“Yes, that was Lucy,” she replied. “Yes, Lucy Larson, my old roommate.”
“The one and only,” I said, heading over to the stove to grab the teapot. India also drank her tea like she went through men: quickly and voraciously.
“Lucy lives here,” India continued to explain. “No, obviously not year-round, dumb ass. The apartment here is her and her fiancé’s little love shack they do naughty, naughty things in.”
“India,” I hissed, pouring more water into her cup, “control yourself.”
“No, he’s not here,” India said, swatting my butt as I headed back from the kitchen. “He’s got some sort of football training camp thingy.”
“Thingy?” I called out.
She dismissed me with a wave. “I already asked her. She’s got an early flight out in the morning, so she’s taking a pass tonight.”
“Next time,” I called out again so Anton could hear me.
I had yet to meet India’s older brother, but I’d been part of enough of these three-way conversations that I felt like I knew him. In a lot of ways, he reminded me of my brother. He was protective of India, checking in on her almost daily, had a killer sense of humor, and never seemed to run out of things to say. In a word, Anton was charismatic.
“Will you shut your mouth for two seconds so I can get to the reason I’m calling you?” India interrupted after a few moments.
Taking my seat again, I heard Anton reply, “Shutting mouth.”
“Thank you,” India said, settling into her chair. “Are you still looking for an administrative assistant?”
India waited for his answer.
“And how much were you planning on paying per hour?”
India’s face squished when Anton answered. “Tell you what. You make that eighteen dollars an hour and I’ve got you the best damn administrative assistant you could ever dream to find.
“You’d want to interview her first?” she said, lifting her shoulders. “Okay. Interview her.” Lifting the phone toward me, she pressed the speaker button.
“Hey again, Anton,” I said, glaring at India for putting me on the spot. “Sorry my friend’s such a lunatic.”
“Lucy?” he replied, sounding as caught off guard as I was. “Don’t worry about it. Sorry my sister’s such a pushy maniac.”
“No biggie. I’m used to it after three years,” I replied, as I smiled innocently at her. She gave me the finger.
Anton laughed. His voice was so deep that when he laughed, it sounded like more of a rumble than a laugh. “So are you really looking for a job, or has India been eating too many ‘special’ brownies again?”
India glared at the phone.
“I’m really looking for a job,” I said, feeling like I should let him off the hook by saying I wasn’t interested in being an assistant, so he wouldn’t feel obligated to give me the job, but I needed a job, and working for Indie’s brother for the summer was better than about 99 percent of any other jobs I could find.
“Do you have any administrative experience?”
“No,” I said, “but I’m a fast learner.”
India shot me a thumbs-up.
“How many words per minute can you type?” Anton asked next, sounding every bit the professional businessman he’d become since graduating college a few years back.
I motioned to India, looking for help. She mouthed, “I don’t know.”
“Uh . . . some,” I said, grimacing.
Anton was silent for a moment. Probably trying to figure out a way to let me down gently. “What’s your proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite?”
“Well,” I said, trying to keep a level voice. Might as well have a little fun with this impromptu interview. “I’ve danced lead in The Nutcracker three times.”
India slapped her leg, rocking in her silent laughter. I swatted her, ready to burst into my own not-so-silent laughter when the sound of Anton choking on his own chuckles broke through the phone.
“Okay, Mr. Hotshot,” I said, “I’ve never worked in an office setting before, and I don’t know how many words I can type per minute or what my proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite is”—I made air quotes—“but I’m a hard worker. I’ll be there on time, and won’t leave until I’ve typed however many words you need me to. Okay?”
“Anything else?” Anton asked, partially composed.
“Yeah, one more thing. If you’re looking for one of those smiling, coffee-fetching, vacant-eyed bimbo types for an assistant, I’m not your girl.” This was positively the worst job interview in the history of interviews. Crash and burn, Lucy. Back to the want ads.
“Since I’m not big into bimbos,” Anton said after a few seconds, “and I really hate coffee and smiling, I’d say you just landed yourself a job.”
I gawked at the phone, certain I hadn’t heard what I thought I had.
India did a fist pump into the air as I remained silent.
“Can you start first thing tomorrow?” Anton was all business again.
I gave my head a swift shake. “I’m leaving tomorrow morning, but can be in at the crack of dawn Monday morning.”
“Not even one day on the job and you’re already requesting vacation days?” Anton teased. “What kind of employee did I just hire?”