After the game, we all go and we eat dinner, my family asking random questions and getting to know Rose. A typical dinner for my family whenever anybody comes over.
“She’s a good artist actually.” I say. Somehow we went from talking about the US and then we instantly started talking about art. “Really?” Doniya asks her. “I happen to have the skills.” Rose says before sipping her drink. “I had taken her to my place and we went into my art studio for a bit.” I explain. “What kind of work do you do?” Mom asks her. “Anything really.” Rose answers.
“She can paint solid. She doesn’t have to make the outline with a pencil or anything. She can draw without an outline too.” I say. Rose looks at me. “She painted me once without even having to look at me.” I add. “Without a picture or anything?” Dad asks Rose. “Just my mind really. It wasn’t hard.” Rose explains.
“That’s amazing.” Safaa says, joining the conversation. “He’s better than me though. No doubt.” Rose says. “Now that,” I say, turning to look at her. “Is not true.” I end. She meets my gaze for a second before looking away.
“Have you sold any of your work?” Waliyah asks Rose. Rose looks up. “Not much of it but I have sold a couple pieces of work.” Rose answers her. “Hey Zayn I got a new ball. Can we play after dinner?” Safaa asks me. “Yeah I guess we can.” I say. “Can Rose play too?” Waliyah asks. “Play what?” Rose asks now. “Football.” I answer Rose. She looks at me for a second. “Like soccer?” Rose asks me. “Yeah.” I answer her, getting up and holding my hand out for her to take.
“Um. I’ll watch.” Rose says, taking my hand. “I’ll help Mom with dishes and I’ll play.” Doniya says to us. “No you go ahead Doniya I got it.” Mom says to her “Alright.” I say. “Zayn and Doniya and Safaa and Waliyah.” Mom says. “I’ll keep score.” Dad says to us. “Sounds good.” Safaa replies before going to get her ball. The rest of us go outside to the backyard.
Doniya and Waliyah go and and I stay with Rose for a minute. “You sure you wanna watch?” I ask her. “Yeah.” She says to me. I look at her and she meets my gaze a second after. I kiss her and she kisses me back. I pull away just as the door opens and out comes Safaa and Dad. “Game on!” Doniya shouts. “Good luck.” Rose says to me. I kiss her one more time before running off to play.
I watch as they begin to play, watching Zayn. “He’s pretty good.” Trisha says, coming out a few minutes later. “He is.” I say. “And he loves you.” She says, sitting beside me. “How can you tell?” I ask her. “The way he acts and the way he looks at you.” Trisha answers. I smile.
“Mom we need a player!” Waliyah shouts. “Alright then!” Trisha says. She gets up and goes to play. “Rose you wanna join in?” Doniya asks me. I shake my head. “Babe please?” Zayn asks me. He looks at me and I can’t say no. I get up and play with them.
We play and then after 30 minutes or so, Zayn passes the ball to me. I run and kick in, scoring the winning goal. “YES!” I hear Doniya shout happily. I run to Zayn and he picks me up as he kisses me, my arms wrapping around his neck. He sets me on my feet, our lips still attached for a minute.
“I knew you could do that.” Zayn says as we all go inside. “Didn’t even know I could do that.” I tell him as he fills the space between my fingers. We drink a bit of water and then Zayn says he’s gonna go take a shower and he goes up to our room. I follow him and sit on our bed as he goes to shower.
I guess I had nothing to worry about.