True To Yourself

by Carole Mortenson

PART 5— A Learning Experience

Go to Part 1

CHAPTER THIRTEEN – The First Three Weeks

Chakra Workshop—Week One –

Jordan MacKenzie walked into the Valley Gardens Yoga Studio at 6 p.m. She wanted to set everything up and be ready to go when her students arrived. Mavis, the manager of the studio, had dismissed her Pilates class early this evening so Jordan could arrange her things the way she wanted and make sure she had everything she needed for the first class. On the following weeks, the Pilates class would run until 6:15 p.m., which would still leave enough time for Jordan to line out her materials before starting her workshop at the scheduled time of 6:30.

Jordan kicked herself for not getting flyers out earlier to the yoga studios. As it was, she had delayed the workshop for a week because only seven women had signed up. She had hoped for ten. Then that last lady called to register—what was her name?—Andy Tavanaugh. That made eight students total. She decided to go ahead with that number rather than delay it further. It didn't look like she'd have any more women sign up.

She spread her blanket out on the floor at the long side of the room and laid her materials out on it in front of her. She made sure the lighting was right and walked out into the foyer just as students started coming in the door.

She greeted each one and directed them to the counter, where Mavis had them fill out forms and write out their name tags. There were seven students so far, according to Jordan 's count. She looked at their name tags. Only one to go—the Tavanaugh woman. In the workshop she taught last summer, she knew everyone, and almost everyone knew her . She could be herself. Everyone except Mavis was completely new to her this time. So she was going to have to be a little more careful about what she said in class.

* * * * * *

Andrea Lee Tavanaugh, with her husband Ken, pulled up and parked in front of the yoga studio a few minutes before 6:30 p.m. It had been exactly two weeks and four days from the time Andy had signed up for the workshop until she was actually here! It seemed to her like she had been waiting and looking forward to it forever!

Andy got out of the truck and told Ken to pick her up at 9:30 and then walked quickly over to the studio. She opened the door and stepped in. She had been in only one genuine yoga studio before—that belonging to Anna-Marie. She looked around and noticed this one was quite different. It had a waiting area with a counter, a wrap-around divan with a coffee table, and a small changing room in one corner. The double doors to the exercise room were open, displaying a large area with a hardwood floor, highly polished. Anna-Marie's exercise floor was carpeted. Andy decided immediately that she liked this studio.

Jordan was talking to one of the students and turned around when she heard the door open. She walked over to her final student.

"You must be Andy," she said, reaching out to shake Andy's hand while looking into Andy's dark-brown eyes. "I'm Jordan ."

Oh, my God! Jordan thought. This is the woman who spilled her coffee!

Andy took her hand. "Yes,” she said, looking at Jordan 's dark-blonde hair cascading down her shoulders.

Oh, my God! Andy thought. This is the paramedic!

She doesn't remember me, Jordan thought.

She doesn't remember me, Andy thought.

They released hands abruptly at the same time. Jordan gestured over to the counter. "Mavis will get you registered. Then you can remove your shoes and deposit them over there," she said, pointing to a wooden bookcase-like structure, with twenty-four cubby holes designed to hold shoes. "Come on into the exercise room when you're done." She turned and left. The other students followed her.

Andy was beside herself. She never would have guessed that she would ever see Jordan MacKenzie in a place like this. She was a paramedic and worked for the fire department. Was she a teacher, too? I didn't think I'd ever see her again. How in the world am I ever going to keep my composure? At least, I don't have any coffee to spill!

Jordan knew that the woman she had seen at the Citadel Mall and then months later at Home Depot was into yoga. But what a surprise she showed up here. She couldn't be more delighted. I didn't think I'd ever see her again. Now how am I supposed to handle the class with her in it? She's definitely a distraction!

Andy was ready to throw herself wholeheartedly into the workshop—no matter who the teacher was. She decided not to say anything about having acknowledged Jordan a few months ago at the mall, thinking Jordan wouldn't remember her, anyway. What difference did it make now?

As for Jordan , there didn't seem to be any recourse but to get on with the class. Of course, she wouldn't say anything to Andy about being at the mall last December. It was just a passing encounter then, and Andy probably didn't remember her.

The students spread out their mats in a semi-circle facing Jordan . They were about ten feet away from her, and Andy was in the middle--directly in front of her. When class began and Jordan asked for a volunteer right after introductions, Andy was the first to raise her hand.

