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|Mark plodded up a flight of stairs, trapped between the masses hurding students. The four-story chamber whispered every sound into every crevasse, despite the carpeting and occasional wall hanging. Even the polished cherry wood railing wasn’t enough to convince the reverberations of footsteps and chatter to cease its muffled, but relentless assault.
Making it to a small terrace, Mark weaved his way off the stairs and passed through an arched doorway leading to the second floor. Releasing the large brass handle, Mark was now graced with dim wall lighting and more wine colored carpet. Every ten feet, there was another door leading to another classroom. Mark glanced into a few of them as he walked by. Unlike the hall, each of them were harshly lit and slowly filling with students.
Like many of the other students, Mark was still lugging around two large bags. Despite taking up all that space, Mark didn’t miss a step as he walked between students. It helped that his head had become focused on the floor rather than the faces of the other students mindless chatter. Each step that he took further down the hall brought anxiety. Right around the corner would be his classroom and in it would be the friend he had abandoned on the bus to school. Mark tried to clutch his necklace and calm down some, but his fingers couldn’t quite reach it. The other students had closed in around him, locking his arms to his side. Mark felt trapped and started forcing his way through the crowd.
Fortunately, he was only a few steps away from the classroom. Squeezing himself past a couple of jocks, he made it into his last period classroom. Unfortunately, the stark white walls, and bright florescent lights blinded Mark. He moved his glasses out of the way some and rubbed his eyes. When they refocused, all his nerves hit his body like a pile of bricks. Josh was sitting in the back next to the wall. Despite having calmed down some, especially since this morning, Mark hadn't prepared himself like he had thought.
Josh looked up and spotted Mark instantly. He gazed at Mark for a moment, then cracked a small smile. This made Mark feel just as good as it did bad. Maybe Josh had forgiven him for what happened. Maybe he hasn't thought about it like Mark has. Or maybe Josh didn't even remember what had happened and it had just been some kind of a weird dream. As Mark pondered over every possibility of what that little smile meant, his feet slowly carried him forward, bringing him ever closer to his seated friend.
Josh stared at him the whole way. His eyes were glued to Mark with a strange curiosity that he couldn’t quite figure out. Though his hands were loosely clasped in his lap and had a leg swung out from beneath his desk, Josh's eyes said something else. They said that Josh had something to say. Actually, as Mark got with in a few steps of Josh, he thought, “Or they are hiding something.”
That thought didn't sit well with Mark. It sent a creeping pain down his chest that felt like liquid fire.
“Hey,” Josh said.
This threw Mark for a second, sending a wave of confusion across his face, but then he focused back in on Josh and sheepishly replied, “Hey Josh.”
Then there was silence. Mark went beside Josh and sat in his usual seat in the corner. Starring out at the fifteen seats, Mark found it hard to focus. There was so much he wanted to say. He had a lot of good ideas last period, but her, not a one of those came to mind. Mark struggled with the silence, not sure as to what Josh was thinking or why he wasn't saying anything either.
A couple of soft tone erupted from the speaker in the ceiling, breaking the trance between them. The other students began taking their seats in the front. There was no one else in the row and the teacher was near blind anyways. At least everyone’s eyes would up there, rather than back here. In a sense, they were alone.
Setting his bags next to his desk, Mark slowly took out his black spiral, his geometry book and a pencil, carefully setting them on his desk. Despite Josh not having gawked at him in disgust, Mark was still nervous. He still had no idea what Josh really thought. In fact, he would have had no way of knowing even if he tried.
Looking forward, Mark tried to zero his eyes in on the teacher who had begun rasping today’s lecture, trying to calm himself again. Josh had other intentions. Leaning forward in his desk, he peered his head around to face Mark. He was trying to get his friends attention, but Mark continued to stare forward, terrified of what he had to say. The long silence has weakened Mark's resolution to get this over with. Mark was so curious to know, but at the same time, he felt like he could go for the rest of his life with out knowing.
Josh tried for a few minutes to get Mark's attention with no avail. Fortunately, he hadn't accidentally gotten the teacher's attention either. Turning to his white notebook, Josh gently ripped out a piece of serrated paper and wrote something on it. Mark was curious as to what he was writing and glanced through some cracks in his brown bangs. Swooping his head to one side, he moved some of the waves out of the way, trying to get a better look.
The moment that Josh was done writing, Mark quickly snapped front, trying to play it off like he hadn't been watching. Folding the piece of paper up, he slipped it onto Mark's desk. Mark saw it and stared at it with a wide eyed curiosity like a child gets when they see their first snow. However, rather than ripping it open and reading it right there, he slipped it under his notebook. Again, Mark didn't feel ready for what Josh had to say. Josh noticeably sighed, but just turned back in his seat and listened to the aged teacher continue his babbling about Geometry.
The next thirty minutes drugged on like a long winded funeral. Every student had started nodding off on cue, all of them, except for the two in the back. They weren’t interested in the lecture, rather, they were more interested at what was going to happen after class. Mark still didn’t know quite what to do or how he was going to explain himself. His uneasiness was obvious since he was sitting unnaturally straight up in his desk. Josh remained leaned back, but every once in a while would steal a glance at Mark.
Mark found it hard to focus on the lecture, seeing as how the teacher was merely reviewing something he had already said in a previous class. It was something his professor often did, almost as if he had forgotten exactly what he had done the time before. Instead, Mark was doodling nondescript symbols on his paper. There were a few curvy lines here, a dark blot there, nothing much since that was not were Mark’s eyes were. Instead they were roaming in his mind, reliving some of the events before he met up with Josh. He thought about when he woke up, when he tried to escape his room, and finally the bathroom. What had happened since then? Why wasn't he as excited now about all of this as he had been? Mark wanted answers and couldn't' provide himself any.
