i guess i should have a file

this is my cat, geoffurey. i miss him a lot.1

Item #: SCP-XXXX2

Object Class: Safe3

Special Containment Procedures: it'd be nice to have some kind of warning before you store stuff in here. i wouldn't want to wake up one day with a brain-eating slime monster for a roommate.4 there are plenty of empty containment chambers, so it's no problem if i need to move to a different one.

Description: i'm pretty ordinary. right now i'm wearing jeans and a panic! at the disco t-shirt. my name is alice epstein.5 no one notices me.

Addendum XXXX.1: My Situation6

it started three years ago, back when i started high school. lots of people fade into the background when they go to a new school, so at first i didn't realize anything was wrong. it kept getting worse, though. i'd be in the middle of a conversation with someone and they'd sort of zone out and forget they were talking to me. i blamed myself for being so boring. no one liked my facebook posts anymore, either. about a month into the semester, teachers stopped grading my homework.

it was happening at home as well. my parents stopped calling me downstairs for dinner. there was no more nagging me to tidy up my room or take out the trash. they still talked to me, but only when i initiated the conversation. i came back from school one day and my mom had moved her desk and a few shelves into my room like she was turning it into an office. she apologized when i brought it up, said she didn't know what had gotten into her and that she'd take them back. she never did. two weeks later, my parents forgot they had a kid.

i couldn't deal with that. they were my team, you know? they weren't perfect but they always had my back. one time, my mom and i were talking about college and she got all teary-eyed over thinking about how much she'd miss me. but they were just as happy without me, without knowing i had ever existed. so i left.

i had to steal from a grocery store to eat. i mean, i tried to buy stuff, but the cashiers ignored me, so i just walked out carrying two full bags of food. i felt like a ghost. there was a nordstrom's nearby, so i went in and stole some sweaters just to see if i could. carried them straight through the theft detector. the alarm went off, but no one payed it any attention. no matter what i did, no one cared.

that night, i fell asleep on a display bed in a mattress store. the store's opening/closing hours were a huge hassle, though, so i tried out living in a few different places. the furniture section of a macy's. the couch in the lobby of some advertising firm. i even spent a night in someone else's house, but that was too much for me. eventually i moved into a library. i wasn't the only homeless person there, which was oddly comforting. besides, in a library, no one makes eye contact anyway. it was almost like being normal.

sometimes - god, this is going to sound so pathetic - sometimes i went into restaurants and joined people at tables. i acted like i belonged; laughing at their jokes, offering my own (unacknowledged) comments. like a social media account with no followers.

meanwhile, i tried everything i could think of to get people to notice me. nothing worked. i punched a dude in the face and he didn't even flinch. i went into a cafe kitchen and stood in front of the door so no one could get out. they didn't try to leave. at one point someone outside shouted that they needed to hurry up and get out there. one of the people in the kitchen shouted back "one sec!" but that was it. another time, i went over to a person who was on her laptop and slammed its lid shut. she calmly opened it up again as if nothing had happened. i shut it and kept my hand there. she tried to open it, frowned a little when it didn't work, and then just pulled out her phone. i opened it up again and she shrugged and went back to using it. i put my hands in front of the screen so she couldn't see. she squinted, took off her glasses, and started cleaning them.

it felt like the whole world was a show and i was the only audience member. all i could do was observe. so that's what i did. i picked people who looked interesting and followed them around for days at a time, learning everything i could about them. i know that's kind of creepy, but curiosity was the only thing keeping me from going crazy. at 'home', i read through every book that caught my eye. i even went back to school from time to time. it was the only anchor left to my old life. it was also where all this weirdness had started, so although it wasn't much of a lead, it was the closest thing i had.

in fact, school turned out to be a much better lead than i had expected, because that was where i came across your people, checking the place over with fancy-looking equipment when no one else was around (except me). that sparked my curiosity for sure. so i picked one and followed her around for a while. when she got in her car, she relocked it before i could get in as well, so i lost track of her after that. but a few days later, more people showed up, and this time i made sure not to get left behind. they slept at some motel or something; i wasn't able to fall asleep because i was too excited and worried about not waking up before they left. the next day they split up. the person i decided to follow drove me all the way here.

i thought i had finally gone crazy. it was like a fever dream. all these locked doors and security cameras. sometimes alarms went off, but no one reacted, so i guess i must have been causing them. this place was the curiosity jackpot. after almost a week of watching people use computers and security panels, i figured out how to log in to the main database. which blew my mind, obviously. the stuff i saw here was more than enough evidence for me that the files were legit.

some of them were pretty terrifying to read, i guess, but honestly? overall, it was extremely reassuring. because here were things way weirder than me, and you were handling them professionally and expertly. solving the world's problems in a million ways all the time. i can't help but hope that maybe compared to that, solving me might be a piece of cake.

that's the main reason i've been staying here. well, apart from curiosity. like… this is where i belong, isn't it? it's the only hope i have of maybe getting my life back, or at least understanding why this happened. even if you never realize i'm here, maybe while i'm reading through documents i'll figure out what to do. maybe you'll write up a report on whatever was going on at my school that did this to me.

so, anyway, i guess i should have a file. you probably won't notice it, but i feel better knowing it's in here. at the very least, maybe when i die, whatever happened to me will wear off and you'll be able to read this. the point is that now there's a record of my existence. there is proof i'm real.

my name is alice epstein. i am 17.

i'm still here.

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