WYLAN VAN ECK HATED HIS NAME . To be fair, he hated most things about himself as well (name, parents, illiteracy, etc) so putting the blame on his name wasn’t really fair. At twenty-one though, he really should have been over it.
Unfortunately, he was not.
With the inability to change his name (his father would burn his apartment down for the humiliation it caused him) and the obvious inability to even ask, Wylan settled for a small compensation.
He went by ‘Eck’ and however odd it sounded, it definitely made it harder for his fellow college students to draw a similarity between the Fortune 500 business tycoon and his dyslexic gay son.
And that was what brought him to the advanced engineering college class, raising his hand midst attendance calls tiredly as yet another professor squinted at him with confusion.
“Eck?” the rather confused Professor Haskell asked him. “That’s… a rather, er, unique name.”
He flushed. “My er, grandfather was an… interesting man. My parents never bothered changing it. They found it amusing.”
His father would hit him if he heard.
The snickers that echoed around the large classroom would fade eventually.
He consoled himself with the information.
Nodding, the professor moved on. “Jesper Fahey?” he asked, looking around.
“Hello?” the professor asked again. “Jesper Fahey?”
Finally a girl spoke up startled, awkwardly raising her hand. Her hair was a flaming red and interested heads swiveled. Wylan noted her sharp green eyes - even from the distance - and pleasant curves. She was almost to the point of overweightedness yet it was a stunning look on her. She was the kind of person he would’ve liked to draw, and he mentally added her image to his list.
“Here!” she said abruptly, flashing Professor Haskell a charming smile. “I was… looking at the board.”
The professor looked at his paper and squinted. “It says here that you’re a boy.”
She paused, a look of hesitation crossing her face momentarily. “Is there are a problem with late college records?” she finally asked cockily, as if the hesitation had never come. Wylan raised his eyebrows intrigued. The rest of the class squinted at her as well.
“I’m sorry?” Haskell blustered, taking an almost double take. “I-I-I am sorry for mistaking you, but this attendance sheet seems to say something qui-”
I wasn’t always born this stunning
,” the girl interrupted dramatically. “But my parents eventually saw the light and let me have the surgery. I, am now the image of
She raised her arms up dramatically. Caught in the moment, the rest of the class cheerfully applauded her performance and a confused Wylan followed suit.
“I could have sworn that Jesper Fahey was the stunning dark skinned boy,” the boy next to him whispered quietly. “I’m aware of gender changes, but I’ve yet to learn of skin color alterations.”
Wylan started with alarm. “Yeah,” he said nodding. Struggling for the right words, he looked aimlessly at the boy next to him. “Yeah,” he repeated.
The boy shrugged and moved on to whisper at the girl next to him.
“Inej Ghafa?” Professor Haskell asked, and to Wylan’s relief, she actually responded.