Rock-climbing, sports in general, I’m not good at. Granted I haven’t been to the gym regularly, but even if I was fit as a fox I wouldn’t be good at rock-climbing. Gravity is my enemy when it comes to these things. Although, somehow, even when the girls know exactly who I am, that’s the sort of post break up activity they think I should do.
We were the fearsome foursome, rocking up in our cute gym wear that we wore every once in a while but acted like it was every day. I was wearing skin tight shorts, and a singlet top with a jacket on. Maybe the more skin I showed the more distracted people would get with my shocking rock-climbing (plateauing really!) skills. But then again is it really a good idea to distract people in the moment where distractions are the worst possible thing to happen? Maybe not.
We rocked up (cue drum beat and then PISH on the cymbal for lame joke!) to rock-climbing heaven (or hell) looking all dapper as can be and acting like we knew what we were getting ourselves into. It was like 6PM and we were all free at the same time, an opportunity in need of seizing whenever it happened. The girls took care of everything at the reception. They even paid for me, which I wasn’t expecting. Then we were escorted by a robust guy with the deepest scar I had ever seen on his bottom lip fanning outwards. Kind of like the scar Tina Fey has, only I’m hoping he got his in a less traumatic way.
“Damn,” Janet said, while he explained how to harness the harness to the group.
Jodie then leaned into me. “I’m about to turn for this guy.”
We started giggling.
“Umm, excuse me,” the man said. “Ladies giggling back there, you need to listen carefully.”
“Sorry,” I nodded. He was right; life and death here! Didn’t stop me from going red when everyone turned their gazes though.
Afterwards we were split up and paired up. We were lucky enough to be an even number so us girls could stick together, so I had Chloe’s back while Janet had Jodie’s.
“Promise not to drop me?” Chloe said worriedly.
I rolled my eyes. “Don’t worry, you’ll be fine.” Chloe seemed relaxed as she closed her eyes and nodded. “Besides,” I continued once she opened her eyes again, “if I drop you, you’ll probably just break something.”
Chloe narrowed her eyes onto me. “Not funny.”
I smiled. “Just a little bit.”
“Fine,” she said, turning around and starting the climb.
Chloe and Jodie were up against each other, or with each other at times. We all knew Jodie was going to win, the athletic one of course, but we also knew she was going to help us out. Even with the help though, Chloe still lost, and Jodie hit the top before Chloe even came close to half way.
“Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck,” Chloe chanted as she flew down. “Damn this hurts my lady bits and all around town.”
“Imagine what it feels like for the guys,” Janet said.
For some reason, with that comment, all of our eyes then gravitated towards Robust Scar man. Just when he noticed us we turned away and started giggling again. It was only natural if we wondered about the size of a cute guy’s junk right? Especially after the trauma it goes through with burning rope.
After a couple of sets with Jodie and Chloe, we switched. At that moment Robust Scar guy was standing like a soldier, with his arms crossed over his chest, and staring at me. Great, now I got don’t-crack-a-smile staring me down while I climb up. Just my luck! Trying to remove the image of him watching me, I shook my head and started for the first rock. I ended up slipping so bad that my head banged into the wall, and I swear Italy could have mistaken my bright red face for tomato sauce and made a pizza!
The girls were trying to stifle their laugh and I dared not look at anyone. Ugh, for fear of the horror happening again, I started again but very gently and slowly this time. We’re talking Grandma speed here! Janet finally reached the top before me and I couldn’t care about anything else besides getting back down.
“I’m going to get bottled water from the vending machine outside,” I said. “Does anyone want anything?”
They all shook their head. Looks like was the only one with my head out of the game.
I passed the reception area and looked for the vending machine I first saw as soon as I entered this place. The room was empty, everyone was either inside or in the locker rooms. The vending machine, of course, held all the energy drinks and water possible. Coke and Pepsi were nowhere to be found but that’s okay, for some reason my lips developed this dry sensation after a workout and if I drank anything sugary, my mouth would feel like sludge. Not a good feeling at all.
“How are you liking rock-climbing so far?” I heard a man’s voice ask.
I turned my gaze and found a Robust Scar man look-alike only with no scar and he wasn’t a tank like his other half.
I smiled. “You say that like it’s the first time I’ve gone rock-climbing.”
“Well either that or it’s been a long time. How’s your head by the way?”
“Oh my God,” I lifted a hand to cover my forehead in shock horror.
He started laughing. “It’s okay, it’s okay. I swear it wasn’t all that bad. My brother loved it though.”
“Your brother?” I asked.
“The instructor that spoke today, his name is Ivan and I’m Anton.”
I held out my hand to meet his. “Anna.”
“So you seem like you could use some down time,” he said. “Are you free Friday during the day?”
“Yes, she is!”
Just when I was about to say that I couldn’t do anything since I’m still in stage one of my break up phase, another voice behind us called out.
Chloe was strolling along casually with a huge grin on her face. “She’s free.”
Anton looked between me and her. “Well I was just wondering because I have a boat and my brother and I are going to set sail for a bit. Are you interested?”
“She’s interested,” Chloe said. She then gave him a piece of paper. “This is her number, just tell her when and where.”
“Hold on a second,” I chuckled awkwardly, “look, I just got out of a relationship and I—”
Chloe nudged me with her elbow. “He’s not proposing.”
Anton laughed and hadn’t said anything up until this point. “Look, if you’re even feeling just a tad uncomfortable you could always bring your friend, or friends, to scope the place out. Maybe Ivan wants to double date; he won’t be hard to convince.”
I nodded seeing no other way out. “Cool,” I smiled.
“See you on Friday,” he said.
“Bye,” Chloe and I both replied.
I finally turned to Chloe. “What are you—”
She held up her hand to interrupt me yet again! “Okay, before you wrap me up in a ring of fire, let me just say something first.” I crossed my arms over my chest and waited for the justification. “You need to have fun, Anna. I know it might be really soon, well, it is soon, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to be doing anything with the guy. We’ll be double dating anyway, so I’m there with you.”
“It’s going to be like squeezing blood from a stone,” I said.
“Come on Anna, you won’t even have to call it a date, to be honest.”
I rolled my eyes and scoffed. “What if it turns out really bad? You do realise we’re going to be in the middle of the ocean, we can’t just pick up and leave if things aren’t going well.”
Chloe considered this and then burst into laughter that happened to liven my spirits just a tad. “I didn’t even think of that. Hey,” she hooked an arm through mine, “if it turns out bad, at least we’ve made a new memory out of it. One that’ll last forever.”
Chloe was right; not to mention that I needed new memories stat. I couldn’t help but wonder though, whether this non-date date was too soon. I knew nothing was going to happen, it wasn’t like I was going to be with someone else a week after Daniel and I, but should it stop me from taking chances? Should I even have told Anton that I just got out of a relationship? There were just as many rules about break ups as much as there are in relationships. The one rule I really wanted to know was how much give should I give before I could start seeing someone again?
More importantly, should there even be rules? We’ve all heard about the three month honeymoon period, then the six month period, and so on; but should we be taking these guidelines into account? If anything, the three month period was telling me that those months were nothing and I shouldn’t even be considering it as anything of merit. More so, it told me a new relationship was still unprepared to be a serious relationship. Did that mean I was unprepared to start dating again any time soon?