Twenty years ago my life practically ended. It may not have been my fault, but I was the obvious scapegoat, and as they say, your boss is not your friend. I was thrown under the bus to appease the mob, to be ripped apart online, harassed, even literally assaulted on the street.
At first I thought it would be no big deal, I'd just need to find a new job, start a new job. Little did I know that in the information era, there are no clean slates, the internet neither forgives nor forgets. No matter what I tried, it was hopeless. No one wanted to hire the guy who had legions of people harassing and threatening him online non-stop.
I suppose I can't blame anyone for not wanting to be affiliated with the fu*kup I was the symbol for, even if it made my life even harder than it otherwise would've been. Three years after the incident, my wife and I filed for a divorce to protect the kids and herself. She even changed their names to avoid recognition.
Having nothing left actually made things easier. No one to worry about, nothing to restrain me. I only had one purpose, to make sure the guy responsible for my misery would pay. Not in the comic book justice sense, where the bad guy gets a stern talking-to and everyone lives happily ever after. No, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. He's going to suffer and lose everything, just as I did.
"Be the PR guy", he had said, "it'll be easy. Everyone's going to love it anyway, they've been waiting for this for years." Total bullshit, present me would say. But back then I was just as passionate as the fans were, and sure that the big guys in suits had our back. "Just stick to the script and you'll be good. No need to stress about it." In hindsight, it was quite obvious why they wanted the awkward programmer to do the announcement instead of doing it themselves. They already knew what was going to happen, and just wanted to make sure they had someone to take the blame.
I pulled up to his house. The preparations had already been made, and his wife and kids were at some party, out of the way. I kicked in the door and headed straight upstairs towards his office room. I heard the distinct sound of a chair falling on the floor, and some frantic shuffling about. A smile crept up on my face, I knew exactly what he was looking for, but he was not going to find it. As I turned the corner to face him, he was there, facing me. Upon seeing the look in my eyes, his face went pale. He understood what this was about. He begged me to at least let him leave a note to his family, that he wanted to apologise. As I flicked the switchblade open, I dryly recited back the line he had ruined my life with:
"What, do you guys not have phones?"
Note: Fine line between relevance and shitposting. I'll let you guys judge.
© Post "Diabolical Vengeance – a short story" for game Diablo 3.
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