Letter of Intent

Laura DeBow

“Someone wrote you a letter,” Natalie singsonged as Hannah clocked in.

“Hmmmm?” Distracted, Hannah set her tote in an employee cubby and pinned her nametag onto her Full-On Fitness polo. Natalie trailed her from the staff room to the front desk of the gym.

“Bye, Joel.” Hannah smiled at their colleague, and both girls waved as he left for the day.

Natalie pulled a number-ten envelope from a drawer. “Tada, look!” She fluttered it under Hannah’s nose. Hannah’s eyes rounded, and she snatched the envelope from Natalie.

Small, tidy handwriting addressed the missive to “Hannah, front desk”. She fingered the return address. Jenkins Home Construction. Hmmm, not ringing any bells.

Natalie bounced on her toes. “Open it!”

Hannah giggled. “Why are you so invested?”

“Because until a handsome man delivers me a note at work, I’m living vicariously through you.”

“Handsome?” Hannah’s brows knit in consideration before she turned her attention to an incoming member. “Hi Suze, how are you today?” She scanned the woman’s key tag with a smile. “Have a great workout.”

Natalie gripped Hannah’s arm. “For the love, will you please just read it?”

Hannah snickered at Natalie’s dramatics. “Yes, ma’am, opening now.” Deliberately, she ran a finger under the flap, loosening the seal. Her heart took on an unexpected thumping.

“Hurry! Aren’t you dying of curiosity?”

“Sorry, I’ve got a lot on my mind with finals and all.” She withdrew a single sheet of letterhead. A quick glance ensured no other guests approached, and she read the handwritten letter, the soundtrack of clanking weights fading into the background.

Dear Hannah,

You may not know or realize who I am, but we interact several times a week, every time you check me in at the gym. Your sunny demeanor and friendly smile always make my day. I would very much like to take you out sometime, maybe for coffee or dinner. Would you consider going on a date with me?

A little about me: I’m a contractor and own a construction and renovation business. I don’t have many opportunities to meet ladies, they are few and far between in my industry. As a business owner, I also don’t have much free time, but I try to embrace a work hard, play hard lifestyle, and enjoy mountain biking, hiking, and photography as hobbies. Working out at Full-On Fitness is my favorite form of stress relief, and to be honest, I’ve found myself there more often than I used to be since first noticing you.

I’d appreciate an opportunity to spend time with you to get to know you better. If you are interested, which I really hope you will be, I’ll include my contact info below.

Drew Jenkins

“Well?!” Natalie was coming out of her skin.

Hannah held up a “one moment” finger. Mind whirling, her pulse kicked up another notch, and a smile tickled her lips. Drew Jenkins, the name felt familiar. She reread the letter then handed it to her anxious friend. Hannah turned to the computer and entered Drew’s name. His profile photo popped up, and she clicked the image, enlarging it.

He was handsome, with disheveled sandy hair and a tanned face punctuated by vivid green eyes and a lopsided smile. Recognition flirted with the edge of her mind.

“O.M.G.” Natalie’s squeal startled her. “You’re gonna go, right?” She waved the letter as she peered at the screen. “Yep, that’s the guy. Wowza!”

Hannah chewed the edge of her lower lip and turned toward Natalie who handed her the letter back. “When did he deliver this? Is he here now?” Her gaze bounced around the buzzing gym. A couple entered as Hannah realized she could answer her own question. She swiveled back to the computer and minimized the photo, clicking to access Drew’s check-in history.

Natalie smiled at the duo. “Hey Smithfields, welcome in.” She scanned their tags then turned back to Hannah. “He brought it by when I first came in, handed it to Joel, and left. I bet he’ll be in later since you’re here now.”

Tuning out a nearby trainer’s commands to his client, Hannah nodded as she studied Drew’s account. Yes, he routinely checked in during evenings when she was usually on-shift. And she confirmed a definite increase in his attendance over the past several weeks.

Something about him called to her. Weird, because she’d been on a dating break to focus on school. She wished she could more firmly place him or recall a specific exchange between them. The problem with him coming in at peak busy hours was that the front desk was slammed, and interactions with each member, brief. 

She was intrigued, but did she have time for dating? Work and earning her Masters in exercise physiology kept her busy. The workload was heavy, especially with all the labs required to finish the program. But enticed by his sentiment regarding work-life balance, she returned to Drew’s photo and felt an overwhelming urge to take a chance.

The afterwork rush began, and Hannah shelved her ponderings as she checked in guest after guest. She searched every male face for those green eyes. Finally, they snagged on the one she sought.

Aha, that Drew! His backward baseball cap is what threw her when studying his profile pic. He wore it every time he came in, but it was absent in the photo. Drew approached, shyly it seemed, and held out his tag.

“Hey Hannah, how are you?” He drawled.

Her fingers tingled as she took the membership tag from his work-callused hand. “Hi Drew. I’m well, and you?”

One side of his mouth tipped up. “I’m good, thank you.” Their eyes held for a beat before he began to turn away.

Work hard, play hard – she liked the notion. Heart in her throat, Hannah grabbed a sticky note. “Drew, wait.” Without further debating herself she scrawled, “Yes! Dinner on Saturday?” She held out the sticky to him, her smile timid.

Drew’s eyes twinkled. “Perfect.”

Laura DeBow
A Texas girl living in a Georgia world, Laura DeBow has loved words and stories since she could first string sentences together. She may still have a few stories written in elementary school tucked away. These days, she focuses her writing efforts on inspirational fiction, with an emphasis on contemporary romance and romantic suspense.

When not dreaming up characters, figuring out plots, or tinkering with words, Laura can be found spending time with her husband of 21+ years, cheering on their teenagers in multiple sports, reading, cooking, or doing something active.

Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, or her website.