“As in the naked mole rat? Come on.”
“Are you even trying anymore, Avery? Or are you just trying to piss me off?”
Marta and I were laying on the floor in the living room, the tops of our heads touching, next to our bargain couch. Marta had decided that it was more comfortable to be laying on the hard floor than it was to be in sinking couch. Then I felt weird sitting on the couch while she sat on the floor. Over time, we just ended up laying like this.
I’d been bouncing baby names off her all week, trying to figure out what we were going to call the little guy, and everyone had been met with a scoff of derision—so, yeah, maybe I was trying to piss her off a little bit. What’s a girl to do?
“I don’t know—Mar? What were you thinking?”
“Uh—something Regal, I guess. Something that sounds strong.”
“What? Like Henry or George?”
“Uh. Maybe, but no.”
“Marta, throw me a bone here. I’m running out of kings I can name off the top of my head.” I pulled myself up so I was sitting crisscross applesauce, looking down at her. “You don’t have any ideas for names other than shooting down my names?”
“Not really. I just…” Marta gave an awkward shrug as best she could as she laid there. “We’ve got time, right? We’ve still got a couple of months before we have to—“ Marta made a face, and looked up at me with a frown. “Avery, is it stupid for me to want one of his names to be Dad’s?”
I smiled at her, brushing a piece of hair off her face. “No, of course not, Mar. He’s our dad. He was a good dad, even if we didn’t agree with everything.” I laughed a little in spite of myself, “I don’t think we could have tolerated eighteen years of Mom without Dad, right?” Marta chuckled too, and gave me a nod. “And hey—it’s my middle name too, right? So—if some time in the future Dad really pisses us of, we can pretend that he wasn’t part of this equation. We just named him after me.”
“That’s true. It is your middle name too. Let’s make it his. Something Martin Andersson.”
“Aw, Little Baby Something. I like it. We can agree on that one.”
Marta fixed me with a cold stare. “No.”