The following story is about the development of a fully consensual and loving relationship between a man and a pre-adolescent boy. At some point through the story's progression, there will be a graphic display of sexual acts between the man and the boy meant to show the natural progression and development of an intimate and caring relationship. If the topic of man/boy sex offends you, or if this material is illegal in your place or residence, or if you are under legal age, please leave now.
Any similarities between the characters in this story and any persons living and/or dead is purely a coincidence.
This story is protected under the nifty archives license agreement, and the author (me!) releases the right for nifty and nifty alone to post it on the internet. Please do not post this story anywhere else without my consent or knowledge.
This chapter turned out to me much more painstaking than I had originally thought. Not only did I have to re-write the first scene several times, but also the second scene. I am winding up towards the slippery slope that is the conclusion of this story, and I am trying hard to put all the pieces into place.
There was a great deal of work put into this chapter, and there was no way I could have written it as well as I could have without Owens help. Owen, this story would only be a glimmer in my eye without you. I love you so much.
I would also like to thank both Lucius and Roland for your insights into this chapter, and all the other readers that have responded. It really makes me feel good that I have been able to touch some of you with this story, and I hope you will finish the ride for what I promise will be a very exciting conclusion.
As always, please feel free to share what you think of this story, good or bad, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There wasn't a soul seated in the small, drab waiting room at the doctor's office. The only person visible was the aging receptionist. Josh's mother, showing her typical amount of patience, hustled Josh over to the counter.
"I have an eight o'clock appointment to see Doctor O'Connell. I realize I made the appointment on short notice, but it's urgent that I see him right away," she said, bringing Josh closer to her side.
The receptionist looked at his mother quizzically, then back at her computer screen. "Yes, I see you scheduled the appointment last night. The doctor just got in a few minutes ago, so he should be with you shortly. I see you made the appointment for your son," She looked over the counter and gave Josh a warm smile. "How are you doing this morning, young man?"
Josh looked down at his feet, unwilling to answer. He couldn't meet the woman's eyes. She was linked to the doctor... the doctor that was going to have to examine him to make sure he was okay.
The receptionist must have been able to sense Josh's anxiety, and spoke down to him softly, "Don't worry about it honey, Doctor O'Connell will take good care of you. Why don't you have a seat until the nurse calls you."
Josh submissively followed his mother to a seat, brooding the entire time. The doctor shouldn't have to take care of him, there was nothing wrong with him. Yet here he was, at his mother's insistence. She had woken him up even earlier than usual and informed him that he would not be going to school, that she had scheduled a doctor's appointment for him. When he had asked her why, she only said, "Because honey, I'm worried about what might have happened to you while you were at that man's house. I just want the doctor to make sure you are okay."
Josh's mother had stopped referring to Steven by name. She had instead taken to calling him "that man". Josh wanted to scream at her. Steven deserved more respect than that. He couldn't stop her though. It was like there was no doubt left in her mind. She swore "that man" had done something bad to him, and she wasn't going to stop until she got to the bottom of it. Josh wanted to shout out how wrong she was, and how unfair she was being. But he knew, just by the look on her face, that she wouldn't listen. He knew that whenever she was like this, she wasn't going to stop until she had her answer. Now he was sitting there waiting, in absolute misery at the doctor's office. Waiting for who knows what the doctor was going to have to do to him.
The nurse's call pierced Josh's thoughts like a hot knife. "Josh Chambers, we are ready to see you."
If Josh hadn't been ready to react, his mother sure was. She sprang up from her seat and pulled him by the hand over to the door leading into the medical area. The nurse gave his mother a questioning look, to which she immediately responded, "I'll be accompanying my son. I'd prefer not to let him out of my sight."
The nurse only gave a small frown, but nodded her head. She led them over to an open area with a scale, several cabinets, and an exit to the bathroom. She pulled out a blue medical gown and handed it to Josh. "We will need to take quite a few measurements, so I need you to change out of your shirt and shorts and into these. You may use the bathroom over there if you'd like." She also handed him a little cup with a snap lid. "I also need a urine sample from you. Please try and fill it to here," she said, pointing to a mark on the cup. "Do you need a glass of water, or anything to drink?"
Josh could only shake his head and take the cup, along with the gown from her hands weakly. For a second, he thought his mother was actually going to go into the bathroom with him, but she paused when he passed through the door. "Don't take long," she said sternly.
Josh stared dejectedly at the little cup, then at the gown in his hands. He really hated having to pee in a cup. He had done it once before, and had real problems actually getting started. The gown wasn't very fun either. It was a flimsy little short sleeve robe that had to be made out of the thinnest material Josh had ever seen. He really didn't like that he had to do this, seemingly for no good reason at all.
Resigned to get this over with as fast as possible, Josh quickly undressed, setting everything down by the sink. Then, with the cup in hand, he went over to the toilet to start the arduous task of... peeing into a cup. Just as it had been before, nothing wanted to come out. The only way he got anything to happen was if he closed his eyes and tried not to think about the fact that his mother was standing right outside maybe only a few feet from him at the most. The only way he was going to do it was to force his mind to believe he was peeing into a toilet like normal. Josh felt some of this tension release as the flow finally started, and he was able to collect enough for the nurse.
When he walked back over to where his clothes were, he caught a quick glimpse of himself in the small mirror in front of the sink. The last time he had looked at himself in the mirror like this, he had been in Steven's bathroom, thinking of what had gone on between them, and the good feelings that might come, which he was really beginning to look forward to. Now, he knew there would be no good feelings. Not for this. This was going to suck, and he wasn't looking forward to it at all. He knew the doctor was going to ask questions, even if he wasn't able to find anything, and he had to be prepared to say something. Something that both the doctor and his mother would believe.
When Josh reappeared from the bathroom, he was changed into his gown with his underwear still on underneath and had the rest of his clothes, along with the cup, bundled into his hands. His mother quickly took his clothes, and allowed him to give the sample to the nurse. The nurse looked at the fluid carefully, then smiled, putting it in a plastic bag with a label. "Ah, that should do. Very good." Josh gave a sigh of relief, thankful that part was over with at least.
