It was sad to watch him leave. It truly broke my heart. I wanted to run up behind him and catch him before he disappeared through the front door. The way his head hung low with his droopy eyes and rolled over shoulders showed defeat; he knew it, and I knew it. He is now just another weightlifter who has been killed by rest. Another soldier who has been taken down by the brutal training that will either make you or brake you. Another soldier down. It was as if the sharp rays of the sun striking through the door were pulling him towards the bright outside.
Training was finally over and all the weightlifters seemed to gravitate toward the bench presses and free weights. Lots of grab-assing, laughing, and all around tom-foolery was taking place at this time. Coach joined in and gave a lecture about how we weren't pushing ourselves hard enough in training if we still had all this bull crap energy to fool around with this "curls for the girls" type crap. Everyone laughed and so did coach, but me, I had my eyes and emotions wrapped up in him, him being the soldier who desperately needed a hug. You would of thought I was a part of the crazy loud crowd by the bench, but I really wasn't. I wasn't laughing or grab-assing. I wasn't talking about how big my chest "pump" was, or showing everyone how much I can bench press. I was lost in the lost world of "him." I watched his every move. It has only been a week since he flew into train with us, yes, training has been beyond hell, but already? Is he already breaking down? Is the imagination and temptation of rest getting to him? These were the thoughts that were racing through my head as I watched him slowly walk around the gym picking up his stuff one by one as if he was a prisoner on the chain gang. He grabbed his back with his right hand as if someone just shot him with a paint ball gun. His eyes closed as his pain flowed though the air and hit me right in the face. I felt his pain, as I was once like him. He reminded me so much of myself at that moment, he reminded me of the hell my mind and body went through when I first joined the team and had to adapt to the training. His pain seemed to leave his body as he bent over supporting his weight by resting his hands on his knees. Sweat was dripping down his face like a waterfall. In the first few days of his arrival he was talkative, outgoing, and definitely would have been down here by the bench press messing around. But no, not that day, that day he only had one thing on his mind, and that was rest.
Then it happened, the most amazing thing I have ever seen happened right in front of my chalky face. Rest walked in the front door with her beauty blinding the room with light and love. In shock, I started hitting Tom next to me keeping my eyes locked onto her beauty. I told Tom to "Look, look Tom." But instead of the reaction I though he would give, he simply told me to stop hitting him in the arm and to leave him alone. To my surprise, no one in the gym saw her. They were going on with their everyday business as if nothing was happening. She wasn't walking, but floating across the gym straight toward "him." I stood there like a deer in the head lights, watching rest float across the gym with her smile, comfort, and ease. He saw her and broke down into tears of joy. He put his arms out like a kid wanting to be picked up by his mother. His smile was long and desperate, desperate to be saved by her, desperately wanting to leave this cold dark world that us weightlifters call home. She put out her open hand, and he took it. His eyes were wide open, completely focused on her every move. She smiled at him while pointing at the door behind her. He nodded and returned the smile. Rest started to lead him toward the front door and I knew I would never see him again. He is with rest now. She will take good care of him, or so he thinks. I wanted to say something, or even run up behind him and tell him no, stay with us, don't fall for her beauty. But no, I did nothing. I just stood there watching what others for some reason could not see. I thought for sure he would see her long red pointy tail. I guess her tail blended in well with the color of her red dress, because he did not see it. Then he was gone. He vanished outside into the bright sun never to be seen again. The light vanished and a second later hundreds of rusty black prison bars fell from the sky all around the gym. I was thinking about going with him, but I guess there is no getting out of this hell.
Goodbye him, farewell my friend, it was nice training with you for that short time. Tell rest hi for me and let her know that she might have gotten you, but fuck it, she will never get me.