She saw Leanne getting out of her Mercedes in the parking lot. “It’s about time.” Sophie walked up to her perpetually late best friend.
“Oh, Sophie sweetie I’m sorry, that office you know how my boss is, a pain in the butt. I wish I had your job.”
“Yea, sure you do, jeans, t-shirts, and plastic coveralls smelling like beer. Yea right.” She shook her head at Leanne, there’s no other place Leanne would rather be working for than a law firm that did patents and trademarks and made her ridiculous amounts of cash. Then she could always do her hobby, which was being an entertainment attorney and flying around the U.S. signing bands, going to free concerts, helping her clients make videos, she did have the life.
“Oh stop, you know I love you.” As she hugged Sophie they walked towards the doorway of Zen Heaven Yoga. She hugged her back, she was glad she had Leanne she been a big help to her when her divorce happened. Leanne had been divorced 4 years by the time Mark asked Sophie for a divorce and she had needed her greatly. The shock and pain of the divorce had almost been too much for her to handle, she was blessed she had such an understanding boss and co-workers. The president of Passionate Brewing himself, Olly Henckel had come down to her office to tell her take as much time as she needed off before she had a nervous breakdown. Leanne had set up many nights and long days as she wept like a newborn baby, crying over her lost marriage, husband, life, love, and dreams. It was almost too much to bear but she had bore it and after 2 years she was doing great, still a tad wary about going back out into the world of dating but she was back in the world.
They both changed quickly into yoga gear, Leanne’s long svelte, thin model body looking fabulous. Sophie still couldn’t figure out why she came to yoga, she was perfect, perfect height 5’10”, perfect weight, 130 lbs, perfect boobs, 38 double D, long legs, nice butt, long curly blonde hair and gorgeous blue eyes, she was every American man’s walking wet dream.
“I hate you.” She joked to Leanne.
“Don’t hate cause you can’t date” Leanne quipped back, they laughed together.
“Come on let’s get out of here and get to stretching these bones.” Sophie moaned, she needed to get this yoga going she wanted to de-stress from the day.
As they set out their mats next to each other making small talk with some of other folks in the class. Sophie spotted something from the corner of her eye and it was not, Gloria, the regular instructor. All eyes headed up to the front of the class.
“Good evening everyone. I’m Brock Giles and I’ll be taking Gloria’s place as your instructor over the next 6 to 8 weeks.”
A loud voice came out of the back of the room, “Where’s Gloria at?”
All eyes went from the back of the room to Brock at the front, “Gloria had a family emergency and was called away home to Arizona.”
There were murmurs and mumblings all around in questioning and concern for Gloria. Sophie was concerned too, Gloria was really sweet lady and an excellent yoga instructor but what was this beautiful thing at the front of the room in black spandex leggings and long muscle gray jersey shirt with a voice deep as a canyon going to do today. She couldn’t take her eyes off of him, he was mesmerizingly gorgeous he looked like Brandon Routh. Yes, he looked like Superman in yoga clothes. Sophie kept staring at him studying him as he talked, she didn’t hear of any of the words but she felt a sharp poke in her side.
“Ow! What was that for?” she looked at Leanne with annoyance.
Leanne whispered “Time to get to yoga and stop looking at that hot young stud. I know it’s hard, it’s hard for me but its yoga time.”
So, Sophie calmed her nerves and began the doing the yoga positions as instructed, he really did have the most wonderful voice she thought.
After class, Sophie felt renewed extremely relaxed she knew she’d sleep like a baby tonight, she always did after yoga. She’s gathered up her items from the changing room and decided to take her bag and wait in the hallway for Leanne to come out, she was talking to some woman in the changing area probably networking. As she stood there she noticed the new yoga instructor coming down the hall, she looked away that way she wouldn’t be embarrassed trying to eye his solid muscular frame. She heard him stepping closer, but she resisted the urge to turn.
“Hi!” he said with that deep voice rumbling beside her.
She flipped her head quick as if surprised and portion of newly cut hair landed in her face over her eye, “Hi,” she replied as she flipped the piece of hair from her eye for an unobstructed view of his chiseled features.
“Um, you’re in the class aren’t you?” he asked her looking her in the eye which really made Sophie a little nervous.
“Yes, I am.” She looked towards the changing room door searching for Leanne, why couldn’t that girl ever be on time.
“Well, I’m glad you were here today, you have really good form you know.”
She turned back to him and noticed once again how strikingly handsome he was, “thanks a lot, I try, I really do.”
“Don’t worry you’re trying has paid off,” and as he said the words his eyes moved up and down Sophie’s body.
Oh my goodness, she thought, is he checking me out.
