So this week is the second of my PostSecret inspired stories, as suggested by Rhi Burgess.
This one was taken from one on the website this time. I thought I might struggle to get a nice story out of one, as a lot of them are understandably quite serious, but I was lucky enough to come across this one pretty much straight away.
‘Dear Yoga Teacher,
Sometimes when I can’t do a pose, I’m really just holding in a fart. I’m actually pretty flexible.’
Pretty self explanatory really. Anyway, without further ado, your story:
2014 – A Year In Stories
Salute to the Sun
“And now extend your right leg in front of you. Good. Hope, are you having trouble with this one?”
No, Hope thought, don’t come over, don’t come over! Please don’t come over!
He came over.
“Look,” the yoga instructor said to her. “Like this.”
He grabbed her foot and brought it up to the required level.
Hope urged herself to hold on. It took all her strength and character, but she was desperate not to embarrass herself in front of the class, but more importantly in front of this bronzed Adonis of a man. She told herself the ordeal would be over in a second.
“Are you ok?” the instructor asked, obviously sensing the concentration on her face. Hope bit her lip and nodded. “Good,” he said smiling. “I think you’ve got it.”
All of the muscles in Hope’s body relaxed as he turned his attention to one of her classmates. When he was safely out of range she let it slip. It was a silent fart, and thankfully odourless, but she couldn’t have taken that risk.
Hope’s instructor’s name was Ioannis. He was Greek, had a Mediterranean perma-tan, and she could see his six pack clearly through his skintight tank top.
She honestly didn’t enjoy yoga that much, even if she was quite good at it, but it was getting her fit again, and well, it certainly gave her plenty to look at of a Wednesday evening.
This was her fourth week on the course, and she could feel a definite improvement. Gymnastics had been her sport at high school, and she had always enjoyed ballroom dancing: two disciplines that had managed to keep her relatively flexible in to her late 20s.
The course was for beginners, and though she had never done any yoga before her past experience helped her master some of the more complicated poses that her classmates struggled with. This, of course, drew a lot of attention from Ioannis, and a lot of praise too. It was a lucky thing indeed that her face was already red with the exertion, as it rather nicely covered up the times it went red with embarrassment.
The only problem with the whole thing seemed to be that, to her utter horror, yoga made her a bit gassy.
Hope couldn’t explain it, and it was certainly not a problem she had ever had when doing gymnastics. Initially she had put it down to her pre-class meal, but she had changed it up every week since then to no effect.
Over the weeks she had learned to control it to an extent, but it was still a silent threat. In the first week it had taken her so by surprise that she had let one out almost immediately. Quick thinking allowed her to dismiss it to the class as the sound of a foot slipping along the polished wooden floor.
She had just about gotten away with it, but she doubted she would be able to pass another one off like that.
And so, when Hope detected an Incident, as she had taken to calling them, she had to take drastic measures. These measures generally included holding off until a point when she felt that she could safely drop the bomb without anyone, particularly Ioannis, noticing.
However, as the forms and poses they were learning became more difficult, so too did it become harder to control the Incidents. If she felt one coming on, and was required to enter a form that might become a…problem, she would push it as far as she dared before it would cause her to let rip.
Unfortunately Ioannis often saw this as her struggling, and as the alternative was telling the most beautiful man she had ever seen that she had a flatulence problem, she went along with it.
Luckily, she managed to last for the rest of the class without any more Incidents, and so she got to show off some of her best poses for Ioannis, who seemed suitably pleased.
At the end of the class, as Hope was stood by the entrance, wiping the sweat off her forehead with a towel, Ioannis came up to her.
“That was a good session today,” he said, smiling. “Your half moon is really coming along.”
It took all of Hope’s strength of will to not throw herself at him, and have her wicked way right there on the gym floor. Unfortunately this will did not also include the ability to respond, and she stood there staring at him silently for rather longer than was comfortable.
“Is everything ok?” he asked, giving her an odd look.
“Yes, I’m great, brilliant actually,” Hope replied, all of the words she should have said ten seconds ago coming out at a machine gun speed as her brain caught up with the words she was trying to say right now. “That was a great session, thank you.”
