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Shape of Things, The
|She met him at the mall. Or maybe it was the cafeteria. Or psych class. Dunkin Donuts? Well, it didn't really matter anyhow. He was just another out of place undergraduate. She picked him out becuase he was perhaps the most awkward and uncomfortable looking one. He was one of those people who could look pretty good, if they put the effort into it. But he was definitely not one of the ones who did.
She strolled right up to him. "Would you like to be in my photography project?"
He sort of half-laughed. "What? Me?"
"Yes, you!" she replied, "You're a cutie. Just what I'm looking for."
He clearly thought it was a joke. But he came back with her anyhow. Somehow she convinced him to take off his shirt and do whatever stupid artistic things it was that she made up. It wasn't all a sham, of course, but really she just wanted to get him to start dating her.
And he did. It was a storybook romance, or at least he thought so. And she was great for him. "Oh, you would look so much better with your hair cut short. And get rid of the beard."
Even the subtle teases meant something. "Honey! I didn't know I'd been feeding you so much!"
And one day it started to all pay off. She was trying to get him to go to a lecture, and he said he couldn't do it. "I'm going to the gym."
The gym? Since when did he do that?
After a few months around her, he started to look more like a model. Definitely one of the better looking characters on the campus. And he was all hers.
He even started to act a bit differently. She would notice other women noticing him, and point them out. "You're not leaving me for her, are you?"
"Never." Then the kisses. And the near constant sex. First, she'd had to trick him into bed, but now he was the one initiating things, and at the most random times. Between classes, right on waking up, even backstage at one of her plays.
She won. He was totally changed. At least she thought it was total.
He came home one night after class with a bottle of wine. They broke it open and drank it on the spot. Then he picked her up off the couch. "Baby," he said, "I feel the best ever when I'm around you. And you make me want to be better. And now I'm going to make sure you know that you're the only one for me."
Oh, wow, he sure did. All night long. She was nearing exhaustion after the third time, but he just kept going. This had never happened to her before. Ever. And his technique was flawless - no, amazing. Astounding. She hadn't taught him this.
"What did you do?" she asked.
"What do you mean? Is something wrong?"
"No. It's just... just... where'd you get so good?"
"I know I'm good," he replied, "and it's your fault." He grinned at her, and within a minute they were at it again.
Finally he collapsed and started to snore loudly. She had to think. This was a greater breakthrough than ever! This was true art! She had sculpted the average guy she found... wherever it was... into this!
Just about then, she heard him stop breathing. She looked over, and saw him... growing. His chest, which even after months at the gym was still pretty average, was expanding. His pecs rose, and it seemed as though he were stretching. He was! His legs were pushing out over the edge of the bed. His arms filled wiith muscle, the biceps filling like water balloons. His legs were suddenly pushing at her, even though they hadn't moved. His face straightened up, and his skin became smooth all over. Then, as suddenly as it had begun, it stopped. He was still asleep and breathing normally.
Until she finally caught her breath and gasped. He woke up. "What's wrong, babe?"
"I... I... I..."
He stood up. "I don't notice anything different. Are you feeling alright?"
But he was different. He was magnificent. She tried to rationalize, and it seemed there was only one explanation. Psychosomatic disease. Well, not that he had one, but the same principle might apply. She had to admit, she did a very good job convincing him to change himself, and a very good job convincing himself that he was the one who wanted it. Perhaps he just worked so hard at it that...
It didn't make any sense. What a ridiculous explanation. Yet there he was. And he was leering at her in that way that meant he was ready to get back into bed - but not ready to sleep.
As he leaned in, she wondered... Is a piece of art ever really done? How much further could this go?
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