ALTER EGO Part One, a short story by actung. Date added: 2011-08-11. Times viewed: 840.
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You know sometimes in real life it can be a good thing to pretend to be someone else. Maybe in regards to chatting to someone you have never met before and are quite likely never to meet again. Give them a name that is not actually yours; tell them that your occupation is something with which is in fact not your actual occupation. All of a sudden unemployed John from Dublin can become Enrique the Spanish bull fighter from Barcelona. Granted that may be a little extreme and John would have to lose his Dublin accent and be able to speak Spanish fluently to have any hope of pulling that one off while also having an actual tan and not just Irish rust.
I am sure that it has happened many a time that a guy would pretend to be someone he is not while chatting up a lady in the hopes that it would lead to something more than just having a drink.
It could also become a routine that you may become known for; becoming your ‘alter ego’ time after time such as John may be known for regularly slipping into the role of becoming Enrique but how would John react if somehow Enrique seemed to become his own and completely separate entity? What if John was to begin receiving emails from Enrique? Or even begin to receive calls to his phone from people who are seriously looking for Enrique?
How would you feel knowing that your actual alter ego is really out there somewhere and running amuck? Imagine for a minute that such a thing is happening to you and you know that what is going on has nothing directly to do with you. Would it scare you to think that a personality you not only created but also pretended to be is really out there living and breathing a life of its own? How would you cope with what was happening? And what could you do about it?
Growing up Noel was quiet and shy, how he wished that this wasn’t his reality, so much so he created an alter ego in his own mind and named this alter ego George. George became everything that Noel wasn’t as well as everything with which Noel wanted to be.
George was confident, cocky and sure of himself. Any time Noel found himself in a situation that he was not comfortable with, he would find some way of getting through it and usually attributed that ability to George. Things even got to the stage that when Noel would arrive home and someone shouted out ‘who is that?’, Noel would reply ‘George’. George even had his own mannerisms and phrases or sayings that the alter ego was known for, such as if Noel was asked a question to which he was not happy to respond too ‘George’ would just point to a spot, didn’t have to be anywhere in particular, and say ‘over there’.
Those who knew Noel all thought of this as being a bit of harmless fun, and if anything it was something that actually helped Noel to become more outgoing and even brought him popularity too. It would be years later however before things would begin to get out of hand.
Twenty seven year old Noel entered his local bank. He regularly needed to go there and strangely enough he always seemed to get the same teller every time he approached the counter.
‘How can I help you today mister Reid?’.
Noel was surprised that the teller remembered his name so noticing her name badge he responded ‘just lodging money today Suzie.’
‘No problem’ she said with a smile.
At work there was someone whom Noel had his eye on for quite some time now. Noel being Noel, there was no way he could ever approach her. Besides she was way out of his league. So you can imagine his surprise as she threw a little wave his way saying ‘hi Noel’ as she passed him by one afternoon. Noel almost dropped what he was carrying when this happened, but he did manage to respond with a ‘hi’ of his own. He caught up with her while she was awaiting the lift to bring her to the floor she worked on.
‘Hey Lynn’, Noel’s heart was beating so hard that he thought it was going to burst right out of his chest, ‘I just thought … that … well, if you would like that is … to grab a coffee with me in the canteen before work tomorrow morning.’
‘Sure’ she responded.
The elevator doors opened, Lynn walked in, turned around and smiled before the doors closed.
‘Yes’ Noel shouted while jumping around like a crazed lunatic and not caring about who was looking at him.
The following morning Noel awoke with one hell of a sore head. Must have been whatever way he had been laying he thought. Even though he had himself an early night the night before, Noel felt as if he had hardly been to bed at all. He also realized that if he was to meet Lynn for coffee then he should have left already. Stumbling out of bed he made his way over to the window to open the curtains. The morning sunshine almost knocked him over and added to the pain he felt in his head.
Noel arrived at the coffee shop close to where he worked looking a mess. He had hardly time to look around when Lynn approached him walking with a sassy motion. Noel smiled a smile which barely had time to settle on his face for Lynn threw what was left of her coffee directly at Noel before storming out of the shop. Surprised and bewildered Noel gathered himself and made his way to his office, and before he could get there he was informed that the boss was awaiting his arrival and was not in good form.
Knocking on the boss’s office door Noel was greeted with a shout of ‘get your ass in here and close the door behind you’.
The boss continued his rant much to Noels surprise.
‘Look at you son, you’re a mess.’
‘Ehh … I can … explain…’
‘Eh eh nothing, after last night I should fire you right no on the spot.’
‘Last night sir?’
‘Yes, boy last night your actions were worthy of me firing you right here and now on the spot, but being the kind of guy I am, I am giving you your two weeks notice of termination. Now get to work before I change my mind.’
A completely dazed Noel was shuffled out of his boss’s office and had the door slammed in his face before he could query what had just happened.
The two weeks came and went quite quickly and so did many more weeks. Being out of work for quite some time now Noel was running out of money, what little savings he had were now gone and quite frankly he wasn’t sure as to where most of that money had got too either. The strangeness that had entered his life had continued and things were about to get a whole lot worse. For Noel was to awake one morning in a room he did not recognize.
It had appeared that Noel had spent the night in a hotel room. He could hardly afford to pay for his next meal so doing something like spending a night in a hotel was completely out of the question, but it was clear from walking around the room that he was indeed in a hotel room, ‘the Morrison Hotel’ to be precise having come across a brochure on the table not far from the bed.
Noel moved backwards from this table with the brochure still in his hand and he sat on the bed while also sitting on remote controls knocking the television on. A news report was focusing on a bank robbery from the previous day. The bank just so happened to be Noel’s local bank, the one he uses each and every week. The report announced that a teller had been kidnapped and that police were looking to question a man, with that Noel’s photo appeared on screen and this led him to fall off the bed.
Moving around in disbelief Noel got himself ready and made his way to his car and drove away not knowing where he was going to go or what he was going to do. A few minutes into his journey he remembered that it had been reported that a bank teller had been kidnapped. He moved his car over and slowly made his way to the boot. Opening the boot set him off into a panic for there was a body inside. He initially presumed that the person was dead but her eyes opened and she began to squirm. As he tried to calm the teller down telling her he wasn’t going to hurt her he all of a sudden recognized just who she is. It was Suzie, the very same bank teller Noel would always get whenever he used the bank.
Having been unbound, ungagged and taken out of the boot Suzie was about to make a run for it when Noel began to appear to begin to have some sort of break down. He sat down and moved he knees up wrapping his arms around them while crying tears and murmuring to himself.
‘You are going to be ok Mr. Reid? Aren’t you?’
‘Oh I don’t know Suzie, I don’t know anything anymore.’
‘Why did you do it?, rob the bank I mean?’
‘I did not rob the bank; at least I don’t remember robbing it.’
It was only at this moment that he realised it.
‘It must have been George. That would explain it, it explains everything.’
Suzie sat with Noel and after a lengthy chat she convinced him to turn himself in and he did. He was diagnosed with having a personality disorder and spent the following five years in a highly secured facility where he was treated for his condition. However the money stolen in the bank robbery was never recovered.
Once every couple of months or so Suzie would visit Noel and on her last visit before Noel was released she told him that she knew where George hid the money he had stolen ….
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