His body was, in one word, perfect. He had being swimming since he was ten years old and his body had been modeled by every stroke of his arms and legs in the water. Besides, his father had inherited him with the genes of a tall figure and his mother graced him with blonde hair and green eyes. His name was Adam but he was never mocked because of his name. No biblical puns or funny names were said in school, nothing ever said a word about him in secret except what he already knew: in the eyes of every single person, he was perfect. And since he knew it from a very young age, he had developed a personality around that fact. He wasn’t cocky but he knew who he was and always-made sure people were aware of that.
Adam, of course, had many love interests in school. He started dating at age fourteen and since then he managed to be, not only physically perfect, but also romantic and a smooth talker, enchanting anyone who would cross his path. The truth was he loved that kind of attention and also the fact that he could anyone into his world, into his arm or even his bed, if that was what he wanted. People wanted him and also wanted to be him. He even had groupies by the time he finished school and had more than enough messages in his yearbook and invitations to the prom. But then, he surprised them all by stating he was unable to attend. For many, most to be exact, it was the last time they saw Adam and they would never forget his perfection.
He had only a couple of friends and they had insisted on him becoming a model. He did do it a couple of times for the money but wasn’t really interested in that world. He just wanted to swim and keep swimming because in the pool he became even more than Adam. In the swimming pool, facing other swimmers, he was always the best, most gracious and most threatening contestant. That was because every single person’s attention was always on him. His body was the focus point of every eye, every mobile device in the place and when he swam, people were frantic when cheering him on. They just loved him and always wanted him, perfection, to be up there, getting the first place he deserved because he was who he was.
Adam’s parents had always been proud of their son and never actually tried to have another one. Weirdly enough, it was him who encouraged them to adopt a child when he had left home. He thought they had been great parents and told them they should spread their goodness all over the world. And so they did: they adopted James, a boy taken from a home where he had been beaten and blamed for everything. Adam served as a model for him and James became one more of his groupies. He would yell the loudest and cheer like there was no tomorrow. And Adam knew and he felt good, even better than ever because he was perfect in more than one-way.
Was Adam full of himself? Yes, he was. But who wouldn’t be, being as perfect as he was. Any guy or girl would feel the luckiest if Adam would even talk to them for a second and so it happened when he went out with friends. Even in the darkness of the clubs, the heat and the noise, people would still move over for him to pass and for him to be first, always. It was funny to see how people treated him like a king or something even more celestial. He was almost a god and he knew it and liked it. He didn’t really took advantage of it, not even when he won a gold medal, he was always a perfect gentleman and his competitors praised him often, saying he was the definition of a good sportsman.
But then, something changed. Adam liked challenges because he had always been able to overcome them but, this time, that wasn’t going to be possible. It wasn’t a competitor but one of his companions who made him stumble for the first time in his life. They had met only once and he had not even acknowledged Adam’s presence. He ignored him every day of the competition until the last day, when Adam won the final gold medal and the man’s friend won the bronze one. The tall blonde guy greeted his competitors and it was then when they first set eyes on each other. If they had been machines, the place would have exploded. That’s how he felt. He was so taken aback that, for the first time in his life, his expression was clueless.
Adam went to the shower in his hotel room, and stayed there for several minutes, under very cold water. Somehow, cold water had always made him think straight, something he hadn’t been able to do for the last hour. That guy and his eyes had taken him by surprise and had moved everything that had been happening inside since he was a little boy. He decided to forget all about it just go visit his parents. But there, he noticed something inside of him had changed. He didn’t care for compliments anymore or at least not when they came form people he didn’t know. Some congratulated him for his wins in the swimming pool and girls smiled at him, but he couldn’t care less.
That man had done something to him, that ugly little man. Adam knew he was perfect but had never bothered to compare himself to anyone, less of all in a derogatory way. But then, in his old room at night, he realized he saw that man as a little chubby asshole that had dared to confront him in his own arena. He clenched his fists with such strength; he felt his hands numb after a while. That week back home was wasted on thinking about the man that had struck his head with lighting and now wouldn’t let go. But he had more things to think about, like a career after swimming and training for the Olympics.
Adam had decided to leave swimming competitions after the Olympics. His dream had always been winning a gold medal and register his name forever in the registry of sport’s history. He wanted to be the best and for everyone to know, now and forever, he was the best. The training was harsh and it was then when some more people realized how far from perfection Adam was. It happened first with a girl he went out in a date with. She was enthralled with the idea of meeting him but left after he told her she would be lucky to have him in any way. His eyes, his looks, they didn’t stop her from leaving the restaurant and everyone to look at him, perfect but alone and ashamed.
It was the first time and it would happen more and more often but he decided not to ay any attention to all of it. After all, he had to train everyday for hours in order to qualify for his country into the world championships and then the Olympics. He spent almost eight months training every single day, his body hurting his psyche everyday but determined to achieve his goal. He beat every other competitor with ease and qualified for the world championships with ease. His performance then was almost perfect; blowing the minds of every single person that had ever seen such an event take place. The only failure was that in his last competition, he lost focus for a single second which put him in second place. He won the competition but he knew there was room for improvement.
As he planned to take on modeling after leaving he swimming world, he decided to do various shoots before the Olympics. This way, he would be known both as model and as a world-class swimmer. Time passed and he became more and more focused, more and more serious about it all. He got to Olympics early and enjoyed the opening ceremony where his world began crumbling down again: in the group that had travelled with him, he could see the guy that so many years ago had won the bronze medal. What if his friend was near? What if he saw those eyes again, those eyes that seemed to look through souls and concrete alike?
Again, he showered with cold water and began participation in the Olympic games. He won three gold medals on the same day and even shared the podium with the guy’s friend. He never saw him and his fears vanished. There was a huge party on a boat to celebrate all the medals won by the country and it was there he saw him again. His mind had clearly played with him, as he was nothing as he had imagined him for so much time. He was short and clearly not an athlete but his eyes were not only lethal but beautiful. Adam had liked men and women alike since he was a boy, he had never seen gender as a factor in a relationship but when he saw the guy, his heart skipped a beat.
He was nervous all night. He got very drunk and kissed two different girls, promising them the world. But then disappeared, leaving the docked boat and walking to a bunch of crates, were he vomited profusely. For the first time in years, he had lost control over everything. His body was not perfect anymore and he felt horrible and weak and common. And then, he heard some footsteps. He turned his head and it was exactly the person he had thought about: the guy with thunder eyes. He felt weak again and fainted.
The next day, he woke up in a hospital were his stomach had been cleaned and he had been treated for intoxication. The guy was not there but he felt those eyes on his head and started to scream. That day, Adam lost his mind. He wasn’t going to be a model anymore, or the sportsman of the year. His mind was gone and the only thing that was left was the memory of his fear to fail, that finally eaten away that shell called perfection.