“Hello!” other things, anyway.”Sue is short for Susan,

“Hello!”
said the girl.”I’m Sue.”

“Good
day!” he replied smiling,using an old-fashioned phrase. He loved children and
was good with them. Only the occasions were rare. And people were strange. As
if they did not care if anyone besides them loved their children. He could not
understand that. Like many other things, anyway.”Sue is short for Susan, is it
not?”

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“Yes
it is.”

“Susan
is a holy name from the Bible.”

“I
hate it,” said the girl, scowling.

“Really?And
why is that?”

“There
are already four girls named Susan in my class.”

“But
only thou art called Sue?” He was using the biblical ‘thou’ and the old
sentence structure.

“If
that were the case, everything would be alright. But two others are also called
like that.We never know which one is which.”

“That
is really unfortunate,” he admitted.

“Bloody
unfortunate.” He smiled. On her lips that was not a curse. Rather a brief
description of a fact which has no remedy.

“I’m
Susan Lee actually. But so is Susan Lee Alvin. It’s just that her name comes
before mine in the register, so I had to be Sue, and she’s Sue Lee.”

“You
know what, Sue,” he said thoughtfully, “that is not so impossible to fix.”

She
looked at him with distrust. “How can that be fixed?”

“One
simply changes their name.”

“A
name can’t be changed,” she said brusquely. The man with grey hair was no
different from other grownups who believe that kids always care about
playing.He just looked different. And he spoke in a funny and strange way.

“Why
could it not be changed?”

“I
don’t know. I just know it can’t.”

“And
if it could, how would thou like to be called?” He again used the Old Testament
‘thou’.

She
gave it a thought. “Ariadne”

“Why
exactly Ariadne?”

“That’s
from a story. A man had to go into a labyrinth and kill the bull who ate
people. The labyrinth was so long and tangled that nobody had come out of it
before. Ariadne gave him a ball of thread which he was unwinding while looking
for the bull. When he found the bull and killed it, saving the town, he went
back to the entrance winding the thread. ”

“Alright,”
he said seriously,”I will call you Ariadne.”

“But
I’m Sue, Susan, Susan Lee!”

He
leaned towards her, took her by the hand and said to her in confidence: “For
those who do not know thy real name. I know it, for me you shall be Ariadne.”

“Alright,”
she laughed. She liked the game. It resembled a fairytale. The man with grey
hair was different after all. “But how will I call you?”

“We
shall see,” he said confusedly. “Which name dost thou like?”

“Theseus.That’s
the man who killed the bull and left the Labyrinth with Ariadne’s thread.”

“Oh,”
he exclaimed,”that is very strange.”

“What’s
strange?”

“That
that is really my name.”

“But
Theseus is a Greek name and you don’t look like a Greek.”

“And
what do Greeks look like?” he asked.

“I
don’t know.” She got confused. “Different.”

“You
see,” he said almost apologetically,”it happened. It is a long story. ”

“Tell
it to me.”

He
hesitated.

“Oh,
please. I could be called to board the plane any moment.”

The
man with grey hair got upset,”I thought you came to watch planes?”

“Why
would you think that? I’m not crazy about planes. I’m traveling, actually.”She
was hopping around, looking askance at him.

The
wind lifted her kilt, revealing her smooth, thin thighs. She thought it was
funny how he watched her every movement.

“Where
are you travelling to?” He had to shout. An ever deepening rumble was coming
from the runway, like an earthquake.

“To
the beach,” she was shouting. “But the plane to Nice is late.”

“You
are not going on your own?”

She
shook her head. “With my Mum.”

“Well
where is your mother?”

“She
went to ask how long we’ll still have to wait.”

The
rumble turned into a roar. Swissair Boeing 727 took off, shaking the air
through which the Sun was refracting.

“It
looks like the white whale, Moby Dick,” said Sue. On the other side, Concord
was dignifiedly taxiing along converging track towards the runway. “And that
one looks like an arctic wolf.”