Everyone lies, because sometimes telling a lie is easier than telling the truth. If someone tells you that they don’t lie, then they are lying to you. We as humans cannot help it, it’s a part of our DNA. Even Honest Abe had to tell a few lies to get through life. The biggest lie to tell in this day in age is to lie about who you are. Yes, sadly I am talking about Catfishing. If you haven’t seen the film or the show "Catfish," then let me fill you in on the new trend.
To Catfish someone you will need:
1. A picture of someone who is nowhere near close to looking like yourself.
2. A completely different identity.
3. Phone or laptop, with a broken camera that never seems to be able to work.
And viola! There you go, you have what it takes to be a successful catfish.
Now, apparently the name came from some fish expert that believed if you had a bunch of cods in big vats, and you added catfish to the population, the catfish would keep them agile. And that is exactly what Catfishing people do, they keep you on your toes.
Anyone who has a form of social media, more than likely has come across a catfish at least once. I am one of those unlucky people, and I have decided to make it my duty to protect others from being a victim of a catfish. Here’s my story.
That is what he said his name was. It was intriguing and distinguished, Egypt was my favorite place to learn about in school. He was from Illinois and he was a senior just like I was. That's the first reason why I decided to talk to him. At first we had no connection, the conversation was boring and I didn't think we would be talking for long. However when we started to talk about sports, things seemed to get a little better. He was a football player and I played soccer and we both were competitive. That’s when the flirting started, when I told him I could out run him (total lie) and I would tackle him. That seemed to make him laugh a lot. Soon we talked all day and all night after our practices. We talked so much and so deeply that I didn't realize that it had only been two weeks when he said that he loved me. Usually this would have set off alarms for me, and it should’ve. Yet I was so awestruck by this guy that I convinced myself that there is no set time to fall in love with someone.
To me he was perfect. He sent me pictures of himself and he was absolutely gorgeous. He was athletic, and I felt as if we had the same understanding intellectually. We both wanted to fulfill a career in writing. I mean, on paper, this guy was everything that I wanted in a guy. I felt like God had finally lifted this curse of misfortune with the opposite sex.
Egypt did have his flaws that came into fruition as time went on. He would love to make me jealous and tell me about all the girls that would give him their number. Then he would make me feel special and say that he just threw them away. Yes, I believed him. I tried my best to say and do anything to please him. He knew exactly what to say to wrap me around his finger. I mean, I was definitely caught up with this guy. It makes me sick just thinking about how naive I was.
I started staying up until 1 a.m. just to talk to him, and I would wait up for him after his football games just to make sure he was OK. He was an hour behind me in time zones, so I’d be up for hours just waiting for a text back. How could you blame me? I thought that I knew all there was to know about him. He told me about his family, how his dad wasn't in the scene so much, how his little sister was doing plays, about the time she was rushed to the hospital for her asthma. I cared for him and I even cared about his family.
I was so naive and thoughtless. I lied to my friends about him. I didn’t even tell my family. I even lied to myself. Soon I started to believe the lies that I told myself. I figured since he would text me back so fast, that obviously meant that he couldn’t be texting other girls. I did anything to protect the image of a man that I had never even seen on Skype.
The only person who knew the whole truth was my cousin Fritz. From what I told him, he knew from the jump that Egypt was no good. Even when I made Egypt talk to him, he still had an ill feeling. Fritz never stopped looking for answers. And one day he found them. He looked up the school that Egypt claimed he played football for and there was no such person on the roster. Instead he found the guy that had the exact same picture of Egypt, but his name was Marcus Smith.
I didn’t want to believe it, but the evidence was right in my face. I told Egypt about it, and he told me he would explain everything after his practice. I waited for five hours and he finally responded. Yet, it wasn’t an explanation, just accusations of my cousin and I trying to stalk him. I apologized and told him that I didn't even believe my cousin and I wanted Egypt to stay with me. I cried and I begged him for an hour, and telling him how sorry I was, and he decided to stay. This happened two times; us on the brink of ending things, but me apologizing for something I didn’t do. He knew that I was hooked on to him and he had me in the palm of his hands. So I forgot all about what my cousin found and I did whatever Egypt wanted.
Then one day, he stopped replying. He stopped texting, he just went ghost. I was worried, confused and devastated. I thought I did something wrong and I cried myself to sleep every night. I kept texting him over and over until Kik said his phone was disconnected. A month went by and I felt like I was finally over it. I decided to message this Marcus Smith that my cousin had found and tell him that someone was using him to catfish people. Now hold onto your seats, because from here things get bumpy.
I told Marcus everything personal that Egypt had told me; about his family, his school, his ambitions, college, about football. To my disgusting surprise, Marcus said that all of those things I was told were about Marcus. He told me about how six weeks earlier a girl had told him the same thing that I had. I swear I felt my heart fall to my stomach.
He gave me the girl’s information and I started to talk to her. He name was Kate and she was a 15 year old from England. When she met Egypt she told him that she was 16. We shared stories about him and found out that he told us the same things.
The thing that vexed me the most was that Kate was white and Egypt swore to me that he would never date a white person. He even got mad when I told him I had dated a white guy. Kate even told me about how he would make her feel self-conscious about her body. And this girl was beyond gorgeous. Why would he even cheat on her with me? I was beyond hurt, disgusted and mad as hell. I knew right there and then that we had to put a stop to him.
Marcus, Kate and I went on a manhunt for the real Egypt Johnson. Long story short, after days of interrogating people and looking for answers, I remembered something. The last thing that Egypt told me was that he was elected President of his African American Club. We narrowed it down and we finally found him. We caught him. He was one of Marcus' best friends. He said he would confront him, but he never did. Weeks went by and he never told us if he did or not.
Kate and I finally decided that Marcus must have been in on it the whole time and was just entertaining us. Weeks of investigation all went to waste and I would never get the answers that I needed.
If you read this and you can relate, please be careful who you talk to. Listen to your friends when they tell you that things are not right. Most of all, never let someone treat you like you need them. Like without them, you would be a downgrade, that and anyone that came after them would never be as good.
And to Egypt or Marcus, if you ever read this, just know that I forgive you. I just want answers. I think after all I went through you owe me that.