My Secret Identity

For some reason, the guy thought my name was Rose. Mike and I attended the same college and he was the friend of a friend. Maybe he heard my name correctly the first time and forgot. Maybe he just heard wrong. Maybe he guessed. But I didn’t correct Mike the first time he called me Rose. I smiled and said, “yes?”

I kept it going remarkably for two years. There was nothing romantic between us. We met randomly on campus and at parties. I was always Rose to him. To everyone else I was Joan, a name I don’t particularly like. (I’ve written about this before.) Did I think Rose would laugh more and be less critical than Joan? Would she be smarter and maybe prettier? Nah. I just found it amusing that someone believed I had a different name.
Alas, I was found out. I was standing with friends in the lobby of the college’s auditorium when Mike called, “Hey, Rose.” The friend of a friend turned around. That’s not her name, he said. “It’s Joan.” Of course, her name is Rose, his friend argued. 
It was time to fess up. 
Mike was dumbstruck. After all, this charade went on for a while. Why didn’t I tell him my real name? The answer was easy. I liked it.

Postscript: We remained friends after that but he called me Joan instead. 

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