So Cold: So Hot

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Author’s Note: Relatively long build-up for this. Hopefully you can hang in there and enjoy the end! I was trying to capture the nervous thought process that often goes along with that first time.

———-

In the fall of 1991 Tiffany was finally in her senior year of college. She sat at her desk at her on-campus job, handing out keys to the antiquated lockers that filled the school gym changing rooms, and allowed herself to reminisce.

17 years of school! Well, at least it would be when she was done with this one. The thought both excited and terrified her. She couldn’t wait to be done with classes and out in the “real world” but was also worried that her hell-bent approach to school and her race to adulthood was going to catch up with her at some point.

“You need to go out more,” her dad would tell her regularly.

“Do some dating, have some fun,” her mom would tell her in confidence.

It wasn’t as if she didn’t want to have fun. It wasn’t as if she didn’t want to get out and do some dating. Something that her parents had conveniently forgotten was that she was the one footing the bill for school, not them, and college didn’t cost $400 a year anymore. Without this job and her job over the summer she might end up having to take out a loan and that was something she really didn’t want to do.

So she sat, mindlessly writing down names and ID numbers next to the locker number she handed them.

“Hey, Tiff,” a voice called out from behind her.

“Hey, Ty,” she responded without even turning around. She didn’t need to. Tyler was her co-manager at the gym. They had met two years prior, both sophomores and both assigned to this job as part of the work-school program they had enrolled in to help cut costs. The only thing that was strange about the situation was that they were still there, at the same jobs for what would most likely be 3 full years.

The college they attended was known for its business program and part of the work-school curriculum was getting “business experience” around the campus. Under normal circumstances students would switch jobs on a semester-to-semester basis. In the case of Tiffany and Tyler they each got this job and seemingly slipped through the cracks. Well, maybe they slipped through the cracks, maybe it is just that they did such a good job and nobody wanted to see things change.

Even as sophomores just starting in the department each could see the total disorganization and mismanagement of the entire fitness department. The athletic department was run fine, most likely as it was a revenue generating operation. The fitness department wasn’t really run at all. As it was deemed to be a “student service” and a necessary evil of running a college, people were just kind-of allowed to come and go. In turn, they ended up having periodic issues with theft, vandalism and employee absences that turned a student service into an administrative headache. Tiffany and Tyler took the challenge head on, instituting a more formal sign-in/out process, hiring additional help for maintenance and security and instituting hard-and-fast schedules for all employees. What resulted was a system and setup that rivaled any of the newer health centers in the area, so much so that they were even given approval to institute a paid membership plan to area residents that even allowed the facility to break even with costs and improve its social standing in the community. Everything put together meant that, at 22 (Tiffany) and 21 (Tyler) years old, the normal setup of “organized-semi-paid-labor-that-was-just-used-to-fill-a-couple-of-administrative-and-filing-positions-around-the-campus” was disregarded and the duo was getting actual business experience.

Though, her parents cautionary tales aside, she enjoyed what she was doing and what they had done and was mostly happy.

Still, it might be nice to get laid.

Yes, women think about sex like guys do.

“Here you go, locker 812. Men on the right.” Tiffany handed a key to a gym patron who thanked her and moved on their way.

Christ, she couldn’t believe her train of thought had so quickly gotten away from her. It wasn’t as if anything about her job made her particularly horny.

She was late in losing her virginity as she had not actually lost it yet. There were opportunities in high school when she had a couple of relatively steady boyfriends who claimed to be up to the task but she also claimed to be not “ready” for sex yet. Sure, they had messed around, having those so-called “anything-but” relationships, but a virgin is a virgin. She hadn’t had any serious suitors since then and the next thing she knew she was about to graduate without ever having had “done the deed.” Yes, she was interested in guys. Yes, it seemed that guys were interested in her. It just hadn’t happened. It was depressing to think about so, in general, she didn’t. She pushed it to the back of her mind. But sometimes, especially at the gym when she had time to let her mind go, she did think about it. She couldn’t get it out of her mind. The thought of it was almost all consuming. Her nipples went Ataşehir Escort hard, her breath went shallow, a tingle went down her spine, she most definitely got wet. When Tiffany was by herself she could give into the temptation of her hormones. She wasn’t above satisfying herself. It was the desire to be with someone that was causing her the most irritation. There was something lacking in getting herself off. Physically, she was okay. Emotionally, she needed more.

