Sunday, January 6, 2013

Prompt: Perfection

Lynnette ran her hand along the line of her dark brown hair and pressed her lips to smooth the color across them. She frowned, then quickly relaxed her brow to prevent wrinkles, and picked up her lipliner again. She was already going to be twenty minutes late, but she knew her friends would forgive her. They always did. They knew Lynnette didn’t walk out of her house until she was perfect.

It was Lynn, really, although even she hardly remembered that any more. When she was 12 going on 20, she complained bitterly to her mother. “Mary Lynn? Honestly, Mother, it’s so awful. Could you have chosen anything more boring?” She flounced right past the hurt look in her mother’s eyes, saying, “Well, we’ll just dress it up. From now on, I’m going to be Maria Lynnette. Much better, don’t you think?”

Lynnette was her name from then on. She said it, so it must be so. She made a point of speaking to each teacher before class started to ask them to call her Lynnette. And at the beginning of 10th grade, when everyone was used to it, she very sweetly asked the new school secretary if she could fix that little mistake with her name in the school records. Armed with her new school ID, she soon had Maria Lynnette on her checking account, library card, and firmly entrenched in the minds of all who knew her. If her mother had any opinion on the matter, she kept it to herself. Or Lynnette didn’t notice, which amounted to the same thing.

The DMV disagreed. Mary Lynn it was on her birth certificate, so Mary Lynn it would be on her new driver’s license. Lynnette was incensed, but no amount of pleading dissuaded the awful old lady behind the counter. Two years later, after she moved into her own apartment and bought her first car, she walked into the DMV to register the car with her school ID, checkbook and new utility bills, all in the name of Maria Lynnette. She asked the watery-eyed man who entered her car registration, “While you’re in there, do you think you could fix this for me? Look, they made a mistake on my license.” Looking at all her paperwork, he smiled up at her. “Of course, honey, I’ll take care of that right now.”

Lynnette texted Janice her lunch order, and when she reached the restaurant, the food was just being delivered. She had a gift for making it seem like she was right on time, when in fact her two best friends had been waiting for over thirty minutes. They were so used to it, they simply worked around it. Everyone did.

Dogs in house:
Houdini, Brindle

Puccini's "O Mio Babbino Caro" by the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra

January word count:

1 comment:

  1. So what do you think of this bit, where it starts at one point, then jumps to the past before returning to the present, right at the beginning of the story? Might not be enough to really tell, of course, if it's going to work. Actually, I think I could put the last paragraph as the second, then have the next 3 about her name...