The nurse instructed him to stand against the wall in front of a ruler with his feet locked tightly together. She used the ruler, along with a roll of measuring tape, measuring his height, waist, and arm-span. Finally, she had him step on the scale, recording all the measurements in a little notebook.
"Well, none of these measurements seem that abnormal for a typical healthy eleven-year-old boy. You are a little small for your age, but that's nothing to worry about. Boys your age are all across the board, some much taller, and some even shorter," The nurse said with a smile, trying to put him at ease. Josh groaned inwardly. She should tell that to the other kids at school, but it still probably wouldn't make a difference.
She then led him over to a strange little device with numbers blinking on the screen. She asked him to hold out his finger and she put a strange clip on it that had a little red light inside. She watched for a few moments as the numbers lit up and a wave started going across the screen, then removed it. "We just got one of these in last month. I like using it better on the children because it can measure pulse rate much faster than an arm cuff. Your oxygen saturation seems to be fine as well," The nurse said, explaining to him and his mother. His mother raised an eyebrow, but didn't say anything. Josh was glad that it was one less thing he had to do.
"Alright, I'm pretty much done with you. I'll take you to an exam room and Doctor O'Connell will be in to see you shortly," the nurse explained.
The medical room they were led to was small, with a little exam bed in the corner. The nurse pulled out a fresh sheet of paper over it and had him sit. Both Josh and his mother were left in silence. Josh's mother didn't say a word, for which Josh was grateful. The situation he was in was definitely far from comfortable, with him sitting there, dressed only in a stupid flimsy little gown. Josh really hoped that he would at least get to keep the gown on. He would just die if he had to take it off in front of his mother.
The wait, though awkward, was at least short. There was a light tap on the door, then a kindly looking older gentlemen with a snow white beard came into the room. Josh knew it had to be the doctor, simply because of the stethoscope hanging around his neck. The doctor gave a slight frown when he saw his mother sitting in the chair by the desk.
"Mrs. Chambers, I'm afraid that I am going to have to ask you to leave for this part of the exam. I think it would be best for your son if I conducted this part in private. It will be difficult enough for Josh as it is," the doctor said, holding the door open.
Josh's mother however, shook her head. "I would prefer if I stayed here with my son, actually."
The doctor stood there for a while, scratching his beard before he responded. "Can I speak to you outside for a moment?"
Josh's mother stood up from her seat at what seemed a painfully slow rate, then followed the doctor out of the room. Josh strained his ears, trying hard to hear what they were saying, but it was no use at all. It figured that his mother wanted to stay in the room with him. Though all of the other times he had been to the doctor's, she had always stayed in the room, he knew this time was different. Josh just knew the doctor was going to do something to him, something that the doctor thought his mother shouldn't see.
The doctor and his mother didn't stay out of the room for long. She took her seat again, her expression not looking the slightest bit different from what it was when she left. The doctor, in turn, wrote something on his notepad before pulling up a stool next to Josh. "Alright then young man, we are just going to check a few things out in order to make sure that you are a healthy, growing boy. Are you ready?"
Josh could only nod his head slightly.
"First, let's begin with a few simple questions. Have you felt any sense of dizziness or nausea in the past few weeks?" Josh shook his head. "Have you had any problems breathing, or felt short of breath?" Josh shook his head again. "Have you been going to the bathroom regularly?" Josh shook his head more slowly this time. "Have you felt any pain when going to the bathroom, while either urinating or defecating?" Josh's expression turned a little sour, and his face became a little red, shrinking a little on the bed. He really didn't like answering this question right in front of his mother, but what was he going to do?
"No." Josh said, shaking his head.
The doctor nodded and wrote down a few notes onto his pad, then pulled off his stethoscope. "Okay, I'm just going to check a few places on your chest and make sure your ticker is up to snuff." The doctor carefully inserted his hand into Josh's robe, placing the stethoscope right above his left nipple. Josh winced with the cold of the touch. He did it in several more places. Fortunately, the metal warmed up a little each time.
The doctor checked his eyes next, having Josh open them as wide as he could while he shined a light in them. Josh really didn't like that. It cause him to see bright pink spots everywhere. The device the doctor stuck in his ear wasn't as bad, but the experience of opening his mouth so he could stick a large wooden stick he called a "swab" was horrendous. It was really bad when the doctor made him say 'aah' right when the swab was in his throat, making cough and choke.
"Now I'm afraid we have to do the uncomfortable part," The doctor announced. As if this whole process wasn't already very uncomfortable. The doctor moved to make sure the door to the room was tightly closed.
"I need you to remove your gown for me please," the doctor said in a flat tone.
This was the part Josh had been dreading. Why else would they have made him wear a gown, if not to take it off? Now, if it was just the doctor, he probably wouldn't have minded as much, but his mother was right there, watching intently, almost like she was watching some unfolding drama movie. This was probably why the doctor had taken his mother outside. He was probably trying to spare him at least a little suffering. But no, this was probably what it was all about, and his mother wasn't going to miss a second of it. Not liking it one little bit, Josh undid the string to his robe and pulled the material off his shoulders, leaving him standing there in just his pair of little white briefs. Josh felt his cheeks begin to burn the instant he let the gown off.
The doctor motioned Josh to remain standing there on the step to the bed while he looked him over. Both the eyes of the doctor and his mother examined every square inch of his skin intensely, making him feel naked, despite the fact he was still wearing his briefs. It's like they were looking for some scar or deep laceration. But Josh knew they weren't going to find anything. Were they? The more they studied him, the more unsure he became. He felt so small under their intense stare. So insignificant.
The worst however, was still yet to come. "I need you to take your underwear down for me."
Josh felt his stomach slam into the bottom of his feet. He couldn't believe what the doctor just asked. He wanted him to take down his underwear, in front of his own mother. There was just no way... he just couldn't do it.
"Please do what the doctor says," came his mother's voice.
