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Old March 7th, 2008, 11:22 AM
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Andrew Chapter 22: Andrew's Chat With Mike�s Father

It was about 1:00 am when Mike and Andrew got back to Mike�s house. It was off Laclie Street, near the lake.
�Do you want to come inside and meet my father?� Mike asked.
�He�s still up?� Andrew asked, surprised. �You didn�t tell me he�d wait up for us. You just told me he was fine with you staying out late as long as you were with me. That�s an incredible amount of trust he's placed in me.�
Andrew left out the fact that he had met Mike's dad a few times before, when he had trained Mike's older brother Mark. He realized that Mike's dad had apparently not shared that information with Mike either.
�Let�s go inside and find out why he trusts you so much,� Mike suggested.
�Good idea,� Andrew agreed, as they got out of the car. �Let�s go.�
Andrew knocked on the front door and Mr. Stevenson opened it.
�Hello Mike,� he said. �I see you made it home safely. I knew you�d be fine. And you must be Andrew Pearson.� He held out his hand to Andrew, pretending that he had never met him before. �It�s a pleasure to meet you.�
�It�s good to meet you too sir,� Andrew replied, shaking Mr. Stevenson�s hand softly. �I'm sorry that I kept Mike out so late.�
�No problem; don�t worry about it,� Mr. Stevenson assured him. �I�m sure Mike told you that.�
�He did say that as long as he with me, you�d be fine with it,� Andrew agreed.
�And you�d like to know why, am I right?� Mr. Stevenson asked.
�Yes I would,� Andrew stated. �So, shall I come inside, or shall we talk out here?�
�Let�s go inside where it�s warm,� Mr. Stevenson replied. �And please call me Martin.�
�Of course Martin,� Andrew agreed. �I�m glad you invited me inside. It was getting cold out there.�
�From what Mike tells me, I doubt you felt it,� Martin said, grinning. �He tells me that you ran all the way from your friend�s house to the Zellar�s bridge with no shirt on.�
�That�s strange, because I don�t remember telling him that,� Andrew realized. �How did you find out about it?�
�Well, that�s part of what I wanted to talk to you about,� Martin replied, motioning Andrew into the living room. �Let�s sit down in there and have a chat.�
�I�ll go up to bed now and let you two talk,� Mike said. �See you on Monday at school, Andrew.�
�You bet,� Andrew agreed, grinning. �Meet me in the gym after school man. Then I�ll help you get big like me!�
Mike grinned, waved goodnight, and then headed upstairs.
�Very good Andrew,� Martin commended him. �I�m glad you�re helping Mike get in shape, just like you helped his brother Mark before him."
"I'm glad you remember that sir, even though it's been a couple of years since we've seen each other socially," Andrew said. He made sure Mike was out of sight and earshot before he added, "It has been a few months since we've seen each other professionally. I think that given the events of today, I need your help as a therapist once again."
"I'd be glad to help you out Andrew," Martin assured him.
�Thank you,� Andrew said. �The first question I have for you is: How exactly did Mike end up at my house when I first saw him on the road to Margaret�s cottage? And who told you that I ran back from her cottage without my shirt on?�
�When Mike and I were coming back from Barrie, via Horseshoe Valley Road, we passed you,� Martin replied. �That�s the answer to your second question.�
�Okay, so far so good,� Andrew agreed. �So how did Mike end up just outside my house? Didn�t you go straight home from Barrie?�
�Actually I introduced Mike to your father before we went home,� Martin replied. �I already knew Chad, and I told him I was looking for someone to train Mike before he went to school in Miami. I knew that you had trained Mike's older brother Mark a couple of years ago and Chad reminded me that you and Mike's oldest brother Matt are in the Army Reserves together. I read the papers and so I knew that you were also going to Mike's first choice of school: the University of Miami. Mike had expressed his hope to meet some of the guys on the football team, so you seemed the logical first choice. Your father suggested Mike break the ice with you by asking for weight training advice. So I went home, and Mike talked with your dad until you arrived.�
�You know, I just realized that my dad already knew Mike�s name, even though I didn�t introduce them,� Andrew realized. �Thank you for explaining why. I wonder how I could have missed that earlier.�
�You were a little busy at the time, flexing your muscles, or so your father tells me,� Martin stated. �That�s probably why you didn�t notice that he already knew Mike.�
�Yeah, my biceps are pretty impressive, aren�t they?� Andrew bragged, flexing his right bicep. �I worked really hard to build these guns!�
�Your biceps are very impressive,� Martin agreed. �I�m glad you decided to use those �guns� to help others, instead of just showing them off for fun.�
Andrew frowned and he seemed to be clenching his teeth in fury for a few moments. But then he calmed himself down and said nothing, once he realized Martin had also paid him a compliment.
