Hard » Michael Phelps

"Why are you doing this to me? Did you just forget everything we had?" "No. I tried, but it's just too hard." ©PhelpsFeels, Copyright 2016

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5. IV|Michael

This woman had gained my sympathy within just a couple of days. Gosh, I can't imagine how it feels like to not have a home, to feel cut off from civilization all these years. I bet she felt uncomfortable, and perhaps even overwhelmed.

I was pretty excited to see how she would look. I wanted to feel like I was doing something good, especially after my arrest for DUI. I wasn't proud of that. Especially when the situation got repeated again.

I was watching some reruns of the state swimming championships, and they were, ironically, talking about me. Saying that I lived a healthy life. I mentally scoffed. Yeah, right.

Just to prove my point, I popped open a can of coke and downed it all in one gulp. My stubble was itching me quite a bit, and I decided to shave as soon as Clarisse got downstairs.

I kept on surfing the TV channels, and settled on The Conjuring. It was going to start in about 5 minutes, and I thought that I could make Clarisse watch it, just to find out her likes and dislikes. Poor woman, she must've never even watched a movie.

Well, it was all about to change.

I slipped out of the hoodie I was wearing, and frowned at the ceiling. The AC was doing a pretty sucky job. I made a mental note to call the maintenance line.

I looked up to the sound of her footsteps.

And boy, was I shell-shocked.

Before, I couldn't even tell what her face looked like. Now, I could tell that she was rather pretty. Her blonde hair was tied up in a bun (when you have sisters, you know that sort of stuff), she had a tiny nose, thin glossy pink lips, a roundish face, and a tan complexion. She was way shorter than me, but I am not exactly a person to fairly compare her to, seeing as most people have to crane their necks just to see my face.

Her eyes popped from her face, a shocking and dazzling blue. However, she was sickly thin, and it was obvious, judging from the fact that the clothes I gave her (which were an XS size) were hanging loosly on her frame.

I definitely knew what she needed: food.

"Hey, you clean up pretty well, Clarisse," I shot her a smile and an appreciative nod.

"You don't look too shabby yourself," she returned it back, and her teeth were perfectly straight. I wish I had that kind of smile; sweet and not too forced.

She joined me on the couch, sitting crisscross applesauce, and facing the TV. Her eyes darted at me constantly, and it looked pretty funny. Almost like an inquisitive child that feels afraid to ask a question.

She huffed suddenly, and turned around to face me. What happened next was something that surprised me.

She poked my stomach. Once. Then Twice. Over and over again. I raised my eyebrows questioningly.

"What's that?" she asked, cocking her head slightly to the left.

"Erm, my stomach..?"

"I know, silly, I meant these," she rolled her eyes as she let her hands explore my toned muscles, which felt so deft and delicate, it was like butterflies fluttering on the exposed skin. It was somewhat relaxing, and I internally sighed.

And suddenly, I understood what she had meant.

So I smiled.

"They're called a six pack. They're basically piles of muscles. Most people think that they look attractive. I, however, see that they're just proof of super duper hard work."

She cocked her head once more, and leaned a bit backward.

"They look nice. I think they suit you, too."

I grinned widely, not ashamed to show my terrible teeth, finally getting a proper, straightforward compliment.

"Thank you!"

She giggled as she started rubbing her hands all over my stomach, fascinated by my abs. I was barely keeping in a laugh, being a ticklish person.

She suddenly frowned and looked down. Then she lifted up her shirt. I, of course, looked away.

"Look," she ordered.

"I can't," I blushed.

"Why not?" she scowled up at me innocently. For a woman who had been almost raped, she seemed too pure.

"Because it's considered inappropriate," I tried arguing.

"If it is without my consent. Now, I have given you permission to look. God, you make it sound like a crime," she rolled her eyes.

I had no choice but to look, but of course I was blushing like a tomato. I'm pretty sure that my mom had once told me to not watch a lady undress.

Clarisse prodded her stomach, and I winced. She looked terrible. Her bones were protruding, and the skin was a raw red color, probably from scrubbing it raw. Her stomach was caved in, and I could see the faint outline of her organs.

The poor thing.

"How can I get those?" she asked me, pointing at my six pack.

"Well, first, you have to eat up, just so you're not so sickly thin," I shot her a look of sympathy, "but then you'll have to exercise endlessly, and maybe we can pick you a sport."

She pouted a bit, before smiling again.

"Can I eat please?"

I smacked my forehead. Of course!

"Oh my God, I'm so stupid. Where are my manners? I'll order us 6 large pepperoni pizzas. You okay with that?"

She blushed a little.

"I've never eaten pizza before. I've seen them eat it through restaurant windows, but nothing more."

Her ashamed look made me wish that I had saved her from the streets earlier.

I lifted her chin up, and said, "Then let's go order it right now! I'd be honored," smiling gently at her. I didn't want to overwhelm her. After all, who knows what she's already been through.

I picked up my iPhone and was about to call up the pizza place down the street when I thought against it. Perhaps she would want to walk around, get to know the neighborhood and surrounding areas and stuff.

I held up my finger for her to wait, and ran back up to my room. I picked up my wallet and a sharpie from my dresser, just in case.

I slipped on a tight white Under Armor shirt and quickly shaved in my bathroom. Then I brushed my hair back and gelled it, sprayed some heavy cologne, slipped in my sneakers, and grabbed my shades. You never know what could happen.

I made it back downstairs to find her admiring a twisted crystal vase in the middle of the coffee table.

"My mom gave it to me."

She jumped 6 feet in the air (no, not really) and glared at me.

"Make some noise when you enter, genius! Don't just creep up on a woman!"

I laughed.

"Sorry. Would you like to go with me and grab the pizza? It's just down the street," I shrugged.

She just nodded and stood by the door. I followed her and fumbled with my keys.

As soon as we were standing outside, she grabbed my left hand in her petite one. I eyed her skeptically, and all she did was whisper one word.

"Safety."

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