Josh didn't know how his mother could stay so calm. It was like this was just some routine exam for her, like this sort of thing was commonplace. Well... it wasn't. Not to Josh. How could his mother be so... indifferent? Almost like she didn't even care.
Though Josh's hands trembled with the effort, he was finally able to slide the waist band of his underwear past his hips and down his thighs, leaving his front completely exposed to view. If Josh's cheeks had been burning before, they were now suffering from a nuclear onslaught.
Then the unthinkable happened. The doctor actually took his penis in his hands and started sliding the foreskin up across the head. Josh squeezed his eyes closed tightly. He did everything in his power to put the feelings the doctor was giving him out of his mind, but it was like trying to plug his ears against a blaring rock concert. It was no use at all. The feelings that Josh had only really begin to identify with and truly understand just last night came crashing down on him again. This time however, he was being stimulated by the doctor's touch, and not his own. Josh's little penis started to lengthen and grow, and there was nothing he could due to stop it. Josh felt a tiny little squeak escape from his throat as the doctor pushed his foreskin back even further, causing him a slight bit of pain. The doctor didn't seem to pay any notice however, and only continued to manipulate his foreskin until he thought the feelings in his now painfully erect penis would overwhelm him. Tears began welling up in Josh's eyes. Why was the doctor doing this to him? If he had known the exam was going to be like this, he wouldn't have come within a million miles of here.
"Listen Josh, I know this is uncomfortable, but I have noticed that parts of your foreskin are inflamed. Now, that doesn't mean there is anything wrong with it, but it does mean that it has seen some activity of late. Have you, or has anyone else pulled your foreskin back while your penis has been erect like this? Did it hurt when it was done?" The doctor asked in a soft voice that was trying to be reassuring, but not nearly reassuring enough.
Josh's body completely froze up. That's why he was doing this. He had found it, the doctor had found the one thing Steven had done to him, looking in a place that he thought nobody would possibly look. What was he going to say? What was he going to do? He had absolutely no defense against this, he had nothing. Steven had done it, and here was the proof. Incomprehensible fear racked Josh's body. This was the end. This was what his mother had been looking for, and now she had found it, lewdly on display right in front of her. This is what she wanted to see.
Just when Josh thought his mind could spiral no further down into the pit of despair, distaste, and bitter bitter anguish, the doctor reached out his hand, as if to rescue him from the deep dark hole he had thrown him in.
The doctor removed his hand from Josh's inflamed privates, placing it instead on his shoulder. "You know it's okay son, all boys start masturbating at some point, and some boys with foreskin can have problems starting off. It's really nothing to be embarrassed about."
Even though he was still incredibly embarrassed standing there with an erection in front of his mother, he latched onto the doctor's words as if they were a lifeline. Josh did his best to put on a "yeah, I've been caught red handed look", and hoped that the doctor and his mother bought it.
Josh's mother, however, had a look of skepticism on her face. "Are you trying to tell me that my son could have done this himself? That he willingly, and knowingly damaged his foreskin while masturbating?"
The doctor shook his head. "It's not at all that uncommon Mrs Chambers. Boys do this all the time, it's only natural. If the foreskin is in the way... well eventually, if it gets a lot of use, which is the case for most boys, the foreskin will stretch, and be a little inflamed."
Josh's mother appeared as if she was going to say more, but she waved her hand and leaned back into her seat. Josh could see that she didn't believe what the doctor said for one moment. But even if she didn't believe, the doctor had given him a way out. He had given him a way to explain it that she couldn't dispute, not when the doctor himself said how possible it was.
"Just one more check, then we are done with the front. Please turn your head for me." Glad that this part of it was almost over, Josh turned his head quickly, pointedly in the opposite direction of his mother. "Now cough like you are clearing your throat," The doctor said, bringing two fingers up to the bottom of his testicles.
Though Josh found it uncomfortable, he managed several coughs, and the doctor patted him on the back. "Now I need you to remove your underwear the rest of the way and lie face down on the bed."
Josh didn't know whether to feel relieved, or to brace himself for something worse. Well... at least this way, his front would no longer be exposed. Josh let out a long, deep breath into the examination bed, trying to stifle his tears. More than anything, Josh wanted this to end.
"Excuse me one moment," The doctor announced, letting himself out of the room. This time, Josh definitely heard what he said in the hallway. The doctor had asked the nurse to bring him a "SAFE kit", whatever that was. Josh had the very uncomfortable feeling he was about to find out.
It only took a few moments for the "SAFE kit" to arrive. Once he had it, he opened it and started sorting though it's contents. It didn't really look like there was a lot in there, other than cotton, more of those wooden swabs, and some other metal tools. The one thing that he saw that he didn't like the looks of was the needle and test-tube. Of course, it was the first thing he picked out.
"I know we have already taken a urine sample, but we also need a blood sample. This goes to a different place, and they run some different tests on it. I know getting poked is never fun, so I will try to make it quick," the doctor explained.
The doctor adjusted Josh's arm, dabbing a wet cotton-ball on the inner part, then quickly stuck the needle in, not even giving Josh time to think. The pain was quick, but sharp. Josh squinted and cringed, watching in trepidation as he saw his blood begin to fill the test-tube. When it was over, the doctor quickly applied the band-aid. Was there no end to the horror this exam had become?
Then, almost by reflex, Josh gripped his hands tightly to his sides when he felt the doctor spread his legs wider. Josh's whole body tensed up when he heard a "snap" that must have been the doctor's gloves as he stretched them over his hands. The feelings that came over him next were very disconcerting and unpleasant as he started probing around his anal opening with this finger. The doctor was very methodological, just like he had been with his front, leaving no part of him untouched. Then the doctor did something completely new. He picked up some of the tools that had been in the "SAFE kit", a pair of tweezers and a razor, and started scraping the insides of his butt. Josh bit his lower lip and his eyes began to water again, as the doctor began picking at hairs he didn't even know he had.
