Just a girl at the gym


My dad doesn’t understand. He thinks I should be happy within the 16 foot high walls of the estate, after all, he’s crushed so many to build this kingdom. But that was his dream, not mine. I want something different.

He told me he’d hire whoever I wanted. He could get Gwen Stefani’s trainer to come over this afternoon instead of my regular guy but I didn’t want that. I wanted to be normal for a change. I just wanted to be a girl at the gym. Was that too much to ask for?

My dad rules his empire with a stone fist but he has a problem saying, “no” to me. He feels guilty about my mother’s illness. We aren’t allowed to call it what it was. I tell myself I’m over it but I know it’s screwed me up. At least I can use his guilt to get my way.

That’s why I’m on my way to the gym. Okay, it’s not exactly the way I wanted it to happen. I wanted to borrow one of our housekeeper's cars and go by myself but there was no convincing him. So I’m in the back seat of one of the white Range Rovers. There’s an identical car in front of us and one behind us – so much for being inconspicuous.

Dad made Craig come along with my usual bodyguards. Craig is dad’s number one. No matter where my dad goes, Craig is right at his side. I can’t stand Craig and he feels the same about me. I’m not happy he’s with me but it did give me a tiny bit of joy seeing the irritation flash across his face when my dad told him to take care of me.

We’ve finally arrived at the gym. It’s taken way too long to get here. If I could have borrowed Liz’s Honda and come on my own I could have been well into my workout by now. But really, I should just try to be happy.

The cars roll up to the curb and stop in the fire lane. We’re blocking the traffic trying to get by. One of the guys jumps out and motions the other drivers to turn back. Being the daughter of the second richest man in America gives us certain privileges.

I catch the irritation on a mother’s face as she turns her car around. Her kid is screaming, I can hear it through my closed window. I feel a pang of guilt.

The way the manager rushes out all red-faced and sweaty lets me know he’s been notified of my arrival and probably threatened with who knows what if anything happens to me. I jump out of the car. My baseball cap and hoodie are concealing my face as I make a dash for the door catching the manager and my team off guard. Jackson hurries to catch up with me and has to grab the door before it swings shut in his face.

I scan the place and find what I’m looking for. I rush to the women’s locker room. Jackson stops short. At least I can be alone in here. I don’t have anything to stash in a locker and I’m already wearing my workout gear. I just want a moment away from them.

A woman walks in and slides past me. She gives me a kind smile but doesn’t speak. It makes me so happy when people don’t recognize me.

If it were up to me, no one would know who I was. But it’s not up to me. I’m one of dad’s assets. I’m hauled off to event after event. I never know who will be escorting me. Usually it’s the latest 'it' actor but sometimes it’s the son of someone important.

It doesn’t matter. They’re almost all the same - really nice to look at but boring and stupid as hell. But there was that one guy that made me laugh, I think his name was Craig. He was my escort for some boring dinner.

We talked about normal stuff, he was funny and nice and felt the same way about being dragged to the stupid events as I did. I would have liked to see him again but he had a girlfriend. They met in middle school and stayed together even after Craig’s dad sold his startup for nearly a billion.

Maybe one day I can meet a normal guy in a normal situation and have my first real relationship. For now, I’ll be dragged out in public with who knows who and paps will be all over me. So I have to stay focused. Last year when I refused to stick to my crazy diet and exercise plan I blossomed to a size 2 and the tabloids started calling me ‘fat.’

I knew I wasn’t fat but I’m just a teenager. I have enough crazy shit happening in my head as it is. So I’m back to my routine. Only today I want to do it differently. I just want to be a girl at the gym.

Author's Note - Not sure who this character is or what will become of her. I don't even know her name yet. If you are interested in finding out more about her life let me know by liking or adding a comment and I'll keep writing.

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Darci McIntyreComment