• Ekow Manuar

IV. Accepted Stalking.

Updated: Mar 31

She accepted friend requests across all online media. In fact, Simone spent more than the usual time on his various screens digesting her. Infatuated by her. Immersed in her.

She wasn’t as active on mainstream social media, but she had thousands of posts on Instagram and Vye. Simone tapped the button ‘to bottom of page,’ and began to indulge himself in Adwoa’s Instagram narrative. She didn’t use any filters or have too many selfies. All good points he ticked in his now expanding mind-map of her. He tapped on a video of her swinging on a swing in a playground. It was autumn in the picture. The fall leaves carpeted the ground underneath her stretched legs and the trees were alight with a yellow flame.

“She must’ve studied abroad or she lives abroad?” he debated. “What a disaster that would be!” Not that it mattered much to Simone. He didn’t mind falling for her in this realm. His life was here and she was here too.

Multiple messages popped up on the top of his phone and he instinctively touched the icons to redirect him to the new messages. There are several from his employer Edward, and one, to his utmost surprise, from Adwoa. He chose to look at Edward’s messages first.

“Simone! I haven’t seen your icon on the doc page!”

“Simone! It is past 10 am and the new items of our catalog haven’t been updated on the webpage.”

“Simone! The doc page. If you can please attend to it!”

Simone opened the tab to the google doc page and saw his avatar jump up from the digital abyss to notify him of his presence on the document. He was supposed to submit a report on what bugs needed to be fixed on the catalog page for this online high-end fashion store. He would submit the report and his avatar would fix the glitches. It had been seven months since they rolled out the website and Simone was responsible for also creating the plug-ins. A task the AI couldn’t handle for whatever reason.

His avatar was obviously more animated about the work than he was. He doubled tapped his digital self and selected the emotion ‘studious,’ and inserted a bunch of commands for his avatar to execute on his behalf.

“E – I’m on it. Sorry for that – had a slight stomach bug earlier this morning.”He sent the lie to his boss without hesitation.

Leaving the best for last, he opened Adwoa’s message.

“Hey, I think we have met before?”

Simone’s heart did a somersault. He smiled but searched curiously for how that was possible. How could she connect him in reality with him in virtual reality? Firstly, he didn’t go anywhere. Ever!

For food, he ordered in mostly or relied on his father’s monthly food supplies that he would feed into his 3D printer. He had a treadmill in his room, so physical fitness wasn’t disregarded entirely. That was it. Right? Work, play and life were on his online interface. Friends, ‘yeh a few’ he ticked, but they met at Charles’ house most of the time to watch FIFA. No one else joined.

He finally thought to ask her.

“Where from?”

She replied immediately.

“Aunty Jamila’s wake. We were the only two who weren’t traditional.”

“Oh, yes! Yes. Wow. You have a good memory.”

“Yes ☺ - and you sat quietly in the corner and I came to you and said a silly joke.”

“Oh, yeh.” Simone dug into the pits of his memories hoping that this joke she told would show itself.

“Yeh, I remember!” A stray lie. Unnecessary in fact. But it left his fingers before he could grab ahold of it.

“Do you (curious smiley face)? Are you sure you aren’t just saying that?”

She knows he is lying. The gig is up, Simone panicked.

“Ha, okay I don’t remember. I am sorry, but I am happy you remember because now we are talking.”

“So why did you lie about it,” her avatar by now had loaded on the screen and Simone could see it shaking its head in protest of his lie. Wagging its round brown finger. “How do you know Aunt Jamila?”

“My mother’s big sister.”

“Oh, your mother was Aunt Gill. I am sorry, I heard about her (sad face).”

“Yes, she was my mother. How do you know Aunt Jamila?”

“Not blood related, she helped me get into Clark U.”

“Ah yeh, I saw you were somewhere outside Ghana.”

“You already checked my Instagram?!”

“I mean I just scrolled down and saw -” Simone tried typing some more to explain himself but she sent a message before he could finish.

“You fucking stalker!”

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