Jordan directed her to lie flat on the blanket in front of her. She was going to check Andy's chakras—using her pendulum—to show the class how the pendulum could determine how efficiently one's chakras were operating.

Andy stretched out on her back on the blanket as she was instructed. Jordan was on her knees as she held the pendulum over her about three inches away. She started with the seventh chakra at the top of her head. The direction in which the pendulum swung around in a circle—clockwise or counterclockwise—would determine if the chakra was open or closed. She slowly moved down Andy's body from chakra to chakra, watching the pendulum do its work.

Andy's crown chakra—the seventh chakra—was open. Andy's third eye chakra—the sixth chakra—was open. Her throat chakra—the fifth chakra—was...closed. Jordan said something softly next to her head about there being problems with truth. Then the heart charka—the fourth chakra—was...partially blocked. Jordan again mentioned truth in an almost whispered voice.

She leaned closer to Andy's ear and said in a low voice, "I'll talk to you later." She went on to check the rest of the chakras, all of which had some slight misalignments, but nothing noteworthy. The foot chakras—which were additional chakras—were open.

Jordan related the results of the experiment to the other students. "Just because Andy has been the guinea pig, and just because her chakras are not wholly where they should be, doesn't mean there is something wrong with her. There is no judgment in the matter. The chakras are what they are." This was difficult for the students to grasp.

Jordan asked everyone to have an open mind and gave them a homework assignment in one of the handouts in which they were to answer questions about the material from this session. They would discuss the assignment next time.

The class ran over by half an hour. Jordan said next week she would try and stick to the 6:30 to 9:30 time schedule so everyone could get out on time.

Andy was going to stay and ask what Jordan meant by saying she'd talk to her later, but it was already 10 o'clock. Ken was probably ticked off, wondering why she hadn't come out yet. She had thought it might be best to let him drive her to the workshop and back home every week, so he could see for himself that she didn't go anywhere else. And...she was able to turn her cell phone off , in case he called. He is so possessive, she thought.

She realized now she may have made a mistake allowing Ken to drive her—if the class was going to run over consistently. But since Jordan said she would be on time from here on out, it probably wouldn't happen again. No sense in putting the cart before the horse.

Andy walked slowly up to the truck and wondered if Jordan actually didn't remember her from the mall. She'd shown no recognition when they shook hands. Of course, Andy showed no sign of knowing her , either. She made a few remarks to Ken about the workshop—apologizing that the class went overtime—and then remained silent the rest of the way home.

* * * * * *

Jordan drove herself home, mentally hitting herself over the head.

Why did I tell that woman that I'd talk to her later? About what? She has no idea who I am. She probably wondered why I wanted to talk to her. Maybe she'll forget I said that. And I have no idea who she is, either. When I saw her at the mall a few months ago, I never even spoke to her. So what would I say if I talked to her now? I don't know why I was attracted to her back then. I don't know why I'm still attracted to her. This is ridiculous! What am I thinking?

* * * * * *

Chakra Workshop—Week Two –

Andy asked Jordan before the next class started what she meant the previous week when she was checking her chakras that she would talk to her later. Jordan feigned ignorance, saying she didn't really mean anything by it—that sometimes a chakra will be closed and then later it would be open. It wasn't a judgment or anything. It's just the way it is.

Andy let it go, but couldn't help but think the reason her throat chakra was closed was because there were problems with truth.

My God, she thought. Of course, there are problems. I don't know the truth about myself ! Who in the world am I, really? Maybe Jordan sees something in me—

But she didn't want to pursue this line of thinking, as she didn't even know Jordan . She didn't know where Jordan 's thoughts were. So she accepted her explanation.

" Jordan , I had a tremendously moving experience in my yoga class on Saturday," Andy said, "where all of us students sent out energy from our heart chakras to a lady who was sick in the hospital. I felt so much energy leave me, that I was in tears a great part of the class."

Jordan nodded her head as Andy talked.

Andy went on, "So do you think you could check me with the pendulum again, to see if my heart chakra is more open now?"

"Yes, I can do that right now," Jordan said, "before the class starts."

Andy stretched out on her own mat and Jordan ran the pendulum over her body again. She said most of the chakras were open, including the heart chakra now. The one exception was the throat chakra, which governed the area of communication. It was still closed.

