Author: E. Poor PM
Christine's older brother, Alex is a mean guy who enjoys physically tormenting her. It could only get worse when he decides she's going to start weight training... story completeRated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Angst - Chapters: 4 - Words: 9,724 - Reviews: 11 - Favs: 6 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 06-04-05 - Published: 05-29-05 - Status: Complete - id: 1925862
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
My older brother was always tough on me. He would arm wrestle me and hit me whenever I lost. He would play a game of mercy and twist my hands until they felt like they were going to rip off, even after I said "mercy". When he would race, he would do it until I was exhausted and my heart beat until it felt like it was going to explode, and collapsing meant he would choke me, sometimes to the point of passing out. Even then, he showed me little sympathy, especially when I cried. He always told me to suck it up, stop being a pussy and learn to take it. I didn't like the names he called me. Sissy girl. Wimp. Coward. Weakling. It felt so degrading when he said these. This was when I was younger, still a preteen.
"Christine." My brother called me coldly from the living room. His dark eyes showed no emotion as he stood there, looking at me. I was twelve years old now, it had been four long painful years with him.
"What is it, Alex?" I spoke to him calmly. He was eighteen. Tall, cut and rarely smiling, if ever. He looked at me, moving his hand through his clean dark hair.
"I think it's about time you work out with me."
I stared for a moment, the pit of my stomach beginning to grow with worry. What did he mean?
"I don't get it. What does that mean?"
He did not show impatience as he replied to my question.
"You will begin lifting weights. When I go the gym, you will come with me."
No… the gym? It was already bad enough that he tortured me everyday… now this? Maybe my parents would object. Not that they knew what my brother did, but what sort of parents would allow their twelve year old daughter to go to a gym?
"What would mom and dad say?"
"What makes you think they'll stop me?" I opened my mouth to protest, but no words came out. True. I had always been afraid of what would have happened if I told on him with all the things he did to me. He had "warned" me any word of this would make things much direr for me. "We're starting tomorrow after school. I'll pick you up." As he headed into his room, I stood there unmoving, wishing this wasn't happening. What would he do? Torture me with heavy weights? Crush me? Exercise me until my legs broke? I ran into my room and began feeling sorry for myself. Why? Why?
"Hey Christine!" My friend Tricia called as she waved from the school gate. I looked at the plaid dress she was wearing. I was wearing jeans.
"Hey Tricia." I said with a sigh.
"What's wrong?" She asked, and that was my cue to complain.
"You know my brother…"
"Yeah? What did he do now?" Tricia was my friend since the fourth grade. We were now in seventh, and our friendship was quite steady.
"Oh, nothing much. He's just making me go to the gym with him."
"Are you kidding me?!" She blinked several times as her face twisted into a frown. I looked at her eye shadow. Alex always had something against makeup. He also didn't like me wearing dresses or anything "girly". "Wow, he's such an asshole." I looked down and nodded slowly. Even if Alex was mean to me, I didn't want to say anything.
"Yeah." It was all I could say.
"Didn't your parents say anything about it?" I shook my head.
"I don't think they really care." Tricia patted my shoulder.
"Don't worry, he's just stupid. Taking his sister to the gym? Moron. I bet he wants to show you off to his friends because you're so pretty." I didn't think so. Even if he was a jerk to me, he was never the type of person to brag or showoff. He was just mean.
"Nah… I don't even know why he does this stuff…" I said with a sigh as we entered the school gate. Would I ever understand him?
At nutrition, I sat under an oak tree with my other two friends, Joanne and Marcella. Like Tricia, they were feminine. Joanne wore a tank top with tight shorts. You could see her undergarment's outline through them. This was my brother's pet peeve. Marcella wasn't too bad, switching from skirts to jeans and makeup to no makeup. Still, they were all so much more girly than I was. Why did Alex have to do this to me?
"So today, we had a seat change in English." Began Joanne. "Can you believe that I'm sitting behind Josh?"
"Josh?" Asked Marcella. "You mean the guy who plays basketball all the time?"
"Yeah!" Joanne exclaimed.
"Oh my god, he's so hot!" Tricia commented. "You're so lucky!"
"I know, and he was talking to me…" Joanne swooned. "I think he was checking me out!" She said it like it was a good thing.