“What’s your name?”
“Sophie, Sophie Robeson,” he stuck out his hand to shake hers, “nice to meet you” she told him very demurely.
“Nice to meet you too, Sophie.” And he smiled at her and those chocolate brown eyes of his just started to sparkle.
“Brock, Brock” they both turned to see Mindy Dupree coming there way in full bimbo mode.
From behind her Sophie heard, “Okay, Sophie let’s go get some dinner, I’m starving…” Leanne stopped mid-sentence. She saw Sophie facing Brock as she walked up and they each turned to see their interrupters as they made their way forward to drag them away.
“See you next class Sophie.” Brock told her and waved good-bye.
Mindy took Brock’s arm almost passionately and dragged him down the hall while she laughed loudly and threw her head back and Sophie thought if only I was young, dumb, petite, and a slutty redhead, I’d have all the men.
“See you then, good night.” Sophie nodded her head and went towards the exit with Leanne.
At Lemon Grass cafe, Sophie and Leanne sat in the corner eating and laughing about their day. Leanne was wonderful, funny and sweet Sophie really envied her friend’s sense of humor and lively spark, people just drew to her. Sophie was little shy and sometimes had a hard time being the center of attention but Leanne reveled in it. Leanne was 35 years old and she and Sophie had met while they were in paralegal certification school. Leanne had gone on to complete law school and Sophie had finally caught a clue and gave up being treated like an insignificant slave by her arrogant attorney boss. Although she loved legal work, she hated attorneys the only attorney she could love was Leanne and that was because she was a friend.
“Okay, how are you brothers doing?” Sophie asked.
“They’re fine, everything is going well.”
“How is Zack coming with the business, this economy is tough and starting a business during this time cannot be easy.”
“Actually, big surprise, it’s coming along good. He knew so many people in the software industry so being a consultant is not having that big of an impact on his paycheck. Good thing because that wife of his, couldn’t take a cut in his paycheck.” Leanne smirked. She wasn’t that fond of her sister-in-law she thought she was gold-digger.
“Oh, leave that girl alone Leanne. She loves your brother.”
“Hmpf, she loves his money.” They both laughed loudly.
“Enough about my brother and his consulting business, how about you getting a consultation with that yummy Brock?” Leanne told her wickedly.
“There’s nothing between me and him.”
“Really, didn’t seem like it when I walked into that hallway.”
“What did you see in the hallway, he was just speaking to me, that’s all.” Sophie was getting annoyed, she hated when Leanne did this little match up thing or presumed to know anything about what Sophie was thinking.
Leanne grinned “Well, I saw a very cute man trying to chat up my very hot best friend.”
“You saw no such thing, because that there is no hot friend to chat up,” Sophie looked at Leanne almost sighing.
“You are hot and you are because I say you are.” she definitively stated to Sophie.
Sophie could only put her head down, “Oh Sophie, you’re beautiful and you need to start thinking it and acting like it and dating again. I see guys looking at you, I know a couple of guys that have asked about you.”
Sophie’s head popped up with surprise registered all over it.
“Yes, I do it’s just that I didn’t think of any of them were good enough for my best friend.”
“I’m glad you’re looking out for me. I know I need to date, Grant said the same thing today when were talking after work.”
“Grant, hmmm. Too bad he’s not single.”
“Grant and I are friends and he’s got a family and a wife, so even the ‘friends’ thing can’t be as close we’d like but he’s good for an ego boost.”
“I’m sure Brock would be good for an ego boost, too.”
“Oh, Leanne he’s too young for me. I’m guessing he’s about late 20’s what am I going to do with him. Did you see Mitzi hanging all over him like a cheap suit? Please, I can’t compete. I need to go where the women in there late 30’s, early 40’s are and try to find a date hopefully without too much baggage,”
“He is most certainly not too young.”
“Well, I’m uncomfortable with the idea of dating someone so young.”
“No, you’re uncomfortable with the idea of dating someone so hot.”
“No,” she drew the word out, “he’s too young. I could certainly date a hot older guy.”
Leanne rubbed her hands together, “good that means we can start on that project.”
“Oh no, I walked right into that one didn’t I?” Sophie still wasn’t sure if she was ready for dateland.
Sophie set beside Leanne as she typed away on Sophie’s laptop. Leanne was signing Sophie up for some online dating sites including dateland.com, lovebiology.com, and e-soulmates.com. They had been typing up a profile for Sophie, Leanne was going for the fantastic story of the Wizard of Oz, Sophie just wanted to be honest as much as would be feasible.
“Well, Sophie we shouldn’t put anything in there about your job.” Leanne pleaded with her.
