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A Little Bit Bigger
|After that, I couldn't help but look at him every time he walked past me and I tried to see if he had gotten bigger. Was his bicep bulging more than when I saw it last? He had been wearing long-sleeved shirts all winter. Did he have a six-pack yet? He hadnít lifted a shirt since November. I did begin to notice things, though. His neck was wider than I remembered it, moving out more toward his cheekbones, and his traps seemed to be growing a little. I couldnít tell if it was my imagination or if it was really happening, though. Probably wishful thinking, I would say to myself; I wouldíve loved to see this little kid grow with every month. Every once in a while, he'd be wearing a shirt that seemed a little tight in his chest area and you could see the slightest suggestion of pecs. Were those his nipples protruding out over his stomach or just a wrinkle in the shirt? He probably did his own wash or something and never knew when to iron; yeah, that was it. It was agony; I didnít want to say anything to him, fearing that he might get weird ideas about me that I didnít want. Maybe it was just completely hallucinations and JP was just another pompous freshman. Luckily, I didnít have to wait too long. I had plenty of opportunities to experience JP's ever growing body. In early April, we were rehearsing for the spring musical, so we were having a lot of after-school rehearsals. JP had just gotten the third trumpet part only five days before this particular rehearsal, so he was in the orchestra pit before we started practicing. The music was very jazz-oriented and he was having a tough time. I had been playing the first part, so I figured as section leader, I'd go over to help him. I told him that he wasn't being aggressive enough. "Come on!" I urged him. "Use some of that muscle you think you have." With him being a freshman, I didn't want him to think that I was intimidated by him. He put down his trumpet. "You don't think I have muscle?" he said. I had just been kidding, but he must've thought I was serious. His eyes had a piercing look of confidence that I had never seen before, even when he showed off earlier that year. "You don't think I have muscle?" he repeated. "Well, check this out!" Once again, he lifted up his shirt sleeve and flexed his bicep for me to see. It looked like it was bigger than the last time I saw it, somewhere between a golf ball and a clementine, but, anyway, it was even more impressive. "Tell me this isn't muscle!" "That's not too bad." I said modestly, gulping. "Touch it!" he ordered me almost menacingly. After a bit of hesitation, I reached out and gave his round bicep a little squeeze. A small vein was visible running down the front of it. I was surprised to find that it hardly dented at all and that it was quite hard; as hard as a rock. Still not wanting him to think I was intimidated, I said, "That's mostly baby fat." Seeing that I hadn't had enough, JP answered, "That's not baby fat, that's pure muscle.Ē Now, he was moving his arm up and down, flexing and un-flexing his bicep as if he was curling a dumbbell. It was hard for me not to take my eyes off the little mound of muscle. ďI don't have baby fat anymore. Feel my stomach! I have a six-pack, you know." I could tell that he was flexing his stomach as he lowered his arm. I reached out again, this time, pressing in on his stomach. It was extremely firm, like a thick piece of plastic. He didn't lift up his shirt this time so I couldn't tell if he had a six-pack yet, but I could definitely feel the beginnings of an amazing set of ab muscles. "I'm going to work out hard all summer," he said. "Iíve been getting bigger and stronger faster and faster. Hell, I'm going to be huge by band camp in August." I didn't doubt his predictions much anymore. |
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