Maya was done. Her life seemed to be going down the tube, and it all started with Juliana and Akira. She really liked him. Although the unfortunate situation was none of their faults, she couldn’t help but feel like Juliana took him away from her. On the heels of that was the breakup with Anthony. She went into that conversation with such a smug attitude. All of her defenses were down. Then…WHAM! He sucker punched her in the gut and knocked all the wind out of her lungs. It still angered her to think about. Now, she had no one. No one to kiss. No one to tease. No one to worship her. No one to dream about. No one to pursue. Life sucked. Big time.
After stewing about it for a day, she decided to do something about it. Call it rage flirting, flirting for revenge, or whatever, she was determined to make herself feel better, and some innocent dude was going to pay. She put on her gym clothes and went to Sky Fitness in San Myshuno. That place was certain to be full of muscle-bound men looking to show off for some willing ladies. It was perfect.
Maya had no intentions of working out; she hated the thought of it. But, if everything went according to plan, she wouldn’t need to even look at a machine. Before she began her game, she went upstairs to the bar to get in character and imbibe some liquid courage.
She took a few sips of her beverage and sashayed downstairs to get to work. No sooner than her foot stepped on the main floor, someone spotted her.
“Hey,” a male voice called out to her.
My! This is going to be easier than I thought!
She turned around to address the man and inspect his face. He looked like he was her father’s age and even had the same haircut and beard as him. If she were looking for a partner, he definitely wouldn’t make the cut. But, she was only out to be adored. Any man would do.
“Yes?” she said innocently.
“You can’t have that drink down here.”
As if he suddenly noticed how beautiful and shapely she was, his posture changed, eyes squinted and voice deepened as he looked her over from head to toe. “But…as long as you don’t spill anything, I won’t make you leave.”
As if he could hear her thoughts, he told her he was one of the trainers to lend himself some credibility. She thought his performance was hilarious, but so far he did not disappoint. She was highly entertained.
“Oh…I’m sorry,” she said sweetly. “I didn’t mean to break the rules…”
“Don’t worry about it. Your first time here?” he asked.
She feigned shyness and said, “Is it that obvious?”
He ate up her innocent, bashful act and seemed pretty pleased with himself. Inside, she was laughing.
Someone called for him, and he looked like he wanted to strangle that person. “Well…it looks like I am needed. I’m around if you need help. Be careful with that drink.”
He turned around and attended to his client. Maya chuckled quietly and walked around the gym scoping out prospects to implement Project Worship Me. The gym, however, was surprisingly empty at the time, and she was discouraged. Against her better judgment, she decided to try boxing. Her father seemed to enjoy it, and the bag was free, so maybe she could let out a little frustration on it while wasting time waiting for more
potential victims patrons to queue up.
She thought about punking out but decided to give a try. The gym trainer noticed her getting into position, however, and came to help her.
“Hope your drink was refreshing. Let’s see what you got!”
“I don’t really know what–”
“You’re not gonna hit anything standing like that,” he said.
“But I wasn’t gonna–”
“You need to stand up straight! You’re gonna hurt yourself hunched over like that!”
“I didn’t come here to box!”
“Well, you’re here now. Hit that bag!”
She took a deep breath, readied herself, and threw a punch.
“Heeeeey! She hit the bag,” the trainer joked. “And it moved! Hit it again.”
It didn’t feel as bad as she anticipated, but she hoped this dude didn’t plan on making her do a full on routine. She had a game to run. After a few more punches, she felt his hand on her side attempting to straighten her posture. Mr. Gym Trainer was enjoying his mentoring a tad bit too much.
“Hit it again!”
Usually, she would welcome the touch of a handsome stranger, but this was not the guy for that job.
“Hands off,” she yelled with a one-two punch.
He laughed. “You’re a feisty one, huh?”
“Are we done?” she asked.
“Sure. Hey…I teach kickboxing classes on Tuesdays if you…you know…wanna learn.”
“I think I’m done with this for a while. Maybe forever.”
“Hmmm…that’s too bad.”
She felt his eyes crawling down her back.
“I think you’d be good at it,” he said.
“You think?” She tried to slip past him.
He blocked her. “Suuure! All you need is one hour a day and you’ll be a pro in no time!”
She laughed nervously. “No thanks. I gotta go now.”
She wasn’t used to being known by name in that area though the voice sounded familiar. She looked around and saw a handsome gentleman running on a treadmill addressing her.
“I thought that was you,” he said.
Butterflies flitted around her stomach and she didn’t know why. She didn’t know him, but somehow she knew they weren’t on the same level.
“It’s nice to run into you again,” she said genuinely.
“You come here often?”
To lie, or not to lie. What kind of impression should she give this guy? Her original intent was to garner admiration from anyone who wanted to give it, but is that what she wanted from this guy? From what she remembered from their first meeting, he seemed real. Like, someone she would want to have as a friend…or maybe something else.
“I’ve never been here before,” she said. That seemed to be the safest true answer.
“Oh, ok. I like this gym. It’s near home and has an exceptional view. I think I run longer when I stare out at that.”
She looked out the windows in front of them and agreed it was a stunning view. “Well…honestly, I don’t do much working out.” She hoped that wasn’t terribly off-putting for him.
“Oh yeah? I wouldn’t have guessed that.”
She appreciated the hidden compliment, but he didn’t know how much her sedentary lifestyle had affected the shape he supposedly appreciated. She didn’t like how full her cheeks had gotten and having to buy bigger pants, but she hated working out even more. For the present time, she thought she was still attractive and showed off her body confidently. If things ever got out of hand, she’d look into buying that InstaLean stuff they sold on TV at 3:00 in the morning.
“I saw you over there boxing,” he said. “Did you like it?”
“It wasn’t bad, actually. I thought I would break my wrists or something, but I’m still in one piece.”
“Ha! I know what you mean. I don’t go near the bag much myself.”
“Is that guy always so handsy?” she asked.
He snorted. “Yeah. He loves the ladies, but he’s harmless.”
As charming as Vik seemed, he was hard to read. He seemed like he may have been interested, but then again, he could have been just a nice guy. Either way, she wanted to know more about him and decided to ask him out. But, she was nervous. She wanted this guy to like her, and for the first time, she felt like she had something to lose. She couldn’t strike out.
“Well… I should let you get back to your run…”
She chickened out and hated herself. To her surprise, he stopped the treadmill and got off.
“Nah. I was just doing a little warm up.
“But uhhh, we keep running into each other. Maybe should hang out on purpose sometime.”
Her heart skipped a few beats, but she maintained her excitement. At least she hoped he couldn’t tell how giddy she was on the inside.
“Yeah. I’d like that.”
She couldn’t stop smiling. They exchanged information.
“Cool. Well…I’ll see you soon then,” he said.
The way he looked at her seemed so genuine, and his smile was so sweet. She couldn’t believe her luck. Her day definitely did not go as planned, but the results were far better than any plan she would have concocted. She didn’t want to get her hopes up and set herself up for another disappointment, but she couldn’t help it. She had a really good feeling about this one.