I want to warn everyone to be careful with choosing friends. I'm posting my experience on this wiki because I feel like it needs to be addressed.
Back when I was in middle school, I was placed in this special classroom and it turned out to be a disaster. Most of the students were incredibly obnoxious, but to be fair, I had my own issues as well. I wasn't just placed there for no reason. Back then, I freaked out easily at minor things and it was an issue.
During my year in that room, I've had friendships that backfired on me. Someone wanted to visit my house just to play my video games. He didn't care about me. Another friend had anger issues and would sometimes threaten me over trivial things.
You may think these are the worse people to hang out with, but there is someone worse. He had all of the traits of my other friends combined. It was the best way to describe him.
He went by the name of Bernard and was obsessed with Runescape, a MMORPG that only became popular because it was one of the few free to play games out there at the time. Others MMO's like Everquest had a monthly subscription and my family wasn't rich, so I was stuck with this game.
When I first got into it, I thought it was the best thing ever. I was an idiot.
The game had a very poor story and forced you to grind and build up skills. There was little to no motivation in doing so. Skills like mining, chopping, and melting ore quickly got repetitive and while you got to fight stronger enemies as you advanced, the combat was the same with barely any new strategy involved.
Bernard introduced me to this game when I was in class with him. We were allowed to play such games if we got our work done. It was a nice reward from our teacher who seemed to care about us. Like I said, I became addicted to this game and had fun building up my character. The thing is, Bernell created my own character for me and I chose the name T.I.D.U.S.
If you haven't figured it out. I actually enjoy Final Fantasy 10. Feel free to judge me.
Bernard was responsible for teaching me the ropes of Runescape. If it weren't for him, I wouldn't know how to play it back then. I built up skills, fought off monsters in the worse battle system ever and believed that a awesome payoff would happen for doing all of this.
To be honest. It was satisfying to improve my character. I even caught up with Bernard in terms of leveling and he didn't seem like a bad person to hang out with. That quickly changed a few weeks later...
Runescape announced their new membership program. For five dollars a month, you would get access to new areas, quests, and skills. I told my parents about membership and they agreed to help pay for it. I was a happy camper that day.
I told Bernard that I had membership which I immediately regretted. Bernard seemed normal at this point, but he quickly became a uncomfortable person to be with. Just like that, his behavior changed. He would act very cringy and watch me play over my shoulder. He didn't even give me any space. I finally got annoyed with him and he apologized. Unfortunately, he still continued acting in this manner.
From now on. I would only play Runescape when I got home from school. I wouldn't play when Bernard was around.
To make matters worse, he wasn't even using his character now. He seemed obsessed with my membership and how strong I had gotten. He constantly tried to get my home address from me which I didn't give him. Unfortunately, I was pressured into giving my phone number and I regret doing that...
Bernard called after I arrived home. He asked if he could borrow my character and promised to take good care of him. He had this charismatic side and tried justifying his behavior from the entirety of this week. He told me that his family had money issues and how he wanted to try membership with my character just for one time.
I gave him another chance and eventually, he changed his story. He wanted to do co op with me where we would take turns using T.I.D.U.S. This raised red flags, but I was stupid enough to give into his idea and agreed to it. I laid out rules for him which he complied with.
You're probably thinking that Bernard hijacked my account after giving him the password, but I was fortunate that he didn't' think to change my password. At first, Bernard kept to his word. I logged into my character and found out that he was made stronger. He was at a pretty decent level. Unfortunately, it spiraled downhill from there.
One day, I log into my account and found out that my character was in a different area. He was missing most of the armor that he had on. I had a full set of adamantium armor for him, but only the chest piece of it remained. In Runescape, armor like adamantium is rare and very pricy. It would take a whole day to build enough money to afford it. That is how tedious this whole game was and you could easily lose it if you died.
I checked my inventory and most of my healing items were depleted. I checked my bank. All of my gold was missing. I was upset. I know he could of died and lost it, but I had a feeling that he was hiding something. I tried contacting Bernard by phone, but he wouldn't answer. After multiple attempts, I decided to confront him in my class tomorrow.
I walked into my classroom and looked for Bernard, he's absent. I asked my teacher about my "friend" and she told me that he was on vacation for the entirety of the week. It was never specified where he and his family went, but I didn't bother asking. He was unreachable, but I thought that he would at least leave my account alone.
I was wrong...
I logged into Runescape and found even more items were missing. I sighed and checked my bank. Upon accessing the bank, I found a few pieces of rune armor. It was amazing to see a few pieces of the rune set. At least it was a good recovery. I felt much better and played for a bit, trying to earn everything back. This was until the phone rang.
I answered and sure enough, It was him except from a different number. "Oh now he wants to talk to me." I said annoyed, answering.
