Aisik smiled at the banter already starting around the table, only pulling a slight frown at Nick's unnecessary rudeness. This felt...nicer, than before; before when it was a bunch of spoiled or broken child stars having parties and getting smashed; before when he would slip out as soon as possible, ignoring the confused looks that the more outgoing cast members would send him. He knew that they never figured out the reason behind his leaving, assuming that it was simply his socially reserved nature; Make-up always did so well covering his cuts and bruises that-unlike his fellow stars who cleaned it off as soon as they could- he never took it off until he got home. “-ook wonderful. I had wanted to catch up earlier, but things got a little crazy. How are you?”
Emilia’s voice cut through his wandering thoughts; he'd been having quite a bit of the since coming back to America.
He turned and smiled at her. “I feel wonderful,”
he laughed, going off context clues to figure out what she'd said before he tuned back in. “Yes, things always get crazy when there are more than a couple of us together, but I'm doing well. Trying to readjust to speaking English all the time, of course,”
he said, forgetting for a moment that none of them- aside from Ashley, whom he had told about Israel a few hours earlier- knew that English wasn't his first language. He was one of many cast members with an accent, no matter how much he tried to hide it, but nobody could really peg it back in the day. And since he abstained from interviews as much as possible, the public mostly only knew him with Decky’s Boston accent. “How about yourself?”“It’s surreal, being back here.”
Emilia mused, “In Boston, on the sets… in Kaitlin’s head. It’s a strange feeling, being so happy to be back, while being sad about everything we’ve missed out on with each other. I’ve followed some of the live’s of the others but you… well, you’ve stayed well off the radar.”
Water had been placed at each place setting, as is customary for a restaurant of this class. Emilia took a moment to take a sip of hers, the cool liquid working to calm her nerves. It was that moment that her mind processed something said by Aisik, more of a slip than anything else, that she may have missed had she not been riveted by their reunion. Not wanting the moment to pass, Emilia raised a finger to keep Aisik from speaking and glossing over his possible slip.“You’re adjusting to speaking English again?”
she asked, her auburn locks falling subtly to one side as she cocked her head in question. “Oh,”
Aisik scratched the back of his head, realizing her confusion. “Yes, I, uh...well I went home, you see...after the shooting scene.”
He took a sip of water, hoping his embarrassed blush wasn't that obvious on his tanned skin.“That's why I...went off the radar, as you said; I went home to Israel.”
He paused, giving her a nervous smile before powering on. “I know I still had my accent when we were teens, but going back to your first language for ten years...it makes it easy to slip up when you'd only had about seven years of experience with the English language in the first place.”
Because while it was true that they had moved to America just after his sixth birthday, and that he had stayed there until he was seventeen, Aisik and his brother had spent their first four years in America isolated from education, only learning what little English they could from some of the kinder- and there weren't many- elderly people in their broken down neighborhood. Aisik had finally, at the age of ten, convinced his mother that since they were obviously staying much longer than she had expected, he and his brother needed a proper education. It took a level of endurance he hadn't realized he had to wear her down, but he had entered fifth grade remedial classes with a bruised cheek- roughly in the shape of a hand, not that anyone mentioned it- and a determined grin.
By the time he had reached the Edenridge auditions four years later, he was as fluent as any Boston teen who never even bothered with starting highschool. After a few reading errors at initial rehearsals, however, the producers and director did hire him a private tutor and dialect coach-though most of the cast had a coach, having not been from boston and needing to peg the accent for the show- to make sure he'd be able to keep up with the scripts, which were advancing in complexity as the show gained traction.
Emilia paused to order food as the waiter approached, gladly taking the chance to think on everything Aisik had admitted her. She looked around the table idly, noting that everyone else was engrossed in their own side conversations. Curiosity often got the better of Emilia, but she was hesitant to push Aisik on the subject of his hasty retreat from not only the show, but America as well.“Oh Aisik,”
she said, placing her hand lightly on his arm. “I never would have guessed. You’re English was always so good-is so good. Even those in the cast who came from other countries would often slip into their native accents during takes. But never you. You my dear, I bet you would have a fascinating story, if you ever chose to tell. Until then, I think I’m going to enjoy getting to know you again.”
Sensing Aisik would indulge her in no more tales from his past, Emilia raised her water glass in cheers before turning her attention to the table as a whole.
Aisik found himself barely tensing as Emilia rested her hand on his arm, and mentally patted himself on the back for the accomplishment before smiling at her. He could remember a few times he'd slipped up on takes and fallen back into his accent, but it was usually the more intimate scenes with Bella, as they put a certain stress on him that other scenes never could. He wasn't going to correct Emilia, though; from her experience, she really had never heard him slip.“Yeah…”
he smiled. ’If I ever choose to tell…’ “Getting to know you and everyone else again will be great.”
And just like that, the two’s conversation ended as the table as a whole drew them in.