Tony Cline had been on the computer a lot the past few months. He thought he had made an online friend at facebook. This was something that his parents and sister had not known about. The person he had befriended with was also a teenager. From the first day Tony had met this person on facebook, he didn't know that this kid was on the abusive side.
Later that Saturday afternoon, Tony was on the home office computer, talking on facebook with the abusive teenager when his father former sheriff Jeremy Cline walked into the office.
"May I use this room for a while, Son?" Sheriff Cline asked.
"Sure, Dad. I want to get off facebook first," Tony said.
"Okay. I need to pay some bills."
Sheriff Cline watched as Tony typed a couple more words and then logged out. Tony watched his father sit down in the black swivel chair at the desk.
Tony thought facebook had been fun these past few months with this person he hade made friends with on facebook. Over the week the person had asked to look at his Wall by asking for his password. Tony thought he trusted this person with his password, so he gave it out.
Sheriff Cline spent some time paying bills. After he finished paying the bills, he checked his hotmail address and saw there were a few e – mails but they could wait. That's when he logged out at hotmail and walked out of the office. Tony asked Sheriff Cline if it was okay to go back on the computer.
"Yes, Son. We're going out to dinner at five."
"Okay," Tony said as he walked to the office.
Tony was now back into facebook. He saw that the person he had been visting with earlier had logged into his facebook account. He saw there was a new status on his Wall and he knew he didn't even post it. Tony got up and found Sheriff Cline at the couch in the living room. Today had been a girls' day for his mother and sister, so it had been him and Sheriff Cline at home today.
"Dad, will you come here, please?" Tony asked.
"What's that?" Sheriff Cline asked, taking his eyes off the television set.
"It's about facebook."
Tony watched as his father got up from the living room couch. Both of them were now in the office. The office was a bit on the small side since it only had a closet, desk, chair, computer, television, bookshelf and some other things a home office would carry.
"What is it you wanted me to see?" Sheriff Cline asked as they sat down at the Dell computer.
"This, Dad. I found this on my Wall and I didn't even post it. What should I do?" he asked.
Tony let Sheriff Cline read the latest status.
"You mean to tell me somebody logged into your account?" Sheriff Cline asked as Tony nodded yes.
"Let's report it, then," Sheriff Cline told his son.
Sheriff Cline could see that the status sounded abusive.
"I know you would never post anything that sounds abusive, Tony. The right thing to do is report this status. Have you been talking to anybody who has been abusive?" Sheriff Cline asked.
Tony again nodded yes wordlessly.
"Who is this person?" Sheriff Cline asked as he reported the status.
Tony took the mouse from his father's hand and went to his friends list so Sheriff Cline could see who he had been talking with the past few months.
"Adam Saunders? How did you meet this person?" Sheriff Cline asked.
Sheriff Cline saw in the profile picture Adam looked like he was three inches shorter than Tony, Sheriff Cline guessed in the picture. Adam had light blue eyes and dark blonde hair. He was wearing a concert shirt but Sheriff Cline couldn't figure out which group. The picture in Adam's profile picture looked like he was outside because he looked like he was with a truck.
"Okay, Son, it looks like we'll have to take this kid off your friends list," Sheriff Cline said.
"How?" Tony said.
"By blocking him and reporting him," Sheriff Cline answered and Tony watched his father block and report Adam.
Tony couldn't believe how fast his father had worked on facebook.
"What we will do now, Tony, is delete your facebook account. I think it sounds right so you can be safe in near future," Sheriff Cline said.
"I don't want to delete it," Tony said.
"Well, it's for the best. I want you to be safe in the future, don't I?"
"Then we will delete that account right away."
Tony felt a bit disappointed about his account being gone. He didn't know what to tell his friends now.
"It's gone now, Tony. Adam will never hear from you again. Do me one favor."
"When you join websites, come to me. Let me make the choice for you from now on, okay?" Sheriff Cline asked.
The two left the office.
"Okay, Dad. I promise. I didn't know Adam was on the abusive side," Tony said.
He didn't want to mention to Sheriff Cline about Adam asking for his password.
"From now on, I want you to stay away from facebook, even when you're an adult because I don't want the same thing to happen again in near future. Get it?" Sheriff Cline asked.
"I promise I won't do it again, Dad," Tony said.
Sheriff Cline could tell that Tony did mean it so he believed his son.
"I'm glad you came to me right away, Tony. Now this is over, we won't mention this to your mother today when she and your sister come home."
Tony understood. He didn't want his mother asking questions right away.
"We'll tell your mother another time. They should be home in a few minutes," Sheriff Cline said, looking at the time.
The phone rang. Sheriff Cline was right. It was his wife, Terry Cline, asking if he and Tony could meet her and Sara in town. Sheriff Cline agreed and put the phone back in the cradle.
"Son, let's go meet your mother and sister in town for supper."
"Okay," Tony agreed and watched as his father went to get his jacket.
Tony had to find the car keys. He was driving since his father had a banned driver's license and couldn't driver's license and couldn't drive anymore. On their way out of the house, Tony locked the house and then they were now gone from the house.