Between the Lines

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Chapter 15

A group of butterflies were doing the latest Bollywood dance in Keeley’s stomach as she stood motionless in the brand new yoga studio, the sama vritti breathing technique she’d been practicing for the last ten minutes not living up to it’s promise of bringing peace and tranquility. The room looked as beautiful as she had hoped. The feeling was light and airy, providing an oasis of serenity and peace. The gorgeous hardwood floor shone. The wall hangings printed with motivational affirmations and the nearly life-size Buddha statue she’d found were perfect for the space. Himalayan rock salt lamps were working overtime to clean the air, along with carefully chosen large, leafy plants. The previous day , Kira had done another complete space clearing throughout the house, using both sage and bells, until she was satisfied that the energy was humming at the highest possible frequency. Now all that was required were some yoga students, hopefully a lot of yoga students.

Keeley had invited her sister and brother to come out for the grand opening, but Erin had declined, saying she had to work that day. Apparently Aiden was still angry about Keeley’s refusal to fund his business venture, because he hadn’t even bothered to respond to any of her messages. She was disappointed that neither one was coming, but not at all surprised. Kira had taken the day off work, bless her, and was there to provide moral support, and she was just like family. Kira had insisted on doing a tarot card reading that morning, and was happy to tell Keeley that the cards had indicated the opening would be a major success. Kira had taken up tarot card reading several years previously, and had done many readings for Keeley. Some of these had seemed uncannily accurate, and some had been less successful. Ambivalent as she was about the power of the cards, in this instance she would take all the positive indicators she could get.

Clare and Lily, as well as most of the other business owners around the square had let Keeley put up the promotional flyers she had made in their shops, and she had also taken out a large and expensive advertisement in the local paper. The word was out there, now she had only to wait anxiously to see if anyone came.

Nikki didn't appear to be at all worried, but then she had a lot less riding on the outcome. She stood at the front of the studio, arranging her mat and lighting a candle. Soft flute music came from her iPod speakers. Keeley wished she could summon up Nikki’s poise and confidence, but with her financial future riding on the success of this studio, that was proving elusive.

“Everything looks amazing. Where’s Max?” Kira asked.

“He’s banished from the studio. He has the run of the rest of the place, but I don’t want him in here in case he decides to attack someones toes. He has a dislike of bare feet for some reason. Plus, some people might be allergic to cats.”

To Keeley's relief, Kira’s interpretation of the tarot cards proved entirely accurate. There was a very respectable turnout for the first yoga class, and the grand opening of the studio. From the comments both spoken to her directly, and overheard as she moved around the room, Keeley was thrilled to learn that the opinions were very favourable. Although she hadn’t really doubted that they would be, she still breathed a sigh of relief that her potential customers appreciated her vision for the space.

Keeley was grateful to see many of her neighbors in attendance, and she also met quite a few new people. No men had been interested enough, or possibly brave enough, to show up for the class, but she hoped that once things got going, some of the women would bring their husbands, boyfriends or brothers with them.

A few exhilarating hours later, the studio had cleared out except for Kira, Nikki, Claire and Lily. Keeley poured sparkling wine into champagne flutes and handed them around to her friends. “Here’s to a great first day,” she toasted. “Thank you all so much for being here to support me, and for helping get everything ready. I couldn't have done it without you and it really means a lot to me.”

Nikki smiled. “I knew we’d get a good turnout. People will love coming to this awesome space. And giving them the first class free was a smart idea.”

“Just as long as they come back for the classes they have to pay for. I’m so glad you were teaching this class, Nikki. I’d have been way too nervous if I’d had to teach as well as worry about whether of not anyone was going to show up.”

“Ashley Banks might have been here just to check you out, but I'm sure most of them will be back” Claire predicted.

“Why would Ashley Banks want to check me out?” Keeley was puzzled at the thought. She’d seen Ashley at her father’s dealership that day of her interview, but she doubted very much that Ashley was aware of that, and until today, she had never actually met the woman.

“She’d want to see the woman that Daniel was spending his days and evenings with,” said Lily, smiling mischievously. “You probably don't know this, but they were a couple in high school. Word on the street is that Ashley wouldn’t be averse to reliving those days.”

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