Sweat slid down her face, crawling slowly over her cheekbone and down her jaw before falling onto her shirt. She kept moving, trying to focus on the beat playing in her headphones instead of the nerves in her stomach. She eyed her phone, waiting for the text message that would end her run. She texted him first.
“I need a favor,” She said.
Her phone lit up as she neared the three mile point, her heart pounding through her body.
“What’s that? I’m here,” It read.
She tapped out a response as she moved, pushing herself to finish the rest of mile three regardless of how much she wanted to go outside.
“Get me through this last fucking half.”
“You got this,” he replied.
She moved faster, her lungs aching as she finally hit mile three and crawled off the elliptical. She walked toward the pile of towels to wipe off her face and spotted his car. He could probably see her, panting and drenched in sweat — she wondered why the hell she’d told him to meet her after her workout.
She wasted time wiping down the elliptical, trying to work up the courage to go get into his car. This was the third time they’d met, the first time they’d be alone. After thinking about him for weeks and texting constantly for just as long, she felt safe around him — she was more concerned about how awkward she could be around other people. She’d gone through so many hoops just to get ahold of him though and for the first time in years, she felt like someone was genuinely interested in her. She took a deep breath and decided not to let her head get in her way.
She reached for his car door and opened it. He smiled.
“Hi gorgeous,” he said.
“Not hardly,” She answered as she climbed in, fully aware of the sweat and that mornings makeup that had been smeared around her face. “I’m gross.”
“Even when you’re gross, you’re gorgeous,” He laughed. She suddenly felt at ease.
The two settled into silence as he pulled out of the parking lot and onto the street. A few minutes later, he broke it and it stayed broken as he drove aimlessly in the dark.