Two Boys

Rocco Paperiello


This story is about relationships between and among teenagers. This includes intimate relationships between young males. If you don't approve or are offended, then how come you're reading this? Go to some other Internet Site. (Of course some people actually cultivate being offended; if that's the case, read right on). As far as detailed descriptive sex acts, I think you may find some good ones in other stories right here on Nifty, but as of now I do not envision a lot of explicit detail in this one.

If, for some legal reason, you are not allowed to read this in your area of the world because of illogical laws, again I will not condone (publicly) anyone breaking the law, so either move or read sentence four. I definitely don't want the thought police after either of our callipygians.

Please, this story is sort of my property, so if you ever want to quote some of it (whatever for I wouldn't know), please e-mail me and also give proper attribution. As of now no one has permission to put this story on another Internet Site.

This story is almost entirely fictional, and autobiographical ONLY in the sense that many of the incidents in the story really happened, but in some cases to different people and under different circumstances. In other words I've simply adapted things that happened in my life to a fictional story. In fact, some aspects of both main characters are in part modeled from my own experiences. Some of my family members are also in this story, and perhaps (definitely) distorted a bit (a lot) at times and sometimes approaching caricature, but since I really don't expect them to sue, I'm taking the chance. All other characters are fictional, except as noted).

I welcome any feedback. Constructive criticism appreciated.

Rocco Paperiello

PLEASE READ THIS: I would like to thank the many readers of this story who have been patiently awaiting this final PART IV. I would like to let the readers know that the story Two Boys (and also The Brown Unicorn) is now being hosted by the CRACKER'S DEN [ see: ]. A slightly rewritten, and corrected version of TWO BOYS will be appearing there. All remaining chapters of PART IV will appear there first before appearing on NIFTY. Thank-you for your enthused support. Rocco Paperiello

PART IV -- Graduation and College

Chapter 86 -- We Are Married!

"With this ring, I thee wed. . ."

"With this ring, I thee wed. . ."

"I, Jade Noel Brown, take you Rocco Papariello, to be my spouse, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until death do us part."

"I, Rocco Papariello, take you Jade Noel Brown, to be my spouse, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until death do us part."

"I now pronounce you, Jade Noel Brown, and you, Rocco Papariello, united in marriage for life. Grow in the love of God."

When Dan and Allen got married, they made up their own marriage vows, but Jade had wanted the traditional formula. (I wanted Jade). So with only minor changes, that is what we used for the ceremony.

At the end of which we engaged in a relatively chaste kiss, but full of such emotional intensity, I was sure that I could never be the same. We were both beaming with a joy so intense, that it could never be described. We then walked to the front seats to continue through the rest of the service.

The texts from scripture were ones Jade and I, along with Reverend Burrowes, had picked out several weeks before. They weren't completely the traditional ones for a marriage ceremony. It started with the translation of Genesis, 2:18 from the Anchor Bible: "It is not good that a person remain alone. Every person has need of a companion of his or her own kind."

And from 1 Corinthians, 13: 1-8:

If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.
And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing.
If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, (love) is not pompous, it is not inflated,
it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury,
it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

Then I specifically wanted the text about the Centurion's "beloved boy" whom Christ cured, making sure the pastor used the correct translation. Jade then said he wanted the traditional reading from the first part of Matthew, Chapter 19.

Reverend Burrowes gave a very emotional sermon about love and commitment. And the need to let our love for each other bring us closer to Christ. He also talked about how this love we had for each other could have such a great influence on those close to us. And finally he made a comment about our need to bring others into our lives and into our commitment of giving and sacrifice. The last was just what I talked to Jade about several months back, when I said we had to share our love with others.

We went back to Jade's house where we had part of the wedding cake that Mrs. Webster had baked. Jade and I had fun feeding each other. He kept squishing the cake with his hook.

