Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Catfish - Alicia and Aaliyah

Aaliyah, an 18 year old high school student from Oakland, CA who works at a non-profit, and her girlfriend Alicia live 70 blocks apart and have been dating for more than 10 months...only they've never met. Alicia says she doesn't want to be seen in public because she's not out of the closet. The pair have talked on the phone and connected, yet Alicia always has an excuse not to meet.

Aaliyah's had a tough life - her mom became disabled and Aaliyah was diagnosed with ADD. Aaliyah's mom had a choice - lose her house or get Aaliyah a good education. And she chose the education.

Aaliyah and Alicia had an argument at one point. Alicia's phone broke and Alicia got upset when Aaliyah wouldn't get her a new one. Eventually, Aaliyah had an iPhone sent to her. She's also sent around $600 throughout their relationship.

Hello, warning signs!

The pair did talk a lot, and Alicia posted a lot of pictures on Facebook, but the relationship still seemed questionable.

Nev and Max took some of Alicia's photos and put them through an image search and found no matches. And Alicia has plenty of friends on Facebook. So Nev and Max sent messages to some of them...and noticed that some of the guys seemed to be flirting with Alicia on Facebook.

Kennette, one of the girls the guys messaged, called them back. Kennette said Alicia dated her brother for a couple years. She had positive things to say about Alicia. Cortez also called Nev and Max. It turns out he's another ex of Alicia's. He also had nice things to say, and noted that Alicia doesn't have money problems.

Allyi asked Nev and Max to call her. It turns out Allyi is Alicia's sister and roommate. It also turns out that Alicia doesn't have a job and her sister thinks she's trying to find herself. She also said Alicia has a boyfriend that she's been with for over a year. When Nev and Max said a girl might be in love with Alicia, Allyi said she's never displayed interest in females and the family wouldn't approve if she was.

When Nev and Max said Aaliyah had a boyfriend and has for a year and a half, Alicia thought it was her...until Nev and Max said he'd been over to Alicia and Allyi's home. Then she wanted anwers.

Nev and Max got Alicia on the phone. Alicia said she knew about the show Catfish, and when told that Aaliyah wants to meet her, she said "What if I don't want to meet her?" She told Nev and Max that things were none of their business and inquired about whether the call was being filmed. She then said because Aaliyah went through all of the trouble to meet her, she owes her something.

Nev, Max and Aaliyah arrived at Alicia's house. Alicia, who seemed quite guarded, came outside. She was silent until Aaliyah prompted her to talk. She said that if she'd wanted to meet Aaliyah, she would have made it happen, and she has a boyfriend. She said there's nothing between them.

When asked about her job, Alicia said Aaliyah was her job. Alicia was just plain awful. So guarded, so mean, so spiteful. And worst of all, it kind of seemed like she was putting up a front and lying to hide who she really is. As Aaliyah cried from devastation, Alicia reiterated that she just doesn't care.

When Alicia asked why she agreed to meet Aaliyah, she said she wanted this to be over. She said she also talks to others as a job. So, essentially, she's conning people for money.

When Max pressed further and said that he thinks that Alicia really does care about Aaliyah, and at that point, she walked away. When Max got her again, she admitted that she does enjoy Aaliyah's friendship and it wasn't really about the money and the iPhone.

When Aaliyah was told the latest information, she said she'd pray for Alicia because she needs it - and I had so much respect for her at that moment. Why did I gain respect for her? Because it takes a big person to forgive someone and say positive things in relation to that person, rather than simply hating her.

The next day, Nev and Max picked Aaliyah up to go see Alicia. Alicia apologized for leading Aaliyah on and said she's not a lesbian and has no interest in being in a relationship with her, although she did enjoy the friendship.

When the discussion continued, Alicia said that every time someone loves her, she hurts them. She also said someone had done that to her in the past. She seemed genuinely upset about what she did and said she needs to figure out what's wrong with her.

Aaliyah, who's such a sweet girl, told Alicia to keep the iPhone after she offered to give it back. In the end, the girls hugged and smiled at each other. It was such a mix of happiness and sadness - sadness for Aaliyah, but happiness that Aaliyah had the heart to forgive Alicia.

At the end of the episode, we learned that Alicia was no longer using people online, and she's reached out to Aaliyah, although she's remained unreceptive because she needs to heal. Aaliyah was getting over Alicia, but was looking at the positive, like going to college.

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