Today, Ted goes to the health club to finish his daily work. The health club is just a couple of miles from his house. It wasn't until he was forty that he started to exercise. Only two kinds were what he believed in. One is the money called the new religion of the modern and the o
ther was fitness training for his health. Ted has been just so healthy and gorgeous. Besides, he looks way younger than his age. His success was due to strict self-care.
Ted started at the bottom of the ladder to do his own business when he was just 30 years old. His business is becoming more prosperous each day. Fortunately, he enlarged his operation last year. Before Ted was forty he could amass a fortune.
Ted is making a fortune running his franchises. So the time needed to self-care was relatively decreased. After work, Ted usually goes to the health club and exercises for 2 hours. Ted did not forget to exercise after work. When the Ted gives a party, He's always genial hosts. Of course, the goal was to have a good relationship with suppliers. Ted regularly has a drink, whether he likes it or not. It's become an everyday thing for him to get off work after 10 at night. Ted opened a door and entered the club when it was 10 pm. Customers were resting in the break room at the health club. They will also leave here. Ted went into the locker room to change into his sweat suit. Eugene raised his hand in greeting. Eugene is at the counter.
"Hi! I'm on the night shift."
Eugene on the counter is reading a magazine.
"You're late. Are you busy?"
"Yeah, I work so much overtime that I hardly ever see my friends."
Eugene used to laugh indulgently.
"I'll finish exercise quickly. So, you can go home."
At his words, Eugene was affectionate towards Ted.
"That's OK. I feel like I need someone to welcome me home."
"Don't you still have a girlfriend?"
"That's what I mean. Ha ha ha"
6 months ago, Eugene started working as a health trainer. His best advantage was honesty and friendly manner. Also, he helped develop cusTedized programs to help members meet their goals. He was a very able man as a health trainer and popular with health club members. Especially, Ted made friends with Eugene in the health club. They have been friends for a long time.
Ted has to warm up before he starts exercising. Ted need some stretching because he spends long hours at our desks. It's easy to get hurt in the health club if people were not careful. Ted was fully aware of the fact. After the stretching, Ted is using the treadmill as usual. He adjusts the speed with pad and began to run at a speed of 4km/h. His body produces heat as he exercises. Ted showed off his good figure look with his lean. Ted looked the reflection in the mirror. Ted's healthy body gave him a feeling of satisfaction. Eugene placed his chair next to the treadmill. He'd still a magazine in his hand. Eugene was sitting on the chair sucking lemonade through a straw. After drinking lemonade, Eugene put the magazine on the shelf.
Eugene said "What are you up to these days?"
"I was busy all day long as usual. Where is everyone?"
"Yeah, they will be at home."
Eugene said lightly.
"Oh, I'm sorry."
"It's not that bad. I like it here. Nobody was at home."
"Do you live separately from your parents?"
"Yes. My parents live in the country."
Yet Ted was looking out of the window with a smile.
"Do you've any sisters and brothers?"
" I've no brothers or sisters."
"Are you an only child?"
"Yes. It just happened..."
"What does that say about me?"
Ted gasped for breath after a long run. However, thanks to the steady exercise, yet he was able to talk to Eugene.
"I've one younger sister, But it's too bad that she died young."
Eugene answered in a feeble voice. He flicked through a magazine while he exercised. However, she can know that He'sn't reading a magazine. Ted has been able to know that He'sn't reading a magazine through the mirror.
"I couldn't believe it was like that.
"She killed herself 10 years ago. She'd been raped and couldn't stand the trauma…….."
"I'm… at a loss for… words..."
Ted was surprised about Eugene's murky past. To stabilize breathing, he started running at a low speed. Eugene said with a smile whether He's puzzled in Ted's actions.
"Sorry, I'm sorry. Just forget the whole thing. I'm getting silly as I grow old..."
"Ha ha. No... No.. I don't care. It's a story that I started. How come you got this job?"
"I love most sports in college. Before you start a business, you're a would-be singer?"
Ted laughed and clamped a hand over his mouth.
"Please don't say. It's black history to me."
"I worked in the army. Are you surprised? Ha ha.. When I was in university, I majored in chemistry in physics. I got certified as an Industrial Engineer Explosives Handling while I was in between jobs. Thanks to the certificate, I put my major to work by getting a job with the army. I decided to be a career soldier. Everything was as it should be in those days…"
Eugene was talking very slowly, staring down at the air. Then He continued as follows.
