Pound for Pound
© January 2010 all rights reserved by The Hitman
I had known Robby Bender since grade school. He had always been a bit overweight, maybe even considered portly, and wore even larger sized clothes to try and cover it up. All in all, he was friendly and easy-going, though I know the teasing and occasional physical taunts must have gotten to him. As we grew older, while I was involved in a variety of sports, Robby stayed inside, mostly helping out his teachers, cleaning blackboards and stuff, making himself appear to be a 'teachers pet'. This brought even more chiding his way.
I didn't see Robby much in Junior High. I guess we each found our niche, me in sports including football, basketball, track, and even wrestling; Robby in music. He took on what I came to understand was a very difficult instrument to master, the Oboe, an instrument that to me looked like an extra long piece of black licorice. It was only later that I came to understand the Oboe took incredible breath control, which may be a part of why Robby changed the way he did.
The years passed swiftly and I suppose because of our schedules, I didn't really see Robby again until we were both seniors in high school. It was a chance, after school meeting; me running across the quad from wrestling practice to my locker to get my books, Robby coming out of the music room after a late orchestra practice as they prepared for the spring musical. In the dim light of late evening, I saw the door opening and jigged a little to the left to avoid running into it. Suddenly I slammed into something akin to a brick wall, hitting it hard enough that I bounced back, ending up flat on my ass on the concrete. I looked up, shaking my head a little to clear the cobwebs out. The light from the music room enveloped the wall I had run into. I knew the look right away.
"Robby," I asked tentatively? His profile changed as he turned toward me and in that instant, no doubt remained.
"Tad, is that you?" He reached out a hand and I took it, amazed at his grip as he pulled me up. There stood my old pal Robby, still wearing over-large clothes but I had to admit his stature had changed for now he stood a couple of inches over my own 5'9". He clamped his hand on my shoulder, which felt like a vice-grip, and added, "Sorry about that, man."
"No worry. I was in a hurry," I replied. We stood there for an awkward moment, him still holding my hand and shoulder and me starting to grimace a little when I had an idea. "Say, would you like to get a bite down at Henry's on me maybe do some catching up?"
"Well, I did have plans " must have been the disappointed look on my face. "I don't know Ah, what the heck. But step in here and let me change. I've been wearing this stuff all day and it probably reeks." I followed him into the music room, which was totally empty except for the two of us, and stopped behind as he opened a wall locker. He pulled out some shorts and a t-shirt, clothes I had never seen him in, but nothing could have prepared me for what happened next as he pulled the extra-large hoodie he had on over his head, exposing a physique that put my own to shame. I was standing there oogle-eyed, starring at a literal Adonis. Robby must have felt me starring for he turned, facing me. He broke into an amazing 'most-muscular', the best I'd ever seen and I do mean EVER. "Well, what do you think? Definitely not the old Robby you knew, huh?" I'm not sure how long I stood there slack-jawed, my mind reeling, trying to soak it all in and digest it.
"What happened to you," I finally managed to choke out? "You're you're you're " I had never stammered in my life but all of a sudden, I was tongue-tied.
"Muscular. Tell me something I don't know." With that, he moved into a double-bi flex. I couldn't believe the baseball size knots that appeared. "Go ahead, give 'em a squeeze. You know you want to."
He was right. I reached up and laid a hand over each. They were hot to the touch and as I squeezed, solid, like a rock, not human flesh. I was astounded. In all my years of being in sports, I had never come across anyone this developed, especially someone my own age. Not even myself and I had a body I was proud of, at least until now.
Maybe I stood there a moment too long, my fingers encasing his orbs, I don't know for sure, but suddenly one of his arms swooped down and popped me good right in the abs. I wasn't ready for it so spittle, mixed with a lot of oxygen, flew out of my mouth, along with a sound best described as "oomph". My hand still on his bicep dropped to my gut, rubbing the spot I would now consider sore.
"Oh man, I'm sorry," Robby said. "Sometimes I just don't know my own strength. Here, let me make sure I didn't break the skin." He sounded honestly contrite for having punched me. Without waiting for my permission, he lifted my shirt, exposing my striated six pak of muscle, a bright red spot developing in the middle, right where he'd hit me. His fingers reached in, massaging the muscle. Frankly it felt good. I thought I heard a little humming coming from his lips and looked up to find his eyes directed at mine.
"Here touch mine," he instructed, lifting my fingers to his own magnificent full 8 pak that took up every inch of his frame from his groin to his powerful chest. My fingers easily fell into the corn row-like muscled striations but as they did, he flexed his abs, trapping my fingers. I tried to pull away but couldn't. He laughed out loud, the action causing his stomach muscles to tighten even more, crushing my fingers which actually hurting some. "I have an idea, let's have a gut punching contest, shall we?" That should have been a warning, but what muscled young man ever walks away from a challenge.
"Just what did you have in mind," I queried? Subconsciously, I was rubbing my fingers he'd finally let escape.
