Impostor Syndrome 2

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Impostor Syndrome: Chapter 2
By Vilastis

Who's the impostor, and who is real? Jeez, don't ask me. It's not like I figured it out since last time or anything.

***

“What?!” Shannon shouted. “Who the hell are YOU, and why are you pretending to be me?”

“Will” looked genuinely bewildered. “WHAT? I don’t even...” He shook his head. “Never mind. I’m—I’m not dealing with this.” He started walking off in the direction of William’s home. He turned back for a moment. “I don’t know what the hell your deal is, or how you know what I said to my friends, but just keep your psycho stalker ass away from me.” He brandished his smart phone. “I will NOT hesitate to call the cops.”

Shannon just shook her head. Was one of her friends pulling an elaborate prank on her or something? They’d done a great job of finding an actor. Even she was almost fooled. Except… what if he was some crazy from the internet, trying to take over her life? It might be better not to aggravate him. But no, there was no way some stranger could really fool her friends, no matter how good an actor. That wasn’t how real life worked. They must have been pretending, so they must be in on it. Those assholes. They must’ve known what she was trying to pull the entire time.

The corner of her mouth twitched the slightest amount It was a LITTLE funny. Though embarrassing for her. They were probably still back by the bench, just waiting to see the expression on her face. She started heading that way, occasionally glancing over her soldier at the unsettlingly convincing doppelganger.

As she approached, she could see that the group had, surprisingly, broken up. Only Eddy was still standing there, craning his neck to stare at his phone. He must have been the mastermind. She was surprised; it was out of character, more like what she’d expect from Joshua, or even Kevin, than from Eddy.

“Hilarious,” she said, starting a sarcastic slow clap as she walked closer. Eddy started, looking up from his phone screen. “Oh, h-hey Shannon,” he said. “I thought you were going home with William.” Oh wow, he was keeping up the act even now. Now that’s dedication.

Honestly, she was impressed with his acting. Eddy was usually kind of socially awkward, especially around girls he thought were pretty. If she didn’t know better, she’d think he actually saw her as an attractive girl.

“I figured it out, dude,” she drawled. “You can drop the act now. Great job, honestly. Congratulations. You really had me freaking out for a little there.”

Eddy squinted at her. “O-okay.” He paused, looking down. “I-I’m really sorry, I’m not completely sure what you’re talking about.”

Okay, this was just getting annoying. “Dammit dude, I told you I’m on to you. Just admit it already.” Eddy was starting to look terrified. “It was a little funny, but there’s no point in keeping it up anymore.”

Now his face looked suddenly anguished, as if she had crushed his dreams or punted his laptop. “O-okay, I admit I thought you were kind of cute,” he blurted out. “And I felt like we had a—connection. But I know you’re William’s girlfriend, and now you’re just being mean.” His face crumpled in like a poorly made souffle. Shit, next he was going to start disgusting snot-crying.

Okay, what was he even going on about? He had just confessed—his attraction to her? “Her?” This was awfully far, and awfully low, to sink for a joke.

“Okay, if you’re actually upset, I’m sorry, man,” she said. “Can you just stop it, though?” Eddy’s sniffling ceased. “Seriously, though, where did you find that guy?”

Eddy’s face remained blank of comprehension.

“Okay, if you’re going to be like that, I’m just gonna go home.”

***

Shannon fished her keys out of the pocket of her borrowed purse. “Borrowed.” Well, she was planning to give it back. She couldn’t wait to get out of this stupid outfit—if nothing else, yellow REALLY wasn’t her color— and flop over on her bed. It had been a long day.

Stumping up the stairs to her second floor apartment, she briefly mentally thanked whatever deities may or may not exist that at least she didn’t live on the third floor. As she pried the door open, she heard a clattering noise emanating from the kitchen. Her roommate must’ve gotten home early. And he must actually be cooking. WOW, she was so proud. Eating something besides ramen and microwave burritos. It was a miracle she thought she’d never see.

She pried the door open… only to come face to face with… himself.

***



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This story is 817 words long.