The First Degree - Yves Black

10 The First Degree – Yves Black


“So, did you enjoy it?” Elsa asks me as we cross the car park.
I nod, “I really did… I wasn’t expecting to…”
Elsa shrugs, “A lot of people underestimate the power of the mind,” she smiles.
“Elsa!” we turn to see Carl running across the car park, his perfect white teeth glimmering in the sunshine.


“Hey Carl,” Elsa smiles up at him as he reaches us.
“I… I’m sorry about what I said to you the other week…” Carl says, his dark eyes fixated on Elsa’.
I stand uncomfortably, feeling out of place.
Elsa shrugs, “its fine, you’re probably right…”


“No, I was being negative, you’re not clingy, and it’s just that you have a lot of love to give…”
Whut? Carl is Elsa’s ex? The one who called her clingy…?
“Um… I’ll wait in the car…” I whisper, thinking it’s probably better to leave them to it…
I watch through the car window as Elsa smiles up at her ex boyfriend and I feel a strange pang in my gut.


Carl’s back is to me and Elsa is facing the car, occasionally she gives me a fleeting glance before turning back to her ex… I watch as she touches his arm and then he pulls her into a hug before walking away.


“Everything OK?” I ask her as she sits beside me.
“Oh, fine,” Elsa smiles, “Carl just realised that what he said must have hurt my feelings… he came to apologise…”
I start the car, “You guys are getting back together?”


Elsa shrugs, “I doubt it, I think he’s been sleeping with Cindy…” she gestures towards a slim brunette who stands with her friend nearby.
“You’re very casual about it…”
“There’s nothing I can do,” Elsa smiles at me, “If he wants to be with me then we’ll be together… but I think he needed to apologise more for his own peace of mind than for me…”


“Isn’t that selfish?”
“Not really, we all have to think about number one… I mean, at the end of the day we all need to be happy, right? It was obviously weighing on his mind…”
I manoeuvre the car out of the car park and turn onto the main road.


“Besides,” Elsa continues, “I feel Carl and I weren’t really meant to be… that’s not what life intended for me…”
“You mean, like… fate?”
“Exactly like fate…”


We’re silent for a while as I drive us back to my house. I think about Elsa. I’ve never met a person so sure, so confident in her own beliefs and herself. It’s refreshing, I don’t agree with everything she says but I’m learning a lot from her… a few months ago I wouldn’t have even entertained the idea of Yoga… yet here I am, fresh out of my first class and not only that, I’m driving… Elsa has really helped me progress in leaps and bounds.


“So how do you feel?” Elsa asks me as I pull up outside the villa.
“I ache in places I didn’t know I could ache…” I smile at her and she laughs.
“That’s good, if you continue your practice your body will soon give in… Yoga is all about small steps toward improvement; it’s great for the body and for the soul…”
“Thanks, Elsa… today has been….”
I laugh, “Yes, very different… but good…”



The waves serenade me, they lap the shore lazily and huge palm trees line the beach, their long green leaves rustling in the hot exotic sun.


Beneath my feet the sand is warm, almost hot – but it doesn’t burn, it feels strangely soothing  between my toes and I dig them into the grains, savouring the feeling of being utterly completely relaxed and far away from home.


Elsa smiles at me, “Nothing matters here,” she says, “Only you matter, your dreams, your wishes- you can do anything you want.Life is all about you and you can do anything you put your mind to…”


I breathe in the salty sea air, savoring the moment – listening to sea birds as they fly over head. I stare up at the sky, wispy white clouds scatter across the horizon.


“It’s time to leave this place,” Elsa says, “but know you can come back here whenever you need to. I’m going to count slowly upwards, when I get to ten you’ll be completely awake, refreshed and ready to proceed with your day. One…Two…Three… You’re coming up, coming out of this meditation. Four… Five… Six… sit up. Seven…Eight…Nine… Open your eyes, and Ten! You’re fully awake!”


I stare at the room around me, I feel recharged and energised; yet strangely heavy.
Elsa beams at me, “How was it?”


I shake my head in disbelief, “Amazing…” I say, eyes wide.
“How do you feel?”
“Different, I want to do it again!”


Elsa chuckles, “Well, first we have to get your test passed.”
My stomach lurches, time flies. I have my driving test in a little over half an hour. I’m nervous but I know Elsa has complete faith in me and so that makes me have faith in myself, somehow she’s managed to change me from a quivering wreck to someone who has oodles of self belief – something I thought no one would ever do.


As Elsa pulls me into a tight hug I feel prickles of pleasure pulse through my body, tingling in a delightful tickling sensation as they creep down my neck and spine.
“Thank you,” I whisper into her ear, her strawberry blonde hair  smells of citrus, spicy and inviting.
As we break apart I feel a sense of loss, and in that moment I realise that I’m not only thankful for what this woman has done for me, I’m thankful to have her in my life and when this is all over, I’m not sure how easy it will be to say goodbye.


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