I figured that now they had seen me, I may as well continue working out and just blank them entirely. I hopped onto the corner treadmill and set the pace, plugging myself into my ipod to block out the surrounding sounds. Every time I reached for the button to increase the speed I felt eyes prickle into my back and I wondered whether they were Cara’s, Sam’s or just me being paranoid. I reached my maximum speed of 12 and I was running so fast now and the world seemed to slip in and out of clear focus and I put all the energy I had into keeping running.
I pulled the safety chord after a while and sunk down to the cool floor, taking huge gulps of water and breathing quickly to catch my breath. I stood up unsteadily, taking another sip of water as I did so and headed towards the bikes. A wave of queasiness flooded though me as I pulled myself onto the bike but I powered though it, tiredness was showing weakness and I was not weak.
I took a steadying breath as a pain shot across my chest, taking a sip of water as I kept cycling. I looked up every now and again to see where in the room Cara and Sam were. Sam was sitting on a rowing machine now and Cara wasn’t there.
I pondered where she had gone but then remembered that Cara was nothing to do with me any more. She had picked her girlfriend over a girl she had known for all her life.
My earphones were suddenly tugged unceremoniously out of my ears and a hand appeared on my shoulder.
“Stop” Sam’s voice said into my ear, “Can’t you see the damage you are causing to yourself by pushing yourself to exercise so much?”
“To be honest Sam, its none of your business” I said waspishly grabbing the earphones,
“You’re doing yourself damage, and if this is to made Cara feel bad then you are so selfish as a true best friend wouldn’t guilt trip their friends.”
I turned to look at her, I was scowling now, “I gave up of friendships the moment Cara, Liam and Ali walked out that front door. I can handle life alone” I said getting unsteadily off the bike, not moving my eyes off Sam.
“No-one should have to be alone Anna, why don’t you just open up and let people in?” she asked.
“Did Cara send you over here to talk to me?”
“No, Cara has gone to get bottles of water and enquire about the cost of going swimming after the gym, but I know that seeing you like this has unsettled her.”
“Look I don’t need pity, just leave me to get on with my life,” I said walking away from her just as Cara came back into the gym. I got as far as the padded seats in the middle of the gym before feeling funny. The pain in my chest was growing in intensity and my breathing was becoming harder. I tried to shake it off, of course I was out of breath, I had been in the gym for an hour and a half and hadn’t eaten.
I got up again, legs trembling slightly and then sat down. I would just rest here for a moment.