"It's true that in life there're always ups and downs. One day, one explosive disappeared in the warehouse. It was a warehouse that I'd managed of all places. Even my superiors accused me of being the criminal. I was interrogated by military police for over 12 hours. I was dumbfounded. They couldn't find any clues because I'm not a criminal. I got what I deserved. The explosive had completely disappeared and the culprit wasn't arrested. Eventually I've been charged with loosing arms. Through the incident, I completely lost interest in army. After I quit the job, I've been unemployed for over two years for several months. As it so happens, I became a trainer in the health club. I play sports on college teams. I've investigated the health field when I was in the army. At that time sport was a hobby to me. Now I can maintain a living at sports."
Ted got bored while he hears the story of Eugene. Ted paced himself carefully. He's presently running at 10km/h. So, Ted couldn't afford to talk to Eugene.
Out of politeness, Ted has decided to answer.
"No… no… I guess you're very talented…….."
"It's kind of you to say so..."
Eugene was drinking lemonade with a straw. Ted thought that it was lucky because Eugene wasn't the story. Eugene was unusually very talkative. Perhaps, Eugene look bored today. In fact, Ted would always exercise until the club closed. Is it silent pressure? Ted couldn't shake the anxiety that lurked in his mind. Anyway, Ted was started running at full speed. The treadmill showed that Ted is running at a speed of 15km/h. Eugene broke the silence and finally started to talk.
"Have you seen the movie Speed? It's a really neat movie. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time I was watching the movie... In fact, the bomb is a fake in the movie. No matter what I look like to you, I'm a professional in that area. Perhaps it'll be difficult to describe the real bomb. But synopsis was really very practical. At the plot, the switch is turned on if a bus ran a regular speed. The bus was blown up when the speed is decreased. A bomb isn't so difficult to make. In addition, the process isn't complex like the movie. It's a matter of time if there's a simple explosives and equipment..."
"How… did, you enjoy… the movie….?"
"I said my sister has been raped a little while ago. My family lives in the remote country from the city. It was beautiful and so in peace....... It was a safe village even if a young girl is walking in the village. I've never dreamed of that sort of thing. The stranger was the criminal after all....."
The smile left his face. Eugene drank some sports drinks before he continued.
"She's acted as if nothing ever happened. So, I couldn't know about the criminal. To top it off, her suicide motive hasn't been revealed. My family was very suffering. But the future is an enigma. Friend of my hometown joined the army. My friend was regarded as a punk even in the school. I was sure He's hiding something. One day he confessed that he saw criminal. Eugene referred to the matter as if it were nothing important. It was a memory deeply buried in Ted's subconscious. Ted could almost feel that the memory revives.
"When he was in middle school, he was hiding on a farm with his cousin. They tried to steal chickens. Of all places, a criminal to see their face and ran away from the farm. They are still a little kid. So police hastily determines that it can't believe a kid's statements. My friend was more painful that she committed suicide. My family moved into other areas. He has still regret that it doesn't reveal the criminal's identity. Is it really funny?"
Ted was huffing and puffing. The story made curdle his blood. No. Ted was trying to think sweat is dry by intense exercise. In order to hide his anxiety, he concentrates on exercises. Eugene's calm voice had been stamped on his ear as cone.
"After all, I got to know He's who. He was a village mayor's relative. He originally lived in Seoul, He runs away from his home as if it were a regular monthly event. He has no place to go. Then he'd just lived in a few days in the county. He was always lounging under a cloak of learning guitar. I was busy in order to support the farming parents. I've never met him face to face. I'd the fortune to obtain his address from his housekeeper. But after that it was too late.
His family got his affairs straight to move to USA.
"That's too bad.."
Ted's heart was in his mouth, but he acted calm and composed.
It was difficult to hide a shake in the voice.
"I asked around everywhere to find out his whereabouts. But there's no trace of him..."
"So Didn't you find that him yet?"
"Well. I'm trying to find him. So where were we? Oh yeah. Did I tell you about the movie? I enjoyed the movie very much. So I formed an idea of the bomb after watching that movie. For example..."
Ted looked carefully Eugene through the mirror. Eugene turned and threw treadmill a suggestive grin.
"Now you're running on the treadmill. If the speed is more than 10km/h, the bomb switch is turned on. In addition, the bomb will explode if the speed is decreased. Let's imagine that there's such a bomb! I learned that there's a fatal weakness in such a device. The treadmill's pad will move for a short time, even if there's no man on the treadmill. If so, it's useful even if I make a powerful bomb. People will escape on the treadmill. So, I need another device!"
Eugene had finished the story with an emphasis on the last. In his words, Ted confirmed again the treadmill's speed. The current speed is 12km/h
"The situation will change if there's a sensor for sensing a load and vibration. Two kinds must be supplied to the machine for a person running on the treadmill... The Target wouldn't in the treadmill if this vibration is off for a moment.... Aren't you?"
