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Fiction #327
(published April 26, 2007)
Planet Gaby
by Julio Peralta-Paulino
This past summer I turned sixteen. The year after short, faded, ripped jean skirts were all the rage. I am going to the mall with my BFF. That's Kaylah. She's like ultra cool and I've known her ever since I can remember.

We are going to buy new swimsuits. The type with the hoop between the cups. I want big polka dots and Kaylah wants something flowery.

At the shop, my BFF asks, "Do you know Gaby, the new Gaby?"

See, she wants to invite the new Gaby to our pool party and that was cool and everything, but the thing that got to me was the number of girls named Gaby that we know.

I was savvy to the fact, but the question — or the way she asked it — egged my mind into counting . . .

Ohmygod, I thought of at least a dozen girls named Gaby and then several more with Gabriella as a middle name. WTF, there were even a couple of guys named Gabriel who were sometimes also called Gaby.

Something must have happened to their parents nearly twenty years ago. I thought to myself, "They must have wanted to make the world into planet Gaby." LOL.

Maybe it was a Spanish thing. A reaction against all the Marias . . . Well, there are still a lot of Marias. The fact is, my name is Maria too. Well, it's not just Maria, it's Maria Rosa Elena. Of course, everybody calls me Mr E or Mystery. On AIM, I'm Misty90 and on MSN I'm Mystery06. That's cause I just got that account. It's pretty badass, but there's not as many people on it.

After a moment of ditzy hair twirling, I say, "That's the Gaby with the long brown hair that never wears bracelets."

"Yeah," says Kaylah, "and she always wears that same silver ring on her thumb."

"Well, yeah, we can call her after we finish here."


Kaylah always likes to mix up old friends with new people. Me, not so much. Especially not when they're pretty. Yes, the new Gaby is really pretty and she gets a lot of attention from the boys.

It's not that I'm like boy-crazy or anything. I just want a fair chance at Daniel. Daniel's like ultra cool and he hardly ever wears baseball hats. Ohmygod, I hate baseball caps. I mean, it's not like you're going to go stand in right field. Any ways, he has like the greatest eyes and sexy hair. OK, but it's not like I care that much either; I'm just saying. The thing is all the girls are always all over him. I'm hoping that we can get to talking at the pool party. I already talked to Kayla about it and she swore she doesn't like him in that way. She says the only men she dreams about are Johnny Depp and George Clooney, but George is like fifty years old and so that only leaves Johnny. BTW, you ever notice that those guys hardly ever wear baseball hats?

IDK but if I was going to go for a celebrity, I'd like go for a rock star. Bono or maybe one that was taller.

My favorite band is My Chemical Romance, but I'm not attracted to any of them and then like so many people online pretend to be in MCR.

Any ways, it's probably cuz Kaylah is super pretty and she wants to be around pretty people. People say I'm like so gorgeous but I just don't see it. I mean, WTF, if I were so ultra hot then somebody would have put me on TV or something already. And also I remember there was this girl . . . No, her name wasn't Gaby or Maria . . . It was something like Adriana . . . Well, she graduated last year and even Kaylah says that she used to be in the hot chick squad and now she's in the get dick squad . . . So sad.

It happens to a lot of girls. They get a boyfriend and start licking the lollipop to keep them happy and then everybody knows about it and sooner or later they have to get their cherries popped or the boys will start calling them a tease and once you lose it . . . Well, all that is so like confusing, it's complicated.

That's why I like Daniel. I have this feeling he'll be just the right one to be with even if it means sex. Not that I'm thinking of that! I do really like to hug, but like Kaylah or my other besties.

Mostly, I like the PStation2, movies . . . Pirates rocked! And I like some TV too. Last year we were all into Laguna Beach and the MTV shows and now it's all about NipTuck . . . Of Course, Kaylah can't live without Grey's Anatomy . . . IDK the only thing I really hate is when I have to read a lot — you know — like a whole book! Grr!!

Any ways, we found the hottest, bestest swimsuits and after a little argument on how we should pay for them or just sneak out with them (yeah, Kaylah sometimes takes things from the mall, but don't tell anyone) we pay and I get out my Pebble phone and try to reach the new Gaby.

"Well, I thought she was going to be at Maria's — that's what Maria told me." Kaylah explains after I told her there was no answer.

"I'm going to call Daniel," I announce almost to myself and Kaylah starts humming the wedding march song and I could have punched her right in the mouth but she has a lip ring and that would probably be wrong.

Daniel wasn't there either and it got me kind of sad and that after being so happy about the swimsuit. Life is like so unfair, I swear.

I will say this, if I get to marry him, I am not naming the baby Gaby or Maria if it's a girl. If it's a girl, I am going to name her Cigarette and make sure she doesn't smoke. Doesn't that like rule? I know! Then when I'm like a grandma with prunes for breasticles I am going to ask Cigarette to name her daughter Ash. I know, Daniel smokes and even likes the hookah thingy but I know I can get him to stop. Soon, he'll worship me and I know Kaylah will help. Any ways, that's where I'm at.

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