“Why not, I’m proud of my job. I love what I do and I’d like to find someone who loves what they do.”
“Yea, yea that’s great and all but no man wants to date a woman who he thinks slings beer all day.”
“I do not sling beer all day. Have respect for what I do.”
“I do have respect for what you, it pays for your car and this one bedroom condo, you call a home.” Leanne giggled.
“Ha, ha, ha very funny. We all can’t live in a fabulous house in Magnolia.”
“Well, I know that too and no Sophie we will not be mentioning anything about your job.” Leanne told her once and for all, “let’s leave a little mystery.” Leanne thought that suggestion would help ease Sophie’s mind, she was fairly sure no man would be thinking about how sexy it would be have a brewmaster as a girlfriend.
“Mystery, you have to have something going on Leanne to have mystery. My life is boring.”
“Not after I get through with it, that’s why I’m typing these profiles out and not you. You’re too practical, it’s not a bad thing but it’s not good if you’re trying to capture the attention of the opposite sex.”
Sophie just smirked.
“Listen, sweetheart I love you, you know that,” Leanne looked over at her with those beautiful blue eyes sympathetically, “and I know you’re a fabulous woman and I want everyone else to know that too. Will you let me do that?” Leanne was looking at her seriously.
Sophie could feel the love well up in her for having such a supportive and loving friend. She leaned over on Leanne and hugged her and she hugged back, “you know I can,” she told her truthfully how would she have ever made it without Leanne.
Sophie had a sister, Cleopatra who was younger than Sophie, Cleo was 32 years old and had 3 children with her husband, Kareem. Cleo had converted to Islam after marrying him and was not very thrilled about Sophie’s marriage to Mark, since Mark was white, she did not approve at all. So when the marriage broke up all Cleo would give her was an I told you so.
However, Sophie’s older brother Achilles had been great support, Acky didn’t care he’d been in the Army over 20 years and was used to seeing interracial couples, he was married to her sister in law, Maureen who was from the Phillipines so with most things Acky never blinked an eye, he had two children who were practically grown. His daughter, Robin had just entered her freshmen year at college at NYU and his youngest, Achilles Jr. was a sophomore in high school. They lived in Honolulu, Hawaii unfortunately Sophie didn’t get to see them enough but talked to them as much as possible and talked to the kids all the time via e-mail, they were fascinated by her being a brewmaster. Her brother had just returned from a tour in Iraq and would probably be returning soon. He was dedicated to what he did but she didn’t agree with much about the Iraq War.
Cleo, however, was devoted wife and mother to her three kids Nasir, who was 9 years, Kwame who was 12 years old, and daughter Fatima who was 14 years old. Cleo and Sophie did not agree on much, especially when she married Kareem and converted to the Nation of Islam. But they could all agree with how much they loved their mother, Wanda, their mother and father Lionel Robeson had married young and divorced when she and her brothers had been just small children, their father had moved back to Florida and re-married they saw him every once in awhile but not much. Their mother had raised them virtually as a single parent with help from their grandmother and grandfather who had both long since passed. Their mother was now married again to a wonderful man originally from Nigeria, Thomas Owuibe, Thomas was wonderful to their mother and she was very happy. Thomas was a professor at the University of Washington, he taught west African art. Their mother taught dance, ballet, jazz, and African dance. She’d always wanted to be a dancer but was never lucky enough to make it. Her family dynamics sometimes were complicated but Sophie loved her family very much. They loved her too her mom had been really supportive when the divorce happened. Almost threatening to take a contract out on her ex-husband’s life her mom was feisty sometimes.
But Sophie did envy Leanne sometimes, Leanne was the youngest she had two older brothers and they adored her, her father was a doctor and he fawned over her and her mother thought the sun rose and set on Leanne, her darling daughter. Sophie was middle child who never quite fit in or felt she did anything right, she knew her mother loved her but she’d always felt like a disappointment. Cleo and Acky had both given her mother grandchildren and she’d just given her a lot of disappointments.
Leanne typed away describing Sophie with inspiring words, they weren’t untrue just a tad glossy for Sophie’s taste.
“Ski? I don’t ski.” She looked over at Leanne who was typing away on Sophie’s computer in her own world.
Leanne turned to her, “yes you do, remember a few years ago when you went to Whistler with my family and I during the holidays.” Leanne looked at her with all seriousness.
“I only went on the bunny slope and I fell so many times, I’d call that sledding more than skiing.”
“You were on skis, even if it was the bunny slope it was skiing.”
“Well, if you say so. Leanne I don’t want this too hyped up, because you’re going to get some guy hooked and he’ll be sadly disappointed when I’m not at all what he expected.”
