"...he was involved in a terrible traffic accident and that he died"


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InCase
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Dear InCase,

I met this guy over the Internet back in the spring of last year. I was browsing the personals ads and came across his. I thought it was rather unique, so I wrote to tell him so. I never imagined that he would actually become interested and we would meet some day.

Anyway, we corresponded for several months via e-mail. Then we arranged a meeting. I drove quite a distance to a halfway point for this meeting only to find the place he chose to meet at no longer existed and we never met. It was a full week later before I heard from him again. Since he didn't live in this city where we were supposed to meet, I believed him when he told me he had no idea the place had closed down and no longer existed.

I guess that should have been red flag number 1, but I didn't think anything more about it. I just figured it probably wasn't meant for us to meet. We live several hours apart, and I wasn't sure I wanted to get involved in a long distance relationship anyway. So, we continued to just correspond through e-mail.

Then last Christmas, I get a call from him. He wants to come up and spend some time with me. It was already late and I didn't really believe him when he said he'd drive the 3 hours that night to come see me. But, I was wrong. He showed up on my doorstep at 11:00 that night.

We had a very nice time and made arrangements for him to come back a few weeks later, which he did. Again we had a nice time. We just really seemed to connect and have so much in common. At this second date, he asked me if I'd like to come to his place the next time in two weeks. All the time between the first meeting and the last meeting, he called me 2 and 3 times a week, even calling me from work (his alleged second job). He came on pretty strong and drew me in more despite my hesitation to become too involved too fast.

Well, before my visit to his place came to pass, I received an e-mail from him stating that his company was sending him to Los Angeles for some training. Said he was to learn how to use a new machine, which meant a promotion and raise in pay for him. Said he'd be gone for three weeks and he'd try to call me. Never got a phone call, but the next weekend I got an e-mail supposedly from him from some e-mail address I'd never seen before. He said he was using a friend's computer to write me while he was in Los Angeles. He sent me two e-mails from this address. The second one actually asked me to become his steady girlfriend. Since I had fallen head over heals, I was real happy about that.

I didn't receive any more e-mails from him or any phone calls the rest of the time he was supposed to be in Los Angeles, which was two more weeks. The Friday of the weekend he was supposed to be back home, I get an e-mail from his home e-mail address.

This time, it is from his "parents" telling me that the second week he was in Los Angeles, he was involved in a terrible traffic accident and that he died from massive head injuries. Well, you can imagine how I felt about that. I was devastated. I tried in vain to get in touch with his "parents." The only thing I had was his home telephone number. I tried calling information to get the phone number of his parents with no luck.

I called the local newspaper to see about getting a copy of the obituary. This was after a friend of mine told me that he was suspicious that this was just some story and didn't really happen. My friend did some checking on his own and found that this guy was indeed alive and well and in fact never went to Los Angeles.

He claimed he got an e-mail from someone on my end that told him I had been involved in a car accident and was killed, and that he didn't know anything about any of the e-mails I had received about him.

Of course, I didn't believe him. I was an emotional wreck for weeks -- couldn't eat or sleep. I actually lost my job over this situation. It took me 3 weeks to find another one, and I have two small children to support. I am separated from my husband. I decided not to pursue this situation any further. I just wanted to put it behind me and get on with my life as best as I could. Well, I got a new job and got my life back on track and things were going along fairly smoothly. It's been about 3 months since I heard from this guy or anything about him.

Last week, I got an e-mail from guy named Bill who says he was a friend of this guy's. He says that someone told him that Michael had been sleeping with his wife. This Bill was supposedly using Michael's computer to do some kind of school work while Michael was at work. Bill got this idea in his head about using this story about Michael going to Los Angeles and being killed just to get back at him for sleeping with his wife.

Bill has since found out that Michael was not the one sleeping with his wife and now wants to make amends and that I should contact Michael. I have been in touch with Michael, who seems to be willing to resume the relationship. However, I'm not so sure about all this.

Something still doesn't seem quite right with this story and I'm terribly afraid of getting involved only to fall prey again. I lost my job, was an emotional wreck for weeks, and still have not fully recovered from the emotional damage this whole situation has caused me. I mistrust everyone. It's like I've become paranoid about everyone I come in contact with and therefore keep everyone at a distance. If this were to happen to me again, I'm not sure I could recover from it. It could very possibly just drive me over the edge.

I'm not a rich woman, so there's no financial gain to be had by becoming involved with me. I couldn't even afford to have a background check on this guy. I don't know this Bill's last name, and Michael thinks he may be in Florida. I've entertained the idea that Bill is in fact Michael who's just used this alias and this story to get back in touch with me for whatever reasons that are known only to him.

I just don't know what to do. The last time I only lost my job. I could lose so much more. I just don't know what to do. I want to believe this story, but then again I still have a lot of doubts about its authenticity.

--Martha--

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