It had been simple, really. Names here...in English, really...no one really bothered to remember what half of them meant. Even the obvious ones like 'Victoria'. They're after the person, the people, not the word. One things Queen Victoria, not victorious. Though one might associate them, perhaps not. And perhaps it's not her. Perhaps it's a childhood friend or acquaintance, so blond hair, gray eyes, and an old aunt who always brings cookies.
It was all so...random.
And the names that do have something obvious tend to be so mundane: Ruby, May, April, June. A rock. A month.
It's not like there's anything wrong. They can be perfectly good names. But given the choice...choice. Given the right to come up with my own name, there was just something in me that wanted more.
Yet I couldn't stick out. I couldn't pick something like spirit, or soul. English just doesn't do that often enough for one to blend.
Naturally, I gravitated toward virtues. But...Chastity? No. Charity was better, Hope was good. Still. I wanted something different. Charity was nice, but was a reaction to a problem. Hope was something that kept you going, good, but...
I wanted something that would be present if the world were perfect. Charity would not be needed, everyone would just have. You would not need hope, per se, it would just be. One does not really have hope the sun will rise; it is more that one would feel betrayed if it didn't.
But mercy. Yes, I liked Mercy. Even in a utopia, people would still make mistakes, however slight. Perhaps oversleeping. Forgetfulness.
What I really wanted, what I would have taken as a name if it were common, is Forgiveness. But Mercy is...well, fundamentally good, in ways Forgiveness isn't. Even if you cannot forgive, cannot forget, cannot let go, you can be merciful. You can let it pass.
I hadn't thought of one. Hm...your last name was your family, right? A connection to blood and earth. And that would not sound nearly so needlessly poetic if we were speaking just about anything but English, trust me.
I smiled. Trust.
John might approve, he might not. Either way. Here I am.
"I am Mercy Johnson."
She nodded, first in recognition and then to where I should go. "Third door on the right. Eleanor Wright will see you."
I nodded in recognition back and went to see Ms. Wright.