I snorted at my best friend, feeling a pang of guilt as I remembered how long it took me to graft it out of him. Supposedly, we all despise our middle names, or in Nick's case, first name, but this was pure baggage. I had always wondered what the R standed for in R. Nick Kushi.

"Ramandeep? Where the hell did that come from?"

"You know my dad is Indian, so…" he trailed off. I'm well aware of his Indian ancestry, but hell, Ramandeep? Sounds like something you would name your cat.

Nick, or Ramandeep's, impatience grew as my laughter persisted.

He shook his head angrily," This is exactly why I didn't want to tell you in the first place."

Dude, chill, it's just a name." I pretended to be calm, even though I was clearly not. "Heck, I'll even tell you my name, if you like."

"Nothing can be worse that mine,"

"No, mine's pretty bad." I lied. Maybe if I can convince him that I hate my name, things will be even. "I hate my middle name."

"Yeah right. What is it?" Nick challenged.

Looking down, I put up my best attempt to look bashful. I'd at least try to fool Ni- Ramandeep. And I'll do it right.

"Naomi." I sighed.

To my utter surprise, my friend was quiet. Where was the usual "That isn't as bad as mine" or "That's cute"?

Nick's bronze hand was sprawled across his face in arrant disgust. Obviously, he had never heard the name. It was worse than I thought.

There's the reaction…

"American names are so weird. Naomi?" Nick sneered as if was like slime on his tongue. We were really even now, I suppose.

"Hebrew, actually." I corrected." It means pleasure or gratification."

My perverted friend raised his eyebrows. I recalled sharing the same expression when my mother told me the meaning behind my name.

"…Yeah, my parents really liked sex."


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-Kayti