Red Cherries

by Benjamin J. Conner

Chapter 9 "The right decision"

We got up at about 9:30am, both in the need to empty our bladders which we did as a pair. Before heading downstairs we needed some boxers and shirts to put on, otherwise Marie would have probably chased us around the house. I didn't have any fresh clothes with me so borrowing from Josh was the only option. Even if he had a smaller clothing size, they fit really perfect Josh remarked.

"There you are, gooood morning" Marie greeted us.

We both kissed and hugged her one after the other.

"How did you sleep?"

"Fantastic mom, really."

"Yep." was all I had to add.

"Thought that, I heard you last night."

"What did you hear?" Josh asked a little scared.

"Nothing special, but I guess you had some fun - I heard you laughing."

"Yeah, it was funny." Josh winked at me and sighed. I could only smile back.

"Sam, we need to talk! In the kitchen?"

'Oh my god, what did she really hear?' went through my mind as I followed her to the kitchen. She closed the door behind us, knelt down and put her hands on my shoulders. I was scared like hell about what she wanted from me.

"Sam, oh Sam....I don't know how to tell you this...."

I swallowed hard before she continued "....but I don't have the faintest idea what you like for breakfast. Can you help me out on this?"

She began to smile as I recognized that she was fooling around and started to laugh. After a couple of seconds I joined in.

"I'm sorry Sam, really (laughing) but I had to do it."

"You scared me..... I thought, what's going on."

"Come here sweetie, I'm sorry. Everything's fine. What do you like for breakfast?" she asked hugging me.

"I like eggs, sandwiches, cereals and all that usual stuff."

"Ok, in that order?"

"Yes please!"

"Great, no problem Sir....Sam, relax! I was just joking."

"Next time I get you, promise."

"Get back to Josh, he's probably freaking out by now."

When I got back to the living room, I told Josh, what she had done and we made a plan to get her at the next possible time.

I called my mom to ask, if Josh could come over and stay for lunch, but she had other ideas. So I had to leave after breakfast. Soon after I began to feel sad for us being apart this day.

Josh was faithful that we would see each other again soon and tried to cheer me up. I didn't know how he managed to be so cool about it. But his trust convinced me; at least for a minute.

Before I left, we had some time on our own in his room. I promised to give his clothes back after they had been washed, but he didn't care. All he cared for was, that I wouldn't be so sad about the time, when we weren't together and that he would always think of me. We sealed the deal by kissing each other tenderly.


Opening the front door to our house mom welcomed me with a hug, which I didn't respond to. Believe it or not, I was trapped by the idea that my parents can make my life a hell by not allowing Josh to see me again. Being that scared I didn't know what to do or how to act, I just froze somehow because of my perplexity.

"How's it been. I guess you had lots of fun, didn't you?"

"Yes, it was great" I said in a straight tone.

"You like a coke?"

"You never let me drink coke."

"I know, but why don't we make an exception?"

"Ok, thanks."

"How are Josh and Marie?"

"Fine."

"And what did you do yesterday?"

I thought about what I really wanted to answer 'We played games, watched TV, talked to Uncle Jack about being gay, kissed, showered together and afterwards we French kissed each other's dick.'

But from my mouth just came "Played, watched TV and skateboarded."

"So it was great all in all?"

"Yep."

She brought me a glass of coca cola and ruffled through my hair.

"Why don't we sit down and talk, ok?"

"But I don't wanna talk. Can I go upstairs?"

"Sam, please. I'm worried. What happened to you. You can tell me everything and I will listen, I promise!"

"Nothing happened to me, but...I...don't...want...to talk!"

"Ok, if you don't want to talk, then just listen! You are my son and I love you more than anything in the world. Whatever happened that made you feel angry or disappointed, has to be discussed because I don't want to see you like that. You are all quiet, act like if somebody has stolen your heart. You're cold and not the lovely boy I know anymore. And that really hurts me, cos I love you and I don't want you sad."

"I know mom, I love you too."

"But why don't you talk to me then?"

"I can't."

"Why, please tell me why?"

"Cos you wouldn't understand."

"What is it, that I wouldn't understand - I am listening to you and I am going to help you no matter what."

"Can I go now?"

"No, you can't!" she said with a strict voice.

"I'll go anyway." I said getting up but mom grabbed my hand and stopped me from leaving.

"Pleasssse Sam, tell me!" she begged with a strained expression on her face. I didn't answer and felt nothing. The only thing I wanted was to leave the room.

"Ok, you win." She said and let go of my hand. I turned around and walked upstairs leaving her like that.

Looking back on it now, it must have really been cruel to her, but I had just turned 13 and was alone with my feelings for Josh; at least in my house. I thought everything I said and did would make it even worse, so I didn't say or do anything.

