So, their last encounter hadn’t gone so well. The awkward encounter between Olivia and Benjamin had been less than ideal. As a matter of fact, it was probably one of the worst moments of Olivia’s life. She hadn’t really had a good string of days, lately. There was the fact that she lost her clothes (although they were recovered) and now the awkward encounter. Luckily, a special someone had tipped Olivia off as to where Ben worked out.
Stepping into the 365 Club, the sounds of weights slamming onto the floor echoed throughout the gym as Olivia looked around. Not many people were in here. Hopefully there was someone that could get her access inside and see if Ben was around.
The gym, a place that soothes the soul. A place where Benjamin Webb could be as selfish as he wanted. As prideful as he wanted. The one place where it was okay to make everything about him
. The zone. His zone. Benjamin loved the gym, more than he loved a lot of things. It kept him focused. Taught him subject matters that people thought he couldn’t do because he was labeled ‘stupid’ at school. Just because he wasn’t an ace in books, didn’t mean he wasn’t an ace in life. He learned how to count, how to plan, how to perform, and how to endure. Lifelong skills that would take him far. Exercising was no joke to him. This was not a game. This was his life.
When he gets bigger, he gets better. When he gets better, he turns into the swole beast he loves to see. He wasn’t doing this for anyone but himself and it was all business. He didn’t seek attention. He wasn’t showboating. This was for him. No one else mattered when he wasn’t thinking about anything else or anyone else.
There was so much discipline that went into working out and the gym was the place where he could put his body into action and his mind at its side. Feeling powerless. Feeling dumb. Feeling negativity
. These feelings
were unnecessary and completely undone here. His safe place. His haven.
Working out, it gave him narcotics in the form of energy, endurance, and edge. Defined muscle tone and strength. Full control over what was happening to him and his body. Smarts he didn’t think he had when he was doing his homework. An addictive hobby.
Yeah, this was the best.
Down the Beast’s forehead, a salty droplet made its way from top to bottom, like summer rain. Once it reached his chin, it dripped off and fell onto the ground. With his earbuds on, and completely shirtless, he listened to Remember the Name by Fort Minor
. It was right after school, on Friday. Prior to coming here, his classmate, Marissa, a cute mouse-like girl, who was also considered ‘special ed’, showed him a recording of Cyndi Green rapping at the Underground. Her last line made him think of one song on repeat until he made his way to the gym. Now, he was listening to it.
Cardio and shoulders day. Benjamin went to the gym everyday, usually in the morning, but today he didn’t wake up early enough (damn his bed, damn it to hell). So, he had to go after school.
With his feet hip-width apart, he held the barbell in front of his chest. His arms bent and his hands were shoulder-width apart. Barbell shoulder press. Objective? To increase strength and density throughout his core complex and upper back. Bracing his abs, he pressed the barbell overhead, locking his arms and standing tall. Yeah, boi. Feel the burn. Man, he loved this.
It didn’t take long for Olivia to figure out where exactly the boy she met a few days ago was. He was the shirtless man going hard in the middle of the gym with sweat practically pouring off his body. Going hard was an understatement, to say the least once she got a better look of how much weight he was pushing on that barbell.
Olivia, luckily, was dressed for the gym and to work out. Since she was coming in there she might as well make her time worthwhile instead of going there for one dude in her street clothes. Putting her bags down, she started walking toward an empty squat rack to get warmed up. It was a good way to get around having to directly talk to Benjamin. Things were still a little awkward and Olivia wasn’t particularly interested in directly engaging with him just yet.
He was probably far too busy to notice anyway.
Owen was like the all seeing eye from the Lord of the Rings. Anything that happened within his domain, he saw; and his domain was the 365 Combat Club. He saw when people needed help with their equipment, he saw when people were getting a little too rowdy, and when they could use critique on their technique. In this case, it was the latter. He knew he’d have to step in, or the girl at the squat rack would keep stealing looks at his lovable oaf Benji.
Owen hated doing this, he hated having to do
anything, including something as simple or straightforward as wing-manning. He wanted to sit in his chair
and observe his kingdom, and watch P.R.D. on variety shows on his phone, but nooo. People needed him to do stuff
Without even standing up from his chair, Owen popped the ball
he had in his hands over the room, and watched it soar until it hit its mark (he should have been the quarterback, eat your heart out Damian), and bounced off of Benji’s big ass head. When the other boy looked up at him, Owen shook his head, and instead just pointed at Olivia, mouthing ‘nah that was here.’
With that, Owen shifted in his chair, readjusted his earbuds, and looked back down at his phone just in time to see the start of the next segment. Mission accomplished.
