Chapter 1:

Nothing to be afraid of - Part 1

An Uncertain Duality

Duality [n] 1. Being twofold; a classification into two opposed parts or subclasses. Bookmark here

Example: Light exhibits simultaneously both the properties of a particle and of a wave. In physics, this is known as wave-particle duality. Bookmark here

Example:  A woman who exhibits both beauty and smarts. This is known as an uncertain duality.Bookmark here

Viviane Fox stepped off a train and into the underground station below the city in which she lived. Despite the clean, modern design of the station with electronic signage to help passengers find their way around, Viviane was lost. She looked around and tried to make sense of it all through the noise and the crowds. It did not help that she was running behind schedule. Bookmark here

I shouldn’t be late to the first class of kick-boxing today. I need something more intense and challenging to stay in shape. That last class hardly made me sweat. Now I just need to find where the new gym is.Bookmark here

Viviane was already dressed for working out: snug athletic wear leggings and a racer-back tank top. It was a typical, ordinary outfit for anyone going to a gym, not the kind of outfit that would attract special attention, but not for Viviane. She attracted attention everywhere she went, even if she did not want to. It was not her fault she had learned over the years. Bookmark here

Today was no different. In the train station, both men and women took notice of her tall, athletic body. The men knew that it was impolite to stare at Viviane for too long so they stole quick glances of her before their jealous girlfriends or wives caught them sneaking a look. The women, on the other hand, noticed little details about her such as how cute her wavy, orange-sienna hair looked tied up in a springy pony tail or how the curve in her hip was accentuated by her form fitted leggings, or how her face still looked perfectly pretty even with the lightest of makeup. Bookmark here

People always look at me everywhere I go. Oh well, just try to ignore it I suppose. Besides, the signs didn’t say anything about a fitness center around here. I hope I got off at the right station. I’m not familiar with this part of Capital City. I should probably ask someone local, but I don’t know anyone!Bookmark here

Viviane spotted her own reflection in a glass storefront window and looked up and down at herself. She was not ignorant or dumb about what people thought about her. She knew she was pretty. Sometimes it was flattering, sometimes it was handy and sometimes it was trouble, but most of the time, it was what it was. Bookmark here

Not my best clothes, but I think it’ll do. No guy should be able to refuse a pretty girl asking for directions, right?Bookmark here

A nervous Viviane looked around and spotted a young man completely at random who looked like he might be a local. After locking her sights on her target, she steeled her nerves and walked right over to him.Bookmark here

OK, confidence, don’t fail me now!Bookmark here

“Excuse me,” asked Viviane, “Do you know where I can find the fitness center that’s supposed to be near here?”Bookmark here

The young man who at first did not see Viviane coming, looked up and saw this tall, orange-sienna haired young lady with a pretty face looking straight at him. Startled and a bit intimidated, he tried to get out of the way thinking that Viviane was just trying to walk past him, but when she did not, his tongue became tied. Bookmark here

Viviane, on the other hand, just stood there with the most pleasant look on her face trying hard to not look anxious while she waited for an answer.Bookmark here

“Ummm…ah…were you talking to me?” asked the young man pointing at himself. He looked like a really old High Schooler. Perhaps he had been held back a year or two or four. Bookmark here

“Sure, I was. Do you see anyone else around?” Viviane replied. Bookmark here

The young man glanced behind him to make sure that was not a trick question. Indeed, there was no one behind him. Bookmark here

A hundred thoughts ran through the young man’s head. Oh my God, this girl is so gorgeous! Why is she talking to me? Something is not right here…she shouldn’t need me for anything! What if her bodybuilder boyfriend is just around the corner and doesn’t like me talking to her? I’ll get pulverized! Or what if she’s got a rich boyfriend with connections to organized crime? Then I’m dead meat! I don’t want to get sucked into organized crime! What do I do? What should I say?Bookmark here

He looked around with nervous eyes expecting at any moment either to be punched in the gut by an extremely muscular, square-jawed man with no neck or to have a gun stuck in his back by a mafioso. Bookmark here

His voice failing him, he replied to Viviane, “Yeah…I…don’t see anyone else…yet, that is, I mean…you’re obviously not here by yourself, are you? What was it that you want?”Bookmark here

Oh no! thought Viviane, This is not going well. Is he afraid to talk to me because of the way I look? Either I get overconfident jerks who try to hit on me or I get wimps who are scared to say anything to me. Why can’t people just be normal with me? Bookmark here

“I was just hoping you knew where I could find that fitness center that’s supposed to be near here. I’m taking a new kick-boxing class and it starts in a few minutes.”Bookmark here

“Oh, you mean that extreme fitness place, Hyperextension? That’s right up those stairs at the end of this hall.”Bookmark here

Having obtained the answer, Viviane ended the awkward encounter with an obviously uncomfortable young fellow. “Oh thanks! That’s the place! Gotta run…bye!”Bookmark here

Viviane ran off in the direction of Hyperextension but not without leaving an impression on this young-looking, socially awkward fellow who watched this shapely woman run away from him with her orange-sienna pony tail flipping behind her as she jogged off. He was unable to take his eyes off her. He was mesmerized.Bookmark here

Because he was socially inept, he must not have had many people to talk to in his life so he had a strange habit of talking to himself whenever he needed to say something and could not hold back. Kylian, my friend, you just moved here to Capital City and already you’re being approached by gorgeous women. Maybe you’re moving up the world? Bookmark here

But a girl like that wouldn’t be interested in a guy like me, he answered himself. I mean, I’m just an ordinary looking nerd doing post-doctoral research at the University and she just wanted directions. She’s probably got some sugar daddy arrangement going on. Oh well, that’s just the way it is, isn’t it? Better not get my hopes up.Bookmark here

Indeed, it was better for Kylian not to think about women who were out of his league. After all, what were the chances he would ever see her again? Bookmark here

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