“You know, I’m going to start calling you Ricky,” Beth teased her boyfriend, who currently sat next to her on her couch with an arm around her.
Rick chuckled. “Okay, well if you’re going to call me Ricky, I’m gonna call you…” He took a few moments to think. “Betty! That’s a nickname for Beth!”
Beth laughed. “Okay, that’s a pretty name anyway.”
Rick smiled when he heard her laugh and then a thought struck him. “Wait… isn’t Beth also short for something?”
Beth moved her head off Rick’s shoulders so he could see the mischievous glint in her eyes. “Maybe, maybe not.”
Rick’s eyes widened. “Are you telling me that the entire time we’ve been friends and dating, I don’t know your name?”
Beth shrugged. “I’ve gone by Beth my entire life. And now Betty, apparently,” she teased. “It’s not a big deal.” She returned her head to Rick’s shoulder and continued watching the television, while Rick’s thoughts were filled of Beth and what her name could be.
The next day at school, Rick approached Henry at his locker.
“Hey, man, what’s up?” The redhead greeted.
“What’s Beth’s real name?” Rick questioned. He figured if anyone would know, it would be Henry, since they were best friends for years.
Henry paused, thinking. “When we were younger, I just assumed it was Elizabeth. But she never told me.” He paused thoughtfully. “Why do you ask?”
Rick sighed. “Because she decided she wanted to call me Ricky so I told her that I would call her Betty, since it’s a nickname for Beth. But then I realized that Beth can also be short for a name, too.”
Henry glanced back at Rick from his open locker. “You don’t even know your girlfriend’s name ?”
“She’s been your best friend since you were kids and you don’t know it,” Rick reminded the telepath.
Henry froze. “And we’re the ones who are supposed to know her best...Damn. Well, did you ask her?”
“Of course I did! She didn’t tell me!”
“Well, let’s ask Court and Yolanda, maybe they know. But for now, I’m going to call her Lizzie to see if she corrects me,” Henry decided.
Rick wasn’t sure if that was a good plan, but he said “Okay. See you later.” Henry nodded at him before Rick left to go to class.
Lunch soon arrived and Rick made his way to the cafeteria, where Courtney, Yolanda, and Henry were sitting at their usual table.
“Where’s Beth?” Yolanda asked curiously.
“She’ll be here in a couple of minutes, she stayed behind to help our teacher with something,” Rick responded, plopping down into a chair. “Hey, do either of you know Beth’s real name?”
Yolanda scoffed. “You don’t know your own girlfriend’s name?”
“That’s what I said!” Henry exclaimed.
“She’s been your best friend for years and you don’t even know,” Rick reminded Henry once again.
Courtney raised an eyebrow. “You don’t even know your best friend’s/sister’s name?” She inquired. “Why are you bringing this up now, anyway?”
Rick sighed and recounted the story he told Henry earlier.
Courtney cooed. “You two are giving each other nicknames? That’s so cute!”
Rick waved her comment off. “So do either of you know her real name? She won’t tell me.”
Yolanda shrugged. “I thought it was Bethany?”
“I thought it was Annabeth,” Courtney responded. “I can’t believe that none of us know her full name!”
“And I assumed it was Elizabeth when we were kids,” Henry informed the two girls. “I’m just going to call her Lizzie to see if she will correct me.” His eyes brightened. “And you two should call her those names to see if she will react!”
“Can’t you just read her mind?” Yolanda questioned her ex-boyfriend.
“I promised you all that I wouldn’t do that, remember?” Henry reminded them. “Besides, this is more entertaining!”
Yolanda rolled her eyes. Before she could say anything, Beth approached the table and sat down next to Rick, who greeted her with a kiss on the forehead, which in turn caused Henry to glare at him.
“Hey, everyone!” Beth greeted with a smile.
“Hi, Betty,” Rick teased.
“Ricky,” Beth teased back.
“So, Lizzie,” Henry started casually. “Your name is Elizabeth, right?”
“What?” Beth looked at her best friend, confused. Why was he asking her about her name? Wait a minute… Beth glanced at her boyfriend. “You asked him what my full name is?”
“I thought he would know,” Rick protested. “Is it not Elizabeth?”
Beth chuckled. Two could play at his game. “Maybe, maybe not.”
“I spent a decade thinking your name was Elizabeth!” Henry exclaimed dramatically, eliciting a chuckle from Courtney.
“I thought your name was Annabeth,” Courtney spoke up.
“And I thought it was Bethany,” Yolanda added.
Beth grinned, with a mischievous look in her eyes that Rick loved to see. “You can call me whatever you want,” she assured her friends and boyfriend. “But I’m not telling you what my full name is. There has to be some mystery here.”
“Okay Lizzie, I bet I can solve that mystery,” Henry vowed.
“You’ve known her for ten years and you still didn’t solve anything about her name,” Yolanda pointed out, causing everyone except Henry to laugh.
The five continued their conversations until the bell rang.
“Okay, Lizzie, let’s head to class,” Henry stood up, ready to go to the class he shared with Beth.
