“I think for a lie to be effective, it must have three essential qualities.
First, it must be partially true to be more believable. Second, it must make the hearer feel sorry for you since sympathy will much more likely get you what you want. And third, it must be embarrassing to tell; embarrassing lies are less likely to be questioned.”
-The Shopgirl, by Steve Martin.
Jeremy is a liar. A good liar. A perfect liar. So perfect that you can go months, even years, believing his crafted lies, and when you discover the truth, later on, you feel so embarrassed you have no idea how to confront him without sounding like the most stupid person.
But Jeremy, who likes to be called Remy, especially loves his successful lies. The ones that stay for years without being figured out.
If you ask him why he loves this act of deceit so much, why he even prides himself in it, he will tell you he doesn’t know, just that it brings him the purest of joys.
However, an ex-girlfriend of his, scorned by his lies, once told him in a fit of anger that he lies because he doesn’t like himself very much. That by lying, by hurting other people, he can transfer this hate of himself to another person.
Jeremy, an avid thinker, of course thought at length about this. Was he, like all his other victims, also lying to himself?
After a good consideration, he decided that he was actually not, and dismissed the ex-girlfriend’s outburst as that of a wounded antelope bitten by a lion.
I guess it’s not fair to tell you of Jeremy’s lies without showing them to you. So here are three scenarios of his lying that he considers the crème of the crème.
The first one is when he lied to his parents about what he was doing on campus. Jeremy has always been a good student, a bright student, scoring an A- in his KCSE, and this was during Magoha’s rein!
He was automatically accepted in UON, to pursue the course his parents wanted, a Bachelor’s Degree in Pharmacy.
But Jeremy has never liked the smell of pharmaceutical drugs, so when he went away from home to the big city, all smiles, led by a celebration attended by many relatives like any typical Kalenjin family, he decided then and then that he was not going to pursue pharmacy.
Of course, one has to wonder why he did not simply tell his parents of his hate for pharmacy, but this person who is wondering might indeed not know African parents and their lined up dreams for their bright children.
And so, it began. The deceit. Jeremy even sat down, composed several perfect lies, writing all of them down. It was then that he came by Steve Martin’s Shopgirl, which was not that thrilling to read but it at least provided him with the key elements to a perfect lie.
First, the lie had to be partially true, so he enrolled in UON for a different course, Marketing. A course suited for him and his love for lies. This one he enrolled in a parallel program, as the government couldn’t hand him another course without first informing his parents.
The question is of course how he managed to pay his fees. The answer is simple, he didn’t. He simply beseeched a great programmer friend of his to hack the school portal and show that he had.
Second, the lie must gain sympathy. After the first semester, Jeremy went back home in Eldoret, tears on the verge of breaking out, and told his parents of the imaginary bullying he was experiencing in the school hostels.
The truth of course is that never has he stayed in the hostels, but his parents did not know that so fearing for the life of their son, promptly removed him from the hostels and rented him an off-campus bedsitter apartment in Ngara.
The apartment then served as one of the many houses he owned and rented out at a higher price, another one of his many schemes.
Third came the embarrassing detail. With this, he shamefully, keeping his head down, told his parents of how he was failing n school, something so embarrassing to his parents and especially himself since he couldn’t fail even if he tried.
To act as evidence, he had the same programmer friend forge the pharmacy transcripts for him, making all of the results of his units read Ds and Fs.
His parents, the ever-loving and ever-ambitious for their children, believed him of course, and without questioning him, asked him to do better, and if he failed, he could always repeat.
“Hakuna aibu ya kurudia bora upate masomo,” his mother reasoned with his soon-to-be pharmacist son, a profession she greatly admired.
And so the lie was complete. He was still in UON, he was being “bullied”, and he was “failing” in pharmacy school.
Someone has to wonder how the lie benefited him.
Well, first, it kept his parents off his back. Second, it got him a free rental house that he charged higher, and third, he got to do what he wanted since he didn’t actually attend his Marketing classes either.
Who, in their right senses, would still attend classes when you could simply fix whatever grades you wanted in the school portal?
And now comes his second greatest lie. The source of his money.
Jeremy has always been smart. So smart in fact that if he were to test his IQ, he would rank in 130. The problem is that he extremely lacks empathy for others, a trait so valued in his line of business; coning social media influencers and their followers.
