The Gym

by Doreen F.

Part 1

Lindsay was working very hard when she met Chad, but she wouldn’t have met him otherwise. In order to pay back her student loan Lindsay was working two jobs. During the day she worked as a psychologist, which didn’t pay too well. To earn some extra money she had applied at her local gym when they were looking for a night receptionist. The gym was open until ten and Lindsay worked at the gym from Monday to Friday. She had the weekend off, but apart from going out with her friends most Saturday nights, she didn’t do that much except go to the gym and work out herself. There was no man in her life other her tomcat Pepperoni. She didn’t have much time to get to know people apart from her patients and her mainly female colleagues. While going to the clubs she occasionally found someone to flirt with, but nothing more serious ever came out of that. Lindsay’s last breakup had been rough and she decided she wanted some time for herself. Furthermore, she realized that with her current schedule a boyfriend would be hard to accommodate.

One Monday everything started to change. Lindsay came to the gym to work and was tired from her work as a psychologist. She poured herself a cup of coffee and joined the girl who worked the shift before her.

“Hey Connie, how was your weekend?”

“Oh, the same, you know. Once you have kids, there’s no time for anything. How about you? Did you meet any cute guys?”

“I wish. There was a strange crowd in the club, most around fourty. They don’t do anything for me.”

“Maybe there’ll be a cute customer today.”

“That would be a first. Just kidding, you know there are some cute guys...”

“I know. They make this job so much more enjoyable.”

“True, but they probably think we’re some dumb girls with no education and no brains.”

‘If they knew about our college degrees.”

“I just hope that none of my patients come to the gym. They’re bad enough during the day, I don’t need them at night.”

“I’d better be going or Matt will start calling because the kids want food.”

“At least you’re free a night.”

“I wouldn’t call that free, but I’m happy to go anyway. Oh, before I forget. Jose found a pair of glasses in the men’s locker room. Don’t know how anyone managed to forget them, but they’re in the top drawer in case anyone’s asking.”

“Okay.”

“Right, gotta dash now, see you.”

“Bye Connie.”

Somehow the thought that someone had forgotten his glasses thrilled Lindsay. She opened the drawer to take a look at them. Wearing glasses and contact lenses herself she could tell that these glasses were by far stronger than hers which were about -3.00. Lindsay wondered if she’d seen those frames on any of the customers before, but didn’t think so. She didn’t have much time to wonder about the glasses as a bunch of customers came in. It was 6.30, which was a time when many people came in to work out after work. Sadly, nobody came to claim the glasses.

Part 2

Chad was pissed, really pissed. What was worse, he was pissed off at himself. Last night at the gym he had been in a hurry. He had had dinner with his grandpa and his grandfather’s girlfriend who he didn’t like at all. Once again the dinner didn’t go too well because his granddad’s girlfriend kept talking about herself all the time and didn’t even stop to breathe. Chad didn’t get a chance to talk much to his grandfather at all and in the end he’d had an argument with the girlfriend which ended in his being late for the session with his personal trainer at the gym. Usually he would have put in his contact lenses at home before the workout or at his granddad’s, but the argument with the girlfriend made him want to leave as fast as he could. However, as he was putting in his contact lenses at the gym he was in such a hurry that he forgot to store his glasses. He had been planning on putting them back on after the workout as he didn’t like wearing contact lenses that much. They never felt quite comfortable. After the workout he’d forgotten all about his glasses. Additionally, just as he was getting dressed his sister called and he told her all about the argument with their granddad’s girlfriend. So he forgot his glasses at the gym. How could anyone be that stupid, he thought and cursed himself when he realized that his glasses weren’t there when he got home. Marvellous, fucking marvelous. What was more, he wouldn’t have time to go to the gym anytime on Monday as he was scheduled for a meeting out of town and would only be getting back late on Tuesday night. This meant he’d have to wear contact lenses, which he didn’t like at all and only ever used for sports. He spent Sunday night at home with an old pair of glasses, but the prescription was way outdated as he’d had his new prescription filled into the current pair which he liked a lot. His prescription was also complex enough that he couldn’t get a pair of glasses made at one of the opticians that offered a one-hour-service. He should have listened to his eyedoc who’d recommended a spare pair for cases just like that. The only thing he could do was to buy the one brand of eyedrops that made the contacts tolerable for more than a few hours to get him through the day. He also thought about calling the gym, but forgot about it on Monday. On Monday evening after dinner with the prospective clients Chad was relieved to get to his room and take out the contact lenses. He preferred the blur to the annoying little things that had been bothering him all day. He donned his old specs in order to read, but apparently the cylinder correction in them wasn’t strong enough which meant that reading was straining his already tired eyes even more. Watching TV wasn’t fun either. As it was quite late anyway, Chad called it a night and turned off the lights to give his eyes some rest. In the morning Chad woke up and put on his glasses only to realize that they weren’t the ones with his current prescrition. Another day in contacts, damn it! Using his eyedrops a lot Chad made it through the day, but on the way back home he could hardly stand the lenses. He had called the gym in the afternoon to ask about his glasses. Yes, they had been found and he could collect them at the reception. The only bad thing was that with his tight schedule Chad wouldn’t be able to go to the gym before Wednesday night. At least the gym was open until ten. Once Chad got home that Tuesday he immediately took out the contact lenses. One more day, one more day, he repeated over and over again. At least he knew his apartment inside out and could walk around bare-eyed if he had to or with his old prescription. Nevertheless, Chad was tired and went to bed soon after he got home. The last words before he fell asleep were, “One more day.”

