tagRomanceMake Me Want It

Make Me Want It

byYouDidWhut©

Who can resist a challenge? I was scanning through the Author's Chat Room a few days ago when I came across a post from June of 2015. The lady that posted it said that she wanted to remember what it felt like to feel the power of being a woman because her relationship had gone sideways. She gave her name and a physical description of herself and let it go at that.

Let's see what happens, shall we?

YDW

I used to be a cop; to be precise, an Atlanta Police Officer. But at fifty I had grown tired of dealing with the stupidity of the victims, criminals, paperwork and attorneys, and as a cop that is 99.9% of the gig. I had the retirement points, so I figured "What the Hell? I'm going to find something I like doing." After four years as an Army Military Policeman and twenty plus years on the Atlanta PD and SWAT team, I was still in decent shape, even for an old guy. At 6'2" I still carried my 190 pounds with a lot of confidence and even if my hair was getting grey around the temples; I could still hold my own with most of the guys that I was on the SWAT Team with.

William, a buddy of mine from the department, had come up with the idea of opening a hybrid cross-fit and traditional gym. It took us over two years and we bled a lot of money into it but eventually, by hiring the right people we had become moderately successful. By moderately, I mean the place paid for itself now and gave us both a modest personal income to supplement our retirement checks from the cushy civil service jobs that had gotten us both shot at over the years. Wanting to keep things simple we named it The Gym, joking at the time that we would always remember the name no matter how drunk we were.

I was sitting at my desk on a Friday afternoon in early April when there was a soft knock at the door. I looked up from my desk to see a woman in her mid-thirties peeking around the door frame at me. She was about 5'8" tall and while not exactly fat, she was a good twenty pounds past being a "little" overweight; she had light brown hair and beautiful hazel eyes.

She flashed me a very pretty smile then said, "Excuse me, but there isn't anyone at the front desk."

"I'm sorry; she must have stepped away for a minute to help another client. Is there something I can do for you?"

"I was interested in joining. I heard a radio commercial this morning that said you guys were running a special. Are you one of the managers?"

"Something like that." I said, smiling and standing up.

"So, who do I see about joining?" she asked, returning my smile.

"That would be Angie; she was supposed to be sitting up front. Let's go see if we can't find her, shall we?"

Locating my wayward greeter proved to be a simple task; she was sitting at her desk at the front of the gym. I walked up with my potential newest member in tow and cleared my throat. Angie jumped at the sound and spinning around in her chair she said, "I'm sorry Mister Holloway, you startled me!"

"Angie, this is," I began to say, then realized that I hadn't bothered to ask her name.

"Angie." my new client finished for me; all of us getting a small chuckle out of it as my embarrassment quickly faded.

"Angie, Angie is all yours. Make her feel at home and let me know how the assessment goes."

"Assessment?" she asked nervously.

"Don't worry about it; we just like to know how to personalize our client's workouts to maximize their potential." I said lightly, adding, "Think of it as the first step."

"If you say so." she said, looking down at the floor dejectedly.

I recognized the body language immediately, it was almost a surrender.

"Tell you what, finish the paperwork and I'll do the assessment myself." I said, smiling at her then adding, "I may even give you credit for getting me out of the office."

"Okay." she replied, not sounding enthusiastic at all.

"Do us both a favor Angie; there is a sign above the front door, read it before you fill out the packet. Then decide if you really want to be here." I said, nodding toward the sign and heading back to my office.

"You're not judged by where you are at your peak. You're judged by how hard you worked to climb out of your deepest valley."

Five minutes later there was a rather loud knock at my office door and I looked up to see my Angie standing there. The look on her face was a mix of anger and frustration and I knew that whatever it was; it wasn't going to be good.

"Yes."

"You're an asshole and I quit."

"Thank you for such a succinct evaluation of my personality. Now, pray tell, why are you quitting?"

"That poor woman didn't sit there for two minutes before she dropped the enrollment packet on my desk and walked out in tears." Angie stated angrily.

"Oh." I said, glancing back at my paperwork.

"Oh? That is all you have to say? Oh? You can add jackass to it as well!" she said, almost yelling at me then stepping into my office and slamming the door behind her.

