avatarYong Kim



Cries and Laughters

“If you want something bad enough to make you tremble, does it qualify as beyond your control?”

art by Yong Kim on Instagram

Another church. Another pastor’s daughter. Another very pretty girl. Except she’s much older, perhaps seventeen or eighteen years old. And you’re . . . How old were you? Well, very young, just old enough to see girls differently, but young enough they didn’t know you did. You sleep over at her house for a few days because Mother went on a trip. And they think nothing of having you sleep in her room, next to her, under the same blanket. They don’t know the effect she has on you when she’s lying next to you with practically no clothes on. Too young to feel this way about a girl. Too early for this kind of temptation. You’re not ready for it; you don’t even realize what’s going on with your body.

The first night you can’t sleep because you’re too excited. Your heart racing, your palms sweating, and your face burning despite the cool air. Don’t know why except it has to do with her; just lying next to her excites you to no end. She’s beautiful even in the dim light. Can’t see her very well, but her presence is enough. Maybe because you’re already smitten.

Hours pass while you lie awake in thrilled agony. She has no trouble sleeping, however; she seems to be sound asleep. You call her name and there’s no answer. You tap her shoulders and there’s no response. She must be asleep.

You know it’s wrong, but something comes over you. It’s deliberate but at the same time, you can’t help it. Or maybe that’s just what you tell yourself. If you want something bad enough to make you tremble, does it qualify as beyond your control? Maybe. You just have to touch her, feel her beauty with your hand.

You reach over, feeling the skin under the nightie. You touch her back, up and down the spine. You pause to make sure you didn’t wake her, holding your breath for a moment, just listening . . . Her breathing seems the same; she didn’t notice.

You caress her legs, her thighs . . . smooth and firm . . . growing more desperate by the minute. You want something so badly you could cry, but you don’t know what, at least not exactly. You want to touch her in the forbidden place for a start, but you don’t dare, not yet. Surely she’ll wake up if you do, and she’ll be furious. She’ll tell everyone, and you’d die of shame before they could punish you properly. But you can’t remain like this either, the exquisite torture of overpowering desire without fulfillment, trembling at the possibility of forbidden contact.

Finally, the desire takes over, only her underwear guarding her secrets. The material thin and tight against the body, revealing her contours to your touch, soft and inviting . . . She moves slightly, parting her legs, as if to accommodate you.

Panic. You quickly withdraw your hand, alarmed. Did she notice? Did I wake her up? Full of fear now, you stop, you go no further that night.

The next morning you wake up late, still tired. But relieved because she doesn’t say anything about it. Maybe she doesn’t know. It’s Saturday, she takes you to the park and buys you ice cream. She’s like an older sister you never had; she’s so nice to you. You wish she weren’t, then maybe you wouldn’t feel so bad. Should be a fun day, but you aren’t exactly having fun. You love her company, no doubt about that, and would love it even if she said nothing, her smiles and presence are company enough. God, she’s almost an adult, a young woman, a beautiful, young woman. But you feel only guilt when you look at her. If only she knew what you did last night . . .

You pray for forgiveness, but He doesn’t hear you. You pray and pray, but it’s useless, He doesn’t hear you at all. Why should He? You’re not sincere, obviously, because you start where you left off that night, touching her all over when you think she’s fallen asleep. If anything, you’re more daring this time. Instead of stopping at her underwear, you gently place your hand underneath it, being sure not to touch her skin just yet, going lower and lower until you reach the forbidden spot. You’re so quiet you can hear her every breath, her soft, peaceful sounds. Sleep, pretty girl, sleep. Don’t let my touch wake you, I don’t mean any harm.

Some hair, then soft flesh. Irregular ridges that send shock waves throughout your body. What is it about that spot that excites you so much? It doesn’t make any sense.

A soft moan escapes her lips, freezing you completely in mid-motion. You don’t withdraw your hand for fear that she might wake up from the movement. You don’t dare move at all, just resting your hand on her gently, holding your breath. Did she feel that? Is she aware of what’s going on?

Seem to be in luck as she makes no further sounds. In fact, she’s unusually quiet, perhaps she’s in deep sleep.

You start to breathe once more, circulation returning as you relax. No longer so timid, you touch her more firmly, becoming bolder as you explore. Warm. Moist. Must be the sweat from your roaming fingers.

Encouraged by her silence, you start playing with her body, your fingers moving with a mind of their own. They’re so hungry; can’t get enough of her flesh. Becoming sleek and wet, so wet you can’t believe it. You know you’ll go to hell, but you don’t care, can’t worry about that now.