All of that discomfort, and pain seemed to recess into the background when he caught sight of his mother. Though it was only slight, he could see that his mother's lips were formed into a smile. It was like she was enjoying watching every moment of this.
The pain came hurtling forward when the doctor plunged a finger into his opening, causing him the gasp. The feeling was absolutely horrible. It felt like he had to take a crap, but no matter how hard he pushed, the feeling wouldn't go away. The feeling became yet even worse, to the point where his teeth gritted and his whole body arched on the bed, when the doctor shoved the wooden swab in. No longer able to hold it back, Josh let out a yep of pain as the doctor pushed the stick in the rest of the way.
Still, despite all that thrashing and yelping, his mother sat there, saying nothing. She actually leaned forward in her chair, like she was watching the climax to some TV show. When he was thrashing about the most, her gaze only seemed to intensify. It was like she was enjoying every moment of this, watching the doctor mangle her son's behind, until the pain had brought him to tears.
It was in that moment, crying from the pain as the doctor ripped the swab back out, he realized it. That dark feeling that had been buried deep within him for a long time now, began to bubble over. A feeling of hatred, red hot and intense, directed solely at his mother. It was her fault he was here right now, going through all this pain. It was her fault he had to be here like this, so completely exposed. All for what? So she could find out if Steven had done something to him? If anything, what was happening to him right now was far more uncomfortable than anything Steven had ever done. At least Steven had been gentle, and had asked beforehand, and even apologized afterwards. His mother... she just did what she wanted with him, and it didn't matter in the least how he felt.
Lying there naked and exposed, completely exhausted from his struggle on the bed, he looked back at his mother. Now that the show was over, and the doctor was busy reorganizing the "SAFE kit" she was completely oblivious to him, asking the doctor quiet questions, not caring even the slightest bit about how horrible he felt. If there had been any doubt before, it was now completely gone. He hated his mother, with all his heart. He hated her with every fiber of his being. He hated her for doing this to him, he hated her for treating him like this, he hated her for thinking the horrible things about him, and about Steven, that she did.
Finally, his mother actually seemed to notice him and barked out a quick order. "Put your clothes back on, we're done here," She said, following the doctor out into the hall.
Josh gave her a cold stare, but she wasn't even paying attention as she closed the door behind her. At least she had the decency to do that, though it didn't mean a thing, considering everything she had seen. He didn't think he could ever forgive her for what she had done to him.
Somberly, even beginning to feel a little sore, Josh dressed himself. In the back of his mind, Josh wondered if this was it, or if his mother had yet more horrors in store for him. Part of him thought about running, right then and there, out the small open window that led outside, rather than walking out the door and going with this mother. Anything would be better than going with her, anything at all.
Reason must have won out however, because he finally found himself opening the door rather than jumping out the window. His mother was right there in the hall waiting for him, apparently having finished her conversation with the doctor. She didn't waste another moment, leading him back out to the front desk to check out.
The whole way down to the car, she didn't say a single word to him, not a single word of comfort or apology. He was happy for it too, because if she had said something, he probably would have just sneered at her, or said something really nasty.
When she finally did speak. they were out of the parking lot and driving to who knows where. "We have one more stop to make before I take you back to school. I've signed you up to talk with the Sergeant at the police station. I have explained the situation to them, and I want you to answer their questions honestly."
The news hit Josh like a wrecking ball. Now she was taking him to the police station? Why did he need to talk to the police? What could she have possibly have told them? Josh gripped his hands into a fist so tight, he could actually feel the blood drain from them. It was as he had feared. The trip to the doctor's had only been the beginning.
Josh's mother must have seen his reaction. "Listen, I know this is hard for you, but I'm doing this so we can get to the bottom of what "that man" did to you. I know the doctor did some uncomfortable things, but they had to be done. I'm sorry you had to go through that."
Josh didn't want to hear it, not after he saw how she had been watching. He knew she wasn't being sincere. She had enjoyed every minute of it and he knew it. He knew she wasn't really sorry about what he had to go through. If she was, she wouldn't be taking him to the police station right now. The only thing she wanted to do was tear Steven away from him. She did it because she hated Steven, and everything he meant to him. She had to hate him, why else would she be doing this?
The inside of the police station was a hustle and bustle of late morning activity. Josh's mother had already checked them in, now they were just waiting for an officer to come and see them. Josh felt uncomfortable sitting there in the waiting room. Along with the flurry of his internal struggle, what he saw around in the waiting room didn't help one bit either.
There were several others waiting as well. People who looked like, if he met them alone outside the police station, they would beat the living crap out of him. There was a large, bulky man with no hair sitting only two seats away from him, dressed in studded leathers. He looked like one of those guys that were always on a big motorcycle that always revved up their engine as loud as they could when they passed you by. The man looked big enough, that if he wanted to, he could probably grab Josh's whole head with one hand and crush it like an egg. Another guy, sitting across the room from him, looked like he might belong to some gang. Though he looked a lot younger and smaller than the biker, with sagging pants that actually exposed his boxers, and long black hair that was completely covering his face and a shirt with graffiti words written on it that Josh couldn't even read, he definitely looked just as scary. He looked like the kind of person who would steal everything you had on you and not look back. Josh felt an instinctual urge to clutch at his mother and draw her close for protection, but he battled that urge. Right now, he didn't want to be any closer to her than he was to these other scary people.
"Josh Chambers, if you could come back with me, we are ready for you," announced a man in a police uniform. He looked only looked only slightly smaller and less bulky than the leather clad biker man sitting next to him. He definitely looked like someone you didn't want to mess with.
Josh swallowed down the hard lump that had formed in his throat, trying to gather the courage to stand. Josh's mother however, didn't seem the least bit intimidated, and quickly forced him on his feet. When she got to the cop, who looked as if he was making ready to introduce himself, she waved off his hand and tried to push past him.
"Finally. Let's get this thing over with," his mother said, sounding every bit as impatient as she normally was around Josh.
But when she tried to move past the officer, he raised a hand to stop her.
"I'm sorry Ms. Chambers, you will have to wait here," the cop said, in his deep masculine baritone.
