Red Cherries

by Benjamin J. Conner

Chapter 12 "Planning for Italy"

"Hey boys, I'm home!" Was heard from downstairs.

Josh and I woke up again after our wonderful act of love and as fast as possible jumped out of the bed, put our boxers back on covering us up with the blanket again. Marie got upstairs, opened the door to Josh's room, which was now also my room.

"Ahh I see you have been sleeping." She said with a huge smile on her face. "You need any assistance?"

"Hi mom. No we are fine, thanks."

We all grinned at each other. Of course Marie knew what was going on but didn't make a big deal of it. She sat down on the bed and asked us to take a seat next to her.

"Listen you two angels of love. I know what's going on and it's ok, but please be careful with what you do."

"MOOM, that's personal!"

"Josh I only want to protect you and that includes taking care of your experiments."

"Yeah, next time she wants to watch." I said to my lover out of nowhere without thinking about it.

Josh looked at me with eyes wide open and a grim expression on his face. I immediately put one hand in front of my mouth saying "I'm sorry, I didn't.....I mean....."

"It's okay Sam, but as I said, go easy on sex and don't you hurt each other. If there are any question you can talk to Uncle Jack or me if you like to, remember that!"

"Ok Marie."

Josh nodded his consent and punched me on my left shoulder as she left again telling us, that lunch will be ready in 30 minutes.

"Are you completely CRAZY?"

"I'm sorry, it just came out of my mouth." I answered.

"God damn it.....you're a freak, think about what you are going to say!"

"I will, it was an accident. Come on, don't be such a wimp, she's ok with it."

"Yeah but when you talk to your parents, spare that!"

"I'm no dumbo!"

"Well....and what did just happen?"

"Okay okay, you win...I'll take care, promise."

We grabbed our shirts and walked downstairs only wearing boxers to it.

"You need any help?" We asked her reaching the kitchen.

"No, every thing's fine, but you can put on some pants if you like to."

Josh thought about it. "Uhmmm no, we don't like to!"

"You get upstairs and put some pants on!"

Her tone was getting stricter so we didn't discuss about that and hurried to get some proper clothing.

In the meanwhile the telephone rang in the Nolan house. Marie answered and talked to my mother.

"Yeah Rebecca, we are going to have lunch in a couple of minutes - you're invited if you like to!"

"No thank you, that's very kind. If you will be so nice and send Sam over after lunch?! We need to talk to him."

"We? I assume that's you and Bradley?"

"Yes and guess what?!"

"Is he okay with it?"

"It's unbelievable but HE ISSSSS."

"Oh my fucking god, that's so great to hear. You can't imagine how relieved I am. How did you do that?"

"He told me why he was so upset in first place and then we talked about it and I used some of the things you told me. After all it worked out and now we want to talk to Sam about it."

"That's really surprising, can I give him a hint? He probably will be nervous about getting home without knowing what's going on."

"No, please don't, but if Josh likes he can come over, too."

"We'll leave that to you, he can come over later if that's ok with you."

"Sure, thanks Marie (sighing) what a day.....talk to you later ok?!"

"Yes, talk to you, bye bye!"


After we had chicken Asian style with rice, I headed home with an unsure feeling in my stomach. The pressure was back and I didn't know what to expect.

Entering the house, mom hugged and kissed me. I was asked to sit down while she brought me a glass of coca cola. That wasn't a good sign at all. The atmosphere made me feel cold....alone....I was expecting the worst as my dad joined me in the living room, sat down on the other side of the table with a slight smile on his face.

"Sam?"

"Yes dad?"

"I heard that you've made an important decision in your life?"

"What do you mean?"

"That you decided to be with another boy, I mean with Joshua."

"I didn't decide to, it just happened. I can't tell you why or how."

"Don't get offensive, I'm just talking to you and I want you to know, that it's ok."

"What did you just say?"

"I said, it's ok, mom and I talked about it and as long as it's your serious consideration, we'll support you in any way possible."

