Red Cherries

by Benjamin J. Conner

Chapter 5 "The taste of cherries"

"Sam, are you awake?" I heard after another hour of sleep.


"Did you enjoy it?"

"Enjoy what?"

"The night?"

"Yeah, I think so. And you?"

"It was awesome. I never did aything like that."

"Like what?"

"You don't remember?"

"No, what did we do?"

He giggled but didn't say a word, so I continued "Josh come on, talk to me!"

"You're funny."

"Please tell me, I need to know!"

"I love you!"

To hear him saying that woke me up, but this time to the real world. I opened my eyes and noticed that I had been dreaming. A dream full of wonderful smattering memories - things that never happened and weren't suppose to happen but in my thoughts; I felt good about it. When you read this, you might think that I already knew that I was gay or bi-sexual at least, but I didn't. It not even consciously came to my mind, that I liked Josh more than as a friend. We just did what we did without thinking about it.

And all I know is, that I wanted to be close to him and that truly came from my heart.

I checked if Josh was still there and questioned myself about what was going on in my mind. But again it led to nothing.

Josh's hand was on my belly close to my navel. He moved it now and then - just a little so I could feel it. His head was still on my chest, going up and down with my breathing. My hand found his back again and I felt the need to stroke it.

It was 9:32 am; the door to my room opened weakly.

"Good morning you two......" mum said and faltered as she saw us lying there like a couple "Oh, I am sorry."

I immediately removed my hand from Josh's back and acted as if I just woke up.

"Morning mom, what are you sorry about?"

"Oh....I am sorry...that I woke you up. Breakfast's ready and if you like, you can come downstairs."

"Morning Rebecca" my friend said and raised his head backing off from me.

"Good morning Josh. How did you sleep?"


"Me too, we'll be there in a minute."

"Great...aehmm......yeah, great" she said, turned around and left the room.

"What's wrong with her?" Josh asked.

"I don't know....let's get up!" I said and pushed the blanket away remembering the bruises as the pain hit me again - it was less than yesterday but still remarkable.

"I need a pee" Josh stated.

"K, I'll go and wait for you in the kitchen.


After hobbling downstairs I reached the kitchen and sat down at the table which provided plenty of things like bread, cereals, cheese, marmelade, eggs and all that stuff you might want for breakfast.

"Hey mom, where's dad?"

"At work, he promised to be back for lunch."

"But it's Saturday."

"Well, we both know him, he can't stay home for very long."

"Yeah" I said in a sad tone.

"Where's Josh?"


"Ahh, I see. You both...aehm..."


"Oh" she giggled "...nothing. What're you going to do?"

"Don't know - we'll see. Hey Josh, how did it work?"

"No problems Houston."

"Perfect - here take some, it's fresh!" I offered him the basket with sliced bread in it.


"Honey, can I talk to you for a sec?" she said pointing over to the living room.



I unwillingly followed my mother to the couch and sat down next to her.

"Mom, what is it?"

"How do you feel today?"

"I'm fine."

"No headache or so?"


" wanna tell me anything?"

"No, what do you mean?"

"Nothing, I just wanted to make sure that you know I'm here if you wanna talk about anything. You know that right?"

"I know, what's the point?"

"There is no point. I love you, that's all."

"I love you too.....can I go back"

"Sure" she said, kissed my forehead and left for the laundry.

"Your mom's strange today" Josh remarked.

"I know, perhaps she had a quarrel with dad or so. However, what's the plan for today?"

"Don't know, any ideas?"

"We can go camping by the riverside."

"Sounds great, but..."


"Can you go with your bruises and all that?"

"Yeah, it doesn't hurt that much and I don't wanna be sticking around the house all day."

I looked over to Josh and there seemed to be another thing that was bothering him.

"Tell me Josh!"

"I wanna go and see mom, it's weekend and she's all alone."

"That's fine - we can go over to your house after breakfast."

"Yeah, cool."

Both of us were a little puzzled because of my mother's behavior. But in the end we felt good being together and enjoyed the marvelous breakfast. Afterwards we got upstairs and put on some fresh clothes. Unfortunately I wasn't able to take a shower which I would have loved to, especially now that Josh was here with me. But the doctor forbade it for the next two days at least. After that I was allowed only with a cover for my laceration. And that would really make me a girl, so I avoided that.

I had to walk slowly because of my bruises. It took some time until I got used to walking and the pain disappeared; thank god. Josh also walked and carried his board. That he brought back my bike was really cool and it didn't even had any scratches or so.

We arrived at the Nolan house by 11 am. Josh opened the front door and his mom welcomed us very lovingly. He hugged her for a very long time and they both seemed to need it.

"You wanna stay for lunch? We can have spaghetti if you like?"

Josh looked at me and I could see in his eyes that he really wanted to, so we both nodded. Not only that I knew it was his favourite food, but I also didn't want my friend to be sad about being apart from his mom for too long. He cared for me the entire evening and the night. That was all I could have asked for.

We stayed with her in the kitchen for some time while she started to prepare lunch. It was only an hour before we had breakfast so we weren't hungry at all and asked if she could wait a little until cooking.