�Maybe you could help me decide when the right time would be to show off my muscles,� he said. �I guess I probably should not have run home without my shirt on.�
�It was distracting to the drivers of the cars that passed you, including me,� Martin agreed. �Imagine what would have happened if one of them had run into something while staring at you, instead of watching the road! That�s what could happen if you think of yourself first, and not others. And don't forget that it's not exactly shirtless weather anymore. You could have caught a cold running around shirtless, in the middle of football season no less! How would that have affected your team's quest to win the Provincial Championship?"
�I hadn�t thought about that,� Andrew realized. �You�re absolutely right. So how exactly am I supposed to handle the attention of others anyway? I seem to have such a hard time with that. I snapped at quite a few people today: Margaret, Carrie, Steve, and even Mike.�
�That doesn�t sound like you,� Martin said. �My first impression of you three years ago was that you were polite, respectful and gentle. I haven't seen anything so far to disprove that first impression. I wasn�t wrong, was I?�
�No you weren�t,� Andrew agreed. �The trouble is that school has been back in session for the past six weeks. Being back with the guys every day, it�s hard for me to draw the line between Andrew the Jock and Andrew the Person.�
�Maybe I can help you with that,� Martin decided. �Who were you with in the summer that you never snapped at?�
�My girlfriend Carrie,� Andrew replied.
�And why don�t you snap at her, or try to scare her with your great strength?�
�I want her to marry me someday,� Andrew replied. �She wants to spend the rest of her life with me as well.�
�Don�t forget who else you�ll be spending a lot of time with over the next few months,� Martin reminded him.
�Who�s that?� Andrew asked.
�My son Mike,� Martin replied, pointing up the stairs. �I arranged for you to meet him so that he could learn how to work out and get bigger. Then when he�s down at University of Miami, he won�t feel out of place as much.�
�That�s a very good reason for him to get to know a big football player like me,� Andrew agreed. �So I guess that means that you�re okay with Mike spending time with me, am I right?�
�As long as you remember what I am about to tell you,� Martin agreed. �It would make no more sense to bully Mike than it would to bully your girlfriend, right? In fact, since you�re much bigger than everyone around here, you should be just as respectful and gentle with everyone as you have been with me and Carrie.�
�I never thought of that,� Andrew realized. �You know, I'd forgotten what a good therapist you are. When we had our first therapy session three years ago, I found that you were not nearly as intimidating as I thought you would be.�
�I�m glad you�re finding this free therapy session helpful,� Martin said. �But why did you find the prospect of therapy intimidating? With your size and strength, I didn�t think anything could scare you!�
�Talking about my feelings does,� Andrew revealed. �The other thing that scares me is heights. I know the guys look up to me as some kind of invincible athlete, so I have to project an image of fearlessness everywhere I go. But it does get tiring at times, and I snap, like I did today, when Steve tried to shove the whole Hero Complex down my throat.�
�If you need to talk, I�m always here for you, just as I always have been,� Martin offered. �And don't worry; I've kept our therapist-patient relationship confidential over the past three years, even during the last few months when we didn't see each other. I never even told Mark, Matt or Mike that you've been my patient."
"I think that Mike knows now, since it was his suggestion that I talk to you in the first place," Andrew reminded Martin. "But he obviously has no idea that we've talked before, and I had forgotten about it myself until you reminded me."
