“I just don’t get it,” Amalia sighs, her body crumbling down beside me on her mat.
“What don’t you get?” I ask my tone already wary of the conversation ahead.
“I thought things were going well, I’d bought her a drink, well— four drinks and she seemed so— so cool, but then—,”
“But then what?”
“Then this other woman turns up, drapes her arm over her shoulder and kisses her— I mean properly full on frenched her right in front of me,”
“Well you win some you lose some Amalia, maybe you’re just losing your touch,”
“Please— I have the hottest ass in Seattle, no woman could resist this,” she triumphantly grins, smacking her backside before stretching up and folding herself over, her hands flat against her mat.
Amalia had been a customer in the beginning, but it wasn’t long after I’d moved to Seattle and found and then set up the yoga studio, that she soon became my best friend and then eventually I offered her the opportunity to work alongside me.
“Amalia— there are plenty of women out there for you, you just haven’t met the right one,”
“Says you. You have men fawning all over you. You could wear a paper bag and they’d come,”
“Please— that is both ridiculous and totally disgusting,” I retort, throwing one of the lilac coloured bolsters her way. Dodging my near-perfect shot, she tumbles down onto her mat again, narrowing her eyes playfully at me as I try to stifle a laugh.
“That could have hit me,”
“My aim must be weak today, I don’t usually have any trouble,” I laugh with a wink but stop as the small bell above the door to the reception rings out.
“Your turn,” I chime as I stand from my mat.
“Uh— I believe it’s your turn. I had to deal with that bad-tempered old man earlier— remember? I mean, why come in if you’re going to get crabby about the price of a yoga mat?”
“Because some people just can’t help themselves,” I reply, lifting my mat from the floor and hanging it back up on the shelf against the wall.
“Well,” she chimes, “Look who showed their pretty little face today,” I hear her call out as she disappears.
With a roll of my eyes, I hear fits of giggles erupting from the reception and with a piqued interest I walk out to see what has Amalia so cheerful. I’m met with green eyes. Creased a little at the outer corners, I can feel myself surveying the rest of the face they belong with and can’t help but swallow when I see a soft but straight nose, tousled blonde hair, a short but spiky beard and the most beautiful smile hidden behind it, and I’m pretty sure there are dimples hiding somewhere underneath all the hair.
“Hello? Earth to Sunday?” I hear Amalia chime.
“When you stop ogling our customer, maybe I can introduce him,” she smirks, crossing her arms in front of her chest.
I feel my cheeks flush, my hand cupping my cheek as I smile a timid smile and look to the floor.
“This is my socially awkward friend Sunday—, Sunday this is Oliver. I’d like to say she doesn’t normally stare, but I have noticed on the odd occasion that she drools,”
“Amalia!” I exclaim, feeling my cheeks burn.
“Sorry,” she chuckles as her hands sit flat against the desk.
“So Ollie— what can I get you today handsome?”
With a smirk and a soft chuckle he looks to me and then returns his attention back to Amalia, “I need something for Amy’s birthday and she loves yoga as you know, so figured I could buy her a new mat or cushion or one of those cork things,”
“Sure thing. Any particular colour or pattern?”
“Mali—, look at me. I hardly look like the type of guy to do yoga,” he scoffs and I’m instantly irritated.
“You think men can’t do yoga?” I ask, cocking a brow, my arms crossed against my chest.
“I never said that, but Mali knows me well enough to know that I don’t do yoga,”
“And why’s that?”
“Because it’s something only women really do, and besides—, it doesn’t look that hard, it’s only a bit of bending and stretching,”
I can see Amalia glance towards me, knowing that I’m about to lose my patience and so quickly stands beside me, her hand resting on my shoulder.
“Why don’t you just tell me what you want to buy for Amy and I’ll find something, that way you can leave with a present and your balls still intact,” she warns, tapping me with her hand signalling that it would be best if I go.
Turning on my heel, I disappear back towards my studio but hear Oliver call out, “I didn’t mean to cause any offence,”
I wave my hand through the air as I walk away, and sit myself against one of the benches, breathing in deeply and counting to 20.
