Forbidden Fruit – Chapter 4
Adam’s eyes itched behind his fluttering eyelids as the voice repeated, “Adam, are you awake?”
Groaning, Adam managed, “I am now.”
He cracked his eyes open. Isaiah stood next to his bed, his rich brown hair a messy tangle of morning head. The boy’s chest was tan, with a tinge of pink on his shoulders from the previous day’s sun. He must have taken his shirt off during the night.
Isaiah held up his cell phone, “Sorry. It’s almost ten, and I thought you’d be up already.”
Moaning, Adam threw the covers back and swung his feet out of bed. “I guess I was pretty tired.”
His brain was slowly coming awake. Memories of the previous night’s thoughts crept back in. That’s when Adam looked down and realized his morning erection strained the fabric of his underwear. As casually as possible, he pulled the bedspread onto his lap. Isaiah’s cheeks were tinged in crimson as he offered an embarrassed grin.
Adam felt himself twitch as his stomach fluttered at the thrill of the moment. “Um, like I said, it still happens to me pretty often, too.”
Isaiah giggled, “Yeah. I guess so. I’m hungry. Is there anything to eat?”
Still feeling his erection through the bedspread, Adam nodded, “Yeah. Give me a sec, and we’ll see what I’ve got.”
Thankfully, Isaiah headed out the door, giving Adam the privacy to slip on a pair of shorts. Things were back to normal down below by the time he found Isaiah in the living room. The kid stared at the large flat-screen TV fixed to one of the walls. “That’s freaking huge, Adam. Is it yours?”
“No, belongs to one of my roommates. Ryan.”
In the kitchen, Adam opened the fridge. Like most college students, his refrigerator was spartanly stocked. But he did have a half-gallon of milk on the top shelf. Opening it, he took a whiff. “Good news, the milk isn’t spoiled. Let’s see what kind of cereal I’ve got.”
There were boxes of cereal from the end of the spring semester on one shelf. Above it was a box of Fruit Loops from a couple of weeks back.
Before long, he and Isaiah sat around a small dining table, eating the sugary breakfast.
“Your mom let you eat breakfast like this?”
Isaiah nodded. A rivulet of milk ran from the side of his mouth down his chin and onto his bare chest. “Sometimes. Especially on the weekend when she sleeps in. Do you eat this every day?”
Adam grimaced, “No. Sometimes I’ll nuke a packet of oatmeal or grab a breakfast bar. When I’m feeling lazy, though,” he knocked his spoon against the ceramic bowl, “Cereal it is.”
After breakfast, Adam called Amanda. She hadn’t left her friend’s yet and asked if she could swing by his place later in the afternoon once back in town. When he got off the phone with Isaiah’s mom, Adam said, “How about we watch a movie on that TV in the living room? Have you ever seen The Karate Kid?”
“What’s it about?”
Adam laughed as he queued up the movie, “It’s in the name.”
He settled onto the couch, leaning against a throw pillow on one of the padded armrests. Isaiah sat next to him, and before Johnnie and his gang first beat Daniel up, the boy was leaning against Adam’s arm.
Something felt right about the boy leaning against him. The warmth of Isaiah’s skin felt good against his own, and even though he tried to forget about the things he’d done with Jacob and Clint, those feelings bubbled below the surface, no matter how often Adam reminded himself they were sinful. But being so close to Isaiah and his budding sexuality was an intoxicant Adam felt powerless against, even as he worried, he was a moth being drawn to a fire.
Two weeks, he reminded himself, just two more weeks. Then it’s back to school. I’ll be back over at First Church, and Isaiah will be here. Becky will be back too, and all will return to normal. I can handle being close to Isaiah until then. I’m strong enough to keep things in check. I won’t let anything happen between us.
Knowing he could balance his attraction with his responsibility for what little time remained, Adam shifted the arm Isaiah leaned against and wrapped it around the boy’s shoulders. His young charge responded by moving a bit closer and resting his head against the side of Adam’s chest. Then Isaiah glanced up and smiled as he stretched his arm across the young man’s chest. He murmured, “I wish I could stay over here with you all the time.”
Touched by Isaiah’s words, Adam squeezed his shoulders, drawing him a bit closer. “Thanks, but I don’t think your mom would approve.”
Isaiah craned his neck to see Adam’s face, “No, it’s true. Since Six Flags, she’s always asking about you.”
Adam thought about how friendly Amanda had been those times they had talked. “You don’t think she has the hots for me?”