I thought that the saddest irony of the entire day was when I had to hurry home since my family was celebrating Dolores' and my birthday a day late. Mom thought it better to celebrateit on a Saturday. When we were passing around pieces of cake to the few friends there, I almost cried realizing I would have so much rather they could have eaten pieces of our wedding cake a few hours earlier. Jimmy was there along with a few friends of Dolores including Melva and Barbara. Carl was conspicuously absent. He said he had to study for a big test at college and spent the day at LaSalle College where he was going to school. How ironic that the two people closest to me, Jade and Tim, wouldn't have been especially welcome by my father, who did make his presence known. Mom hovered all around too. I wondered if she could notice the amazing swirl of emotions that consumed me. I think I should have been nominated for an academy award on my performance. Finally, by the end of the afternoon, I couldn't hold in my emotions anymore. I was just staring at a small piece of cake that was left. I was so happy that Jade and I were now married, but so sad that Mom would never eat our wedding cake. I couldn't stop staring at that lone piece of cake. It seemed to symbolize everything that was sad in my life all of a sudden. I burst out crying and ran for my room. I was glad Mom didn't see me.

Before I went to bed that night, I looked into the mirror and said: "I am married! I am married to Jade!" It reminded me of the time I did the same kind of thing when I said: "I am a homosexual." But this time there was only happiness and joy. As I went to bed, I couldn't stay with any sad thoughts. I was again reveling in my happiness; and tomorrow Jade and I will have our honeymoon -- even if just that one day. It had been planned for quite some time. And I wondered if ours was the only honeymoon ever where the couple didn't have sex. We actually had two plans in case the weather wasn't good. If it was bad, plan B had us going to the new motel that had just opened way up on Cottman Avenue. (Where we might have sex after all). Jade, over 18, could easily rent us a room. They also had a restaurant connected to the motel where we had planned a fancy dinner. The dinner was part of both plan A and plan B.

The next day I looked out the window as soon as I awoke. It was entirely clear outside. Plan A would be put into effect. Dan was to act as chauffeur. I went to early Mass at St. Bernard's and then, breakfast at home. Dolores knew something was going on but didn't cause any trouble. She was an involuntary part of the conspiracy.

Mom was looking at me funny all through the meal. (Usually she isn't here for Sunday breakfast because this is the one day she "sleeps in" -- all the way past 8 AM, and then goes to a later Mass).

I finished, gulping down the last of my coffee, and just as I started zooming back to my room Mom called after me: "Rocco, I want to talk to you."

"Have to hurry, Mom; I need to be ready when Twain comes." I tried ignoring what she had said.

But Mom was waiting for me at the bottom of the stairs when I got back down with my small pack and jacket. (And bathing suit).

"Rocco, stop moving for a second so we can talk. I want to know what is happening."

My paranoia brain cells instantly fired up. (They are situated right next to my "make-up-a-fast-lie" brain-lobe). "Nothing Mom." I schooled my expression to look its most innocent. "I'm just all excited about today." Wow, I sure was! That part was the literal truth.

"It's not just now. Yesterday, when you got back from Jade's house, you seemed so excited. At first I thought it was about your party, but later you seemed a bit down for some reason. And now this morning, you've been smiling and laughing at everything. I get worried about you sometimes."

I was glad nobody else was around, especially Dolores. And I was very busy trying to formulate a good enough lie. "I don't know why, but I was just in a happy mood yesterday. Probably thinking about the party and everything. And anticipating the day at Twain's house today. . . . Even school is going great. And I did just find out about being a Merit Scholarship semifinalist." I added that at the last second. I started to turn away.

Unfortunately Mom persisted: "That's not what I have been worried about. It's more your unusual mood swings lately. After coming home with the biggest smile I've ever seen on you, later you seemed moody and sad about something. And now whatever that was about, you're all excited again."

Damn! I wished I didn't always show my emotions so easily. "Mom, I am just happy about everything. As for yesterday, maybe it was after the forecast said a possible chance of rain for today. I was so looking forward to today's outing." Pretty lame, but the best I could do.

Fortunately, Twain picked that exact moment to show up, and Mariann ran from the kitchen to get the front door. She let him in. "Hi Twain," I yelled," I'm just about ready. I just need to get a towel."

