Inspired by Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility.
Ellie’s mother was irate when Ellie told her she was engaged to Eddie.
“He’ll never do,” her mother said.
“But why? He’s wonderful to me. And on top of that, he has a position at a prestigious law firm. What more could a mother want for her daughter.”
“And I suppose he was an Eagle Scout?”
“How did you know? C’mon, Mom, tell me why you don’t like him.”
Her mother held back, ashamed at her prejudice. But she knew Eddie was not the guy for her daughter. She’d been through this with her other daughter and she had been right. Her marriage had not worked out.
“Call it a mother’s intuition. I don’t think he’s right for you.”
“Mother, please.” Ellie had always given into her mother’s idiosyncrasies. But not this time.”I love him, and I’m going to marry him, and there’s nothing you can do about it. So there.”
“Mark my words. It’ll be the worst decision of your life.”
Ellie shook her head, got up and washed her cup in the sink. “I gotta go.”
She went to the door and stopped. “Tell me. What do you have against Eddie?”
“it’s not Eddie. It’s you.”
“It’s me. What does that mean?”
“I mean it’s you two together. He’d be perfect for somebody else. He really would.”
Thinking she had some disease she didn’t know about, she asked, “What’s wrong with me?”
“Nothing’s wrong with you. You’re perfect the way you are.”
“But you just said.”
“All right. Sit down and I’ll tell you.”
Sitting across from her mother, Ellie waited for the truth.
Finally her mother let it out. “You both have the same alphabet letter at the beginning of your names. You’re both E’s.”
“What? That’s crazy. What does that have to do with anything?”
“Your names will confuse the reader. Pretty soon they won’t be able to tell Ellie from Eddie.”
“You think we’re characters in a novel?”
“That’s right,” her mother informed her.
“That’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard of.”
“Haven’t you ever wondered why you don’t have a birth certificate. Or you can’t remember elementary school or your first date or whether you’re a virgin or not?”
“Of course I’m not a virgin.”
“Who did the deed?”
“Why…uh…well, it was…Darned if I can’t remember. You mean?”
“Yep. We’re all characters in a novel. We just don’t know it.”
“So what do I do? It’s Eddie or it’s no one at all. I love Eddie with all my heart.”
Her mother thought about the dilemma for several minutes. Finally she asked, “Does Eddie have a middle name? I know you don’t.”
“Yes, and he hates it.”
“What is it?”
“Well, that will never do.”