Mom was standing at the entrance to our kitchen, smiling and confidently nodding at me. I was confused since I never had expected anything like that from my dad.

A minute or so passed while nothing was said.

Though I could have been happy right away, all the tension faded away very slowly and made me drop a tear of thankfulness that was slowly running down my cheek.

Looking at them my face heated up, my heartbeat was getting faster and I buried my head in my hands sobbing for all I was worth.

Mom and dad watched me with a questioning look on their faces and came close to me. I cuddled up to them and cried thanking them for their trust and support. I never felt happier with my parents before, because that was all I really wanted to hear from them; all the anger, mistrust, fear and sadness fell off my shoulders so I could finally let go in the shades of their understanding.


"Mom?" Josh spoke up to his mother.

"Yes my love?"

"Will I ever see Sam again?"

"Of course you will, why do you question that?"

"Cos I don't know, what Sam's going to be told."

"Come here Sweety.....every thing's fine. I told you to not worry about it."

"I know and I tried my best but I can't hold it back anymore. I'm really afraid."

"You know what Rebecca just told me on the phone?"

"No?"

"That Sam's dad is okay with you two being together. No need to worry pookie bear. I promised you'll be fine."

Josh also started to cry for the wonderful message he just got and was as happy as I was at that time. God how wonderful life can be and how demanding love was.

"MOOOOM (crying happily) thank you....I love you."

"I love you more, now stop crying! Every thing's fine and you know that I always have to cry with you, right?!"

"Sorry, but I'm so happy, can I go and see Sam?"

"Of course you can, but give them some time. You can leave in an hour ok?"

"Ok, thanks mom." He said kissing her.


"Hey buddy, it's okay, we'll always support you, and sorry if I messed up in first place, I was an idiot giving you the impression of not being there for you." My dad said to me while we were still cuddled up.

"Does that mean, Josh can come over whenever he likes and sleep here, too?"

"Sure he can, but give us some time to get used to it, ok?"

"We will, I promise."

"Now we only have on thing to discuss." My mother said.

"What is it?"

"What about our Italian trip; it's only four days to go until we planned to leave and every thing's booked."

"Mom, dad, please I don't want to leave Josh."

"Jeez I never thought about that." Dad answered and continued "you really can't live without Josh for two weeks?"

"No, definitely not!"

"I'll talk to your mother about that. You go upstairs and take a rest; it has been an exhausting day. I will call you when we got a solution."

"Ok, thanks, thanks a lot, I love you."

"We love you too Sam, thanks for being so brave."

With that I went upstairs and rested on my bed thinking of the wonderful future that Josh and I are going to have together without anyone interfering. It was breath taking what just happened and still I was unable to realize my fortune.

In the meanwhile my parents talked to each other about a possible way to handle the situation.

"What are we going to do? We only have three opportunities. One is to leave Sam here, second we cancel our trip and third we take Josh with us, but I guess Marie isn't able to cover the costs." My father stated.

"I guess we can't appeal to Sam to be apart from Josh for two weeks right after we told to support him."

"Yeah, so what about canceling the trip?"

"Oh come on, I looked forward to it for more than a year now."

"Right, leaving Sam here is also not an option."

"No."

"So the only option left is to take Josh with us. You think we can handle that?"

"Of course we can, he's a nice kid and not very demanding, but then we would have to cover the costs, cos Marie definitely can't do that."

"Let me calculate that!" My dad thought about the costs and came to a conclusion. "That'd be 500 to 700 bucks more all in all. Sam would have his own room anyway, another person wouldn't make any difference in the hotel costs."

"We can effort that, can't we?"

"Sure, but do we want that?"

"Does Sam want it, is the more interesting question."

"Of course he does, otherwise he would revolt on our vacation."

They both sighed to the idea but didn't seem to have any other idea.

"What if we let him decide and put it as an early Christmas present and as a result of it, he would only get little things for Christmas?"

"That's a great idea. This way he can choose if he really wants it. Let's ask him!" My mother said.

