What's In A Name?

By Saber ShadowKitten
And Now For Something Completely Different 21

The Past

"Get down here, kid!"

"What the hell do you think you're doing, kid?"

"Hey, kid, get me another beer."

"Watch where you're going, kid."

"Kid, get out of my way."

"He's your damn kid, not mine."

"Get lost, kid."

"Well, kid, you've really done it this time."

"Get me the belt, kid, then grab your ankles."

"Kid, when I get my hands on you..."

"Kid, stop your damn crying."

"How stupid are you, kid?"

"That kid is worthless."

"Keep your mouth shut, kid."

"Clean that up, kid."

"What did I tell you, kid?"

"Don't talk that way to your mother, kid."

"I don't want to see you again, kid, do you understand?"

"I told you we should've gotten rid of the kid."

"I threw 'em out, kid. Comic books are for geeks and faggots."

"Why you stupid, goddamned kid!"

"Kid, you have until the count of five to get the hell out of my sight."

"It'll hurt worse, kid, if you don't get over here right now."

"Don't go crying to your mother, kid. She doesn't care."

"Kid, get in here and do the dishes."

"I warned you for the last time, kid."

"Where are my keys, kid?"

"Shut up, kid."

"How dare you talk back to me, kid."

"The kid's a tough guy, eh?"

"Don't expect me to give you any money, kid, or anything else, for that matter."

"You had it coming to you, kid."

"If you leave, kid, don't bother coming back."

His father was in the doorway, watching as Xander packed his belongings in the car he'd bought from his Uncle Rory. The recent high school graduate, complete with slightly charred diploma, slammed the trunk shut and looked at his father.

"Did you hear me, kid? I don't want to see you back here, begging for handouts," Mr. Harris said.

Xander walked up the chipped, weed-strewn sidewalk and stopped directly in front of his father. He stared at the older man, his expression blank. "I have one question for you," he said in a toneless voice. "And then I'm gone."

Mr. Harris narrowed his brown eyes -- the same eyes that Xander had inherited -- and asked, "And what's that, kid?"

Xander tilted his head slightly, and said with a cold bite to his voice, "Do you even know my name?"

Mr. Harris blinked. "What kind of question is that?"

"Do you?" Xander asked again.

"Kid, this is stupid--"

"Do you?" Xander repeated more forcefully.

Mr. Harris blinked again in surprise at Xander's tone. "Of course I do. It's... it's... uh..."

"That's what I thought." Without saying goodbye, Xander turned and headed back to the car.

"Well, why should I remember your name, kid?" Mr. Harris shouted at him. "You're nobody!"

Xander slammed his car door shut, started the engine, and pulled away. "My name," he began a bitter promise to himself, "is Alexander Lavelle Harris, and no one is going to forget that ever again."