"We�ll be seeing a lot of each other anyway, as you get to know Mike better, so it won't be obvious that I'm your therapist," Martin assured him. "I�d be glad to help you with your transition into the University of Miami. I even know of a few counselors down there that you can talk to if the time comes. Now, if you don�t mind, let�s explore the moments of anger you showed today. Then we can see how you can handle your anger better in the future.�
�Well, I did snap impatiently at Mike when he wouldn�t punch my abs after the workout,� Andrew remembered. �I regret that now. I think I scared him.�
�I�m sure you did,� Martin agreed. �Let me get us something to drink while we discuss it further.� He headed over to the kitchen and got two bottles of root beer. �You expect others not to be scared of you, but you don�t think of how scary you are when you�re mad. Then you wonder why people get nervous around you, or avoid you altogether. I bet some people even offer you free stuff, like meals, to cover up their fear of you, don�t they?�
�That�s a really good analysis of my friends' behavior towards me over the last few months,� Andrew marveled. �You must have seen this phenomenon before.�
�It�s called the Hero Worship Syndrome, Andrew,� Martin explained. �I�m sure you�ve heard the term before.�
�Yes I have,� Andrew agreed. �But as I tried to tell Steve, I�m not a hero just because I�m a good football player. The men and women who risk their lives everyday so we can live in freedom: they are the real heroes.�
"You're part of that latter group Andrew, since you're in the Reserves," Martin said quietly. "In fact, I'm sure that if you weren't still in high school, you'd probably end up being deployed to Afghanistan."
"You're right sir," Andrew agreed. "My superiors have been trying to convince me to stay on after high school because they really need Infantry Soldiers like me in Afghanistan. I have tried to tell them that I have committed myself to the University of Miami, but they don't seem to think that being a football hero is worth giving up the military for."
�Well, you couldn�t expect them to,� Martin reminded him. �They�re in the business of saving lives, not becoming sports stars. But there�s nothing wrong with a little Hero Worship towards sports stars. They do a lot of charity work once they become rich, helping other people who couldn�t otherwise make it. You helped people today when you shoved the tree off the road.�
�I hadn�t thought about that,� Andrew realized. �I guess you�re right. I just hope that people realize I�m not on the same hero level as the members of the Canadian Forces.�
�I think people realize that,� Martin declared. �Sports stars are just a different kind of hero. Or maybe icon would be the better term to describe them.�
�So how do I handle the Hero Worship anyway?� Andrew asked. �That is the real question I wanted to ask you. How do I draw the line between cockiness and appreciation?�
�Smile quietly and enjoy your strength, as long as it helps others,� Martin said. �Let all your fans know that you appreciate their gratitude, just as they let you know today that they appreciated your help.�
�What about signing autographs like I did last month?� Andrew asked. �Is that acceptable?�
�Use these questions as a guide,� Martin replied. �Did you help others see that you appreciated their support and attention? Did you make sure to let them know that without their attention and support, you would never have been so recognized for your achievements? Did you let them know that the whole team will win the Provincial Championship, not just one man?�
�I tried to tell that last part to Steve yesterday,� Andrew remembered, realizing that it was now Sunday. �But he got so mad and jealous that he didn�t get the message. But hindsight shows that he was just trying to goad me into revealing my true strength. But I got him to reveal his as well, which caught the attention of the crowd. They ran after him with cameras this time, while I went unnoticed.�
�That was a very clever trick Andrew,� Martin commended him. �But that wasn�t really fair to Steve was it, to trick him into getting caught in the media frenzy? Especially now that you�ve told me how uncomfortable the attention makes you.�
�At least he knows how I feel about it now,� Andrew objected. �Now he won�t be so quick to shove the whole Hero Complex down my throat.�
�Good point,� Martin agreed. �Actions do speak louder than words, don�t they? You did say that you had tried to tell him how uncomfortable you found all the attention, but he wouldn�t listen. Perhaps it was better that you showed him the full effect of the media frenzy. I stand corrected Andrew. You did exactly the right thing to make your point, and you didn�t hurt anyone in the process. In fact, you may have helped him raise his own profile for his future school. You showed how smart you are by doing that. Good work.�
�Thank man,� Andrew grinned, sipping his root beer. �I did well, didn�t I?�
�Yes you did,� Martin agreed. �It�s good to see you getting more comfortable in your own skin. You are adjusting to the mantle of the football star. I just have to ask a few more questions. I now know how you have helped people by using your great strength, like when you tricked Steve into revealing his. Now, have you ever hurt people by using your great strength, even accidentally?�
�I�m afraid so,� Andrew admitted. �When I shook Mike after shoving the tree off the road, I squeezed his hand until he yelled in pain. I was so caught up in my own strength that I wanted to show off.�
�That�s not good,� Martin declared. �A simple soft handshake like the one you gave me would work next time. In fact, before you leave, I�ll have you perform a strength test and then I�ll shake your hand afterwards. So what else have you done that has hurt others? Don�t leave anything out if you want me to help you.�
�I gently lifted Margaret up to reach the garage door cord so that she could pull the door down,� Andrew remembered, grinning.