"I'm going with my son, and that's all there is to it," she said again, trying to push past the cop.
The hulking officer didn't move an inch. "Ma'am, I'm going to have to ask you to sit down. The interrogation will be conducted by myself and Sergeant Warren alone. It will be recorded and stored in our legal files, and we would be more than happy to answer any questions you might have afterwards."
Josh's mother looked like she was about to blow a gasket. "I will hear what my son has to say with my own ears. He's my son, I have every right to be there during this!"
She tried to get past the cop again, but her efforts were just as futile before. When the officer stopped her again, she actually looked like she was going to tear his head off right there, but the officer remained calm. It seemed like he dealt with this sort of thing all the time. "I'm sorry ma'am, but it's standard procedure we interview the suspect or victim alone, without the presence of the parent or legal guardian. I assure you, our objective is to find the truth, and that will be made easier if you are not in the room with your son."
"But-" his mother was about to interject more, but the officer cut her off.
"Ma'am, that's the procedure. If you have a problem with it, you can take it up with the District Attorney. Now," he said, turning to Josh, "If you would follow me please."
Josh looked back as his mother as the cop led him away. She stood there a bit longer, watching with a gaze that could burn through a mountain. Finally, she huffed and walked away. He couldn't believe how much of a fuss she had made, right in front of the officer. It had been just like at the physical. This time though, the police office actually stood up to her. He wished the doctor would have done the same thing, then he would have been spared all the humiliation. At the same time, he didn't know which was going to be worse, that physical, or this interrogation. He doubted it could be much worse. He didn't think any questions they asked him could be as bad as making him take his clothes off in front of his mother.
The officer led him into a small room with a plain metal table in it. Another man was already sitting at the other end. Josh felt that same lump in his throat form again. The room looked very uncomfortable, with only enough chairs around the table for Josh and the two officers. Nothing else was in the room, except for a mirror. Josh wondered if it was just a normal mirror, or if it was one of those things that you could see through on the other side. He wondered if there was anyone on the other side, who were watching. The whole situation sent tingles down his back, making it hard for him to move, especially when the officer who led him in motioned him to have a seat. The metal chair was cold and hard, making him feel stiff.
The officer's demeanor however, had seemed to change once they were inside the room. "Now that I've managed to get you away from your mother, let me take the opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Officer Murphy, and this is Sergeant Warren," the man said, motioning to man already sitting at the table. The Sergeant didn't look remotely like Officer Murphy. He looked rather pudgy, and very serious with his thick brown mustache and spectacles perched on the end of his stubby nose. He definitely looked like a man that wouldn't take any guff from anyone.
Sergeant Warren cleared his throat, giving Josh a curt nod of acknowledgment.
Officer Murphy however, gave him a more friendly smile, then asked, "Does your mother always behave like that?"
Josh relaxed a little at Officer Murphy's smile. "Yeah, she can be... a little pushy sometimes, when she doesn't get her way."
Officer Murphy actually laughed. "A little pushy? She looked ready to move mountains!"
Josh couldn't help but crack a smile. The officer didn't seem like such a bad guy, now that they were away from his mother.
"You should have seen her sir," he said to the Sergeant. "She insisted on coming into the interrogation room with us. Honestly, I thought she was going to wrestle me to the floor if I didn't let her though," Officer Murphy said, keeping up his smile. "Your mother is very protective of you, isn't she?"
Josh only shrugged his shoulders. "I guess so." He wanted to say that it wasn't that she was protective, it was that she was controlling.
"So, you've been staying out of trouble at school, I imagine? You don't seem like the kind of boy who goes around causing problems." Sergeant Warren said, giving him a polite smile.
Josh shrugged again, thankful that at least the police didn't think he was a trouble maker.
"Nah, I'll bet your a regular star at school. Gets good grades, in with the guys, and a real ladies man, right?" Officer Murphy winked.
Josh just rolled his eyes. Now they were just being silly with him.
Sargent Warren seemed to be playing along with the jest as well, but finally sat up in his chair, pulling up the file that had been sitting in front of him. "Right. Now, before we proceed, we just want to remind you that you are not here because you are in any trouble at all. As we have said, we think you are a fine young man, and we just want to ask you a few questions. As long as you tell us the truth, we promise it wont be so bad. We just want to understand some things about the situation your mother has made us aware of."
Josh's heart sank at the mention of his mother. Why did they have to mention her again? He knew she was the reason he was here, but he would have liked to have forgotten that detail for just a little bit.
The sergeant glanced back down at the file before asking the next question. "Your mother has made mention of a Mr. Steven McNealy, do you know this man?"
A flutter ran through Josh's stomach. Of course he knew Steven, what was he supposed to say? "Yes. He's my piano teacher, and he's also my music teacher at school. He teaches the band too." Josh said, trying to sound resolute and confident.
The sergeant actually raised a brow at the quick answer. "Yes, that is what the file says. How long have you known Mr. McNealy?" he asked.
Josh sat back in his seat a little. "Um, since the beginning of the school year, so I guess... seven months?"
The sergeant shook his head, like he was confirming an answer he already knew.
"It also says here that at some point, Mr. McNealy began giving you private lessons, is that correct?" the sergeant asked.
"Yes." Josh shook his head.
"Around when did this start happening?" the sergeant asked again.
Josh frowned slightly, looking up at the ceiling, trying to remember. It had been a long time, almost since the beginning of the school year. They had started almost just as quick as Steven had heard him play for the first time. "Well... it wasn't too long after the start of school. I was playing the piano in the music room once, and Steven heard me play. Then... well, he started showing me a lot of things about how to play better," Josh tried to explain.
The sergeant nodded his head slightly. "I see, so he started showing you some things at school before you started going over for private lessons."
Josh could only nod his head.
"How long did these lessons at the school go on?"
Josh shrugged. "A while, I guess. Eventually, mom found out I was staying later after school. At first she was mad at me for taking so much of Steven's time and not asking her first, but then she said it would be okay if she could pay. She seemed okay with it at first, but I knew she didn't really care. She just wanted to make sure I wasn't being a pest."