In response, the Beast placed the barbell back on its stand. After, he reached for his towel and water. Once the towel was placed on his sweaty shoulders, he started guzzling down the clear liquid in his 2.2 liter bottle. Refreshing. Just what the doctor ordered. Quickly, he wiped his lips, put his water back on the counter table, and grabbed the ball. With heavy steps, he was a big dude, he made his way to the girl who had called him retarded recently and examed her form, her assets, [il]mildly[/i] impressed, before holding the ball up, “You threw the world at me.”
Olivia had no idea what Owen was even up to as she was busy warming up at the squat rack. She didn’t put the weights on yet as it was an incredibly stupid idea to start going hard without warming up. But, she figured once she started putting on the weights, the amount she would push was definitely something to be impressed with. Not like, it mattered, anyway.
She was mid-rep before she was yanked from the zone by a voice behind her. Olivia didn’t bother answering until she finished the rep, putting the bar where it was supposed to be before she turned around. Did someone else come in while she was warming up?
As it turned out, nobody came in.
But, Olivia had no idea what Ben was talking about. ”I did?”
Olivia looked at the ball, rather confused as to what he was referring to.“Yeah. You did.”
It hit him right in the head. She must’ve wanted to grab his attention for something. Now she’s playing dumb? Is this to make up for calling him one of those
people when he was in special classes? That’s a weird way to apologize but okay. Whatever floats her boat. Putting the large ball on the floor, he sat on it, staring at her with contemplation. Asians were kind of pretty. This must be the first time she’s come to the gym because he has never seen her here before. “Do.. do you come here often?”
Deciding to let the completely false accusation go, she blinked twice and took a moment to process Benji’s question. ”N-No, I don’t come here often.”
Olivia shrugged, ”I should start coming here more often though.”
Olivia rested her arms on the barbell, deciding to inquire more with Benji since the two were talking now anyway. Might have not been on her terms, but it was whatever.”You a regular here?”“Yeh.”
His lips curved into a childish smile, as he bounced in front of her. “You know when you’re really good at something, like it might be the only thing you’re good at, but you’re good at it? Being at the gym, exercising, training, hitting things. That makes me feel good. My dad owns a comic store and, like, when I’m here I feel super, just like all the characters I read about. If I could live here, I would but Owen would hate babysitting me.”
Olivia watched and listened to Benji intently. She knew exactly where he was coming from, considering sports and fighting was the one thing she was good at. The fighter found solace in exercise when other things failed to. She nodded as he spoke about how much the gym made him happy. Olivia understood that as well. ”Hitting things and exercising makes me feel good too.”
The girl smiled, moving herself so that she barely hanging on the barbell with her hands. ”Ain’t nothing like punching someone in the face.”
Maybe not the face unless it was part of the rules, but hey, she was aggressive and he kind of liked it. Maybe he should use the rest of his gym time to watch her
punch the bag. “Well… I don’t want to keep you from feeling good. So, uh. See you.”
Anxiously, the big guy got off the World ball and started retreating away. However, when he walked a few steps, he turned back and stutteringly asked, “D-do you want to eat, eat, uh eat lunch together? Sometime? Anytime? You choose the time? At school. Uh, I mean. During lunch period. You can’t really choose lunch time. But, like, in my mom’s office? It’s, uh, c-cozy.”
Was this man asking her on a date? She was as shocked as ever, but holy moly was she surprised. She felt something tickle in her belly, and it resulted in the goofiest smile that Olivia could have ever mustered. She was smiling like an idiot, and she could feel her cheeks get a little red. ”Yeah, yeah sure! We can totally have lunch in your mom’s office or something. That’d be nice.”
Olivia smiled, ”Sometime next week sound good?”“Yeah! Great! Awesome.”
Suddenly, and more prepared, he could feel something darting to his head again. This time he was ready and with quick reflexes he caught a… marker! Looking around, with a perplexed look on his face, he tried to find the culprit. Everyone looked too busy. Maybe markers had magical properties or something. It was really convenient! He handed it to her and offered his hand, or arm, or whatever she wanted to write on, for her… “N-num...ber.”
Was this place cursed or something? All of a sudden a marker came out of nowhere for Benji to catch. It was like he casted “accio marker” or something like that. That definitely meant that Olivia wasn’t the one to throw the ball that started this whole thing in the first place. Olivia wasn’t tripping after all! Her brain wasn’t entirely mush.
Taking the marker from Benji’s hands, she pulled off the cap and decided to write on his arm. The hand was going to get mad sweaty which was going to smear the number. The arm was pretty much the best place save for an actual piece of paper. Chuckling softly, Olivia gripped Benjamin’s arm lightly and wrote her number down. She added a little heart at the end just for a nice touch. ”You can call me or text me. I respond quicker through text though.”
After that, a faint blush fell on Benjamin’s cheeks. All he could do was eagerly, and with great speed, nod and then speed walk away to the punching bag. He made sure to go on the other side to hide himself, even if she could still see his big muscle body. Being big had its downsides.