“Thank you for having me, Mr. Booth.” Anja shook Mr. Booth’s (the principal at Midwood High) hand after she stood up from her seat.
“It’s my pleasure, Ms. Rockefeller. Feel free to visit us anytime.” He shook her hand with a firm grip.
Anja had some visitation duties because of the Rockefeller charity that gives financial support to private and public schools. The gala was a big success and it was decided that a majority of the money would go to that cause. She walked down the hallway with an air of confidence. It wasn’t something that Anja does on purpose. It was just the way she was raised, confident but not conceited and tough but nice (at least until you mess with her). She flashed the people who watched her a smile, waving at the few people who greeted her. She guessed they probably had Saturday classes or tutorial.
Once she was outside the school, the driver was there to open the door for her. Anja stepped inside the limo and came face to face with their family publicist. “Where are we heading next?” She asked Crista with a smile on her face.
“Ms. Victoria Du Pont’s preparation for her fashion show.” Crista looked up from her iPad and faced Anja. “She requested for you personally a few days ago and you agreed to help out in preparing instead of modeling because you might not be there on the day of the event.”
“Oh right! I almost forgot about that! Thanks, Crista.” She hugged her from the side while Crista froze in her seat. “Oops. Sorry, Crissy.” Crista nodded her head and gave the driver instructions.
After about five minutes of driving, Anja had finally arrived at the location. She took her phone out and gave Victoria a call to let her know she was there. She walked over to the door that she was hoping would lead her inside and was relieved that it wasn’t locked. “Hey, Victoria. I’m already here, where are—” she stopped, a smile crept on her face upon spotting a familiar figure.
“Anja! Thank God! You arrived just in time.” Victoria pulled her by the hand and led her to another room where she saw Samson working on what looked like letters. Anja stopped just by the doorframe and bit her lip.
“I’ll leave you two alone. I need to take another call.” Victoria winked at her and raised her eyebrows at Samson. She walked away from them before Anja could even say anything.
“But I—” She sighed and walked over to the table and placed her stuff on top. “I didn’t know you’ll be here.” She told him, avoiding his glance. Despite the success of their last meet up, things haven’t really changed between them. They haven’t talked since then and Anja didn’t see the point in initiating and looking like she still had feelings for him. “So, what do you need me to do?” She placed a hand on her hips, walked towards him, and watched what he was doing.
Samson was about 6 invitations in when he heard Victoria’s voice behind him, he turned to see her standing with Anja. He just about dropped the envelop he was holding. Samson was going to retort but Victoria had already left them alone. He gave Anja an awkward smile and waved, “Hey.. Yeah, somehow I got stuck volunteering for this. I don’t know how Adi got out of helping.” He shook his head, unimpressed. ”Well, I guess we’re on invitation duty; addressing envelops, personalizing invitations, sealing and then putting stamps on the ones we need to mail. I don’t think we’ll get that far today though. There are like thousands for us to do..” Samson motioned to the boxes covering the table and the floor around it. ”Oh, and we have to be neat. I know how picky Victoria can be. So be careful not to smudge.”
Samson rolled his shoulders; he was a little stiff from his morning training session at the gym, and cracked his knuckles before picking up a pen to start the next invitation. ”How about you just start with the names on the next page?” He advised Anja as he got back to work, slowly copying the name on the list, letter by letter, making sure not to touch the wet ink. He worked silently for a minute before talking. ”How was your week?” he asked casually.
Samson was somehow tricked into volunteering for his Aunt Victoria’s charity fashion show and auction. He didn’t understand why he was needed; it wasn’t like he really cared about fashion, nor did he know how to plan events, nor did he like planning events. He was standing against a wall in the hallway with his arms crossed across his chest when his Aunt finally showed up to unlock the door to her workroom. ”Hey!” Samson greeted, standing up straight and helping Victoria with the things she was carrying. He pushed the door open for her and followed her into the spacious workroom/studio. He put the fabric he had taken from her on to one of the large tables and took the rest of the things from her arms. ”What exactly do you need my help with, Vic?” He scratched his head, “Wouldn’t Adi be a better choice for something like this?” Samson pointed to the fabrics and sketches of dresses pinned to a corkboard on the wall.