"If you woke up this morning and decided that this was your last day here, congratulations, because you are about to be on your way out." I said, in as stern a voice as I could without losing my temper.

"Chris, she came to us for help, to feel better about herself, and you treated her like she was just another paycheck. Come on Dude! You are better than that; you've taught every one of us to be better than that! You constantly tell us to set the pace and be the example to our clients and to each other, then you turned your back on her and walked off without a single word of encouragement or motivation. What the hell kind of example is that?"

Angie had moved from the doorway to the front of my desk and now she stood there with her fists clinched by her side and her chest heaving as she tried to control her voice. Her face was as red as her hair, and her blue eyes were flashing daggers at me as she trembled in righteous anger. I say righteous anger because I realized that she had simply followed Rule Number 2 in the Employee Handbook: "Always say and do the right thing, even if it pisses off Chris and William."

"How far did she get with the enrollment packet?" I asked, nodding at the forms in her hand.

"Name, address, phone number, height, weight and three sentences into the "What Do You Expect the Outcome to Be?" she answered, tossing the packet on my desk in exasperation.

Name: Angela Michelle Reilly (Angie)
Address: 19581 S. Phoenix Dr. Kennesaw, GA 30144
Phone: (770) 555-1369
Age: 36
Ht: 5'8"
Wt: 180 plus

I reached out and picked up my desk phone. Punching her phone number into it, I waited for the call to connect and when, as I expected it would, I heard her voice say "Hi, this is Angie, please leave a message." I spoke.

"Ms. Reilly, Angie, this is Chris Holloway from The Gym. I owe you an apology and I promise if you give me and this place another chance, I will make it up to you. If you're still interested, be here at ten tomorrow morning and I will take care of you personally. Thank you."

Hanging up the phone I looked up at Angie and said, "You were right, I was wrong. With that said, if you call me a jackass or an asshole again, you're fired."

"Yes Chris." she said, grinning sheepishly at me then adding, "It won't happen again unless it happens again."

"Get out of here." I replied sternly, looking down at the packet on my desk so she wouldn't see the smile on my face. I heard the office door close as I found myself reading the three short sentences that Angie had written.

"I want to feel good about myself again. I want to feel like my son is proud of me. I want someone to notice me when I enter a room."

Suddenly I remembered why we had opened in the first place. Angie's reasons for coming in could have been our mission statement if we changed the wording a little. Angie's reasons for coming in were going to become our mission statement, just as soon as I could talk to our employees. Turning to my laptop, I typed out a quick email to all our employees, calling for a meeting tonight after we closed at seven.

With everyone in place I had twelve faces staring at me as I opened the meeting. I explained how I had screwed up with Angie and how I planned on correcting it. Then I read her reasons for being here and stopped at each one to explain how I wanted to incorporate it into the way we ran our operation. I apologized for putting numbers in front of people and promised to do my best to ensure it didn't happen again. Thirty minutes later, I dismissed a happy group of employees because I told them that I was paying them for four hours to attend this meeting.

The following morning at ten, I left my office and walked to the front desk. Angie looked up at me smiling and nodded her head toward the treadmills. I looked over to see the other Angie, as I was beginning to refer to her in my head, slowly walking on one. Her head was down, and her shoulders were slightly slumped, but she was here and that was the important thing.

"Has she paid the enrollment fee yet?" I asked Angie.

"Yes."

"Refund it." I said as I started walking toward the treadmill.

"Yes Sir." she said, smiling as she winked at me.

"Good morning." I said to the other Angie as she plodded along on the treadmill.

"Good morning." she replied, turning her head to look at me.

"Look, I owe you an apology for the way I treated you yesterday. You came here for help and I treated you like you didn't matter. Nobody should be treated that way; especially when they turn to you for help. I'm sorry Angie, it won't happen again."

"Thank you." she said so softly that I barely heard it over the sound of the equipment around us.

"So, what do you want?"

"The same as everyone else; to feel good about myself again." she replied.

"Is that what you really want?" I said with a small smile forming on my lips.

"Yes." she answered, pulling her head back slightly as my smile grew wider.

