Katia Raina

The Magic Mirror

My Name Isn’t Kate Anymore

In high school I called myself Kate. It sounded so much more American that way.

I was a skinny, needy, long-haired, sad and self-absorbed teenager in a barely-there skirt, vacationing in Miami, Florida, on a spring break, where I met a guy who would change the course of my life.

I  (Kate), traveled with my grandmother, my chaperone. One morning Grandma and I had somehow missed breakfast – we had overslept maybe; I don’t remember. I don’t remember how we ended up at a bus stop in the northern part of the city, in search of someplace to eat. All I remember is that our spirits were low. It was just an ordinary bus stop: a metal awning, a black bench. A place where I ended up finding a nourishment of the spirit that, fifteen years later, is still feeding me.

He wore a cotton shirt and nicely ironed pants. His curls were cute. Even his glasses were cute. He spoke with a French accent in a way that made me think he had no idea how sexy he sounded. We shared small talk.

“Is there a good place to eat around here?”

“Where are you from?”

“And where are you from?”

 I saw something in his sunny brown eyes – a light that called to me. On the bus, Grandma diplomatically looked out the window while he asked me what my name was.

“Kate,” I said. He frowned, as though he was confused. He looked at me as if he knew my name better than I knew it myself. The moment I saw him see me, I was becoming a different person already.

When I returned to New York, others noticed a difference in me. They weren’t sure what it was. But something had changed, they were sure.

  “Call me Katia,” I said to them.

   “Why?” they asked.

   “I don’t know.” I shrugged, beaming. It sounded more honest that way.

 “What happened to you?” my school friends asked. “Is it the suntan?”

   “I have met someone,” I told one of my friends. “I think I am going to marry him.”

I did marry him as soon as I graduated high school. In the course of the next fourteen years, I grew calmer. I turned outward. I saw the world in more colors than I ever had before. Having completed me, my love opened up the doors within me that had been locked. What had once been loneliness and longing became creativity. What had once been selfishness became an intense desire to share something with the world. What had once been neediness became love.

If you are reading this, my love, then one more time, happy anniversary!  

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August 22, 2010 - Posted by | Personal Mirror

5 Comments »

  1. I enjoyed this so much. I remember those aha moments in high school, too. And this is such a sweet love story.

    Comment by Medeia Sharif | August 22, 2010 | Reply

  2. Thanks Medeia! 🙂

    Comment by Katia Raina | August 22, 2010 | Reply

  3. I haven’t done much blog visiting lately so I was just catching up on your blog posts. I love your interviews and the way you painted this story. I can almost see you on that bus stop. Happy Anniversary.

    Comment by nanmarino | August 26, 2010 | Reply

  4. Thanks Nan — you are so sweet 🙂 (Oh and that’s right, I told you the story, didn’t I?) I miss you! We should get together soon!!!

    Comment by Katia Raina | August 26, 2010 | Reply

  5. Yes!

    Comment by nanmarino | August 28, 2010 | Reply


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