“I need all the help I can get Samson, I think someone other people are coming to help today too.” Said Victoria as she twisted her hair into a bun. “You can start addressing invitations, there’s a list over on that table. You might have to look up some addresses online.. I can’t remember who else we’ve added to the list..” Victoria was friendly, but Samson could tell she had about 1000 things on her mind. He wanted to whine a bit, but decided to keep quiet. Instead, he nodded once and walked over to the table she had pointed to. ”There are like 2000 invitations here! How the hell am I supposed to do this?” He shouted across the workroom to Victoria. “I’m not expecting you to do it all today! Just get started with it. We’ll just chip away at them over time.” Victoria explained as her cell phone started ringing, “Another volunteer should be showing up in half an hour I think… Hello?” Victoria held her cell to her ear using her shoulder, and walked out into the hallway, talking fast.
Samson sighed, Get to work Samson. He told himself and started writing addresses on envelopes as neatly as he could.
Anja’s eyes widened upon realizing that she didn’t get to hang out with Adi or Natalia at the party. “Oh my word. I hope she doesn’t hate me or anything. I didn’t get to talk to her or Nat at the party.” She groaned, looking up at the ceiling. “Never again, will I let Alex do that to me. Ever.” She was both thankful and annoyed at her brother. Thankful because he kept her occupied from thinking about Samson and Riley. Annoyed because she didn’t get to hang out with her friends. “I’ll probably just take her shopping or something when she wakes up. I was supposed to hang out with mum, but obviously she’s ditching me because of you.” She shrugged; her eyes furrowed a bit and a small smile was on her lips. “She’s crazy to even call this a ‘date.’ Would you call it that?” She chuckled, “Sometimes I feel like she might just take your side over mine because she really did love the idea of us together. I think she still does, actually.” She looked at him just in time to see him call the waiter for the check. “And don’t worry about it. I’ll take it. Mum did invite you anyway.” She took out one of the golden three, placed it inside the black receipt jacket, and handed it to the waiter along with her mother’s unfinished plate. “What about you? Any plans today?” She asked curiously.
Samson nodded, “Yeah, Alex said something about a list of dance partners..” He chuckled, missing his best friend who was still in Las Vegas. Samson raised his eyebrows, “A date?” He considered his answer for a second and then shook his head. ”I don’t think so. I mean, if anything it’s an accidental date.. But, nah. Not a date.” He thought of what Anja was telling him, “I guess I understand that though, I mean it makes sense for a Rockefeller to date a Du Pont. Like there are only some pairings that people just expect, you know?” It was a society expectation that New York’s famous families would be tight. Samson was too slow at reaching for the receipt, “I should’ve paid, especially if this is supposed to be a date..” He winked and pushed his wallet back into his pocket before he could even fully take it out. ”Plans… hmmm,” Samson made a face as he thought of what he had to do. “Definitely try to get over this hangover.. Maybe take a nap.. I need to get a couple new sticks for lacrosse practice next week, maybe some other stuff too.” He shrugged and stuck out his bottom lip; sounded like a chill day.
Anja leaned back in her seat with a silly smile on her face. “She’s doing it on purpose like Rosita and everyone else. I could tell.” She admitted. It was true, though. Anja couldn’t help but wonder if they talk about it or it just so happens whenever Anja and Samson were together, people like giving them some time alone. “I guess she knows we won’t talk unless we’re forced to.” She chuckled, taking her cup from the table and sipping from it. “So don’t worry about you scaring her cause I’m pretty sure you didn’t.” She was a bit relieved to hear that he wasn’t going to go anywhere. A part of her still liked having him around, though the more dominant one was the part of her that was hurting. “You sure? I mean, if you’re worried about mum, it’s her fault she left.” She shrugged. “Adi’s still sleeping eh? No wonder she’s not replying to my messages or taking any of my calls.” She chuckled and took out her phone from her purse. She checked the messages and instantly rolled her eyes when she saw a new text message from her mother. Anja, darling. How’s your ‘date’? Best of luck. ;) “I knew it!” She said louder than she had planned. “Look at this.” She said as she showed the text message to Samson.
