Kamilah was perfect. Everything she did was flawless. She was incapable of failure and she only knew how to succeed. Top of her class, good at all sports, she never made mistakes. She was kind to everyone and spent much of her time helping those who needed it the most. But with success and good fortune, come envy and jealousy. Many loathed her because they reckoned they could never be as faultless as she was. Yet, despite the many people who hated her, they all kept it hidden. They feared being shunned for disliking someone as perfect as Kamilah.
She had it all. It was hard to imagine a reason for her to be unhappy or to complain about anything in her life. As perfect as she was, she was often misunderstood. I personally could never understand her and always questioned her true intentions. I believed her persona was an act, she could not possibly live her life without making a single mistake. “We’re humans, making mistakes is part of our nature,” I thought. I was determined to find her flaws and disprove her perfection. I had never spoken to her, but I was willing to make a connection for my personal benefit. At this point in time, my morals had gone out the window, all I wanted was an answer. I recall our first interaction to have been something like this:
“Hey Kamilah, can I ask you a favor?” I asked nervously.
“Hi April, what is it?” she responded cheerfully.
“I’m having trouble writing my English essay, I was wondering if you could help? We can meet at your house whenever you’re free.”
“Oh! Yes, no problem, Can we meet at the cafe instead of my house? It’s a little loud right now with all the renovations.”
“No problem. How’s 5 o’clock?”
“Great, see you then!” She walked away, her long brown hair flowing in the soft wind from the cool fall day. Envy filled my body as I walked to my next class trying to replace my jealousy with happier thoughts.
My plan had utterly failed, as this is not how I intended our interaction to go. I wanted to go to her house so I could look for her faults myself. But because of her polite declination my scheme would have to change. I was impatient and could not afford to wait for her renovations to be finished to find the truth about Kamilah.
I spent the rest of the day brainstorming ways to expose her for the human she was. After all, everyone makes mistakes, right? Then again, maybe Kamilah wasn’t everyone. Time was ticking and 5 o’clock was around the corner, but I still had no plan to find out anything about Kamilah. I was not exactly the most popular kid at my school, so asking my friends was not much of an option.
Five o’clock came and I decided that I would meet Kamilah at the cafe despite my disappointment. As I neared the cafe, I saw Kamilah turn out of an alley that I had never known existed. I had lived in this town for my whole life and I never noticed there being an alley on this street. We both began walking faster, eager for our evening meet up.
“Hi, April!” She hugged me tight, but I did not feel any warmth from her embrace.
We headed into the cafe and sat down at a small table closest to the window. We ordered our early dinner and began to chat about school. We told jokes about the teachers and some of the other kids, and we laughed hysterically, attracting attention from the other people inside the cafe. I told her about my family and my little brother and how clumsy he could be. In return, she told me about her being an only child and living what seemed to be a very nice life with her mother and father. She did not go into too much detail about her childhood, but I did not mind.
After about an hour of laughter and fun, I began to grow fond of Kamilah and felt bad for trying to prove that she was not perfect. I accepted defeat and decided that I had more important things to worry about other than ruining an innocent girl’s image. After about two hours, we finally decided it would be best to go on home. “I really had fun this evening,” I told her.
“Me too. Maybe we could do this again sometime?”I reassured her that we would definitely hang out again and maybe do something more exciting. We stepped out of the cafe and headed in opposite directions. I realized that I had taken her scarf by accident and turned to deliver it to her. I had expected her to walk into the alley that she had appeared from earlier in the evening and was shocked when I saw her walk right past it and continue up the street.
My old envious ways began to trickle in, I decided to follow her home in hopes that I would catch her finally making a mistake. As I walked up the street, I noticed that the alley she had walked out of did not exist. It was simply a brick wall. I was now scared, but determined to follow her nonetheless. As I followed her on her way home I tried to fathom how she could possibly have walked through a wall. I decided that my mind must have been playing tricks on me and she probably walked out of a store.
I continued my slow pursuit for what felt like an hour until she finally came to a halt outside of a beautiful garden with a large fountain in the middle. She checked to make sure no one was near and I ducked into a bush to hide. When she thought she was safe, she slowly began walking towards the fountain. When she reached the front of the fountain, I anticipated another halt, but she kept walking right through the fountain and in an instant she disappeared.
I sat in the bush for ten more minutes in utter disbelief. Once again I tried to think of ways this could have possibly have happened. But this time, I had no logical answer. Only one thought came to mind. She did not exist. Whoever she was, she was not real. But no one just disappears, right? Maybe she was no one.