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|By the time I started training with Mr. Ferris I was already 240 lbs. of solid muscle. It was the middle of the first semester of my sophomore year and I had gained 40 lbs. in just two months. That's about the time I started hearing the other guys muttering whenever I was in the gym. I never quite caught it and despite my new size I figured they were complaining about having to share space with "The Geek," my old nickname. And that's how I still thought of myself, as that 6'2, 160 lb. bag of bones from freshman year.
One day I couldn't take it any more. Billy Perkins, a senior varsity wrestler, blond and blue and perfectly built at 5'10" tall and 200 lbs., said something under his breath as I walked by in the locker room, freshly pumped from one of my early sessions with Mr. Ferris. Without any conscious thought my big, beefy handy shot out, grabbing him by the collar and effortlessly lifting him to eye level.
"What did you say??!!" I bellowed.
"Freak! Freak!" Billy screeched. "Put me down you goddamned overgrown Freak! Nobody but some Freak can put on muscle as fast as you do!"
Stunned, I let go. Billy collapsed whimpering on the floor, then picked himself up and scurried off - but not before I saw that he'd wet his pants.
I stood their slack-jawed.
"It's true, y'know," a pleasant baritone voice behind me said. "You ARE a freak."
I turned. It was Matt Wells, the only jock in school who was going to have his pick of academic scholarships in addition to a well-deserved spot on any Division I college baseball team. Like me, he was only a sophomore but already Matt was 6 ft tall and 185 lbs. of well-proportioned muscle. I'd spent many a fitful night thinking about Matt Wells' beautiful, naturally athletic body from the time I'd met him in 6th grade.
"Whaddya mean?" I murmured, still not believing I was having this conversation.
"Bud, you're not a geek anymore," Matt explained. "I know you've got the brain, just like I do, but now you're twice as big - and twice as strong - as these meatheads. You're scaring the shit - not to mention the piss! - out of them because NOBODY does that as fast as you've done it."
He licked his lips.
"Unless, of course."
I raised my eyebrows.
He looked over his shoulder, checking to make sure no one else was around.
"You using gear, Hank?"
My eyes narrowed.
"Gear? Athletic gear, y'mean? Sure, I wear a cup, just like all the other."
"Maybe you're more of a meathead than I thought, Buddy boy! No, dummy, I mean GEAR - you know, steroids, growth hormone, that kinda shit."
I'm sure I looked like the world's biggest goldfish, my eyes bulging out and my mouth making a perfect "O."
"No," he said, laughing. "I didn't think so. Which makes it all the more amazing."
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