Tuesday, 1 May 2012
MayDay Flash - 'Her Name' by Sal Page
She hated her name. Kids chanted it in the playground at school. What were her parents thinking? When she was brand new in her cot hadn’t they tried it out and realised?
The few times she’d asked her mother the reply was ‘it’s a nice name’. Everything was nice to her. Daddy had laughed at her complaints but he laughed at everything, even when that man on the train went to hit him.
When she went to work at the store customers made remarks. It was embroidered on her overalls and, pleased with themselves, they seemed to think they were the first. It wasn’t mean though, like at school, and the customer was always right of course.
Once qualified and back in primary school, she became Miss Day. At the beginning of a new year she would chalk her name on the board and tolerate the first ‘What day is it, Miss?’ She guarded her first name carefully. Staff room only.
‘Bet you hate having a rhyming name.’ a nurse commented, as she recovered from her operation. She snapped at him but had the excuse of feeling like death. Four days later she left, vowing never to get ill again. The nurse was smoking by the gate. She gave him a cheery wave.
Only a year ago, there was some problem with her pension at the post office. Computer’s fault, they said. She had to repeat it three times to that deaf woman. Then Raymond appeared, tipping his hat and commenting on such a pretty, poetic name. He said it again when they met for coffee, again just before the film started and when they went dancing every Tuesday.
She and Raymond didn’t need confetti on their windy wedding day. The cherry-blossom was out. It showered down on them in pink waves, as May Day became Mrs. Smith