“How much bigger do you plan to get?” Melissa asked as she placed a spoonful of yogurt in her mouth. She was standing by the refrigerator in our recently remodeled kitchen.
“Please don’t start this again,” I replied, not taking my eyes from the front page of the newspaper in my hands. My chest tightened a little. I knew what was coming.
“I didn’t know I was marrying the Hulk when I said yes three years ago,” she blurted out and stepped toward the table.
“Please don’t, Melissa,” I begged. I still didn’t look at her.
“Well then, explain yourself,” she spat back.
“You knew I was into bodybuilding from the moment we met,” I replied calmly as I turned my head to look at her. “We met in the gym, for goodness sake. And anyway, I haven’t gotten that much bigger.”
“Ha!” she shot back, “My hands don’t meet anymore when I hug you. You’ve probably added about seventy-five pounds of muscle. It’s freakish, Julian.”
I simply stared at her. This same mantra had been repeated constantly for about three months. I had no idea where this animosity was coming from. I was dumbfounded by Melissa’s sudden dislike for my body. She had always said my body was one of the things she liked most about me – a statement that made me feel good and uneasy at the same time. Lately, she had begun to move away from me when we got into bed and even moved to the sofa one night because she said my weight caused the bed to sag in the middle and she kept rolling to the center. When I asked why that wasn’t a good thing she had responded that my body was too hard to sleep against and my muscles put out too much heat. I opened my mouth to say something hurtful in reply to her ‘freakish’ statement, but she interrupted me.
“I’ve met someone else Julian,” she said with a slight smile on her face.
The room immediately started to spin and it suddenly felt like I was forty feet from my wife. It took me a good ten seconds to fully comprehend what she had just shared. I first thought she was kidding, but then I saw, by the look on her face, that she was dead serious.
“What?” I asked quickly, “Who?”
“Does it matter?” she asked calmly and I could see that she intended to hurt me with her words.
“Of course it matters,” I strongly shot back. “What does this mean for us? Why, Melissa? Why?”
“You’ve become some kind of monster, Julian,” she replied. “I don’t want to be married to someone so huge. I’ve been trying to tell you this for a long time, but you’ve chosen to ignore me. You just want to be bigger – no matter what. You don’t care how it makes me feel.”
“This is stupid. You’ve always said you liked my body,” I said, forcing myself to not start crying.
“Yeah,” she responded, kind of half-laughing, “I did. When you were a normal size. Now you’re twice or possibly three times the man I married. When I stand beside you it feels like I’m next to a bull or something. Julian, your arms are bigger than my waist! That’s not normal.”
“I’ll change, Melissa,” I blurted out as tears started to well up in my eyes. “I can be what you want me to be.”
“How will you do that, Julian?” she asked with a look that made it clear she thought I was an idiot. “Are you going to have plastic surgery to reduce every part of your body? Don’t be stupid. You have always wanted to be this big – and I’m pretty sure this isn’t big enough for you! Let’s face it. You need to be with someone that gets off on being with a jacked up muscleman. I’m not that woman, Julian. I’m not sure one exists, but that’s your problem. I really like this new guy. He’s regular size. He makes me feel like a woman and not a Hobbit.”
Her words both shocked and pained me at the same time. It felt as if my chest was going to explode. At the same time, I was suddenly thrust back to a memory from my childhood, a painful memory. I remembered a time when I was in elementary school and I went to my first pool party. I vividly recalled what it felt like as everyone started taking his shirt off and I realized how small I was compared to every other guy. I could even hear the snickers of some of the guys as I changed – and felt the shame that made me immediately put my shirt back on and run home. This moment was causing the same feeling, but it was for a completely different reason. I was now ashamed because my body was too big. The woman standing in front of me shot all of those years spent developing my muscles so I could overcome my insecurities down in a split second. I felt small, in spite of my huge frame.
“Please don’t . . . Melissa. Please.” I said softly.