Beth playfully rolled her eyes. “Okay, see you all later!”
“Bye, Betty,” Rick kissed her.
“See ya, Annabeth!” Courtney called out before leaving the cafeteria with Rick to go to class.
“Later, Bethany,” Yolanda smiled before leaving.
Beth gave Henry a knowing look. “You put them up to this, didn’t you?”
“Maybe, maybe not my dear Lizzie,” he said, linking his arm with hers as they headed to their English class.
That fateful day at lunch was only the start of figuring out Beth’s real name. Eventually, it turned into the team calling Beth every single variation of her name they possibly could.
“Hey, Marybeth!” Courtney greeted Beth one day during training. “Hey, Yolanda!”
“Lilibeth, Courtney” the other brunette greeted with a smile. “Wanna spar?” She asked Beth.
“Sure!” As Beth and Yolanda took their positions, Pat approached Courtney.
“Yeah, Pat?” Courtney turned to her stepfather.
“Why are you all calling Beth all those different names?” Pat asked Courtney curiously. Honestly, part of him wasn’t sure if he wanted to know.
“Oh don’t worry about it,” Courtney replied nonchalantly.
Pat gave her a confused nod and watched as she walked away to talk to Henry and Rick. Oh well, as long as no one is getting hurt.
Soon, even Mike got in on it, no doubt thanks to his sister.
“What’s up, Lisbeth?” Mike greeted her as Beth entered the Whitmore-Dugan residence.
“Hey, Mike! How are you?” Beth asked, genuinely interested.
Mike shrugged. “Same old, same old. Courtney’s in her room waiting for you, Liz.”
Beth made her way to Courtney’s room, where the blonde greeted her with a bright smile.
“Hey, Alisabeth! I was thinking we can study for our calculus exam…”
And so it continued, with Beth’s friends and boyfriend calling her different names. Sometimes it died out and everyone called her Beth again, but whenever someone heard Rick call her ‘Betty,’ the process started all over again. This happened on and off for years, but it never got boring, as everyone had fun trying to figure out Beth’s name, and Beth herself was enjoying keeping the mystery going.
Flash Forward, Ten Years Later
Ten years later, Beth and Rick’s closest friends and family were gathered together at their inevitable wedding. Beth and Rick stood in front of the officiator, holding hands. Courtney and Yolanda, who were Beth’s best women (because she couldn’t choose one) were by her side while Henry, who was Rick’s best man, stood near him
“Do you, Rick Tyler, take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife…” The pastor said the required verses.
Rick looked at his beautiful fiance with tears of joy in his eyes and a wide smile on his face. He couldn’t believe this was happening. He never thought he would marry the sweetest, smartest, most selfless and beautiful woman in the world, but here he was.
“And do you, Isabella Elizabeth Chapel-” The pastor started before being interrupted.
“What?!” Rick, Henry, Courtney, and Yolanda all exclaimed in shock, while Beth laughed. All the other members in attendance, besides Pat, Barbara and Mike, looked on in confusion.
“You go by a nickname of your middle name?” Rick questioned, incredulously.
“I was right!” Henry exclaimed, feeling victorious.
“No you weren’t, you thought Elizabeth was her first name,” Yolanda pointed out, exasperated.
“Do you know how many nicknames exist for Isabella alone? And Elizabeth?” Courtney spoke up.
Beth tried to stop laughing, but failed. “This is going to be a very memorable wedding,” she noted.
“Why didn’t you tell me that Beth was part of your middle name?” Rick whispered to her as everyone started talking amongst themselves about the rather strange interruption.
“If you had asked me about my middle name, I would’ve told you,” Beth teased with a smile. “Besides, Tyler is going to be another one of my names, and that means so much to me. Isn’t that what’s important?”
Rick smiled and felt tears in his eyes once again. How did he get so lucky? “I love you so much.”
“I love you too,” Beth said softly before turning to the pastor. “Sorry about that. Can we continue please?”
The pastor smiled, knowing that this was by far one of the more entertaining weddings he officiated. “Of course. Do you, Isabella Elizabeth Chapel, take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband…”
“I do,” Beth gave a watery smile, eyes shining with pure joy.
“I pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride.”
Rick gently cupped Beth’s face and kissed her, with everyone cheering. Later, when the two of them were slow dancing, Beth spoke up.
“I think that was the perfect way for all of you to learn my full name.”
Rick chuckled. “Even though it interrupted the entire ceremony?”
Beth smiled. “When have things ever gone directly according to plan with us? Besides, I think it just made today even more special.”
“I still can’t believe you married me,” Rick admitted, gazing at his wife with loving eyes.
“I still can’t believe you married me,” Beth shot back playfully with a wide smile on her face.
“I love you, Isabella Elizabeth Chapel-Tyler...wow, no wonder you just went by Beth, that’s a mouthful,” Rick noted.
Beth laughed. “And it only took you ten years to figure that out. I love you too, Rick Chapel-Tyler.”