It was supposed that I'd be at his house all day swimming in his pool (as I had done a few times that summer) and then have dinner at his house (again as I had done a couple of times). Mom had even talked to Mrs. Goldstein on the phone several times. So anyway that was where my parents thought I was going, and Twain said he'd do his best if anyone called there asking for me. Hopefully no one would.

Mom I could see was not entirely satisfied with my answer, but I used the "towel excuse" to go back up to the hall closet to get one. I also resolved -- for the millionth time -- to try to hide my emotions more. Especially at home.

Anyway, instead of going to Twain's house, Twain took me to Jade's house where Dan was already waiting with Allen's car. Mrs. Webster said she didn't like us missing church, but we said we needed a good early start.

"Look, Mrs. W," Jade pleaded, "We only have a one day honeymoon as it is. At least let us have this one day."

Mrs. Webster didn't put up any real fight.

So we were on our way to Hickory Run State Park in the Pocono's. Our family had gone there just over Labor Day weekend and I fell in love with the place. (Rickets' Glenn, my MOST favorite, was just too far for an easy day trip). And after I described the hikes we could take there Jade was equally as enthusiastic. Jade and I were in the back seat and for some reason we couldn't keep our hands off each other. Or other parts of ourselves. We had to tell Dan to pay attention to his driving a number of times -- and also to stop snickering. A few hours later, Dan dropped us off at a trailhead and said he'd be back for us in four hours.

Jade and I donned our small book packs (they came in handy carrying stuff for hiking and food too), and we started off. When we got to a place called Boulder Field, Jade was amazed as I had been when I first saw it myself. There were literally acres and acres of boulders -- from very small to positively huge -- lying out in front of us just where a long ago glacier had dumped them. Nothing grew. Jade and I carried on like little kids, racing each other across the uneven boulders. Even a fall now and then couldn't contain our enthusiasm. And this late in September, we just about had the place to ourselves. After a strenuous romp across the boulders we dropped to the ground and just took in the surroundings.

"Jade, there must be miles and miles of these boulders!"

Jade pretended ridicule: "Well, according to the brochure here, Boulder Field covers an area of about 16 acres. Maybe because you're so small, the area seems so much larger to you." Jade was definitely smirking.

"Don't bother me with mere words when I'm communing with nature."

We also snuck in a bit of communing with each other.

A while later, a family did come by but we barely said `Hi' to each other, before Jade and I started running across the boulders again. We found a small depression about 30 yards from the main trail and we lay down and collapsed into each other's arms, with only the sky to watch us.

I was so happy I so wanted to proclaim it to the world. Jade and I kissed and then repeated our marriage vows again. We were just kissing again when one of the kids from the family we had just met, literally stumbled onto us. I looked up. So OK; only the sky and one inquisitive 10 or 11 year old kid.

"Oh gees, misters, sorry. Didn't know you were here." I think it was the first time in my life I'd been called mister. I almost laughed. Then the boy saw Jade's hooks and really got flustered. "Oh gees! What happened to your hands, mister?" He was apparently too young to be embarrassed asking that question.

Jade answered: "I lost them in a bad accident. But their loss eventually brought me something far more valuable."

Well, the mood was lost, so Jade and I continued on to Hawk Falls. The boy didn't understand what Jade had just said, but I did. And tears came to my eyes. I so wanted to kiss Jade right then but couldn't in front of the boy.

But a few minutes later, as we were winding our way down the trail, I did. I pulled Jade to a stop, and kissed him with fervent intensity. (Even if I had to practically climb up on him to do so). Jade reached down and held me tight. I said: "Thanks for saying that Jade."

Jade smiled: "It's only the truth, White-boy, only the truth."

On the way we talked about our wedding, going over all the details time and again. I eventually commented about the photos. "I hope that Dan's pictures all turn out. He sure took a bundle. He said it was his and Allen's wedding gift to us. I wonder where he got that big camera." The camera was a large format one, similar to that he had used last Christmas. I still had the big print of Jade and me hidden away.

Consuela had given us two things. One was a gigantic chocolate bomb, that was still at Jade's house uneaten. The other was a beautiful pewter picture frame she said was for us to put our wedding photo in.

