I Just Watched a TikTok Livestream and Now I Don’t Know What’s Real Anymore

Yes, I know, who in their right mind uses TikTok?

I was always starkly opposed to Social Media, especially TikTok. That cesspit of stupidity and regurgitated jokes should’ve never become a thing, and not one as huge as it is today.

I wish I’d never downloaded the damn thing. I really wish. Or maybe… maybe I do, after all? Well, never mind.

One night I was bored. After my computer broke, all I had was my phone. I was never a book guy, hell I didn’t own any and mobile games could only entertain me so much.

So, one day, I gave in and downloaded TikTok as my play store recommended.

At first, I was annoyed, more than annoyed. All I found were short clips of people acting like idiots.

After a while, though, I found the occasional interesting piece of content. Little live hacks, for example. Videos on how to survive in the wild, do-it-yourself guides or how to prepare a hot meal without using a stove. I was always intrigued by these things.

Needless to say, I got hooked.

For the past weeks, however, I got interested in a different type of content, urban exploring that is.

The real deal, I mean. Not the bullshit in which a creator’s friend covered in a bedsheet pretends to be a ghost in a dark hallway.

No, I liked to watch people explore old mineshafts, abandoned buildings or ghost towns.

While it was fun for a while, I didn’t like the fact that I’d never be able to visit any of the places I saw.

After getting acquainted with the shitshow that was TikTok’s search, I began browsing hashtag after hashtag. Eventually, I’d found a few local content creators who explored abandoned places in my area.

Now my city isn’t huge, but it’s not small either, so there was quite a bit of content.

Occasionally, I’d even watch a livestream.

There was something exhilarating about urban exploring. Before long, I put together my own list of places I wanted to see. If I ever left the house, that is, and if I ever was man enough to do so.

Tonight, I was notified about another livestream.

It was by two guys I’d recently discovered. Most of their content was typical for TikTok, stuff I didn’t care about. Sometimes, however, they checked out abandoned palces.

I joined the livestream and heard they were on their way to one of the ‘notorious abandoned areas’ of my city.

“Yeah, bro, this place used to be like hot shit back in the day! Like everyone wanted to live out here!”

“No way, dude. You’re fucking with me! That tower block over there’s going to collapse any minute now!”

“I swear, man, but it was like decades ago. I heard they even wanted to renovate the place at one point, but never did.

“Yeah? Why didn’t they?”

“No clue, place’s a money sink, I guess, or they realized it’s all old shit.”

“Yeah, like the rest of this city!”

Both of them began guffawing, and I couldn’t help but frown. They seemed to talk in the typical, annoying, over-the-top way all influencers did these days. I hated it.

Before long, however, they’d reached a giant, old apartment complex.

For a while, they continued on down a small, deserted street. Then they followed an alley that led them right into the center of the complex. The entire place was ruined. What might have once been a nice little park was now completely overgrown. Rubble was everywhere and here and there I saw stacks of old, half-rotten construction materials.

“Hey man, do you hear that? It sounds like crying or something!” one of them suddenly said.

His friend’s face appeared in front of the camera, an anxious look washed over it. Then he began laughing.

“Fuck, bro, you almost got me!”

By now, both of them were laughing again, like the idiots they were. I wasn’t. God, these guys were annoying.

With a sigh, I put the phone down, ignored their annoying voices, and couldn’t help but stare at the empty wall in front of me. What the hell was I even doing? Why the fuck was I watching some teenagers’ stupid TikTok livestream in the middle of the night?

While I questioned my life choices, a flashlight beam reached me from outside.

In an instant, I got up and went towards my balcony door.

Having a ground-floor apartment always makes me uneasy. The area I live in isn’t a bad one, but it’s not exactly a good one either. You never knew what could happen. One of my biggest fears was to find someone trying to climb onto my balcony and to break into my place.

I took a deep breath. It was probably just someone’s phone. Then I pushed aside the curtain, trying my best to stay hidden.

Right outside, in front of my building, I saw two figures. Each one was holding a flashlight in their hands, blasting their beams over apartments and windows alike. What the hell were they doing? Didn’t they know people were trying to sleep?

Once more, one of them sent their beam straight into my apartment, illuminating my living room.

Those assholes. I bet they were trying to fuck with people!

From outside, I could hear their laughter and their high-pitched teenage voices. Got nothing better to do, eh?

Growing angry, I pushed open the balcony door to tell them to fuck off.

Right when I stepped outside, one of them was actually trying to climb onto my balcony. For a moment, the beam of his flashlight hit me right in the face.

“What the fuck?!” I screamed while I instinctively shielded my eyes from the blinding light.

Screaming in surprise, the guy tumbled backwards and crashed back down over the balcony railing.

In an instant, I was back inside, throwing the balcony door shut. That was it. Now I was pissed. Fucking around with flashlights was one thing, but trying to break into my place was a whole different story.

I put on my shoes, threw on my jacket, and stormed outside. Before I did, I got a hold of a broom.

Just in case, I told myself.

When I pushed open the apartment building’s door, I saw they were still right there. One of them was on the ground, probably hurt from tumbling down, while his friend was trying to help him up.

The moment they saw me, they both froze.