First, Jeremy creates many fake social media accounts, and since he is perfect at crafting lies, he does it so easily without raising even a single eyebrow.
Most of the accounts he creates are business accounts and Luxury spots accounts. Accounts selling the most beautiful pieces of jewelry, or the most fashionable clothes, or offering the best vacation time when in Mombasa or Malindi, or simply anything customers are attracted to.
He then fills these accounts with pictures, pictures of real people wearing these products, or visiting these places. Then, because people always trust an account with a huge following, he, together with his programmer friend, alter the algorithm of social media accounts to present their millions of imaginary followers.
But that is not enough to gain the full trust of social media addicts. Jeremy further looks for a vulnerable influencer. One who does not have many followers yet, maybe just a 400k. He casually approaches her, (it’s mostly a her), flirts with her a little, and since influencers are mostly in their own world, they often believe he is just another person irrevocably in love with them.
The process of convincing them after that is usually simple. Just a few textbook lies of how she is the most beautiful of all influencers and has the best ideas of her brand. Then, he casually asks if she thinks she could engage in a little white lie if it meant a prestigious influencer position.
If she says yes, Jeremy knows she has her. But even if she says no, especially a hesitant no, he still knows has her.
So, really, it’s a win-win situation for him.
For a few months, he gets his popular brand ambassador, a trusted lighthouse carrying his torch. Then just when more and more clients entrust their money to him, he disappears, leaving a trail of social media addicts crying about his fake account, among them, the brand ambassador who plays the victim and insists on how she didn’t know of the schemes behind the scenes.
You’ll be surprised by how much money Jeremy has been able to make off this scheme, but telling you will only betray his trust, so I won’t.
What you need to know is with multiple fake accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, he had earned enough to pay for his good grades in school, and still party every day of the week.
The third lie is not as delicious as the first two, but just as significant to Jeremy. It involves a girl, the most beautiful girl, according to Jeremy, who he met in Mombasa.
The lie happened because Jeremy couldn’t think of a single reason why the girl, who he had convinced himself he was in love with, would fall for Jeremy, the 20 year -old con-artist/liar. So he conjured up a perfect alias of himself.
Because he still believed Steve Martin’s words about a lie being partially true, he introduced himself as Remy to the girl, his own self-appointed nickname.
Jeremy then thought of lying that he was a wealthy businessman visiting Mombasa, but that lie had been overused, and judging by the girl, he could tell she was not the type to buy into it. So, he tried a totally different approach.
A more sympathetic and embarrassing approach.
He told her he was a second-year student who had come here with his parents for vacation and because he actually would be in the second year if he attended school, he was believed.
Then, because he knew the girl would ask him about his parents, he quickly told her about how they were too busy fucking in their hotel room to care about him; a lie both embarrassing and funny.
Now comes the lie that eventually got him some. Jeremy had decided to present himself as a sweet, innocent, nerdy, virgin boy who was simply smitten by the girl. He knew from a previous ex FWB that girls, just like guys, sometimes loved the idea of taking the innocence of a sweet little thing, and he was not wrong.
The girl put out on the second date after knowing of his “condition” and he had to control himself not to ravage her perfect body, lest he blew his cover. Instead, he feigned innocence, trying on a condom but failing, trying to get himself erect but failing, and trying to suck her boobs but failing.
The girl, utterly convinced by this lie, took control, and for the next few weeks, Jeremy had the most perfect relationship in his entire life, albeit if it was all based on a lie.
So yeah that was Jeremy for you. And I know it sucks for you that I am telling you all this, with his body laying on the coffin, waiting to be buried, but he would have wanted you, as the love of his life, to know.
He would have wanted you to know of his three greatest accomplishments, one of which eventually led to his death.
He would have wanted you not to see him as a fuck-up as the police put it when they eventually arrested and killed him for his cons.
He would, instead, have wanted you to see him as a brilliant young man using his God-given talents, no matter how fucked up they might appear.
He would have wanted that, so as his gift to him in his death, I, Martin, the programmer friend behind the scenes, did what he asked me to do.
To preserve his memory and his lies.
To finally tell you that he was no virgin when you first met in Mombasa and that he is sorry for all the lies.
To assure you that you were indeed the love of his life, and about the son you are carrying for him, could you please name him Remy?