Note: Fiction =) (I previously got some question if my free writing exercises are personal ones. Nope. The whole freewriting exercise has a life of its own.)
I can still hear her laughter echoing in my mind. It’s not the innocent or pleasant peals of laughter that sound like a cherub’s. It’s that uninhibited glee that a girl can only belt out within the hearing range of another girl.
Sweat was dripping on the floor from our foreheads as we did the next set of the Youtube video exercise routine. The lady in the video was in an air-conditioned room, sported a six-pack and was doing all the push-ups with no sweat while talking non-stop with instructions for the rest of us mere digital mortals.
“You can do it! Come on!” She beckoned to us.
At that moment, she laughed. It was a laugh loaded with her post-baby weight gain, uncertainty of paying the rent next month, and making friends with a weirdo just to help cut rental costs in this standard condominium in the business district. She huffed and I wondered what it will be like when my laughter becomes loaded like hers in time.
I said “We can do this,” which I purposefully said to assuage her and myself about the exercise and about our unpaid rent.
“I don’t know,” she replied as we were told to lie in our exercise mats which are now a little damp with our sweat.
We bent in awkward positions to keep up with the video. I can see her huge butt. It felt weird to be doing it beside someone I have not known for more than a year. But it had to be done. We had our own reasons. The Nutella jar was lying somewhere in the eastern side of the 20 square-meter flat. The most fragile of us are the most prone to emotional eating sessions and this needs to be burnt one way or another.
I tried to make it natural. “Rent needs to be paid soon. Tough, huh?” It’s been two months and while I understood the extent of her needs, I can no longer keep on pretending that it’s not hurting my wallet to cover for her.
Suddenly, she looks like an undisturbed aerobics expert when I looked at her from the corner of my eye. All of a sudden she was catching on to the aerobics as if her life depended on it. After the third or fourth leg raise, she finally spoke. “Somebody needs to clean the balcony and the bathroom, too.”
I belched inwardly. It was my turn to concentrate on the next set of exercises, the Pilates scissors-like movement. It became an instant favorite. I lost my appetite for exercising and the Nutella jar seemed more inviting.
“This was not a good video. Highly inappropriate for our skill level, I think. Let’s call it a night” I muttered.
“Yeah,” was all she said.
I looked at my tummy pooch. She looks at her milky breasts and giant butt. The exercise set ended. She laughed again with that loaded laugh. I laughed along with her. We were just the same. Lying in our mats, we laughed out loud and stayed that way for a while.
When she went inside the bathroom to clean up, I finished off the whole Nutella jar and made the check for the month’s rent with fingers crossed.