No. 129

Benjamin Thomas was the kind of person who got picked second-to-last at sports. Nobody remembers that guy. Nobody really cares about his skills or what he brings to the team. They just see the last-place shmuck and choose the least odious option. That’d be Benji.
It’s not necessarily a bad place to go. Folks don’t expect much from someone drafted that far down the order. Usually everyone is happy about not being saddled with whatever loser was left standing. It’s like the players on a team that ends up third in a tournament. You take third place with a win, second with a loss.
Thomas was happy with his life the way it was. Then one day he got tapped to be team captain.
If you thrust a man like Thomas into a role he’s not accustomed to, you’ll get one of two outcomes. He’ll either fail horribly, or surprise you.
I was the man who chose Thomas to lead. Unfortunately, he surprised me.
Because I am still alive.
You see, what I have neglected to tell you is that Mr. Benjamin Thomas and I look very much alike. It was my intention to have him double for me. For him to go about my business as if he were me. What I neglected to tell him is that there was to be an accident, and that he was to be pronounced dead in my place.
It seems that I underestimated the man. What I failed to take into account is that perhaps it takes a great talent to be the kind of man that he is. A talent for staying under the radar and managing expectations. I didn’t give Mr. Thomas the proper credit and respect that he deserves. Ben Thomas is very shrewd.
Within a week he had edged me out completely. I lost access to my bank accounts and my network of associates.  Then he discovered my plan and the resources I had put aside to build a new life after my “accident”. It’d be called “identity theft” if I hadn’t handed it to him.
And so I am like a ghost who can see my own body. And now I have to work doubly hard to kill “myself”.