“Julian, please stop crying,” she pleaded as she sat down across from me. “We both know this has not been working for a while. You have other . . . priorities . . . other desires. And they don’t include me.”
“What are you saying?” I asked, trying hard to stop myself from sobbing.
She paused for a few beats and looked at the floor, then came the reply, “You want to continue to grow, honey, and I know you can do it. You have this drive that somehow enables you to do things most people could never do. It’s incredible, but it’s really intense. You need someone that wants the same thing. You need support for growing – it fuels you. I can’t do it anymore. I need something else. I need someone that doesn’t intimidate me. I like being the boss, you know that, Julian.”
I laughed through my tears and she looked up. We smiled at each other. Even in the midst of incredible pain there was a flicker of understanding. I could sense some truth in what she was saying, but I wasn’t in a place to explore it. My tears began to flow even more and I reached across the table to grab her hand. She pulled back from me.
“No, Julian,” she said standing. “Don’t torture yourself. The less contact we have the easier this will be for you. I’ve been moving stuff for a few weeks. I did it so you wouldn’t notice. I won’t be coming home tonight – or ever again. I don’t need anything from you, Julian. I have enough in savings to be fine for a while. You keep the house. I’ve left some papers for you to sign in the bedroom. Let’s make this as painless as possible, okay honey. You have to let me go. I really want a new life, one with someone else. I’ll call you in a day or two, okay. Be well.”
With those simple words she was suddenly gone. I watched her turn and leave the room, but it didn’t really register. I didn’t even hear the front door open or close. I was simply numb, numb beyond belief. I believe I sat there for a full thirty minutes, drifting in and out of reality. Every once and a while I would think it had all been a dream and that Melissa was going to come into the kitchen any minute. It didn’t happen. I finally just stood up and took my dishes to the sink, rinsed them off, and placed them in the dishwasher. I then got my wallet, keys, and briefcase and left for work. I don’t remember anything about the drive to the office, but suddenly I was sitting behind the big desk in my office and Ramon, my co-worker, was tapping on the door as he entered and plopped down in one of the chairs across from me.
“What’s up Superman?” he said teasingly.
“Not today, Ramon.” I numbly replied.
“Oh, oh,” he forged on, “there must be some kryptonite close by. The big man seems a little weak. Fight with Supergirl Melissa?”
I didn’t think at all before replying, “She left me.”
“Yeah right. Good joke. She’d never leave you,” he laughed back at me. “No one would leave Superman.”
Ramon immediately began checking his IPhone for recent messages – one of his most frustrating habits. He was so attached to the thing there were many times I wanted to grab it and crush it in my hands, but I never did. And at this particular moment I was happy he was distracted. I was crying again. The silence quickly caught him off guard and he pulled himself away from the tiny screen and looked at me. His mouth dropped open.
“Oh shit, man,” was all he could say at first. He sat up in the chair and leaned forward. “Julian, I’m so sorry. What can I do for you?”
“You’re doing it,” I said through my tears. “I haven’t told anyone and I think I should talk about it.”
“Of course, man. Let me shut the door,” Ramon said as he got up and moved across the office. He came back and pulled his chair around to my side of the desk and sat close. “What happened?”
“I’m not sure. It just happened this morning and it went so fast. I’m still trying to sort through all of it,” I said looking down at my hands.
“That’s okay, Julian,” Ramon encouraged, “take your time. I’m here for you, buddy.”
I took a few deep breaths. I knew Ramon was sincere. He was a great friend. I was fully aware that he would give me as long as I needed. He would stay right by my side as long as I needed him to. I shut my eyes for a few seconds and collected my thoughts. I was also able to stop crying. I finally turned my head towards him and opened my eyes.
“She met someone else,” I whispered.
“No freakin’ way!” he said in a bewildered tone. “Who’s the guy?”
“I don’t know,” I answered – now a little calmer.
“J-man, you’re perfection,” Ramon said, throwing his hands up in the air, “who in their right mind would leave you? This is unbelievable.”