In with anger— out with love.
After another 10 minutes, Amalia walks towards me, the bell above the door ringing again as Ollie leaves. When I look up opening just one eye, she looks down to me, with an irritating look on her face.
“He honestly didn’t mean to offend you Sun, it’s Ollie, he never thinks before he speaks,”
“Well, Ollie was lucky he was able to leave with his balls. How dare he presume that yoga is solely for women— it’s for everyone, young or old,” I ramble.
“He didn’t mean it. Please Sunday, he’s such a nice guy and from the way you were staring at him—,” she says, “you seemed to like the look of him— until he opened his mouth that is,”
“I wasn’t staring,” I say, trying my best to lie but failing miserably like I always do.
“Mhmm, that’s why you had a little drool— just here,” she giggles, pointing to the corner of my mouth.
“I did not,” I giggle softly back, pushing her playfully away at the shoulder, “Anyway, don’t you have another class soon?”
“Yeah but not for like— another 20 minutes or so, why don’t we get a coffee?” she replies, her eyes darting to the clock just to make sure she’s right.
“I’ll get them, I could do with some fresh air anyway,” I tell her.
“Latte?” I ask as I slip on my New Balance trainers.
“Please, almond milk don’t forget,”
“Almond milk got it,” I call back as I swing open the door and pull my hoody around me. It might be spring but it’s still a little chilly out.
As I pull open the door to the coffee shop a couple of minutes later, my eyes instantly meet with a pair of green, the very same green eyes that had just insulted me not 20 minutes ago.
“Hi,” Oliver smiles timidly.
“Oliver,” I reply, my tone blunt, my hands burying deep into the pockets of my hoodie. I purposely look up to the menu board and search for something to drink, knowing if I don’t look at him, I won’t be instantly irritated with him.
“Listen, I’m really—,” he begins but I quickly shut him down when I pull my hand from my pocket.
“It’s fine. Amalia explained that you tend to speak before you think,”
“I do,” he replies nodding his head. With a nervous chuckle, his hand pushes the lose blonde hair that’s fallen against his forehead. He smiles another timid smile but looks up when the young girl behind the counter asks him for his order.
“Macchiato please. Sunday, what are you having?” Oliver asks me, and with a small smile I shake my head and my hand, “No don’t worry, I can get ours,”
“Please let me— it can be my way of apologising,”
“Ok,” I nod, “Latte, almond milk please and a chai latte, skimmed milk please,” I tell her as she looks to Oliver, her cheeks flushing just a little, “What she said,” he replies, pointing his index finger towards me. He gives her a wink and as she nods, I can see the pink flush on her cheeks.
“Get that a lot do you?” I ask as she walks away.
“Girls blushing and practically falling at your feet?” I smirk.
“No,” he chuckles, pushing his hands into his pockets.
“Sure seems like it, what would your girlfriend say?”
“Girlfriend?” He queries, a frown furrowing on his brows.
“Yeah— Amy wasn’t it?”
“Amy? She’s not my girlfriend. We live together but we only share an apartment. I’m pretty sure she’s gay anyway, if the moans from her room are anything to go by, I’m pretty sure she’s had more girlfriends than I have,”
“Oh,” I smile gently, looking towards my feet again as my cheeks flush.
“Here’s your order,” the young girl behind the counter calls as Oliver passes mine and Amalia’s order and then takes his own.
“Thank you,” I smile to them both, “I guess I won’t be seeing you again, so— you know, thanks for the coffees,”
“Let me at least get the door,” he hurries, striding past me.
“Thank you,” I say again as I walk past him.
“You’re welcome,” he smiles.
As we step out into the fresh spring air, silence falls between us.
“Let me at least walk you back to the studio,” Oliver smiles.
“It’s just there,” I tell him, nodding my head in a gesture.
“I know—, but still, you might need help opening the door,”
“Sure,” I shrug, my lips pressing together in a thin line.
“Great,” he smiles back.