Isaiah giggled, “I wondered about that, too. She said she didn’t, but I’m not sure I believe her.”
The boy’s face grew somber, “I told her you’re my best friend. Really my only friend. I think that’s why she likes you.”
Touched by the boy’s vulnerability, Adam felt a familiar stirring in his heart. What he’d felt for Clint and Jacob hadn’t been merely sexual. Friendship and love were mixed in with his adolescent hormones. Two weeks. That’s all he needed to manage his feelings for the boy. He could let the friendship and love through and lock away the sexual.
Adam reached around with his left arm and hugged the boy, “You’re my friend, too, Isaiah. Although I doubt I’m your only friend. Jason likes you.”
“Jason likes Meredith. He was just being nice.”
To acknowledge what Isaiah meant to Adam opened up the young man’s heart. It hurt him to hear the boy admit he had no friends. “I know you moved to town this year, but surely you made friends at school.”
Isaiah’s eyes fell, “I thought I had. But I did something stupid, and now he hates me.”
Hearing the pain in Isaiah’s voice, it felt like a knife slicing into Adam’s heart, and he held the boy even closer, “I have a hard time believing anyone could hate someone as cool as you. Why do you think he hates you?”
Isaiah shook his head and rested it on Adam’s chest. They sat like that through the movie’s championship fight and the credits. In the middle of a lunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, Adam’s cell phone rang.
In a cheerful voice, Amanda chirped, “I’m pulling out of Tyler now. I should be there in less than three hours. How’s Isaiah?”
The boy’s lips were ringed in grape jelly. Chuckling, Adam said, “Really good. You want to say hi?”
The boy, his sandwich half-dissolved on a paper plate, took the phone, “Hi Mom.”
A smile danced across his messy mouth as he looked at Adam while listening to his mom. “We had so much fun at Schlitterbahn. Me and Adam rode almost all the water rides. It was so sick!”
The boy was silently laughing, “Come on. You know sick means cool. You know, like how sick Adam is.”
Adam stuck his tongue out as the boy held the phone to his ear. “I’ll remind him. And yes, he’ll text you his address. Bye. See you in a bit.”
When Isaiah handed Adam the phone, the boy said, “Can you text Mom your address?”
As he shot off his address to Amanda, Adam said, “What’re you supposed to remind me about?”
Isaiah got off the couch, “Dinner at our place after church on Sunday.”
Adam pretended to slap his forehead, “D’oh, how could I possibly forget?” He winked at Isaiah as the boy disappeared into the kitchen. After washing his hands, the boy came back, and before sitting down, he unlocked the front door.
When he snuggled against Adam’s chest, he said, “That way, Mom can come in, and you won’t have to get up.”
Firing up the second Karate Kid movie, Adam wrapped an arm around Isaiah, letting the boy rest his head against his chest, like during the first movie. Before long, they were both engrossed in beautiful scenes set half a world away in Okinawa.
By the time the movie credits rolled, Isaiah’s even breathing confirmed the boy had drifted off to sleep at some point. Adam’s thoughts drifted to his plans for the fall. His junior year was the first semester when all his classes were back on campus, now the country had finally put the pandemic in the rearview mirror. Still, he was only taking five classes. That would give him plenty of time to reconnect with Becky. Sure, he would be sad when the end of summer and his internship at Wakefield ended. But given how he felt about Isaiah, getting back into the swing of things with school and Becky was important. If summer were a few weeks longer, Adam lacked the confidence in his self-control and worried he would give himself over to the sin he felt in his heart for the boy.
Deep in his own heart, he had to admit his feelings for Isaiah were really fucked up. When he was twelve and thirteen, with Clint, he had frequently wondered if he were gay. After all, the way the older teen would touch his penis excited him like nothing else could. Except for touching Clint. All of those thoughts and feelings had gone dormant until his senior year with Jacob. What had started as a passionate kiss had ended with sucking the other boy off until Jacob’s watery seed had filled his unsuspecting mouth.
Even at seventeen, he knew what he had done with Jacob was wrong, even as it made him feel so good. And yet, when he headed off to college, he denied feeling gay. It had been a phase. All boys go through it, he had told himself. Lounging beside Isaiah, those same fears were back. God, why couldn’t Becky be back already? She was the salve that made those feelings go away.
Or was she just a bandage used to cover up something he couldn’t accept? He couldn’t be gay. He just couldn’t. To acknowledge that would destroy his thoughts of going into the ministry. Wouldn’t it?
