Maastricht, The Netherlands • June 2011 • Length of Read: 1 Minute
“You’ve not changed a bit Crobs,” beamed Steffi as she rounded the corner. Her brown shoulder-length hair still sat in its thick bob and the pearl earrings enforced on her by a regal grandmother were pinned in each lobe. “Actually, perhaps you’re a little bit skinnier than before. Have you stopped going to the gym?”
“With no Julia around anymore, the motivation has kind of dwindled,” I laughed.
It was the summer of 2016, and I hadn’t seen my old ERASMUS exchange buddy in five years. Steffi had lived in the flat above me in our student accommodation throughout our semester-long tenure at Maastricht University in 2011, and knew all about my gym obsession at the time. Whilst there, I’d developed such a severe crush on our German abs instructor that it led to me attending five classes per week just so I had an excuse to chat to her.
‘It’s almost beach season,’ she would coyly purr as we entered our final rounds of crunches, giving me all the motivation required to finish the sets purposely. Whilst in the plank position, she would wink at me in such a seductive way that I was sure my shorts would be able to hold me upright without needing the support of my arms. I had a schoolboy crush on this girl who was the same age as me, and to my disappointment nothing more came from these flirtatious gym sessions than playful teasing.
“You never did get anywhere with her, did you?” laughed Steffi, giving me a hug.
“After four months of chasing, all I had to show for my vain efforts was a well-defined six-pack,” I chuckled. “And as quickly as Julia exited from my life, so did my washboard flat stomach disappear.”