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What's in a name?

Updated: Jul 28, 2023

Once upon a time, a man and a woman fell in love.

They had a daughter.

They named her Olivia.

I tapped my phone, swiped at it.

I was scrolling through the most recently published baby census, “Hugh? Hughsten Outlaw.”

Keith and I both smiled amusingly.

He continued to drive through the coagulated Houston traffic.

“Houston…” he murmured, one hand on the steering wheel, one hand in mine.

“No. Hughsten” I corrected,

“H…u…g…h, so I can call him Hugh. Like Hugh Grant.”

Keith rolled his eyes at my affinity for accented culture. “Yeah but naming him Houston regardless of how we spell it, it’s kind of cheesy.”

I nodded knowing that somewhere along the line, a boy from Houston named Hughsten would be made fun of. Then again, children make fun of each other, period.

I kept scrolling.

“I like Johnny.” I blurted randomly.

Keith’s lips pursed into a southern drawl, “Johnny Outlaw.”

My lips widened, “Yes-s-s.”

He laughed, “That’s such a badass name.”

“Yes. Johnny Outlaw.” My imagination was beginning to permeate around the idea of another son.

“Johnny mother-fuckin' Outlaw,” he added exaggerated vowels, inherently Texan.

I laughed. “But what if it’s a girl?”

“Well shit, I don’t know.” He disengaged my palm to maneuver an upcoming exit.

I flipped my finger further down. I was in the O's. “Olena. Olga. Olive. Olivia.”

“Olivia.” He interjected. “Olivia Iris Outlaw.”

He’d swiftly attached my middle name, my grandmother’s name.

“Olivia mother-fuckin' Outlaw.” I added.

We both laughed agreeing.

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