Andy thought she'd throw something out there to see if there was any response from Jordan . "Since this is the communication chakra, I should say that I really have a hard time speaking about my emotions and have a tendency to keep my emotions inside."

Jordan merely nodded. Her emotions! she thought to herself. My emotions are what I'm concerned about! How am I going to keep those bottled up inside of me with this woman in class? It's hard enough to be kneeling so close to her with my pendulum.

Her heart was racing, and she chose to make just a couple of remarks on Andy's observation, hoping Andy would not ask any questions. ""Maybe this class will help you in that regard. Yoga has a way of opening up things that are deep within you." She smiled, and Andy nodded back.

Jordan called upon the students toward the end of class to do some yoga asanas relating to the first two chakras. They repeatedly worked at the different positions. Andy thought Jordan seemed to be helping her more than the other students. That might have been only because she was seated directly in front of Jordan , and she was probably imagining it.

Time ran out before they could share their homework assignment, and Andy said she still had some questions. Jordan gave the class her cell phone number and said if they had any questions about the class, to feel free to call her. She had voice mail, but would get back to them. She emphasized that even though they hadn't gone over the homework assignment, to go ahead and do the next one, and they'd try to get to both assignments next week.

They had been studying the second chakra, which was the sexual chakra. At one point as the class got underway, Andy asked Jordan if she was uncomfortable teaching that particular chakra.

Why did I ask that? Andy thought. Maybe because I'm uncomfortable with it?

Jordan said no, but for people listening, there is somewhat of a taboo talking about sexual things. The class agreed that the room was noticeably quiet as she taught the second chakra.

* * * * * *

As she made her way home with Ken that night, Andy began wondering about Jordan . She thought Jordan might be gay, but she probably wasn't. And she thought Jordan wouldn't have any reason to think she was gay. She wasn't sure about it herself! It was so confusing right now.

Jordan never talked about a husband or children, but mentioned a partner one time in some vague reference. Did she live with a man? Or a woman? Andy pictured a woman—but it probably was a man. Anna-Marie talked about a man whom she was currently seeing—years after her divorce—and she called him her partner . Maybe they used the same terms. Maybe Jordan was married...or maybe not.

Why should I be so concerned about her in that way at all? Andy thought. My main focus should be on the chakra workshop, not on the woman who is teaching it! But she couldn't stop thinking about her.

* * * * * *

Chakra Workshop—Week Three –

Jordan opened the class for discussion at the beginning of the third class, as Andy indicated she needed some feedback on the homework assignment. Before Jordan began answering questions, she repeated her words of last week. "If anyone wants to talk to me about anything in the class, just pick up the phone and call."

"I'd call," Andy said, "but I don't want to play cat and mouse—phone tag."

"Just call," Jordan said, "and I'll connect when it's the right time to connect. As I've said more than once already, things happen when they're supposed to happen. There are no coincidences; nothing ever happens accidentally.”

Jordan talked in class about gut feelings and intuition of the third chakra—its relationship to the solar plexus and the power center. "For example," she said, "someone may be talking to you and you have a gut feeling that they're up to no good. You have a bad feeling about them."

"Or you could be attracted to someone," Andy said, "and it's a good gut feeling."

Jordan answered, "Yeah, it could be like that," and smiled at her.

Andy knew at the end of this class session, she wanted to get to know Jordan better—one way or another. She had to batten down her fear of women and approach her and just talk to her somehow.

Jordan wondered what was going on in Andy's mind and was blown away when Andy mentioned being attracted to someone and having a good gut feeling. Yeah, I'm that way with Andy, she admitted to herself, and there's isn't a damn thing I can do about it!

* * * * * *

For the next three days after the third session, Andy stewed over whether or not to call Jordan, to see if she would like to go to breakfast, lunch, coffee—or something. She would like to talk with her more concerning the chakras about which she was unclear. At least, she thought that's what she wanted to talk about.

But she was afraid to call. What if Jordan said no? Andy knew she wouldn't be able to handle that kind of rejection—but didn't really know why. It would be perfectly normal for Jordan to decline her invitation, because she was her workshop instructor.

She finally rationalized that because Jordan had a bad cold at the last class session, she didn't want to impose on her right now. She decided to push it to the back of her mind and wait until the next class.



Jessica called Andy mid-afternoon on Saturday, wondering if she and Ken could come over for Bob's birthday the next day.

“Hang on, Jess,” Andy said. “I'll go check.”