“How’s it going today?” Tyler’s inquiry broke into her thought process.

“Pretty good. A bit slow. Why are you here so early?”

Tiffany and Tyler, in taking over the gym, had worked out a schedule where, for the most part during the week, she was there first thing in the morning and then around dinner time. He was there around lunch and at night. It worked out for both of them. She tended to be more of a morning person. He loved to work out at night after the gym was closed to the public and he had the place to himself. They sometimes worked together on the weekends and otherwise each had a key to come and go as they pleased. The only “rule” was that they were not to go in the pool alone; however Tiffany was pretty sure that Tyler had broken that rule on more than one occasion.

“Something I need to talk to you about, actually.” Tyler sat himself down next to Tiffany and laid out his case. “I have a group project due at the end of the semester for Statistics and everyone wants to meet after class.”

Tiffany knew that he had Statistics a total of 3 nights a week and often spent a significant amount of time over the weekend working on his homework. Translation: she was sure this was a big deal.

“So, you want me to take over your night shift on Monday and Friday?” Neither of them worked on Tuesday or Wednesday. Student employees worked more weekend hours as it was assumed they would not have class on Saturday and Sunday, homework be damned.

“Yes. But actually I was hoping that we could switch schedules totally for the rest of the semester.”

“The whole semester? Yikes. Big project I guess. Uhm, well… uhm, okay… I mean I guess I could.”

Tyler could sense the hesitation in her voice. “You don’t want to. I get it. It’s a big deal. Okay. Let me see if I can talk to the group and see if we can meet some other time.”

“No. That’s crazy. I am sure everyone chose that because that is when schedules actually line up and you will already be together. I am sure I will be fine.”

“Fine?”

“Yeah. I’ll be fine.”

“Is there something wrong?”

“No, you’re gonna’ laugh. Not a big deal.”

“Tiff, seriously, what is it?”

Tiffany actually laughed out loud for a second before opening up and telling him what it is.

“It’s just that I have never been here by myself at night before. The thought of it kinda’ freaks me out.”

She expected Tyler to laugh at her or at least tell her that she was crazy and it wasn’t a big deal.

He did neither.

“Oh, yeah. I didn’t even think about that. I could see where that might be an issue.”

Tiffany was surprised… and somewhat touched. She and Tyler had developed a friendly relationship over the last couple of years but this was still the first time they had an exchange like this.

“Well, hey,” he continued, “the project isn’t even supposed to start until next week. What would you think about switching up informally right now. I will come back for the night shift tonight and Friday anyhow and hang out while you get the feel of things. If you still don’t feel comfortable with it then I will talk to my group.”

His proposal was sweet and there was no reason not for her to at least give it a chance. Tiffany agreed and they exchanged a friendly hug to seal the deal.

—————

That evening, true to his word, Tyler didn’t even wait till the end of the evening shift. He sat with her the entire time as they did all of the standard work and he started explaining the closing procedures to her. He walked with her every step of the way as far as checking that all of the lights were off, rooms were cleared and alarms were armed. It was during that process that she got one of her bigger surprises.

As they were walking through the women’s locker room, the first of the two they had to check, Tyler asked her to hold up for a second as they were going down the faculty and staff aisle of lockers. Tyler pulled a key out from the lanyard around his neck and opened one of the lockers. The bag he pulled out, Tiffany recognized, was his own.

“Uhm…?”

She couldn’t even get a sentence out of her mouth as Tyler swiftly swung the locker door shut, gave her a wink and a grin and turned towards the exit.

Tiffany stood there dumbfounded while her friend, backpack slung over one shoulder, yellow and blue rugby shirt tucked into faded blue jeans that were rolled at the bottom, just simply walked away.

“Tyler! What the hell?!”

“What the hell, indeed! Are you just going to stand there all night?”

Tiffany took a few bounding running steps Anadolu Yakası Escort and caught up with her friend before they even got to the exit.

