The disbelieving recognition of her designer athletic shoes (the one visible part of her where she was unafraid to display her family’s wealth) came to him at the same time he heard her voice. “Hey.” Rune looked up, saw Annie standing in front of the glass exit door he used every afternoon to begin his walk home from school.
She was leaning on her left leg, the right turned slightly outward, her right hand holding her left wrist at waist level in front of her gray down jacket. One backpack strap pulling down from the back of her left shoulder. A wool cap on her head, her long brown pony-tail hanging back from it, as if attached.
Her look was serious as his eyes caught hers. It was a look he recognized, but not from her, someone else had — Coach Dan. Just before reminding him, again, to get his arm fully extended before beginning his lunge. But that look quickly dissolved into a bright smile.
“Ready to go?”
Rune shook his head, made no attempt to conceal his confusion. “What — where did you want to go?”
“Home.” She blinked shook her head. “Sorry. Your home.”
Rune widened his eyes. “You’re giving me a ride home?”
“Nah.” She stepped forward, extending her right arm and hooking Rune’s left. “My parents went up to the city this afternoon. Something about the election, had to meet the campaign manager.” She twisted, tugged at Rune, propelled him forward with her. “Usually go to Gandy’s gym on days like this, but today I was like, let’s do something different, go to Rune’s house.” She pulled on her backpack. “We can study together.” With the hook of her arm, she pulled him close to her, as they approached the glass door. Her voice dropped to a whisper. “And we can be alone.”