Muffled thumping noises echo across the empty large matted room. A young woman sits atop a punching bag pinning it in place on the floor unleashing a relentless salvo of punches into the bag. The tempo picks up and breath becomes strained and ragged a small sob escapes her mouth followed soon after by an unrestrained scream that shatters the otherwise peaceful environment. A few tears escape her puffy red eyelids and fall unrestrained onto the mat; the adrenaline gone, desperation, confusion and heartache instead are all that remain. The woman packs up her gym bag wipes her face and moves to leave the gym. She hears a voice call out to her in a detached sort of way, she turns to the man behind the counter near the gym's entry way.
"I'm sorry?" she says.
"I said try to have a better day tomorrow" the man responds.
She gave him a brief grunt of acknowledgment and walked out the double doors into the brisk three a.m. air of republic city hearing the man yell through the closing doors.
"Same time tomorrow Korra?"
She let out a long heavy sigh she didn't know she was carrying "more than likely" she muttered to herself. She walked the three blocks up the street to get to the apartment she shared with her two best friends. Both of them had been the first friends she had made when she had been sent to public school for the first time and they had stuck together ever since, her current slump notwithstanding. Korra fell asleep that night, like many of the preceding nights feeling hurt and alone.
"KORRA!" came a voice yelling from the opposite side of her door. "Korra wake up!" she checked the time on her phone through blurry eyes.
"Mako it's nine a.m. what the fuck" she yelled through her pillow
"Classes begin in a few days you have to start getting in the routine. I'm going to work, Bolin and Opal are making breakfast, they have instructions to come get you if you're not there in five minutes."
"Fiiiiiiine" Korra finally responded swinging the door open and trudging down the hallway towards the kitchen. Korra immediately pours a cup of coffee and sits at the small kitchen table across from Bolin and Opal.
"Good morning!" Opal and Bolin greet in unison, their cheerful disposition abrasive to Korra's current sensibilities. She leans over the table and takes a piece of toast off of Bolin's plate and begins taking big bites out of it grumbling some backhanded salutation under her breath. Bolin and Opal exchange a brief glance at each other before Opal speaks up again.
"So Korra I was wondering what you're doing this afternoon and evening?" Bolin, Mako, and Opal had all been trying their best too be accommodating to her for the past few weeks, offering her comfort, and distractions but she had spurned them all. Maybe it was time to start acting like an adult again and be the friend they all deserved once more.
Korra answered after a moment’s hesitation, "I'm not doing anything but going to the gym later today, but I can make time, what did you have in mind?"
"Well it's actually more of a favor if you don't mind helping me with something, my sister is coming into town today she is beginning her PhD program at Republic City University and she's going to be staying with me"
"Oh, that's awesome Opal I didn't know you had a sister" said Korra
"Well she's my adoptive sister, my parents took her in while we were still young, but I've only ever seen her as my closest sibling. Anyway, I need help moving a bed into the spare bedroom at my place if it's not too much trouble, I'll buy you dinner afterward, just to make sure you're actually eating something." Opal looked into Korra's eyes hopefully willing her to say yes.
"I can definitely help you with that, I'll even go to the airport with you if you want, I could use a good distraction." Responded Korra a little too enthusiastically.
Opal and Bolin left not much time later leaving Korra to get her things ready for the start of the semester the following day. After printing out her new schedule and syllabi she poured herself a new cup of coffee and sat down at their table once more to give the course outlines a once over. She lifted the mug holding it in her hands and let out a long drawn out sigh. She took a sip of her coffee staring off into the distance looking at nothing in particular, her eyes drifted to an empty spot among picture frames on the mantle.
The missing picture would have told a story. The story of a romance doomed to fail but had burned with a ferocity that would have made her blush with embarrassment in hindsight were she not so utterly distraught. Korra remembered everything about the woman as if she had still been with her every day of the past three weeks. The part that haunted her the most was the piercing green eyes, they were always with her, analyzing her, judging her, caressing her. So, the picture had been removed, tossed out like their relationship, in its place an empty gaping hole, like the one in Korra's stomach, and a circle of friends just barely hanging on.
Korra screamed into the empty apartment until there was no more breath in her lungs, loud and unapologetically, as if there had been anyone to hear her anyway. She would not cry though, she had wasted enough of her tears. She ran into her room, packed her gym bag and slammed the apartment door after her taking off down the stairs only to remember she had forgotten to lock the door, she hated having a good rage induced tantrum being ruined with such a mundane task. After responsibly locking the door she resumed stomping her way downstairs and towards the gym.
Korra didn't know how long she had been at the gym, but she was just starting to feel like she was regaining control of herself. Grunting with exertion Korra racked her weights and pulled a towel off the bench next to her, wiped her brow and headed to the locker room. She found her locker and rummaged through her bag to find her phone. She had two missed calls from Opal, one from Bolin and a heap of texts from the both of them, worst yet the time was twelve past six. She had gotten so engrossed at the gym she was now more than an hour late to help Opal.
"Fuck, Fuck, Fuck."
Opal would never let her live this down, she was going to pay for this into eternity.