Another moan. Muffled sounds. You stop again, thinking she’s waking up for sure this time. You’ve gone too far. How could you do something like this? What were you thinking? She’ll be fully awake in a moment, and she’ll be very angry. You’re a bad, a very bad, child.

Somehow her anger worries you more than the prospect of going to hell. Maybe because you have to face her anger now. Hell, at least, can wait till you’re dead.

She must be waking up. Her breathing isn’t the same. You withdraw your hand, no longer worried about the movement. It doesn’t matter; she knows now. But as you prepare for the worst, she speaks softly but urgently, almost pleading.

“Don’t stop. Please don’t stop.”

Her voice, though barely audible, startles you as if it were a scream. Was she just talking to me?

You study her face, half in disbelief and half in panic. Can’t make out her expression, but her eyes still seem closed. Maybe she was talking in her sleep. Or maybe she’s awake and doesn’t want you to stop. But that doesn’t make any sense; she should be angry if she’s awake.

You decide to continue. You convince yourself that she’s asleep, perhaps dreaming. In any event she’s not angry which is enough to help you decide. Not just to decide, but to eliminate the fear. Your fear, for the moment anyway, was about her, not hell. If she’s not angry with you, then it’s all right. Hell is so distant; maybe it’s not real. At least you can pretend.

With the fear gone your touch is sure, furious even, desire finally unleashed to rule without interference. She’s gasping now; she hadn’t expected your intensity. She’s a prisoner of your touch. Only you will decide when to let go, and at the moment you have no such plans. You’ll just hold her like this, rubbing her flesh like you owned it. She can have it back when you’re satisfied.

All of a sudden her body trembles, soaking your fingers and more. You firmly hold her crotch as she does, not knowing what’s going on. You think you hear her whimpering: soft, subdued sounds. Is she crying? Is she in pain? You’re responsible for this!

When it subsides, you withdraw your hand uncertainly, her sweet, musky scent etching a hole in your consciousness. Perhaps she can’t believe what you’ve done. Perhaps she’s so upset she cried. What you did was so wrong she can’t find the words to express herself. You’re a bad human being; you deserve to go to hell after this.

She shifts her body in your direction and gently places her arm around you, pulling you toward her.

“Sweet boy,” she whispers, her eyes still closed and your face soon buried in her bosom. You lay trembling for a long time in her embrace, in the confusion, before finally falling asleep.

The next day you’re full of guilt, shame, and uncertainty. You suddenly don’t know how to behave around her, but she doesn’t seem to notice or act differently in any way, except for the funny expression on her face when she looks at you. The whole time you’re just waiting for her to burst with accusations, true accusations. And when she does, you wouldn’t be able to deny them. But she never brings them up, like nothing happened. Doesn’t she know? Doesn’t she remember?

She’s not even mad at you, it seems. She’s as nice to you as she’s always been. When it’s time to go, she hugs you as she says goodbye, tousles your hair, then smiles sweetly as you leave with your mother. Hard to believe this is the same girl who was whimpering to your touch last night.

For several weeks after, the events of that night haunt you every day. First the memory. The feel of the underwear against her skin, the feel of her flesh. Her wetness, her gasping, her sweet, irresistible scent. All too much, all too strong, always making you desperate for some kind of release.

Then the shame of your weakness. No one can know about it. You could never tell it to anyone except in your prayer for forgiveness. Not in words, just in thoughts. And even then just barely. You promise never to do it again. You promise never to even look at girls that way. But as you make the promises, you doubt you can keep them; you doubt you’ll be strong enough to resist. Still, what’s the point of asking for forgiveness if you aren’t going to promise not to do it again?

Finally the fear and the resignation. You pray and pray, but you know it’s useless. You know He’s not listening because your promises are worthless after all. You’ll surely go to hell. No doubt about it. You pretend ignorance of the certainty, try to keep the hope alive, but what’s the point? Deep down you know you can’t escape. Because you are who you are and you can’t change that.

How ironic then they should be so nice to you. The one who deserves the least respect, the least love, the least hope for the future. Their optimism and praise are so ridiculous it’s embarrassing. You didn’t ask for it. You didn’t ask for any of it. You want to scream: “Stop it! I’m nobody! I’m less than nobody!” If only they just left you alone, left you alone to go to hell in peace.

Still doesn’t explain anything. So your childhood wasn’t that great. So you were led to believe in a great future, expected to be a great man. You can still have a great future. You can still be a great man. Can you not? So why do you want to kill yourself? Not exactly the way you thought you’d go. How horrified your parents would be if they knew, not that you care. But it wasn’t always like this; you once loved life. What happened? When did this start? How did you get here?

A serialized coming-of-age novel about a boy who must decide whether to live or die after surviving an abusive family and the death of his love. Continuation of part one. Next: 2.1

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