After the class, Anna stopped Ruth as she was heading out and said gratefully, “Thanks for distracting Ms. D’Souza. I don’t know what would have happened if you hadn’t stepped in…” her voice trailed off as she saw Ruth’s impatient expression.
“Yeah okay, don’t mention it. If you need to annoy someone, go piss off Talmeer. He’ll probably enjoy having his ego massaged. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go somewhere,” Ruth intervened.
Seeing Anna’s hurt look, her tone softened.
“Hey, I’m sorry. Didn’t mean to be mean. I just have to go right now, okay? Catch you later.”
So saying, she rushed out the door, leaving Anna to puzzle after her odd behavior.
“First she helps me out of a ditch, and then she snarks at me for thanking her,” she muttered to no one in particular.
“Yeah, she’s always been like that. Once, when we were in kindergarten, she screamed at a bully for pushing me into the sand pit. When tried to use my magic words, she kicked my shin. Sometimes I think that if she could run faster, she would make an excellent offensive footballer,” came Talmeer’s voice from behind, startling Anna.
She blushed, for Talmeer was one of the most popular guys in their school, and the best player in their junior football team. With his dreamy brown eyes, and a charming smile, Anna thought that he would make the perfect model for Apollo in the upcoming fashion show.
"Oh…that’s cool. So, you guys know each other for a long time, huh? Hey…I was wondering if you’d wanna do some modelling for the Greek Week fashion show,” Anna asked, blurting it all out to quick from nervousness.
“Yeah sure. That sounds like fun…Can I be Hercules?” Talmeer replied, striking a pose.
Anna laughed, and nodded her head.
"You know something, for a popular guy, you're really easy to talk to," Anna said in a matter-of-factly tone as she dug around her bag for a her notepad and a pencil.
Talmeer raised his eyebrows at her, amused,
"So, as per your assessment, popular guys are difficult to talk to, huh? That's interesting. Honestly, I must confide that I always found it exceedingly difficult to talk to beautiful artists," Talmeer replied with a theatrical sigh.
Anna blushed deep red right from the roots of her golden-brown hair to the tip of carefully manicured toes.
"When should I come along for the auditions?" Talmeer asked, trying to rescue Anna from her obvious embarrassment.
"If it's okay with you, right now is perfect. And by the way, your competition is nobody, nobody, and nobody in that order. So it isn't as much an audition as an empty formality. As long as you can look good posing, you're in," Anna replied, recovering as she turned her mind to more business-like matters.
"I have all the time in the world for you, my lady. Lead on, this brave knight shall follow," Talmeer said, with a little bow.
Anna curtsied back, at ease with Talmeer, now that the initial awe of talking to a high-school football legend had faded.
She started marching towards the art room at a brisk pace, with Talmeer at her tail.