"You talked me out of our renting tuxes, so don't complain when the pictures show a couple of scraggly boys." Jade though was smiling as he said it. Hardy scraggly I thought. We both decided just to be there with white shirts and ties, not even sport coats. Neither Jade nor I even owned a suit.

After traveling along a sort of tunnel through a huge "rhododendron forest" we arrived at the cascade. Jade was as enthralled as I was. I could watch a wayerfall for hours. I didn't know just why, that's just the way I was. And Hawk Falls was pretty spectacular. The falls occur when Hawk Run, which is 40 feet above Mud Run Gorge, empties into the lower creek at a three-sided canyon. The water cascades down the center of the canyon, ever widening, from one ledge to the next and empties into a deep pool of crystal-clear water.

Hawk Falls, Hickory Run State Park

We were running around, crossing the creek occasionally, to drink in the various views. I was intent on finding the perfect viewing spot. Below the pool at the bottom of the main falls is a small drop below which the creek spreads out even further and from the rocks below the view was awesome. Jade and I stopped and looked up. We seemed to have automatically grabbed hold of each other while being mesmerized by the view.

I was so exhilarated. "Wow! It must be a 100 foot drop!"

Jade let go and started reading in the brochure. "That's only if you measure the falls in `Rocco-feet.' According to this the main drop is 24 feet."

We climbed back to the large clear cold pool below the main drop of the falls, and put a small ground cloth down, pulled out our lunch, and leisurely ate. While watching the water, I brought from my pack one of my favorites -- a hoagie specially made at Padova's the evening before. (Jade had picked it up for me). It had everything including the most mouth-puckering Jewish pickle available. Plus ham, and provolone, and hard salami, plus Vienna loaf, plus tomatoes, plus the kitchen sink. And then I pulled out the second hoagie.

"Damn White-boy, I think you even eat more than I do. How come you ain't 200 pounds?"

I wondered that myself sometimes. I now definitely ate more than anyone else in my family, even my father. But not only was I still barely over 5' 3", I was still so skinny. Jimmy said once I could hide just by turning sideways.

Jade had a few containers of fruit, and potato salad, and macaroni salad, and even some (yuk!) gavelta fish he'd gotten from Allen. He then took out a can of soda. I started looking in my pack for the can opener when I heard a tiny pop. I looked up as Jade had a metal ring in his one hook with a small tab dangling from it. He had the can between his feet, held down with his other hook. I was fascinated at one of the new pull open tabs they just came out with. And it was in one of those new aluminum cans. I said: "Wonder what they'll think of next?"

Jade smiled and said: "Probably a can that opens itself." We both chuckled.

Finally we pulled out a piece of butter cake we'd gotten from Bredenbecks. I laughed watching Jade eating his piece with a big spoon. He said he didn't want to use a fork since too much of the good gooey stuff would escape.

Afterwards, we just lay there, propped up on a big tree trunk that had the perfect shape for a leaning-back person. Jade was the leaning-back person. Me, I was the leaning-back-on-Jade person. He had his arms folded over me. I felt so content there I didn't even have to talk. After a while Jade leaned over and gave me a light kiss. I then turned around to make it a proper one. I was so happy.

"See! I TOLD you I saw them kissing!" Holy smoke! It was that same little kid again. But now his family was with him.

I started to jump up but Jade held on. "What can they do? Let's show them what two boys on their honeymoon do." And he kissed me again. I melted into him not caring who was watching.

The kid's Mom started screaming something and when I finally looked, the kid was being dragged (well almost dragged) back up the trail. The dad (I presumed) was carrying his little sister (I presumed). And off they went. I was sure glad the Dad didn't decide to confront us.

But the mood was broken and Jade and I just put our stuff back in the packs and started back. About twenty minutes later we passed the same family. Jade and I went by pretty fast but still heard the boy, after giving us a long stare, ask his Mom: "Mom, how come those two guys were kissing?"

I couldn't resist. I turned to face them and said: "We're actually on our honeymoon. We were married just yesterday."