"You know Josh, right Christine?" Joanne asked. I shook my head. I didn't know him, but Alex told me guys like him were jerks. Guys who only cared about having sex with a girl. I didn't know what to think. Always hearing so many pessimistic words from him. Why did I have to be born to my family with a weird brother like mine? Why wouldn't he just let me be normal like everyone else?
After school, I said goodbye to my friends and waited sadly for Alex. He had a small red car. I watched it pull up to the curb and I solemnly got in.
"How was school?" He asked me. Ever since he began picking me up since he got his license, he asked me everyday. He began to drive off and I answered.
"Fine." I wanted to say as little as possible.
"Told your friends about what I'm making you do?" I tried not to look at him. He knew, and he knew I knew. "Thought so." He turned at the corner and made a left. "That's not going to keep you from going. You're going to work out with vigor and I don't want to hear complaints." I held back a sigh and looked out the window.
"Why are you doing this?" I asked him as I folded my arms. "Why won't you let me be what I want to be?" He looked at me for a moment before turning his head back.
"Why not? If you're worried about not growing, that won't be a problem. We'll do exercises so your growth isn't affected." I spoke to him again with some frustration.
"But why? Why do you have to make me do this? I'm not a boy!" Was this what he wanted? To make me like a boy? I had never considered the thought up until now. What if he wanted a brother?
"It's a tough world Christine. Whether you like it or not, you're doing this. I'm not going to let you be a sissy like your friends." Sissy. I hated that word. It was like anyone being called that was inferior. It was normal for girls to be weaker than boys. It was normal for them to be girly. Why couldn't he see that?
We stopped in front of a large building called "John's Gym". He parked his car at the front and I looked inside through the windows. I could see people in gym clothes working themselves on the machines. Most of them were men. Some of them fit and bulky, others a bit large on the belly. I took a glance of a woman running on the treadmill, but I could see no others. Maybe that's all I would have to do…
"Don't get lazy thoughts. You're not going to be running on no stupid treadmill." It was as if he was reading my mind. I felt so insecure when it felt like that. "Come on, we'll get started."
Taking me inside, he began to look around, studying all the various machines. I did too. They were all things I shouldn't have to be looking at. Stuff like this wasn't for a middle school girl like me! Yet this is what I would be forced into doing…
He brought me up to one of the machines and began giving me an explanation.
"This is what you call the lap pull." He began as he sat down on the stool. "We'll work out your arms and see what you can do." He looked at the weight, and so did I. Each piece was labeled with numbers, starting at 20 and going up by 10's. It was currently set at 120. "This is probably too much for a weakling like you." He stood and grabbed the bar that was hanging above, and pulled it down as he sat on the stool again. I watched as he pulled the bar all the way down below his neck, then brought it up again, keeping his arms straight. He did it with such ease. He then stood and set the weight to 60. He motioned to me. "Try it."
I looked around the room. Nobody was paying attention. No one was watching the young girl being ordered around by her older brother, making her do things she didn't want to do. With a slight groan, I reached for the bar and barely grabbed it. I struggled to pull it down, and sat on the stool. I pulled it down to my neck and then raised it up like my brother did.
"Again." He commanded. This weight was relatively easy. I did it again five more times and began to feel slight fatigue. "Keep going." He commanded, and I was able to do six more before I had to release it from exhaustion. I stood up and breathed heavily, looking up at Alex. He closed his eyes for a moment, then opened them again and spoke.
"Lap pull. You will be doing those until you can get to twelve. Then we'll add weight and continue." My heart, which was beating rapidly dropped when I heard this. "And don't think you can get away with cheating. I'll make sure you're doing your exercise until you're too tired to do anymore." This was horrible. As if it wasn't hellish enough with him torturing me. Now he was going to work me to death.
He took me to another machine. This one had a seat for sitting on, and it seemed to be for the legs. I watched my brother grab one of the weights. They were 45 pounds each, and I watched as he set two on side of the machine. That was 180!
"This is the leg press." He told me. I watched as he sat on the machine and grabbed two handlebars at the side. Then he pushed the piece in front of him, lifting a large portion of the machine. He then began to move his legs back, then forward. He removed one of his legs and pushed everything with one before pulling the handlebars up. I watched a piece of metal used to hold the machine move up and hold it all in place. He got up and I knew what I had to do.
