Since the wedding, their work/life balance seemed to be hard to manage. Aria was busy building her client base at the local gym. It was a small venue, a pool and changing area on the ground floor and a large open space area upstairs divided into three sections, boxing, cardio and weights. Aria thrived on the boxing side of the gym with her clients but focused her own training on the weights. She planned to enter a bodybuilding competition one day, which had started to create some friction in her marriage. On the social side, Aria was nominated as group leader for the Major Chords. She and Jose hosted the majority of their gatherings, with Wesley, Tara and occasionally Parker, in attendance. It was essentially starting to feel more like a Grace family gathering with less emphasis on playing music and more dancing, eating and conversation.
Jose could feel the months turning into years, glancing in the mirror he noted the increased wrinkles forming around his eyes, the furrowing of his brow, and the tired aching of his body as he struggled to keep up with Aria’s late nights and early mornings. He was the wrong side of 40, a little plumper and still struggling to break away from writing about trends and into generating them. Friends and in-laws warned him how quickly time seemed to slip away, the flecks of grey were barely visible at his temples, yet he could see them, even if Aria pretended not to. Jose desperately wanted to start his family before it was too late, it was a shame Aria was so distracted. He loved how confident, outgoing and vibrant the freedom of personal training had made her, although sometimes he did miss the quiet quirky woman he had initially met.
It came as a shock when Jose turned up at the coffee shop where Aria had her lunch with some exciting news. He had finally been recognised, now all he needed to do was decide how he planned to tell others how to dress. Jose felt that simply working with one person at a time was too slow, it was great to improve peoples images but he had bigger plans. Tt involved gathering impressions and inspiration from the world around him. Jose was not just going to advise others what to wear, he was going to create styles and looks that they wanted to wear, a true trendsetter with an amazing and unique style.
It was certainly a time for celebration, for the briefest of moments Jose felt the way he had when they were young, in love and the whole world lay at their feet. They maintained a strong social presence, Jose feeling revitalised by his promotion, he started to spoil Aria with a few more trips to Chez Llama in Oasis Springs. In a new pink dress, Aria paused their flirtatious conversation, her silence intriguing Jose. She had secretly been practising her singing, mainly enjoying the acoustics of the bathroom, opening her mouth, Aria erupted into song. The beautiful, soulful voice captured the attention of the other diners, Jose felt adored, sitting in the middle of their favourite restaurant, he couldn’t believe he was married to this amazing woman.
The remainder of their evening was quieter, Jose planned to discuss their future, with their careers, they continued to embark on advancements, socially they had a wonderful group of friends, but Jose wanted more, he wanted children with Aria. She was merely days away from her birthday placing them both halfway between the throws of youth and the golden age of their elder years. It was a potential turning point, a time to make that decision, Aria was still avoiding it, clinging on to her youth and confidence as though a baby would steal that away from her. Not to be misunderstood, Aria wanted children, she just hoped she could achieve one more goal before, to take her bodybuilding to a professional level.