The Mom was shocked and the kid started asking another question. His Dad was angry and started to say something but I never heard more than: "Why you. . ." as Jade literally pulled me up the trail with his hook. He had hooked my belt. I started laughing. The whole thing was bizarre.

I heard one last thing as we hurried up the trail: "And see Mom, I told you the colored guy had hooks instead of hands!"

About five minutes later, after we had well outdistanced the family, we both stopped and started laughing. Jade finally said: "Boy that Mom's in deep trouble. I wonder just how she'll answer all that kid's questions." And we both started laughing again.

We got back to the city in pretty good time, but then hit city traffic. Dan wasn't the most patient driver, and he kept mumbling. It took forever to go the last twenty miles. We had a nice though slightly hurried dinner. I got home about 7 o'clock just as my Mom had the phone in her hand: "Good timing," she said. "I was just about to call Twain's house. Have a good time?"

"Great!" I even had a damp bathing suit and towel in my hand as a prop. I really wished I could tell her the truth. Sigh! One REALLY BIG sigh!

Journal of Rocco P.

Sept 23, 1962

I simply have to write about yesterday. It marks the most important day of Jade's and my life.

Jade and I were formally married at 10 AM, Sept 22nd, 1962, by Reverend William Burrowes, in Holmesburg Unitarian Church. We professed our marriage vows before God, and asked for His blessing. Those attending included Jade's foster parents, Mr. and Mrs. Webster, his foster brother Tim, our close friends Consuela, Dan, and Allen, and Allen's sister and nephew, Mrs. Goldstein, and Twain (Abraham Goldstein), and Dr. Krazenski. Dr. Krazenski said he only decided to attend at the last moment out of regard for Jade whom he had come to love as a son, and for me because of my obvious love for Jade. Jade was confident that his Mama was there in spirit. We had the reception afterwards at Mrs. Webster's house even though it was a bit cramped, even with Dr. Krazenski bowing out, saying he had to do his rounds at the hospital.

Even BJ showed up and said congratulations, but I was wondering how much his heart was really in it. Mr. Webster hardly said a word. I could tell he had mixed feelings. And Tim's friend Billy came over for a short time. "Too many good things to eat to stay away," he said. It seemed Tim and Billy acted as if everything were perfectly normal. (Why can't we all be children again and just accept everybody for who they are?)

We also exchanged rings. I just wish I could wear mine. Instead I have to hide it most of the time along with the locket Jade and I exchange as a symbol of our original betrothal. What an old sounding but beautiful word.

How I wish some of my own family could have been there. Especially Mom. I battled all summer with the problem of whether to tell her or not. On one hand, I know she loved me and should know about her own son's wedding. But on the other hand I was afraid to jeopardize everything in case she wouldn't let the marriage take place. Her expressed views on us gay people had been extremely negative bordering on the hysterical. And I didn't want to find myself put into some institution against my will, where I know I would have been destroyed.

And Dolores simply refused to come. I really misjudged her. I thought she cared for me more than that.

Yesterday was a mixture of fantastic happiness, and deep sadness. I'm at least sustained by the fact and knowledge of the great love Jade and I have for each other, and our plans for our future.

God, will there ever be a day when family and friends can equally celebrate, and find the same joy in the union of two boys, as they do a boy and a girl?

And God, what is Your plan for us? What is Your plan for all those like us? The Catholic Church teaches that your plan involves only those unions that are "open to the procreation of children." I simply cannot believe this. I much prefer the paragraph from Casti Connubii, which I now have framed on my wall. God's plan must include marriage in some cases from which children do not and can not ensue. (Jade used that word on me the other day).

Except for the fact that the "sexual acts" of Jade and I can not "foster the gift of life," and neither can those of many heterosexual unions, how can it be assumed that God's plan for US must include the "procreative act"? I would claim that the love that Jade and I have for each other is as true and good for us as is that of any heterosexual couple, "with a sincere communion of life and love." (These quotes are from the Catechism about married people. I had it open in front of me. Along with a couple other books about marriage). And it is this true love that we hope will bring us closer to Christ.