I remember Bernards first sentence asking if I was going to get off T.I.D.U.S soon. I ignored his question and asked about his vacation, but he would only tell me that he was having a good time. He never specified where he was or what he was doing. It was obvious that he was sitting on a computer and playing this game.
I told him that I would get off when I was done playing and he tried pressuring me over it. It was like last week... Eventually, he began acting forceful and I hung up to spite him.
The phone would constantly ring throughout that day and I only ignored it and hoped that he would get the hint. After constant attempts of getting into contact with me, I began feeling terrified. Everything was clicking together and I now realized that Bernard's obsession with Runescape was unhealthy...
He was sitting at that guest computer, anxious to play that stupid game. He could of been enjoying other things. How often do you get to go on vacation and enjoy luxury? Instead of spending time with his family, he was glued to that damn screen! This wasn't normal! He was enslaved by this shitty MMO. I now realized that by allowing him to use my account, I was making his obsession even worse.
I immediately logged out and changed the password to my account. I didn't do this out of spite. I did this because Bernard needed help. If he continued playing, his addiction would only worsen. I didn't want to be responsible for being a bad influence and decided in a last ditch effort to try and get him to notice these signs.
The phone eventually rang yet again. When I picked it up to answer, he no longer had that cringy side to him.
My ears were greeted with screaming. He accused me of stealing T.I.D.U.S from him, even though it was my account. I tried talking sense into Bernard. I still felt bad for him, but he wouldn't listen to anything I said. I didn't care about my missing items anymore. I only cared about Bernard.
What would become of him if he continued this behavior?
After a couple of minutes, I heard Bernard's parents trying to seize the phone from him. Bernard only swatted them away and continued screaming at me. He threatened me, saying that Jagex (the company behind Runescape) was going to be contacted and that I was going to get IP banned. I was able to convince my mother to block Bernard and no longer saw any reason to try and help.
I lost a 3rd friend...
I told my family about Bernards dangerous obsession and they had a serious talk with me about friendship. I remember getting told that I should drop someone if it felt like I was being abused and taken advantage of.
I ditched Runescape after seeing what it did to Bernard. I was starting to get bored by it anyway and realized that the game was no longer worth it. There were better things to play and also new releases were coming out that I was looking forward to.
When I woke up on that morning, I knew that Bernard would return to class on that day. I was frightened considering the last phone call I had with him. It was enough to get me to fake a sick day and fortunately, my mom brought into it. I knew I was only delaying my encounter with Bernard but I had this instinct that I should stay home. That instinct saved my life...
I laid in bed all day, watching TV, pretending to be ill until I heard the door rang. My mother answered and was met with crying which came from another woman. I lowered the volume and tried to listen in on the conversation. I could only hear crying.
It took a while for this mysterious woman to speak, but when she did. She talked about Bernard. It turned out to be his mother and I listened in. What she said was terrifying. Mrs. Bernard talked about her son entering the school grounds with a weapon and started to attacks random students from my room.
It turned out that she was here to try and talk to me. Somehow, she knew I was staying at home and she wanted to pin the blame on me for this incident. My mom stood up for me and kicked her out of the house. Afterwards, I quickly turned on the TV and sure enough, the news channel was talking about it.
There was footage of Bernard entering the school with what looked like a giant knfe. He didn't even bother trying to hide it and is shown on security camera. People commentated over the footage on how he entered my classroom and attacked several of my peers. Eventually, it shows school security escorting him out of the building in handcuffs. This was the last time I ever saw Bernard.
The worse part about this was that one of my classmates ended up getting taken to the hospital and eventually passed away a few days later. I threw up over my sheets, and felt sick to my stomach. If I showed up to class on that day, I would have likely of been stabbed. I was his main target...
Even if I gave him the password to my account and told him to keep it, he still would of knifed me anyway so I couldn't change the password again.
In the end. I removed all traces of touching Runescape. Like I said, I was bored of that piece of shit anyway. I didn't want anyone to find out that I had connections with Bernard. Only my family knew and I wanted it to stay that way. I didn't want to get blamed for causing him to snap. I didn't want authorities knocking at my door and interviewing me.
Later on. There was more information on Bernard's meltdown. They talked about Bernard's obsession with the game and how it was "dangerous". Runescape was banned from the entirety of the school and anyone caught playing it would lose computer privileges for a week. I was fortunate that the school spelled the name T.I.D.U.S wrong with T.E.E.D.U.S, so that helped out a bit.
I know Bernard could of revealed that I "played a part" in all of this, but I don't think he has mentioned my name. He doesn't want others to get involved. He wants to escape and hunt me down personally.
I don't know where he's locked up at, but to this day, I'll never forget about this incident. Please choose your friends carefully. Don't let something this toxic start.