Eugene said goodbye and tripped off to counter.
"Even if I make a good bomb, nothing will happen. If I don't reveal the purpose, it's almost impossible to get hold of keys for the explosive. Well… someone can create individually explosives at home. Of course, it's so crude. The manufacturing process is dangerous. It's more difficult to get the material..."
Ted listened attentively so as not to miss a single word.
He's enduring by using his willpower right now. Ted was looking at the Eugene through the mirror. Ted had wanted to see the look on his face, but can't know at that distance. Ted remembered Eugene's story a little while ago. Eugene was suspected to be the criminal after missing explosives. He said clearly to have met friend in the army. His friend was telling the truth. Ted was filled with a countless fears. Ted pretended not to care but he was screaming inside. An old memory suddenly returned to him. At the time, Ted wanted to be a singer, but his parents were against seriously his dream. Ted ran away and went to the home of relatives. He met a pretty girl in the small village. At the time, Ted was also Playboy she followed whether she likes him. Ted raped her in the park. It was the last day that Ted would stay in the village. Of course she refused and Ted raped her with a knife.
"P... Please… Look at me. Eugene...."
"What's wrong with it? Ted?"
"So.. I…was wrong. I'm… sorry!!!"
Ted looked like he was going to cry. His eyes watered as he grabbed handle of the treadmill.
"I'm so sorry!!"
Ted yelled out with open mouth. However, Eugene's voice was just unconcerned at the counter.
"What do you mean? Ted? Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't realize how late it was. I think I've got to go, if you would please excuse me. On second thought, I've some work to do at home. I'll contact Mr. Percy shortly. Do you feel safe in here? Don't worry so. He will be here any minute. Um, let's see! Oh! I'm a little out of it today. I forgot my cell phone in the dressing rooms. I believe in you. Ha! Ha! Ha! I'd better get going. I've to get up early tomorrow. I'll lock the door as I'm leaving."
"Hey!! Eugene... I… don't think… that's an intention..."
Fear showed in Ted's face. And all at once, he was overwhelmed by fatigue. Ted was out of breath while he's running. Ted saw something through a full-length mirror.
'W… What's that?!'
Light shone dimly through under the treadmill. Ted can see it through the mirror. One is red and the other is green. The red light is shining clearly, but the green light is blinking. Ted noticed that the light is shining when he runs. Eugene left the seat saying
"Have a nice evening and I'll see you next morning."
The gate is being closed. His keys make a jingle in his pocket when he walks.
Ted was screaming at the top of his lungs. He was trying desperately hard not to stop. Ted saw the speed of the treadmill. Ted is running at 10 km/h/h. Ted looked at the clock desperately.
He intentionally wouldn't have contact to others. Most shop owners would have closed the door at this time. The walls of health club were so soundproof that we very rarely outside noise. It's no use shouting. It's a matter of life and death. Open time is 6:30 AM. 7 hours left before the open time.
'All right, it's nothing. Don't worry Ted. Everything will be okay because I've been exercising for a long time. All efforts were in vain if I fall down here. I MUST maintain a 10km/h. Can I run really until morning....'
Next day, Health club's owner Mr. Brown left home earlier than usual the next morning. Every light in the club has been unusually turned on. Who's working the night shift this month? Mr. Brown turned the doorknob and entered the room. He couldn't believe his eyes; the man is running on a treadmill. Quaking with fear, Mr. Brown walks slowly towards a counter.
"Ted, why in the world are you here?"
The trainer looked at him in dismay. He looked at a man called Ted with surprise. They rushed to the treadmill. Still Ted is running on a treadmill. Anxiety turned his head white overnight and the next morning found him quite an old man. So his hair had gone nearly white.
Inside the room, there was the unmistakable odor of sweaty body. Ted's whole body was clammy with sweat. So his skin feels tight and lacking in moisture. It's as if he'd completely taken leave of his senses. Ted gave the treadmill a blank look. Ted tried to run by main force.
"Hey! Hey! Percy, what are you doing? Turn off the treadmill!"
"Hey, what happens here?"
Percy is trying to turn off the treadmill. Ted impulsively reached out and took Percy's hand.
"N..o… bomb… No… please save me…………."
Ted muttered under his breath. Percy gave Mr. Brown a quizzical look. They couldn't understand what Ted is talking about. Mr. Brown was panicking as much as Percy. Percy saw the speedometer in order to turn off the treadmill. At present, the numbers were displayed at a speed of 10km/h. But it's a curious thing, indeed. Now, Ted was walking mostly because it was only 3km/h.