“You have a locker in the women’s locker room?”

“Uhm, yeah,” he responded with exaggerated sarcasm, “don’t you?”

“Tyler, what the hell is going on?”

“C’mon, I’ll show you.”

They made a final run around the women’s room, making sure all the lights were turned off before exiting and entering the mens.

“Yes,” Tyler explained as he opened the door Tiffany, “I keep a locker in the women’s locker room. I don’t think I even need to explain why.”

The smell was the first thing that hit her. It was a combination of mildew and old sweat. Throw in what smelled like rotting paper and the overall effect was nauseating.

“Simply put,” Tyler said after seeing Tiffany’s visual revulsion, “I am not ashamed to admit that I use the women’s locker room because the guys locker room is gross.”

They walked through the locker room and saw trash laying around, a sink with the water still on and lockers hanging open with old, abandoned clothing hanging out of them. The worst part, by far though, was still the smell.

“You weren’t kidding. This is disgusting. But, the women’s locker room? Don’t the women in the locker room mind?”

“Please. I workout almost exclusively at night, after everyone is gone. I am completely by myself in the entire building let alone the locker room. Nobody ever knows I am here. Are you saying you care?”

She thought about it for only half a second before responding “No, I don’t care. You just caught me by surprise. Maybe I will start using the guys locker room. I have always wanted to catch a communicable disease.” She explained to him how when opening the locker rooms in the morning she had always noticed a little smell but didn’t realize just how bad it was at night, before maintenance cleaned everything up.

They both laughed as they continued their rounds. They straightened up what they could here and there but fortunately the responsibility for cleaning was not theirs. Unfortunately, that would be the job of the custodians that started around 4am.

After about 30 minutes going around the facility and marking off a checklist, everything was done and they locked up.

“Same time again on Friday,” Tyler asked as they said their goodbyes at the outside door.

“See you then,” replied Tiffany. It wasn’t so bad afterall.

—————-

Friday came and went. In fact the next 3 or 4 weeks came and went. As Tiffany soon found out, it wasn’t that big of a deal for her to close up the gym. The doors were in a well lit section of campus. There were always people around outside as it was near the Student Union, she almost came to enjoy the routine of the evening shutting down the facility. Tyler still thanked her profusely whenever they worked together on the weekend. They still had a good relationship as friends and coworkers. In fact, for whatever reason, they seemed to have gotten a little bit closer since the switch happened.

Everything was pretty great. That is, until around early December when the snowstorm hit.

For the most part, it was well prepared for. Meteorologists had predicted early in the day that it was going to hit right around 5pm so the school was proactive and shut down everything at 1pm. All “non-residential and non-essential facilities were to be closed” said the email that went out.

Of course, email was only good if you had a computer connected for email… which, in 1991, the gym did not have.

It was 2pm when Tiffany’s shift was supposed to end. She had been somewhat surprised by the overall lack of visitors (ie, none had been in the gym in almost 2 hours) but was so caught up with school work and prep for exams that she didn’t think too much of it. When her replacement didn’t show she figured they were just late. When she finally went to check out the exit door at 4pm she was greeted by an unwelcome sight, an almost complete and total whiteout. So, she called the facilities department. They explained the situation and informed her that while they could try to send out a truck to get her, it would most likely be better for everyone to just wait it out. The news didn’t leave her too concerned. It wasn’t like she was stuck in her car or outside in the middle of nowhere. She figured if she really needed to she still could walk back to the dorms. Alone in the gym, her home away from home, might actually be kinda fun.

It wasn’t fun.

The television and radio reception were nonexistent.

There was only so much homework and studying she could do before getting spooked by various little noises she heard around her.

It was at 9pm when the heat went off in the building, having been programmed from a central facility outside of her building. The concrete block building she was in soon went from just spooky to spooky and cold. She could see why Tyler liked working out at night as the building was cool and he wouldn’t overheat… though she was not Tyler. She walked Kadıköy Escort around the facility for a little while but soon got disturbed by the unnerving quiet around her. She thought about hopping onto a treadmill but couldn’t muster the enthusiasm for doing so. She considered going into the pool but understood that would just make her even more cold unless she put in a hard workout.