I sat on the machine and did the same as he. Surprisingly, this was quite easy. I easily did twelve before stopping and then I moved the bars to hold the machine. I got up, not very tired and my brother shook his head.
"Too easy for you. I'm going to add 90 pounds next time." Oh no… this wasn't going to get any easier.
For a while, he put me through many machines and exercises. He made me lift, bench, pull, and so many other motions that by the time we finally left, I felt too tired to move. He handed me a bottle of Gatorade and I quickly took it and drank it down. It felt like heaven.
"It's going to take time for all those muscles you just ripped to heal." I looked at him surprised. Ripped? Doing all that was supposed to rip your muscles?! "It's going to be two days before they're restored and ready to be worked." My heart took a leap. That meant I would only have to go every other day? "Make a choice. We can either go every day and alternate between certain exercises everyday, or go every other day but do everything." I wasn't sure. Either way, I still had to do everything. Would it be better to go every other day or every day? "We don't go on weekends." It felt reliving to know he wouldn't whip me around on those days at least. But I thought. I was going to be forced into this, so I would have to decide… which one? After giving it several minutes of thought, I finally answered.
"Every other day." He looked at me and smirked. It was rare to see such an expression on his face.
"Thought so. Lazy bum." His smile dropped as he turned away and spoke coldly. "Don't think so. Every day." I stared for a minute before these words reached my brain. I sulked in my chair as I bitterly drank more Gatorade. This was hell.
The next morning, I woke up aching everywhere. My muscles were sore, and just moving made pain flow throughout my body. After washing up, my brother greeted me with knowing.
"Don't worry. The pain will go away within a week. Your body just needs to get used to it." I hoped he was right. I couldn't go through life hurting every time I moved. God why did I have to do this? Why couldn't he just get over himself, whatever it was he wanted from me? How much longer would I have to suffer this? I thought carefully. Not much longer hopefully. He was going away to college after this school year ended. Please, please let this be my final year of brother torture, I begged. Please let it all end after this.
"So how did it go?" Tricia asked me in the morning. I gave her a smile and groaned.
"Everything hurts. All my muscles hurt like hell." Tricia aww'ed with sympathy and gave me a hug. "Ow… it hurts to do this too." Tricia shook her head.
"Maybe you can sue him. For abuse? He can't be doing this to you." True… but why bother? Perhaps within the end of the year, he would go away and I wouldn't have to worry anymore.
"I think it'll be okay. He's going to college next year." Tricia shrugged.
"Maybe he'll keep coming back to torture you, who knows? I bet he doesn't even have a girlfriend, being the kind of ass he is!" I just had to set my sight on him going away… then I wouldn't have to worry anymore.
As the week went and passed, I found that after my weekend rest, my muscles did indeed stop hurting. However, the aggravation of working myself to the limit was most excruciating, and every time he added weight to an exercise, I only felt more depressed over how it would never end… never end until he left. That was all I could think of. Sometimes, the weights would be added quickly. At other times, weeks would have to pass before he would add more weight than before. He recorded everything, making sure I would keep up, not letting me falter even for a day.
As if that wasn't enough, there were also other workouts he made me do regularly, even on weekends. He would have us run laps around the neighborhood. I also had to do pull ups at our local park as well as going back on forth on the monkey bars. He also made me do curl ups and push ups with added weights. Next to the workouts at the gym, this was excruciating. However, as I slowly increased with the heaviness of weights, the criticism I received from him lessened. I saw this as a somewhat motivational point, having to suffer less psychologically.
By the middle of the seventh grade year, the physical fitness test was announced as coming up. It was a test in our PE period that was state standards, used to test how fit you were. The expected minimum that had to be done was posted outside our locker rooms, and I scanned over the girls'. With all the work my brother had been giving me, these standards looked pretty easy. I overheard most of the girls complaining, wondering if there was even a point to this. Indeed… there was a point for me here. How strong was I? How would I compare in these tests?
"Hey Christine, think you're going to do okay?" Tricia asked me as we did our weekly run. We were on our fourth and final lap, and she breathed heavily as she spoke. I breathed easily. It had been like this for a while now, listening to her tell her long elaborate gossip through heavy uneven breaths while I listened, hardly struggling to breathe as I would reply once in a while.
