5.55pm. Back at the gym, on the bike, staring out of the window at the black sky. Couldn’t sleep earlier so may as well read and write here, where I’m not alone. Had a training session this morning and so this extra gym visit is more to get myself out of the house and occupied than for exercise purposes.
It’s calm and quiet here. The music has been turned off, amazingly, so there’s just the whirring and humming of the bikes, treadmills and rowing machines.
“There’s no point in just sitting there cycling so slowly,” the panther says. He has draped himself along the rowing machine in front of my bike.
“There is,” I tell him. “I’m still cycling – it doesn’t matter if it’s slow.”
“I can’t help noticing that you’re not getting any thinner,” the panther says, his amber eyes gazing at my tummy.
“I’m building muscle,” I tell him. “Soon I’m going to look much better and…”
“You don’t seem to have a second date with MediaChap yet,” the panther says. Turning his head, he starts to lick his hindquarters.
“Nearly,” I tell him. “He asked if I could meet on Thursday, and I told him that I can’t – it’s my plastic surgeon on Thursday – but that I can meet him on Tuesday or Wednesday. So let’s see what he says.”
“If he was interested in you he’d have replied already,” the panther says. “He must have seen your message.”
“He’s working,” I say, although the panther has a point. MediaChap has seen my WhatsApp message – the blue ticks are there meaning that the message has been read. This is why I don’t want to be at home on my own listening to the panther and staring at my phone and wondering why MediaChap won’t just tell me whether he can meet on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Right: I’m going to post this, turn my phone off and read my book. It’s “The Miniaturist” by Jessie Burton, I’ve just started it and I want to know what happens…