Violet’s Octagon

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Chapter 2 - Octagon Gym

The next day went by a little quicker, thanks to my back-to-back meetings all day. I mentally patted myself on the back when I left work at 6; a reasonable hour by most standards.

I drove home, stopping off at the market to get a ready-made dinner.

I decided to go for a little run before the sun set. Pulling on my bright pink shoes and running gear, I headed off in my usual direction. Creature of habit, I always jogged on the same path.

Twenty minutes in, I slowed my pace a bit, feeling winded.

Lifting my gaze, I took a moment to admire the quaint neighbourhood I lived in. I loved the way the lush green yards gave way to charming brick houses, manicured landscaping and shiny eco-friendly cars. Kids were playing around in the streets and it reminded me why my ex and I had chosen this area. It was very family-friendly. He’d really wanted a family, but I didn’t, at the time. I guess he’d thought I would change my mind, but I just couldn’t help the fact that it didn’t feel right with him. Nor did it with anyone else. I was beginning to think I just didn’t want kids at all.

In this quiet community, I stood out like a sore thumb anytime I would take my vintage matte black motorcycle out for a drive. I didn’t consider myself a tomboy by any means; I loved to look pretty, wear dresses, and all that stuff. But something about the badass look of my bike and the roar of the powerful engine beneath me makes me tingle inside.

Drifting my eyes to a beautiful grey brick house, I noticed the owner taking out his trash. I was staring at his ripped back when he pivoted, and through my bobbing vision, I saw his striking face turn towards me. He stopped walking, and we locked eyes for a couple of seconds, until...

Bang!

“Fuck, ow!” I ran into a stop sign and banged my elbow hard enough to make my eyes prickle. Too embarrassed to turn around and face the witness of this mortifying scene, I picked up the pace. That was just like me. I shook my head and tried to pretend like it never happened.

A minute or two later I was standing on my porch, out of breath, and opening my front door. I grabbed my mail and walked into my house.

As I sorted through my mail on top of my console table, a card slipped out of the pile and fell onto the floor. I bent down to pick it up. It was a martial arts school with all kinds of classes ranging from basic selfdefense to MMA training. Octagon Gym, I read on the front of the card, and a bright yellow circle on it read, free trial class.

Hmm.

Maybe gaining a little knowledge on how to defend myself might help with my confidence.

And I was all for trying something I’d never tried before. I had been thinking of taking up yoga classes again, but why not try something a little less...silent. I already had a load of that when I came home to my empty house every night.

I picked up my phone. I knew they probably wouldn’t answer at this hour, but I wanted to leave a message, at least. I’d learned with time that making a tiny commitment quickly can help in keeping the larger part of the commitment later. I’d have less chance of talking myself out of it.

I waited for the tone, twirling the card in my hand.

“Yeah?” A gruff voice answered.

“Oh, uh...hi! I was calling...about the free trial class? Is this...Octagon Gym?” I was still a little out of breath from my run, and could barely say three words without panting.

“Yes it is. Are you okay?” The deep voice asked.

I walked over to the kitchen and rested my elbows on the counter hoping to catch my breath, but, “Ouch!” I got a painful reminder of my stop sign run-in. “Sorry, I was just...out for a run, and I banged my elbow on a stop sign...anyways.” Why had I just told a complete stranger about my embarrassing blunder?

There was a long silence on the other line and I wondered if he’d hung up. “Hello?”

“Y-yeah, um.” The man on the line cleared his throat and his voice sounded a little softer. “What kind of classes would you like to try?”

“I was thinking of taking...whatever selfdefense class you offer.” I answered hesitantly.

“Well, our selfdefense class is just one lesson so we don’t offer the free trial. I think the Krav Maga classes might be a better option. They’re great for women, and you’ll learn a lot more if you’re ready to invest a bit of time over the next few weeks.” His tone was soft but authoritative, too. It was difficult to put into words.

“Ok then, that sounds good to me.” My breathing was almost back to normal.

“Wednesday, 7 PM. Does that work for you? Just bring sportswear and you’re good to go.” He paused. “What’s your name?”

“Yes, that’s perfect! My name is Violet. Violet Peterson.”

“Nice talking to you Violet, I’ll see you on Wednesday.”

“Thanks, you too. Have a good evening.” And I ended the call with a buzzing feeling in my bones.

Suddenly, I can’t wait until Wednesday.

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