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By Trixie Kennedy

"Choose your name," the guy outside the bus says. He has a clipboard and a pen, and he is blocking her path.
She stops, confused. "I have a name."
"Did you choose it?"
"My parents named me, of course," she says. He looks at her like she's admitted something shameful.
"Choose your name," he says again. Behind her, she can hear muttering, as other passengers wait to get off the bus.
This is stupid. She has a name. Caroline Berking: it is the name on the brass plate on her office door. She wants to give him that name and be done with it, but her mouth opens and shuts without the name coming out.
"Come on, lady," a man behind her says.
She glances back at the line beginning to pile up in the doorway of the bus.
"Choose." The man with the clipboard positions his pen.
"Trixie," she blurts out. Where does that come from? She tries to imagine Trixie engraved on a brass plate.
She remembers playing a game with her sisters, a detective game, running around in the backyard looking for clues under rocks. They found a lot of worms, but few clues.
He writes "Trixie" on the line. "Choose your last name."
She is relaxing. Trixie is a great choice. Brave and smart. What goes with Trixie?
"Kennedy," she says. It is exactly right, she knows immediately. She's never been particularly political, but it is the only name that she could possibly choose.
The man raises an eyebrow and writes Kennedy next to Trixie. "Welcome, Trixie Kennedy."
"Finally," the impatient guy in line says.
Trixie steps forward, away from the clipboard. There on the bus platform is a brown leather suitcase with the name "Trixie Kennedy" clearly visible on a large nametag. She looks back at the line still coming off the bus. Everyone else seems to understand what they are supposed to do. The impatient man is giving his chosen name, "Brock Benson," and striding towards his own suitcase--a huge red-white-and-blue canvas bag with ski boots and boxing gloves fastened on with straps. He smiles at her with big white teeth and whistles for a cab.
Her suitcase looks pretty small.
Trixie picks it up. It is light, but she can tell it holds what she needs. The handle fits in her hand like she made it herself.
"Miss Kennedy?" A taxi driver waits next to an idling cab.
"Oh, yes," she says. She blinks at him.
He opens the door for her. "Choose your destination."
The End
This story was first published on Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

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