I really should write more. It just soothes my stressed brain. I might try writing on Wattpad. I actually have an ID there but haven’t done anything with it. For the handful of you that have been following my on and off short story about Rigby and Chris, here’s Part 4. I’m also including the links for the earlier chapters.
For the next couple of weeks, we would just see each other at class. I didn’t want to sit in the back and creep him out so I just sat at my regular spot near the front. We would still nod or wave at each other. Then one Saturday afternoon, I got a text from him.
“Hey Chris, are you busy?”
I wrote back “Nah, I’m just watching TV. How goes it?”
There was nothing for awhile and to my surprise, he called me. I sat up from my couch and turned the TV down.
“Hey Rigby” I tried to sound casual although inside I was getting excited.
“Hi Chris, how’s it going?”
“Good, I’m just being lazy today. How are things going with you?”
“Great but I’m a bit tired from juggling school and work. But I’m off tonight, do you want to grab dinner?”
“Uhm yeah, what did you have in mind?”
“There’s a catch – meet me at my place first. We’ll go to the gym at school because I feel so fat. Then we’ll grab dinner afterwards. You get to pick. How does that sound?”
“Gym? I don’t think I’ve been to the gym in months. I’ll die after 5 minutes.”
“Oh Chris, don’t worry about it. Do you remember how to get to my place? We can meet around 4ish. Just text me when you’re downstairs.”
“Are you serious about gym?”
“Yes, we’re not doing a triathlon. It’s just a simple workout. And then we’ll gorge ourselves afterwards.”
“Ah… ok, I’ll see you at your place around 4.”
I grabbed some gym clothes and a couple of towels and threw them into my bag. Then it struck me, why did he call me when he knows so many people? Or maybe he did and I was the second, third or maybe the fourth person on his list. I shuddered at the thought. I got to his place 15 minutes early and walked around. I felt a bit awkward. I’m not a gym nut. But then I might get to see more of Rigby.
“Hey Chris, you’re early.”
I turned around and Rigby was standing behind me holding a couple of bag of groceries.
“Uhm, yeah. I think I gave myself a bit too much extra time.”
“That’s fine, come on in. I just need to put my groceries away. Make yourself at home.” He smiled and motioned me in. His apartment was on the second floor of an old large house. It was in a tree lined street just off the main street. There was a decent size living room, dining room and an old but functional kitchen. His furniture seemed to be second hand but it was still in very good shape. I drifted into the kitchen and chatted while he put away the groceries. He carefully placed the recent purchases in the back and neatly rearranged each cupboard. I took a peek at his fridge when he put his milk and juice away. It was was clean and organized.
“Gee Rigby, I’ve never seen a guy with such a clean fridge before.”
“You can thank my mom and a former room mate”. He grabbed a couple of bottles of water and handed them to me.
“Do you still have a room mate?”
“Nope, I’m just all by myself. Except when Fred visits.”
“Fred?” I gave a quizzical look.
“Fred is my friend’s German Shepherd. He growls at everyone except cute women. He acts so playful around them. Fred sleeps with me at night. So I always have to wash everything when Fred leaves.”
I chuckled and felt a bit jealous towards Fred.
“Ok, let’s go. I’ll drive.” He grabbed a gym bag and we both headed out. I didn’t even know he had a car. We headed to the side of the house where an old Volvo station wagon was parked.
“We got to the campus in no time thanks to Rigby’s driving. I told Rigby he must be the one giving Asian drivers a bad reputation. He just laughed. “Dad liked to drive fast. This ol’ station wagon is actually turbo charged but I try not to abuse the beast.”
We got to the gym and made our way to the change room. We found lockers near each other and as we changed I avoided looking at him. We headed to the gym which was really a huge complex with a large indoor track and several work out rooms. There were several basketball courts, squash courts, weight rooms and an adjacent swimming pool. Fortunately it wasn’t too crowded.
“Do you want to start with a light run Chris?”
“Uhm.. it’s been ages since I’ve done any running.”
“That’s ok, just take it slow and easy. It’s just to get the circulation going.”
I did a lap around the indoor track and started to walk. Rigby looked back and walked with me but I told him to just go ahead. I watched as he ran almost effortlessly. After about 20 minutes we headed to the exercise room. It was filled with futuristic style machines and free weights. Most of the time, I just took it easy while he really worked hard. It was easy to sneak a peek at him as there were so many mirrors in the gym. He came over once when I was trying to bench press some free weights. He was spotting me and I could feel his hands just barely touching my elbows. From my prone position, I just looked up directly at him. I should have selected a lighter dumbbell because my arms were straining at the end. Rigby just kept saying “push, breath out, watch your form… that’s it.” My arms practically fell off when I was finished and I was breathing hard.
I tried to raise myself from the bench but I started to giggle and fell back. Rigby held out his arms and pulled me up. I noticed his forearm were a lot thicker than mine and the veins were well defined. He had a firm grip on me and quickly pulled me up to a sitting position.
“Thanks Rigby, I’m so out of shape.”
“Hey, no probs, that’s why we’re here.”
He went back to his routine and pushed himself even harder. I tried to keep up but soon reached my limit. I got on over to threadmill and put it at an easy pace while I slowly recovered. Rigby came over when he was done and he was drenched in sweat. I tried not to stare at the sweat dripping from his face.
“You had a good workout Chris?”
“Yeah, I’m gonna feel it tomorrow. But I have to do this more often.”
“Ready to hit the showers?”
“Yeah, let’s go.” I said hesitantly. I felt so self conscious just thinking about it.
We made our way back to the locker room. I took my time undressing. I let him go into showers first. The shower room was a very long and open room with a bank of showers on both walls. There weren’t any walls between the showers. There were a handful of students in there and their laughter along with the sound of water splashing echoed throughout. I picked a spot on the opposite wall to where Rigby was. I figured it would be weird if I took a spot beside him. I told myself to just act normal. I stole a couple of glances at him. While he wasn’t a body builder, he had a fit and smooth body. It would be nice to explore it. It was nice just watching the soap wash off his body.
The hot water felt good and I let it run all over me. The water pressure here was a lot better than the shower at my apartment. I hope it would ease the muscle ache that I knew would come. I casually turned around to grab another peak at Rigby. But he had already finished and was walking towards me. I froze at first. But then tried to act as casual as possible. I slowly turned around and turned off the shower. There were still beads of water on his body and I couldn’t help stare at the blossom of peony tattoo on his chest.
“What do you think of the tattoo?”
“Oh sorry, I didn’t mean to stare. Yeah, it looks great. I’ve never seen a tattoo close up and the colours are amazing.”
“Thanks. I got it last year in honour of my grandmother who passed away. They were her favorite flowers. It took a few weeks to get it all done but I really like it.”
“Was it painful?”
“A bit but I had another tattoo before and I knew what to expect.”
My eyes wandered back to his body. I knew it wasn’t on his back. He already wrapped his towel around his waist. He saw me looking down to his legs and chuckled. I chided myself for looking like an idiot and started to blush.
“Maybe I’ll show you later if you’ll buy me a beer. C’mon let’s change so we grab some dinner.”
“Sure…” I started to chuckle.