The Northville Review
an online literary journal

Lauren Becker

Amelia hated her name for 15 years.  She wanted to be a Kim or a Laura or a Katie.  She went by Amy.  There are five sophomores named Amy.  The second week of school, she told people to call her Amelia.  I  couldn’t call her that.  She stopped talking to me.  I wrote her a note  addressed to Amelia.

When Amelia does something stupid or embarrassing, like when she tried out for a play at school and said n’est -ce pas the way it looks and everyone laughed, she says it was Amy.  She sections herself like a grapefruit.

Her mom still calls her Amy.  Amelia doesn’t like it when her mom uses the name she chose.   Her mom doesn’t work so Amelia comes over almost every day after school.  We eat quesadillas and drink gin.  My mom doesn’t drink gin. She asked about the nearly empty bottle once.

I like pepper jack best.  Amelia likes cheddar.   When I go to the grocery store with my mom, I grab bricks of cheddar and extra large tortillas.  She asks me why we go through so much cheese.

Amelia likes a boy named Noah.  She stares at him in History.  I look, too, but I am more careful about it.  I tell her I like John.

Amelia drinks the last of the gin and calls Noah.  She asks him to come  over and bring John.   She tells him we have quesadillas and rum.  When she hangs up, she complains about Amy’s impulsiveness, then goes to the bathroom to apply Maybelline long-lasting lip gloss.  I drink some rum, warmer and less stinging than the gin.  I go to the other bathroom and put on some lavender-scented deodorant.

Amelia lets the boys in.  Noah tells me I smell good.

Amelia and I go to the kitchen to make quesadillas.  She eats some of the cheddar she’s shredding.  I barely hear her say “bitch.”

About the author

Lauren Becker lives in Oakland, California. Her work appears, or is forthcoming, in Word Riot, Pindeldyboz, DOGZPLOT, Wigleaf, Mud Luscious, decomP, and elsewhere.