Roomate, The


By Richard Jasper

"We were thinking about coming down next week," Frank said after I said "hello, it's Richard..."

"We" consisted of Frank and Thad, one of his suite mates from summer term. After three weeks in Santa Barbara, Frank had returned to Nashville to take organic chemistry and other fun stuff like that. While I spent my summer...

"What you been doing?" he asked.

"Working out, of course," I answered.

"Well, what else?"

"That's it," I laughed. "And going to the beach. I decided I needed a summer off and the folks agreed."

"Jesus," he said, "I hate to think what you must be like now."

I laughed again. "Well, you'll see when you get here won't you? I expect you've caught up by now anyway..."

It was his turn to chuckle.

"I *don't* think so, but I am pleased. I'm up to 140 now!"

I gave a low whistle.

"That *is* great," I agreed. "Fifteen lbs. in one year is a lot for you...!"

* * *

They pulled up in the driveway to my parents' house a week later, on a blindingly sunny Saturday morning, the kind you get in north Florida in August. I had been sitting in the garage, having just finished my morning workout. As usual, I was completely and totally pumped. And neither Frank nor his suite mate could see me until I stepped out of the shadows.

"I'm looking for..." Frank began, then he ground to a halt.

"Jesus fucking Christ, Richard, is that you?!" he exclaimed.

I let out a laugh.

"Well, yes, who did you think it was?" I replied.

Which was a little mean. After all, over the summer I had...

...gotten rid of my glasses and replaced them with contact lenses.

...grown a full beard.

...gained 25 lbs. of solid muscle.

His friend stood their with his mouth hanging open and suddenly I was getting major pings, in stereo, on my gaydar.

"Shit, man, I didn't think you would get so much bigger so fast," Frank said. "Just how much do you weigh now?"

I told him.

"Two twenty five?! Which means what--that you've gained 45 lbs. in the past year...?"

I grinned.

His roommate--what was his name?--deigned to speak finally.

"You told me he was big, Frank, but I just had no idea..."

I put my hulking arms around their shoulders and guided them into the house.

"Guys, I think we're really gonna have a good weekend, assuming you can pick your jaws up off the floor. This time of year you don't want to go around with your mouths open--too many flies..." •

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