Red Cherries

by Benjamin J. Conner

Chapter 7 "Jack's way"

"Good morning honey" my mom greeted me, when I entered the kitchen at about 10 o'clock.

I was still confused about my feelings and in some ways angry with my parents because of their denial.

"You like a sandwich or cereals for breakfast?"

"Nothing."

"Nothing? But you need to eat something, honey!"

"No, thanks. I'm not hungry."

"Why not? What's wrong...hey...look at me..." my mum said and continued after a little inspection "...have you been crying?"

"No....I....got soap in my eyes, when I washed my face."

"Ah I see.....what about a hot chocolate?"

"Can I go out?"

"Not even..."

"Mom?"

"Sure, you know where to find me, when you need anything. Shall I..."

She didn't get to finish her sentence before I left the house. It was a cloudy day; just the way I felt. After closing the door I took a deep breath and slowly left our premises. Of course I should have been happy, because I was seeing my love again, but for some reason I had a tremendous pressure in my stomach.

'Do we have a future? How on earth are we going to work things out if my parents don't even think of supporting me' went through my head. The thing that was killing me was the perplexity - not just the simple facts of my parent's denial and my love to Josh. We had just admitted our love for each other and now everything seemed to fall apart. There was no way out.

When I reached the Nolan house, I didn't dare to ring the doorbell. Don't ask me why - I was just useless to everything at that moment. Sitting down on the veranda I buried my head between my arms with closed eyes.

Fifteen minutes or so later Josh opened the door and stepped outside.

"Sam? What are you doing there; why didn't you come in. I was waiting for you."

He came closer and sat down beside me.

"Sam?" he whispered.

"Yeah?"

"What's wrong?"

"Can we go inside?"

"Sure come on, we'll go to my room!"

After getting upstairs I laid down on Josh's bed. I felt better being at their house again; to smell the familiar scent and to have Josh at my side. He laid down next to me and softly stroked my arm.

"What's wrong Sam?"

"It's my parents. Yesterday they told me about their assumption that we both might be a couple and made clear that they don't want that to happen at all."

"What don't they want to happen?"

"Me being gay."

"But they can't change it."

"They can make my life a hell and stop us from seeing each other."

"No they can't, unless you have a cage in your house" he said smiling full of confidence.

"Listen Josh, I can't do this. Since yesterday, all my life is upside down and nothing's the same anymore. All I can think of is you and when I'm alone it's like my heart stops beating."

"But I feel the same Sam."

"So what are we gonna do?"

"My mom knows."

"YOU TOLD HER? How could you do this - we promised to keep this between us!" I said getting up from the bed.

"Listen Sam! She just knew it. I came home and missed you already and she knew what's going on. What was I supposed to do, lie to her?"

"YEAH! You shouldn't have done that, everybody's going to know....oh my god, I'm fucked, I am soo fucked."

"Sam, calm down please!"

"I need to get outta here" I said and walked towards the door.

Josh jumped up from the bed and stopped me.

"Please Sam, don't leave."

"BUT WHAT CAN WE DO?"

"My mom's going to help us, she won't tell anybody."

"Get out of my way!"

"No."

I grabbed Joshua and tried to fight him down so I was able to get out of this place. Being unable to think clearly I just wanted to be alone. However, Josh wouldn't let me go so easily.

"Ok Sam, you can leave if you tell me, that you don't love me, cos I love you more than anything and I want you to stay with me, pleassse!"

"Nooo!"

"Say it, and you can go."

"Why did you do that?"

"I didn't do anything. We'll be okay, I promise."

I wasn't going to say that I don't love him, because I felt as much love for Josh as he did for me. So I let go, put my arms around him and cried for the situation we were trapped in.

He embraced me and led us back to the bed where he softly helped me to lie down, before I felt his body close to mine. Again it was Josh who acted like a grown up and consoled me by stroking my back.

After some minutes I regained my composure. He leaned in and gave me a kiss. To have his lips on mine made me feel recharged somehow. My energy came back and I caressed his back after lifting his shirt a little bit so I could reach for his bare and velvety-soft skin. This was the first time our tongues met after the red cherries have shown us a way to find each other.

I guess that was, what I really needed that day - to feel my love being reflected in Josh's eyes and his behavior. We both laid there entangled and enjoyed some peace after a frightening night and morning.

"Can I stay here with you?"

When I asked that, the door opened and Marie stepped into the room. We both immediately backed off from each other and tried to act normal; by this day I already hated the word normal, because I never got to understand by whom the definition normal had been made.

"Hey you two."

"Hi mom."

"Hey Marie."

"I'm sorry, I better learn to knock at the door. However, I'm back home and I'll have some tea and snacks for you in a couple of minutes if you want?"

"Sure, that'd be cool." Josh answered.

