by Leslie Loo
An angel in charge of naming humans talks with a child about his name.
Hello. My name is Hilight, the naming angel. I have been given a task by the Master to assign human beings their names. Of course, I'm not the only one here. There are billions of other angels after me and I happen to be the seven hundred and twenty-eighth one.
As for who we are supposed to name, it is up to the Master to assign us a human, whether it'd be a boy or a girl. I've mostly been assigned to boys. But I wanted to be assigned to girls more often, because, you know, girl power!
However, I couldn't provide anyone a name unless the Master approved it.
There was this one boy I named. His name was Nolan, which meant champion. He was cute as a button. I wasn't all-knowing like my Master, but I knew that Nolan would become a champ one day. An Olympian. A race car driver. Or even a spelling bee winner. Who knows?
Giving out names was quite difficult. Too bad the Master couldn't help me with what names I should provide. I only had to come up with them myself and ask for His approval. If it weren't approved, I would have to try again. The Master said that I had to examine the babies before giving a name. It was a good thing I wasn't in charge of giving these kids a surname because those seemed to be harder. That job was for the oldest angels, the top five angels. Number one gave the best ones of all.
The surnames come first, then the first names. For example, if someone's first name was "Scott" and their surname was "Smith", then instead of calling him "Scott Smith", he would be referred to as "Smith Scott".
But lucky for Nolan, he didn't have to endure all of that. He just went with a first name.
At the age of nine, I realized that he felt weird for not having a surname like all of his other friends. He wanted a surname to define him. To identify him. Wasn't a first name enough? Who needed a surname when a first name could describe you just fine? However, Nolan didn't feel that way.
"Can you try to give me a surname?" the child asked, his hazel eyes filled with pleading.
"Well, sweetie. It's complicated." I sat on his bed. "If I could, I would. But I would have to be one of the oldest angels to do so."
"But that's not fair!" Nolan stood up.
"I know, honey. But 'Nolan' alone is a great name. Just stick to that!"
"I hate this world. It's not fair that some kids can have a surname and others can't."
My heart broke for him. So, I talked with the Master that evening.
"Rules are rules, Hilight," He said.
"Silence!" He ordered. He started to calm. "Listen, My dear angel. It is My job to decide who can assign a surname or not. The reason why I have placed these rules is so that the world will be in perfect order. Surnames for everyone would only create great chaos. Trust Me."
I argued no further. Instead, I said, "Yes, my Lord."
I returned to Nolan's room. He was asleep. He looked so peaceful. Instead of waking him up, I placed a gentle kiss on his cheek.
I have never touched a human being before, let alone kissed one. I wasn't sure if Master would like that or not. But maybe, He wouldn't care. I've been an angel for trillions upon trillions of years and I have yet to touch a human.
I looked down upon Nolan and noticed that where I had kissed him, a light glow shaped like lips appeared on his cheek. What did that mean?
5 years later - 3rd person point of view
Nolan was now fourteen and participated in the track team. He wanted someday to become an Olympics champion. He wanted to be just like Nolan Windsor. Windsor Nolan. The biggest Olympian champion in the world. Not only was Windsor the greatest Olympian and shared the same name, but he also had a surname.
"Are you sure, Nolan?" one of his teammates, Tyson Begum, Begum Tyson asked. "Because being 'the best Olympian' takes a lot of work."
"Just watch me!"
"Alright, boys!" the coach called out, "Ready, set, go!"
The boys started running as fast as they could. Nolan ran like a cheetah, but Hugo was even faster and took the current lead.
Not for long, Nolan thought as he quickened his pace.
After a few steps, he tripped and fell against Shawn, one of his teammates who happened to be currently standing in second place. After Nolan apologized to Shawn, the coach blew his whistle and called a time out. He then called Nolan over.
"Nolan, what were you thinkin'?"
"Nothing, sir. It was just an accident."
"Well, don't let it happen again. I promise you boy, if you had a surname, I would use it 'til I'm blue in the face!"
Nolan didn't know what to respond. He even wouldn't mind the coach overusing his last name.
"Now, get out there!"
Nolan raced back to the track and the continued where they left off. This time Nolan kept his distance from everyone as much as he could.
He was still standing in third place. He couldn't be third. He was Nolan. And "Nolan" meant "champion". He had to own his name. So, he allowed his legs to do all of the work. His hair was shifting quickly as he rushed towards the finish line, attempting to pass his two opponents.
It was predictable. The lead won.
"Oh, don't sweat it, man," Tyson said, slapping a hand on Nolan's back. "You'll get it next time."
"But what if I don't win the final tournament?"
"Don't say that. Of course, we'll win! As a team! Cheetahs?" He held his fist up for Nolan to bump.
Nolan hesitated, but eventually took the bump. "Cheetahs."
Before anyone could blink, it was the final tournament. Nolan tried to wash his nerves away by chugging at his Gatorade.
"Bro, relax," Tyson told him, "I'm sure you'll do fine. Whether first, second, or third place, you'll kill it out there!"
Nolan nodded but wasn't convinced. When he was called to the field, he tied his shoes and marched to his opponents. As the coach alerted them to go, they all readied their legs and raced.
Nolan not only ran, but he sprinted. His feet barely touched the ground. He then saw Hilight in the crowd. She gave him a thumbs up.
He responded with a smile and continued going.
Meanwhile, Nolan was head-to-head with one of his opponents. He inched closer and closer until...
"First place goes to...Nolan!"
The official handed Nolan the trophy in which he responded with a jump of joy. His teammates surrounded him and lifted him up, chanting his name.
"Nolan, Nolan, Nolan!"
Hilight simpered, satisfied. "So, that's what that kiss meant."
Prompt: Naming ▼