Partners (500Words, Round 3, Day 7, 2/20/18)
“Coffee IS the answer from God.” Charlie snapped the book closed and tilted back in his chair so his feet were free to swing. “All done – can we sign off now?”
“Charlie, Coffee is NOT an answer we can submit to Ms. Grento.” Anli fought to keep her face straight. Charlie’s playful smirk was visible and impactful, even on her computer screen. She didn’t want to get distracted by him and end up having to do all the work on this project. “Look, if you don’t know the answer or how to find it we can-“
“I never said I didn’t know how to find the damn answer, Anli. I’m just as smart as you.” He dropped his chair back down onto the floor and pulled the book closer to him. “Having some wit might do you some good, you know? Ms. Grento might appreciate me more than you seem to – I’m getting an A so far. It’s not like I’m stupid or anything.”
Anli watched his smirk turn into an angry pout and she almost took back her words. Almost. Her jab had done what she intended and she wasn’t ready to undo its effects just yet. They had to present their statement of intent tomorrow. Work first, then play.
“Wit is all fine and well.” Anli decided to offer up a bit of an olive branch. “We can get witty with the presentation. For now, we need to stay focused and come up with a logical premise for our report. What do we really think God is telling us, and how can we prove it? I don’t want to take the risk of-“
“God, no. No risk taking here. Not with Obedient Anli. Safe and steady, right? Safe and steady.”
Charlie’s face left the screen as he got up and started pacing. Anli was glad he’d stood up too fast to have seen her face. She knew, of course, what the others said about her. Knowing and hearing it directly felt different. They were right, too. She did prefer to stay safe. She was obedient. She didn’t know how not to be, really, and keeping things steady felt good and comfortable.
Anli also knew what the others said about Charlie. Everyone wanted his attention, and most of them were willing to follow his lead to get it. Anli had managed to keep herself from getting paired up with him until now. That they had to work together on this project was almost unbearable. “Yes, Charlie. Safe and steady and according to the rules. Not your cup of tea from what I’ve heard.”
Charlie’s legs stopped moving. Anli watched as he slowly turned towards the camera and walked towards it, crouching down to put his face right up to it so her whole screen was full of him. His brows were furrowed as he spoke. “I’m sure whatever you’ve heard about me is wrong.”
Anli leaned forward towards her camera and raised her eyebrows. “I may be safe and steady and slow and obedient. I am rarely wrong.”


*This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons real or imagined is unintentional

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