"Ok great. I'll call and until then, I leave you two alone.....oh before I forget it; Josh, can you be at home by five or stay here - uncle Jack's coming over."

"Cool, yeah I will; can Sam stay also?"

"Of course, make sure Rebecca knows about it."

After the short talk and her surprisingly cool reaction on finding us that way, we both felt relieved.

"See, I told you, she's cool with us."

"I don't know.....have to get used to it. I nearly got a heart attack."

"Yeah me too."

"My mom would have totally freaked out."

"You really think so?"

"Yeah definitely."

"So....you don't want to leave anymore?"

"No, I never wanted for real."

Josh was excited that we would meet his uncle and would be able to talk to him about us. I still wasn't sure if I wanted to do that or if I would sneak out before he arrived. Any way, I needed to call my mother for permission to stay here, so I got up and headed downstairs to the phone. Josh always stayed at my side.

My mom said it was ok for me to stay until dinner. So we had plenty of time; watched some TV, played a table game with Marie and had lunch together which I enjoyed very much. It seemed that we were at peace at their place and could be who we were. She didn't even say anything or put on a strange look when Josh sometimes would take my hand and hold it for a second. To be honest - I loved it when he acted so freely and neither of us had to be ashamed about anything.

"Ok boys, can we sit down for a minute and talk?"

'Here we go...' I thought.

"Sure mom."

"Listen, I know that you two like each other very much. And at your age, it might occur that your hormones go crazy inside of your body. That can make you do various things; some you might like, others you don't."

"What're you talking about mom?"

"Please, let me finish. I have a brother, you Sam might have heard about. He is gay and has known it since the age of 12. During that time, it was nearly a crime to be gay and I was the only one he told. I am two years older than Jack and really love him for the brother he is. However, when he discovered that he had different preferences as other's he tried things out, that sometimes made him very sad. Let me just put it this way – boys are easier on sex than girls are."

"Mooom!"

"I know this is really....difficult for you to understand. But all I want is to help you understand your decision and have a wonderful time together. That's why I asked my brother to come by and be there for you, so you can ask him about his life. He won't be judging you, he only will be there for your support, remember that. Is that ok for both of you?"

"Yeah mom."

Josh took my hand while I was nodding my consent.

"Ok, great - I want you to understand, that I am here to help and also protect you, no matter what; and Sam, you are welcome to talk to me also, whenever you want. Please do me just one favor. If you want to talk about it to anyone else, ask me before you do it, because it can have an immense effect on your life and I don't want you to get hurt, ok?!"

We both agreed to the idea and wanted to go upstairs again to spend some time on our own before Jack would arrive.

"Sam?"

"Can I talk to you for a second, alone?"

"Yes."

"Do your parents know about you?"

"No. They have an idea, but wouldn't support me anyway. They would probably hate me if they'd known about it."

"They won't hate you. But it's hard to understand for them and sometimes parents accuse themselves for their kids being different. That's the problem."

"What can I do?"

"Nothing at the moment, give them some time. Don't rush it and whenever you need someone, I am here for you."

"Thanks Marie" I said hugging her before I went upstairs.

"Your mom's really cool."

"Yeah she is. Wanna sleep-over tonight?"

"Don't know if I'm allowed to."

"Then ask!"

Marie was ok with it. Now only my mom stood between us and another night together. She didn't know if it was a good idea after all the time I had spent with Joshua, but finally also agreed to it. She must have noticed that I have been quite down this morning and she didn't want to see me sad after all. This was the first moment when I thought that there might be hope for Josh and me. Perhaps she had accepted the thought, or she forgot about it and saw us just as very close friends.

Since I didn't know what my dad had told her after our talk, the last thing for me was to question her decision. To be honest with you, I would have stayed anyway.

Josh and I listened to some music together - mainly country songs he knows from his dad. I also knew most of them. Some of the songs made me think of how hard it must be for Josh without his dad, because he always looked at his dad's truck on the picture.

"Josh?"

"Yeah?"

"Did you ever like girls?"

"No, not really - they're too fancy for me."

We both nodded and laughed about his statement.

"How about you?" Josh asked.

"Yeah, I guess I liked one or two girls in school."

"You ever kissed one?"

"Nooo."

"You ever wanted to go steady with one of them?"

"No...I mean perhaps."

"...and nowadays?"

"I'm with you Josh...."

"I know...was just figuring out if I have to be jealous."

"You're silly, I love YOU."

"Love you more."

To say the words 'I love you' finally got easier for me. I have never been so open-hearted about my feelings, though we say that a lot at home. But to say it to your parents is different from saying it to the one you fell for. And for a boy it's the more difficult to say it to another boy because of that stupid 'normal' thing. But I was sure about my feelings at that time - with every fiber of my body.

An hour later, Marie's brother arrived. They both hugged Jack and were happy for him to be there. He was a tall guy with a slight figure and a well groomed appearance. I liked him at first sight. He seemed to be cool.