The Church says that in scripture, "homosexual acts are condemned as a serious depravity and even presented as the consequence of rejecting God." We never rejected God. And the assumption that scripture condemns all homosexual acts including those of committed and loving couples we do not believe. Quite the contrary. We believe that the grace of God flows through our relationship. We believe that we must live as God has made us. And we will let God judge us, not the Church, nor anybody else.

God, please help us understand Your complete plan for us.

During school all that next week I was on cloud nine. I didn't even mind Religion Class that much. This year we were being taught what they called Ethics and the Natural Law. I was starting to get a better understanding of it than I had when I read that pamphlet from Father Hearn, but it still seemed anything but 'natural'. Jade commented that even my convoluted reasoning was simple compared to the way things were explained in this class.

On Wednesday at school I collected a dollar each Twain, Jabloski, and Edell. We had all bet on the big fight. Sonny Liston had ko'd Floyd Patterson in the first round.

And Jade and I made an appointment to see Dr. Krazenski. Or more accurately, the doctor said that it was important that we all talk. We never asked why but we could give it a good guess. So after school on Wednesday, we were on our way to his office. We were joking and just having fun, so that when we got into his office we weren't too prepared for his really serious demeanor.

He started right off all businesslike. "I know it's a bit strange for the doctor to insist on the patient seeing him but this is a bit different. Jade, in those few months I started really feeling like a father to you. And Rocco, you are much more to me than just Jade's partner, although that would be enough. But there are some serious things we have to talk about. You two are acting like the usual newlyweds and I need to take you two back down out of the clouds and inject a bit of reality into your world. I should have had this talk a half year ago when it was evident that you two were going to stay together."

It was Jade that spoke up first. I was pretty well daunted by this opening speech. Everything was so great. So now what?

"Dr. Krazenski, if it makes you feel better, Rocco and I have talked a number of times about seeing you but everything seemed too personal."

"I realize that. But I was hoping you two would know that you could trust me. And there are certainly things we need to talk about. So let's get started. I don't know what type of sex you two are having but you need to be made aware of a number of things. The first is the specific problems people engaging in different forms of gay sex can face."

And we went into a pretty detailed discussion about oral and anal sex and the possible medical problems and necessary precautions to take. The doctor was happy that we had not experimented yet with anal sex: he said for a number of reasons. He talked about the danger of hepatitis and its consequences. And a number of other things. I kept getting more and more embarrassed as he went on. I could hardly talk.

"And I know that you two are wholly committed to each other, but I still need to say this. If either of you ever decide to be unfaithful there are a host of all new dangers. Venereal disease can be devastating. And sometimes more so emotionally than physically."

We just let him describe the dangers but Jade and I kept looking at each other, neither of us could really believe that we needed to know all this. But we listened anyway. I simply couldn't imagine being unfaithful to Jade -- ever.

After quite a while, where I was so embarrassed a number of times I had to get up and walk around, we finally finished all the doctor talk. But instead of being finished he said there was another and possibly even more important topic to talk about. I was now truly puzzled and I looked at Jade. He didn't seem as surprised. Did he know something I didn't?

Jade remarked: "You're going to talk about what's illegal?"

The doctor looked at Jade and said: "Yes. This is very important. I would like to talk about possible legal implications of engaging in homosexual activities. You may not be aware, but just about every state in the country has statutes forbidding any kind of homosexual act. Not only is sodomy illegal, but the way the laws are written they also include oral sex. In fact most states consider any sex act, other than penis-vaginal intercourse, illegal -- even between married couples!"

The doctor sure had our complete attention. I was starting to get a bit scared. But I wondered how they would catch most people.

Dr. Krazenski continued: "Do you realize that just last year there were a little over 20 people convicted in this country for committing homosexual acts. That may not sound like a lot but most of these were just statistics for two consenting adults. And one person was sentenced in North Carolina to 30 years in prison. For doing no more than you two have done already. And in Georgia you can get up to life in prison." *

[* These facts and statistics are accurate.]

I couldn't refrain from remarking: "Wow! The legislators there really don't like gay people!"

