Emily hired somebody to help her get more “likes” on the internet.

“I normally only do that for companies,” said Jessica, the consultant. She sipped her latte. “What’s your brand message?”

“This is my life,” said Emily. “And it’s a good life to have.”

The consultant arranged a photo shoot with Emily and her boyfriend.

“Act like you love each other,” she told them.

“We do love each other,” said Emily.

It was a success. Three hundred likes. Emily was elated.

Jessica had more photo shoots. Bicycling. Apple picking. Brunches artfully arranged on pristine white plates. For some of them Emily didn’t even have to be there.

“Look how many likes we’re getting,” she told her boyfriend in bed one night, scrolling through her phone.

“Uh huh,” he said.

One day she walked into the living room and he was putting on his boots.

“I’m going to see Jessica,” he said. He liked the way she saw the world.

“That’s the way I see the world,” said Emily. “She just refined it.”

Emily watched him leave. She watched her phone.

He was there in Jessica’s feed the next morning. They were smiling, acting like they were in love. They already had a dozen likes.

It looked like a good life to have.

Writer, mostly. www.jakechristie.com

Writer, mostly. www.jakechristie.com