We sat down on the couch in their living room and switched on the TV. Josh cuddled up to his mom. I was sitting on the other side of Marie. After a while she put an arm around me and pulled me in to her.

I rested my head on her side and noticed the same wonderful scent I got from Josh this morning. She smelled so marvelous, like flowers combined with a fresh breeze from the sea - and some vanilla. I closed my eyes and inhaled. I knew now, why Josh was so at peace when he was with his mom.

Don't misunderstand me, I loved the smell of my mom, but I was older and hadn't been so close to her for a long time. I wasn't a kid anymore but with Marie, it just didn't matter. We both were snuggled up to her and had a wonderful rest from nothing, before I called my mom to inform her that we were going to eat with Marie. She wasn't amused about my late call. Anyway, after that we all started to prepare lunch together.

"Hi Sweetheart" my dad said as he entered the house returning from work.

"Bradley, I need to talk to you."

"O-kayy, what did I do wrong now?"



"But when I woke up the boys this morning I found them snuggled up together."

"So what?"

"So what? That's not normal Bradley!"

"What're you saying?"

"I'm saying that your son maybe...."

"May be what, Rebecca?"

"He may be gay, or whatever they call it."

"Whatever they call it? It's not a desease or so and they are just boys."

"I know, but you should've seen them; they lay there just like lovers, arm in arm."

"Don't you think that you are overreacting? Sam just turned 13 and Josh is only 12 - I don't think they are having any kind of relation beyond friendship. Listen to yourself!"

My mom sighed and thought about it for a moment before my dad continued.

"And remember, Sam just saved Josh's life - that they are stuck together is nothing but normal."

"Yeah, perhaps you're right."

"Thank you!"

"Yeah, but you should have seen them, it was so lovely and equally wrong."

"I don't think, that my boy is not in girls, but if so, it's his decision. However, this decision is not being made at 13."

"You're right, I am sorry, I overreacted."

My dad got closer to my mom and kissed her.

"Listen, we have a wonderful son and I have a beautiful wife and I love you both. Everything is alright."

"Yeah, of course" she shook her head "everything's fine. The boys are staying at Marie's for lunch, so we have some time on our own."

"What a precious gift, I have some ideas for that Ms. Duncan, what if we both get up to our room some...extra excercise?"

"Oh, Mr.'re a bad boy."

"Yes I am..."

After lunch we asked Marie if Josh could stay over night again, which she agreed to. We didn't say anything about our idea of camping, but that was more leaving things out than lying.

So Josh put a fresh shirt, some boxers and socks in a bag and we walked back to our house chatting about what we could do by the riverside to spend the night.

"Mom, we're home."

It didn't make a great difference if we were home here or at Marie's or if it was only me being home or together with Josh; we always said that we were home. But no reply was heard.

We went upstairs to my room and passed the first floor hearing my parents making out.

"What are they doing?"

"The're fucking."

"At daytime?"

"Quiet! Come on!"

We packed our things into the backpacks and already planned the camping trip by the river for tonight. Of course it would be hard to convince them to let us go, but we were hoping for the best. Half an hour later we were ready to leave; we walked downstairs. No noises were heard from my parents bed room anymore.

"Hey boys, how was lunch?" mum greeted us in the kitchen.

"Great mom. Can Josh and I go out for camping by the river tonight?"



"No, you can't!"

"Why not?"

"Because you are too young to stay out on your own over night."

"But mo-om!"

"No, there's no way you are going out and stay alone in the dark and there's no room for discussion."

"You can put up the tent in the garden and camp there" my dad threw in from the background "hey boys."

"Hi dad, but that's not the same, pleassse!"

"No, I'm sorry but I have to concur with your mom, you can't stay out alone. It's to dangerous."

"OKAY I get it, but we can use any place in the garden right?"

"You can!"

"Let's go!" I said to Josh who needless to say didn't intervene.

We grabbed my camping stuff from the garage and took a place far away from the house. We couldn't hear the water bubbling from there, but at least we had some space on our own.

After setting up the tent, which really took us some time, because of Josh's inexperience in camping, we were happy again to have some freedom, laughed a lot and forgot about the forbiddance of camping by the riverside.

It was still bright as we were ready and arranged our sleeping bags and all we needed like flashlights, a knife and some boughs we cut and used as clubs in case of anyone should come for us. Ok, we agreed to not hit my parents in case they would come over. The evening was was warm and we both only wore shorts and our shirts; shoes and socks were already dropped as we left the house.

Mom brought us our socks in case it would get cold, something to eat like sandwiches, some snacks, tomatoes and a big bowl full of cherries she got from the market.

We soon had our castle setup and loved it. In some ways we were just kids playing and in other's we were excited about the upcoming night and the both of us being together.

"That's soo cool Sam, I never did anything like this."

I remembered my dream from the morning, in which he had said the same.

"You'll like it!"

"Yihhaaaa, I already love it." Josh said as he pushed me just for fun.

The sun set and it was starting to get a little colder outside but in the tent it was quite cosy.

"Yo mimmm's koal" Josh mumbled with his mouth full of chips.