The doctor looked at me and commented: "I just want to impress on both of you the seriousness of your situation. In fact, only Illinois, as far as I know, is now the only state that has repealed such laws. And even though many groups, including some law enforcement ones, are now advising such laws should be repealed nationwide, it will probably be years before this is done."

Jade and I looked at each other and he could see I was a bit scared. I was also thinking how unfair and hypocritical. But the doctor wasn't finished.

"It's far worse for those prosecuted as pedophiles. Here the statistics are far worse. And although most of these men were no doubt guilty, and should have been prosecuted, a number of these cases involved consensual sex between boys exactly in your position. Jade, you're over 18 while Rocco is 17. But if someone decided to charge you it could include statutory rape, or pedophilia since you are legally an adult. A similar case was prosecuted in Florida last year and the boy got 20 years in prison, in spite of the fact that the sex was consensual and the younger boy was almost the same age as the one prosecuted."

I looked at Jade in horror. "My God Jade, we can't let that happen. That's horrible!"

Jade was equally appalled. "But we've never had anal sex and we'll be careful."

Dr. Krazenski then said: "Actually, the way the law's written in many states, sodomy is not necessary for conviction." And the doctor looked at me and I got real scared just by his expression. "Rocco, it's your parents that pose the greatest danger. That case in Florida was brought to court and prosecuted so determinedly because the parents of the younger boy were so vehement."

I went white. My imagination started conjuring up all kinds of scenarios that ended in disaster. "But I can't believe that my parents would hate me like that!" I said it but I wasn't so sure. And they wouldn't see it that way. I could see my Mom doing it to "save me."

We talked a bit about possibilities and then the doctor said: "There are a number of things I need you two to do. First of all, it would be best if you just abstained from sex until Rocco turned 18. But I'm not sanguine about the outcome of that prohibition. More realistically, I would advise you two to do the following. One, be very careful and limit your activity to where NO ONE will know. And this is without exception. Not even those that approve. Two, talk to no one about your activities. And again this should include EVERYONE. Three, until Rocco is 18, don't start anal sex. If arrested, a doctor can easily tell if you've been penetrated." And then he looked at me and added: "Of course, with the scarring you already have, it would be more difficult, but it's best not to take the chance."

We started saying that we would agree. Jade and I needed to change a lot of things. But the doctor wasn't finished.

"Rocco, the greatest danger right now involves your parents. You said a number of times that they would never approve of your relationship with Jade. So it's paramount that you not disclose this, nor do anything that could expose your relationship."

"Well the `big lie' goes back into major operation," I thought. Jade hugged me tight. I realized that tears were dripping.

"Look, I don't mean to be too alarming, but these precautions are for you. I really believe you boys care for each other, and I decided I would not judge you, but other people will. And some with rancorous intent."

I was a bit numb. I had never given enough thought about the consequences for Jade. "Well, the `big lie' goes into hyper drive," I thought. I was even starting to think about who could I date. But this was so unfair to everybody. Urggh! God, why? (I couldn't even formulate a question).

"And there's one more thing I want you to do Rocco. I have two sealed letters. I want you to keep them where NO ONE will find them. Can you do this? If you can't do that, maybe it would be best for you not to have them."

I thought some and it would be actually pretty easy. There were a million places. Even with Jade if needed. "Yes."

"Good. One is addressed just to your mother. The other to both of your parents. To put it succinctly, each letter explains a little how I personally feel about your relationship and it pleads with the addressee to see and talk with me before they take any action. It's the best I could think of for now. One is just for your mother, since if your father did not yet know, I make a plea that she not tell him. At least not before speaking to me."

We talked some more and suddenly I realized I was late for dinner. Wow, this was a long visit. I was very grateful to Dr. Krazenski but was still pretty upset by all he said. I called home to let Mom know I was on my way.

Mom answered: "Your Dad is not too happy with your being late. You will have to explain when you get home."

I was then even more distressed. The doctor must have seen it and asked me what was the matter. He got on the phone with my Mom.

"Mrs. Papariello, this is Dr. Krazenski."


"No, nothing at all. He's perfectly all right. We just had this appointment as a follow-up on what happened two summers ago. I just wanted to make sure that emotionally he was 100% recovered. And I am assured that he is."