It was the pool that made her think about it, something she often liked to do after a swim workout.

Sauna.

Tiffany made her way back to the women’s locker room and chuckled to herself as she got undressed, neatly folding and hanging her garments in her locker as if she wasn’t the only one around. One of the projects that she and Tyler had been working on was getting an electrician to come in and put a timer on the mens and womens saunas, saving some electricity while they were not in use. The men’s was already completed. In the meantime, as long as there was electricity, there was heat in the women’s sauna. So, one bit of good luck she had today was that there was no wait. She didn’t have a bath towel with her to wrap up in and there was zero chance she was going to run back naked into the cold office to get one, so instead she grabbed a few paper towels from the sinks to sit on and figured it was just another bold step for being alone that night.

Walking into the wood paneled room, the heat immediately hit her and felt incredible on her cool skin. The goose-bumps that had intensified moments before while getting undressed did not disappear in an instant, but no longer had an almost painful feel to them. She put the paper towels down on the bench, sat on them, put her arms up on the bench behind her and closed her eyes. Maybe her predicament wasn’t so bad at all.

In hindsight she had been in the room probably about 4-5 minutes and had just really relaxed when she thought she heard something beyond the door. When nothing happened again for a few moments she tossed the idea aside and figured it was just random building noises. A few minutes later the door to the sauna flew open and a male figure, completely nude other than his face covered by the shirt he was still trying to pull over his head, burst into the room in a jerky, hurried manner.

Tiffany screamed.

The figure, startled by the scream, dropped his hands immediately and covered his exposed genitals, his head and face were still covered by the shirt he had been unable to fully remove.

“What are you doing in here?!” Tiffany shrieked as she too tried to use her hands to cover her breasts and pubic area. “This is the women’s room!”

————

The figure stood dead still for a moment before lifting one hand from covering his penis and began hastily pulling at the shirt. The shirt put up a fight and when one hand didn’t do the trick he used both hands, shaking his body so aggressively in the process that his penis danced and jumped about in the hot, dry air.

“Get the hell out of here,” Tiffany continued in the bravest voice she could muster but still physically frozen in her seat, “and stop trying to take your shirt off!”

The figure was making a couple of grunting noises at that point and, from her point of view, Tiffany could see that the person literally could not get the shirt over his head. If it wasn’t so scary in the moment it probably would have been comical. Then, amid the grunts, mumbled profanity and exaggerated movements, the figure stopped, the air stood still and an inquisitive, sheepish voice asked out to its audience.

“Tiff? Is that you?”

The dead silence went back into effect as Tiffany processed the sounds of the voice over her own heartbeat that was pounding in her ears.

“Tyyyyylllleeerrrr?” Her response back was long and drawn out, she couldn’t believe what she was hearing and seeing.

“Yes, it’s Tyler. Tiff? That’s you? Can you help me?”

There was practically panic in his voice as he asked.

In the immediate moment, all aspects of the situation went out the window. They were not in the sauna, they were not in the women’s locker room, they were not in the gym, they were not nude. Her friend needed her help.

Tiffany got up off the bench and walked over to him. “Tyler, what are you doing here?”

He instinctively put out his arms as he heard her walking to him and was able to reach and grab onto her shoulders before she could even process what was going on.

“Oh, my God,” he replied as he pulled her directly into him and wrapped her up in a hug, “I can’t believe you are here.”

His chest was heaving and his skin was clammy and ice cold. Tiffany felt her nipples immediately harden at his touch. Her brain was telling her that she should probably wriggle herself out of his grip though her heart was saying the opposite, the little voice telling her to let Tyler calm down first… even if they were nude.

Tiffany figured out that the problem with the shirt was Tyler had forgotten to undo enough buttons on the thick-cotton rugby shirt and was unable to figure out how to do it now with it inside out and pulled across his face. She calmed him down with her voice and used her fingers to release the offending rubber disk button before he finally yanked the shirt off himself. Tyler then immediately stepped away and around her and laid himself, face down, on the hot wooden bench.

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