Sundays With Ingrid
Admin says this scene came up at the talk; he can’t remember why.
Ty poked his head in the door.
“Got a minute?” he said.
“What?” said Ingrid.
“Need a safety,” he said.
“What about Dad?”
“They went to bed.”
“Why so early?”
“Do I look like a search engine?” Ty said. “You gonna help me or not?”
Ingrid went to the basement with Ty. They had practically a whole gym down there—StairMaster, treadmill, slant board, bench press, and machines for leg curls, leg extensions, leg presses, ab crunches, delt thises and pec thats, none of which Ingrid ever used. She’d read in a magazine—on the letters-to-the-editor page, actually, just a letter from some reader who didn’t even have an MD after his name, but it did get printed—that thirteen was too young for weight training. No sense taking chances.
Ty went to the bench press, slid a forty-five pound plate on each end of the bar, then added two twenty-fives. Forty-five plus forty-five was ninety, plus fifty made one thirty, and don’t forget the weight of the bar itself, forty-five more: 185. Wow. The most she’d ever seen him do was two twenty-fives on each end—one forty-five—and that had been only a few weeks ago. Those iron plates: so big.
“What are you looking at?” he said.
Ty lay down on the bench. Ingrid stood at the end, ready to help if he had trouble raising the bar back up to the cradle. But what kind of help could she be with one eighty-five? Ingrid weighed ninety-four pounds.
Ty gripped the bar, his fingers wriggling around for the spot that felt right. He planted his feet on the floor, first wriggling them a bit, too. Then he took a deep breath, jerked all that weight up out of the cradle, lowered it to his chest, pushed up again.
“One,” said Ingrid.
The grunts got louder. His face got red. His eyes bugged out. He looked like a freak. But he did ten. Ten at one eighty-five, and lowered the bar into the cradle with no help.
“Hey,” Ingrid said.
Ty lay on the bench, chest rising and falling, the muscles stretching his T-shirt. RED RAIDER FOOTBALL it said on the front. BIGGER, FASTER, STRONGER.
“What was Sean doing over here?” Ingrid said.
“Nothing,” said Ty, reaching up for the bar. He took a few deep breaths. “Ready,” he said, and lifted on the last exhale.
“One,” said Ingrid. This was what being a slave master in a Roman galley must have been like, easy work but boring and a bit smelly. Ty grunted louder, got redder and more bug-eyed, but did ten more.
“Good job,” she said.
He got up, rubbing his shoulder. Ingrid turned to go. “One more set,” he said. He fetched two tens from the weight stack, added them to the bar.
One eighty-five plus twenty? That made—“What are you doing?” Ingrid said.
“Just three reps,” said Ty.
“Whoa,” said Ingrid.
“Did I ask for your opinion?” said Ty.
He lay on the bench, grasped the bar, planted his feet, took a huge deep breath, pushed. The bar lifted off the cradle. Ty lowered it to his chest, grunted, tried to heave the weight back up, a vein popping out in his neck, all blue and throbbing. Slowly, oh so slowly, the bar rose. Ingrid heard his teeth grinding, got ready to say one. But at that moment, the bar still maybe six inches below the cradle, Ty’s arms started shaking and the bar stalled.
“A little help,” he said, almost in a normal tone of voice.
Help? What was she supposed—
“Help!” This time not normal at all.
Ingrid stepped forward, grabbed the bar, her hands between his, his upside-down face, purple now, right under all that iron. She bent her legs, drove up with all her might. The bar didn’t budge, except for the quiver from the way Ty’s arms were shaking.
“Damn it,” said Ty. “Lift.”
Ingrid found a little extra. Now she was grunting too. They grunted together, fighting the weight of that bar. It rose, inch by inch, up to cradle level and clanged into place. For a second she felt lighter than air, as though she could float up to the ceiling.
“That was lucky,” Ingrid said.
“You don’t know what the hell you’re talking about,” Ty said.
He sat up, pulled off his T-shirt, mopped his face. “I’m so damn weak.”
“Maybe mentally,” Ingrid said.
His voice rose, that deep man voice he sometimes had now. “You’re such a jerk,” he said, throwing the T-shirt at her.
Ingrid ducked. For just a second, a scary second, she thought he might hit her. They’d had an incident or two like that in the past. Instead he turned and drove his fist into the padded bench, very hard, making a sound that boomed through the house. He was acting so weird. What was wrong with him? And his back: Ty has always been one of those lucky acne-free kids, and his face still was smooth and unblemished. But under the ceiling lights, she could see dark-red pimples all over his upper back. He rose and started stripping off the weights.
Tags: Echo Falls Series
This entry was posted on Sunday, July 11th, 2010 at 9:14 am and is filed under Chet The Dog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.