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Author's notes: for the 'former challenges'. I chose cliches and "Don't call me that.

Epithets of Love

He invokes her name as if it has power: a curse, a prayer – something with power. He whispers it, so softly she’s amazed she can hear. But she can, as loudly as if he had shouted it.

Don’t call me that - it’s not my name.

For a moment she wishes she had lied all those years ago.

His voice stronger now, more assured. “Melanie.”

Melanie. Like peaches and cream. Melanie. Like a suburban wife with a perm. Melanie. Like all she can never be.

“My name is Miss Parker.”

“Melanie,” he repeats, and this time she doesn’t refuse him.

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