�With or without asking her permission first?�
�Without,� Andrew realized, his grin fading quickly. �I wasn�t thinking. I just acted, showing off my great strength again. But at least I didn�t hurt her.�
�Instead you did almost everything right,� Martin realized. �You did hold her gently, so that you wouldn�t hurt her. And��
�I didn�t want to hurt her,� Andrew interrupted. �I would never use my great strength to intimidate ladies.�
�But you use it to intimidate guys,� Martin reminded. �Even ones who are much smaller than you, like Mike. Is that any better?�
�I guess not,� Andrew realized. �What should I do instead?�
�Before we get to that, try letting me finish my sentences so I can answer your questions,� Martin said. �Do you think you could do that for me please?�
�Sure man,� Andrew agreed. �Sorry about that. I just got carried away.�
�From what you told me, Margaret got carried away too, when you lifted her up to pull the door down!� Andrew laughed at Martin�s joke and Martin laughed as well. �However, since you were doing it to help her, not hurt her, that was okay. Just make sure to ask permission before you lift anyone up next time.�
�I�ll have to remember that,� Andrew agreed. �What other good advice do you have for me?�
�That depends on whether or not you need any,� Martin replied. �Have you used your great strength to scare anyone else besides Mike, even without laying a hand on them?�
�I did keep walking towards Margaret when she backed away,� Andrew replied.
�Why was she backing away from you?� Martin asked. �What did you do to scare her so badly?�
�I got hit by ten tranquilizer darts without getting knocked out,� Andrew bragged.
Martin dropped his pen as he gasped in shock.
�Did you just say ten tranquilizer darts?� he asked, when he found his voice again.
�Yeah man, I did,� Andrew replied, grinning as he realized how strong he really was. �I knew my father�s strength therapy would make me stronger, but not in that way!�
�That�s why it's more important than ever that you learn to control your great strength now,� Martin decided. �From what you�ve told me, conventional methods of overpowering you have little effect.�
�That�s nothing,� Andrew declared. �At the hospital, Dr. Johnson chained me to the bed as he gave me some sedatives. But when I woke up, I snapped those chains as if they were twigs! I loved it!�
�That�s�very scary,� Martin admitted, looking terrified. �Don�t go sharing that information with anyone else, especially not anyone at school. If your friends learned that you can�t be restrained, they�d be even more scared of you than they are now.�
�Okay man,� Andrew agreed. �I hope I can tell you everything though.�
�You can, as long as you don�t drop bombshells like that next time,� Martin advised him. �I can�t help you if I�m too shocked to talk. Now, I think we got a bit off topic. What would you do in those situations instead of scaring people?�
�Maybe treat them just like Carrie,� Andrew decided.
