The massage parlor smelled like lavender, and when Richard stepped inside he breathed deep. He couldn’t help but think of a peaceful field of flowers. The magic of the place was already working on him; he felt his shoulders begin to relax. He smiled as he approached the counter.
The receptionist looked up from her monitor and smiled. “Mr. Cameron, right on time! You can have a seat, Molly will be out in just a few minutes,” she said. She noticed Nancy standing beside him. “Hello there. Mr. Cameron, did you bring someone with you?”
Richard laughed. “Sort of. Jen, this is Nancy. You should have an appointment scheduled for her with Carmen right now as well.”
“Welcome, Nancy! We’re so glad you’re here,” Jen said. She rummaged around on her desk, then passed over a clipboard with paperwork attached. “Go ahead and fill these out while you wait, and bring them back when you’re done.”
Nancy and Richard sat down together in the waiting area. Richard relaxed into his chair, and Nancy got started on her paperwork.
“Thanks again for driving us,” Nancy said, checking a couple boxes. “I’ve really been looking forward to this.”
“Of course,” Richard said. “I’m just glad you finally decided to give something like this a shot.”
Nancy smiled. “How could I not? You show up to work on Mondays like the whole world is your oyster, all smiles and gusto. When you told me it was because of your Sunday massages, I knew I had to try it out.”
“I hope it does you as much good as it does for me,” Richard said. “It took me a couple of tries to figure out the self-care that real made me feel good.”
“What else did you try?”
“Well, my wife had me go with her to get a pedicure.” Nancy laughed, and Richard shrugged with a smile. “It makes her feel good, so it was worth a shot. When that didn’t work out, we talked about why I didn’t like it as much as she did. We realized that I had to use my body to feel like I was taking care of myself. So instead I started making time for the gym again. Just an hour a day, and you saw how much happier and more alert I started getting two months ago.”
A massage therapist stepped out of the back room and called in the woman that shared the waiting room with Richard and Nancy.
“I do remember that,” Nancy said. “But how did that get you in here for a massage?”
Richard chuckled. “My wife was the one who talked me into it. I was hitting the gym pretty hard, and she was tired of my complaining about all my aches and knots. So she was the one that set it up. Next thing I know, there are alerts on my phone’s calendar telling me I have a massage appointment every week for a month. And she pre-paid so I had no choice but to go.”
“That’s Renee for you. But it’s worked fantastically. I work out on weekdays to take care of myself every day, and I have my massage to look forward to each week.”
“And it’s really showed at work! You always have the best suggestions at meetings, your reports are always on time and on point, and you’re always smiling. I need to find my daily activity too!” Nancy scribbled her signature for the last time. “There, all done.”
She took her paperwork back up to Jen. Richard and Nancy talked for a few more minutes, catching up on their families. Then Molly appeared in the doorway.
“Richard, I’m ready for you,” she called, and smiled.
“See you in an hour,” Richard told Nancy. “Be ready feel amazing!”
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