The Unreliable Narrator


I picked my towel off the gym floor and wiped my face. I knew the man from across the room was interested in me, I caught him watching my workout through the mirror.

Obeying my first rule of gym etiquette, I avoided eye contact. Gym rat relationships don’t work, I refuse to get involved anymore. So instead, I met Tina for lunch after my workout. She got to pick the place this time, Char’s Cafe, across from the gym.

“How was your workout?” Tina asked.

“Good,” I replied, I knew better than to go into the details of my abilities, I knew it made her uncomfortable. Poor thing, her husband left her for a younger, thinner woman he met at the office. I know her weight bothers her, so I didn’t brag about being the only one in spin class with a heart rate of 65.

We passed a few minutes looking over the menu and catching up. She went on about some work presentation she and the other VP’s were working on to give in New York next week, I filled her in on the hike I took with Martin.

The waiter interrupted us, just as I was getting to the good part of my hike story, when Martin overreacted AGAIN about being outdone by a girl. A show-off he called me. He’s just so insecure because I can bench press more than he can.

Tina ordered, looked to me, my cue. “I’ll just have a green salad, no dressing.”

Tina cocked her head curiously toward me. I whispered across our water glasses, “I have a body fat test this afternoon.” She sighed deeply and changed the subject. See what I mean about her being over-sensitive?

“Oh! I have to tell you!” I jumped in animatedly. Tina had been droning on about some guy on this project of hers, BORING.

“I saw Karl today at the gym.”


Tina wasn’t ready to talk about Karl, her first boyfriend after her divorce. They met at the grocery store of all places, but I ended up with him after we double dated out to a dance club. I’m a much better dancer, can I help that?

“He looks AWFUL. He hasn’t been to the tanning booth in AGES. He’s all pasty and fleshy looking. You deserve much better.”

I sipped at my water, proud of my ability to make my good friend feel better. What would she have done without me when she and Brad split? I told her, I said, Tina, move on, get on with your life, Honey, there’s no looking back. How can you compete with beauty and youth? Just let him go!

After all, what are good friends for?


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