Reaching my room I dropped on the bed and closed my eyes. No light, no music, no TV or Playstation. The only thing I wanted was to be alone and think of the tempting night with Josh.

But I couldn't focus because I was somehow feeling sorry for my mom. I loved her, always, and never wanted to see her sad. This was one of the things I wasn't able to cope with in my youth, but I guess all boys feel like that for their moms.

I thought to myself.

'What if she's really ok with it? What if, you just missed the chance of your life to tell her the truth about you and Josh? Fuck, I don't know what to do. Should I tell her? But what if she hates me for being different? Yeah, great job Sam, using the word different. You can't even say you're gay to yourself. But when I tell her and she's not okay with it, what will she tell Marie? She knows about us, but what if she tells someone else. No she wouldn't do that, would she?'

Again, no solution was in sight. Feeling sorry for myself I crawled under the blanket and buried myself, full of emptiness.


"Mom, can I talk to you?" Josh asked.

"Sure!" She patted a spot next to her on the couch.

"How long do you know that I don't like girls?"

"You mean, that you like boys!"

"Yeah."

"Let me see. For a couple of years I think."

"But you never told me."

"No. I never wanted to barge in. That's your decision and I am there to support you in any way possible. And remember, I have seen it before with Jack and thought it was the best way to deal with it."

"How did you find out?"

"It's the way you looked at other boys with that gleam in your eyes. You were always checking out their clothes, looking at things not many boys do. And you always picked the cutest boys to be your friend, though you never had many. And then I just knew it."

"And you've never been mad at me for thinking this way?"

"Of course not, who am I to interfere with your feelings? I think I have never been afraid of it, that's all."

Josh thought about what she said for a minute.

"But Sam's parents are."

"How do you know?"

"From what he told me."

"You can never be sure. People who don't expect this to happen, are afraid of the unknown and what it might do to their lives."

"How can we help him?"

"We can't."

"But I want to!"

"Be patient, support Sam and whenever you don't know what to do, ask me or Uncle Jack. We'll always be there for you two. The most important thing to have is a good friend."

"Even if your friend is also your...."

"Lover?"

"MOOOM! I meant boy friend."

"Even then. No matter if they are a boy or girl friend, he or she should be your best friend. And just to let you know, lover is not a bad word, Josh."


No matter what, there seemed to be no light at the end of the tunnel. So I took the decision to trust my mom and tell her. I was only 13 and unable to handle this on my own, even if it hurt to admit that to myself. But I needed her help or I would die in this house. On the other hand, I couldn't just wish for living with Marie and Josh, even if that sounded really cool. I loved my parents and didn't want to be a part of them also. If they wouldn't accept it, well, I was done.

This was the first time in my life, when I thought about committing suicide. I just didn't want to live like that. I loved Josh with all my heart and I wanted them to understand that it was torturous to not have him at my side.

Remembering that I had Jack's phone number, I reached in my pockets and tried to get him on the line.

"Yes?"

"Jack?"

"Yeah, who is it, Sam?"

"Yeah it's me...." I said exhausted.

"What's going on, you sound distracted."

"I am actually and I don't know what to do."

"What happened?"

"Mom told me to get home after breakfast and insisted to talk to me, but I couldn't. I was afraid that she would hate me or tell everyone about it."

"She won't I promise. I still don't know your parents, but she really seems to care for you and that's a good sign. Trust your feelings!"

"That's the problem, I don't know what I feel."

"You trust your mom?"

"Yeah, mostly."

"That's a feeling and not a bad one in this situation. What are you going to do?"

"I decided to talk to her because I don't know what else to do."

"Try to tell her that you like Josh very much and that you miss him when you're not together. Don't use terms like being gay or in love at first, and you'll know what's going to happen. Just one step at a time. You can even call me when you did that first step. I'm here."

"And what if she freaks out?"

"Then you tell her to calm down or you'd stop talking. I believe that your parents love you and if they do, they are going to help. It may take some time but in the end, they will."

"You really believe that?"

"Otherwise I wouldn't tell you, Sam."

"Ok, thanks Jack." Sam said sighing. "I'll give it a try."

"You're going to be fine - call me when you need me!"

"Thanks, bye."

"Bye bye."


The phone rang in the Nolan house.

"Yes?"

"Hey sis, it's me."

"Hi Jack."

"I'm calling cos I just had a call from Sam. He seems to be struggling with his mom and I guess he's about to tell her."

"Oh, I never thought he would do that so early. Guess he feels terrible for the situation. Good that he called you."

"Yeah, he's lost and doesn't know what to do. And I just wanted to inform you. If it all goes wrong, you might be needed."

