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IT was about 6:55 p.m. The Mass for Dana had ended some twenty minutes ago. With the Mass over, the entire household had gone straight into the house to begin preparations for supper. Fr. Chrys hadn’t joined them—he had no appetite. Instead he’d chosen to lock himself in his study room to have a quiet time.
He was sitting there now—inside the small room with only a desk and three chairs, a book shelf and a wood-frame hanger for his most commonly used Priestly garment. He was reading Peace of Soul by Fulton J. Sheen. He’d read it before, but usually reread it whenever he was feeling despondent. The quiet, candid words had always been a kind of soothing balm to his heart.
A hesitant, soft tap came at the door. He raised his head and stared at the dark mahogany door for a moment.
Sighing, he said. “Come in.” Not bothering to ask who it was. He’ll find out soon enough.
The door squeaked open and Cyprian walked in. Well, it was more like crept in really, as he had his head down and his feet seemed to drag across the old burgundy rug.
“Cy, come right in and sit down.” Fr. Chrys invited, putting a page marker on the page he’d stopped and dropping the book.
He regarded the head-bent figure with compassionate eyes. He’d started crying again during the Mass. Even now as he shuffled towards the wood-frame chair and sat down, he could see that his eyes were still red-rimmed and swollen.
“Cyprian,” he gently called him by his full name, “I know that Dana’s death had shocked and deeply hurt you. I did notice that the two of you were becoming friendlier these last couple of weeks…”
Cyprian made a wobbly moaning sound.
Fr. Chrys leaned forward against his desk. “We are all in shock and grieving. But we must not forget St. Paul’s admonition in 1 Thessalonians 4:13 that when we mourn we should not mourn like the heathens who have no hope. We believe in the resurrection and we know that we will meet our loved ones again after this life. You know that, right, Cy?”
Cyprian nodded his head in rapid movements. He knew that part of the Bible and what it meant. He just doubted if he would ever be seeing Dana again—he had no wish to end up in hell.
Which of course was why he was here now, he needed to confess his sins and get absolution from Father and forgiveness from God. Father had always taught them that when they repented and confessed their sins, God instantly forgave them and remembered their sin no more.
He took a deep breath and managed to raise his head to look Fr. Chrys in the face. His vision was somewhat blurred and he knew that the tears were back in his eyes.
“I think I killed Dana.” He blurted out.
Fr. Chrys didn’t know his jaw had dropped. He just stared at the boy in a sea-blue T-shirt which his quivering fingers were making a concentrated effort to expand the round neckline by tugging it repeatedly. He didn’t know what to say to the astonishing statement, so he said the first thing that came to his mind.
“Do you want to make a confession?”
Cyprian nodded again. He was beginning to feel the shock waves run through him again as they’d done when they’d woken up this morning to be told that Dana was dead.
“Yes, Fr. Chrys.”
Fr. Chrys nodded his own head, still not sure what to say. He stretched his hand and slipped down the purple stole from the wood-frame hanger. Kissing it, he slipped it around his neck, made the sign of the cross over Cyprian, saying the appropriate prayers, then waited for the boy to begin.
Cyprian swallowed hard to stop the tears from gushing out, bending his head in a prayerful and respectful mode, he linked his trembling fingers on his laps and began…
▪ ♦ ▪
IT was Saturday evening, about 6:20 p.m. and he was in the garden.
It was his usual hideout most evenings when he had no chores and when the other two boys had no interest in talking or playing with him. Though he shared a room with Dominic, they were not exactly close. He felt closer to Anthony. Maybe because they were at least closer in age and he was a whole lot friendlier. Dominic was something of a loner and only chatted with anyone when he was in a cheerful mood, which was rare and far in between.
Since Anthony had been engrossed in his book that evening, he’d decided to come here and enjoy the green, flowery scenery. He loved the garden; it was pretty, peaceful and so welcoming.
He sighed and leaned his back against the wooden bench, shutting his eyes as he allowed the cool breeze to blow over him, enjoying the rustling, whistling sounds the leaves made.
He jerked up and swung around.
Dana was standing just a few steps over the entrance. She had on a cotton coral pink dress with a low scooped neck that showed off the upper mounds of her breasts. The black shawl that had been about her neck when they’d prayed the Angelus was now hanging loosely in her left hand.
“What are you doing here?” Dana asked softly, coming towards him.
“Err… nothing.” Cyprian stuttered.
Dana made him nervous. She always had this knowing, funny look in her eyes whenever she looked at him. The look was in her eyes now. And since his thoughts ran amok and his body always started acting funny—like some invisible hand was tickling him—whenever she was looking at him that way, he made it a point to mostly avoid her.
“Nothing? So why are you sitting here in the garden?”
“Err… I… I’m just enjoying the breeze.” He gaped at her. She moved like she was swaying her body to some music only she could hear.
Dana reached his side and slid down on to the bench, adjusting her body closer to his so that they were facing each other.
“Hmm, I like the cool breeze too.” She laughed, her eyes twinkling at him.
He stared at her tongue-tied. He never knew what to say to her. She was the oldest girl in the house—that is apart from Sister Clara, who was of course like a mother to them all, so she didn’t count as a girl. And she always acted like she knew some secret no one else knew.
