You woke up by the annoying sound of your alarm, which indicated it was time to train. Hurriedly, you took a shower and dressed in a pair of black leggings, a black sports bra, and your favorite pair of sneakers. Before you put a thin blue shirt on, you saw your reflection on the bathroom’s mirror and frowned. People regularly told you how they envied you and your “perfect body,” and you usually answered with a polite laugh in order to suppress your true reaction. You were fit, and you knew it, but still you didn’t feel complete. People also told you how pretty you were besides your body, and yet you couldn’t see anything pretty in your reflection. In the beginning you thought that if you trained hard enough and sculptured a body that could be called “pretty,” then you would finally find peace from that memory that still haunts you. Having passed three years since you started with this solo project, you still didn’t find satisfaction, and it made you wonder if all of this was a mistake. Hearing your second alarm, you snapped out of your thoughts and finished getting ready in order to leave.
It took you about a 10 minute-walk to reach your gym, and once you entered it, you smiled. Thinking back on it, you didn’t regret this project one bit. Not only did you achieved becoming what you wanted to become, but also found amazing people in which you could rely on. This experience also helped you develop some discipline and self-esteem. You smiled and greeted the receptionist while you entered the premises. Even though you used to train at noon, you found that doing it in the morning was somewhat refreshing. You went to the third floor in order to do your daily cardio, then you took the stairs to go to the first floor to start your routine. When you reached the ground floor, you greeted the instructors that were in their usual spot, observing the clients to see if anyone might need help. You did some small talk with them and went to the instructors’ drawers to get your routine, not noticing a pair of eyes that have been following your figure since you were descending the stairs. You went to the rack to start with some sets of half squat while scanning briefly the area to look for any familiar faces yet finding none. You started loading the Olympic bar and ended adding about 30 kg on each side. You position yourself and started squatting about 15 times until reaching your first set. At the other side of the room, a boy with black hair was staring at you intently while his friend smacked his elbow into his ribs to indicate him to stop doing it. He seemed unbothered by his friend’s warning while a small yet prominent smirk appeared in his face.
You decided to jog home to prepare for classes. Your days seemed pretty monotonous, everyday a control c and control v of your schedule that includes training, going to college and being dissatisfied with yourself. Your day passes as boring as always except for your encounter with your best friend.
“Hey! Are you free?” you questioned as an answer to the phone call you received after exiting the classroom.
“Hello Y/N, how are you?” the sarcastic voice of your best friend Jin answered.
“Fine and you?” you rolled your eyes.
“You know I’m always fine, Y/N” Jin stated proudly.
“Can you end with the self-boosting and actually reply to what I asked you?”
“Well yeah, I certainly can. I just finished my last class, so I’m free. What about you?”
“Same here. Let’s hang out then”
“Sure! I’ve heard that a new cafe just opened, and the reviews definitely called my attention.”
“Jin, you always say that and then you end up hating the place and making me waste money on extra calories that I most definitely shouldn’t consume,” you sighed.
“This place really sounds promising, Y/N! I’m so sure this time, that I will even treat you! Promise! Besides, you should stop concerning yourself about the calories. You will probably burn more than enough to compensate them.”
“Okay, okay! You are right. So, meet you there?”
“Let’s go together. Turn around”
Confused, you turned around and found your best friend so close to you that you almost fell on your butt.
“Hey, don’t do that!” you smacked his arm while he only laughed at your reaction.
“Sorry! I just love your reactions!” he laughed at you.
You pouted and indicated that you should probably start heading to the cafe. In ten minutes, you managed to find the place, and you had to admit Jin wasn’t lying when he said it sounded promising. The place was so to your taste that this would definitely become your hanging place from now on. You enjoyed the evening with Jin while eating some pastries and a few cups of coffee. When you were appreciating the beautifully decorated piece of cake in front of you, Jin in a serious tone said: “You know Y/N…” You looked up to see his face and got nervous when you realized it matched his tone. He continued, “I really meant what I said with the calories. You should stop concerning so much about your looks.”
“Look who’s saying it,” you said laughing a little, trying to lighten his seriousness yet failing to do so.
“You know what I mean. It’s healthy to a certain point, but I’m worried that you may end up never loving yourself to the point of damaging your body and even yourself.”
“Jin, you of all people know why I started with this self-project, and even though it hasn’t full filled my expectations, it still has helped me to recover, you know…” you said with a low voice.
“Yes, I understand, but Y/N, don’t you think it’s time for you to move on from that trauma and actually try to heal?”
Tears started to cloud your vision, but you still tried to answer without letting them fall.
“That’s exactly what I’ve been trying to do, but I don’t seem to find closure, Jin. It’s so frustrating cause I feel like he took a part of me, like he broke me beyond repair.” Now a tear fell down your cheek, and even though you tried to cover it, Jin was faster than you, raising his right hand to caress your cheek and taking the tear away. You only hoped his hand could take your pain away like it did with your tear.
“I didn’t want to make you cry, I’m sorry. And I’m also sorry that I didn’t meet you when we were kids, so I could have protected you. But what matters now is that I want you to know that I care about you and I don’t want you to get more hurt, okay?”
“Okay…” you formed a small smile. “Thanks Jin, for been there for me all this time, and acknowledging my trauma instead of dismissing it like other people have done.”
“You know, I’m not just anyone. I’m worldwide handsome!” he said while smirking. You only laughed at that, feeling so much better by knowing you had people who cared about you and would do what they could to make you smile, even if that implied seeming like a narcissist. You sometimes wished you could boost your self-confidence like Jin did, but deep down you knew it was his personal mask to cover his own insecurities. Everyone had their own way to cope with loving oneself, and yours was exercising until you no longer felt dissatisfied with yourself. What you didn’t know was that soon that method would change into something completely different.
Jimin hated basic girls who only went to “exercise” for pretense. They were a hindrance to him; always socializing and buying smoothies at the bar while taking space they weren’t actually using. He also hated that they would believe themselves fit when clearly none of them trained at all. Feeling annoyed, he ignored two of them who tried to get his attention while he was focused on finishing his routine. He was taking a small rest after finishing a set of shoulder press when his eyes landed on a figure that was descending the staircase. In the four years he had been training at that gym, he hadn’t seen such a beautiful girl around. She was stunning to say the least, and what really caught his attention was that no other girl in that place had a body to compete with that one. That girl really knew what training meant, and the proof was her body and the attitude she emanated. She was a refreshing contrast to the basic girls he loathed. After descending the stairs, the girl seemed to be greeting the instructors and engaging in some conversation, but it didn’t take long before she started training. Seeing her being so familiar with the instructors and having such a toned body gave him the idea that maybe she too has been in the gym for quite some time. When he thought that she was about to look in his direction, he turned around and decided to look at her from the reflection of the mirror. Following her reflection with his gaze, he was surprised to see her loading the bar of the rack with a lot of weight. Since he has met a lot of people at the gym, he knew that that girl could lift more weight than half of the men that trained there. An unconscious smirk appeared in his face when the girl started squatting, giving him the perfect view of her butt. He was mesmerized by her reflection to say the least when his friend Taehyung smacked his ribs with his elbow. “Stop staring at her butt! It’s so obvious!” Taehyung scolded in a whisper that didn’t match his seductive smile. Jimin kept looking at the girl, but this time he was focused on her face rather than her butt, his smirk that had disappeared with Taehyung’s scolding reappeared once again. That girl had to be his.