"SAAAM, can you please join us in the kitchen?" was heard from downstairs.

I took my right hand out of my boxers and stopped thinking of the wonderful pleasure Josh had given me this morning, jumped up from my bed and went down the stairs.

"Sam, we have two options for you. One option is, that we go for our vacation without Josh and you get a loaded Christmas, or second we take Josh with us on our trip and that's our early Christmas present for you cos it's anything but cheap. What do you think?"

"I want Josh to come with us, please, pretty please. I don't need any Christmas presents but I don't want to be apart from Josh!"

"Ok, it's your decision.....Sweetheart," my dad turned to my mother "now it's your job to talk to Marie about it. Without her consent we can't do anything. I'll call the hotel if it's possible to put a second bed in the room for Sam."

"There's no need to, we can sleep in the same bed; we do anyway."

"Well, that's your privacy and I don't want to know about that at the moment, but I want a second bed to be in there, you understand me young man?"

"Ok dad, thanks."

"And I will go and visit Marie to talk to her; that's not an issue you talk about on the phone." Mom said before she left.


When mom stopped the car in front of the Nolan house, Josh already left. Marie and my mother happily greeted each other with a meaningful hug.

"Rebecca!"

"Hi Marie, can I talk to you?"

"Of course, come in!"

Marie prepared a tea for both of them and invited my mom to take a seat in the kitchen.

"Marie oh Marie. What an exciting day this was. I can't thank you enough for your support."

"You're very welcome. You know that I care for your son as much as for mine. And they are so sweet though a little ahead of their age, but that's what we have to deal with."

"I don't want to know really, the day was enough for me. But we had a decision to make and I hope you will agree with it."

"What are you talking about?"

"We planned a vacation long time ago. On Friday we are leaving for Italy for two weeks and we just talked to Sam about it. Of course he doesn't want to leave Josh and since we just admitted that we're okay with them being together it would be unfair to tear them apart. So we had several options to choose from. Sam decided for taking Josh with us. I know you are worrying for the costs but we'll cover that. It's Sam's early Christmas present and my present to you for helping us. And we can only hope that you'd agree with that. What do you think?"

"Wow, that exceeds all my expectations......I don't know what to say. When I think of Josh and Sam, it would of course mean the world to them, but I'm not sure if that's really the right way. It embarrasses me in some ways cos I wouldn't be able to effort that."

"We know that, and please don't think of it as charity or so, it's a present we give to our son, that he can choose a friend and in this case his friend to come with us. Please say yes, it would mean so much to them!"

Marie laughed. "Well how can I say no, if you talk to me like that."

"Does that mean you agree with it?"

"Only if Josh is really not a burden for you and you want it that way."

"We wouldn't be able to have a journey in freedom if we would tear them apart, right?"

"I guess so."

"I'm glad to hear that. And please don't worry, we'll take good care of them."

"Are you sure you can handle them both. I mean they are intrigued by each other in so many ways."

"We will handle them, not a problem."

"And in case of an emergency or you don't know how to handle this or that, you give me a call right?"

"Of course."

"So I'll have to pack things for two weeks for my little son to leave for Italy.....unbelievable. I don't even have a suitcase."

"You'll get one of ours."

"No, thanks that's too much, I'm gonna buy one."

"Marie, this will be a wonderful experience for our kids."

"Yeah, I hope I will survive the time without our lovely boys."

"You will, after all you helped us with. I can't thank you enough for what you have done and for how much time you dedicated to our boys, thanks Marie!"

"Well, I'm still unsure but I'll have to bear it."

"One thing, Marie. We need a notarized letter from you, that we are allowed to take Josh abroad with us and to have him get any medical care he needs in case he, heaven forbid, gets sick or hurt. And we need his passport."

"Oh my gosh....his passport....I'll have to look for it but I am sure it's still valid because we had a trip to Canada severly years ago. About the letter....I'll call a friend of mine, that shouldn't be a problem. Hopefully I'll have all of it ready by Thursday."

