Fiction Romance Suspense

Never have I ever. Not yet, anyway. My last twenty years have been lived inside a cloak of matronly invisibility. This is a common complaint among women nearing our seventies. We have become see-through. We are no longer considered women. No one thinks of us as desirable or attractive, except our dear husbands. That should be enough to satisfy our self-confidence, right?

One would think so. However, I recently returned to a local fitness center that I had previously signed up to just before the pandemic swept us all home to gain weight and become flabby, in the best interests of our health. I had purchased the required indoor-only sneakers and a pair of those second-skin lycra workout pants and, holding my stomach in, entered the club for my first exercise session in three years.

Walking in the door it hit me right in the ovaries. The sharply musky scent of testosterone. The Xs and Ys were assaulting my cloak of invisibility and I was helpless to fight them off. Dear Lord, there were enough young men in that health club to start an Army platoon. It was wall-to-wall eye candy, had I been inclined to peek.

I was mostly feeling like a withered-up old sore thumb sticking out of my element of quilting bees and knitting clubs. What if I did a nosedive onto the belt of the treadmill? What if I got a cramp in my leg while doing the shoulder machine? What if I couldn’t manage to lift the minimum on the shoulder machine? What if I had to quit and find an easier machine in humiliation?

I nervously wandered through the forest of complex-looking, stainless-steel equipment, looking for familiar machines that I’d used in the past. My past was dancing professionally for twelve years in my teens and twenties. After an injury to my knee, I had to work out in a similar club to bring my knee back up to full capabilities.

Aha, found it. It was the only type of equipment I could remember how to use. It had a sturdy seat with handgrips near the seat to steady oneself while pushing your legs into a split or near split position and then, squeezing your legs tightly together into the center position. It was an abductor something or other. All I knew was it looked familiar to me.

As I situated myself on the torture device, a young man working out with big weights came over and thought he could help me find an easier machine to work out on, “Um, excuse me, ma’am. I think you might want to begin with something a little less strenuous. I’ve never seen you here before and it would be a shame if you hurt yourself.”

“Oh, that’s okay. This is the only machine I’m really familiar with. The other ones look too scary for me.”

“Uh…do you want me to stay here to make sure you can handle it? Just in case, you know, like if you fall or something?”

“What? And break a hip? No. That’s fine. If I think someone is watching me, I won’t be able to exercise at all. Thank you though.” In my head, I was thinking, ‘Sonny’.

Satisfied that he’d done his duty warning that old lady he waltzed off in a cloud of sweat and hormones, leaving me a little out of breath before I even began my workout. Oh, my. Perhaps I’ll just bring my Kindle and read in a corner while inhaling all these young guys.

I situated myself on the rack, placing my hands on the grips and my feet and knees against the resistance pads. Then I let muscle memory take over. Twenty-five years of ballet exercises kicked in and soon I was doing almost full splits and snapping my legs back together like I knew what I was doing. The spread was far easier than squeezing my legs back together, I must admit.

Splits were more natural for me than doing an upper-body workout. Although I knew that was what I truly needed, why begin with a losing proposition? I did about forty splits and squeezes before I clambered off the machine, testing my legs for signs of broken hips. Nope. I was good.

I found a medieval upper body device designed to dislocate both shoulders at the same time while working my sloppy abs. After completing fifty reps of that torture, I found a treadmill to finish up my first day of old lady boot camp at the gym. While dutifully adjusting the program to allow for my sixty-eight-year-old body to cool down, I began the boring routine of one foot in front of the other over and over again.

See? That’s what I hated about working out in gyms. It was dull- no scenery to… whoa…never mind. The young hunk who had tried to talk me out of the split machine had hopped onto the treadmill next to mine and began running, leaving me behind in his tangy testosterone-scented dust.

Show off.

Occasionally he would look over at my pathetic three-mile-an-hour pace and smile sympathetically at me. Maybe he was going to ask if I needed help crossing the street later.

Hmm. I might just let him. He had dark eyes, short-styled dark hair, and was very clean-cut except for the mustache he had probably just gotten old enough to grow. He didn’t even need to hold onto the grips at the side of the machine to keep from tumbling off. Although I would have caught him if he did.

Very interesting. I am very short- just barely five feet tall in heels. This fellow towered over me and had broad shoulders, sinewy arms, and well-developed muscular legs. Unfortunately, that was all I could see from my vantage point, without looking like a stalker or hiding out in the men’s changing room towel bin to spy on him.

What was I thinking? I was an old lady. No one noticed old ladies. There were twenty young women working out in various stages of lycra gear all around us. Dream on, fool. All I knew was my husband might get attacked later that evening. It was Hal’s lucky day.

While I plodded along at an embarrassingly slow pace, my dark-haired friend slowed his pace and, still being able to hold a conversation after running five miles, he began chatting with me, “You surprised me with the leg workout. You’re in pretty good shape.”

“What? For an old broad?” I laughed.

“No, seriously, for anyone. How did you do so many reps on that thing?”

“Oh, that one was easy. I danced for twenty-five years. The upper body workouts kill me though.”

“Really?” He replied, sounding interested in learning more about this invisible granny, “What kind of dancing?”

Here is where it always gets dicey when I try to explain what I did during my twenties, “I started out with Ballet and Modern Jazz.”

“Wow. Then what did you do?”

“You really don’t want to hear all that.” I demurred.

“No, come on. Then what?” He said breezily as if he wasn’t outpacing me on his machine.

“Um. I- uh, became, a stripper.”

“Really? That’s hot. What- around here?”

“No. I worked all over the country for about twelve years.” I explained, a bit uncomfortable with the subject.

