Short Stories 222 — Writing Prompt 55

You overhear someone having a breakdown in a changing room.

Slim Walls

“I have fallen in love with this schedule, working from 8 PM to 4 Am, and then hitting the gym, all thanks to this day and night gym. It is just the gym that is making this unorthodox working hour worth it. Otherwise, I would have quit this shit job a long time ago. Anyways, it is time to hit the weights,” I said while having a conversation with myself.

Today is leg day, feared by many, but I love it. It hurts and it hurts good. It hits different, the nerve that makes one satisfied, it quenches the hunger and the anger, that is buried somewhere deep down. It kills you to a point things just go numb and high at the same time. And with the same attitude, I began the session. Killing machine after machine, all by myself, in the massive gym. No one to disturb, no one to care, no one to bother, just me and my demons.

After having an amazing workout, head to the changing room. Removed all the sweaty clothes and headed to the sauna, which is right next to it. It has become somewhat of a ritual, visiting the sauna every Friday morning. Sitting in there, is just simply, peaceful. The warmth is not that fun, but it is somewhat required. The act of sitting in there is not as fun, as getting out and feeling the cold air again. It feels refreshing. Entering the sauna, I have always felt weird, thinking, how it would feel to die burning, but after a while, just like most times, other thoughts take over.

Sitting in there for few minutes, I sensed someone was outside. In the changing room, as I could hear the wobble of someone sitting on the stool, opening, and closing of lockers. And soon it got verified, as I heard someone talking, “He is on phone,” I said to myself, as I could hear him. These thin walls make it so easy.

I just sat there wondering, “When this guy will move on and I’ll get the peace back, as I am not interested nor do I care about his life.” But the guy sat there talking, minute after minute, making me frustrated. And in some time, he started sobbing.

“Wait is this guy, crying?” I asked myself. He has started crying and by the looks of it, he seems bad, judging by the way this guy is crying.

“What do you want me to do? I… I have… I changed as much as I could….yet I don’t know what do you want. Please don’t…”

He sounded so emotional that he couldn’t even complete his sentences in one go. “Ohhh boy, I think he is having a heartbreak!” I said.

This went on for the entirety of the time I was in the sauna. The situation was escalating, and so were his cries. I had been in there for a while and the head had started to get unbearable. By the time, I stood up, the guy had stopped. I wasn’t aware whether he is still sitting there or not, and so I decided to get out.

I got out and looked around to see this specimen of a man. Massive muscles, and handsome as hell, with red eyes. Our eyes met, and I had nothing to say. I nodded and he acknowledged with a nod. He smiled and I smiled in return, and as he walked out, he raised his hand, so did I and we fist-bumped. We did not talk, not even a word. We had just connected, and there was nothing to talk about. He walked out with confidence, chest wide, and hiding the pain in his muscles and his smile.

Not a pro write — trying to figure out writing and being articulate — just a side gig — not expecting much from it except learning—Hope you enjoy your stay.