Officer Murphy spoke up this time, asking the question as if he were really curious about the situation. "Why don't you think your mother cared about the lessons?"
Josh screwed up his face. "I don't know. She let me do lessons before, but she was never really into the music I liked to play. She liked it when I played church songs, but thats about it. I didn't really want to play church songs, and I don't think she liked all the songs Steven taught me."
Officer Murphy gave Josh a quizzical look. "What kind of music did Mr. McNealy teach you?"
Josh shrugged his shoulders. "He taught me how to play Beethoven, Mozart, Debussy, Hayden, and even Chopin. It's all classical music." Josh tired to explain.
Officer Murphy gave Josh another smile, but the sergeant merely nodded his head. "And this is the kind of music you continued to play the entire time you took lessons from Mr. McNealy?" the sergeant asked.
Josh nodded his head. Of course, what else would he have been teaching him?
"I see," the sergeant started flipping through more of his notes. "Now, it also says here that you participated in the Boulder music festival, and won second place. Is that correct?"
Josh nodded. He could feel butterflies making rounds inside his stomach. He didn't like where where this was going, and his stomach agreed.
"It also says that shortly after this, Mr. McNealy told you he no longer wanted to give you lessons, is that true?"
It wasn't like that, Josh wanted to protest. Steven hadn't said it like that. It wasn't like what the officer's thought.
"Well... yea, Steven said that. But he really didn't mean it." Josh said quickly. "Steven was... well... he was really mad at himself because we didn't win, and he... I guess he thought he let me down," Josh stammered.
"So Mr. McNealy left because he felt bad that you didn't win first place? Shouldn't he have been trying to make you feel better about not winning?" Sergeant Warren asked.
Josh didn't know what to say to that. Of course the sergeant was right. Honestly, he still had problems understanding why Steven left like that, but he knew that it wasn't because he hated him. If anything, it was more like he was scared, but Josh couldn't really say for sure.
"Yet you went back over and started taking lessons again, without your mother's knowledge, with a man that seemingly wanted nothing to do with you after that," the sergeant stated.
Josh shook his head in denial. It wasn't like that, not at all. Josh had waited a long time on Steven's doorstep until he finally let him in, and then he had finally explained everything. How could he explain all this so the officers could understand?
"I went back because... I knew something was wrong with Steven, and I had to find out," Josh explained.
"So you did go back over there then," the sergeant said as more of a statement than a question.
Josh drew his breath to launch into another explanation, but he held back, and only nodded his head.
"How long after the competition did you go over there?"
"Um like... just a few days, I guess," Josh said, frowning.
The Sergeant merely nodded. "So, the lessons continued as normal after that, except now you were going back over there without your mother's permission, right?"
Josh nodded slowly and sullenly.
"And Mr. McNealy, why didn't he attempt to call your mother when he began teaching you again?" the Sergeant asked.
"Because I told him I already told her," Josh protested hotly. "He actually said that it wasn't a good idea that he not talk to her like that, but I made him promise not to call, and that I would tell her myself."
Sergeant Warren started scratching at his mustache, as if trying to put the pieces together. "So, it seems Mr. McNealy believed that you would uphold your promise and therefore never called. But you, in turn, never told her either. Why didn't you tell her Josh? Why didn't you tell your mother you were back at Mr. McNealy's?" the sergeant asked in a low, calm voice.
Josh fumbled for an explanation. "Well... it was because my mom thought I was going over to Steven's too much, and that I wasn't getting my school work done, and not doing as much stuff for the church as I should have."
"And is that true?" the sergent asked smoothly, as of he didn't believe that was the real reason.
"Well... I wasn't doing as much church stuff, but I did finish all my homework, I swear!" Josh insisted.
Both the officer and the sergeant broke out into a laugh. "We aren't here to accuse you of not doing your homework. We are not here to accuse you of anything, for that matter. We just want to understand the truth. You are not in any sort of trouble here, okay?" Officer Murphy asked.
Josh nodded his head, even though the officer's words seemed hollow.
"So, the reason you didn't tell your mom was because you were worried she might say no, because you knew she'd rather see you doing your homework and going to church, right?" Officer Murphy asked.
Josh nodded. They had gotten the right of it. That was pretty much why he didn't tell her. That, and the fact that he knew she didn't like Steven very much to begin with.
Both of the officer's sat silent for a while, looking over more papers in the folder. Finally the sergeant looked up, adjusting his glasses before he spoke. "Once you started going back to Mr. McNealy's, without your mother's permission, how long did you typically spend over there, and what kind of things did you do?"
Josh swallowed. "Um, well... I practiced the piano most of the time. We have a really crappy piano at home, and Steven's is much nicer. A lot of the time I practiced, he was off doing other things. Then we usually had dinner, and sometimes I would stay later so we could watch a movie, or do other things."
The Sergeant raised a brow. "Watch a movie, with your piano teacher?"
Josh nodded his head. "Yeah. I mean... he thought I needed a break, because I practiced on his piano so much. I used to just get back on the piano again, but Steven said it was good to take a break every once and a while."
"So, you were mainly over there so much just to practice?" Officer Murphy asked.
Josh nodded, hoping his explanation was enough.
"If that was the main reason, then why didn't you just leave when you were done?" Sergeant Warren peered at him gravely.
Josh frowned intensely. "Because.... I didn't want to. My mom doesn't usually get home until like nine o'clock, and I usually had to make dinner myself, unless I wanted to wait. Steven said I could just stay if I wanted, and he made dinner for me. I didn't want to go home, because... I didn't want to be all alone," Josh said, feeling very small.
"So you stayed over there for longer, ate dinner with him, and did other things?" the sergeant asked.
Josh could feel the weight of the sergeant's words crushing down on him.
"And what did 'other things' consist of exactly? What else did you do with Mr. McNealy?" the sergeant asked.
