Yesterday the world met Zola, a.k.a. Aziah King, a Hooter’s waitress and dancer. She used 150 tweets to tell the saga of herself and her new friend Jess and how they went on the most wild, unpredictable stripper/murder/road-trip/buddy saga ever told. Needless to say, Zola has been all anyone can talk about today.
Some people thought the account was hilarious, others thought Zola was a hero, others thought it was the most horrible, violent story ever, others have already cast the inevitable movie adaption (looking at you, Keke Palmer), and most just struggled to figure out if Zola’s tale could in any way be real. Erin Logan from Blavity made the very good point that the humor in the story didn’t mean it wasn’t a true, lived experience. Many of us wondered about Jess’s side of the story. And then this afternoon, we thought we were getting it.
A Twitter account, claiming to be the famed Jess, started telling the story from her side at about 1:30 p.m. At first, Jess’s version, presented as an outraged rebuttal to Zola’s, seemed to be adding a new layer to the story. Maybe Zola was a liar after all? For hours, the internet read breathlessly as Jess tweeted on. But by tweet 54 — when things started devolving into a wonderful Beyoncé-centric fantasy — we had our suspicions.
By tweet 65, we all felt like idiots.
By tweet 70, we were certain we were idiots.
The supposed “real Jess” has said that this is her Twitter account. She told us this on her supposedly real Instagram. We’re not sure what is real anymore. There are at least three sides to this story: Zola’s, Jess’s, and the person who just made 4,000 people look like damn fools. Including us.