“I am not disgusting.”
Quinn stood naked in front of the mirror. She had four choices.
A.) Hate her body
B.) Love her body
C.) Be reasonably dissatisfied
Naked was not a good look for everybody, but today she wouldn't consider option A. Option A had almost killed her plenty of times. She'd finally gotten the message loud and clear. B and D were pipe dreams.
Option C, I choose you.
“I’m doing better. I’m ready for this.”
Dressed in sweats and an over-sized tee shirt, she left the house and got in her car. The radio was silent as she drove. She was alright. This was something she could do.
Barely forty minutes later, Quinn pulled her car into a parking spot. The longest route wasn't very long at all.
Listening to the soft rumble of the engine, her fingers tapping on the steering wheel, she found herself staring at The Chayton MMA and Fitness Center. The corner of her eye twitched. She looked away. When she looked back the muscles around her eye went into another spasm.
A hulking block of gray concrete stared back at her, stoic and unmovable. The gym was a renovated warehouse, one of the only occupied buildings in the district. It couldn't have been more intimidating. Then again, if it had looked like a fairy tale castle, was under a rainbow and had unicorns out front, it still would have scared the crap out of her.
Screw second thoughts. She winced when she shut the car off and yanked the key from the ignition. It was like ripping off a band-aid.
As she was walking towards the building, Dr. Cartwright’s voice was sounding in her head, proud and encouraging. She wasn’t inside yet but she'd made it farther than last time.
A few weeks had passed since her last attempt. Yes, it was seven months worth of weeks but everyone moved at a different pace and that was okay.
Inside, just across the threshold, she was bombarded.
She caught the locker room smell of sweat and her eyes settled on the crowd of people. The clang of metal hitting metal rang in her ears. She saw some more people. There was an underlying sound of fists pounding flesh and leather and, even in the middle of the day, there was a whole lot of people.
Because she wasn't moving, she looked down at her feet. Mutiny. Betrayal.
Et tu, feet?
“Miss Quinton James?”
Her stomach rolled. Bile burned her throat. She swallowed hard, sucked in air, waited for the tightness in her chest to ease.
A handful of seconds passed before she looked up. Finally, she gave her attention to the man in front of her, focusing on his question. “Yes, that’s me. Please, call me Quinn.”