It was a long and tedious day for Marcus. Too many hours of filling in reports and listening to his co-workers talk about their new girlfriends, recent children, or expensive trips to places he had no interest in going. Normally, Marcus was happy just hanging around home watching TV and playing on his PlayStation, but lately he's notice that his stomach has been getting a bit on the soggy side and his ass just a bit too wide for his pants.
As much as he didn't want to admit it, it was too easy to ignore it. It didn't matter if he had a membership in a gym in the same building as his office or that it was open twenty-four hours, he worked until he was exhausted and headed home while picking up something greasy for dinner.
The current day was much like every day for the last year: endless meetings during the day and working after everyone left to get actual work done. The tie they forced him to wear felt more like a noose every evening and he couldn't wait for his boss to leave so he would pull it open, strip off his shoes, and play music in the phone; all of those were direct violation of the company policy.
Outside, the sun had set a few hours ago but the glow of the sodium lights leaked through the shades and set everything with an orange cast.
Marcus sighed and finished verifying the latest TPS form with the entered data. It was a tedious task, but one percent of the reports had to be verified for quality assurance. It was a long job, but it paid enough for him to enjoy long nights in front of the PlayStation and getting fast food on the way home.
He looked at the next form with dread. Even from across the table, he could tell that the handwriting was horrendous and in three different pens. Some of the writing had faded out and there were scrawled circles as the person entering it tried to get their pen to work again.
“Oh, fuck this.”
Marcus stood up. He needed a break, from the forms, from the validation, from his job. He stretched and grabbed his security badge and his keys. Yawning, he headed outside for some fresh air to clear his head.
Five minutes later, he sat on the curb and stared out the empty parking lot. The wall of light behind him cast his shadows across the asphalt and insects fluttered around the darkness as they streamed past him.
At the far end of the building was the gym. The lights were on and he could see some of the TVs playing, but it was to an empty room. No one ran or worked out, just a surreal scene of entertaining no one.
Bored with nothing else to do, Marcus forced himself off the curb and groaned. He wasn't as healthy as he used to be. The effort left him briefly light-headed but it cleared quickly as he shuffled down the front of the building to check out which shows were on. The first was Fox News, he ignored that. The other was a home and garden type of show, it looked like they were redecorating an office in some sort of hideous shade of brown. The third TV, this one in front of a bank of treadmills, had an action movie flashing on it.
Encouraged, Marcus leaned against the glass and watched the TV in silence, enjoying the cooler air and making up words for the actors on the screen. As he did, the sodium lights in the parking lot reflected his image on the glass, giving him a translucent image to peer through.
He wasn't unattractive. His hair was still dark brown and thick. He had it cut short so it spiked up in front but was neatly trimmed in the back. He was clean-shaven and only had a hint of a second chin. His eyes were black in the yellow light, but otherwise they would be a dusky blue.
The rest of his body was less impressive. His stomach stuck out a little bit more than he wanted, not quite enough to hang down but one that peeked out past his black leather belt. His button-down shirt, corporate white, hung comfortably on his body. He wore black trousers, as per the dress code, but only the butt area was tighter than he wanted.
After a few minutes of looking at himself uncomfortably in the reflection, he shifted his position and focused on the movie.