The marks of a missed year: a scrape on his knee from soccer; a small callous forming on the index finger of his right hand because he always holds his pen in the same position; new clothes: boxer shorts and a t-shirt instead of pyjamas; lips more sensitive because they have tasted a girl.
Patrick, his younger brother, talks about his first soccer game of the season. About how he scraped his knee falling to the ground but still managing to kick the ball to a team mate who scored. Jason’s hand resting on the scrape, implanting the story of his brother’s daring soccer move in his memory forever.
They sit on Patrick’s bed, both of them in shirts and boxers, their legs straight ahead of them. Jason has come back from college today to a younger brother who has grown and changed and is full of stories. A younger brother he wants desperately to know more about.
One week before he leaves for college: he tells Patrick about the monster in the bathroom that attacks you when you shower.
- How come it’s never attacked me before? Patrick is too old to believe in such stories.
- Because I’ve always been here. Every time you go for a shower I look out for him. It’s scared of people who are over sixteen, so every time he sees me he doesn’t come near you. But next week I’ll be gone.
Patrick knows better than to believe it but Jason is a convincing story teller. Now, for a week, his parents have ordered him to stay in the bathroom while his brother bathes.
Jason strips down to his boxers and sits on the side of the tub. Patrick is glad his brother is with him. It allows him to tell Jason all about his day and not think about the un-pleasantness of a bath.
He gives Patrick a playful push before he leaves the house. The boy’s blonde hair flaps around on his head as he is thrown back into the couch, laughing. Throwing his brother into the beginnings of puberty. The image of a boy in a tub, a circumcised penis that stays soft despite the hot water: this haunts Jason for his entire year at college.
The soccer story is over but Jason’s hand lingers. Puberty has not yet claimed the innocence of the boy’s face. The thin cheeks and pouted lips and small fore head are the same as Jason remembers. But now he can tell from Patrick’s face what he will look like when he is a man.
- Do you have a girlfriend?
- Come on Patty, it’s me, you can tell me! Jason knows that everybody when they are that age has a girlfriend. It is not necessarily serious, but something that is done because everybody’s doing it.
- Don’t call me Patty! Patrick’s fist makes a dent in the flesh above Jason’s knee. I’ll only tell you if you promise not to tell mom and dad.
- Cross my heart.
- Fine. Her name’s Julia. She’s really nice, and she plays soccer too, on the girls’ team. So we practice together some times.
- What does she look like? Jason begins to watch the middle of Patrick’s shorts.
- I don’t know. The typical start of a boy’s answer to such a question: code for “She’s beautiful!” She has brown hair. It’s kind of long, up to her shoulders. She has blue eyes, like me. She’s taller than me too. He says this in a softer voice. Jason laughs.
They have both noticed the beginning of Patrick’s erection and the boy says he wants to sleep. Jason leans over and kisses the scrape on Patrick’s knee.
- Good night. They climb under the comforters and Jason switches off the light. Before he would kiss his brother good night on the lips. But Patrick’s lips no longer belong to him or to his mother or father. They are for Julia.
Their parents are at work and the boys in the back yard. Running shoes, white socks, t-shirts and shorts. A soccer ball in between them. Patrick, in a gallant effort to keep the ball from his brother, sends it over the fence. Jason rubs the top of Patrick’s head, laughing. They go inside to drink some water. Mr. and Mrs. Walters from next door don’t get home until six o’clock, and the surrounding fence is too high to climb.
Patrick sits on Jason’s bed while Jason un-packs his things. The last item in his suitcase is a baseball cap; he places it on Patrick’s head.
- Wow! It’s great! The boy takes it off his head to look at it. Thanks!
- Enjoy. I’m going for a shower. Jason returns, a white towel around his waist. Patrick is still there, stuffing something hurriedly under Jason’s pillow. The Playboy magazine Jason keeps. – Patrick! What the hell are you doing? The boy has a guilty look on his face.
- I’m sorry. I saw you put it in there yesterday; I just wanted to see what it was. Jason sits down beside his brother, a purposeful look of disappointment on his face.