"Okay, time to start wanting it." I said as I reached out and sped the machine up to the point that she was at a brisk walk.

"What the hell?" she exclaimed as she sped up her steps to keep up with the machine.

"Welcome to Leg Day." I said, folding my arms over my chest and leaning against the machine next to hers.

"No fair!"

"If you want fair, it will show up in September with rides, pigs and chickens. You might want to stop talking and start breathing; you have a mile to go at that pace."

"A mile?"

"Yep."

"A whole mile? At this pace?" she asked in a terrified voice.

"Yes ma'am."

She looked determined as she realized that I was serious and dropping her head down she gave it everything she had; surprisingly finishing the mile in just over twelve minutes. Considering that this was Day One, and that she had probably never been in a gym in her life, I was willing to take it.

When the treadmill showed a mile, I slowed it down to a walking pace and let her slowly cool down. I knew from experience that her thighs and calves had to be burning. I let her cool down for two or three minutes before I led to the small track outside that circled the building.

"Oh God! More running? I can't."

"Nope, you get to walk."

"I can't. I can't feel my legs."

"Can't or won't? Don't say one when you mean the other."

"You're not going to give me a break, are you?"

"You got a break when you found us. Walk the straight-away and slow jog the turns." I said, grinning at her and pointing to the track.

"Why?"

Reaching into my back pocket, I pulled out a sheet of paper and unfolding it I held it in front of her face. The three reasons she wanted to be here were typed out on the paper. She stood there shaking her head as she read it; when she finally looked back up at me, there were tears forming in her eyes.

She turned to walk away and as she did I stopped her dead in her tracks when I asked, "Are you sure you want to stop Angie? Stopping is easy, you just give up your dreams and walk away. If you are going to walk, you may as well do it here and head toward your dreams instead of away from them."

"How many laps?" she asked quietly, her eyes still downcast.

"Four."

"How fast?" she asked, finally lifting her head to look at me.

"I don't care. Pace yourself, but you're not coming off that track until I get four laps."

"Well, crap!" She said as she stepped on to the surface of the track and began walking toward the first turn.

That same determined look on her face that I saw on the treadmill earlier told me that she would be back tomorrow, so I began to relax and have fun with her as she passed me after her second lap.

"That's one!" I shouted at her.

"Two!" she shouted back.

"I lost count; we have to start over again."

"Bullshit!"

"Are you calling me a liar?" I yelled at her as she began to jog slowly into the turn.

"Just old, senile and confused!" she shouted back over her shoulder.

On her final lap I stood at the finish line and when she was thirty or so yards from me I shouted, "Sprint it!"

She looked confused, so I shouted again. "SPRINT! Come on Angie! Give it to me! Harder!"

She dropped her head then began to pick up speed and all but crawled past me at the speed of smell. Honestly, it was a lot faster than I had anticipated because I knew that she had to be hurting. I had pushed her hard, wanting to see what she had in her, and she hadn't disappointed me in the least.

She was slowly walking around, hunched over and gasping for oxygen as I walked up to her and told her to stand up straight and place her hands on her head. She was blinking back tears as she walked around in a small circle. I had no idea why she was crying, and I let her cool down until she finally dropped her arms to her side and stood there staring at me.

"I did it! I really did it!"

"Yes, you did. Great job! Now we get to hit the weight machines!" I said with a flat tone of voice.

"Huh? What! You have got to be kidding me!" she exclaimed, wiping the sweat from her forehead.

"Yeah, pretty much. I just wanted to gage your reaction." I said smiling at her.

"Thank God! I thought you were serious."

"Nah, that's all for today. I think you need to either hit the hot-tub here or go on home and take a long hot shower. You earned it and you're really going to feel it by tonight."

"Thank you, Chris."

"Let's see how you feel Monday before you start handing out thank you's." I said, grinning at her.

"What are you going to torture on Monday?"

"Your chest and back."

She stood still for a moment then smiled and slowly limped off toward the building. Retrieving her gym bag, and without saying a single word, she walked outside, climbed into her car and drove off.