She was sitting at the kitchen table working on her homework assignment right at that very moment, sandwiching it between her Saturday yoga class—where she'd come from an hour before—and watching dinner cook on the stove. She'd even foregone lunch after yoga so she could focus on her workshop homework.

She didn't like the interruption, but nevertheless went into the living room to ask Ken. He was so engrossed in watching TV that she had to project her voice loudly enough to be heard above the booming noise coming from a sporting event. He vaguely nodded, which Andy took for “yes.”

"Yeah, Jess,” Andy told her after she sat back down at the table. “Ken said okay. But I can't stay long, because I have some studying and journaling to do for the chakra workshop.”

"Oh," Jessica said. "You went ahead and signed up. I was wondering why I hadn't heard from you for a while. How's it going, Andy Lee?"

"It's extremely interesting, and the teacher is very knowledgeable. I'm learning a lot."

"Who is she? Do I know her? It is a she , isn't it?"

"I'm pretty sure you don't know her. It's the teacher my yoga instructor recommended."

You and she don't even run in the same circles, she thought.

Although Jess had seen Jordan from afar at the mall last December, she was certain that Jessica had not seen the identification badge on Jordan 's paramedic uniform. Jess had elected to stay at their table, saying she didn't want to hamper the work of the EMTs. She was nowhere near the scene during the superstorm. Andy figured Jess just wanted to continue her pity party and used that as an excuse. But she didn't want to mention Jordan 's name, just in case.

And…she sure didn't want to tell Jess that the woman paramedic and her workshop instructor were one and the same person! Jess would carry on to no end about it. Now that Jess wasn't working any more, Andy felt her friend was even nosier than when she was babysitting all the time.

" o'clock then?" Jess asked.

"Should be fine. Do you want me to bring anything?"

"No, I've got everything. See you tomorrow. We're planning on eating outside."

After they hung up, Andy thought she'd better go shopping after dinner and buy something for Bob's birthday. Maybe a joke book. Ken took a lot of his jokes from joke books and from the guys he had coffee with. He told her these jokes over and over again, to her dismay.

Well, maybe Bob and Ken can tell jokes to each other for a change.

Shopping this evening for a gift and then going over to Jess's tomorrow afternoon would help pass the time while she waited for the next workshop class. It would take her mind off of it for a while.

* * * * * *

Sunday turned out snowy and miserable again. Instead of lunch outside at Bob and Jess's—even though they had protection from the snow by the patio roof—they stayed inside because it was so cold. Andy wished the snow would end. It was almost June.

She felt uncomfortable around Bob and Jess, and Ken was a bore. There was so much more excitement in the workshop. But when she mentioned the workshop, no one seemed interested—except Ken. He pelted her with endless questions such as: What did they do? How many students were there? Were there any men? What did they have for refreshments? And so forth. Andy was soon sorry she had even mentioned it! She knew Ken asked questions only because Bob and Jess were around. He wouldn't dare grill her when they were at home alone!

She and Jess cleared the lunch dishes from the table so they could set the cake out and light the candles. Jess was talking her head off in the kitchen concerning something to do with her neighbors. However, Andy wasn't paying much attention to her. She had her ears cocked to what the fellows were discussing in the other room.

"I don't know why Andrea had to take this workshop," Ken was telling Bob. "She has enough to do with just the yoga classes. And then she's joined that new women's exercise place! I don't like her being gone so much."

"Maybe she feels that with the kids gone, she needs to get out more and meet other women," Bob said.

"That's what I'm afraid of. She's meeting other women. She didn't used to be like that. She didn't want to socialize with women. And now that's all she wants to do. She's changed so much that I don't know how to relate to her anymore. She's like a different person."

Ken was clearly perturbed as he talked with Bob, who did little to advise him. Bob had enough on his hands with Jess's strange behavior. "Yeah, Jess has been acting kind of weird lately, too."

The conversation drifted away as Jess rattled some dishes and silverware. They brought the cake in and set it on the table and lit the candles. Andy glanced at Ken.

Now I'm finding out what he really thinks. But he won't talk to me. He has to talk to Bob!

She was upset, but at the same time she felt the truth of what he was saying. She had changed. She was still married to Ken and was basically fond of him after so many years. But she had no wish to draw closer to him and have him relate to her. She was living a different life now that just didn't include him anymore. She felt that the more she was gone from home the better it was for her.


