I got named Aurora because when I was born, my eyes were a deep violet blue, a color my mom had never seen before and the doctor said something about the Aurora Borealis and that's where she got the idea. (At least my middle name isn't Borealis. Although if I had a nickel for every time I met somebody and they made the joke, “Hey, is your middle name Borealis?” I'd be crazy rich.)
When our son is born we name him Christopher. It's Will's idea, he's the one who looks up baby names online and keeps asking what name I like. But every name I suggest he says we could find something better. He picks out Christopher by himself and says we'll call him Christopher, never Chris. What about his middle name, I ask, and Will says with a name as long as Christopher, why does he need a middle name? Because people have middle names, I say, duh. Will says some people only have one name, like Prince, and I tell him Prince's real name was Prince Rogers Nelson and Will says I'm full of shit. Google it. You'll see I'm right.
Aurora is a princess name. Yeah, that's what I thought would happen to me, I'd meet a prince one day. So I wouldn't have to worry about money like my mom. Worry about anything because a prince gives you whatever you want. Money and jewels. A palace if you ask for it.
I met Will at work on a Friday night when we were really busy (we're always busy on Friday nights at Red Lobster) and the first thing I noticed about him was his dirty fingernails and I remember thinking, “Who doesn't wash their hands before they go to a restaurant,” and later I found out when your job is in landscaping, it's a real bitch to get your fingernails clean.
That's one of the things I used to do for Will, give him a manicure on Sunday nights. He thought it was too sissy, but then he realized how good it felt – just as long as I didn't make his hands too soft. There was no way the calluses were going away, he needed calluses. I told him I'd concentrate on his fingernails.
I would still give Will a manicure, but I never know if he'll show up since he got a new place. He says our relationship is on a “hiatus” now. Moving out because you're fucking the secretary at the landscape business and leaving Christopher and me by ourselves, that's what I call it.
The manicure I'll give Will these days - clip his nails so short they'll bleed. Dig a cuticle pusher under his thumb until he sees stars.
Could I do that? I might think about it, I might think about it a lot, but hurting Will, what does that do? Not a damn thing. I wonder if his new girlfriend does his nails for him. If she tells him nice things. How she thinks his chipped tooth is sexy, feeling the sharp edge against her tongue when she kisses him. Will's rough palms, does she say it's good they're hard and scratchy against her thighs, his man hands?
I still think about Will being my prince. Because he's handsome. And one day he's going to have a chain of landscape companies, all over California. He'll have tons of money, we'll have a big house, with a pool and a Jacuzzi. A wine cellar. A screening room so we can watch movies together, Fast & Furious, those are his favorites.
I should tell him I need glass slippers. Because that'll make me a real princess. How many people do you know who have slippers made out of glass?
Will liked everything about me at first. Every part of my body. He said he'd never seen an elbow as pretty as mine. What's so great about an elbow, I asked him and he said some were too wrinkled. Or too boney. But mine, mine were perfect.
Who wouldn't fall in love with a man like that? Who said you had perfect elbows.
I'm a dumb shit.
Ann Lewis Hamilton is a writer living in California.
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