- Go have a shower Patrick. The boy leaves the room quickly and Jason discards the magazine in the trash. He did not want his younger brother to look at such things. The innocence of a boy can be ripped away so easily.
Jason is in Patrick’s bedroom. The boy is in a towel. Patrick barely acknowledges his brother before he goes to his chest of drawers to find a pair of shorts.
- Come here, Jason says sternly. Patrick turns around, a pair of shorts in his grasp. Leave those. Come here. The boy obeys.
When standing in front of him Jason pulls off the towel and throws it aside. Patrick’s penis is still limp, but it has grown since the last time Jason saw it. – For going through my things. Jason can feel the boy’s penis pressing against his leg. It compresses each time it is pushed because of the spanking. In a few minutes his white bottom is red and Jason lets him go. Patrick tries not to cry while Jason picks up the towel and covers his brother before leaving the room.
Patrick returns with the soccer ball and joins his family for dinner. There is no mention of the magazine or the spanking. He talks mostly about soccer; about his great kick that sent the ball over the fence. He knows that both his brother and his parents are proud of him.
A knock on the door. Jason opens it.
- I just wanted to say good night. Sadness on his face.
- Patrick, if you want me to come sleep with you …
- You don’t have to.
- Get inside. Jason quickly grabs his brother’s legs and holds Patrick upside down. He takes the laughing boy into his bed. He kisses the scrape. It will be gone completely by tomorrow. – Good night.
Patrick climbs out of bed in the middle of the night to pee. He then returns to bed, having woken his brother. – Sorry, he whispers.
- That’s okay. Patrick, have you ever kissed Julia?
- Why are you going to spank me again?
- Of course not. Have you?
- Yes. They can see the outlines of each other’s faces for the reflected moon light.
- What’s it like?
- I dunno.
- Why don’t you show me then.
- What? Jason brings the boy’s face closer and attacks his lips. Jason’s tongue trying to force its way through the crack of Patrick’s lips. The boy doesn’t know to open his mouth. Until now he and Julia have been kissing only lip to lip. Jason releases him.
- Thank you Patrick. No response. The boy turns around and sleeps with his back to his brother.
They play soccer again. Patrick has barely spoken the whole day. This time Jason, on purpose, kicks the ball over the fence. His brother looks very disappointed. Jason leads him by lightly touching his back onto the deck where they settle into lawn chairs.
- I’m sorry Patrick. What I did to you last night. I should have asked if it was okay first.
- Oh. I didn’t really mind. It’s just that it was a little … umm …
- Because I’m your brother?
- I guess so.
- Well listen. If you ever want to try anything like that with me, I’ll wait for you to tell me. Does that sound okay? He nods. They go inside to drink some water.
That night when Patrick is asleep Jason’s hand slides into his shorts. He lightly squeezes until he can feel it hardening in his hands. He does not stop touching it until Patrick wakes up.
- Jason what are you … Jason covers the boy’s mouth. Patrick is yelling. But he does not remove his hand.
- Shut up! You’ll wake up mom and dad! Jason presses harder, with both hands. Patrick’s eyes widen in fear. Finally he releases the boy’s mouth and throws the comforters off the bed. He replaces his hand with his lips. This time he forces his tongue into Patrick’s warm mouth. A very small, lingering sweetness from tooth paste sits on Patrick’s tongue. While he kisses him he begins to stroke the boy. Patrick’s erection becomes firmer.
Jason removes his lips and Patrick begins to say something. Suddenly Jason’s hand flies and slaps the boy across the face. – Didn’t I tell you to shut up? Silent tears begin to fall down the boy’s face while Jason strokes Patrick and himself at the same time.
- Jason! Jason! Jason covers the boy’s mouth again but his name still comes through, louder each time. Until suddenly Jason’s eyes fly open, his brother shaking him awake. – Jason!
- Patrick? he says groggily. What is it?
- I-I had a bad dream. Patrick wipes tears from his cheek.