(Another pause)

"Please tell Mr. Papariello that Rocco's being late was entirely my fault."

Soon he hung up. "In many ways, Rocco, your mother is pretty typical. And I know that she genuinely cares for you. So think about that. Don't think it will be the disaster you may envision if she finds out about you and Jade."

The doctor even drove me home.

Things were a bit tense at home, but at least my Dad didn't read me the riot act. He just made some remark about me needing to grow up. (As if that's the cure for being raped). And I realized that I hadn't thought "rancorous" thoughts about Jade's uncle for quite a while. My Mom asked what I was smiling about. I gave her an edited version. And then I was thinking about the new revised edition of "The Big Lie."

"I was also thinking. Jade and I've been so determined about getting money for college and all, I realize, especially after talking to Dr. Krazenski, that I haven't let myself have enough fun. I mean with girls and all. I realize that I've spent so much time with Jade, I've been neglecting my love life." And I gave a big smile.

Dolores looked at me realizing I must be lying. I couldn't help that. My Mom was smiling and said she was glad I was thinking about other things besides school and work. Dad actually looked at me with something other than disdain, although I still couldn't read him that well. Carl of course had to make a dig about me not being able to get a girlfriend. He should talk. I think he's been on maybe three dates his whole life.

And I got an idea. "Hey Carl, how come you've never dated?"

He made some remark about college being so much work and all. It didn't hurt though to divert some attention away from me.

But Dolores I could tell was still very unhappy. In fact after dinner she got me aside and asked what I was trying to do.

"Look, I'm just listening to what you've been saying. We don't want to cause any family problems. So I was just trying to divert attention."

"Well, I don't like it. I don't like anything you're doing. I just wished there was something I could do to make you change. But I suppose you even consider yourself married now don't you?"

"Yes. And very happily. I just wish you could also be happy for us."

I went away still worried about the whole thing. As Jade complained now and again: "How come everything has to be so complicated?"

But things returned to normal pretty quickly. I guess it was not the external things necessarily that loomed so dismally, as it was my own reaction to everything. I got back into the routine of work and school, and the worries faded into the background.

Later that week, I also suddenly had the urge to hang that quote about marriage from Casti Connubii on my wall. It just seemed appropriate now that Jade and I were married. I got some paper from the Merry Shop that looked like parchment, and an old fashioned pen tip, and started practicing. When I thought I had it down pretty well, I wrote Pius XI's quote, leaving out the phrase about the catechism, on a parchment-like paper. I messed the first one up so was glad I had gotten a few sheets. When I was done, I put it in an old picture frame I found, and hung it on my wall just above my bed where I could see it when I lay there.

Several days later, my Mom finally asked me about it. "What're those words in the picture frame that you have up on your wall? Carl said it had to be from some Protestant text."

And you had to understand about that. To a Catholic, the word "Protestant" was almost like an American using the word Communist, only a bit worse. It was always bad. The Protestants were all heretics. The Catholic Church even said that reading anything written by Protestants about religion was a serious sin.

"Have you read it? It's actually a beautiful quote about marriage. I liked it so much I printed it on that paper and put it in an old frame. And so much for what Carl knows. It's from an Encyclical written by Pope Pius XI."

Mom said: "Well I read it the other day. But what a strange thing to put on your wall."

"Well, I found that quote several months ago, and lately I've just been thinking a lot about getting married and everything. In fact, remember back when I had that appointment with the pastor? Marriage was one of the things we talked about." And I wished I could tell her the whole truth.

"Well, you always were the religious one in the family."

"Mom, I take religion and my beliefs very seriously. I think it so important that we really understand exactly what we believe. We have to make religion very personal. Or what's the point of it all?"

Mom smiled and then hugged me. Suddenly I felt like a fraud. Damn! In a way I was still just lying. I deliberately gave my Mom a very false impression. How come telling the absolute truth felt so much like telling a big lie? Sorry God. Why do I have to live a lie? Thinking about having to live "The Big Lie" was getting me depressed.

Copyright 2006 by Rocco Paperiello