Disclaimer: Atlus owns Persona IV. Rating for language.
Much as she hated it, Chie Hanamura kept returning to the question: What do I have in common with Saki Konishi?
Nothing, she could complacently assure herself some days. Other days, it was more dubious. Nothing. Well, was that good? Why would someone, say, a hormonal guy forced to spend his formative years zoning shelves at a megastore, fall for two girls who had nothing in common?
Chie had never particularly liked Saki Konishi. Hadn't known her well, just seen her around school, the shopping district, Junes. Her folks did business with Yukiko's family, and Chie'd spent the greater part of a year listening to Yosuke offhandedly rhapsodize over her. (Even when she hadn't been that way about him, it had been too much.) Heard all the rumors too, that she was a slut, then a slut who had to come back home because some college guy hadn't wanted her enough.
By then, Chie had been old enough to think: I don't know anything about this. So stop speculating.
But she still hadn't liked Saki. She seemed cold, self-conscious, her laugh sterile and her "Hana-chan" too tired and rehearsed.
So sometimes, when Chie Hanamura asked herself What do I have in common with Saki Konishi? she had to wonder: Maybe I do have something in common with her. Which thing that I don't like is it?
But then she'd jog or kickbox or veg in front of the TV with a movie marathon - things would look better after that. She was Chie, didn't matter if she was (wasn't) like Saki, she was happy with Yosuke (most of the time), and that was okay.
But now, most mornings when she was doing her Workout for the Expecting Mom (DVDs 3 and 4, specializing in the second trimester) drill, a new dread assailed her.
The baby was a girl. What if Yosuke wanted to name her Saki?
Namesakes were a common practice, of course. Chie had considered - briefly - naming the baby Yukiko, then decided that would get too confusing (never mind that Yosuke had had a thing for Yukiko too. What do I have in common with Yukiko?) And if she wasn't going with Yukiko, Rise and Naoto were definitely out. She considered her mother's name - Chika - then Yosuke's mother's name - Natsumi - then decided that would be even more awkward.
But Saki. Saki.
Saki who was Yosuke's first great love (of course she hated his guts), Saki with her oppressed adolescence (like anyone), Saki who was betrayed (maybe), Saki who suffered with a smile (part time worker at a megastore, cry me a river), Saki who died so hideously.
Chie had nothing snide to say about that.
But she didn't want her daughter to be named Saki.
Even if, in a movie, it would have been perfect. Even if it would've commemorated Saki for another generation. Even if it would comfort Yosuke.
Chie did not want it to comfort Yosuke.
A bit petty, maybe. But if he'd made a vow to eternally angst over Saki Konishi and her rejection of him and - yes - even her untimely death, what on earth was he doing with her? Or vice versa. She didn't know whose fault it was. She'd say it didn't matter. She just wanted to know he'd moved on. For his own sake.
Stupid second trimester hormones.
But now that they knew the baby's gender, they were going to have to really talk about it. Yosuke, about the baby, she needs a name and we'd better start arguing about it early... No way she'd carry that off without a concerned forehead pucker, maybe even that lift to her voice that always came when she didn't want it. And when he said it, Let's name her Saki, what was she going to do? No. No, I don't like it. It sounds too much like Konishi.
She already knew. He'd say Let's name her Saki, and there'd be that worried little wrinkle between his eyes - maybe the wistful tilt to his mouth - he'd be anxious, hoping she'd say yes, and then she'd say yes, and then she'd just have to learn that Saki didn't have to mean Saki Konishi even though it did because he'd never pick the name for any other reason.
Damn that wistful tilt.
Then one morning Yosuke walked in while she was broodily clicking through the DVD's menu, looked at her as if trying to remember something, then nodded and said, "Oh yeah, I was thinking: Emi."
"Emi." He shifted his weight. "Thought it was pretty, you know." He shrugged too casually, like he always did when it mattered. "Whatever, we still got time."
"You mean like a name for the baby?" It came out in a rush. So did the next question, and the forehead pucker, and the voice lift. "Does it mean anything special?"
"Something special." Like O woe I shall weep forever for mine beloved slaughtered schoolgirl love so let's name the baby after her in a wonderfully indirect way. Or even something like memory of love or sorrow or sad little flower or my wife is paranoid about this. She'd know it when she heard it.
Yosuke thought a moment, then shrugged again. "Like I'd know. I just thought it sounded nice."
"Oh." No voice lift, just a small relieved puff of breath. Then she shrugged too, trying just as hard to make it look nonchalant. "Sounds great."
Oddly enough, it did.