Part 3

On Wedneday Lindsay came to the gym after another hard day at work. She was happy to chat with Connie for a while until she had to leave.

“Oh Lindsay, I forgot to mention this. The guy who’s forgotten his glasses called yesterday and said he’d come by to collect them today. He hasn’t been here yet and maybe he won’t come, but I just wanted you to know he might show up.”

“Thanks, Connie. See you!”

“Bye.”

Lindsay was excited that the owner of the glasses might show up. Although she knew he might not be good-looking at all, she was thrilled. At least something out of the ordinary on a boring night.

It was around 9.30 and most people were already leaving, when suddenly someone appeared at her desk. Lindsay looked up and saw a really handsome young man about her age, dark hair three o’clock shadow and wearing a suit. His green eyes were quite bloodshot. He smiled at her and said, “You must be my saviour. My name’s Chad Hanson, I’m the one who forgot his glasses at the gym on Sunday and I paid my sins for that.”

“Hi there, I’m Lindsay and it’s your lucky day. I’ve got your glasses.” Lindsay opened the drawer and placed them on the desk.

“Thank you very much. There’s one more thing I need to ask you, is there anywhere I can take out my contacts besides the locker room. I know it’s quite busy this time of the day and I’d rather have some privacy.”

“Sure, just come along here. There’s some space, a sink and more privacy. I use it all the time when I take out or put in my contacts.”

“So you know what I’m talking about, huh?”

“Yes, but your glasses are way stronger than mine from what I’ve seen.”

“Yeah, they’re -8 with a lot of astigmatism.”

“Look, I’ve got to get back to the other customers. Take all the time you need. I’ll be back as soon as I can.

“Sure, thanks.”

Part 4

Was she for real? Chad couldn’t believe that he’d never seen her before. Lindsay, what a cute woman. Before he could think about her much more, his right eye reminded him painfully of why he was at the gym. He quickly washed his hands and stored the contact lenses in their case. It had seldom felt so good to put on his glasses. Chad sighed with relief. He could see everything clearly and without the pain of the contacts. It was getting quite late and soon Lindsay came back telling him that all the customers were gone and she’d lock up for the night.

“You look really good in these glasses.”

“Thanks, you won’t believe how happy I am to have them back. I really hated not having them and being so dependent on contacts for clear vision. My eyes don’t tolerate them well, you know.”

“That’s why they were so red when you came, right? Speaking of which. I’ll take out my contacts as well. I’ve had them in for too long anyway.”

With that Lindsay turned around, swiftlytook out her lenses and turned back facing him with a pair of red plastic frames. Lovely. God, she was hot. Did she know that?

“May I invite you for a drink?”

“You’re thinking the fact that I returned you your glasses makes me your saviour? Well, I won’t analyze you, I do enough of that during the day. So I’ll play along. Just kidding. There’s a really nice bar just two blocks away.”

“Great, let’s go there. But you were saying just now didn’t make much sense to me.”

“Oh that! Don’t worry, I’m a psychologist we don’t make that much sense. Don’t look so surprised. Working at the gym is just my second job to pay off my student loan. Are you impressed?”

“As a matter of fact I am. You’re something, Lindsay. Your boyfriend’s really lucky.”

“Well, I’m not that lucky with men which means there’s no boyfriend. How about you? Engaged, married?”

“Hell no. But I’ll tell you more about me over that drink I promised you.”

“Fair enough. But you’re not off the hook. We’re almost there.”

They entered the bar and had it not been Wednesday which meant that the bar closed at midnight they would have stayed much longer. This being not the case they separated after exchanging phone numbers having arranged a date for Friday night after the end of Lindsay’s shift.

Hard as it was, Chad had to admit that for once his grandfather’s terrible girlfriend had had a positive impact on his life. Even though the date was on Friday Chad and Lindsay ended up having a long conversation on iChat on Thursday. The date was a success for both of them and was followed by another date on Saturday night which ended in Chad’s king-sized bed.

After they’d been together for several months Lindsay moved in with Chad. This meant she didn’t need the money from the gym to pay her rent and her loan was almost redeemed by that. Living together worked great for both of them and they could spend the evenings together now that Lindsay didn’t work at the gym anymore. However, they did go to the gym from time to time to acknowledge the fact that it was the gym that had brought them together. Chad never ever wore his contact lenses again after that. He bought himself a spare pair of glasses and another one for sports. Lindsay rarely used her contacts at all and never at home as she knew that Chad adored her and her glasses.

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