- Okay. It’s okay. Jason turns and holds Patrick close to his body. He puts his hand inside the boy’s shirt and rubs his back. He kisses Patrick’s cheek, the warmth of a dry tear on his lips. They fall asleep.
In the morning he masturbates in the bath room before going downstairs to join his brother for breakfast. Anything to get the thoughts out of his mind. But everything floods back when he sees Patrick dressed in his soccer uniform – blue shorts and a red t-shirt provided by Nike. A white tick the only adornments on the freshly laundered clothes. Soccer shorts: Jason notices for the first time that they reveal everything.
- Why are you dressed like that?
- Don’t you remember? You’re supposed to take me to my game in half an hour! He had forgotten. The dream has pushed everything else out of his mind. Jason dresses quickly. He watches Patrick play with the rest of the team. For the sixth time the boy ends up on the ground. But this time he does not stand.
The coach has given him some ice. It is a bruise but his ankle hurts and he can not walk. When they arrive home Jason carries him straight into the bathroom, placing him gently into the tub.
- A hot bath will help.
Carefully he removes his brother’s clothes before running the water. Then he begins filling the tub. He scrubs the boy’s skin. He has to remove the dirt and grass that has stuck to the boy’s legs. He makes his way up to Patrick’s penis, cleans it, but doesn’t stop. He tries not to look at his brother but something forces him to look. Right into the shock of his brother’s face. He lets go immediately.
- Sorry …
- You do it differently.
- When I do it, I lie on my stomach and press it into a pillow. Suddenly there is no more shyness. The dream?
- Oh. Do you like my way?
- It feels the same. Just weird because I’ve never done that before.
- Patrick do you remember your dream last night?
- A little.
- What happened?
- Oh, I don’t know.
- Yes you do. You just said you remembered. Tell me Patrick.
- No. It’s nothing. I just dreamt that there was some monster. The bath room one. I was in the bath and he came to get me. That’s all.
- Fine. If you won’t tell me I’ll just leave you in here forever. Jason stands and walks to the door before he is called back.
- There was just … it was you, and you were hurting me. See? It’s stupid, it was just a nightmare.
- Hurting you? How?
- I don’t know. I can’t really remember. You were just hitting me I think. I’m not sure. Jason reaches into the water and touches his knee. He moves his hand along it, twice in both directions. The scrape is gone.
- Patrick do you mind when I touch you and stuff? Because if you do …
- No. Of course I don’t mind. That’s why I never say anything.
Jason dries the boy off and takes him into his bed room. He covers him only with blankets and tells him to take a nap. He then sits in his own room. On the one hand the temptation is too strong; on the other hand he might lose his brother.
Lust wins over. Thirty minutes pass and he goes to check on his brother. Patrick’s eyes are open and he smiles when he sees Jason. It is not returned. Instead Jason pulls the comforters off the bed. Patrick lies still, his penis semi hard because he just woke up. Jason pushes the boy’s legs apart and places his lips hard just above Patrick’s pubic area, just below his stomach. He looks up at his brother. He debates whether or not to ask if this is okay. The look on Patrick’s face says that it isn’t. So he asks.
- Patrick, are you okay? Can I …
Without hesitation Jason takes the boy into his mouth. He can smell the soap lingering on his skin, mixed with the smell of the linen on the bed. His hands go on the sides of Patrick’s back side. Jason licks until the boy is hard, before he starts moving his head to pleasure the boy. He can feel the erection become firmer and then steadily begin to pulsate, wanting to come. Suddenly the boy explodes in his mouth, shooting small squirts of semen.
Jason quickly strips and, on all fours, towers over his brother. Watching the boy’s face and stroking himself. He comes quickly. He can feel the semen gushing out of himself and landing on the boy’s stomach. He falls onto the bed beside his brother and kisses the boy’s neck. He tells him that it’s time for another bath.
The night before he returns to school he and Patrick sit on the bed. Boxers and a t-shirt, legs out in front. There is no touching.
- I’ll miss you Jason.
- You too kid.