The Treadmill – Chapter 1

**Not really sure where I am going to go with this but thought I’d post some fiction for the craic – Ari xx**

 

Afterwards, Edie thought back to the times she had bumped into Nina, and wondered how many of them had been accidental.

Suddenly, Nina just happened to be everywhere: in the supermarket or the car park of the gym, always with something nice to say – ‘Gosh, I love your hair!’ (Edie had never met anyone who used the word gosh without irony before) – so that she found herself subconsciously looking out for her, and oddly pleased when she arrived. The first time Nina had asked her to coffee, they both laughed. The slightly English embarrassment of it; like a first date.

Oh god it wasn’t a first date was it? I mean Nina didn’t look like a lesbian, but gosh what do lesbians look like these days. Edie flushed with the embarrassment of her un-pc type thoughts. She also just realised she used the word gosh. She really hoped she wasn’t turning into some single white female. Oh no what if Nina was, what if she’d been stalking her, what if she was some sort of serial killer.

The beeping of the treadmill interrupted her thoughts, ten minutes done, ten more to go, but Edie’s mind was racing faster than her legs. She always did this. Agreed to something impulsively and then over-thought it and dissected every possible outcome for days until she would invariably cancel or worse go along and act all nervous and weird.
But she liked Nina, she seemed nice and fun and friendly. she definitely could be a lesbian though. I mean she did compliment her an awful lot: her hair, her necklace, even the leg presses she was doing when they bumped into each other at the gym last week. Not that there was anything wrong with being a lesbian, Edie’s friend at work was one and she’d been round her house for dinner with her and her girlfriend and some of their other gay friends and they were all lovely. Someone did ask her that night if she had ever been with a woman and Edie went all red and said no, she was straight, but then she felt bad in case she had just offended them for not liking girls so she said she had once kissed a girl even though she hadn’t. She had thought about it of course. Being with a woman. Kissing them, touching their breasts but anything down below would shake her out of her reverie. It just didn’t appeal to her.

But no Nina didn’t seem like she was interested in Edie in that way. Nina just seemed like the type of person who made friends everywhere she went. She oozed charisma and confidence. She always looked fabulous yet effortless. Whether it was at the supermarket or the gym or even the few pictures she’s glimpsed of her on Facebook she always had a slick of gloss and mascara, perfectly straight blonde hair in a neat bob and expensive looking clothes. Edie always felt a little embarrassed beside her wearing primark gym gear with unwashed sweaty hair plonked in a high knot on top of her head.

Nina probably went for coffees with random people all the time. Networking, Edie had read an article about it on LInkedin that suggested informal coffee was always a great way to network. That’s probably what this was all about. She had most likely seen Edie’s Barclays gym bag and thought that she might been in equities or something. Not the soulless back office where Edie spent eight hours a day clearing checks.

When the treadmill beeped for the final time Edie felt relieved, not only had she completed her run but she had figured out that a networking coffee was the most logical explanation for Nina inviting her for a coffee. I mean people just didn’t make new friends so easily did they? Edie had the same two best friends she had had since first day of prep school. Leti and Sarah. She was going to be Leti’s bridesmaid in June, hence the 5k run she had just completed. Leti had deliberately bought a dress a size too small to give Edie the motivation she needed to lose a bit of weight before the wedding. Sarah admitted to Edie that she thought Leti was a bit mean to be putting that kind of pressure on her but Edie knew Leti had good intentions. She had to admit though she was getting a bit fed up of all the wedding talk.

As she lathered her hair in the gym showers Edie mulled over her last meeting with the girls. She had wanted to go for dinner but Leti had insisted that dinner was a bad idea on account of all their diets for the big day so they just went around to Leti’s house for tea instead. Leti had made a flourless, sugarless and quite frankly tasteless cake for them all and then made them look through about 15 honeymoon destination brochures. Talk about depressing. Not only was she miles off getting married to anyone, Edie also hadn’t had a holiday in two years and was desperate to get away. Ooh, maybe Nina could be her new holiday buddy.

As she got dressed and dried her hair Edie allowed herself to imagine them both in Marbella drinking cocktails by the pool and chatting up some gorgeous men. She imagined Nina would get lots of male attention. This is exactly what she needed, a fun, free, single new friend in her life who hopefully wasn’t a lesbian or a serial killer.
As she settled into the corner of Starbucks next to the gym with her skinny latte she saw Nina arrive. Waving her over, Edie was thrilled she hadn’t cancelled. This was going to be the start of a fabulous and fun new friendship.

Nina sat down and promptly burst into tears.

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