• The gym on a Friday
• Jim left early from work so he could beat the rush
• Jim didn’t know Friday afternoon came with its own rush and set of regulars
Jim stepped through the entrance of his local gym. A teenager, probably working his first job, looked up from the computer behind the front desk.
“Hi,” said Jim. He handed over his membership card for the teenager to scan.
“How are you?” asked the teenager.
“Today is the best day of my life.”
“Oh, yeah? Why’s that?”
“Got out of work early. That’s good enough for me.”
“Ha ha, wish I could do the same.”
The teenager handed Jim back his membership card.
“Thank you,” said Jim.
What is today? Back and biceps seems like a good way to go. I could workout and look nice and buff for brunch tomorrow. Since when do I go to brunch? I’ve only been seeing Maggie for a month and I’m already going to brunches.
Jim found the setup for preacher curls and set the weight at sixty pounds. He did ten reps and then took a break.
“Are you done yet?”
“What? Who said that?” asked Jim.
A wet towel that smelled of sweat and mildew was slapped onto the side of the machine Jim was sitting.
“How many more sets do you have? I’m in a rush.”
“Could you please come around the front of the machine? You caught me off guard.”
“That sounds like a you problem. So, how many more sets do you have? I have things to do other than wait around for you all day.”
“That sounds like a you problem,” replied Jim. Jim felt horrible after repeating the retort, even though the words weren’t his.
“Psshh. You’re a prick.”
The grim regular took his leave. Jim, feeling a knot in his stomach, finished the rest of his sets, of which there were only three and took only five minutes.
I feel horrible. I should go apologize. What’s he doing? He’s at the front desk talking to the teenager and pointing at me. He doesn’t look too happy. The teenager is staring at me and smirking.
Jim watched as the regular left, the door eager to shut behind him. The teenager at the front desk waved Jim over.
“Hey,” said the teenager. “Don’t worry about that guy. He gives everyone here trouble. We’ve been recording every time there’s an issue. I saw the whole thing from here and know it wasn’t your fault. I hope it didn’t ruin your workout.”
“I felt a bit flustered by it all if I’m being honest, but I appreciate you looking out for me. I’ve still got a lot of workout left, so thank you.”