CHAPTER FIFTEEN – Encouragement

Chakra Workshop—Week Four –

Andy and Ken arrived at the yoga studio a few minutes earlier than they usually did. The place was dark, so Andy got out and told Ken to wait until she tried the door before he drove off—to make sure someone was there. She discovered the door was locked and went back to the truck. There appeared to either be no Pilates class tonight, or the students had already left and locked the doors behind them. She told Ken they should wait a few minutes to see if someone would come and unlock the door. Why wasn't Mavis here? If Jordan had cancelled the class, surely someone would have called her.

They were the only ones in the parking lot when they first arrived. Then Ken started goose-necking as other vehicles pulled up with women in them. They would get out of their vehicles and go into one of the shops in the little strip mall where the yoga studio was located.

Finally an SUV pulled up and parked a few spaces away from them. A woman climbed out and opened the rear hatch. She pulled out a box and carried it toward the studio. She was wearing loose white pants and a black, pull-over, long-sleeved knit shirt with the sleeves pushed up over her elbows. A winter jacket was on top of the box. Her heavy head of hair was hanging down over her shoulders and was being tossed about by the wind. Andy knew immediately who it was.

"Is that her, Andrea?" Ken said.

"Who?" Andy replied.

"Your workshop leader."


"That one walking with the box," Ken said, nodding his head toward Jordan .

"No, I don't think so," Andy replied, looking disinterested. "It's just one of the students."

I'm not going to tell him that's Jordan . He'd question me to no end! She watched Jordan only in her peripheral vision, while Ken strained his neck around and tried to look in the rearview mirror. He's bent on making a fool of himself, gawking at someone, Andy thought. Why doesn't he just get out of the truck and stand and stare at everybody—like little kids do? She was exasperated with Ken. He's so childish sometimes.

"But she's carrying a box," Ken insisted.

"So? One of the students brings the coffeepot and refreshments for our break. I think that's probably her. At least, we know the class hasn't been cancelled.”

Ken was finally quiet.

Jordan tried the door and then sat the box down at her feet and waited. She slipped on her winter jacket. Evidently she didn't have a key. Two students drove up and parked. Ken looked them over as they got out of their vehicles. They went to wait with Jordan , and Andy thought she should join them and send Ken home. But if no one came to unlock the door, she wouldn't have a ride back home. So she stayed in the truck.

Then someone else pulled up. It was Mavis—finally! She hurriedly unlocked the door, to everyone's relief. The women poured into the heated building while she held the door open for them.

"Pick me up fifteen minutes later than you usually do," Andy told Ken, sliding out of the truck and reaching up behind the seat to gather up her yoga materials as she talked. "We might run a little over tonight." She quickly walked away before Ken said anything.

Before class started, Mavis apologized for being late. She'd had to cancel her Pilates class and didn't realize how the time had slipped by.

As the class opened for discussion about the homework assignment, Andy told Jordan she was going to call her last week, but didn't want to bother her because Jordan had had such a bad cold in class. She said she had a ton of questions, but didn't want to take up class time now.

"Maybe we can chat later," Jordan said.

Andy responded, "That would be great."

"Others of you in the class probably have questions, too," Jordan said. "I'm still available. All you have to do is pick up your phone and call me."

Andy thought the class was fantastic. As part of the study of the amazing heart chakra, they did partner breathing. It was an awesome experience for Andy, who partnered with another student named Sydney . She, and then Sydney—alternating positions—felt the energy coursing through both their bodies at the same time as they felt their breath through laying their hands on each other's backs in various places. Sydney said Andy had really good energy.

Then they did another exercise where each partner placed a hand on the other's heart and covered the other's hand with her own free hand. They sat still for three to four minutes, sensing the energy exchange between them. When they released their hands, Andy's expressed her experience as Sydney 's hand seemingly becoming a part of her own hand. This was the consensus of almost every other person in the group!

Toward the end of the session, Andy raised her hand and told Jordan and the class that after studying four chakras, she felt like she was having an identity crisis.

Jordan perked up and said, "That's good."

"Before the workshop," Andy continued, "I thought I knew who I was and where I was going. But now I don't know who I am anymore." She was truly confused.

Jordan responded, "That's what it's all about."

Andy was the last one to gather up her things after class. As she watched Jordan putting away her workshop materials, she bolstered up all the courage she could and walked up to her—shaking in her socks.

"Do you ever go out to lunch or breakfast or something with any of your students?"

