by Abby Gayle
Mindy's real name gets revealed to her new friend.
|I sat in my backyard next to my new friend, Vanessa, who lived in the house right next door to me. We were talking. Then, Vanessa had a seemingly random question.
“What is 'Mindy' short for?” Vanessa asked.
“Nothing, really,” I answered.
“Mindy is short for 'Nothing'?” Vanessa joked, “That doesn't make much sense.”
“So what is it short for?”
“Hmm. Melinda?” Vanessa guessed.
“Not that one, either.”
“Why would it be Amanda?” I asked.
“I know, it was a long shot. So what is it?” Vanessa gave up.
“Can't tell,” I smiled.
“Oh, come on! Tell me! We're friends. Is it super weird or something?”
“Middletown Isabel Salvin, it's dinnertime!” My mom called.
“One minute, Mom,” I called back.
“Your name is Isabel?” Vanessa asked.
“No, that's my middle name,” I corrected.
“So the first word she said . . . Middletown . . . that's your first name? That's what Mindy is short for?” Vanessa asked.
“Listen, I've got to go,” I said, running into the house, “See you later!”
Okay, yes. My name is Middletown. Now, before you think it's too weird, you should know that all of my siblings have city names. So in my family, it's pretty normal. But we all have nicknames. I mean, who wants to be teased about being a city? The only ones who call us by our real names are our parents and grandparents.
In case you were wondering, the inside of the house was not city-themed. In fact, it was a normal-looking house.
Anyway, I sat down next to Phoenix. He's too little to have a nickname, as he is only two, but I think it's a pretty cool name. Not anything like mine. Mine is just strange. I've always wished I had a different name. Until then, I have my nickname.
“Mindy, what were you doing outside?” Amy asked. Okay, her real name was Amsterdam, but it was just easier for her to say her name was Amy. No one asked her what her real name was.
“Not much. Just talking with Vanessa,” I said.
“Have you told her your name yet?” Spencer – actually Springfield – asked.
“No. Well, I didn't tell her. Mom shouted out my name like she wanted the whole world to know! So now she'll make fun of me and not want to be my friend anymore.”
“It 'kay,” Phoenix comforted me.
“Thanks,” I said, hugging my toddler brother for a moment.
The rest of the dinner managed to go pretty well. I thought, at one point, that I should probably call Vanessa. See if she was too shocked. But she ended up at the door just after we finished eating.
“I'm sorry I didn't tell you,” I apologized.
“Well, there's something I haven't told you about. I – ”
“Amsterdam, get Phoenix! Chase him down!” my mom shouted.
“Mom, the front door is open!” I called back.
“Well, what I was going to say was, well, I have a weird name, too,” Vanessa told me.
“What is it?” I asked.
“Venice,” Vanessa lowered her voice.
“Really?” I asked.
“Yes,” she whispered.
“So maybe . . . we could have a city-name club,” I suggested, “Girls only. Then it would be just me and you.”
“What about your sister?” she asked.
“Oh, she wouldn't want to join. Amsterdam? No way!” I chuckled.
“Sounds good. Where would we, the members of the City-Name Club, meet?”
“My house?” I suggested.
“I think that's a pretty good place.”
“You know,” I said, “I used to hate my name. I dreamed I had a different one. Even earlier today. Really, my dreams are full of names. But now . . . I think I actually like my name. What about you?”
“Really? That's exactly how I was! I think we're going to be good friends.”
And that was how I made my best friend in the whole world. Of course, I still have everyone call me Mindy, and everyone calls her Vanessa. That is, except for each other. We giggle over our names every time one of us calls the other by their real name. But we still haven't gotten around to changing our names.