�Excellent,� Martin agreed. �That�s perfect. You could pretend that everyone you talk to is Carrie, and treat them just as gently as you treat her. As I recall, it was my guidance that helped you treat her so gently as your physical strength increased. Of course there is another way that would help you and others at the same time.�
�What way would that be?� Andrew asked, fascinated.
�Why don�t you just act as if Mr. Malcolm were around all the time? If you ask yourself �What would Mr. Malcolm think?� you should be able to train yourself to be gentle around others. It will help everyone get more comfortable with you, and help you learn how to handle the attention of others without getting uncomfortable.�
"I'm not sure I understand you sir," Andrew said, looking confused. "How will being gentle around other people help me handle the attention from them?"
"I'll try to explain it Andrew, not just to you, but myself as well," Martin assured him, realizing that he hadn't really thought about what he had just told Andrew. I must be too scared of how Andrew is too strong to be restrained! "By being gentle with others, you won't be showing off your great strength all the time. People will tend to leave you alone after a while, not because you scared them away, but in fact because you didn't! Do you get it Andrew?"
"I still don't get it Martin," Andrew replied, remembering not to call him 'sir' this time. "I don't mean any disrespect, but I don't think that you get it either!"
"You're right, I don't," Martin agreed. "But even though it�s hard for just me to figure it out, if we work together, I know we can do it. It's a very important insight I had, I just need your help to find the right words to express it."
"I think I know where you're going with this," Andrew said, a gleam of realization appearing in his eyes. "You're thinking that I'm somewhat of a local celebrity and you want to help me deal with the media attention before I get swarmed like Hollywood celebrities."
"That's it exactly!" Martin realized. "Very good for you Andrew. You see, you don't show off too much around Mr. Malcolm, do you? In fact, from what your father told me earlier, you have to be persuaded to show off your great strength, even when it's necessary for you to do so!"
"You're right sir," Andrew agreed. "I want to avoid being swarmed by media and my friends, because all the attention makes me really shy! That's why I was so reluctant to move the tree off the road today!"
"I didn't realize that," Martin replied. "But that does explain why the crowd dispersed relatively quickly after you helped them out. You did just enough to help them when they needed it, but not enough to deliberately attract their attention, or the attention of the media. After all, you didn't even know the news crews had videotaped your amazing display of strength until they told you themselves, did you?"
"No I didn't Martin," Andrew agreed. "I've never been one to 'crave the spotlight' like so many Hollywood celebrities do these days."
"Exactly Andrew!" Martin shouted in excitement, standing up and pointing a finger at Andrew. "You don't crave attention; the media knows this and so do all your fans. So, out of respect for your great strength and the beneficial way you use it, everyone leaves you alone once you have helped them out. That way, the attention from your fans doesn't overwhelm you and you have time to recover from it. Then you're better able to handle it next time, knowing that you won't get swarmed!"
"That's a very good analysis and a very good way for me to handle the attention of others," Andrew realized. "I bet I could use my 150 IQ to compress that long analysis into one sentence now."
"Go right ahead Andrew," Martin said, noticing the smug, but quiet, grin on Andrew's face. "Let's hear it."
"If I only show off my great strength once in a while, instead of every day, then I won't have to deal with the media and my fans every day either," Andrew said. "Then I can handle the occasional attention I get from people, because it won't be as intense or as frequent as it would be if I showed off all the time."
"That was two sentences Andrew, not just one!" Martin teased him. When he noticed Andrew glaring at him with an amused twinkle in his eye, he added, "But I think you explained it very well anyway!"
"Thank you Martin," Andrew said. "That long but excellent analysis of yours was a good suggestion on how to handle the attention from other people. In essence, moderation is the key: starting with my displays of great strength."
"Now, there's the one sentence that sums everything up Andrew!" Martin shouted in excitement. "And it doesn't just apply to crowds of people, but individual people as well! If you moderate your great strength, you won't crush people's hands when you shake them, or bruise people when you pat their shoulders or hug them!"