I headed to my office to catch up on some paperwork but halfway across the floor I spotted a young man having problems with a chest machine and paused to help him. It was after five before I saw the inside of my office again and I went home that night with a greater sense of accomplishment than I had felt in over a year. Sitting on the couch I remembered something that a crusty old cop had told me when I became a Senior Corporal, "You ain't gonna know what they're doing if you don't get your ass out from behind that desk and hit the streets with them Rookie."

Maybe a few days out of the week on the floor wouldn't be such a bad thing after all.

It took Angie two months but one day in early June, she squealed in delight as she saw that she had dropped fifteen pounds. The first ten had come off easily but after that, she reached a plateau and each pound was a struggle. The second ten took three more months and a lot of work but the payoff for it was something I never saw coming.

We were closed for Labor Day, and I was at the lake with some of the guys I used to work with on the SWAT Team, when I glanced up and saw Angie walking toward our picnic site carrying a large bag. She had a teenaged boy following her, who was mindlessly staring at his phone. She looked really frustrated as she walked down the beach towards us and when she got close enough, I whistled and called out her name.

"Hey!" she exclaimed, smiling when she saw me.

"Hey yourself. Are you lost or just wandering around looking for a party to crash?" I asked her.

"A little of both actually, I was hoping I could find us a picnic table, but it looks like we got here too late." she answered as she walked up to our table.

"We have plenty of room, you could always join us." I offered, enjoying the questioning looks my friends were giving me.

"Deal!" she said, dropping her bag on the table smiling at me.

"Jacob," she said, looking at the young man with her, "this is Mister Holloway; he owns the gym I've been going to."

"S'up." Jacob answered without looking up from his phone.

"Jacob Reilly! Put that phone away right now and act like you have some manners!" Angie growled at him.

"Sorry Mom!" he said, hastily placing his phone in his back pocket and looking at me for the first time.

"Hey. How's it going? I'm Chris, nice to meet you." I said, holding my hand out.

"It's nice to meet you too sir, Mom says a lot of nice things about you." he replied, taking my hand and shaking it firmly.

"Really? I would have thought she called me a bastard at least once a week?" I asked, grinning at him.

"Not anymore, but for the first couple of weeks she called you a lot worse than that." Jacob said, grinning when he realized that he had his mom on the ropes with this conversation.

"That will be enough of that you two!" Angie said shortly then smiling she added, "I'm not going to sit here and let you both gang up on me all afternoon."

"Uh oh, Chris is in trouble!" Robert, one of the youngest members of the team said, laughing as he sipped his beer.

"He stays in trouble; he's use to it." came an instant reply from Melanie, one of the wives who was present.

"Thanks guys." I replied, holding up my beer in a mock toast as everyone started to laugh.

I was really torn because as the afternoon progressed I realized that I was beginning to enjoy having Angie there. I had never thought about any type of personal relationship with a client before that day and the thought scared me. I had always managed to keep my professional and personal lives separate but looking at Angie having fun, laughing and smiling with the wives and girlfriends that were present made me think, or maybe overthink why I had been that way.

After an hour or so, Jacob wandered off with a friend who had shown up and Angie and I began to talk to each other somewhat about our personal lives. I began to understand why she had joined the gym and what was driving her to get back in shape and lose the weight. Her marriage had gone stale about five years ago and last year she caught her husband cheating on her. It had all but destroyed her self-confidence and she had finally decided that she needed to learn to take care of herself before she could take care of Jacob and the emotional fallout from the divorce. The only bright side to it for her was that between the alimony and child support she didn't have to get a job right away. The downside to it was that the subsequent depression had caused her to gain more weight than she had ever gained in her life.

Then, as if Fate and Karma had sat down for lunch to discuss Angie's ex-husband, Jacob came back to the table and announced that his dad was at the lake, with his new girlfriend Terri, and wanted to know if Angie was okay with them taking Jacob out to dinner tonight. Angie paused for a moment, then looked across the table at me and with a smile on her face asked, "Will you be spending the night?"

"Probably. I don't know, but you know he doesn't like to drive after dark so, I'd say so."

"Go ahead. I'll see you tomorrow."

"Thanks Mom!" Jacob said, leaning down to kiss her cheek and adding as he walked away, "Love you!"

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