Josh's mind raced, trying to think of all the normal things they did together. "I don't know.... sometimes he took me out to dinner, and went to the theater, but most of the time we just stayed at his house. We would watch movies sometimes, and sometimes play games. He liked to play chess, and a game called Go. I don't know... we just kinda hung out together, until I had to go home. Steven would always drive me home when I needed to go."
His words still didn't seem to be enough however. The sergeant still looked suspicious. It's like he knew somehow that Josh was holding something back. The sergeant then leaned forward a bit, as if to ask an important question. "Don't you think that it's a little strange that this man didn't mind having you around so much? From the sound of it, you were over there quite a lot."
"No, Steven always told me how much he enjoyed my company and hearing me play. I didn't think that... he told me that I wasn't a pest at all," Josh said, that heavy feeling pressing all the harder.
Despite the sergeant's intense gaze, Officer Murphy still looked sympathetic. Josh clung to that look, lest he feel like the whole world was coming down on him.
"You really like your piano teacher, don't you?" Officer Murphy asked.
Josh could only nod his head. He did liked Steven. Very much. He didn't care what other people thought of him, or what his mother thought. Steven was the only person who treated him nice, and actually cared about what he thought. He was the only person who actually treated him like a human being. Josh didn't care about the other things. It's just who Steven was, like he had said. Steven couldn't help who he was, and it wasn't fair for other people to think bad things about him when they didn't even understand. Josh knew Steven wouldn't do anything bad to him, and he knew how truly sorry he was for what he had done to him that night, even though Josh had said it was okay. Josh forgave him, because he knew how much Steven cared about him. The police however, didn't seem to be seeing it that way at all.
"I have also noticed that you keep calling him Steven instead of Mr. McNealy, why is that? Why do you call him by his first name?" the Sergeant asked, jolting Josh out of his thoughts.
"Because we're... because he told me that's what he wanted me to call him when...." Josh struggled with the words, but no matter what he said, he realized it wouldn't be the answer the cops wanted to hear. Steven was supposed to be his piano teacher, and he was supposed to call him by his last name, like a respectful student would. He couldn't tell them that him and Steven were much more than that now. He knew that would only lead to much harder questions. Still... he had to come up with some sort of explanation.
"Steven said I could call him that because we were no longer at school, and that hopefully we could become friends," Josh said, offering up the most harmless reason he could think of. After all, what was wrong with being friends?
"And do you consider Mr. McNealy to be your friend?" the sergeant asked.
"Yes. He's my piano teacher, and he's my friend. He's... the nicest person to me in the whole world," Josh said. He wanted to scream it out, but he knew that would only make things worse.
"Do you think Mr. McNealy considers you his 'friend' as well?" The Sergeant asked.
Josh nodded, unable to shake the intense frown that was developing on his face. What was wrong with Steven being his friend? Was that such a crime? Why was it so bad for an adult to be friends with a kid? He could tell that the sergeant didn't like the idea at all. He actually looked repulsed by it, like the very thought of it turned his stomach. Josh could see the distaste on the sergeant's face, as plain as day.
"Don't you think it's odd that Steven would consider you his friend, and more than just his student? Epically given the fact that this man is in his late twenties, and you are just an eleven-year-old boy?" The Sergeant asked.
Josh wanted to tell him no, that it wasn't strange at all. But there was another part reminding him what Steven had said. Steven had said himself that most people didn't like the idea of adults being friends with children, and loving them in the way Steven did. Steven had told him that most people didn't agree with it, and now, sitting there, getting drilled on by these two cops, Josh saw that Steven was right. People really did hate him.
The sergeant sat back in his chair, lifting up the folder again, reading something inside it carefully. He looked back between Josh and the folder, as if trying to make up his mind on what to say. Josh wondered what was in that folder, and what exactly it said inside of it. Josh felt a wrench in his stomach. Whatever it said in there, it must not be good.
"I'll be honest with you. We have quite a bit of information in front of us. We have talked to both your mother and Mr. McNealy. Basically, we believe we have the complete story, and we just need you to clear up a few of the details. We already know everything that happened, and lying about it now will only serve to make the situation worse for both you, and Steven. Now, as long as you are honest with us up front, we can avoid a lot of hardship. Neither I nor Officer Murphy want to ask these questions, but it is very important we find the truth, and understand the extent of the damage this man may have caused you," the sergeant paused just a brief moment, enough to set his steely eyes boring directly into Josh's soul.
"Has Mr. McNealy, at any point during your time over there, touched you in an inappropriate way, or made you feel uncomfortable?"
Josh couldn't say anything at first. The sergeant's words shocked him to his very core. Cold sweat started gathering on his brow and his breathing began to pick up rapidly. How could they already know? How could they know what Steven had done to him? Had Steven told them himself? But... why would he tell the cops those things? Hadn't he said how important it was that no one knew? It just didn't make any sense.
Officer Murphy actually leaned forward and took Josh's hand. The officer's hand felt hard and rough, like it was capable of crushing his in an instant. "We know this is a hard question for you to answer, but it's very important for us to know, from your own mouth. If Mr. McNealy did anything to you, if he touched you in a sexual way, or made you do anything you didn't like, we have to know."
What the heck was he supposed to say to that? Officer Murphy's eyes were looking at him so pleadingly, and the Sergeant's were still drilling straight into him. He felt like a small insect trapped on a small rock that was about to get ran over by a huge boulder. At that moment, he felt like he had nowhere to run, and nowhere to hide.
The sergeant leaned way forward in his seat. "Listen, if you're honest about this now, and tell us what really happened, we promise to minimize any punishment Mr. McNealy will receive. Believe us, it will be better for everyone if you are truthful now rather than later."
Josh felt the tears begin to well up in his eyes. What did they want him to say? Did they want him to say how horrible Steven was to him, and how bad he treated him? Did they want him to say Steven did horrible things to him? Why did they want him to say something when it wasn't true?