"Yeah." I said. "Those don't look that hard." Tricia scoffed.
"Easy for you to say. You do this stuff all the time." I smiled.
"Wonder what the standards are for boys?" I said to myself.
"Why don't you go check? Maybe you can keep up with them with all the crap your brother puts you through." She rolled her eyes and followed me to the other side where I looked at their standards after we finished. They definitely had more to do, but it didn't seem to be too hard.
"Whatcha lookin at?" One of the boys that came towards the locker room asked me with a raised eyebrow and a smirk.
"Just these." I said, pointing at the standards.
"Yeah, that's for the guys!" He said with attitude. "Your girly weakling one is over there!" He said with a laugh as he pointed to the other side. Tricia looked down as the boy smirked even more.
"Just because I'm a girl doesn't mean I'm weak." I said, trying to stay calm and not show signs of anger. He scoffed and turned his head to see one of his friends come over as well.
"Hey Jerry, check this girl out." He said to his friend, pointing at me. "She's telling me this girl power shit!" Jerry raised his eyebrow looking at me before replying.
"Well screw her. Let her say what she wants, but she ain't going to be doing much more than getting screwed." He sneered and I felt my body tighten. Alex was right. Guys couldn't resist having to make everything sexual.
"You'll be the one getting screwed when I blow you out during the testing!" I retorted with a glare. Jerry raised both his eyebrows and smiled as his friend "oh'ed" and slapped Jerry.
"Did you hear that? She's gonna give you a blow! Ohhh!" He laughed and I felt Tricia tug my shirt sleeve. I could feel my face turning red from making that ambiguous statement.
"Laugh now, but you won't be when I whup you out you ball sacks!" I had gotten the "ball sacks" statement from my brother. This seemed to have little effect in nullifying the boys' egos.
"Tell ya what cutie." Jerry said, folding his arms and getting closer to me. I tightened my fists. "If I beat you in the state standards, you'll have to suck me." His annoying friend snickered. "But… if you actually get lucky and beat me, then… you can kick Scott in the balls." He said, pointing at his friend who dropped his laugh and stared at Jerry, mouth gaping.
"What the hell?! I'm not letting no bitch hit me in the balls!" He shouted, and I was ready to kick him. How dare he call me a bitch!
"Forget it man, so you think she's actually gonna win?" Jerry said with a sneer, pointing at me.
"Yeah, you're right. She probably couldn't even get off her girly ass to race you!" That was it! I had enough of their stupid dissing! They wanted to see how "girly" I was? They were getting it all right!
"All right, I accept your challenge, but don't think you're winning! I win and I'll kick both of you in the balls!" Jerry looked at me with slight surprise as Scott gawked at me.
"Fine." Jerry said confidently. "And if I win, we'll have ourselves a… little orgy. Between the four of us?" He said, looking at Tricia. She stood there fearfully.
"Keep her out of this." I said with a glare. "Orgy? In your dreams."
"So it's a deal." He said, putting out his hands.
"Christine!" Tricia whispered, telling me to back down. I ignored her.
"Don't think you'll even touch me, but you're on." With that, I grabbed Tricia's arm and headed off. I could hear Scott mocking me as I stalked off angrily as Tricia gained her courage back.
"You're nuts Christine! That's Jerry Feld! He's not just any guy, he's a friggin machine, he'll tear you apart on those tests!" I was slightly surprised to hear this, but in my anger, it didn't faze me.
"That's not stopping me from beating him. He and his stupid friend will watch their mouths once I'm through." Tricia sighed disbelievingly and looked at me disapprovingly.
"You're a girl Christine. Even if your brother makes you do all these things, you can't beat him physically! He'll be too much!" Some uplifting advice I was getting from my friend.
"It looks like I'll have to prove you wrong Tricia." I said confidently. "I guess I'll have to prove to you that a girl can beat Jerry whatever his name is." Tricia tsked at me.
"Say goodbye to your virgin days…" She said as she blinked several times, and for once in my life, I was glad I wasn't a girly girl like Tricia, seeing the glitter on her face shine as she looked at me like I was stupid. Weak… the word formed in my mind as I looked at her. Sissy… Alex was right. Weakling… no courage, no confidence, just girly weakness…