Chapter 1

Sheets of rain were rolling down the back window of the car now as we pulled into the small parking lot at the Thompson Southern Baptist Church. I was forced to go to this god forsaken place every Sunday because my parents were deeply religious people. Once I dared to complain, and my mother slapped me across the face with a sharp stroke...

...

"Christopher Nicholas Barrows, do you wish to be damned to hell, to feel the burning fires for all eternity"

She pulled the ten commandments plaque from it's resting place above my bed and shoved it in front of my face.

"Remember to keep holy the Sabbath Day" she snarled, reciting the third commandment whilst pointing at it on the plaque.

"Breaking any one of these, Chris, is a sure ticket to hell. Get your ass out of bed and get dressed before I have to get your father in here"

I never bothered to complain again. The look on my mother's face that morning had scared me. I believed what she had said like any child would believe what their mother told them.

...

So, here I was again, stepping out of the small Toyota Camry that was my mother's, and walking towards the building that I hated more that the devil itself. I did not agree with a single thing that ever poured out of Preacher Tom's mouth, it was all holier than thou garbage to me, but my parents, along with the other parishioners, ate up every word of it.

Preacher Tom stood at the entrance to the building with a sickening smirk on his face, a smirk he always seemed to have. It annoyed the hell out of me.

The rain was really coming down hard and my dress shirt was soaked by the time I got into the building. My parents made me dress in formal for church, it was insane.

'Good gods, I'm 16 now, why can't I opt out of this bullshit?' I thought to myself

My mother Lauren, my father James, and myself all filed into the small church and quietly took our seats in a pew on the left side of the church, close to the front. We sat in that same spot every week, my parents liked to be close to the "good minister" as they called him.

After the congregation had all entered the building, it was 7:00 AM, and Preacher Tom shut the front doors and walked down the center isle and up behind the podium that he always spoke from in the front of the room. Not only did I disagree with almost everything said in this room, it was also deathly boring to sit through an entire sermon. This church had no music, no singing, and most importantly, no kind words of forgiveness.

"Good morning to all of you gathered here today," the preacher spoke in an oh so sickeningly calm voice, "We are here to witness the glory of the lord, as we do every week in this same room."

"It has come to my attention," an evil grin formed on his face, indicative of the vendetta he was about to reveal, "As it has undoubtably come to yours, that many activist judges wish to scourge the Lord by allowing the sinful sodomites to infringe upon our holy sacrament of matrimony. The evil of homosexuality is undeniable, pure lust, lust which fills the lord's eyes with tears." He ended the statement with a ridiculous crescendo in a pathetic attempt to make himself sound convincing.

"Unlike other sinners," he began, well aware that he was making a statement that would contradict the lord's actual teachings, "Homosexuals are not loved in the lord's eyes. If any of you are guilty of this damning, hellfire sin, then know this...your lord no longer loves you." He began to pace back and forth in the front of the room, Bible clutched firmly in his right hand.

"You will be BANISHED to hell upon your time of death, with no chance of forgiveness. The lord will SMITE you, for you have directly disobeyed his firm command!" He shouted as his face scrunched up with a look sheer disgust.

"Just keep the lord in your thoughts and you will never have these deviant, disgusting feelings" He with a disgusting smirk on his face.

"Amen" The congregation echoed back, including my parents.

If only they knew, if only they knew the REAL me. Truth be told, my friend Jake Thorpe was more than just a friend. It all happened one night at the movies, one year ago...

...

We were sitting in a movie, it was... "The Stepford Wives", yeah, that's what it was. I had been attracted to Jake for awhile, but quite frankly, was deathly afraid to even think about expressing it. For one, I still believed at that point in time that Preacher Tom was telling the whole truth in his speeches against homosexuality.

Jake was attracted to me too, apparently, and evidently, he also possessed a good deal more bravery that me. During the middle of the movie, around the part when Bobbie was talking about strapping a pinecone to a vibrator, he grabbed my hand and held it. I was so shocked I didn't know what to do. I just sat there, and beads of sweat formed on my forehead. I was scared, but I stayed just like that.

Ten minutes later, he shocked me beyond belief. He leaned over and kissed me.

I was instantly intoxicated. My mind told me to push away (remember, I still believed the preacher), but my sexual drive forced my teeth apart to allow the entry of his tongue. He explored every corner of my mouth with his probing tongue, and I was in heaven. I was loving it, but something killed the moment quickly.

Just then, as if he was out to ruin my life, the preacher's words played in my mind like a broken record. I pushed him off of me.

"W-what's wrong Chris, I thought for sure you were enjoying it?" he whispered

"Y-you're fucking SICK" I hissed

I got up out of my seat and ran all the way home from the theater to my house. My house was only two miles from the theater, 26 Healy Lane. I reached my house gasping for air.

I ran up to my room, hopped into my twin sized bed, and plunged under the covers. I began to cry. I cried for two whole hours until I finally fell into a restless sleep.

I had a dream. This dream would change my feelings about life.

::DREAM:: Jake and I were swimming in the shallows at Wildwood on the New Jersey coast. We were having a blast. Just as the sun was beginning to set, I noticed that a section of the water was beginning to reflect the light differently than the rest of the surface. Jake was walking parallel to the beach right towards that narrow strip of unsettled water.

"JAKE! WATCH OUT! DON'T WALK ANY FURTHER!" I shouted

"WHY?" He shouted back and continued walking until he reached the churning water.