All of the images flooded together, but from them emerged the thought of his friend. Josh protruded his thoughts, but in a pleasant way, like he always did. When Mark was alone, as he often was, he would just let his mind wander. More times than not, Mark would think of Josh, and just like everyone else, he could not escape Josh’s exceeding beauty. A squared face with smooth, tanned skin, accented by his defined features was something Mark could stare at for hours on end. Then again, Mark couldn’t deny his ripped body. He had only seen him shirtless a handful of time, but each time, Josh’s body got more and more defined. He may have been lean, but every muscle was beautifully accented and rippled off of his body. This was made obvious from how Josh's forearm rippled as he took occasional notes.
It was in that moment, staring at Josh's rippling arm, Mark had a flight of fancy. He imagined Josh growing just like he had on the bus. The sight of his body nearly bursting out of his shirt and filling his pants was a truly tantalizing thought, and since there was no risk of his gift effecting Josh like it did him, Mark didn’t worry about—
Mark was brought out of his little daydream by the sound of a grunt coming from next to him. His eyes moved wildly for a moment before finding the sources of the sound, which was Josh. Josh's arm had moved off the desk and was now rubbing his stomach. Mark wondered why his friend’s face had contorted, and why he had crunched in on the desk. Suddenly, like a ton of bricks had smashed into Mark’s face going a hundred miles an hour, his eyes and his mouth fell wide open, realizing what was happening. “No,” Mark muttered in disbelief, “I—“
It didn’t matter what Mark believed, it only matter what he saw, and for the first time, he was watching what he had felt so many times before. Josh’s hands had clutched closed rather tightly, and a few veins had erupted from his skin, snaking along up his tightening forearm. Mark could see Josh’s tanned muscles beginning to grow, thickening with strength. Just like his forearm, Mark gazed at Josh’s once thin bicep and watched as it inflated. Josh’s whole arm was filling up the sleeve, and fast. As it filled the sleeve, a single vein popped up on top of his arm, helping to force his shirt to ride up his bronze skin. Above his swelling biceps, Josh’s shoulders began pushing against the polo too. It welled up into a large ball, pushing his shirt further out, making it tighten.
Just like his arm, so was Josh’s chest. Mark peered around Josh’s thick, heavy arms and could see Josh’s already ripped pecs starting to push against his polo. Once a loosely hung polo, it stated to strap again Josh's inflating chest, trying to hold on for its very life. The two slabs were quickly inflating, filling the space with size and bulging muscle. His polo had gotten quite a bit tighter and his pecs were still filling up, pushing his hardened nipples roughly against his shirt. Despite their already large size, his chest continued to spread out and inflate, forming a deep crevasse between them.
Josh’s torso was not alone, Mark could also see that his friends legs were starting to grow as well. The desks were not large by any means, and Josh’s thighs were getting thicker. Each grew with more muscle and started fitting more tightly under his desk. His khakis were straining against his bulging muscles, trying to hold them back. Like Mark’s legs earlier, they fought against the fabric, but Josh’s pants held on. Mark could even see Josh's butt inflating. His whole body slowly raised off the chair as a thickening ass suspended his growing frame.
The sight was incredible, and unbelievable at the same time. Mark could only stare in awe as his already gorgeous friend grew to nearly shirt ripping size. Josh's clothes strained around every crease of newly formed muscle. His face moaned silently with a mixture of pleasure and fear at his transformation.
In a few more moments, Josh’s growth slowed to a halt. Rather than a tanned beauty sitting next to him, now there was this teenage muscle god. If his beauty hadn’t been enough before, it was now accented by huge, rippling muscle. Regaining a little composure, Josh’s eyes went wide. Looking over to Mark, he stared at him in shock. Neither of them knew what to say. Mark was worried that Josh was getting mad with him. It hadn’t been enough that he had done this to himself on the bus, but now he had done this to Josh. I didn’t mean to!, he shouted worriedly in his head, letting his face widen further. It seemed that both of them had forgotten what happened before. Only too soon was Josh swiftly reminded.
Before Mark could recover, Josh tried to stand up. He was stuck. Josh struggled to free his leg from beneath his desk. Finally forcing it out, he stood up. It took Josh a moment to get his balance, but once he did, he rushed to the front of the classroom. The teacher was sitting at his desk now, and Josh found himself hulking over the skinny professor. Mark slowly rotated his head over to the teacher and had to double take as he gazed upon Josh’s huge form standing there, rippling in all of its new found glory. Josh seemed a little panicked, and Mark couldn’t figure out quite why. The teacher lent in and whispered something to Josh that made his already shocked face go even wider. In a wobbling bolt, Josh’s quickly left the classroom.
What have I done? Mark thought to himself, I was so close. We would have been ok before. But now?! He’s going to blame me for this and I— I don’t even know. Mark’s eyes welled up again. He had almost completely gotten rid of his thoughts of a ruined friendship, but now, Mark didn’t know what was going to happen. It was like he was sitting on the bench all over again.
Although he scared and confused, he decided to take out the note Josh had given him earlier. Mark’s head felt like a great cloud and there was no end to the fog within. Opening the paper, he turned it around. Reading the words, Mark felt like he could not be anymore shocked or relieved. There the words were, plain as day. As comforting as it was, Mark’s mind was reeling with new found questions. The note said, It’s ok. Trust me. I know you are confused and even scared. But, I am your friend, and I will be here for you all the way. Besides, what you have is a gift. It's different, but it shouldn't be feared. I should know... I gave it to you.
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