Finally, it looked like the Sergeant's patience wore out. The sergeant let out a long sigh. "I didn't want to have to bring this up, but you leave me no choice," the sergeant tapped the folder on the table a little. "I have in front of me the results of your physical examination. It says here that the doctor found your foreskin was inflamed. He wrote that this type of inflammation can only happen when your penis is erect and you try to forcefully push the foreskin over the glands. The doctor also wrote here that you could have did this yourself, but he also said that it may have been caused by a third party," The sergeant recited, like a simple list of facts that could not be disputed, despite the severity of the words.
Josh almost felt himself choke on his own tongue. He couldn't believe this had come up again. How had the cops found out so quickly? The exam had only been less than an hour ago. The cold sweat that had collected on his face was beginning to boil. He felt himself begin to clutch at nothing. What was he supposed to do? What was he supposed to say? They had figured everything out. Somehow they had figured everything out. They knew about his foreskin. They had once again exposed what Josh had prayed would remain between him and Steven. Even if the doctor had given him a way out, were the cops going to believe it?
"Be truthful with us here. You just turned eleven about four months ago, correct? But you still look very young for your age. Have your really started masturbating yourself, to the point where you have inflamed your foreskin? Forgive me, but you really don't seem like the kind of boy who steels his parents playboys and goes to the bathroom with them to jack off for hours. No, I think a far more likely explanation is that you had some assistance from Mr. McNealy. I think that he did this to you, and you are just trying to cover up for him," then the sergeant smacked his folder closed, landing squarely in the middle of the table. "Just tell us. Just admit it and be done with it. You want a clear conscience, don't you boy? Why would you want a secret this big weighing down on your shoulders?"
Josh could stand it no more. With tears streaming down his face, he threw himself out of his chair, yelling as loudly as he could. "You're wrong! Steven wouldn't do that to me. He didn't do anything to me, nothing! Steven is my best friend in the whole world and he would never do anything like that. Steven's the nicest person there ever was, and he wouldn't hurt anyone. You could even ask all the other kids at school. They all think he's the best teacher in the world, and he is! Steven is the best piano teacher there is. Nobody is as nice to me as Steven is, nobody! Nobody even really likes me except for Steven. Not even my mom! Steven... Steven..." But Josh couldn't say anymore. All he could do was collapse back on the chair, fold his hands on the table, and start crying into them.
Why did the whole world have to hate Steven, why did the whole universe have to hate him? Why was what they did together such a bad thing that everyone despised him for it? It wasn't fair. It just wasn't fair!
Josh's crying only got worse. Officer Murphy tried to coax him back to sitting, but Josh wouldn't budge. If they already knew everything, then why did he need to say anymore? There was no doubt they knew what Steven had done to him, and there was no doubt that they thought that it was bad. Very bad. Why did they think that what Steven had done was so horrible? Yes, it had hurt a little bit, and he had felt weird during the whole thing, but it was Steven. It was the man who had changed his life with music, and had shown him the things he wanted in life without a doubt. Steven gave him hope and made him feel great about himself. His mother demeaned him and made him feel horrible about himself. No, he wasn't going to say anymore. If he didn't say anything, if he didn't admit what they wanted him to admit, then Steven wouldn't be in trouble. He wasn't going to ruin the chance, however small it might be, that all of this could just go away, and Steven and him could be together again.
So Josh cried. He cried like he never did before. He cried loudly, he cried profusely, he cried so hard they couldn't even say another word to him. He wasn't going to let them take Steven away from him. He wasn't going to let them wreck his life like they wanted. He wasn't going to give in to them.
Eventually, the officer's must have given up trying to get him to say anything because he heard the door open. Before he knew it, Officer Murphy was prodding him onto his feet to leave the room, telling him again and again that the interrogation was over. Finally Josh did get up, and follow the officer out of the room. Even though he was still crying, he felt very relieved to be out of that room. Josh's mother was standing there with a genuine look of concern as they ushered him over. She actually ran over and hugged him close before standing him to the side, behind her.
"What were you able to find out? Is my son going to be okay?" she asked, her voice sounding urgent.
"May we speak to you on the side for a moment?" the sergeant, who had walked out behind Josh and the officer, asked quietly.
Josh wasn't sure exactly what they said in the beginning. The tear factory was still in full effect, and even if he wanted to, he couldn't stop it immediately. He did hear one thing though, and he heard it loud and clear.
"Thank you for everything, officer. The sooner that man is behind bars, the better off this whole world will be."
Those words continued to ring in his ears long after his mother had collected him, and helped him down to the car. Now that he was away from the police, he had to stop himself from crying. But he couldn't stop himself, not after what he had just heard his mother say.
Did the cops have enough evidence already? Were the results of the physical enough? Had he said too many things about Steven that he shouldn't have? Could they really put Steven in jail now, just like his mother had said?
"Listen Josh, honey...." his mother said, in a voice far gentler than that harsh, grating one she had used with the police. "I know how hard all of this is for you, but it's really important that we understand the truth about what happened. If that man did anything to you, we have to know about it so we can stop him. If he did anything to hurt you honey, I just couldn't forgive myself. I just want you... I just want you to know, that I love you."
His mother actually reached over to rub his shoulder, but Josh recoiled. He recoiled like it was a viper's tongue trying to touch him instead of his mother's hand. When she saw Josh's reaction, she frowned slightly. It wasn't a frown of anger, only sadness, and regret. How could he believe a word his mother said? How could he believe her right after he had just heard what she had said to the cops a few minutes earlier? She wanted Steven in jail. She wanted the only person he really cared about in jail. How could he believe she loved him when she wanted to take away everything in his life he thought was good?
Josh shook the dark thoughts away. He couldn't let himself keep slipping further and further into hopelessness. He had to do something. His mom was probably taking him back to school now. If she was, then he had to find Steven. He had to tell him about all the things that had happened this morning, and everything the policemen had made him say. He had to warn him. If there was any chance, any chance at all that he could stop his mother's plans... if there was any way he could stop Steven from going to jail, he had to take it. He had to talk to Steven. He had to figure things out with him. Maybe he would know a way to get them out of this mess.