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Buck survived his first round of exercise, but now it’s time to tackle his diet. Although it might be a while before he and Marilyn can discuss it…
Marylin woke with the distinct impression that she hadn’t entered menopause this month. The natural remedies she had been using in preparation for this day weren’t going to win the battle today. Her stomach felt like a giant was wringing every last blood cell from her uterus while someone else jammed ice picks into her hip joints. She knew from experience by noon her whole body would feel like it had been slammed by an eighteen wheeler. Time to add traditional pain relievers to her regime.
She mentally combed through her schedule. It was light today, a low impact yoga class and her nutritional meeting with Buck, nothing that she couldn’t endure. The yoga class would stave off the pain in her hips and thighs for an hour or so. The senior students wouldn’t mind if they relaxed into child’s pose a little more often today.
Canceling her appointment with Buck wasn’t an option. He was coming around. The 5k idea had touched his interest, but he wasn’t fully committed. If she let him go for more than twenty-four hours, she could lose him altogether, no matter how persuasive his sister was.
By the time the yoga class started, the vise grip on her uterus had eased a fraction, making survival in position other than the fetal position possible. She donned a loose, purple heather tank top and black yoga pants, thankful for the comfortable fabrics and design. As she led the sun salutation, the fatigue was more than she expected. She stepped out of warrior pose and strolled through the students, giving pointers on body placement and encouraging them to take the stretch a bit farther.
After the class, she swallowed two more ibuprofen while the students rolled up their mats. The cramps hadn’t been this bad in months. But she could get through. One more meeting, then she could crawl back in bed.
“Are you okay? You look a bit pale this morning,” one of her students asked.
Marilyn tried for a pleasant smile and a polite brush off. She hoped it didn’t appear as fake as it felt. “Harder exercise yesterday than I thought, I guess.”
The student patted her arm. “Hope you are feeling better soon.”
“I’m sure it will be better tomorrow.” The first day was always the worst. After this meeting with Buck, she could go home and rest.
The last of the class left, so she threw a shawl around her shoulders and closed up the studio. There was no way she was changing out of her yoga pants today.
Buck was waiting at the smoothie shop when she arrived. A good sign. Penny didn’t have to muscle him here. Maybe his commitment to change wasn’t as tenuous as she thought.
“Good to see you.” She draped her tote bag over the back of the chair and sat down. Her hips sent a whisper of relief every time she sat down. Soon, she thought, I’ll be able to go back to bed.
“Good morning,” Buck said. “I got some coffee. I hope that’s all right.”
“Oh sure. I’m going to order some chamomile tea, then we can discuss your nutritional goals.”
“Sounds like fun.”
Marilyn couldn’t tell whether he was being sarcastic or not. She stood and the room swayed. She grabbed the steel frame of her chair as black seesawed in front of her eyes. The cold metal prolonged her hold on reality for a moment before the darkness closed in.
She didn’t even remember hitting the floor.
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