I registered for the gym out of boredom. There was nothing going on in my life at that moment. I only woke up in the morning, went to work and came back home to sleep. Nothing in between.

On weekends, life happened to me in slow motion. Nothing moved because I didn’t move a lot. So one day, I decided to fill the spaces in my life with some daily routines.

The only thing that came to mind was the gym. I had one not too far from my house and each day, I saw beautiful people entered and came out with chiseled physiques that drew attention wherever they went.

I walked into the gym one morning and came out with a registration card and a towel. The following day, I started.

The gym instructor left me on a machine and the next moment, this tall and well-built guy came to use the machine next to me. He said nothing. I said nothing. He trained. I trained. Soon he was gone. I caught myself looking around for him. I turned around until I saw him on another machine.

From that moment on, all I did was to look around and see where he was. An hour or so later, I turned around and couldn’t find him anywhere. “He’s gone?” Yeah, he was gone.

I went home and couldn’t get him off my mind. I thought of his muscles and the smile on his face(though I never saw him smiling). I thought of how it would be like to be in those large arms of his. I thought about silly things until I caught myself smiling sheepishly.

I got embarrassed when I realized all the thoughts that have gone on in my mind. “Girl, you are in love.” I told myself, “Naaa I’m not. I’m only admiring God’s creation.”

I went to the gym every day with him in mind. When he didn’t come around, I lost the urge to train. When he was around, I trained like my life depended on it.

As fate would have it, one day he walked up to me and said, “That’s not how to do it. You’ll end up hurting your muscles.” I said, “Help me. What’s the right way?” He said, “Bend your knees and straighten your back.” I was struggling. He held my waist and said, “Down, down, go down. Yeah, that’s ok. Now straighten your back.”

He became a friend and a trainer from that day on. I don’t remember how we exchanged contacts but I remember talking to him on phone one day and being very happy for getting closer to him that way.

A month or two later, I joined him in his car as he drove around town. I didn’t know where I was going or where I was going to alight. All I knew was I was with him and very happy. When his hand got closer to my thighs as he was changing the gears, I held it and said, “I have a thing for you and I don’t know if you notice it. I would like it very much if you were my boyfriend.”

He slowed down, almost to a halt. He looked at me as if he didn’t hear what I said. I said, “Yeah, you’re not saying anything so I thought it wise to say it myself.” He said, “Errrm…arrr, you know what? Hmmm, I don’t even know what to say.” I said, “You don’t have to say anything than yes.” He said, “Even when there’s someone in my life already?” I asked, “There’s someone in your life?” He said, “I didn’t say there’s someone. I’m only asking if I should say yes even if I had someone.” I asked.

“You have someone?” He said, “It’s complicated. Long-distance kind of love. Always fighting and suspecting each other. We’ve been doing this for over two years but we always find a way to be together.”

Talk about shattered dreams and a heart broken to pieces. Yeah, that’s how his answer made me feel.

The relationship between us became awkward. He didn’t know how to treat me and he didn’t know how to handle the knowledge of me loving him. He was simply confused and it showed in the way he talked to me. But from the way he acted going forward, it was obvious he liked me too.

I started withdrawing from him. I went to the gym and not talk to him. I got closer to another guy at the gym who he normally trained with. I would play with him and be touchy as he stood aside and watched us. One evening after gym he asked me, “Can I drop you home?” I said, “I can walk. Is part of the exercise.” He insisted but I walked.

That same evening he texted me, “Do you hate me now? What if I didn’t tell you the truth and went ahead and played you?” I said, “Thank you for not being that guy. I don’t hate you. I’m keeping my distance so I don’t get entangled in a web I can’t escape from.”

He asked, “So you are now seeing Adomako? He has a girlfriend. Not one but many girlfriends.” I said, “I’m not seeing him. Yeah, he’s a nice guy and all. Well, I don’t know.” He asked, “You don’t know what?” I said, “Let’s forget it.” 

He started chasing me around at the gym. He would force his way to train with me and force himself to drop me home. When I don’t go to the gym, he would come to my house and force me to dress up and go with me. I pretended I didn’t like it but boy I enjoyed every bit of the attention he gave me.

He would say, “It’s a Friday night, why don’t we sit out for a while” I would be so overjoyed in my mind but I would force a frown and say, ‘I’m tired. I’d rather go home and sleep.” He’ll beg. He’ll pull me inside his car and we’ll both go and sit somewhere with our sweaty skins and clothes.

One day he said, “She’s no more in my life.” I said, “What happened?” He said, “It’s the same issue. Long-distance and the mistrust. She said she couldn’t take it any longer and I said I couldn’t take it any longer too.

“We broke up.” I said, “I’m sorry to hear that. I hope you’re not bleeding on the inside?” He said, “That relationship died long ago. We were only keeping the ghost around. I didn’t feel any hurt or whatsoever. It’s good she’s gone. She’s happy and I’m fine.” 

Over the next months or so he tried getting me to say yes to him and I kept telling him there was another guy in my life. “It’s nothing serious for now. I’m only studying him and so far so good.” He asked, “So what happened to the feeling you said you have for me?” I said, “It died when you said there was someone.” He said, “Wherever you buried that feeling, show me. I’ll go out there, dig it out and bring it back to life.”

I wanted to kiss him. I wanted to jump and fold my arms around his neck and kiss the hell out of him but that little voice in my head kept saying to me, “Girl hold yourself together. Don’t be stupid. Keep the charade going, it’s fun.”

I couldn’t hold myself together the next time he was around. We kissed. We kissed. We kissed for so long we both ran out of breath. I could feel his heart beating so loud and clear. I said, “I’m glad we could finally do this.” He only sighed. 

We dated for only eight months and got married. The corona threatened our wedding. We wanted to have a very large one with everyone at the gym present but the order was to have only a few people present.

We thought of postponing the wedding but our hearts couldn’t wait a day longer. We got married in the presence of those who could be around and since then, we’ve never stopped looking into each other’s eyes. 

Erica

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