CHILD OF THE HEART
Written by Katherine Tomlinson
Illustrated by Mark Satchwill
Some of her clients had complained when Tina told them the yoga studio was going to be closed over the holiday weekend. “But you never close,” Marianne McSweeney had said accusingly, as if Tina were running some kind of bait and switch operation.
“I’m closing this year,” Tina said, without giving her an explanation.
“I think you’re being selfish,” Marianne had said and Tina had nearly laughed. Marianne McSweeney was the most singularly self-absorbed person she’d ever met and she wasn’t even an actress.
“I’ll see you Tuesday,” Tina said to her.
“Whatever,” Marianne had said and left in a huff.
Tina hated people who said whatever.
The truth was, Tina never had closed before. This was the first year she’d had enough of a financial cushion to even think about taking a three-day weekend. She’d opened the studio the year the economy had taken a dump and by December of 2009 she was sure she was going to have to close it and go back to doing medical transcription. And she so didn’t want to do that.
The work wasn’t particularly hard and the pay was okay, but she’d been working for the doctor who’d overseen her transition. He’d been wonderful during the process but she felt that every time she saw him she was taking a step back in her personal journey and not a step forward. She’d felt like she was playing it safe, hiding from reality, not really being the strong and independent woman she was born to be.
Her mother had loaned her a thousand dollars to keep the bills paid and then Tina had landed a job as a personal yoga trainer to the soon-to-be ex-wife of a major movie star. The ex-wife had paid her an outrageous amount of money to come to her Brentwood house twice a week and the gig had paid the studio rent for a year. She’d been sorry when that client had moved to Sedona, claiming to be in search of inner peace but actually in pursuit of a handsome artist who’d caught her eye.
It had been a lean couple of years but since the early spring, things had started to change. All of her classes were suddenly full and she was booked solid with private clients as well. Tina wasn’t sure what was happening—gas prices were still high and food prices were still going up and it wasn’t as if yoga lessons were a necessity—but for whatever reason she suddenly wasn’t having to kite checks to keep the lights on and the doors open at the same time.
And she really needed some time to herself. Since her mother had died in September, she’d been too busy to grieve. But getting through the first Mother’s Day since her death had been brutal. Every time she turned on the television there’d been some commercial with mothers and daughters. Or mothers and sons.