The Brunch Chapter 5: Maya

"This was amazing, Nicole. Thank you so much for coming. You don’t know what this means to me," I said.

"Anytime," Nicole replied.

Nicole and I have been friends for as long as I can remember. Our parents were friends, and we grew up as close as sisters. We attended the same private school up until high school. I stayed in private school, and Nicole’s parents allowed her to try public school. Our relationship never changed. I am proud to call her my friend.

When I first decided to open my yoga studio, everyone thought I was crazy. That was probably due to people thinking I would work for my dad and take over his practice someday. My dad is a physician; a cardiologist. He always dreamed that I would follow in his footsteps and go to medical school, and we would be in business together. He got it half right. I did attend medical school. I also graduated at the  top of my class. During my residency, I began to realize that patients are often over medicated. There were other ways that you could overcome sickness, other than taking ten prescriptions a day. It really affected me. I didn’t want to go through the routine every day of medicated people that could really benefit from lifestyle changes. I attended a retreat one weekend at Nicole’s counseling center, and she brought in world renowned holistic practitioner Dr. Swariv   . His class was amazing, and I was so excited about his teachings that I actually went on a 3 month-long sabbatical to Belize for training. That, in conjunction with my medical degree,  made perfect sense to open my own practice for holistic teaching. Soul Yoga is a place where you can not only come for yoga classes, but we also offer holistic health programs.

"Your classes are really filling up," Nicole stated with enthusiasm.

"There was a waiting list for this one alone." I replied. "Next week's classes are full as well."

"You’re going to need a new space soon," said Nicole.

"Maybe, I really like this location. I have heard that the dentist next door may be retiring. He has a ton of space," I replied.

"I'll make sure to keep that in the back of my mind. His location is a prime space. It will take some doing, but as soon as I find out, I will put my bid in," she said.

"Thanks for helping me clean up, Nicole," I said.

"Anytime. Are you coming to brunch today?" She asks.

"Yes, I will be there. I deserve some waffles and a mimosa," I joke.

Nicole replies, "I hope Nina comes, so she can get her mind off of this D mess. Sanja said she would be at brunch as well. Maybe they can mend things."

"Hmm," I respond.

Nicole knows I could care less about Sanja. I’ve never been too fond of her. Something about her rubs me the wrong way, and I don’t know why Nicole insists on dragging her everywhere we go. It serves her right that Nina threw her out. How dare you say something like that to any woman? And in her house no less. She’s lucky it wasn’t me. I know I am zen and all, but everyone has a line you shouldn’t cross.

"Well, I am going to finish up here and go home and get dressed" Nicole announces, "See you soon?"

"Sure will, 10 a.m." I say. "Thanks, again," I yell after her.

"No thanks needed sis," she said. Then, she disappeared beyond the dunes, to the parking lot.

I finish cleaning up and head to my studio,        to return the props I used this morning.

I am in awe each time I pull up to my studio. This has been a long time coming. I ran point on the entire renovation. I chose everything down to the colors. I have three rooms for yoga, a spa, complete with a sauna, a pool, as well as a smoothie bar that sells all vegan healthy treats. The lighting is spectacular at all times of the day,  and it smells wonderful. Each room has its own aesthetic. I wanted to give our clients an experience for all of their senses. Each room has a specific scent with Zuri Candles burning all day.

As I get out of my car to unpack and head in, my neighbor, a few spaces down, pulls up. I've seen him a few times, since we opened the studio. He isn't around much. I assume he owns the place but doesn't actually work there. I'd like to see more of him. He waves. I smile back. We haven't been formally introduced. I guess I should invite him to our open house in a few weeks.

I head into the studio, and my staff begins to unpack the props I took to the sunrise yoga. Dallas is already here, with this new girl Melanie in tow. I really didn't think Dallas would work out, but he has surprised me. He shows up for every class and has really been a help with the business side of things. His siblings shouldn't count him out. He will find his way soon. I head back out to my car, to grab more stuff, and find the mystery neighbor, standing by the door.

In my head, all I can think is please don't be sweaty.

"Hi," I say, while extending my hand. "I’m Maya."

This man is a God. Medium height, dark chocolate skin, long locs, and his skin is just glistening in the sun. I am really trying my best to hold it together. To top it off, he has the nerve to have a perfectly trimmed beard. I smell Shea Butter.

He takes my hand in his and shakes it firmly but gently.

"Hi, Maya. It's very nice to finally meet you. I’m Gemini," he says.

This man smells like heaven. While I'm standing here in yoga clothes, sweating my ass off, probably smelling like day old funk! Maybe I just look dewey. Let's hope so.

"Nice to meet you, Gemini. What brings you by?" I ask.

"Well, I noticed that you opened up a few weeks ago, and I wanted to welcome the new tenant to our hood," he says, with a smile.

My God, his smile almost made me pass out.

"Well, thank you, I respond. How long have you been a tenant here?" I say.

"I've been here for about three years. It's a prime space for business. I'm sure you can agree. I see how busy your studio seems to be," he says.

"Yeah," I say, "it's been pretty busy. Business has been non stop. I had to hire five new yoga teachers, just to keep up with the demand. By the way, we are having an open house to meet all of the tenants next Saturday night. You and your staff should definitely come. I'll stop by and drop off an invite tomorrow," I say.

"That sounds like a plan. I'd love to get a tour and see more of you, if possible " he says.

I almost drop the blocks I'm holding. I smile and try to play it cool. "Well," I begin, "you know where to find me."

"Yeah, I sure do," He responds. "It was very nice to meet you, Maya. I hope to see you soon. You have a wonderful day." He stares long and hard.

"You, too," I respond and watch him walk away. "Damn, this man is fine."

Just as I am walking back into the studio, my phone buzzes with a text from Nicole: "Maya, I won't be coming to brunch. Luis is here!!!"

I respond: "Good! Be nice, let him love you down 'cause I am tired of this merry go 'round!"

Nicole: "OMG Maya!"

Me: "You need it! Bye!"


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