Just then I saw his body jerk away from shore. I ran in his direction, but he was moving away quickly, it looked like he was speeding along at about five miles per hour. He was thrashing about wildly and screaming for help. I was the only one around at the time, all of the lifeguards had left, and technically, we shouldn't have still been at the beach.

When I got within three hundred feet of him and the space between him and I formed a line perpendicular to the beach, I felt a tug at my feet that knocked me right over. Suddenly, I was trapped in this conveyor belt of water too! The shore was rapidly disappearing.

'Ok, this is a rip current,' I thought, 'Just let it take you out, and then swim parallel to shore'

My father had told me that years ago. But did Jake know?

I glanced out towards him as I tried to stay afloat and tread water. Jake was still thrashing about wildly, and would never hear me if I shouted. After another agonizing three minutes of being dragged by this current, Jake was past the sandbar, but rather than swimming parallel to shore, he just allowed himself to sink under the surface of the water. I began to swim crazily towards him, the current helping be along. When I passed the sandbar, I felt the rip current die. The water was quite calm out here, past the surf zone. I dove underwater, but because it was getting dark outside now, I could scarcely see anything. Luckily, I bumped into him underwater. I wrapped my arms around him and pulled him towards the surface. Once above the water, I took deep breaths to regain enough oxygen to swim.

I placed my ear against his chest to see if he was still breathing. He was, but only just slightly, and in short, raspy breaths. He had been so panicked that he had accidentally inhaled a ton of water into his lungs.

I wrapped his arms around my neck, and mounted him on my back. I then, slowly and carefully, swam parallel to shore for about five-hundred feet, and then began to swim in. Shor was far, very far. Things were going well until we were within fifty feet of land. Jake took a very deep, cackly breath, and then began to take another, but stopped mid-breath. His breathing had stopped.

'God, please no, don't take him,' I thought to myself

I finished the trip to shore hurriedly, and laid him down on the sand. I felt for a pulse. Nothing. I began to cry as I performed CPR. His heart just refused to restart.

I tried desperately for five minutes to revive him, but then realized that he wasn't going to recover. He was dead.

The tears started to pour out of my eyes as I screamed to the sky...

"WHY YOU MOTHER FUCKING ASSHOLE, WHY!"/DREAM/

I jolted up in bed, soaked in sweat, tears actually spewing out of my eyes. All I could think now was this...

'I don't give a crap what the lord thinks, I want to be with Jake, and I want him now. What if he was to die tomorrow and I never got to tell him that I love him? ... Holy crap, I DO love him!'

It was 6:00 AM at that moment. I rushed to get dressed, and left the house before anyone else was even up. It was summer at the moment, so even though it was Wednesday, school wasn't a concern. It took me fifteen minutes to jog to his house, the wind ruffling my blond hair about. I was in good shape, but anyone would be a little out of breath after a fifteen minute jog.

I walked up to the front of his house, the number "247" was written in gold letters on the top of the door. His parents had already left for work, the were both early-morning workers.

"Hello, anyone home?" I said through the door

"I don't want to see you again yet, asshole, and I'm not sure I ever want to see you again." He said, standing right behind the door.

I didn't say anything for a few minutes. What was I going to say? I had been fuckin' awful to him the night before, just fuckin' horrible.

"I'm really sorry Jake, I didn't mean to freak out like that, I just let myself get out of control" I finally replied

"Well, Chris, you may be sorry, but WHY should I even CONSIDER forgiving you for ANYTHING?," he said with an elevated voice, "For awhile, you had been sending me hints that you were attracted to me, and then when I FINALLY get the courage to make a move, you freak out on me. You know Chris, I love you, and I have for a long time, and last night, you plunged a fuckin' dagger into me."

"But Jake, I DO love you, last night, I said something that I didn't mean. I said it because all I could do was regurgitate what my parents and the preacher had told me. But I wish now that I hadn't said what I said, because I did enjoy what you did, and it was as far from sick as you can get." I spoke through the door.

There was a long silence. The sun was just beginning to rise, and it caused the grass to glisten as the dewdrops reflected the light. Finally, I heard the lock click, and then the doorknob turn. He pulled the door open, grabbed me, and pulled me into his house. He pushed me against the wall right there and pressed his lips against mine.

It was incredible, his lips were so soft, yet he was so firm in motion. I nearly melted on the spot. I felt his tongue begging for entry, so I parted my teeth to allow him to enter. He began exploring the roof of my mouth, driving me crazy with his tongue. I pushed my tongue into his mouth and began to move it gently along the sides and roof of his mouth. We allowed our tongues to play with each other. It was amazing.

We finally broke the kiss.

"Damn. You're a fucking AWESOME kisser!" Is all I could say

...

Yes, that's about how it happened right there. But before I can see him again, I have to get through this fucking mass and the convince my parents that I won't be sinning by going to his house on the "holy day".

I seriously think that my parents are losing their minds. They are just way to serious about religion. They let it rule every aspect of their lives, including those aspects that involve me. Quite frankly, I wish I wasn't involved.

The mass finally ended. For the rest of the time after the discussion of the "hellfire sin", preacher Tom went on and on about how abortion was one of the roots of all evil, stem cell research was unholy, and feminists were insane anti-christ devil worshiping freaks who wanted an all-liberal America. Hey, in my opinion, an all liberal America would rock!

Chapter 1 complete! Please R and R even though I know it sucks, lol. Next update within a week if I manage enough free time. Next chapter will contain child abuse, just a warning.