"Well, nothing dangerous, I assure you," he replied. As he spoke, he moved to the large double doors and turned the lock into place. "No need for unexpected company, huh." Next he turned to the windows, drawing the large drapes usually closed only when showing a movie in class. I just stood there watching him move around the room, like a deer caught in the headlights. In reality, I was more like the Christians being thrown to the lions; I just didn't realize it yet.
"What you waiting for?" He came across the room toward me. "Get that shirt stripped off." I guess I was taking too long, maybe looking like I was struggling or something, for suddenly he stepped up and said, "Here let me help." His hands closed on the rimmed neckline and with one fell swoop, he literally ripped the shirt off my back. His mouth opened wide into a grin as he let the two pieces go, floating to the floor. I stood there looking dumbstruck, one of my favorite shirts now lying totally useless on the music room floor.
"Let's do this, shall we?" His voice broke through my silent reverie and I turned, my eyes following his muscled form as he found an unoccupied area along the wall. Stepping in, his broad back against the wall, he raised his hands above his head, clasping his fingers. His stomach muscles are absolutely stunning in that position. I licked my lips, feeling an unfamiliar tightening in my groin. "Are you going to take all day?"
"How are we doing this," I asked, finding myself clenching my fists? Obviously I did actually want to do this.
"Why don't we start using a one-two combination? You do know what that is, don't you?"
"Of course," I replied, as I dropped into my fighter's stance and
unleashed a good double wallop to his midsection. As soon as my fists collided
with his abs, my hand flew up over my head and I danced around in a little
"celebration" dance, making the cheering noise like they used to
do on "Happy Days". As I turned back to face Robby, I was expecting
he would be down on his knees, gasping for air. Much to my surprise, he was
simply standing there, hands still above his head. As I stood, staring at
him, he asked, "Is that all you've got?"
"Hell no," I shouted, my fists coming up to the ready. I was gonna blast his abs into nothingness. But even as I prepared to step in, he moved away from the wall.
"Whoa, boy, it's my turn now." I must have looked a little confused for he took me by the wrists and turned me, my back now against the wall. "Hands above the head, Tad. You just saw me do it." In blind obedience, I lifted my arms, interlocking my fingers the way I'd seen him do. I tightened my abs in preparation but nothing I could have done prepared me for the power behind his Thor hammer-like fists as they slammed into me, driving me back hard against the wall, seemingly tearing my muscles into shreds with just two hits. I must have looked like a fish gasping for air out of water, my knees weak and threatening to fold underneath me. For the second time, I saw his mouth break into a grin. He was obviously delighted with himself. He reached a hand out toward me, offering to support me.
"No, I got this," I managed to choke out. Even as I stepped out from the wall, he slid in to take my place. His arms were up by the time I turned. I took some deep breaths to steady myself, dropped into my fighter's stance once again, and powered away. My fists hurt this time, like I was pummeling granite. I was starting to wonder if this was really the Robby I had known or some alien from space taking his place like Superboy.
"Geez, Tad, I was kind of expecting more from you," he said, once again switching places with me. I had a little taste of bile in my throat as I slowly raised my hands. I sucked in air, braced myself, and closed my eyes as his fists approached at close to the speed of light. Each hit me like a freight train, digging in deep, moving my internal organs around to make space. My back flattened against the wall again and I knew if I turned and looked, there would be pock marks in the brick where his fists struck. The moan escaping my lips was loud and clear, my gut burned deep inside, my knees shook like a tree in the wind. Barely, but only barely was I able to stay on my feet. I started to shuffle forward to trade places once again. His hands caught me at the shoulders and shoved me back, a little too hard.
"You just stay there Tad. It's obvious you're not gonna be able to hurt me, so I might as well have the fun. Don't you think?" He didn't leave me time to answer before he pulled forward, bending me at the waist, and an upper cut came in so fast and hard, I knew my feet left the ground. It was the hardest blow I'd ever encountered and I sank to the earth, wanting to curdle up in a fetal position. Only Robby wasn't about to let me.
Rough hands grabbed me by the hair, jerking my head up. But it didn't stop there. Unless I wanted my hair ripped out by the roots, I knew I needed to stand up, so I did. I was no more than on my feet, shaky knees doing their best to support me, and another upper cut blasted in, then another, and another. Each blow dug in deeper, lifting me up in succession, seeming to damage me beyond possible repair.
"Isn't this the ultimate, Tad," Robby whispered in my ear just before hitting me with another upper cut. The bile which I had managed to hold at bay crept into my mouth, threatening to explode past my lips. I swallowed its bitterness before replying.
"It's the ultimate, Robby." I sank down and this time he allowed me to reach the cool tile of the flooring. But of course, he still wasn't done with me yet. Though I wanted to curl up into a ball, he used his feet to turn me on my back and stretch me out. He sat down on my chest, his ass facing my head, his legs tucked in hard against my sides, effectively holding my arms trapped. Then the first in a long succession of blows hit my abs and I knew we hadn't even started the "ultimate" part of what was turning into torture.
