Call Me Sybil

My friend Harriet is waiting for me when I arrive. She soon notices me and then comes over to me.
“So, am I late?”
“No, just in time. There’s Mae right now.”
“Looks worse than ever.”
“So right. And to think she couldn’t look worse than before. Let’s go.”
As we walk through the school corridor, I see something eye-catching stuck on the wall. And it’s an announcement.
“Harriet, come here.”
“What?”
“They’re auditioning for the next play, today!”
“What play?”
“An original play from the drama crew, Sundown Inn.”
Sundown Inn? Is there anything about the plot on the announcement?”
“It’s a story about an old abandoned inn where vampires stay. That’s why they call it Sundown Inn, because all the activity starts on sundown.”
“What role are they auditioning for today?”
“They’re auditioning for the role of Shivvy Downing, one of the vampires staying in the inn.”
“I’m in, then. What time?”
“2 p.m. I’m in for the role of Myriam Summers, auditioning same time tomorrow.”
“What? Are you serious, Sybil? Promise me there will be no fight this time, all right?”
“Promise. And call me Cassidy or Cassie. I hate that name.”
Oh, yes, I haven’t told you that I hate being called Sybil. Actually, that’s my real name, full name Sybil O’Donough. Look at the full name once again, and you realise that something is not right. My name is too different. And because I have no middle name, I have to choose a name. So I end up with Cassidy, a name that’s less different and more beautiful than my real name. And now look at this: Cassidy O’Donough. Better? In my opinion, yes, but what about you? Almost everyone thinks that Cassidy O’Donough is better than Sybil O’Donough. Everyone, except my family (of course!), and my best friend Harriet.
Right, let’s go back to reality. Harriet and I are going to the school laboratory for science class now. We’re a bit late, and everyone’s already there. Well, except Miss Lanigan. I have the feeling that she’s late, as usual. Everybody’s talking about Sundown Inn. Then, Mae, the richest girl in the school, comes over.
“Hey Cassidy, I heard that you’re auditioning for the role of Summers. You know what? I’m in too. So, good luck,” she says with a mean look, followed by a glare. I glare at her in return, bearing the same vicious look, even more vicious.
After two hours of science class, the bell rings. Harriet’s already waiting for me outside the lab, looking very unhappy.
“What is it, Harriet?”
“I’m sick of you!”
“Why?”
“You’re afraid to be different! That’s why!”
“What do you mean?”
“You don’t remember, do you? Everytime I call you Sybil, you always say ‘no, call me Cassie’. What’s wrong with being different anyway?”
“You don’t know what it’s like! You don’t know what it’s like to be different! Everyone thinks your name’s weird, and you’ll be called weird, too! Have you ever had trouble with your name? Well, I guess not, because you don’t know what’s going on with me!”
“Wait, Sybil…”
“See? Now leave me alone!”
“But…”
“I said leave!”
And since Harriet has no intention to walk away, I walk away to the announcement wall, reading the audition announcement once again. But something catches my attention, something on the creation wall, next to the announcements.
Who am I, if I’m not me?, the title says. Turns out that it’s a short story. I read the story, and there’s something in me that tells me that I’ve been a real fool all this time. My heart now asks the same question: Who am I, if I’m not me? I’ve been afraid to be different, to be myself. I haven’t been true to my friends, even to my best friend, my best friend! I’ve been a bad friend, the worst friend anyone could have!
Wait, there’s a way to fix all this: a small speech, some kind of announcement. I still have a piece of paper, so I write the announcement on it.
***
“So, my friends, I have something to tell you. I’ve been a fool. I was afraid to be different. I thought things could be better if I had another name, which I did, but I was wrong! Your name is who you are, and I don’t think you should change it. So, from now, just call me Sybil.”
After that, Harriet comes to the backstage, wanting to tell something.
“That was amazing. I’m sorry I’ve been a bad friend.”
“No, I’m sorry for lying to you.”
“All right, Cassie, how exactly did you lie to me?”
“Remember…”
“Seriously, Sybil, you told me to call you Cassie, and now you’re telling me not to call you that. And how did you lie…”
“Yes, yes, Harriet. How I lied to you. Well… I don’t want to talk about it. By the way, audition starts in five minutes.”
“Let’s go, then!”

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