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Ready Or Not

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Ruby huffed, tapping her foot impatiently against the tile. She had a million things to do and waiting in the world's longest line at a sketchy gas station was not one of them. She had a Zen Yoga class to teach in 15 minutes. While she was only a brisk 7 minute walk away, she had serious doubts she would make it. Also, there was no telling what Alexa, the studio owner, would do if she were late.

"Excuse me?" A female voice behind her pulled her out of her thoughts.

"Yeah?" Ruby turned, surprised to notice the slight woman with waist-length blonde hair. She stepped forward as another person crossed to the register.

"You have a great ass."

Ruby's eyes widened in a mix of surprise and horror. That was the last thing she expected the woman to say to her.

"I mean- it's really nice. Sled pulls?" The woman giggled as the line advanced by one more person.

"Zen Yoga with Pilates and a little bit of the Elliptical." Okay, the strange woman wanted fitness tips. That really didn't seem so odd in the grand scheme of things.

"Awesome!" the woman exclaimed, her grin widening.

Ruby's hand flew to her chest as she returned the smile. She felt her heartrate speed up, a fact that completely startled her.

"Sweetheart, you're next," the strange woman said, nodding towards the register.

Flushing with embarrassment, Ruby grabbed her water and made her way to the register.
Ruby, really need you to be on time.

Lex, this is the first time this has happened. I SWEAR it will never happen again.

Everyone gets one. Consider this your one.

The conversation with her boss echoed through Ruby's head as she walked home. She hadn't meant to be late. She didn't blame Alexa for scolding her but that didn't mean she liked it. Besides, she hated her job.

The studio was small, meaning Ruby was the only teacher besides the owner, Alexa. Zen Bliss barely paid the bills. Alexa was a nightmare. This was not the life Ruby wanted when she left Indiana.

Yet, it was something. Ruby needed to be grateful for that. At least, she had a job, even if she hated it.

She stopped, noticing the light of the coffee shop. She passed by it all the time and yet, had never stopped to actually look at it.
Her stomach growled, reminding her she'd skipped lunch in an effort to appease Alexa and get the studio prepped before her class.

Meals out were a treat and after the day she'd had, she deserved it.

Ruby exhaled, her hand resting on the door handle. She didn't need to feel guilty for stopping instead of another night of rice and beans. She deserved this.

"Welcome to Kurt's!" a woman with a thick New Jersey accent called. "Sit wherever you want!"

Ruby stopped in the entry way to the shop. She knew that voice. Why did she know that voice?

Shaking off the feeling of recognition, she pulled herself up to a counter seat. Then, she caught her first glimpse of the waitress.

"Well, we meet again!" A woman with waist-length pink hair slid a menu across the counter. She laughed, watching Ruby's puzzled look. "We met at the gas station this morning!"

"Oh!" Ruby covered her mouth with her hand. "You complimented my ass!" She groaned, realizing she'd said something stupid. Her cheeks grew warm and red. Had she really just said that?

"Guilty!" The woman snort-giggled. "Had some work today- you like?" She pulled her long hair over her shoulder and finger combed it.

"Oh it suits you," Ruby said, feeling the warmth leave her face. This didn't have to be awkward. Life was full of strange little coincidences. "Never imagined I'd see you again!"

"Same!" The woman giggled again.

It was in that moment Ruby decided coming here would either be the worst thing she'd ever done or the best. Only time would tell. It was too early to make a decision.

Ruby glanced up, noticing the woman's expectant look. Wrinkling her brow, she searched for the last shreds of conversation she remembered. To her horror, she couldn't recall what they talked about. She blushed again.

"I said-" The woman sounded almost annoyed, "My name's Liv. What's your name?" Then, she leaned forward, her lips curling up in the beginning of a smirk. "Also- you're cute when you blush."

"Thanks." Ruby did her best to relax, smiling at Liv. "My name is Ruby, Ruby Riott." She reached out, offering her hand to Liv. Liv accepted it, giving it a hearty shake.

"Pleasure to meet you!"