Life Anew, Chapter Two

I was starting to spend a bit too much time in my apartment, and as much as that was nice, I decided it might be nice to go to the gym, although my gym clothes aren’t really that…high profile. Besides, I didn’t want to lose my shape and have to buy new waistcoats.

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It might not have been the most practical of decisions to go into the boxing area straight away, though. For one thing, I had no idea how to start, and just kind of…awkwardly squared up to the punching bag.

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Eventually I tried to hit it properly, and failed like a true amateur. I nearly fell over as well, to add insult to injury, and then looked around to see if anyone had noticed.

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The only other person in there was a young woman who I guessed must be around my age, and who was completely focused on what she was doing. I winced as she hit the punching bag with practiced accuracy, but couldn’t help but admire her skill.

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She punched the bag again, and I couldn’t help but look as she did so. She seemed pretty fierce, from her expression, and I wondered if it was focus or something more. Either way, I wouldn’t want to be that punching bag.

At this point, she looked over at me and grinned, which startled me so much I nearly tripped backwards, and felt my cheeks flush as she laughed. It wasn’t unkind, though, and she slung off her boxing gloves and wandered over. I put mine down, sheepishly, as she came towards me.

“Hey, you even trying to focus on the punching bag?” she asked. Her voice made me want to smile – it was bubbly and energetic.

“I did try, but I don’t think I succeeded,” I admitted.

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She laughed again, and I found myself smiling.

“Well, give it another go, come on!” she urged. “I mean, I was watching you, a bit, and you seemed like you didn’t want to hit it at all! You’ve got to want to hit it, you know?”

That she’d been watching me in much the same way as I’d been watching her surprised me, but at her insistence, I picked up my gloves, pulled them on, and stood in front of the punching bag.

“Keep your feet even, and really go for it!” she told me, smiling brightly.

So I did.

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And suddenly, I saw why people actually liked doing this. She hadn’t told me to imagine someone’s face, or to get angry – just to want to hit it, and miracle of miracles, I’d done something the way it was supposed to be done that wasn’t painting. I couldn’t help but turn to her with a big grin on my face.

“I did it!”


She grinned back. “You sure did, Champ! See, you can do things if you want to do them!”

“Champ?” I asked, and she grinned.

“Yeah, Champ! I mean, it’s not like I know your name, is it?”

I hadn’t met someone so direct in a while, and it took me aback a little, and for a minute I completely forgot my own name.

“It’s Leon. Leon Ragsdale.” I regretted giving it out slightly. What if she was a Bachelorette fanatic and told me I’d lost super badly, or something?

But no such thing happened. She smiled at me, instead.

“Isabelle. Isabelle Arnett.” She grinned at me. “Just so you know what to save me as!”

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“Save you as?”

She nodded, and darted off, returning with one of the business cards of the gym and a pen. She scribbled on it, and handed it to me.

“You know, just in case you need someone to spot you again. Alright, Champ?”

I peered at the business card and realised she’d written her number on it. Well, she certainly was direct, but in a way, it was pretty refreshing. I wasn’t sure whether or not she was flirting with me, but it made me smile, and I tucked the card into my pocket.

“You know, I did tell you my name,” I said, smiling at her.

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“So you did!” she laughed. She then turned, and began walking. “Text me sometime, okay, Leon?”

“Yes! I will!” I called after her. She shot me a smile as she walked out of the room.


My mind was still stuck on how very direct she was that night as I cleaned the dishes. I suppose when you do chores, your mind wanders to nicer things, and my meeting with Miss Arnett had certainly been nice.

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Usually, people tended to dance around in conversations, giving little hints and maybe, if they were flirting, doing so in a certain way. With Miss Arnett, she had been so honest and nice, even if my brain couldn’t decide whether or not she was flirting. I mean, a girl giving you her number doesn’t always mean that she’s flirting, and I wanted to keep that in mind.

I was glad I had met her, either way. Her laugh was infectious, her manner was lovely and I had her number saved to my phone, and was resolved to text her the next morning, just as I had promised.


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