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|Andrew came back thorugh the forest and went to the Examination gym to look for Carrie.
"how was your exam?" he asked when he found her.
"It was fine," Carrie replied. "I thought you were going to do some wieghtlifting with Steve."
"That did not go well!" Andrew fumed. "He accused me of showing off in the weight room, and ranted about my rich father paying my way!"
"But you are paying your own way," Carrie stated. "Did you tell him that?"
"I was too mad to; I just left," Andrew replied. "I'll wait till he calm down before I talk to him again. "
"that's goog," agreed Carrie. "It's too bad he's jealous of all the attention you get from everyone."
"Yes it is," agreed Andrew. "Well, let's go into the woods, where I can work out without any more jealous rants from Steve."
"good idea," said Carrie. "That will also give us some alone time."
"oh really," grinned Andrew. He stretched out his hand, and Carrie took it. "Let's go then."
They headed into the woods, Andrew's 6 foot 7 frame complet-ly dwarfing her 5 foot 10 one. They walked until they got to the ravine Andrew had left a few moments before.
"What happened to this tree?"asked Carrie in shock. IT looks like the top part was just torn off!"
"It was," said Andrew.
"How would you know?" asked Carrie. "Did you see it happen?"
"Yes I did," replied Andrew.
"Well, are you going to tell me what caused it?" asked Carrie, "or shall we keep playing Twenty Questions?"
"I caused it!" screamed Andrew. "These pipes aren't just for show!" He flexed his huge biceps and grinned.
"Wow, those are huge!" exclaimed Carrie, feeling his biceps. They're like rocks!"
"That's what they call rock-hard muscle then," agreed Andrew. "I can bring the tree back up here."
"I'll believe that when I see it," teased Carrie grinning. "Show me what you've got big boy!"
"I'll be back," said Andrew. He started down the ravine.
Carrie stayed at the top, thinking of how she could get Andrew and Steve talking again. Maybe Andrew can tell me how he got so strong , and then I can tell Steve. She looked down the ravine, and her jaw dropped in amazement. Andrew was draggind the 100 foot dead tree up the hill like it was a loaf of bread. Carrie was stunned by Andrew's amazing display of raw power. Seeing her watching him, Andrew heaved the tree up onto one shoulder, and then dropped it, smashing the stump to bits.
Grinnig hugely, he turned to Carrie and asked, "How was that?"
"How- how much did that tree weigh?" asked Carrie in shock.
"I'm not sure," replied Andrew. He was not even panting as he said," I can benchpress at least 1200 pounds regularly so it must be somewhere around that weight."
"YOu- you can put 4 times your weight on your shoulder effortlessly?" Carrie stammered.
"Oh yeah!" said Andrew. "Is this boy big enough for you?"
"Oh yes!" agreed Carrie. "Come here you!" Andrew came over and hugged Carrie gently. "How did you get so strong?" she whispered in awe.
Andrew told her the story of Alexander as they headed back to his car. He explained that at age 10, he was too weak to fight Alexander, but he weight-trained once puberty hit.
"Now I can crush him like a bug!" Andrew gloated. "He'll pay for hurting my mother and Margaret! That's the secret, allowing my anger to give me extra energy when I work out. Then I use that energy to lift a lot more than normal."
"I should tell Steve that tip," decided Carrie. "Then he will have a way to match your strength."
"HOw ?" asked Andrew. "What angry thoughts will he use to get extra energy from?"
"I bet he could use his jealousy of you for a start," said Carrie. "i will telll him the next time I see him."
"I would also like an apology from him for what he said a bout my father," decided Andrew.
"Ask him yourself," said Carrie, pointing to the gym. "Here he comes."
Andrew looked and saw Steve coming over to them. "what can I do for you?" he asked.
"You could accept my apology for my thoughtless comments," replied Steve. "I wouldn't want to ruin an 11 year friendship with a few harsh words. I realized that you are just trying to work your way to collge like the rest of us."
"Finally figured that out, did you?' said Andrew with a frown. "What took you so long?"
"Well, I-" began Steve, "I just..."
"Forget it," said Andrew, smiling. "the fact that you came up to me and apologized shows your character." He held out his hand.
"Thanks man," said Steve. "I'm glad you accept my apology."
"Now, do you want to know how I got so strong?" asked Andrew.
"Tell me later," decided Steve. "I have to wait for Sarah to finish her exam. "Then I'll drive her home and we can talk."
Andrew agreed. He and Carrie went to the parking lot, got into Andrew's car, and drove home. Steve went back to the Examina-tion Gym to wait for Andrew's brother Sarah.
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