Red Cherries

by Benjamin J. Conner

Chapter 6 "To be in love"

I woke up in the middle of the night and panicked. It felt like as if I couldn't breathe anymore. There was sweat all over my body. Freeing myself from the sleeping bag I furiously crawled out of it, trying to get my breathe back.

Josh woke up.

"Sam, what are you doing?"

"I....can't breathe" I stammered holding on my neck with my hands.

"Sam...SAM...lay down and try to relax, I'm here, relax!"

I tried but it didn't work. Josh softly put his hands on my chest as he had done before to calm me down.

It took more than thirty seconds before my breathe returned to normal and my heartbeat slowed down. Josh was still holding on me and continued whispering, that he was there. I recovered and finally was okay.

Some minutes later I started to tremble from the coldness of the wet element that covered my body. Joshua opened his sleeping bag which was unused by now and got into it covering me up from behind. Taking his shirt he wiped the sweat off of my face.

"You ok?" he asked worried.

"Yeah I'm fine but freezing."

His hands were everywhere on my body rubbing on it to warm me up. He spooned me and I relaxed but felt like I had just passed the half mile sprint.

Some minutes later my body had taken over his warmth; the trembling stopped and the pain of my bruises also faded away again.

"What's happening?" Josh asked.

"I don't know, perhaps I'd a bad dream....don't know."

"It's ok, I'll take care of you. You saved my life and now I'm gonna save your's."

I wasn't sure if Josh was already asleep because we didn't talk for the next couple of minutes. Our sleeping bag had warmed up and the cozy feeling was back.

"Josh?" I whispered.


"What we did tonight....was that ok for you or are you feeling bad about it?"


"You mean no like it was not ok?"

"I mean, I don't feel bad about it."

"So you're ok with it?"

"Yeah, it felt......good."

"For me too."

The next minutes again were filled with silence. I felt Josh's skin on mine and that was all I needed. Perhaps I have been scared that this had only been a dream or that he would feel sorry about it. I never knew what I wanted, but this time I was sure and didn't question it anymore. We were in love, though I never knew what this word could mean or what it would do to my body.

"Thank you Josh."

He stroked my shoulder and put his hand in mine. I grabbed it and put it on my belly closing my eyes.

The last thing I know was that he was softly playing with my navel before I entered slumber land and hoped to not wake up before the morning.

"Morning my love" my mom said to her husband.

"Morning sweetheart, how did you sleep?" he asked hugging her.

"Oh it was wonderful and I don't want to miss the next action scene of that movie."

"You won't. I promise" he said kissing my mother "the boys awake already?"

"No, nothing's moving there."

They both looked out of the kitchen window over to the tent before my mom poured a cup of coffee for her beloved.

"I wonder what they were doing all night" my mother more said to herself.

"What all boys would do, drag the night for as long as possible and fall asleep fed up with all the stuff you provided."


"What's on your mind? Still going for that gay thing?"

"No, I mean perhaps - we both don't know really, do we?"

"As I said, they are just boys and Sam has never had any sexual interests by now. Don't worry, they're fine."

He didn't know how wrong he was.

"What if we go and peek on them, just a quick look?"

"You are obsessed with that thought aren't you?"

"No, I just....can't you understand that I want to protect our son?"

"Sure, but you are overprotective at the moment. Come here and show me that you love me, wife!" he said with a mischievous grin on his face.

"Here I come bad boy, but you better be prepared for what you're asking for."

"I am, always have been!"

My dreams were interrupted by a wet and warm feeling on my lips. I opened my eyes and saw Josh's face right in front of mine. He looked at me with an innocent smile. His right leg was in between mine and it felt wonderfully smooth to wake up being so close to him. Of course I had a morning boner down there - and that was not only because of the coke we had finished.

The brightness of the day lit up the tent. It was warm inside of our sleeping bag, which was not as wide as mine and therefore we had to be very close together to fit into it.

I could also feel his hard thing down there, looked around and sighed.

"What?" Josh asked.

"I need a pee."