Samson nodded, “Well she got home after I did, and I didn’t see her up this morning. It’s still morning, I’ll let her sleep in.” He shrugged. He was actually sort of happy that Adi had got in late and slept in; it meant he didn’t have to explain Riley’s presence at their house to his sister. Samson saw Anja roll her eyes as she looked at her phone, “Hmm? What is it?” He leaned forward and read the message on her phone and gave her an exaggerated wink. He laughed as he leaned back in his chair, “Gotta love your mom!” He sighed. He wondered if Mrs Rockefeller would act the same way if she knew the whole story of what happened between him and Anja, and if she knew that he had taken a girl home from her gala last night. Samson’s eyes flickered up to Anja’s face; she hadn’t mentioned anything about knowing that he had left with someone, even though Gossip Girl had already announced it. He bit his lip a little, and then finished off the coffee in his cup. He waved to their waiter and motioned with his hand for the check. ”So what are you doing today?” He said looking back at Anja.
Anja placed a hand on her forehead, chuckling as she shook her head a bit. “To you, maybe. To the rest of the population, not so much” Anja had always been the girl people liked quite easily, but Mrs. Dubham was hard to break even for her. She remembered how back then, Mrs. Dubham developed a soft spot for her upon finding out she was Samson’s girlfriend. “She likes you, you know.” She joked. It’s not that hard not to like him so she couldn’t exactly blame Mrs. Dubham. Samson struck Anja as the kind of guy who always knew what to say at the right time. Anja could see right through the charm most of the time, but she wasn’t completely immune to it. She just had the will power to look like she did.
“That’s true. Even back then, you hardly helped me organize and plan events.” Anja slipped a bit, but she ignored it, not wanting to dwell too much on the topic cause things might take a turn for the worst. “Same here. Alex kept me occupied whether I like it or not. I think he felt like I won’t stay dancing all night long so he came up with some crazy idea that actually worked.” She dropped her utensils on the table all of a sudden, making a clanging noise that echoed in the restaurant. “What? She wouldn’t dare.” She looked at her mother’s plate that was hardly even touched. It’s not like Anja would let the food get thrown out. She sighed before she searched the room with her eyes. “People always do this when I’m with you.” She finally looked at him and smiled a bit. “I guess you can leave now if you wanted to.”
Samson gave her a blank stare for a couple of seconds before looking down at his hands. Back then. The words were difficult to hear from Anja. He nodded slowly, letting the words sink in as she carried on talking about the gala. Samson didn’t like the idea of them having divisions in their relationship; while they were dating it just felt like a natural progression from their friendship, but once they broke up it was like everything that had happened before didn’t matter. Their book had closed, and a new one wasn’t going to open. That was their ‘back then’ and they weren’t ever going to have a now. It was tough because Samson had to basically find his natural tendencies around her; he was always so comfortable around her, but that sort of had to be left in the back then.
Samson looked around, “I just can’t see her anywhere.” He chuckled and shrugged. ”People must really not like me if I keep scaring them away.” He made a worried face, he was only joking, but he really didn’t understand why everyone seemed to want to leave Anja with him. He took a deep sigh, “It’s not like I have anything else to do right now.. I’m pretty sure Adi is still asleep.” Samson shrugged, not knowing if leaving the table would be appropriate, especially if Mrs. Rockefeller did come back.
“Oh just admit it,” Anja waved her hand in the air. “Even Mrs. Dubham became angelic after you talked to her. My charm hardly ever worked on her and you know how good I am with adults.” She raised an eyebrow and smirked. It was true, though. Mrs. Dubham was one of the toughest adults known to mankind. It didn’t help that she liked cats while Anja was a known dog lover, but Mrs. Dubham was always nicer whenever Samson was around.
Anja bit her lip as she listened to him speak. “Kind of. I mean, I enjoyed planning it more than attending it.” She shrugged. “It was fun. It’s not everyday I get to see Tristan in a suit too.” She chuckled. She turned a bit red when she remembered what Tristan said about her laugh being adorable. “Umm, yeah. It was weird, but I also saw you dancing. You’re not so bad yourself.” She smiled at him.
