Open to interpretation. Obviously.
Regret Is a Boy’s Name
By Ronald Cypress
The young man sped down the road on his dirt bike, keeping his jaw clenched as the girl’s words continued bother him. He heard her going through names.
The young woman had been constantly bringing up names ever since finding out the sex of her child. It had gradually started to exasperate the young man. He didn’t want to think about the names or whom they were for. The young woman had asked him for name suggestions, but he couldn’t give her one.
He didn’t even want to be there with her. The young man had considered taking his bike and riding it straight out of town. He would keep going until he was in a different state and far away from the young woman and her names.
Do any of those sound good to you?
The young man couldn’t get the names and her voice out of his head, and there was nowhere he could go. The town had already trapped him long before he decided to start seeing the young woman; it had basically claimed him before he was even born. The offspring, no matter what they called him, would also be trapped in the town. No one was going anywhere.
The young man rode his dirt bike to a bar. It was early in the afternoon, and only a few patrons were drinking. He ordered his drink and sat quietly. The young woman’s voice continued to bother him. Her and her problem were a pain, and as he drank there were more names. She wouldn’t stop.
Come on. Tell me what you think.
The young man didn’t have any names for her. She had suggested that they could name it after him and make the baby a junior. He was steadfast in his determination that the child would not have his name. There were millions of other names available, all of them better than his. The young woman understood.
She understood so much but didn’t seem to grasp what she was to the young man. Her failure to comprehend their situation must have been what led to the child. The young man knew it was a mistake, and he constantly berated himself for getting involved with the young woman. He should have known that a baby would be attractive to her. And now she had him. She had them both.
What could they call him?
The young man must have heard every boy name that had ever been uttered throughout history, and they all stuck with him.
He left the bar and continued riding around the town.
Down by train tracks, not far from the general store, the young man encountered an acquaintance from high school. The two spoke briefly. The old friend was carrying an acoustic guitar and told the young man that he was getting ready to go to an all-day party. He invited the young man to go along with him, but the young man had to turn down the offer. The two said goodbye, and the young man watched as his old friend walked away from him.
He had to stop by the young woman’s house soon. They were supposed to meet that evening like they did almost every day. The young man would have to hear more names. He couldn’t escape. As he was riding his dirt bike towards her home, the young man thought about good names for a boy.
The young man smiled at his own playfulness. He didn’t have any good names for the boy. The child could remain nameless for all he cared.
The young man arrived at the young woman’s house and was greeted by her father. The old man always gave him a friendly welcoming despite what the young man had helped his daughter become. Her father always had a smile on his face; the daughter was pretty much the same. That evening the old man commented on the young man’s solemn face. He wanted to know why everyone was so down. The old man said his daughter had been looking gloomy too. She was up in her room, the old man said. She had been moping in there all day long.
The young man didn’t believe the young woman could ever get too down. He knew that once she saw his face her eyes would light up. She would have her victim again and could torture him with a smile on her face. The young man would be forced to sit through more names.
None of them meant anything to the young man. Let the child have any name. Whatever they called him, he would just end up being another burden. There was no hope in situation, and the young man was absolutely certain that he would be the only one suffering. His suffering was all he could think about.