Not normal
Villbaesj Kootpoo
CHAPTER
1
Not Normal
I know. Villbaesj? What kind of name is that? Who names their children Villbaesj? Apparently my parents have a horrible sense of humor. Or they have a naming disability. It’s already bad that our family name is Kootpoo. But taking the next level for my first name is extreme.
I mean, my brother is perfectly fine. His name is Jack. Wow, thanks dad. Thanks, mom. He’s Jack and I’m Villbaesj. He teases me all the time.
“Hey, Villbaesj,” he says. “Wild poo!”
Yup. That’s what my name means. Wild Poo. In Norwegian. We have some European blood in us, but my name would be weird even in Norway!
Mom told Jack to keep my name’s meaning a secret. She didn’t know that I minded at first, but as I grew up, my name became serious. I think she was happy with my name until in third grade, when we moved to Minnesota. My dad was called into the principal’s office on the first day of school. When he came into the office, the principal was already scolding me.
“This girl is a troublemaker. She will never tell us her real name!” he said. “Now, girl, since your father is here, stop joking and tell us your real name.”
My dad shuffled his feet uncomfortably. I looked at his eyes. They were telling me to stand up to the principal.
“Villbaesj. Like to told you, it’s pronounced vill-bah-esh-je.” I replied.
My dad smiled as the principal’s face turned red, and he stomped his foot.
“We do not tolerate liars in Brookwood Elementary School. This girl has been refusing to tell us her real name the whole day! Instead she tells her teachers that her name is something like Bella Too-too!”
“It’s Villbaesj.” I corrected.
“I know!” he yelled.
My dad was smiling awkwardly, but now his smile turned into a serious frown. Like really serious.
“Why don’t you check the files, then, sir?” said my dad.
The principal squinted his eyes as if he knew something was up. He carefully opened a drawer in his desk and pulled out a new, clean, fresh looking manila folder. He flipped through it until he reached a certain page.
“Here,” he said, putting a piece of paper on his desk. “Name is . . . Vill.”
“See, I told you so.” I said.
“No!” he shouted. “Young lady, you are in so much trouble!”
“Why? She was telling the truth!” said my dad.
“But her name is Vill. She told me that her name was Vill Basket or something!” the principal shouted, his voice rising every time he spoke.
“Her full name is Villbaesj. We just didn’t put it in the files because she’s bothered if strangers call her by her full name. So we shortened it to Vill. It’s Norwegian.”
The principal looked at me in silence, probably to approve this story. I shrugged.
“He’s right.” I said.
Two months later the principal was fired.
See how much trouble my name causes? My mom was stabbed with guilt after this incident. Everyone calls me Vill now, except for Jack, who still thinks Wild Poo is funny. It’s not. I once asked my mom why she named me Wild Poo. Her reply shocked me.
“Because you’re as sweet as Wild Poo.”
Wow, so sweet, mom. Thanks so much. Whoops, there goes my ego.
I sigh a lot. It comes from my inner soul. Probably because the soul’s name is Villbaesj. I wish my name was normal. Like Jack, or Lily, or Jennifer, or Rose. I would even take Twig, if it replaced my current name. In Minnesota, the weirdest name you can get is Twig. But when I moved in, oh, it was a disaster. People would be shocked by my name. Most would assume it was a joke and ask for my name again.
No.
I couldn’t live like this forever.
I want to go back to New York, where everyone didn’t care about your name. Some had weirder names, like J-Drizzle or Skoot. Names they made themselves, to be cooler. I wish my name was cool.
In New York, my friends thought my name was fine, because they knew my parent’s Norwegian background. They invited me to all of their parties.
Here, in Minnesota, at least two hundred birthdays has passed and no one has still invited me. Ever.
Well, actually one person did invite me. I didn’t go because he said his party would be in a dumpster. I later found out that his party was in a hotel. His mom made him invite everyone in our fifth grade class, so he had to invite me. He didn’t want me to come, so he told me about the Dumpster. Hm. I wonder why he did that. Cough name cough.
Now, in seventh grade, things turn from bad to worse.
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