It was a sex tape. A friend pulled me into watching it before I could ever find out who was in it. Even if he told me right from the beginning, I don’t think it would stop me and do otherwise. I wasn’t sure if it was curiosity or the hormones that drew us into it, but my friend’s persuasiveness definitely did not help. We were intrigued; we haven’t seen anything like it before. Apparently, he was able to download the entire thing before it was taken down. All he said was that we both knew the couple in the video. In fact, they were classmates of ours. We watched it over a dozen times. Probably four or five more times at home. If there was ever a pop quiz about it, we’d ace it for sure. This happened during the time when smartphones were just beginning to be a thing, and a lot of people were doing a lot of experimenting with them apparently. There was even a myth that service technicians can extract all of your files out of your phone even if they were deleted or your memory card is out.
Needless to say, it went viral. It wasn’t even the term that we used then, it just went out. Everybody in school was talking about it, I’m sure even the grown-ups did too. It even reached a point when phones were banned inside the classrooms. We talked about it tirelessly though during the morning assembly, during recess, even while classes were on-going. It was such a hot topic that some students officially declared homeroom as ‘X and Y’
We didn’t refer to them by their real names to avoid being caught. We used X and Y instead. X and Y are the usual symbols we use for the numbers we don’t know yet in Algebra, in case you’re wondering. In short, to keep them anonymous.
We had fun talking and making jokes about it, heck, it even helped most of us understand the inner workings of that world. It opened our eyes to a lot of things. On my part, X and Y were ahead of their time, they were gods to me. After the video came out, we didn’t see X and Y ever again. We heard that they were sent away abroad, never to see each other again. Some even told us that they had their names changed because of the damage it caused.
Looking back, I felt terrible about how we behaved. Yes, it’s easy to say that we were mere children and that we didn’t fully understand what we did then. But that also didn’t help X and Y at all. Lately, I think about it a lot. I still see them as kids in my head. On how taciturn and quiet they are in their own happy world, on how contented they are in that shared bubble. I remember how nice and gentle X was; she was once a lab partner in Chemistry, and even if we didn’t speak to each other much, her warmth transcended to me. She helped me with a few school work and she was good at it too – helping others. And it pains me even now how we all betrayed her, both of them. We buried them alive, we took part in the murder. I know, saying this won’t do reprieve and penance, but I want nothing more in life than to go back and do better.