"Great, call me in case you need any help!"

"I will Rebecca....you're right, what a day."


Josh knocked on the front door of our house full of expectations and hoped for the best. My dad opened it with a smile on his face and knelt down after he closed it behind him.

"Joshua, I just want you to know, that you are welcome to our house whenever you like to. We know about you and Sam and it's ok for us, so don't worry."

"Thanks Mr. Duncan."

"Brad, you can call me Brad or Bradley, as you like."

"Thanks Mr....uhmmm Brad."

"Now get upstairs, Sam's probably waiting for you!"

When Josh opened the door to my room I was overwhelmed and happily hugged him for what seemed to be minutes. We nearly danced in felicity cos we finally made it. We were able to be together in harmony and didn't need to hide anymore in our houses. God how relieving a feeling that was. You have no idea.

Neither of us expected what came out of all this. I instantly could jump Josh, rip his clothes off and enjoy togetherness in harmony. But we behaved after an exhausting day.

Sitting down on my bed he leaned in on me with his back. I put my arms around him and we watched some TV feeling the freedom we just gained.

Sometime later my mom arrived back home and called me downstairs.

"I got good news."

"Josh is coming with us?" I asked with eyes wide open.

"Yes, Marie agreed with it, we'll have our vacation together. Isn't that great?"

"YEEEEAHHHHHH MOM, you're the best, I love you!"

"Go and tell him, he doesn't know about it!"

"Thanks, I'll never forget that."

"I'm going to remind you of that!"

Jumping upstairs I rushed into my room with a huge smile on my face.

"Guess what!"

"What?"

"You're coming with us to Italy."

"No way."

"Really, your mom just agreed to it."

He jumped me shaking his head. We fell over from his approach but got up again dancing for the upcoming and sang.

"WE ARE GO-ING TO ITA-LY, WE ARE GO-ING TO ITA-LY, YEEEAAAAHHHHHH."

I never thought there was anything to top the support of my parents, but this was incredible. We were going to have a wonderful time together and it was only a few days until we left.

Josh was a little scared since his mom wouldn't be with us, but I was able to convince him, that she was alright, though I actually didn't know.

The next days passed in a flash, preparing our stuff, coordinating this or that, finding the passport, calming down Josh from his first real absence to his mother and enjoying the time we had together.

It was different when Josh was at our house. He always seemed to miss his mom but never showed it. I was able to feel it though. Hopefully we were going to have lots of fun exploring Italy, which we, the Duncan's, loved.

It was Thursday afternoon and Josh wanted to sleep at home alone with his mom. I knew he would miss her a lot during that time but was also looking forward to an absolutely new experience for both of us. For whatever reason, it was easy for me to let him go this time, cos I knew, we would be together for the next two weeks at least and had our own room, so nobody would disturb us in our privacy, hopefully.

Friday morning we got up early, had a wonderful breakfast together and packed our things in the van getting ready to pick up Josh.

An hour later after saying good bye to Marie, the four of us were on our way to the airport. Josh was a little excited because he never put a foot into a plane. We were going to fly from Portland to Chicago and after wards to Rome. It would take us at least 14 hours to get there, but for me this wasn't new.

After our luggage was checked in we explored the airport which was really huge before we boarded the aircraft and found our seats. I left the window seat to Josh cos I was used to flying and wanted him to experience it to the full. He was asking thousands of questions about the plane and all the noises which I tried to answer for as much as I knew.

During the flight from Portland to Chicago we were also invited to visit the cockpit which was a huge experience. Remember it was summer 2001 - it was still allowed. The pilots were very friendly and answered all of our questions and hell there were a lot.

After the layover and changing the plane we were on our way directly to Italy. Josh would sleep for an hour or so in the meanwhile, which I never thought would happen.

Fifteen and a half hours later we heard the pilot saying "Welcome to Rome!" and got up to the most enjoyable vacation we both would ever experience together.

As I said, it was the best summer of my life.

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