Drawing in a ragged breath, Adam prayed for strength. He couldn’t help how close he felt to Isaiah, but he could control his actions. At least for a couple of more weeks.
The boy stretched his arm around his chest, “You okay? Your heart got fast.”
Adam rubbed eh boy’s shoulder, “Yeah. I guess I was just thinking about how much fun this summer has been.”
There was a knock at the door, followed by a ring of the doorbell.
Before Adam could say a word or shift Isaiah away from him, the boy called, “The door’s open.”
Adam froze as the door swung open. Amanda said, “Knock, knock.”
Laughing, Isaiah said, “Aww, I was hoping you were gonna be so late, I’d get to say with Adam tonight too.”
The moment to shift away was gone, now that the boy’s mom was closing the door behind her. As if his right arm casually hugging the boy and Isaiah’s right hand resting on Adam’s chest was the most natural way for friends to do, the young man plastered a smile on his face, even as he worried the woman would scream at him to get away from her son.
Amanda smiled at them as her eyes adjusted to the living room’s low light. “I’m sure Adam needs a break, kiddo. There’s Sunday School and then dinner. You’ll get to spend plenty of time with him then.
Standing between the sofa and the TV, she added, “What’d you do this afternoon, other than hang out on the couch?”
The boy seemed reluctant to sit up and retract his hand from Adam’s chest, but as he did, he said, “We watched an old movie called the Karate Kid and a sequel.”
“How cool is that? I grew up watching that movie. It was my mom’s favorite. Head and shoulders above that garbage of a remake. Why don’t you go ahead and get your stuff so we can get on out of Adam’s hair.”
Groaning at his mom’s directive, Isaiah shuffled from the room, leaving Adam all of Amanda’s attention. She sat down on the couch and said, “I can’t tell you how much it means to me that you watched Isaiah last night. Not having many friends in town yet, I don’t know what I would have done without you.”
Adam felt his tension ebb away, “It wasn’t a problem, Amanda. Isaiah’s an awesome kid, and I’m glad I could help.”
The young woman’s hand rested on Adam’s knee, “Isaiah adores you. More than you know, Adam. He doesn’t make friends very easily. And even though I don’t expect you to see it the same way, you’re his best friend. I was so afraid when Josh told Isaiah he didn’t want to be his friend anymore that this summer would be hell for my boy. But you made sure that didn’t happen. You were heaven sent, Adam.”
Am I? he thought. I want to kiss your son’s lips, to feel his heart race as I caress his chest, to put his penis in my mouth. I’m not the man you think I am. Instead, Adam said, “I like Isaiah. I’m sure I see things differently than he does, but he’s my friend, too. I’m really going to miss him when the internship is over in a couple of weeks.”
Sure, I’ll miss him, but God, I need to get my head screwed back on straight. I really miss Becky. I can’t afford to let things get out of hand here.
Amanda’s face fell, “I… know. I wish you were going to stay on as the fall youth intern. You’re so good with Isaiah.”
Adam felt his lips twist up into a wistful smile, “Thank. When the internship is over, I’m going to miss him too.”
Isaiah came back into the living room with his backpack in one hand and his shirt in the other. “Thanks, Adam. I hope we can do this again soon.”
The look in Amanda’s eyes was wishful as she stood to leave. “We’ll see you Sunday.”
After a long shower, Adam collapsed on his bed in nothing more than a pair of green briefs. He scrolled through his contacts until he found Becky’s number. He was stunned to realize it had been more than two weeks since they’d talked last. And he’d called her then.
She answered on the third ring, “Hey, Adam. How’s the youth group thing going?”
In the background, he could hear music playing. It was rap. A faint feminine voice called out, “Hey Becks, what color should I wear.”
Wondering where Becky was, Adam said, “Winding down. Just a couple of more weeks. I hope I didn’t interrupt anything.”
Becky said, “Hey, turn that shit down. I’m trying to have a conversation here.” Then, lowering her voice, she added, “Sorry. Having a slumber party at Linda’s.”
Adam vaguely recalled the name. The last time he’d talked with Becky, she had said she was catching up with a few friends from high school. Linda was one of the names she’d mentioned. “Sounds fun. I miss you, Becky.”
The volume of the music diminished. But it was followed by a loud shriek on the other end of the line, “Don’t touch me with that. Can’t you see I’m busy?” Then in a normal voice, Becky said, “Yeah. Me too.”
