One Little Tortoise

Metaphor of the Metaverse

Photo by julien Tromeur on Unsplash

I loved Angela. I loved her life, I idolized it. She had the perfect life and she was so genuine. Her Monday morning posts were all I needed to get through the week. She just knew the right words, and how to weave them together to get to your soul and fire you up.

I loved her more because she was a rebel. She could not conform. She had never married, but she was living life and made sure we knew that she didn’t regret her decision. Angela was in her early 40s but she looked like she had just graduated from high school. She shared details of her love life, but never the faces of the men in whom she took delight.

She showed us pictures of trips to exotic locations. She made us know she had the money to take care of herself and wasn’t dependent on any man. She always said that it was ok if a man wanted to spend his money on you, but whatever he was willing to do for you, you could do it yourself. You had to let him know that he was just a bonus feature.

Angela was a preacher of hard work. “No one owes you anything. Not your father, not your mother, brother, sister and even if you’re married, not your husband. Don’t even talk about putting the burden on your children. Set things right for yourself so you can hold your head high till you take your final bow.” Oh how I loved her and all the things she had to say.

She would tell us about deals she was working on and how she was negotiating her way to success and wealth. There was so much to learn from her. She never held anything back.

I went to her social pages to worship, her words had become the gospel to me.

Her message was simple. “Being a woman should not be an excuse to not get what you want. Work hard and work on your own terms.”

Because of Angela, I had quit my job, because I knew that I was deserving of much more than they were giving me.

“If your employers don’t value your work, get out of there, so the employers who will, can find you,” she had captioned one of her posts, with a picture of herself in a lush hotel room having breakfast in bed. My kind of life, and I knew I was going to get it.

Though I hadn’t found another job yet, I was certain that I would because I was too darn good a PA.

I was still visualizing myself earning over six figures as an executive assistant to one of those group MDs, when something caught my eye. I was waiting for my turn to buy food at Iya Bose’s Buka. It was morning, so there was the usual crowd of school students and workers hurrying to have breakfast before heading to their destinations.

I looked again to be sure. I couldn’t believe how closely she looked like Angela. She wore a pair of cut-offs and a faded tee-shirt, strands of hair escaped from her hair bonnet and she looked like she had just got out of bed.

I wanted to tell her how much she looked like my idol (only worse, but I wasn’t going to say that). I walked to meet her where she sat eating a plate of white rice and fish stew. “Excuse me, forgive me for barging in on your meal, but I just had to let you know that you look so much like someone I know. Let me show you her picture.”

I hurriedly brought out my phone to show her Angela’s latest post which had her sitting behind a desk in what looked like an ornate library.

Her face was expressionless as she stared at the picture on my phone. She only nodded in agreement and continued with her meal.

I apologized for bothering her, and turned to leave. That was when I saw it, just as she scratched her inner wrist. There was no mistaking it. It was the same tattoo that I had seen in all the pictures that she had uploaded to her social pages — the cute little tortoise.

I stood there in shock as reality knocked the wind out of me. I had based all my actions and motivations on a lie. I had quit my job for a lie — and the pay was good. What was I going to do?

I knew for a fact that I had been had. We had all been.

Disclaimer:

This is purely a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is coincidental.

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