Dana leaned her body towards him, her eyes holding his. “I knew you’ll be here so I came to find you.” She said in her low throaty voice that only added to the ticklish feelings he already suffered.
Cyprian lowered his eyes and they fell on her chest level. The low scooped neckline had dropped even lower and her fair, smooth breasts were now more visible.
“Do you like them?”
“Huh?” He swung his eyes up and gaped at her.
The knowing look was even more knowing.
“Will you like to touch them?” Dana asked, deepening her throaty girlish voice.
The question stumped him. He didn’t know how to respond. He’d never touched a woman’s breasts before. He’d never wanted to… except of course, the ones he saw in the pictures of naked ladies Dominic had on his phone. But those weren’t real.
These ones were. They were real, round, fair and heaving slightly.
“If you want to touch them, go ahead. I don’t mind.” Dana invited.
He wanted to say no, that he didn’t want to touch her breasts, that it would be wrong to touch them. But he couldn’t. It would be a lie, because he so wanted to touch them, to feel them, feel what they were like. So instead, he simply nodded, unable to say anything.
“Go ahead then—touch them.” Dana encouraged, pushing her chest forward.
He looked at her, saw the open invitation and smile in her knowing eyes. Needing no other prompt, he lifted his hands and allowed them to move of their own accord until they were lying over the mounds protected by the cool texture of the cotton dress.
“Squeeze them.” Dana whispered.
He added pressure to his hands and squeezed—gently, hesitantly. She made a sound that was like a long, groan of pain, instantly he jerked back his hands.
“No.” Dana cried out. “Put them back, and squeeze them again. I like it.”
He stared at her doubtfully. But noting her encouraging eyes, he slipped his hands over the cotton dress and letting them lie over the soft round mounds, he began squeezing and rubbing them. They felt like apples—only bigger, softer and warmer. And they made his feel good; good in a not-really-good way and also powerful—like he was in charge of them.
“You like that, don’t you?” Dana whispered.
He nodded like a mute fool.
“Then I have to touch you too. It’s only fair.”
He wondered why she’d like to touch his chest, there wasn’t anything there. But her hand instead of creeping up, slid downward and made straight for his legs, slipped over his laps and stopped in between his legs.
Cyprian gasped, utterly shocked and speechless. His hands stopped their squeezing and massaging.
Dana raised her eyes to his, smiled and then applied pressure to her hand.
A strangled sound escaped his lips as he felt convulsing shock waves rush through his entire body. He felt his manhood start to grow bigger and harder, like it did most mornings these days when he woke up. And it seemed to want… no, to desperately hunger for something. Only he wasn’t quite sure what it hungered for.
“Have you had sex before?” Dana asked now.
His eyes went wide at her blatant use of the forbidden S-word. “No.” He blurted.
His heartbeats had increased and he felt like they were racing like a fast moving train against his ribs.
“Have you?” He croaked, watching her with stupefied eyes.
“Yes, I have. Before I came here.” Dana said with a bold smile.
She’d wanted to tell him that she’d been having it with Anthony too… until he decided he’d had enough three weeks ago. And since she’d tried to entice him and win him back repeatedly and had failed, she’d decided she had to settle for someone else—him.
Cyprian’s mouth dropped open, she wasn’t a virgin?
“Do you want to have it?” Dana pressed on.
She was beginning to feel that desperate hunger again between her legs and she needed to satisfy it.
“Do you want to have sex?” She repeated, her eyes bolder.
His hands which were still lying loosely over her breasts went limp and dropped. He didn’t know what to say. His heart wasn’t just racing anymore; it was jumping up and down like an over-excited monkey. Did he?
Dana could see that he was torn in two. She didn’t want to give him too much time to over-think it and maybe refuse her, so she got up and making sure her eyes still held his, backed into the garden.
In between the shades of some tall shrubs, she stopped and slipping her hands down until they gripped the hem of her dress, she lifted it and pulled it over her head.
Cyprian gawked at her as she pulled off her dress, then her pinkish silk camisole and bending over a little, took of her flowery pink panties. He made a strangulated sound as she stood before him—naked. Every thought in his head flew off. He felt his trembling body push up as if controlled by a spell and move towards her.
“Take of your clothes too.” Dana commanded.
Spellbound by her beautiful naked form, he obeyed. Quickly pulling of his T-shirt and struggling in a frenzied haste until he finally managed to shrug off his three-quarter jeans shorts.
His manhood was standing in vertical form—straight, hard and throbbing like it had a beating heart of its own. He’d never seen it like that… not even in the mornings when he woke up and not the few times he’d touched himself in the toilet.
Dana slid down, laid on the ground on top fallen flowers and leaves, and parted her legs.
“Come, lie on top me, I’ll show you what to do.”
And so, Cyprian bent over and slowly spread out his quivering body until he was lying on top of her, his warm body meeting with her cool, soft and slightly curvy body.
And with her soft voice muttering instruction after instruction, it didn’t take more than three clumsy, scary, heart-thudding, sweaty, groping minutes for him to lose his virginity.
▪ ♦ ▪
HE stopped his narration and waited. But Fr. Chrys did not say a word.
Gingerly raising his head, Cyprian stared at the Priest he’d come to regard as a father in place of the one who’d abandoned him here. He was staring back at him in open-mouthed astonishment with shock streaming through his widened eyes.