I’d had a tour, now I was waiting to speak to someone in Membership. I looked around me, all very fancy; plush carpets, fat cups of cappuccino, yummy mummies everywhere watching their offspring play tennis, and foreign accents. I’m not sure I can afford this I thought as I sipped my complimentary ‘gently sparkling’ water, and more to the point wondered if it was me.
I heard my name and looked up, and up, to find Charles – all 6ft 7” of him gazing down at me, pink shirt, slick hair, handsome as they come with an indefinable accent; sort of French but polite English at the same time. I blushed instantly; anyone would have.
He started to talk. I tried to keep focused on the job at hand and managed to secure a deal I was happy with. ‘You’ll be coming here a lot more than you think you will’ he summarised.
Saturday morning was sunny and I bounded out, excited to be going to my new gym. Power showers were everywhere with enormous heads. Fathers on swim duty leant over the pool in designer jeans and casual weekend wear to spur their kids on. The Jacuzzi bubbled and the lights twinkled in the ceilings of the steam and sauna rooms.
I went to get changed. Mums, lean but frazzled looking and speaking in three languages at once were in attendance. ‘Bella, Grazia, dépêche toi! Where are your goggles? No, I told you I have treats in the car – here have an apple’. Her German friend shouted over: ‘Do you aff spare apfel?’ I turned to try and find a space to put my things on the bench – kids clothes had taken over and I surreptitiously moved some to one side.
Finally they left and there was silence. On the way out I turned to a lady walking alongside me and commented on the frenetic activity. ‘You need to come to the adult swim’ she said. I headed to the cafe, ordered a drink and sat down. The occasional sound of the smoothie machine could be heard alongside the tap tap of the barista.
All was calm. I started to read the paper as I heard the dulcet tones of Membership appoaching, taking another couple of potential clients for a tour. I hadn’t even tried the gym or the classes yet I mused, perhaps Charles was right after all. Time would tell.