Yeah, you could call her that. She was a "gym freak", no doubt about it. Cynthia would expend several hours a day in the gym, exercising in various ways. She did it for two hours in the morning, then she would work, at midday have a balanced meal, work again until 4 and then four more hours at the gym. She arrived home at 8:30, had a salad or something light to eat and then bed, at around 11.
And that was every single day. On weekends? Well, instead of four hours, she would spend all the afternoon there. Cynthia's favorite exercise was pilates but she also joined dancing classes, spinning, swimming, running, biking, weightlifting and various others. It was as if her energy was eternal.
Her diet was also fully controlled. Everything in small portions, no red meat and no flours based products such as bread or even desserts. To be honest, she didn't ate too many sweets. Only from time to time she would treat herself to a low fat yogurt with fruit or a sugarless dessert. She preferred eating a fruit.
Anyhow, Cynthia met Jamie and they fell in love right away. Jamie was an accountant in the same company Cynthia worked on and they had bonded right away. Whatever free time she had to spend, she would spend it with Jamie: watching movies, going shopping, traveling to nice little towns,...
Luckily enough, Jamie also liked to exercise. He had a perfect body, or so she thought. Jamie would join Cynthia on weekends at the gym, were they would run against each other or help one another doing advanced exercises.
To sum it up, everything seemed fine with Cynthia. But that was exactly it. It only seemed.
Unknown to many, she had stopped talking to her siblings, only calling her parents once a month to let them know she was fine. They would never visit as she had been clear to them she wasn't keen on surprise guests. Her brother and sister were fine not talking to her. To them, Cynthia had been too pampered by their parents; everything she wanted, she got it. And it had been like that ever since she was a baby.
They knew what she really was like and they were not really interested in having anything to do with someone that would rather spend time with others or climbing positions, instead of joining them for Christmas dinners or birthdays. Cynthia always sent her gifts to her parents, never getting there and hug or kiss them. It was as if they were distant, annoying relatives.
Her sister in particular, knew a side of her many of her "closest friends" didn't know. Cynthia was violent, easily becoming enraged if people didn't allow her to do as she wanted. Her sister had once not allowed her to use a new lipstick she had been given as a gift, so Cynthia went crazy, throwing things all around and, finally, breaking the new expensive lipstick into pieces.
None of them knew about Jamie and if they had known, it wouldn't have been too different. She had had boyfriends before, all as shallow and obsessed with beauty and power like her. Some were jocks, others more of the responsable type, but it didn't mattered. They all finally met the real Cynthia and ran away scared.
But her relationship with Jamie turned two years old and everything was as good as the first day. Soon, they married and moved in together. Her parents and siblings only knew about it through a friend, in a most uncomfortable conversation.
Her mom and dad decided to go to the city were she lived and stayed in a hotel. They contacted her from there and arranged a meeting. Long story short, Cynthia lost contact with her parents. They had allowed too much to happen, to many indulgences, too many things and details. But this, had been the last drop.
Jamie proved himself an empty human being. To Cynthia's father, he was one of the shallowest persons he had ever met. The guy was only interested in money and in looking good. That was fine, but people normally had more to go with that. No, not Jamie. He was empty, like a vase with no flowers. Cynthia's dad asked him about his hobbies, his passions but the answers were always the same.
Cynthia's mom, however, was not that bothered by the simple mindedness of her new son in law. She was more shocked to know how Cynthia appeared to have changed, a turn for the worst in her opinion. Her daughter talked about maybe adopting, as she did not wish to ruin her body for a baby. She said she had it all figured it out, including nannies, education, sports,... Her mother was horrified; not only Cynthia lived away and ashamed of them (they were meeting in a café, not even a restaurant) but her future life contemplated raising a child to be like them, or maybe even even worse. It was too much.
They left to their home were they crumbled in tears, realizing how bad they had raised their daughter, as they felt it was their fault that she had grown up to be such a shallow woman. It wasn't the gym thing or even the diets. It was the fact that she was obsessed to be perfect, not accepting who she really was. She never discussed her past with people that met her and decided not to have friends, rather acquaintances. She only trusted herself in order to make her life perfect by buying and doing and pretending. And if it wasn't, she had no problem pretending.
Cynthia never knew she had nephews, from both of her siblings. She never knew her parents had won a trip to Europe or that the home were she had grew up had been destroyed by a massive flooding. And all that happened in only ten years, during which she had no contact with her relatives.
Many hoped, without telling others, that she would someday change as having children changed people, as did marriage. Well, she divorced Jamie, who tried to get custody of the child they had adopted, with no success. He was an idiot but he proved to have a heart. Cynthia did not have one. The divorce, the life of her child, they did not change her. She was as focused and cold, as always.
Maybe that is why the kid, a girl called Camilla, ran away from home at age 15. She escaped with the help of a friend and Cynthia's rage was more than it had ever been. But that was it: no guilt, no sadness, no pain. Only rage.