Images of Isaiah in the shower at the waterpark crept into Adam’s mind. “I really miss you, Becky. I can hardly wait for you to get back into town.”
The music continued thumping, albeit at a lower level. Another voice faintly said, “Hurry it, girl.”
Then after more than a handful of seconds passed by, Becky said, “Ah, about that, Adam… I’m not coming back in the fall.”
Adam shot straight up in bed, “What? But we’re dating. You’re my girlfriend.”
Becky’s voice was strained, “Am I? Adam, we were friends. And I liked you like a friend. I mean I like you like a friend. But I always felt like we were just treading water with each other. Not really going anywhere. It didn’t take me long when I got home to figure out why. You were my shield. Pretending to be your girlfriend, I could ignore what I had been denying for the past couple of years.”
Shocked at Becky’s words, Adam stammered, “W-what are you trying to tell me?”
A loud, long sigh emanated from the phone. “I like girls. Spent the past year with you, trying to deny it. But Laura showed me how wrong I have been.”
Adam pulled the phone away and looked at it almost as if it were a five-headed hydra. He needed Becky. She was his own shield. When he put the phone back to his ear, Becky was talking, “…Know it’s a surprise, Adam. But better to tell you now. Anyway, now that you know, you can stop hiding behind me.”
A cold lump of ice landed in the pit of Adam’s stomach, “What are you saying?”
An exasperated sigh pierced his ear, “If you really like girls, Adam, you’ve got a weird way of showing it. You only kissed me twice in all the months we dated. And both times, it felt, I don’t know, you were kissing your sister.”
Feeling suffocating at Becky’s words, He strangled the words, “But… the church, Becky. You can’t… I can’t…”
Adam didn’t know how to finish. Becky’s laughter was strangled, “I don’t know about any of that. I’m tired of being miserable, even miserable with you. I don’t know what I think right now, but the one thing I know is that Laura makes me happy. So, if you want to keep being miserable, keep on doing what you’re doing, Adam. Otherwise, go find your own happiness.”
The dial-tone caught him by surprise. Becky was gone. And she wasn’t coming back. Adam fell back into the bed, absorbing the conversation. She had dumped him. And for some girl with whom she went to high school. Worse, as far as he was concerned, she had seen through the veneer of their dating relationship. She had been an anchor, helping him to stay grounded.
He cursed Becky. It was a lot easier for her to give herself over to Laura than for him to acknowledge what had been staring him in the face since Six Flags. No matter how much he might want it, it was simply impossible for Adam to acknowledge his feelings for Isaiah. Nobody, least of all, the boy’s mom, would understand. And he knew enough to know what happened to people who touched little boys—very bad things.
Saturday evening, still trying to forget the trauma of his conversation with Becky, Adam sat cross-legged on his bed with a notepad and his Bible. Even though Becky’s words haunted him, he had made some progress on Sunday’s lesson plan. He’d always liked the parable of the talents. He wanted to start with how Jesus had recruited Matthew, a tax collector, to be one of his disciples. Then, to discuss the parable of the talents. He was getting pretty good at getting the kids to discuss whatever topic he’d chosen.
While he focused on preparing for the next day, the fears of not having Becky in his life were held at bay. Adam was deep in thought about how he would transition from discussing Matthew to talking about how the parable of the talents related to the kids in the youth group. So deep, he barely felt his phone vibrate, even though it was lying next to him on the bed.
Feeling an idea slip away as he reached for the phone, Adam sighed unhappily as he answered the phone. “Hey, Ryan. What’s up?”
“Dude, I’ve got some good news and some not so good news.” Ryan’s voice had a perennially Southern California vibe.
Ryan had been his roommate during their freshman year. And his father, a west coast real estate developer, owned the apartment he, Ryan, and their friend Zander lived in. His lesson plan forgotten, Adam felt a disquiet in his belly, “Um, okay.”
“Dad got a new condo, right off-campus in the new Aspen development.”
Adam was familiar with the development. It was a large planned community, the gate of which was only a block from campus. Everybody who was anybody had been trying to get on a lease since the developer started selling condos.
Adam’s last train of thought about the parable of the talents fled, “Okay. Well, then what’s the good news?”
Ryan scoffed, “Dude, that’s going to be the happening place, and we’re going to be in it. There’s space for four of us.”