“You’ll be everything he expected. Why would you worry about that, I will repeat this you are the best woman any man of substance could meet. Stop downing yourself, you’re pissing me off.”
Sophie laughed, “you want some more wine?” They’d been drinking a bottle of chardonnay that was completely gone and she hadn’t noticed until now. Maybe that was why the descriptions and profiles regarding Sophie were getting to be so fantastic.
“No, no I’m almost done and I have to get home,” Leanne checked the clock it was almost 10:45 pm, “I have to be up tomorrow early, early meeting as usual. I hate my boss, she’s a class A beeyotch, I think she needs Prozac.”
“Prozac. You think everybody needs Prozac,” Sophie laughed as she got up and starting clearing their wine glasses and walked to her nearby kitchen putting dishes in the dishwasher. Leanne was a true believer in psychotropic drugs to handle any major or mild personality disorder.
“But she does, do you know what she did to me the other day?” Leanne turned and looked at Sophie over the counter.
“She actually took me into her office and started to totally berate me for a mistake she made on a contract. I was like, what the heck, what is wrong with you.” Leanne rolled her eyes, “but I just stood there and took it and then later in the week she gave me some wedding invitation to that sham of a marriage she will be having with that jerk dentist. I so do not want to go.”
“But, you’re going to because she’s your boss.” Sophie hated the way Leanne let her boss treat her, the woman really was sort of unstable and Leanne let her walk all over her. “Leanne, you can stand up for yourself in any situation, why not with her?”
“Because she’s my boss and I still need this job to pay off bills, school loans, and a new house. But one day I’m going to walk into that office and tell her to stick that job up her constipated butt.” They both fell into shouts of laughter.
Sophie would pay to have a seat in that room when that went down.
“Anyway, enough about that harpy this Friday I want you to come with me and a friend from wok to Vino’s downtown.”
“Vino’s, what’s that?” Sophie asked.
“It’s a new wine bar downtown, although I know you work in beer, it’s obvious you do enjoy wine, don’t you?”
“Yes, I like wine, don’t be a smart aleck.”
“Better than being a dumb aleck, but my friend from work, Hayley, and I are going to check it out. Probably be tons of cute guys there,” she said attempting to entice Sophie.
If that was supposed to be an enticement for Sophie it was not working in the least, she was not looking forward to getting back into the singles scene at 38 years of age and at some happy hour at a wine bar.
“I’m done,” Leanne finally said closing out Sophie internet browser, she rose from her seat and grabbed her jacket and pulled her keys out that insanely expensive Prada bag, “well what do you say…” she had pleading look on her face and Sophie was not immune to it.
“Yes, I’ll go but don’t start trying to hook up something between me and any strangers. Friday is usually my chill night with the guys from work you know that. So you’re cutting in on my time.”
“Oh please, first of all none of those guys are hot enough, sophisticated enough, or single enough for you. Grant would be the only prospect and hell he’s married. So, time out with your best girl, looking like a girl and meeting totally hot, sophisticated, successful, single guys is a treat.”
“Weren’t you dating somebody a little while ago, what his name Aaron, Adam?” Sophie couldn’t remember his name for the life of her Leanne could run through some men.
“Arthur. His name was Arthur and that ended awhile back, he forgot about something very important to me.”
“He forgot that I didn’t date men that were bisexual.”
“Aaaawwww, oh my goodness!” Sophie’s mouth was open and eyes wide, “he was not, say it ain’t so.”
“It was so,” Leanne said with a smirk in her tone, “I don’t care if you’re gay but you’re not going to be gay with me. Pick a side, oh what a disappointment because he was cute too.”
“Oh, I’m sorry sweetie,” Sophie came and put her arm around her friend’s shoulder and Leanne laid her head on it, “well, you know how you do it Leanne he’ll be replaced by this Friday I’m sure.”
“Yes, he will so I’m not going to let it get me down,” she picked her head up off Sophie’s shoulder and turned that dazzling smile on her. “I’m glad you’re coming on Friday. We are going to have a blast.” Leanne said grinning ear to ear.
“Yea, it will be great.” Sophie told her but she wasn’t sure about that. Sophie went to the door to let Leanne out and her friend turned and hugged her tightly.
“You know, Sophie don’t get down on yourself, you’re special.”
Sophie looked in her friend’s eyes and felt gratitude, “I know I’m really, really special.”
“Talk to you tomorrow.”
“Talk to you tomorrow, Lee.” Sophie closed and locked the door. She leaned her head against her front door and thought, yea if I was so special why couldn’t I keep my husband? ©