I am writing on here under a pseudonym, so I can’t tell you what the most common shortening of my real name is. But I miss it. I signed an email with it just now, to a girl I’ve never met, who lives in the USA. People who I work with now (who still form the majority of my social circle) never use it, but to me it is a cosy, intimate name that has been in use for over 20 years.

I honestly feel like part of me is missing because people aren’t calling me it. How silly is that? I am tucked up in bed with a stomach bug, making mad dashes for the bathroom, which thankfully is close by, and feeling sad because in my new life in Melbourne, people don’t call me by the name I’ve been called by my friends since my before my teens in my old life in the UK.

I can even remember when it was first used, my heart leapt because I had a nice nickname at last. I’ve had others, like Flipper, for the swimming and the size of my feet, which I hated. You take the piss out of my feet and I really have a hard time with it. It takes me a long time to forgive you, and even now when Hubs says something about my heffalump feet, my heart sinks. He is probably the only person that can say anything and get away without receiving a Paddington Bear hard stare, and luckily he knows me well enough to only say something when I am in a good mood, otherwise it can reduce me to tears. My feet serve me well, I tramp about on them for hours, days, but I loathe them. I was an easy target at school, mainly because I towered over everyone else, I was literally head and shoulders above my peers. I still slouch today, which is causing me problems now, let alone in later years. One misguided teacher dragged me out in front of the class, with the shortest person, Sophie, and had us stand next to each other, comparing feet sizes. Hot, fat tears spilling onto my cheeks at the time, I didn’t want to be noticed, I wanted to hide, the teacher made it worst. I then had to get permission from the headmaster of my Senior School to wear trainers on my first day, we simply couldn’t find shoes to fit me. Even now, I hate shopping for shoes, it is something I do on my own, and get anxious over.

I’ve kissed a lot things good-bye over the past few years, I never expected to miss this one. I thought it would follow me across.

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