We laughed out loud and I asked him to say that again while he tried to swallow.

"I said, your mom's cool!"

"Yeah she is, look what we got here; chips, gummi bears, tomatoes, cherries, sandwiches and...COKE!" I praised it as if that was the most mysterious golden treasure we had. After opening the bottle I offered it to Josh.

"That's yummy" he said handing it to me.

"Definitely (BUUURP)"

We both laughed and Josh tried to do the same but only produced a little one.

Hours later we nearly had nothing left but the tomatoes and the cherries. We played with our flashlights and told each other invented scary stories.

"Ok, what do we have here.....a little tomatoe..YUK... ...let's see how far it can fly."

We got out of the tent and threw them over our fence towards a tree of the near forest; one by one. Josh and I tried again and again until none of them were left. We never hit the tree, but got rid of the unwanted tomatoes.

"What about the cherries?" Josh asked.

"Hmmm, I like cherries."

"Me too."

"Let's get back in, it's getting cold!"


A minute after that we were sitting on our sleeping bags, facing each other and started to eat the cherries. The front of the tent was still open and we spitted out the cherry stones. Some landed on our sleeping bags but we didn't care for the mess we made.

At some point Josh pointed his flashlight at me.

"Your lips are all red."

"Yeah, your's too."

"You look like if you're wearing lipstick."

We laughed about his statement and without thinking about what I did, I leaned in and kissed Josh on his left cheek.

"Now you look like you kissed with a girl."

I pointed the flashlight to his cheek and it really looked like that. Josh didn't hesitate and kissed my cheek the same way I did. It felt awesome to have him kiss me. A moment of silence hit us and we held our breaths before we snorted with laughter.

After regaining our composure we looked into each other's eyes.

"You want another cherry?" he said with a soft voice.


I swallowed hard and never thought that this was going to happen. Josh took a cherry from the bowl and put it in his mouth. I also wanted to get one but he grabbed my hand and stopped me from taking it.

He turned to his left and spit out the stone.

"Here, you can have it" he said sticking out his tongue and offering me the cherry he just took.

I was stunned and looked at him. The light from my flash lamp was illuminating his red and wet tongue. I raised my hand and was about to take it from his tongue.

"Without your hands!" he said.

My head was spinning and I didn't know what to do. Butterflies were going crazy in my tummy; Josh looked so beautiful to me, but I wasn't gay as far as I knew. What was I supposed to do? I just didn't know.

Taking a deep breath I followed my heart, flexed and used my lips to get me the sweetest cherry I ever tasted. Of course I touched his tongue and lips which made me shiver; it was entrancing.

Slowly starting to chew on it, we both were fascinated from the experience. Neither of us said a word and Josh watched me eat it. After I swallowed, I took a cherry from the bowl, got the stone out of it and offered him the sweet and sour taste that was waiting for Josh the same way he did.

He leaned in and put his lips around my tongue, paused for a second so that I could feel his tongue touching mine and softly picked up the fruit.

It was like electricity when he touched me. No one could have ever told me about that feeling with words. It was intoxicating and frightening at the same time. Like never before I had a hard on in no time. This was the purest and most sexual feeling a 13 year-old can have.

Only two cherries were left and we both knew what we were going to do, even if we had no experience at all.

Either of us took a cherry and got the stone out of it. Josh was different during that moment, somehow enchanted. I don't know what it was, but he took my hands and came closer, looking deeply into my eyes with a smile on his face. Our flashlights were dropped on the floor but provided enough light so we could see eachother in a dimmed light.

He closed his eyes and slightly opened his mouth.

For whatever reason I knew what to do. When I came closer my heart nearly jumped out of my chest and I was breathing fast. Our lips met only seconds later. It felt wet and warm as Josh's tongue entered my mouth and mine entered his. My entire body was upside down. Our eyes were closed and we tried to breathe through the nose. His hands had a firm grip on mine as we exchanged the cherries. Being unable to tell you if it was mine that I had, or if it was the one from Josh our tongues played with eachother and we become one.

Our kiss broke after what seemed to be forever and we slowly chewed on the sweetness the other had given us.

I will never be able to tell you exactly what I felt during that very moment of my life, but you can be sure that were the most vulnerable and intense seconds I ever experienced.

Nobody of us said anything after what we just did but we knew we needed to be on our own.

I reached for the zipper of the tent door, closed it and removed my shirt before I crouched into my sleeping bag and offered him a place inside of it. He looked into my eyes, switched of the flashlights, undressed his shirt and joined me. We both left our boxers on but were definitely aroused from what had happened.

I put an arm around him and my lips on his neck while his extraordinary sweet scent crept up my nostrils. My hand was on his chest which I wanted to stroke for a seemingly long time now. Finally I was close to Josh. He pushed himself against me and one of his legs between mine, which I embraced.

This was really incredible. I knew that we were meant to be together from now on. And both of us wanted it that way. We felt free and safe being close to each other, though we still didn't know how this would change our lives.

After another hour of admiring and experiencing the soft skin of Josh, we both fell asleep, as happy as could be.

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