Struggling single mum Carla does her best to look after her elderly neighbour, but has to call the police to help when Mrs MacReady suffers a fall and she can’t get in to help. A good deed brings its own reward when one of the constables who turns up is the beautiful, red-haired Ellen.
Ellen cuts her hand breaking into the flat to rescue the old lady, and as Carla tends the wound, she falls half in love with the golden stranger. She doesn’t expect to ever see her again ... but Ellen might just surprise her.
I go to the gym as usual, and it does the trick, like it always does. I don't know if it's the exercise or the music videos on the TV screens, but when I'm in there it's like another world: no worries, just thoughts. I think about Ellen, but it's not a sad kind of longing like it has been all week, just a gentle happiness that I got to meet her.
And then I see her. She walks in like a dancer, all cool and sporty in her Nike pants and vest top, so slender they drape as much as they cling. She smiles when she sees me on the exercise bike, and comes over to say hello. I'm horribly conscious of my faded breast cancer t-shirt and the saggy jogging bottoms I got for two quid down the market. "Hi, Carla! I thought I'd give this place a try -- my gym costs a fortune, and it's not all that great. Maybe we could have a coffee, afterwards?"
I pant out a yes, and she smiles again and goes off to the elliptical. It's dead ahead of me, and as she moves I can see her hips outlined, see that lovely heart shape of her bum. Her arms are pale, like the rest of her, lean and muscled, but still soft-looking.
I do an extra ten minutes on the bike without even noticing.
I'm just wondering how much longer I can string out my usual routine without making it obvious when she comes over. She still looks as cool as a spring morning, even with her face a little pink from the exercise and beads of sweat on her chest. I try not to stare at those. I must look a right state, all red-faced and panting.
"I'm ready for my shower, now -- are you nearly done?" she asks, like she doesn't know.
"Yeah, I think I'll call it a day too," I say, and we walk down to the changing rooms together.
My breathing isn't getting any slower, and it's nothing to do with how fit I'm not.