�That's a very good point sir," Andrew realized. "After all, I don�t want people to think of me as a bully, and if I hurt them all the time, even accidentally, they will think I�m a bully. I want Miami to love me as well and I want to be a humble athlete for the news cameras down there. It only makes sense to start preparing for that journey to Miami today. But speaking of down there, how do you know the name of my future football coach? Did my dad tell you?�
�Yes, he did,� replied Martin. �It wasn�t in the papers,� he added, holding one up. �They just mentioned that the scout from the University of Miami was very impressed with your athletic skills.�
�Well, that�s good,� Andrew said. �I�m glad that you�ve been keeping track of all the attention I have received.�
�I have three papers, and a number of news clips,� Martin realized. �I�ve lost count of how many times you've been in the news. If the crowd hadn't run after Steve with cameras, you might have had another media frenzy right there.�
�I hope not,� Andrew sighed. �I need the rest. I won�t be able to put your advice to good use if I don�t get some time to think it over. But I guess that was the first example of that moderation you were talking about earlier. By not taking an opportunity to 'hog the spotlight', I made sure that it wasn't directed at me, but someone else who needed the attention instead! Thanks for explaining all that to me sir!"
�You�re welcome, I�m glad that I could help you Andrew,� Martin said, standing up and shaking Andrew�s hand. �Now let�s go outside and try a strength test, as I mentioned earlier.�
�What do you want me to do?� Andrew asked, as Martin led him outside to the driveway. �We�re not going to do this in front of the house, are we?�
�Maybe I should park my van behind the garage,� Martin realized. �Then you can lift it safely, away from prying eyes. That way, you won�t have to deal with a media frenzy today. I imagine the break from the cameras would be a good birthday present for you."
�You�re right sir,� Andrew agreed. �And that�s a very good suggestion: that I lift the van in the backyard. I have only lifted a van once before, so I will need the space to concentrate lifting the van safely.�
�Yes I saw you lift a van for the first time on the news a few hours ago,� Martin agreed. �That was amazing! But I�d like to see it in person if you don�t mind.�
�Sure, I'll do that for you, since you asked nicely,� Andrew said, walking beside the van as Martin drove it into the backyard. �Would you like me to lift the van with you inside it?�
Martin�s hands froze on the steering wheel as he slammed onto the brakes.
�What did I tell you earlier about dropping bombshells?� he snapped at Andrew in shock. He took a few breaths to calm down. �I mean, you have to find a way to gradually introduce others to your great strength, demonstrating that moderation we talked so much about just now! You don�t want everyone to be shocked speechless and scared of you, do you Andrew?�
�Of course not,� Andrew realized. �I�m sorry man, it just slipped out. But you never answered my question.�
�If you think you can safely lift my van with me inside it, go right ahead,� Martin advised him. �I trust you, and I�m proving it by putting my life in your hands now. Whenever you�re ready.�
Martin put on his seatbelt and locked the door as Andrew stepped up to the front bumper. Then he braced himself as Andrew slowly lifted the front end of the van, only showing some slight strain. Martin was too shocked to move, but he also didn�t want to distract Andrew by moving around. He had to bite his tongue to keep from yelling in fear though, as he felt the whole van lift off the ground.
Under the van, Andrew straightened his arms, excited at how light the van seemed to him. Maybe the van is light because it�s not loaded up with news equipment, he thought to himself, as he shoulder-pressed it a few times to reach his limit. Andrew then let the back end of the van down first, to test himself with the weight of the engine. Then he let the front end of the van down to the ground and looked up at Martin.
Martin�s hands were frozen on the steering wheel and his face was white with shock. Andrew waved at him and Martin slowly blinked and released his hands from the wheel. The color slowly came back to his face as Andrew walked over to the driver�s door. Martin unlocked the door, undid his seatbelt and slowly stepped out of his van. Andrew closed the van door for him as Martin walked past him into the house in stunned silence. Then Andrew followed him into the living room.