“She says it’s because I’ve gotten too big,” I replied.
“What?” Ramon asked, truly confused.
“She said I’ve become too freakish . . . that my size intimidates her,” I responded. “Do you think I’m too big, Ramon?”
“Hell no, man!” he exclaimed quickly. “Like I said before, you’re perfection. The bigger you become the better you are, Julian. There’s no such thing as too big. That’s bullshit.”
My good friend’s enthusiastic response soothed my pain slightly. I looked down at the smaller man beside me and was overcome with appreciation for his generous affirmation. I reached over and grabbed his shoulder to give him a thankful squeeze. I was caught off guard when Ramon’s body tensed up. It was only for a brief second, but I noticed it. He quickly brought his other arm up and patted my muscled shoulder.
“You’re one sexy guy, Julian. Don’t ever forget that,” Ramon added as he took his hand away. “You’ve also got a great heart. Your huge muscles are just icing on the cake, man. Melissa’s crazy for not liking your massiveness. I bet there are tons of ladies out there that would give anything to be up close and personal with your muscled bod.”
For some reason, I chose to leave my big hand on Ramon’s small shoulder. I kept squeezing his mound of flesh with my fingers and marveled at how good it felt being so much larger than him. My palm completely engulfed his shoulder. It was a feeling that thrilled me.
“Melissa said she doubts there’s a woman around that would like my size,” I spoke with out really thinking, still staring at how big my hand was compared to Ramon’s body.
“The woman doesn’t know what she’s talking about,” Ramon said softly, “I’m pretty sure there are lots of people out there that really get off on big guys – especially really big guys.”
My breath started getting heavy as I asked, “You think so, Ramon?”
“I know so, J. I know so.” Ramon replied – this time even softer than before.
All motion stopped – my hand massaging his shoulder, our breathing, and the blinking of our eyes. We stared at each other. A volcano of awareness erupted in me. Heat began to pour off of Ramon’s skin and warmed my hand through his shirt. Our eyes locked on each other. My mouth went desert dry and there was a stirring at my crotch that was familiar and foreign at the same time. There was no awkwardness or doubt, however, in my next question.
“You get off on big guys, Ramon?” I asked – almost inaudible.
“Fuck yes,” he replied blatantly and his face immediately turned red.
“Am I too big for you, man?” I pushed the conversation further.
“That’s . . . not . . . possible,” he answered slowly.
I moved my hand up his shoulder and wrapped it around the base of his neck in the back. My big palm stuck upward and cupped part of his head, too. I pulled his face toward me and brought my head down at the same time. All of this seemed as natural as anything and I didn’t question any of my actions. When our lips met I swear I heard Braham’s Fourth Symphony pounding through my ears and felt a stampede of horses trampling across my chest. My stiff cock also responded with a squirt of pre-cum, which was thick enough to be felt even through my underwear and pants. Ramon opened his mouth immediately, submitting to my tongue, lips, and forceful sucking. The man began to moan out loud and sounded like a guy that had been sex starved for years. I realized my eyes were closed and as we kissed more deeply I opened them – surprised to find Ramon’s eyes wide and full of tears. I immediately pulled back.
“What’s wrong, Ramon?” I asked.
He paused and looked at me with an intense face. I could tell he was trying to say something, but didn’t know how I might respond. I tightened my hand on his neck – to let him know it was okay to say anything. I was petrified I had hurt him in some way or that I had crossed a line. I panicked suddenly, fearful that my kiss had offended him. I worried that my neediness had caused me to misread the situation.
“I’ve . . . I’m . . . I’m sorry . . . it’s just that . . . I never thought this moment was possible. I’ve waited for that kiss for eight years,” he said, fumbling with the words.
I brought our foreheads together – continuing to stare into his eyes. I watched as tears continued to stream out of his eyes. I smiled at him and let the tip of my nose brush back and forth against his.
“I think I’ve been waiting for it, too, Ramon,” I whispered. “I just didn’t know it.”