"I'm ready, he can come by whenever he wants to. You know, he's so sweet and caring. I really don't want him to get hurt, but I'm afraid this is going to be hard."

"Yeah, it is."

"Ok, thanks for letting me know, I'll call you in case he comes over."

"Thanks, love you."

"Love you too, bye."

"Bye."


After my talk to Jack I took courage and went downstairs finding my mom silently crying in the kitchen. It struck my heart seeing her like that. Getting closer, I put one hand on her shoulder.

"Mom, we need to talk."

She turned around, looked into my eyes and hugged me with a firm grip whispering "Thank you god."

"Take a seat, can I get you anything?" she offered.

"No thanks. Mom, I feel forsaken and don't know what to do. I need your help!"

"I am listening and whatever it is, I'll support you."

Sitting down on the opposite side of the table I started my confession.

"Ok.....you know that I like Josh.....very much."

"Yes."

"And you know, that we always have lots of fun together. But whenever I have to leave him, I feel sick and miss him."

"Is that why you're all wrapped up?"

"Yeah, mom I miss him so much that it hurts me and I don't want to be apart of him."

"But that's normal when you like someone."

"Mom.....I love him and he loves me."

"You mean love, like real love between two persons?"

"Yes, we can't live without each other. When we are together, I feel complete and have such a tingling feeling inside my body. And when we're not, I feel empty and alone. I never wanted this to happen, but I love so many things about him, his voice, his laughter, his appearance....everything. And I can't live without Josh anymore. Anything else is irrelevant to me."

"An hour ago I thought you'd never tell me. And now you're sitting here and talking to me like an adult."

"What do you think?"

"I think that you matured without me noticing it. I'm proud of you."

"But what can I do? I'm sad that I can't be with him now. It's not that I don't love you but...."

"I know what you're saying. I had the same feelings when I met your dad. Love is such a wonderful but demanding thing. It can take over your entire life."

"Mom?"

"First of all, I'm really glad that you came to me and opened up, because little did I know it. And second, that you spoke up to me that way, shows me that you're serious about it. You're very brave and I love you, honey."

"You don't hate me?"

"What gave you that impression? Of course not, I'll never hate you. You are my son and I love you no matter what. Ok, I have to admit, it's a little confusing, but I had the last two days to think and I'm ok with it. Perhaps I'll need some time to get used to it, but in the end it's your decision."

"You knew it?"

"Somehow. You two were like Adam and Eve, only that there's no Eve."

"I know."

"Does Marie know about this, I mean Josh and you?"

"Yes she does, she knew it right from the start and helped us to understand the effects it will have on our lives."

"And you two, have you had any....sexual interests by now?"

"Mom, that's very personal."

"So you had...I mean, sorry. If you have any questions, I'll be there for you to explain but you are very young and you have lots of time, remember that."

"I don't want to talk about that. What can we do now, I really miss Josh."

She thought about it for a minute.

"Ok, listen honey. I'm going to call Marie if you can stay at their house again tonight. You go upstairs and pack some things so you don't have to wear Josh's clothes, they are a little too tight on you. Drop them on the floor and I'll take care of them."

My face lit up about what she said. I never expected this to happen; it was beyond my imagination.

"But you're not telling anyone, are you?"

"Well, not besides your dad."

"You really have to?"

"Well yes." She sighed. "But you don't worry about that, it's my job. You keep in mind, that I'm very proud of you. I never thought that this might happen to me, but in the end, I'm glad you came to me. Never forget, I love you Sam."

"You are afraid of what dad thinks about it, aren't you?"

"I can't say that I'm happy to tell him, but that's ok. Nothing to worry Sam. He will understand it, but you might have to give him some time and space."

"Ok, mom."

I got up from the table and threw myself into her arms feeling relieved after all my fears and doubts.

"I love you mom."

"Thank you honey....I love you too."

Finally some happiness found its way back into my life. One thing I still wasn't sure about was my dad. But as Jack told me, one step at a time and mom said that she was taking care of it.

Marie was surprised that my mom called her and asked if I was allowed to stay at their house until tomorrow and took that as a good sign. After packing some things I jumped downstairs and asked my mom if I was allowed to leave. She seemed exhausted and anxious.

"Are you ok, mom?"

"Yes, I am. You go and enjoy your time with Josh."

Of course she had no idea how far the relationship between Josh and me had gone by now, but again....one step at a time.

When I left our house rain was falling from above. It was dark and the gray sky looked at me, as if it wanted me to get back into the house. But I was happy. Happy for what I did, for how brave I was and for the unexpected outcome of the talk to mom.

'Life's a mystery and I'm part of it' I thought as I hopped down the street, nearly dancing in the rain heading towards my love. I hoped that my dad would accept it and not be mad at me, but time was going to tell.

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