Samson laughed at waved a dismissive hand at her, “I don’t know what you’re talking about, Mrs. Dubham is lovely.” He explained, a little sarcastically. It wasn’t as if Samson purposely used his charm to get his way, it was a natural habit for him to be charming; it wasn’t always an obvious thing, but people seemed to find something they liked about him that put him in good light in their minds. It was probably growing up as a Du Pont that taught him how to be a charmer; all those dinner parties with adults, he learnt how to be an impressive and darling boy from a young age. His uncle had taught him to live life to the fullest, and complaining and being negative didn’t exactly fit that attitude; he always tried to be charming, optimistic, happy. Tried being the key word.
He nodded, “Yeah, well I guess I’m sort of the opposite.. I like attending things more than planning. Which is great, because no one ever asks me to help plan!” Samson chuckled. ”I liven up dance floors, though, so I always seem to be invited.” Anja mentioned Tristan, and then chuckled. Samson’s immediate response was to smile because her laugh made him smile, but he didn’t want to acknowledge Tristan. He gave a slightly forced smile and pretended to watch a waiter walk by behind Anja; avoiding her eyes for just a second. He turned back to look at her, and nodded. ”Yup, I was out their for most of the night.” He shrugged, basically every single girl had danced with him; either by asking herself or by getting their parents or aunts to introduce them to Samson. He looked around the restaurant quickly again, “I honestly think your mom may have left..” He chuckled, he was trying to change the topic before Anja could ask where he was the rest of the night, when he wasn’t dancing with girls; he knew his distraction was weak.
I’m sure it wont. Well the maids can’t really do anything about it. Plus, mum and dad are never home so whatever.
I’m having a hard time feeling okay about this… I might just have to pretend I don’t know.. Little Tams is smoking and stuff.. Weird.
Well now you do, Sammy.
Yes, I guess I do.. Hopefully it doesn’t affect your athletic performance.. Also, if you’re trying to be sneaky about it, burn some candles or something so the maids don’t notice the smokey smell on everything.. Just a tip I picked up..
Anja bit her lip in an attempt to stop herself from smiling. She placed a hand on her forehead as she shook her head. “Yeah, you probably would’ve. Though I think Adi can take care of herself. God knows what she’s capable of.” She nodded her head and took a spoonful of her food. She took time to chew her food before swallowing it. “I think he wouldn’t have stopped. He’s impulsive and rarely regrets anything. It’s both admirable and scary, if you think about it… yeah, that is one heck of a bloody— I meant, lovely— photo.” She stuck her tongue out at him, refusing to look at the photo one more time. She didn’t mind gory things, but she did mind how that photo brought way too many emotions back.
“Oh… I guess you’re right.” She said, pulling away a bit, as she forced a smile on her face. Maybe it isn’t that visible and I was the only one who actually noticed it. How embarrassing. Anja thought to herself as she tried to think of something else to say. Back when things were better between them, she never found it hard to talk to him. Even when she ran out of things to say, the silence between them wasn’t awkward. It never made her as nervous as she was at that precise moment. “As surprising as it may sound, I’m glad you got through that alive. Don’t take it to heart too much.” She spoke so casually as if she didn’t mean what she just said (even if she really did mean it). “Yeah, totally.” She agreed sarcastically before she took a sip from her drink. “Don’t most girls think you’re some kind of a cool guy for getting beaten up but living through it and lacking scars too? Plus, you know you’re charming. I don’t even need to say it.”
Samson didn’t notice it, but they were almost having a normal conversation; something he hadn’t expected for a long long time. Even when they were together, they were able to move past things pretty quickly; things could go from good to bad, or bad to good in a blink. They always had their ups and downs, and this brunch was a perfect example of how quickly things could change between them. Samson laughed and made a face, “Nah..” He had always been told he was a charmer, but it wasn’t something he did on purpose, it’s just a natural instinct for him.
“So… Did you have a good time at the gala?” Samson asked, continuing their conversation casually. ”It’s kind of weird that we didn’t run into each other, but I saw you out dancing..” He had spotted her dancing with that guy Tristan, but he didn’t need to mention the guy’s name. ”You looked great.” He grinned.
Thank goodness, now I can smoke inside my room.
.. I didn’t know you smoked Tams..