Sophie took a deep breath and knocked on the dark wooden door. She felt like Queen Esther trying to gain an audience with King Ahasuerus. A moment later, she heard Sebastian respond for her to enter. He looked up from his work, and she thought she detected a look of surprise on his face.
“Is everything all right?” he asked.
“Yes, I was hoping I could talk to you for a moment, but if now’s not a good time, I can come back.”
“Forgive my manners.” Sebastian stood up and offered her a seat in front of the desk. “How did your morning go?”
“It went well. I guess I wanted to know what you’ll be expecting from me while I’m here.”
Sebastian’s eyebrows rose. “Well, to teach my daughter. I thought we established that.”
Sophie hurried to assure him. “Of course, I understand that part. I was curious what your involvement would be in regard to supervision of my teaching.”
He leaned back in the chair and stretched his arms over his head. “I see. I suppose you can think of me as an interested observer. I did check out your references, and I trust your experience with children. I won’t hinder your method of operation here, unless, of course, you decide to suggest a field trip on an African Safari.”
Sophie laughed, and Sebastian leaned his arms on the desk. “You find that amusing?”
“A little. You don’t have to worry about that right now. That’s part of the curriculum for next semester.” She saw him barely begin to smile, and spoke without thinking. “You’re very serious, Sebastian, aren’t you?”
She experienced regret right away, but Sebastian’s response alleviated repercussions from that slip of the tongue. “Actually, yes, I am, but I do have some sense of humor. I think you’ll be good for Ana, and I’m glad you’re here.”
Sophie took that as her exit cue. “Thank you for talking with me.”
“I hope I’ve cleared up any uncertainties in your mind.”
She started to walk out.
“Mrs. Andrews usually serves dinner around six o’clock. I hope you don’t mind, but I think it would be good for Ana if you eat with us, unless you have any objections.”
“Oh, that would be fine. I’ll see you later.”