"Me too, but I didn't wanna go out without you."

We put on our shirts and did as mother nature told us. After leaving the tent, we lined up behind it, pulled out our dicks and let go. It was a wonderful feeling to get all that unneeded stuff out of our bodies.

"Jerking more than twice is wanking." I said.

"So what?"

"Nothing, but I guess it's not a good thing to do in the garden, is it?"

We both laughed and let our boxers snap back on before we entered the tent again and sat down on our sleeping bags cross-legged. This made me feel the bruise on my knee again and I stretched my legs making contact with Josh's. I still had the butterflies in my tummy as we looked at each other.

"I feel funny."

"Me too."

"It's my tummy, it's like as if I got hit, but then I don't feel bad at all."

"Yeah, exactly."

I thought about it for a moment and asked "You feel the same?"

"Guess so, but what is it?"

"Don't know, but it'll go away."

"I hope so."

"Let's keep that between us, ok?"

"Yeah, definitely!"

We both were intrigued by the love for each other but neither of us was able to interpret the feelings we had, which were only present, when we were together.

"Knock Knock, anybody home?" my mom's voice was heard from outside.

"Come in!" I said and opened the zipper again.

"Hey boys, how are you? I thought I'd bring you some toast and some hot chocolate as breakfast."

"Wow mum, that's spot on!"

"Yeah!" Josh added as she handed us a wooden tablet with all we needed to enjoy ourselves.

"How did you sleep?"

"Good, it was perfect."

"Great, you two enjoy your meal and whenever you need anything, just let me know."

"We will mom, thanks."

"Yes, thanks Rebecca."

"You are welcome!"

We feasted on the presented breakfast looking at each other smiling now and then. His face was so perfect, his eyes bluer than any others I knew and the lips I was allowed to feel on mine last night, just longed for more; I wanted them to ask for more.

"What happened with you last night?" Josh asked.

"I've no fucking clue."

"I've been scared."

"Me too, really...thanks that you helped me."

"Sure, I'll never let you down."

"You know, aehm....can I ask you something?"


"You....still like me?"

"Yeah I do, Sam."

I felt my heart beat faster and my tummy was cramping up like never before. This was the moment of truth.

"I ask, because.......I more than just like you. I mean, I'm not queer or something. But I think.....what would you think, if I said that...I loved you?" I asked in a meek voice.

"Don't know...just say it if you like!"

"Come on Josh, don't make it harder than it already is, I know you feel the same."

"What's so hard about it?"

"You're a boy....but still....I've those feelings for you."

"Than say it for god's sake....say that you love me. I may only be twelve and for most people I'm a total geek, but I know about myself.....and I love you Sam. You can hate me and you can send me away, but I feel this way. So say it, please!" he begged.

"You really love me?" I asked full of disbelief and equally hope.

"Will you say it?"



"I love you, Josh."

With closed eyes he dropped his head and sighed. Obviously some weight had fallen from his shoulders. Josh really was a surprise to me on that. I never expected him to be so brave about his feelings and of course never thought he would say that to me.

"I love you too."

Feeling like a little kid that was caught with a hand in the cookie jar I tried to act as normal as possible.

"What...what does that mean for us?"

"I don't know."

"Yeah, as always."

"I feel good about it" Josh said with a confident voice.

"Me too, I never thought you would have the same feelings, though it's awkward in some ways."


"Perhaps it's because I've never been in love before, not mentioning you....a boy."

"Me neither, but I don't feel awkward. I really feel good about it and always knew I liked you when you passed our house, and actually I never stopped thinking of you since my dad's funeral."

" are really..."


"No, but I never thought you would feel like that. I always thought you were....awww forget it."

"I also didn't know, but when you stroked my back and I could hear your heartbeat yesterday, I knew you feel the same."

I was stunned by what he said so open hearted like if he was 16 or so. From one moment to another he matured and acted like a self-confident boy who didn't seem to question anything in the entire world. Knowing that side of the coin only made me love him more. Even if we both didn't know the exact meaning of love and the effects on us, we were looking forward to learning about it together.

