The elevator opened on the 46th floor, to a small foyer and one plain, grey door
The door opened and a young girl, 10ish, in a blue, polo, tennis dress, said, “Hi! I’m Karen, you must be Anais. Will is around here somewhere. Aren’t you pretty, though? You go to school with Lisa? No wonder Will likes you.”
She skippingly ushered me from a bright, windowed, off-white, staircase entryway, into a deep-red, mahogany paneled library. A persian cat was soon underfoot, purring and winding around my legs.”That’s Misha,” Karen said, “just shoo her away if you don’t like cats.”
I stooped down to pet Misha who eagerly offered herself to be petted and admired. As I stroked her charcoal fur, Karen said, “Let me get Will,” as she scampered off.
A gold framed, impressionistic painting, pin-lit in bright crystalline light, hung over a fireplace. In the painting, two girls, in summer hats bright with startling red bows and yellow flowers, were sharing a book. The colors were rich, deep and swirling - it looked very much like a Renoir (I know my French artists). He’d done a whole “two girls” series. I drew closer - it wasn’t a print.
Though dazed by the opulence, I hadn’t missed what Karen had said. Will liked me. I longed to interrogate her about how exactly she knew Will liked me, and what form, exactly, Will’s liking took.
I know Will and Lisa (who would be joining us in a minute) are just friends. Not that it matters, we’re heading back to New Haven later - but Karen’s statements were capable of activating a girl's guy-dar.
Karen, wearing socks but no shoes, came to a sliding halt, on the wooden floor, by grabbing the door frame to stop an otherwise complete slide into the library. “You guys are going to the Ritz for lunch?” she asked, looking back over her shoulder, in a way that indicated that she knew the answer quite well.
The Ritz Carlton is a block away and our mission was to grab the food and bring it back here to eat. “Mind if I join?” she said, before I could answer her first question, all wide-eyed, blinking impatience.
“I don’t mind at ALL.” I said, Karen whooped and was off again down the hall. “I’M COMING TOO!” she yelled. I chuckled, knowingly - I’ve been there - I’m a little sister too.
u-life on thanksgiving break