�How was that?� Andrew asked Martin, grinning as Martin slowly sat down on the couch. �I bet you didn�t think I could lift the van with you inside it, did you?�
�No I didn�t,� Martin agreed, finally able to speak. �When I first saw you lift the new van, I was never sure if it was a media trick or not. Now I know that you really are stronger than anyone else! Congratulations man!�
He stood up quickly and shook Andrew�s hand. Andrew had to concentrate hard to make his grip gentle, since he was still really excited about his great strength.
�Thanks man,� Andrew said. �I�m glad you got a rise out of me. Quite literally in fact!�
�Very funny!� Martin laughed, �Making jokes about scaring me half to death! I thought I was going to have a heart attack!�
�You were pretty white in the face for a moment there,� Andrew remembered. �Are you sure you�re okay? I didn�t mean to scare you so badly.�
�My heartbeat is getting back to normal now,� Martin told him. �But I think I�m worn out now. I am glad however, that you didn't crush my hand when you shook it, even though you were really excited."
"I had to concentrate really hard to make sure that my grip was gentle enough," Andrew informed him.
"That's it Andrew; concentration and control," Martin said, smiling at Andrew. "You're already putting everything we've talked about into practice. Concentration and control are two integral components of moderation, which will help you, and others, manage your great strength for the rest of your life. We've covered everything I wanted to in this session, except for one thing.� He picked up the papers with Andrew on the cover and held them out to Andrew. �Do you think you could sign these for me please?�
�Sure I can man,� Andrew agreed, taking a pen out of his pocket and signing the three papers. He handed them back to Martin and said, �There you go.�
�Thank you Andrew," Martin said. "You have an autograph pen now?� he asked, pointing to the pen in Andrew�s hand.
�What this old thing?� Andrew asked, holding up the pen. �I found it under the front seat of my car, so I put it in my pocket. Do you think I enjoy signing autographs so much that I actually carry around a special autograph pen? After all I�ve just told you about how embarrassing I find the attention from all my fans?�
�I guess I was mistaken,� Martin realized. �Sorry about that. But you certainly didn�t seem embarrassed by the attention from me. In fact, you seemed very relaxed.�
�I am relaxed, when I show off my great strength around one person at a time,� Andrew agreed. �But with a whole crowd of people, it�s a different story.�
�I think that is the final key to handling the attention of other people,� Martin realized. �If you find that you can't handle the attention from a whole crowd of strangers, only show off your great strength around a few people you trust. If your friends and family become too much like fans, then reserve displays of your great strength for only one person, one who you know won't tell anyone else."
"I think that doing all that in the reverse order from how you mentioned it would be the most effective way," Andrew informed Martin. "After all, showing off in front of everyone first would guarantee that tales of my great strength would slip out to strangers!"
"Thank you for explaining that to me Andrew; you're quite right," Martin realized. "Thanks also for signing my papers, and looking after Mike.�
�He�s a good kid,� Andrew said. �Wait, he�s probably 18 now. He�s a good young man, I mean.�
�Yes he is,� Martin agreed. �So are you for helping him out in the gym. Well, it�s getting late, so I�d better let you get home. See you tomorrow.�
�Why will I see you tomorrow?� Andrew asked, standing up.
�Mike will probably want to start weight training with you tomorrow,� Martin informed him. �If you could bring him home after school and wait for me here, I�d appreciate it. Maybe you could join us for dinner tomorrow night, when I get home from work.�
�I�d be delighted to do that, if it wasn't my sister's birthday tomorrow,� Andrew agreed, remembering once again that it was early Sunday morning. �But what if I bring Mike home later in the week? Would that be okay with you?"
"That sounds good to me Andrew," Martin said. "You have my permission to take Mike along to your sister's birthday party tomorrow, if he wants to go that is."
"As long as it�s okay with my dad, I don�t mind inviting him,� Andrew agreed. He walked to the front door and opened it, as Martin followed him. �I just want to say thank you again for helping me so much tonight.�
�You�re welcome,� Martin said, shaking Andrew�s hand again. �See you later in the week Andrew! Goodnight!�
�Goodnight!� Andrew shouted back.
Martin watched and waved as Andrew got in his car and headed home. Then he went inside and went to bed.
Sean Lackie
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