40: “Sports bra emergency”

Jemima had been taking yoga for a couple weeks, each time setting her mat down next to Sylvie’s in the very front row. On the plus side, she felt she was improving so she no longer needed to feel self-conscious being up at the front of the class.

“I’m getting much better,” she said enthusiastically to Iggy as they unrolled their mats next to Sylvie’s before the start of a class. Priscilla and Tallulah were on their way from their own apartment, having been held up by what Priscilla had referred to as a sports bra emergency.

“Well, you’re certainly not getting worse,” Iggy offered in return, which wasn’t the uplifting show of support Jemima had been hoping for.

“I think you’re doing really well,” Sylvie assured Jemima. She genuinely meant it, too. Jemima knew that because Sylvie was genuine and kind all of the time. Jemima hadn’t known Sylvie for very long and she was already the most openly supportive friend she had. Even Bobby, who was quite supportive of Jemima, wasn’t nice. She tended to be supportive in a very specifically enraged way. Besides, Jemima had been keeping her distance from Bobby somewhat as she had yet to tell her about hers and Noel’s blossoming relationship. She was putting it off because she was afraid of how Bobby would react. Bobby, not known for her subtlety or tact, would undoubtedly tell Jemima a truth she didn’t actually want to hear. While Priscilla and Tallulah sometimes possessed the ferocity and grace of rabid wolves, they at least usually kept their poor opinions of Jemima’s questionable romances to themselves. Jemima didn’t exactly think that her relationship with Noel was bad or wrong, but it certainly hadn’t been an easy road getting to it and she was worried that would allow for a few misconceptions as it were.

Eventually, Priscilla and Tallulah showed up for class, both out of breath and looking harried. They made it just in time to unroll their mats and sit down in the space Iggy had saved for them. There had been one woman who had been quite keen to take it for herself and Iggy had had to passive-aggressively stretch out her legs beside her to prevent the woman from setting up camp.

“What happened to you two?” Iggy hissed at them as they collapsed onto their mats.

“Sports bra emergency,” Priscilla hissed back as if it was ridiculous that Iggy had asked because Priscilla had already told her. Iggy stared at her until she continued.

“I may or may not have gotten stuck in my sports bra,” Priscilla added dismissively.

“May have?” Iggy repeated dubiously, but Priscilla ignored her.

After the class, as they were rolling up their mats, Sylvie tucked hers under her arm and turned to face them with a smile on her beautiful face.

“Smoothies?” She asked hopefully. Jemima hated to disappoint her. She was so sincere and lovely. It was like letting down a puppy.

“Sure,” Jemima agreed with one fleeting glance at her friends. They would come with her. None of them would be able to let Sylvie down either.

The yoga studio where they took classes was above a row of small businesses. One was an organic supplement store that always smelled like burning sage. It was potent and overwhelming. There was also a vegan bakery and, next to that, a smoothie bar. Sylvie led them down there and grabbed a table. She actually had to push two very small tables together, but she grinned the entire time, clearly pleased that the five of them were about to drink smoothies together as she had been hoping for weeks. Jemima ordered something called banana sunshine and then joined Sylvie at the amalgamated table she’d created. 

After smoothies, during which Sylvie had told them about her friends, cat, job, and life in general, they somehow decided to go shopping. Jemima wasn’t entirely clear on how that had come about, but she ended up in a fitting room, struggling to get out of her sweaty leggings in order to try on some jeans. They were boyfriend style with a floral design embroidered along the outside of the leg. Jemima emerged from her change room in the jeans to find Priscilla and Sylvie already in the open area, checking themselves out in the big bank of mirrors. Priscilla had on overall shorts and Sylvie was wearing a royal blue crop top that made her look gorgeous. She was wearing it over top of her sports bra and she still looked amazing. Jemima genuinely got lost in the reflection of Sylvie’s eyes in the mirror for a moment.

“Oh, those look so good!” Sylvie told Jemima before Jemima even had a chance to say something to her. “You should definitely get them. And, Priscilla, you should definitely get those overalls as well. You guys look like a vintage nineties dream.”

Priscilla gave her an odd look at that, but said nothing.

After convincing each of them to buy a few things, mostly by compliments, and three hours of shopping, the five of them went to dinner at a nice place downtown that had, as Sylvie claimed, amazing burgers. That turned out to be true. Sylvie ate her burger like she hadn’t seen food in three weeks and was on the brink of starving to death. She also devoured a side of fries and half of Iggy’s as well. It was actually quite an endearing display from someone who looked so much like Scandinavian Barbie.

Following dinner, Sylvie came back to Priscilla and Tallulah’s place with them where they hung out and watched Netflix. Then Sylvie goaded them into changing into their new clothes and going out. She took them to a bar where they had two plates of nachos, some mozzarella sticks, and deep-fried pickles. Jemima was pleased to see that Sylvie’s eating habits only got worse the more she drank. By the time they were ready to leave the bar and head to another place, Sylvie was shoving whole, lukewarm pickles into her mouth so as not to waste food.

They went to a club that was having a disco night so that they could dance the night away. Sylvie wasn’t the very best dancer and that just made her even more endearing to Jemima, who was fairly drunk and admittedly finding most things quite charming. It was turning out to be something of a ridiculous evening anyway. Jemima was in the middle of a crowded dance floor, dancing to The Bee Gees in a pair of embroidered boyfriend jeans and a black, cropped tank top. Priscilla was wearing overall shorts over top of a Bleachers muscle shirt. Everybody around them was wearing chic dresses, high heels, and designer jeans.

“Who gets this dressed up to dance to Abba?” Tallulah asked the others, yelling over the music.

“I know, right?” Sylvie returned. She herself was wearing a kimono shirt that tied at the waist and had enormous bell sleeves. It was so stylish. Jemima would look ridiculous in a shirt like that.

After they left the bar, still dancing to Donna Summer as they hit the road, they got hotdogs and walked back to Jemima, Priscilla, and Tallulah’s building. Sylvie got ketchup on her new top and laughed about it halfway home. Then Jemima lent her some pyjamas, a matching set patterned with French bulldogs, and Sylvie climbed into bed with her, still giggling drunkenly about her hotdog.

In the morning, Sylvie roused them all from bed, dashing excitedly across the hall in her clothes from the night before minus her new shirt, but plus a kitten sweatshirt she’d borrowed from Jemima. She dragged them all out to breakfast, Iggy included as she had spent the night sleeping on Priscilla and Tallulah’s living room couch. After breakfast, they finally parted ways and Sylvie returned to her own home with a bright smile, a cheery wave, and a promise to return Jemima’s sweatshirt freshly laundered at their next yoga class.

“She is so nice,” Iggy declared as they waved back at Sylvie as she climbed onto a street car.

“So nice,” Jemima agreed empathetically.


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