I couldn't see beyond his broad back, which I admit was quite a view just in itself. His fists hit me hard and fast, changing type of blow every few strikes. Hammer fists, elbows, straight jabs and crosses, even a blow emulating what you might see on ER, double hands coming down together. I only imagined him yelling, "clear", each time that blow hit. My breathing was stilted and shallow, especially with his added weight on my chest. I have no idea how long this abuse went on. In fact, I'm not even sure I was conscious when he finally raised his weight off my chest. A light slap to my right cheek and my eyes flew open. It was then and only then, as I starred up at his smiling face, that I realized the beating had stopped. I think I might have even started breathing again in that moment.
"How you holding up, Tad," Robby questioned me? My mouth opened but nothing came out. I was finding that just the effort of drawing in breath to speak caused spasms of pain in my gut. He stretched a hand out to help me up. We locked hands and he pulled me up as if I was a feather. I could see that it caused him no effort. As I reached my feet, his position changed as he leaned in, placing his left hand on my right tricep. His fingers locked on tight, squeezing in like my muscle was a dishrag. His other hand closed on my shoulder, pulling a bit of skin into the grip. I had no idea what he was doing until his right knee slammed up into my gut. I must have traveled back a couple of feet from the strength of the blow but he didn't relinquish the hold he had on me. Over and over his knee came up, striking pretty much in the same place. He didn't stop until we had crossed the entire room. He then spun me around and we started back the way we had just come. My body wanted to quit but he didn't allow it to happen. With each punch of his knee, more and more of my strength was absorbed and taken from me. Frankly, at this point, I knew I wouldn't be able to take much more. As if I had any say in the matter.
We reached the wall again. I only knew it because my back slammed up against it before his knee caught me one last time. The grip on my tricep loosened and I could feel the prickles as the blood flow started up again.
"Can I trust you to wait here," Robby asked me? Before I could answer, he did so himself. "Ah, why take the chance." With that he slammed another upper cut into my abs and I dropped immediately to my knees, trying to suck in air. Not with any success, I might add. My cheek on the cold tile floor, I could just see his feet as he walked away, why I had no clue. When he returned, he stepped behind me. With no effort, for I offered no resistance, he pulled my arms behind me and tied my wrists together, wrapping whatever he was using all the way around my waist, then wrapping the wrists one last time. I yelped as Robby hauled me back to my feet. He still stood behind me so I couldn't really see what he was doing. Suddenly I heard a strange whining sound and my arms were jerked up hard behind my back.
"There, that ought to hold you," I heard him say. I could now turn and as I did, my eyes followed a strand of rope that went up and over an overhead light. Following it back down, I saw the end tied to the back rung of a chair. Between the two of them, the light and the chair, I was effectively held in place. As I turned around, a flying creature of the night was coming right at me, catching me hard in the chest and the gut. I was slammed back against the wall. If I'd had time, I'm pretty sure I would have screamed but instead, all the wind was knocked out of me and I slumped. The chair scrapped the floor, moving forward an inch or so, then stopped, holding me in place. I was swinging, my legs back, and the tops of my feet touching the tiles. Again, he flew at me, driving excruciatingly hard with his knees into my chest and gut. Each time he did, I was slammed against the wall, my air driven out. It didn't take too many of these exercises to have me completely limp and nearly unconscious, head hanging clear down to my chest. Fingers locked roughly in my hair and my head was jerked up.
"How you holding up, Tad," I heard him ask? I opened my mouth, surprised at how cracked my lips had become, obviously from the oxygen passing in and out of my open mouth. I tried to moisturize them with my tongue but couldn't gather any saliva.
" more," I barely managed to croak out, my throat now just as parched as my lips.
"What? You want more?" My eyes must have grown 3 times their normal size in that moment. I was sure I'd said "no more". Was he just teasing me now, I wondered to myself?
" more," I repeated myself.
"Well, ok, if you insist." Without hesitation, his knees slammed into me again. I started crying, using up what little moisture my body still contained. I lost count at three, or maybe it was four, as that is when my body shut down and I lost consciousness, my head now lolling uselessly in a downward position. I have no idea what happened after that point until I woke up to a dream of rain falling on my face. Only it wasn't a dream. As I came around fully, I discovered I was lying outside on the football field Astroturf, a rain storm, not uncommon for the area, drenching me from head to toe. I drank some of the liquid in, and then sat up. Maybe I should say, tried to sit up, for my mid-section was so sore, I fell back moaning, my entire musculature screaming at me for abusing it so. I glanced around finding no sign of Robby anywhere. By my own estimations, it took me some 30-40 minutes to finally be able to gain my feet. As I stumbled toward the student parking lot, I passed by the room where I had first run into him. It was dark and a yank on the door confirmed it being locked. At that moment, I swore vengeance on Robby Bender. An oath I fully intended to make good on. Little did I know at the time that he wasn't done with me yet!