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Vanity


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The year is twenny twenny (2020) and twirra (twitter) is on fire. The trending hashtags are #worldwarIII #Soleimani #AustraliaonFire #Iran #Iraq #USA. The memes are hilariously alarming. We are still talking about Trump’s impeachment. The concentration camps and Islamophobic, ethnic cleansing of Muslims in China and India. The attacks in Somalia. The trending Netflix series is YOU and Messiah. It is just the fourth day of the new decade, and you already know it. WE.ARE.MESSED.UP.

Now for you, you couldn’t be less bothered. You stand in front of the mirror in your polka-dot pink pajama. It is barely 7 a.m. But who cares? You need to post a video of your self-affirmations on Instagram.

You straighten up your long black hair and push it away from your face.

“I am strong. I am kind. I am honest. I am happy. I am fierce. I am beautiful. I am confident. I am outstanding…” Suddenly you remember, You forgot to take your morning photo! The morning photo you were to take to out-do Nora, your old workmate who now works across the globe from you. Nonetheless, who cares where she lives now? How dare she get more likes and comments than you? You can never allow that to happen. You, you are the epitome of beauty and every one should recognize that.

You pause your video. You move towards the balcony, make sure that the sunrise is dramatically appearing in your photo. Oh wait. Your favourite cup of coffee must appear too. You quickly peep in your mirror to ensure that no perks of dirt are still on your eyes. Liiighhht make-up. Okay perfect. Snap, snap, snap, snap, snap again. Perfect. Perfect image. Perfect sunrise. Perfect hair. Perfect skin. You post it on your Instagram with the hashtag ‘I woke up like this.’

You finish your self-affirmations video. Post it with the hashtag #selflove as you keenly wait for the likes notification to start ringing. Do you really need those affirmations though? I mean, aint you the very perfect? Charming? Powerful? Most successful? But maybe you do need them after all. Perhaps your deep inner child recognizes your starvation of love.

You scroll through your Instagram, rolling your eyes at everyone’s new year resolutions. They are mediocre people aren’t they? Mediocre people = mediocre goals. But you, YOU are special. You hang around with the bigwigs. You make people laugh. Your confidence makes these tiny little brains come running to you; wagging their tails. You are powerful. You are something else.

You come across Lydia’s end of year post. She has lost 10 kilograms in a span of two months. She is grateful. She looks graceful. You roll your eyes again. “Whom are you lying to Lydia? Isn’t this the third time in five years that you have lost 10 kgs? So what now? You think you will make it this year just because it is friggin 2020?” You type like a maniac. You’re just about to post it. Then you remember. You have an identity to keep up. It took you years to build this persona that everyone loves and ‘worships’. You quickly delete and write instead, “Aww. I am so proud of you honey. I personally know how far you have come. 2020 is definitely going to be a better year for you. Count on me to always support you. xoxo.”

You scroll on. There is Aisha. She became a neurosurgeon this year. Her million dollar smile irks you. She is perfect. More perfect than you. Stable career. Stable marriage. She even has a child already! Urgh! It infuriates you that Aisha does not take notice of YOU. How can she ignore you while you went to the same university, same batch?! Well apart from the fact that you mostly made her heart a meal for your ego, why would she ignore YOU? You are thee queen. The goddess. Aisha is lost. She doesn’t know what she is doing and you know it, she will definitely regret it someday. She will realize your worth and come back begging for your ‘golden’ (mostly one-sided) friendship.

Tim on the other hand is posting a post at 2 a.m. Is he for real? What’s worse he is talking about his journey from being homeless to moving to a bedsitter. His 2020 goal? To have his own one bedroom house? Ati Big dreams, baby steps. “SMH. I DON’T RELATE”

Your timeline is filled with ladies and gentlemen flexing their summer and new year outfits. You roll your eyes again. Way, WAY below your standards. What are they showing off about anyway? Cheap clothes bought on December sale?

You are petty and you know it. So you quickly type onto your Instagram story ‘Some of you are poor and it shows.’ Followed by hysterical posts of ‘Some of you don’t know jokes. I was joking.’ Were you though? Do you really believe you were?

Anyways, who cares? Lydia, Aisha, Nora, Tim…all so mediocre. You take a killer photo, all dressed up. Your face is lit. You ARE lit. It is your time to shine. You write your story. Your very powerful, moving story of success and pure talent. How you overcame mountains. How NO ONE could ever understand what you went through. It is captivating. Almost a tear-jerker. Almost, because there is someone who actually sees you through the facade you keep.

Your post is soon filled with emotional, supportive comments from your 10k followers. Then you see it. That one, unexpected comment. That comment you’d rather never see. “Hi there. It’s been a long time coming. I am glad to know you’re doing well.” There is a smiling emoji after the statement. That suspiscious, enigmatic half-smile emoji that you never really know what to make of it.

You shudder. You read the name again. It is him. Him, who once meant everything to you then in a blink, took it all away. It all comes back to you. That intense, otherwise crazy relationship, that broke you down to shatters. The arrogance. The vanity. The superiority complex. You two, you were/are so much alike, you did not even understand the magnitude of the toxicity. Call it soul mates. Call it finding-your-match. Only, he defeated you. And that is something you will never get past. The defeat.

His simple comment crushes you. Because you know it. He knows it.

Someone actually recognizes you for who you truly are.

Hey there narcissist. You met your match. Again.

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