Between his scholarship, loans, and grants, Adam barely made ends meet. The rent Ryan’s dad charged on their current apartment set Adam back nearly five hundred dollars a month. “What’s the rent?”
A long silence came from the other end of the line, followed by an embarrassed chuckle, “Well, the condo cost a lot more than the apartment. Dad’s asking nine hundred a month from each of us.”
“Nine hundred?” Adam exclaimed. He chose to ignore Ryan trying to include himself as a renter. It didn’t even merit a comment. “Ryan, if you think this is the good news, I’m not sure I want to hear about the bad.”
Oblivious to Adam’s distress, Ryan was chipper, “Dad’s selling the apartment to another developer. This guy’s got a crew coming next week to move our stuff over to the new condo, and then they’ll be patching and painting for the new tenants.”
Adam wanted to cuss his roommate for dumping the news on him but knew he’d regret it if he let his emotions loose on Ryan. Instead, he replied in measured words, “Fine. I’ll make sure I’m ready by then.”
Adam killed the connection. He didn’t care to hear the rest of what Ryan had to say. He tossed the phone by the foot of the bed before slamming the Bible closed. Why was the whole world arrayed against him?
His eyes stung as he shouted out to an empty apartment, “What is happening to me? My body hates me, my girlfriend dumped me, and now I’m homeless?”
He shook his fist at the ceiling. “You’re not supposed to test me more than I can stand. I’m past that point, God. What the fuck?”
Adam let his head fall into the crook of his arms, at a loss for what to do. Everything had been going so well, despite the feelings he tried ignoring about Isaiah. And then everything had gone to hell, all in just a couple of days. There was simply no way to stretch his meager income to cover nearly twice the rent as before. Perhaps if Becky hadn’t flaked out on him, he could have crashed at her place. But that option was gone.
Closing his eyes, Adam didn’t feel like praying. Didn’t feel like anything. A couple of hours passed by before he realized it was getting late. He glanced at the notebook and the closed Bible. His brain felt like mush, and he set them on the nightstand. Maybe after a shower, he could finish. He had a job to do the next day, and he owed it to the kids to be ready, no matter how he felt.
In the bathroom, Adam stripped out of his clothes. The tan from the waterpark looked good on his shoulders, even as he wished they were wider. His muscles were wiry and small across a chest he wished was broader than it was. Except for a few stray hairs around his nipples, he was smooth down to his bellybutton. A few hairs picked up the trail just above his abdomen, growing into a patch of thick pubic hair above the base of his penis. Staring at himself, he shook his head. Of course, Becky had never liked him for his body. Sure, he was thin, almost to the point of gauntness. But that’s not what girls want.
He chuckled bitterly as he adjusted the water flowing into the bathtub. “No shit. Sure as hell not what Becky was looking for.”
He flipped a knob, sending the water cascading from an overhead showerhead. The warm water felt good on his skin as he tried to stop thinking about Becky’s betrayal or Ryan yanking the apartment from under him. He closed his eyes, pushing the anger away. In his heart, he knew nothing good would come from holding a grudge against either of them. Instead, his thoughts went to Isaiah. Ignoring his anger at Becky and Ryan was easier than ignoring his feelings for the boy. By the time he finished washing his body, his penis was hard, pointing up at a slight angle.
I shouldn’t, Adam thought as he wrapped his fingers around his erection and thought about a beautiful boy with brown hair. In his mind’s eye, they were back at the waterpark, in the changing room’s showers. Isaiah was naked, standing next to him. The boy’s small three inches pointed to the ceiling, quivering under Adam’s gaze. In the theater of the young man’s mind, he reached across the short distance and took the boy’s small erection and jacked him off. Of course, only in his mind could he get away with it.
In reality, Adam’s erection grew sensitive as a familiar tingling sensation radiated from his penis. He sped up, his fingers flying up and down his shaft until he closed his eyes and let the eruption between his legs wash over him, not seeing his semen splattering on the bottom of the bathtub on its way down the drain. When he stopped, at least part of him felt better. However, the guilt that came with thinking about Isaiah that way wouldn’t leave him alone.
After a mostly unnecessary shave, getting dressed for bed, and then finishing his lesson plan for the next morning, Adam wasn’t quite able to shake the guilt that came from masturbating to images of the boy. When bedtime came, he turned out the light and closed his eyes. Long before sleep could come, Adam pulled his underwear down and thought of a naked nearly-twelve-year-old boy as he jacked off again.
Copyright 2019 – Caliboy1991
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