"Can you two leave us alone for some minutes, please?!" Marie asked.

"Why can't we stay?"

"Josh, Sam, thank you!"

"Ok...we're upstairs."

Josh's mom surely introduced him to the situation and asked Jack to be there as some kind of a mentor or role model if you can say so in a situation like this. 15 minutes later Jack joined us in Josh's room, which I thought was more appropriate than discussing everything downstairs.

"Hey guys, how are you?"

"We're fine" Josh said for both of us "What did mom tell you?"

"She told me that you both are in love. Is that correct."

We both nodded nearly admiring his appearance. For whatever reason, I wasn't afraid of talking to him.

"...and you really are in love with each other?"

"Yes."

"Yeah."

"When did you find out, that you might be gay?"

"Long time ago." Josh answered.

"You Sam?"

"Actually when I met Josh."

"Ok, I'm going to tell you what you'll have to face in this community if you aren't careful."

Jack told us about his childhood and how it was before he even had a chance to come out. It was a horrifying story full of affection and hate, prejudice and pain, but also full of life, love and laughter. We listened in fascination while the words would leave his mouth.

Some things he told us made us think we would be better off without the other and some just made us feel closer than we were already. Before we were to ask some questions he gave us some final advices.

"You can't tell anyone before your parents know. You can't tell anyone in school, no matter what, or you will be bullied for the rest of your time there. You can't show your affection in public unless all people that might see you already know about it. And the most important thing is, you always have to care for the other with respect and devotion, which sometimes may be difficult."

"Why?"

"Because you are still young and growing and you might change your feelings about this."

"I won't, ever" Josh said.

"Just to let you know, that it might happen."

"Thanks Uncle Jack!"

"Thanks" I said.

"One last thing. Don't rush, when it comes to sex. I guess you both never had sex before?"

We both shook our heads being ashamed to talk about it.

"Good, but even if your thing down there tells you different, always be aware that sex is something that should. The reason for this is as they grow in love, there will be times when they both want pure sex. This too should be something they both want and agree to.) only be an act of love if you both want it. Remember that!"

"We will."

"Here's my number Sam, whenever you need someone to talk to, call me or come by. Marie and Josh know where I live."

"Thank you."

"Good, so any questions?"

"Yeah, got one." I said.

"Shoot!"

"How can I tell my parents? I guess they got an idea about it but I'm afraid they'd hate me when I tell."

"I don't know your parents, but only a few really hate their own kids after they've been told. When you listen to your heart, you'll know when the time has come to tell them. But when you do, be honest and show them, how you really feel but give them some space and time to get used to the idea. Parents don't usually accept that so easily. Never forget, real feelings, love and affection can move mountains."

The talk to Jack was really inspiring and made me forget about my fears for the time it lasted.

Later that evening we were supposed to get ready for bed. It has been an exciting day and we both needed a shower before we would snuggle up together in Josh's bed. There was no need for Marie to ask if she should prepare a sleeping spot for me on the couch or on a guest mattress.

The bath room was tiny in comparison to mine. It only had one lamp above the mirror. Josh stood in front of me, when I opened the first button of my shirt.

"Can I undress you?" he asked with a sheepish voice.

I dropped my arms and deeply looked into his eyes which was enough sign of agreement to him. Coming one step closer he opened the next button of my shirt and the next until my shirt was open. I felt his hands on my chest as they were slowly going up to my shoulders and the shirt slid off of me. Our eyes were still glued to each other's when he opened the fly of my pants. Josh knelt down and removed them helping me with my feet.

By that time I already had a hard-on which was now to be freed when he put his finger in my boxers and slid them all the way down.

It was a sensational feeling to be so exposed to my love while he was admiring what his eyes saw.

After removing my socks he got up again and it was my turn. I slowly pulled the shirt off of him and let my fingers draw down on his chest. The softness of his skin had always made me feel tingly, this time also. I can't describe with words how much love I felt for him.

Removing his pants and boxers in one row gave me a free look to what he had down there; all hard. I let my fingers go up his legs and softly touched his dick for a second which jerked a bit.

We both leaned in and our bodies came in contact. My lips on his, my arms around him, his arms around my body, on my back, my neck, my bottom, it was entrancing.

"TO SHOWER MEANS TO USE WATER!" Was heard from downstairs.

Breaking one of our most intimate moments by now, we smiled at each other before Josh turned on the water and we jumped in together. He was to wash me and I was to wash him. Unfortunately he didn't spend so much time on washing my genitals as I would have wanted him to do. But the night was still to come and we both were aroused like hell.

After drying ourselves with the warm towels we put them around our waists and jumped downstairs to say goodnight.

Back in Josh's room, neither of us cared for putting on a pair of boxers. We just dropped the towels and hopped into the bed as naked as we were feeling that this night was special.

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