She halfway expected Jordan to say no—that she didn't feel it would be the right thing to do in an ongoing class and that she had to keep teacher/student boundaries for the sake of the whole class.

Much to her surprise, Jordan said, "I always have before."

Andy said, "Would you do that with me? That is, have lunch or something? We could discuss some of the questions I have."

Jordan said, "Sure. What about next week?"

Andy didn't know how to approach this business of having lunch with a woman, as she had never done this before. Except with Jess, who was not Jordan , and whom she had known forever .

"Well," she began in a trembling voice, "I have yoga next week—but that's just on Saturday. And I have another exercise class....So, I think—" she hesitated.

Jordan was still on her knees while she and Andy were talking, engrossed in placing her workshop materials in their proper place in her box to carry out to her vehicle. She finally rose to her feet and looked down into Andy's eyes for the first time since Andy had walked over to her.

She said, "Maybe after we have our yoga class, we could go have coffee or something." Then she pondered for a moment. "Oh, you have yoga with Anna-Marie, not where I have yoga."

Andy's close proximity was quite unsettling to her, and she realized she had not been thinking clearly about what Andy had been saying concerning her yoga schedule. She tried to recover from her misunderstanding.

"Why don't you call me Monday, and we can make arrangements then."

Andy asked, "You're going to be home Monday morning?" Of course she would be home. Why else would she tell me to call her then? Doofus!

Jordan said, smiling, “Yes, I'll be home.”

Andy said, "Okay, I'll call you then." She felt she needed to talk to someone about what was happening to her. It was not only the chakras she needed more information about! She didn't really know what was happening to her, but she felt she could trust Jordan .

Class ended right on time, so she had to wait for Ken. She remembered telling him to pick her up fifteen minutes later than usual. It was cold and dark outside in front of the yoga studio. And it had begun to drizzle. Andy was glad she had worn her heavier jacket. A small light was still on inside the studio and Mavis, the manager, came out and asked if she needed a ride. Andy told her no, that her ride was coming. Mavis said she'd lock up the studio and come back and wait with her.

Jordan had finished putting her workshop materials in the SUV, and as she pulled out of her parking spot to leave, she saw Andy standing in front of the studio by herself. She pulled up to the curb and rolled down the window. "Are you waiting for someone?" she asked.

"Yes," Andy said. "For my ride."

"Do you want me to wait with you?"

Oh God, yes, I want you to wait with me! No, thanks," Andy replied. "Mavis is locking up and she's going to wait with me. Thanks, anyway."

Jordan drove away.

Mavis came out and stood with her, and immediately began questioning her. She took on an almost accusative tone—asking how long she had known Jordan , where did she know Jordan from, and other intrusive questions. Mavis clearly was upset. Andy didn't know what to say, other than that she didn't know Jordan before the workshop, and her yoga teacher had recommended her because she had been in one of her workshops.

Then Mavis began asking about her yoga teacher: who she was, where she was located, how long Andy had been with her, and so on. Andy felt intimidated—almost as if she were doing something wrong by being acquainted with Jordan or for coming to her workshop. Or, for that matter, by having any kind of an association with yoga whatsoever. After Ken picked her up, Andy just shook her head silently, wondering what was going on with Mavis. Why was she grilling her so much? Her manner went way beyond just a friendly conversation.

* * * * * *

Monday morning around 10 o'clock, Andy called Jordan from the phone in the kitchen just before she left to run some errands. There was no answer, so she left a voice mail and her home phone number, saying she'd be back at such-and-such a time.

When she got back home from running her errands, she noticed Jordan had not yet called. The day plodded along and still no phone call. She remembered Jordan distinctly saying she'd be home Monday morning.

She was in the kitchen starting dinner shortly after 5 o'clock when Jordan called. They talked back and forth in generalities for a few minutes— Jordan leading the conversation. But she never explained why it took so long for her to connect with Andy.

Jordan asked where Andy would like to go for lunch. Andy was unfamiliar with places to eat, as she and Ken seldom went out. Jordan asked what kind of food Andy liked, and then named three or four places close to Andy's house. They finally agreed on a popular all-around eating place not far from where Andy lived, as Andy wasn't sure what she liked to eat. They made arrangements to meet for lunch at 11:30 a.m. on Friday.