“…you’re welcome?” Ioannis managed in response. Hope went bright red and she did not have the luxury of a sweaty workout to cover it this time. “Listen,” Ioannis went on, seemingly unperturbed. “I wanted to say that I think maybe you are too good for this class. You have mastered some of the more advanced poses very quickly, and even though you occasionally need some help, you are probably more suited to the intermediate class I run.”
“You really think so?” Hope beamed with pride.
“Yes, but there are still some asanas that you must learn. Perhaps I could teach you them in a one on one session tomorrow night?”
“I…are you sure?” Hope asked, but before he could answer she blurted out “I mean, I’d love to.”
“Great,” Ioannis smiled his perfect smile again. “I’ll see you here tomorrow, shall we say 8?”
“8 it is…” Hope said as Ioannis walked away.
The next day at 7.45 Hope walked through the doors of the gym. She had spent all day at work worrying. In the normal sessions Ioannis was distracted often enough that she could resolve an Incident in relative safety, but with just the two of them all of his attention would be on her.
It bothered her a little that she cared this much. He was after all, just a man, and no man should really be getting her worked up in to this much of a state. But his muscles glistened when he sweated, and you could bounce a ping pong ball off his stomach. And that accent, oh the accent!
Stop it, she told herself. It wasn’t like she thought she had a chance with him or anything. Perhaps this one on one session would be a good opportunity to out this ridiculous crush to bed. Oh, but he’s so dreamy…
At 8 on the dot Ioannis walked in to the gym, just as Hope finished warming up.
“I’m glad you could come,” he said to her. “I think we can have you making real progress very soon.”
The session began with some warm up poses, but it wasn’t long before they started to get in to the more technical manoeuvres. Hope had to use all her discipline to prevent any particularly embarrassing incidents, but there was only so many times that she could pretend she was struggling with a pose.
“Come on, Hope,” he said to her after a particularly poor showing on the bow. “Yesterday you were excellent but today you have struggled with some of the required asanas. Is something bothering you?”
Hope got to her feet and looked at him. What would it hurt to tell him? At least then there would be no way to hold out hope of any kind of relationship. There was no way back from ‘the downward dog makes me fart like a character from a Tom Green movie’. She resolved to tell him.
“Ioannis, there’s something I should tell you,” she said.
“Actually Hope, there is something I should tell you too,” he replied, looking a little embarrassed.
“OK,” Hope said. “Why don’t you go first?”
“I feel bad, but I had an ulterior motive for asking you to come to this session tonight.” Ioannis noticed the look of nervousness in Hope’s eyes and mistook it for annoyance. “Believe me,” he went on quickly. “I think you are more than capable of the intermediate class, but I wanted to talk to you alone. You see, the fact is, that actually I find you very attractive and would like it very much if perhaps you and I could go for a drink sometime?”
Hope stood there, mouth agape. She had to run back over it a couple of times to make sure she had just heard what she thought she had heard. Once again, however, she had left the silence too long.
“I’m sorry,” Ioannis said. “It was silly of me to think…”
“Yes,” she said, interrupting. “I would love to!”
“Great!” Ioannis smiled. “Now what were you going to tell me?”
Hope went bright red. “Oh nothing, it’s not important. In fact I’ve forgotten and so should you.”
After they exchanged contact details and slightly embarrassed smiles they got back down to the lesson. There were still a number of poses to learn before Hope could move on the intermediate course.
They breezed through the forms until they reached the last one. Hope was so elated that she didn’t even seem to care about the possibility of any Incidents.
“OK,” Ioannis said. “Lean forward and then lift your leg out to the side like this.”
Hope did as she said, her head in the clouds. As she raised her leg to the desired position she felt a rumbling coming on, and then to her horror it happened. There was no hiding this one, no passing it off as her foot sliding on the floor. That was a fart her 5 year old cousin would be proud of. Ioannis, looked at her, not quite sure what to say.
Her face the colour of beetroot Hope stared at her dream man.
“I can explain!” she blurted out. “About that thing I was going to tell you before, well…”
Ioannis merely looked at her and smiled.