“The hell do you think you’re doing?” I screamed at them.

In my anger, I began waving around the broom, hoping to show them I was serious.

“N-no, we did nothing, I swear! We didn’t know someone lived here, so… We’re sorry, we’re sorry!” one of them called out to me.

By now, the one on the ground had gotten back to his feet.

“Get the hell out of here,” I spat at them, taking a single, well-measured step forward.

By now, both of them were shaking. They were pleading with me, crying and repeating their ‘we’re sorry’ as they backed away.

As I stood there, watching them, this entire situation felt weird. Why the hell were they suddenly so scared? Just moments ago, they’d tried to climb onto someone’s balcony and now…

My anger evaporated, and I almost felt sorry for them. Almost. Still, I lowered the broom and tried to look as non-threatening as possible.

“Yo, I won’t do anything to you guys, all right? Just leave.”

They were still scared, but nodded vehemently, promising they’d never ever be back again. Then they both turned around and booked it.

As I looked after them, I still didn’t know why they’d been so scared. I mean, sure, I’m a big dude, but more fat than muscle. Don’t tell me it’s because of the freaking broom?

On the way back inside, I couldn’t help but laugh about the entire situation. Freaking teenagers…

I’d barely entered my living room when I heard their voices again. I jerked around and went back to the balcony. Don’t tell me…

No one was outside. The balcony was empty, and so was the area in front of the building.

What had I just heard?

Then I saw my phone. TikTok was still open, and the stupid livestream from before was still playing.

“Holy shit, bro, what the fuck was that?!”

“Did you guys see that? Did you just fucking see that?!”

As I picked up the phone, I saw that the two of them were still running.

The chat was going crazy. Messages were coming in at an almost astronomical speed. I could barely read anything, but what I did mentioned the words crazy person and squatter.

As I continued to listen, there was soon no doubt anymore. It was the same two guys, the same two idiot teenagers who’d just tried to break into my place.

Hadn’t they gone to some abandoned area, though? How’d they ended up here?

I reasoned, they’d given up on their urban exploring and went to fuck with people, but…

How’d they made it here so quickly? Wait, where exactly did they go? There weren’t any abandoned places nearby!

By now, more and more people in chat were asking about the abandoned area, about its location. When one of the hosts finally answered, I was even more confused. It was my area, my home. But, this place wasn’t abandoned! I lived here, people lived here! I was right here, sitting in my living room, there was my bedroom and over there… No, calm down, don’t be an idiot!

This was TikTok after all! Who knows, maybe that entire livestream was pre-recorded and in reality they went out to fuck with people for new content. Hell, maybe they found me on their follower list, saw I lived nearby, and decided to prank me or something. Yeah, that had to be it.

The more I tried to convince myself, however, the more I realized how ridiculous those scenarios were. Yet the alternative…

A new notification interrupted my thoughts. It was a new TikTok video, one just posted by the guys whose livestream I’d just watched.

When I read the title, I shivered.

Highlights of the CRAZIEST livestream EVER! Run-in with INSANE squatter! WE almost DIED!!! HOLY SHIT, guys!!!

I read the title again, then once more. With slightly shaking hands, I pressed play.

I watched as the two of them walked past abandoned buildings. Then they were at the apartment complex, moving their flashlights around. Finally, one of them tried to climb onto a balcony.

Right at that moment, an unkempt, bearded guy jumped from an opening that might once have been a balcony door.

“What the fuck?!” I heard him scream.

The phone slipped from my hands and my head spun. There was no way. There was no freaking way!

That was my voice, my face. Only it was… different. In the video, I looked dirty, unkempt, bearded. My voice sounded rougher, deeper, and, most of all… crazier.

I told myself I was wrong. This entire night was getting to me and my mind was playing tricks on me, that’s all.

Then I picked up the phone and played the video again.

There it was. My face. My voice.

I watched as my alter ego burst from the building, holding a metal rod in his hand. I heard, as I screamed at them in an almost incoherent voice. Almost. I understood enough.

“The hell do you think you’re doing!?”

It was the same words. The ones I’d screamed at them not even an hour ago.

In an instant, I threw the phone across the room. There was no way this was real. It had to be fake! Some sort of stupid trick, a deep fake or god knows what!

In an instant, I dashed into my bathroom, turned on the lights and stared at myself in the mirror. There I was, cleanly shaven, slightly muffled hair, but overall, pretty presentable.

Then, for a second, I could almost see my hair grow, could almost see the dirty unkempt beard and the crazy eyes I’d seen in the video.

I cringed back. No, it’s not fucking real!

Back in the living room, I shivered again. Why was it so cold? I could almost feel a breeze blowing through my apartment.

I checked the balcony door again, but it was closed. As I stared outside, however, I wondered.

How long had I lived here?

When had I last spoken to someone?

Hell, when had I last seen anyone else who lived here?

I’m sitting here now, typing this out in as much detail as I can.

I don’t know what the hell’s going on. With all of this. I mean, I’m right here, in my apartment, sitting on my living room couch!

Yet as I’m typing this, I can feel it again, this cold, almost freezing breeze. And every once in a while I almost can’t help going through a beard I know shouldn’t be there.

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