“So, that explains why you’re in such good shape. So, you’re like fifty or something?”

“I was fifty about eighteen years ago.”

“No shit. Seriously? Wow. You’re pretty hot for someone who’s almost seventy.”

“That’s funny. Well, you’re hot too- for someone who’s…?”

He just looked at me like a deer in headlights. “Huh?”

“How old are you?” I waited patiently for him to count out his age on his fingers. But no.


Very nice, dear. You didn’t need your crayons to write that out for me. Good grief. There would be no witty repartee with this dude, I could tell. Keep it simple for stupid. However, he was delightful to look at and that warm, damp sensation in my lycra workout leggings wasn’t from sweat alone. I was going to be thinking of him often in the next couple of weeks.

I could save witty repartee for my husband because he’s very clever and fun and we spend much of our time together repartee-ing wittily. He’s really the only person who can keep up with my mind, which I why I’m keeping him around for another forty years.

However, when the cute, young dude asked me what my name was I didn’t hesitate to tell him and ask him what his was, Jake. Nice. I once wrote an entire book and a half about a love affair with a man named Jake. This could be interesting.

Then he asked me what all young people ask a total stranger they have just met, “So, can I get your cell number?”

“Oh, I don’t have a cell number. I’m not in jail.”

“Huh? I’m confused.”

Sigh, “I’m joking. I don’t own a cell phone. I have no use for one.”

“No way. How do you live?” He blurted out, aghast.

I’m a writer. When I’m not at the gym I’m in my home office writing and I have a telephone right on my desk if I need it.”

“Well, can I get that number so I can call you sometime?”

“That’s not a good idea. My husband might wonder why a thirty-year-old guy is calling his wife.”

“Well, how about if we go for coffee after you’re done changing?”

“Maybe a quick one- I have to get home and start dinner.” Hint, hint, hint, I’m married.

“Great. I’ll meet you up the road in a half hour, Tina. That’s a cute name. It fits you- you’re so little.”

Except for the flab on my abs, I guess I am.

Not expecting to be socializing after a workout I didn’t even have a change of clothes to go for coffee. I would have to settle for slipping out of my damp panties and cleaning up in the changing room. I didn’t want to smell like an over-sexed swamp at the coffee shop. I also applied a little mascara and lipstick before I went out to start the car and warm it up. Was this an innocent visit with a new friend, or was my mind going places where it should not?

Definitely, my mind was in places where it should not be. Like into that young man’s gym shorts. Good grief. Was that all it took to make me consider cheating on my spouse? I didn’t recall ever looking at other men the entire time we’d been married up until that point. Perhaps going to the gym was a mistake for me.

When I got to the coffee shop it was turning dusk and Jake, my new buddy was standing outside the shop waiting to open the doors for me. Maybe he was just looking for a Boy Scout merit badge, after all. He let me go before him when I ordered, and he paid for both our coffees and let me choose the seat. He seemed a bit unsure of himself, out of his environment at the gym.

So, what do strangers with nothing in common except for tingling hormones talk about? I wouldn’t know. Talking with my husband was so easy. Now I was at a loss for words, which doesn’t happen often with me.

Fortunately, Jake started, “You know, when you walked into the gym, I noticed you right away. There’s something sexy about you and you weren’t, you know, flaunting yourself around like the younger women. It’s like you know you didn’t need to.”

“I was there to work out. It’s not the sexiest way to meet people. I would prefer wearing a cocktail dress, stockings, and high heels to meet men. If I was looking to meet men, that is.”

“I can picture that. I’ll bet you look hot in heels and stockings. You have great legs and a really nice ass. I’m going to be thinking about you all weekend.”

“You need to get out more, kid.” I joked, blushing from head to foot at all this sudden attention.

“Naw. I think I’m right where I want to be.”

“You know I’m married, right? I don’t cheat on my husband- even with someone like you.”

“Yeah, but you’re here right now. That means something, right?”

I was getting a little uncomfortable with the conversation. I must admit, it flattered me and made me feel something I hadn’t felt in a very long time. I had to wonder if this was Jake’s thing, making moves on older women, thinking we wouldn’t be able to resist him. I had to keep my head on a swivel around this guy because I couldn’t believe that I had suddenly become dating material simply by walking into a gym.

Jake surprised me by reaching out and softly stroking my arm. I had read that men do that sort of touching to see if they can get away with it, then they try more. It was a test and at that moment I wasn’t certain how I wanted to respond. Did I really want to shut him down right away? Or could I enjoy the attention without getting too close to the fire? One thing I knew for certain was my lycra workout pants would have to be burnt when I got home.

My body was reacting like a cat in heat on a fence. Thankfully, I wasn’t screeching and wailing at the top of my lungs. I was quietly simmering in some pretty heady juices though and my coffee date, although not the brightest bulb in the box, was picking up on it. “I think you want to see more of me. I can tell by the way you’re breathing.”

“See more of you or see more of you?” I asked, trying to lighten the mood and catch my breath.

“I think you want both. How can we do that?” He asked, stroking my arm and not letting go, even after I tried to pull back.

“Um, I think I’d better be going home. It’s getting late and my husband will wonder if I fell off the treadmill and they had to call 911 to come get me.”

“Okay, let me walk you out, it’s dark.”

He walked me out to my car and opened the door for me, accidentally swiping his arm across my ass as I climbed in. “That’s nice.”

“Nope. That’s not nice. I have to go home.” I said firmly, shutting the party down, sort of annoyed at his audacity.

So, never have I ever, and still have never.

February 03, 2023 00:17

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