Camilla, after a long search, got her grandparents address and visited them. They were seniors now and she cried as she felt time had been stolen from her. Her grandma kissed and hugged her and cried with her.
They sent an email to Cynthia, where Camilla confessed she would rather stay with her grandparents than with her. That was the only time Cynthia shed a tear. The following day, she sent all of Camilla's belongings the her parents house and forgot about her. She then increased her exercise hours, becoming more and more trapped in herself until, one day, she fainted on a treadmill and died.
viernes, 21 de noviembre de 2014
lunes, 3 de noviembre de 2014
The rain had gotten me there. It was a rather small library, with shelves all around and a few tables filled with piles and piles of books.
I had never gotten in there. Actually, I had never seen the place before. This was very strange as my house was not that far.
I have to say I don't read very much as I prefer creation than reading. I know this is a controversial point of view but I'm looking for approval. However, it was refreshing to see places like this still existed. I walked around the room and only saw a one small and elderly woman in a corner, sitting in a high stool, reading a book. I think it was Moby Dick but I wouldn't say for sure.
There were first editions, new books and old books, big ones and small ones and in every single language you could think of.
A guy, a bit older than me, appeared from behind one of the piles of books. I was startled and tried to fake it but he had noticed and started to laugh. I was really annoyed by this so I turned around and started checking the books in the opposite shelf. I gazed at the window: the downpour appeared to have gotten worse, if possible. I could even see the light of a thunder and the sound, this time, didn't startled me although I felt worried I wouldn't make it to my date.
The guy appeared again, blocking my view of the window. He asked if I was looking for a particular book. I told him I wasn't. He then asked if I had just entered the store because of the rain to which I answered with a soft "Yes".
I grabbed one of the books and I attempted to fake reading but the book happened to be an illustrated version of the Kamasutra so I put it back on the shelf as the guy laughed hard. I turned around to check on the older lady but she appeared to be to immersed in her book.
Trying to come up with something to say, I didn't realized the guy had grabbed my hand and was making me walk towards the back of the room. When I did realize what was going on, I felt blood rushing to my face and tried to release myself from him but he only tightened his grip. He opened a door and then made me follow him up, to a second floor.
There, there was a room as large as the one below. Shelves were also all around but in the center of the room there were only a few tables, to be shared by two people at most. Each one had a lamp and they seemed to be really comfortable.
He released my hand and went to the back of the room, close to a circular window through which I could see the rain continuing to fall. The guy started looking for a book as I watched around, seeing only one of the tables occupied. There was an older man that went back and forth in the book, apparently comparing phrases or maybe images.
I got closer to him and tried to watch over his shoulder. He then said "You can come closer if you want". So I did. He was reading an encyclopedia, apparently only dealing with sea creatures. He was comparing two types of salmon. I smiled at him as I saw the guy telling me to come closer.
As I walked across the room, he sat on a chair and turned on the lamp. I sat down in front of him. He told me he had a present for me. I smiled and asked him "Why would you give a present? We don't know each other?". He answered "Precisely".
He gave me the book and I realized it was a first edition of the first book of the Harry Potter series. I couldn't refrain myself from laughing. But he didn't laughed. He actually look at me disappointed, as if I had hurt him horribly.
I realized it was the wrong response so I stopped and apologized. I laughed, I told him, because I thought he was going to pick a strange and weird book for me, to make me feel stupid for coming into his store.
He corrected me: the store was owned by his grandparents. "You have already met them". I turned around to see the older gentleman flipping pages and scratching his head. Salmons were puzzling him indeed. His grandmother was the Moby Dick lady, he confirmed.
- What's your name?
That was his next question. I told him my name and then he told me his: Marcus. He told me his parents loved the Antiquity and if he had been a girl he would have been named Cleopatra.
I smiled at this. It was a sweet anecdote. He smiled back and told me he loved Harry Potter and thought it would be a nice present for someone who doesn't read much or so it seemed. I told him he was right. We started talking for a while: I told him what I did for a life and what I liked and he told me about his deceased parents, his love for books and his grandparents.
I have no idea how much time I spent there. What's true is that, when we came down to the ground floor, rain had stopped and the orange light of the afternoon was filtering through the window.
Marcus told me we should meet when I finish the book. I agreed. I was about to come out of the store when I realized I wanted to ask something more. He looked at me and then I thought it was better to ask about it the next time we would meet.
Some time later I was on the bus calling my friend, telling her I would be arriving a bit late due to the rain. She said it was ok and we hung up. I then thought of Marcus and how guilty I felt having not told him that I had known Harry Potter for years. I read the books when I was younger, as they came out. I really liked the story and that was, in part, the reason why I laughed when he gave me the book.
Anyway, I wanted to meet him and go that place again. So I felt good about lying and thanked the rain for its wisdom.