"I guess that makes us gay, doesn't it?" I said.

"You can't tell anyone!"

"Nooo, of course not, but....I never thought I was gay."

"Is it so horrifying?"

"No idea, guess not since it's you."

"My uncle's gay."


"Yeah, he's a cool guy."

"Perhaps we can ask him about it?"

"About what?"

"Being gay.

"Nooo, I'm not telling anyone!"

"Let's try to act as normally as possible, ok?"

"I am normal."

"No you're not!"

"Why do you said that."

I made up my mind about it for a minute, because I never thought about Josh being normal."

"Cos you're special to me."

We smiled at each other. He leaned in, stopped for a second only an inch in front of my face while we looked into each other's eyes.

"I love your eyes, Sam" he said before he kissed me.

The warm and sweet taste of him always made me close my eyes and focus on what we were doing. The intensity we discovered by being close to one another was tremendous.

After we had this incredible talk and the breakfast finished, we packed our things and walked back to our house. Josh had promised his mom, that he would be over by 3pm so they would have some time together.

But this didn't happen before we went upstairs to my room, which I likely wanted to be called OUR room, and enjoyed the others presence one last time this day.

We sat down on the bed and even if we just opened up to each other, we felt peculiar about it. But we both longed for it, more than we admitted to ourselves. Ok, the French kissing thing was not what we went for in first place, but just to feel my lips on his, and my hands on his muscular but soft calves, his chest or his neck had so thrilling effects on me.

After our talk I was able to stroke his cheeks or his back without feeling strange anymore. I was just able to be myself and Josh also seemed to like the freedom we just discovered. Nobody was there to interrupt us, nobody was there to hold us back. We finally were free and enjoyed the presence of the other.

An hour later, Josh had to leave. By the time he left, I was missing him already and felt sick. If you ever experienced such a love, you know exactly what I am talking about. You feel if you just gave your heart to someone who was running away with it and you wouldn't be able to catch up no matter what you do. I laid down on my bed and thought about the last night, when Josh put his lips around my tongue or when we kissed and exchanged cherries - the red cherries...our fortune.

Thinking of it, I got aroused and had to relieve myself full of thoughts about my love as he was standing in my bath room, naked.

"MOM, I'M HOME!" Josh shouted as he opened the door to their house.

"Heyyy there you are, come here!"

She deeply hugged her son and kissed him everywhere she could get her lips on.

"Mom....MOM! It's okay, I missed you too."

"It's so good to have you back. How was it?"

"It was soo cool, we spent the night in a tent and had lot's of chips, gummi bears, coke and so on."

"Really? That sounds like a lot of fun?"

"Yeah we had. I go to my room ok?"

"I prepared some cheese cake. Perhaps we can sit down and enjoy it" she said full of expectations.

"Not now mom, perhaps later ok? Can I go upstairs?"

"Sure. Can I get you anything?"

"No, thanks!"

With that, Josh went upstairs.

Marie was a little worried since her son had never left out a piece of cheese cake, especially not a fresh one. But Josh had other things on his mind.

He felt all confused about being apart from me, just as I did. Dropping his backpack in the nearest corner of his room he laid down on his bed and looked at the poster of his dad's truck.

We both were unable to look into the future. What our love would mean to us, how we could handle it. How we could be together without telling and finally how we could spend time together as much as we wanted to.

It was a sad feeling. Not only because discovering such thing as love means commitment, when you throw yourself in it with all you have. But also because there was no reliable recipe for surviving the time when you are not with the one who holds your heart.

Only those people who ever truly loved someone can understand how incredibly strong those feelings can be. They can make you laugh in one second and cry in the next - but both would make you feel all the love you have inside - not matter what.

Marie noticed that something was up and followed her son to his room. Unfortunately she didn't knock and found him distraught sitting on his bed.

"Hey, can I come in?" she asked with a soft voice.


"What's wrong? What happened?"

"Nothing mom" Josh said and wiped away his tears.

"You can tell me pookie bear, I'm here."

