This piece was inspired by a personal experience, but it IS a work of fiction.
He never called me anything else but “Jack.”
When we’d first met he’d said, “Isn’t Jack a man’s name?”
He was right of course, but I’d never had any problem with trying to fit into a category that was as restrictive as gender.
I’d simply replied, “Yeah it is, but then again, it could be short for Jackie.”
He’d nodded and that had seemed to satisfy him.
From then on, I was always Jack to him.
I wanted more of course. I wanted him to use my real name, but I wasn’t sure I would be able to handle the way he said it and the way that I knew it would make me feel.
Names are very personal and carry far more weight than people are willing to admit or even acknowledge sometimes.
I couldn’t bring myself to use his real one either. By using a nickname I was able to distance myself from him, which I felt would somehow protect me. But it was already too late for that.
I was completely in love with him.