Andy thought, It doesn't make a bit of difference to me what I eat. Getting together with Jordan is all that matters! But she must have thought I was really dumb not knowing where to go to eat or what I liked to eat! But Ken and I rarely go out to eat, so I haven't acquired a taste for any specific foods or restaurants.

Ken was just walking in the back door from work when Andy hung up the phone.

"Who were you talking to?" he asked.

"That was my workshop instructor. I'm having lunch with her on Friday." Andy tried to keep her voice from shaking.

Ken continued. "How old is she?"

Andy said, "I honestly don't know." She honestly didn't know.

"In her forties?"

Andy shrugged her shoulders. "Ken, I just know she's not in her twenties. But I really couldn't say." She really couldn't say, because she didn't know. And she wouldn't have said, anyway, even if she did know!

"Where are you going for lunch?"

"At a place over in Southgate ," she responded. She walked purposefully out of the kitchen as if on a mission and retreated to her study before Ken could ask any more questions. She had no answers, anyway. She needed to regain her composure.

She came back into the kitchen a few minutes later and continued to make dinner. By then, Ken had forgotten what they had been talking about and had settled in his living room chair to read the evening newspaper and watch the news on TV.

But Andy hadn't forgotten! She was on a high! And for three hours afterward, she was on a high! She was going out to lunch with Jordan . She knew she shouldn't get so worked up over a luncheon date, but she couldn't help it. How could she ever explain it? She had never had lunch with a woman before—certainly not one like Jordan . Other than a time or two in the distant past, she'd been out only with Jess—if you could even count her anymore. Over the years, Jess had become like an old pair of slippers that she'd slip on occasionally—comfortable, but not very interesting or exciting.

* * * * * *

Chakra Workshop—Week Five –

The fifth week's workshop class on Wednesday was sandwiched between Andy's phone conversation with Jordan on Monday and their luncheon date on Friday. Jordan was still choked up with her cold at class time, and it gone into her sinuses.

The class went smoothly enough, though, and there was a great deal of animated conversation among the students and back and forth with the teacher. They were studying the throat chakra—the communication chakra. It was a completely different atmosphere than when they had studied the sexual chakra.

Andy didn't have any questions, as she felt they would all be answered on Friday when she met Jordan for lunch.


CHAPTER SIXTEEN -- Discouragement

Andy got a phone call Friday morning at 8:30. Ken had already left for work, and she was finishing up a second cup of coffee at the kitchen table. She picked up the phone curiously.

"Andy?" someone questioned.


"This is Jordan ."

"Oh, hi, Jordan ." We're supposed to meet for lunch today. I wonder why she's calling me.

"Remember how I said in class that my cold had gone into my sinuses?"


"Well, I think it has developed into bronchitis."

"Oh, no." Andy's heart sank.

"I'm flying out of here next Tuesday, going back home for a few days, and I don't want to be sick. So I'm going to the doctor today to check things out."


"The problem is that my appointment is the same time we were going to meet for lunch, so we'll have to reschedule when I get back. Is that all right?"

"Okay." Andy's heart sank even deeper. "I hope you get better and have a good trip."

"Thanks. And I'm truly sorry. We won't have a class next week, either."




Is okay all I can say? Andy thought as she hung up. She had so been looking forward to meeting Jordan for lunch. She didn't expect Jordan to say yes to begin with, and now she had called and cancelled. Maybe it was too good to be true.

But the more she thought about it, it was probably for the best. They had nothing in common. Andy thought Jordan might be gay, but she'd never come right out and said she was. And Jordan undoubtedly thought Andy was heterosexual—as Andy had mentioned her sons and husband in class. So why would Jordan agree to have lunch with her in the first place? Of course, she thought, it was because she thought I had questions about the chakras!

Andy knew she was treading on unknown ground—shaky at best. Her mind kept on churning out theories. Her brain seemed to have a mind of its own. Maybe Jordan wasn't really going to take a trip to see family. Maybe she and Mavis were partners, and that was why Mavis was really grilling her the other night. Maybe Jordan had cancelled because of Mavis.

Andy knew she had to just let it go. She finally came to the conclusion that she and Jordan would never go to lunch together now, and Jordan would never know what was really on her mind. She would probably never see Jordan again after the workshop was over. All her thoughts about even a friendship went out the door.

She made a vow, though, that she would never look at fire engines and firefighters in the same way again. Not after having met Jordan . Every time a fire truck went by, she would look closely to see if Jordan was sitting inside.

To be continued...

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