Climate Of Change

Entry by: percypop

3rd December 2015

"Where are my socks? The question was so familiar and irritating Norma simply ignored it.

"Norma, where have you put my socks?" He persisted.

"How the hell do I know?" she said in her mind

"Look in the top draw." Is what she actually said.

They had been together for seven years and she realized recently the pattern of their lives never changed. How had this happened to her? Thirty two years old, she knew she earned her place in a law firm in the City. Yet it was startlingly obvious where she had gone wrong. At the age of twenty five she frightened herself with the idea she was too brainy and plain to find a partner. She looked around to find a man who would do and James would do-just. No one to be blamed but herself; this situation was ordained to happen sometime. Her boredom, his work ethic and their drab home life added up to a grand nothing. There was a distinct change of climate in their relationship. They both felt it.

James sighed;
"she was the most annoying woman. Why should she moan about trivial things like socks? What did she want from me? I work well and nobody can say I play the field, though the office is full of totty. If I expect a clean house and a bit of laundry-is it expecting too much? Maybe I should think about myself? I could buy a few suits and try a dating agency?"

Norma knew what to do; she would socialise more and maybe take advice from a girlfriend.
"Would Amy do? No! On second thoughts, she was just the kind of friend who would enjoy her discomfort. Ask Francesca at work? A sympathetic type and always useful for advice on legal matters-but unmarried and single. Would she really understand the dilemma? Better not; no use advertising one's mistakes in the office."

Then she got the idea. A week in a health spa. She was owed some leave and things were quiet at work. Weymouth seemed ideal. Not too far and they said the climate was "temperate."
She announced at breakfast "I think I will join Jenny at a Health Spa next week. You can manage can't you?" There was no Jenny. She drove down to Weymouth.

“Who’s this Jenny?" he wondered. Still, a week to explore options seemed a good idea. He joined an on-line dating agency that day and began to draft his "Profile"
---eligible thirty's professional-No, too prosaic
--Romeo seeks Juliet-no, too corny
--Quiet art loving gentleman-- too cranky
Why not-Tired City Type needs Stimulus-at least it was true.
So he tapped it in and waited. Twenty four hours later he was still waiting. Then pinging through the ether came-
"Life coach -thirties-can revive city type"
James stared -Life coach? No sex mentioned -- had he slipped accidentally into some gay network? Maybe sent the wrong message? Tentatively he rang the phone number listed....

Norma soon adopted the regime at The Elysium Spa. No name tabs-uniform track suits in purest white cotton and a timetable of exercises to be carried out. She packed a dozen Snickers bars in case of starvation but the food was good and healthy. Among the staff, she found the cheery welcome and hearty cajoling to be an effort but one instructor stood out. Ray had the quiet confidence of a physically fit teacher. Lean and tanned, his slow smile and steady hands, as he helped her with yoga, seemed comforting without being too sensual. After the second day, she took most Yoga sessions in his class and chatted afterwards in the Relax room. On the third night she left her door unlocked and he slipped in to practise his special yoga moves which she joined in enthusiastically...


The voice on the phone was female, much to James' relief. She was called Anita and they chatted awkwardly for several minutes before he managed to bring himself to ask her if she would like to meet. She agreed. He reckoned Costa Coffee on Southside was an innocent place to rendezvous but it was crowded and noisy.
He had forgotten to identify himself and peered at every new female arrival as 11 a m passed. A tall black girl with long straight hair came in and glanced round the cafe. She was dressed in figure hugging biker jacket and trousers. With a glance she swept the room and drew everyone's attention. James pulled his anorak closer about his skinny body and plucked up enough courage to wave in her direction. As she weaved between the tables all eyes turned to follow her.

"I can see you need stimulus. Hello I'm Anita"

James was gobsmacked. Girls like Anita never approached him and he never imagined he could interest them.

"You look stunning" he blurted "I'm James"

He had already told her his name on the phone but what do you say when you meet such a girl? He was gasping for ideas and his mind went blank.

"Well, that's a good beginning" she laughed and at once he felt easier and his edginess vanished. Soon they were exchanging stories and enjoying themselves. He tentatively asked if she would have lunch but she told him she had work scheduled that day, but tomorrow was ok. They arranged to meet at his address in Clapham for the next day.

James was terrified and excited at the same time. He bought sushi from Pret and changed the bedsheets. One o'clock and Anita arrived. She wore a track suit and her hair pulled back in a bun. She sported shades with very dark lenses. He registered her tee shirt seemed a size too small and she saw he noticed it too. Once the sushi was finished, in an inspired move, Anita produced a flask of sake.

"This is how a Life Coach teaches her students."

From then on James found himself in a spiral of warm sake and sex which ran from missionary to cannibal in quick succession. By four o'clock he was a shadow of his puny self but she left as lively as she began....


Weymouth was wet and throughout the week Norma stayed inside the Spa. Ray was in demand by a number of clients, mostly women, but he still paid an occasional visit to her room for yoga purposes. At the end of the week he agreed to come back to London with her for the week end.
On the drive back, she felt fitter than ever before and calmer about life. She appreciated her way of life was incompatible with the life Ray knew. But what about James? She decided a long talk would solve any problems. She drove straight to the Clapham flat and went upstairs...

Inside the flat James was laying a table for a takeaway with Anita. Even he could manage knives and forks. When Norma came through the door, he blinked with surprise as he saw her and the figure of a man behind her.
"You never told me when you were getting back" he said weakly "I've a friend coming round in a couple of minutes."

"Well that's fine -this is Ray, we met at Weymouth."

Ray glanced at James and said not a word.

"Let's eat together" said Norma brightly. The doorbell rang. Anita swept into the room in full Beyoncé mode.
She sized up the assembly in a flash.
"How lovely" she cooed, "Are we all here for the same thing?"
Ray smiled one of his professional slow smiles and his bright eyes sparkled at the new guest.

"My, my" purred Anita “James has just finished a course with me, haven't you?"

James began to feel uncomfortable. This evening was not turning out as expected.
"Norma, I need some help in the kitchen" he whined and pushed her out of the room.

Ray hardly noticed her leave and Anita was turning her Life Coach beams at full power on Ray.

"Look, Norma can we get out of this set up?" James looked beseechingly at her.
"In all honesty, I can't keep this up -she's like a fierce animal and I can't cope."
He sounded so desperate Norma saw in a flash she had him at her mercy. No more feeding him, no more ironing for him, he would do as she pleased. Was this better than a few weeks of good times with the lusty Ray?
They heard the laughter and the sound of whispers from the other room. Ray and Anita had already forgotten them.
"Peace Deal?" begged James. Norma smiled.

Climate change was on its way.