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The Girl Without a Name
A work in progress!
Hello, dear reader!
This week’s story isn’t quite done. I started it as an exercise a while back, and I like it, but I don’t really know what to do next.
I have a folder for these types of stories. The ones that ramble slightly, going on and on about nothing in particular. They’re odd little ones, but I like them. Maybe they’ll be the foundation for something bigger. Maybe they’re just happy being them.
Either way, here’s one from my odds-and-ends drawer. I hope you find it as whimsical and endearing as I do!
Somewhere in a corner cafe, buried beneath a knitted beanie hat and a scarf three miles long, sits a girl without a name.
She had one, once - everyone does, after all - but that was a long time ago, back when she remembered her mother's face and her father's laugh. It's probably written down somewhere, but she's not completely sure because she doesn't have any record of that, either. Like her memories, it all disappeared one day and hasn’t come back. In the meantime, she comforts herself by imagining her name was old-fashioned and dull, which makes her feel better about not remembering what it was.
It used to bother her, not having memories, but she's used to it now. She remembers things from yesterday, and the day before that, all the way back to three months ago when she first woke up in a patch of sunlight on a bed and realized that it was hers. Nothing, of course, had a name written on it; that would have been too easy. But it doesn't bother her as much as it did.
The girl without a name has a dog called Tombow. She found him shivering in a box in a rainstorm, and carried his soaking wet, furry body home to share her silence. She gave him a bath in her tub, fed him bacon for dinner, and let him sleep in the bed for one night only. That evening, she knitted him a blanket for his own, but he doesn't use it. He likes to sleep with her, instead. She doesn't mind it as much as she pretends to.
During the day, Tombow stays at home, curled up in his blanket on the bed, and snoozes the daylight away. He has a ball and a rope, and a few other toys, and though he always pouts at first, she knows that he appreciates his time alone. He always seems extra excited to see her when she comes home.
While Tombow sleeps, she walks to the cafe. She orders a refillable coffee in a cutesy mug that she found in her room one day, with pink flowers and an adorable pug-nosed dog on it. She often forgets that it sits at her elbow, and has gulped many lukewarm coffees before having them refilled, only to forget about them again. Regardless of whether or not she drinks it, it is always within reach.
The other patrons kept an eye on her at first - why not, with a new regular? - but many have lost interest since then, returning to articles and emails and leaving the new girl alone. The baristas just shrug when someone asks who she is, and after a while, even the rumors died down. She's a writer, someone said. A composer, said someone else. A digital artist, a virtual assistant, a professor, a wife. Nobody bothers to ask her directly, and she prefers it that way. After all, she doesn't even have a name to share.
Today, she's decided on Lily. Not that she'll need it. Nobody bothers her at her work, but it's nice to have something on standby in case of surprises.
She's tried other names, of course. Trying to remember the old one, seeing if she can find one that fits. She tries them on like different hats, sees how they fit her mud-brown hair, the curve of her lips and her distinct turned-up nose. She's been Sue and Gretchen, Allison and Mia, Emily and Xana and Courney. She's worn Athena and Dolores, Zelda and Tina, and during one very drunk affair, even dared to take on Juno.
But nothing so far has fit. And she cannot remember who she is, so she will simply keep looking. It's not like she has very much else to do, anyway.
Thoughts? Do you have something similar buried in your odds-and-ends drawer? And where would you take this one from here?
Hope your Wednesday is going well!
(Photo by Brigitte Tohm, Pexels)