There Are 7 Reasons Why I Never Told You My Name
1. I know that you will use it when you introduce me to everyone we meet at that party. We will both drink too much and eventually your hand will end up wrapped around my waist, reminding me that I’m only pretty enough after a few shots of tequila and a cheap beer. The night will end with some ill-advised lip locking and when we wake up in the morning, I’ll still just be “your friend, Anna” – nothing less, but certainly nothing more.
2. There is bound to come a summer night where we will park your truck on the side of a dirt road and sit on the hood. Of course the sky will be perfectly clear, riddled with stars, and I’ll point out the only 5 constellations I actually know. You’ll nod with wide, intrigued eyes as I show you Orion last – even though everyone knows Orion. Then, after blanketed silence, you’ll place your hand over mine, look into my eyes and say, “Anna, I’m in love with you.” I’ll be too afraid to say it back and so I’ll kiss you hard, as if your statement was a question and my sloppy kiss was the answer. You’ll drop me off at home sometime past midnight and those words will run through my mind on an endless loop until sleep wraps me in its gentle embrace.
3. You will turn it into some stupid nickname that you think is clever. Believe me, I’ll hate that nickname and there will be times when I beg you to stop using it. “It’ll grow on you,” you’ll say. “Like a parasite,” I’ll reply. But trust me when I say that, when we’re no longer we, I’ll miss that nickname as if it were a fifth limb. When I lie in bed late at night, thinking about the universe and feeling small, I’ll wish that I could hear you say it just one more time.
4. When we lay in your bed after a fiery bout of making love, I’ll rest my head on your bare chest. You’ll hold me, firmly, as if that were enough to keep me there forever. While your mind wanders, you’ll absently trace “Anna” onto the back of my hand as if it were nothing more than a pattern. Years later, I’ll still feel my name being traced across the bones of my wrist and I won’t be able to erase the four letters you etched into my skin like an invisible tattoo.
5. You will want to change it, but my answer will be no. Trust me when I say, it will be so hard to look into your eyes, blue and shining with everything you think our future will be, and tell you no. Even harder will be watching you pick yourself up from your knee and slowly slip the little black box back into your pocket. Then there will be more questions – why not? I thought you loved me? Then, broken dishes. Slammed doors. Muddled futures.
6. It would become the last word I hear you say when you leave. “Goodbye, Anna.” I don’t know when it will be and I don’t know why, but a day will come when you decide you’ve had enough of me. You’ll pack up everything you own and walk right out of my life faster than you came in. And when I’m curled up in bed for the next week, slowly but surely trying to put my life back together like a puzzle missing the corner piece, my name will echo off the dark red walls of our bedroom. I’ll hear the last time you said my name so often that it will never sound right on anyone else’s lips.
7. And lastly because I know it’s far more likely that my name will never come to mean anything to you at all. It will never be a dream-soaked sigh between the covers at night. You’ll never whisper it into my ear, drenched with desire. It will never be the venom you spit at me during a fight that ends with the sound of a slamming door and the burn of whiskey in your throat. It will never feel like a hard kick in the ribs, but it will also never be thrown into the song verses you belt out as we drive through downtown in the middle of the day, listening to the rush of traffic and the quiet hum of Elton John on the radio. And that would be worst of all.