to believe our relationship was authentic and real and that she was feeling the same as I did about her. It’s possible that I had an BBFF whom I treasured and was awed by even if only for just a few minutes within my own life.

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