Steph smiled, nodded. “Prajakta’s very nice. Nausie’s good friends with her daughter, Shamayla. They’re from Indiana.”
Coach Dan couldn’t stop himself from rolling his eyes. “India, really.” He expected better of his friend.
“No . . . Indiana. They lived in Fort Wayne before moving here.”
“And she and her husband are Pakistani.”
“Well then,” Coach Dan replied, hoping the sudden change in his vocal inflection would alter the course of this conversation away from the rocky shores of his embarassed assumptions, “I had a good conversation with Shamayla tonight, during class.”
“Prajakta, you mean? Shamayla’s the daughter.”
Ahhh. “Prajakta, yes. Interesting woman.”
“She and Rahul have been through a lot.”
Rahul. Husband. Got it. “Yes, she tells a good story. Asks a lot of questions, too.”
Steph tilted her head, furrows on her brow displaying her growing confusion. “Really? That’s odd. I mostly have to pry information out of her.”
“Yes, really.” She looked back at Coach Dan. “Must be you, I guess. Shouldn’t be surprised — you have that way with people, Dan, you get them talking, asking questions. That’s why you’re such a better teacher than I.”
“That’s very generous of you.”
Steph turned in the direction of the service door, her face still pointed in Coach Dan’s direction. “Thanks again, and have a good evening,” she said, fully turning towards the door as Coach Dan turned back to his car, now covered in a thin layer of melted snowflakes.