"Can we lay down?"

"Of course we can, come here!"

Josh snuggled up to his mom who put her hands around him and slowly stroked Josh's back softly singing 'Bye bye Blackbird'.

After about half an hour Marie spoke up to her son.

"Hey sweetie, what's bothering you, is it about Sam?"

No answer can be an answer after all.

"You like him very much, don't you?" she asked.

"Yeah, I do..."

"Does he like you the same way?"


"And you.....already miss him, right?"

"How do you know?"

"Well, I've seen you two together and remember, I know you for twelve years now."

Some minutes of silence.

"What am I supposed to do?"

"Do what your heart tells you. Look, there's no rule to follow when you like someone, but the one thing I can tell you...I love you, no matter what."

"I love you too, mom."

With that she gave Josh some space and went downstairs preparing a tea for her son. But not before she picked up the phone and dialed.


"Hey sis, how are you?" Marie's brother answered.

"I'm fine Jack. Listen, I need to talk to you."

"What's wrong?"

"Can you come over tomorrow?"

"Sure, I'll be there at...let's say 5pm?"

"That'd be wonderful, thank you Jack."



"Can you come downstairs, we need to talk to you."

"A minute" I answered after closing my notebook and pausing the videogame I was playing.

"Hey buddy!"

"Hey is it?"

"Sit down please!" my mom said and continued "there seemed to be some misleading indications we would like to talk to you about."

"What indications?"

"About you and Josh."

My dad was quiet and left the speaking to my mom.

"What about us?"

"Is there anything we need to worry about?"

"Like what?"

"Like you and Josh....uhm...being closer together as friends should be?"


"I saw you yesterday morning and you were coupled up, so I'm asking myself if...."

"Whooo Rebecca, easssy" my dad threw in and took over "let's go out for a walk and have a talk - only the two of us."

"But I..." mom intervened.

"No, please sweetheart!"

Dad waved at me to follow him and we both left my mother alone in the living room as excited as she was. We went out in the garden and sat down on the bench close to the pool, which was lit up by the integrated lights. Steam was raising from the water.

"What's going on with mom?"

"She's a little worried."

"About what?"

"That you and Josh maybe....friends."

"But we are friends - he's the best friend I ever had. What's there to worry about?"

"It's great that you're friends, but to be honest she's afraid that you and Josh might be...more than friends."

"Yeah, I heard that inside."

"Are you?"

"I don't get it?!"

"Are you two a couple, like gay?"

"What if so?"

"Well nothing, I told your mom that this is ridiculous and even if so, it was your decision but to be honest, I hope it's not what she thinks."

I thought about it for a moment before answering. On the one hand I liked to be honest with him but on the other the last thing I wanted to do was disappoint my dad. He always had faith in me and tried to support me to be the strong man he was; so I lied.

"Yeah, you're right, that's ridiculous."

"I knew it. Forgive your mom for being overprotective."

"What did she want to protect me from anyway?"

"I've no idea. Let's get back in!"

He seemed to be relived and didn't want to hear anymore of this. We stood up from the bench, walked towards our house and entered through the back door.

"You can go upstairs, I will handle the rest" my dad said to me as he patted my back.

After entering my room I dropped on the bed and felt awful. It was clear now that I wasn't able to tell them about my love for Josh. I felt sick again - this time not for my love but for the lie I had to tell because of protecting my parents from the truth they weren't able to take. What was I supposed to do?

The pain I felt in my tummy and the love for Josh totally made me forget about my bruises and the pain they provided. I was all sad and started to cry for what or who I was.

I never did the wrong things and of course never had done anything to let my parents down, but now, when I needed them most, they would leave me on my own. That was not what I deserved.

The miserable situation I was in took over control and made me miss Josh even more. I longed to be with him, to feel him close to me, touch his skin, his face, stroke his back, kiss him and regain the completeness I only had, when we were together.

While my parents discussed the outcome of our talk I silently cried myself into the night until I finally fell asleep being exhausted from another demanding day; thinking of my first love - Joshua.

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