Once your teacher dismissed the class, you rushed your way out of the classroom to meet Dashiell, who had been waiting for you for the past hour. Dashiell was a good friend; you had met a few months before through a mutual friend, who had insisted in introducing you once she had found you were fond of theater. “Dashiell’s parents are theater people!” She had exclaimed, reaching for your hand to pull you along the busy corridors. Now that you knew him, you were thankful for your friend’s insanity. Dashiell was sixteen, two years younger than you were, but his sense of humor matched yours perfectly. Today, you were going to his house for the very first time, along with two other friends, to watch a film. “My house is equipped,” He had told you with a smile, and everyone else had burst into laughter. You guessed that it was because his parents were theater people, but you had not questioned him any further.
As the four of you walked to his house, Dashiell turned slightly to gaze you, “Y/N, how do you react to meeting famous people?”
You lifted a single brow at his question, surprised, “Normally…?”
One of your mutual friends, who was walking between you, nudged you with their arm, “That’s about to change.” A small giggle escaped your lips in response, and your companions continued to talk between them, moving on to a funny event Dashiell had witnessed the same morning. For a moment, your mind wandered. Could Dashiell’s parents be that famous? Perhaps rising playwriters, or C-list actors… You doubted that any widely recognized celebrity would enroll their children in your high school, of all.
“Y/N? Do you?” The pitched voice interrupted your thoughts, pulling you back to reality.
You lifted your hand to rub your neck, realizing that you had not been listening, “Huh? Do I what?”
The three teenagers began to laugh, and Dashiell shook his head, “Nerd.”
You couldn’t believe the size of Dashiell’s home as he showed you around, introducing each room, as well as some curious pieces of art on display over the furniture here and there. “And this is the kitchen,” He opened his arms as you all entered the kitchen, inviting you to contemplate the bright space. Your eyes instantly spotted a tall blonde woman standing by the counter across the room. Even with her back towards you, she seemed somewhat familiar. Dashiell’s voice caught her attention, however, and she twisted her body to look back at you.
You almost didn’t recognize her. Her face was bare, without a trace of makeup. She wore a simple t-shirt, tucked in some baggy black trousers. A pair of glasses rested comfortably on the top of her head. Her eyes gave her away, however. Icy blue irises, gazing you up and down… The corners of her lips curved as Dashiell approached her, and she leaned down slightly to kiss his cheek. “Hi, darling.” She greeted him, eyeing him for only a moment before turning to the door, where you stood motionless. You realized, then, that you were standing alone. Your other two friends were already making their way to her across the room, abandoning their backpacks behind them, somewhere on the floor.
“Hey, Miss Blanchett.” One of them saluted her, their tone casual.
“Nice to see you again,” The woman lifted a regal hand and extended it, and the teenagers took their turns to shake it. Although it was a formal gesture, there was not any tension between them. In fact, the teenagers seemed quite at ease, you noted. “But no backpacks in the kitchen, children.” Her voice was gravelly and imperative, but in her face rested a tender smile.
Your friends pretended to be offended, and one rolled their eyes, “We’re sixteen, Cate.” The sound of her name entered through your ears right into your mind, and dropped down to your stomach. You found yourself surprised that they dared to use her name with such serenity. At the same time, it was a confirmation of what you had known since you had walked in and met those eyes, and since the others had first greeted her. You were standing in Cate Blanchett’s kitchen. And her eyes were on you yet again… as a lioness acknowledging her prey.
“Aren’t you all going to introduce your new friend?”