In My Brother’s Shadow

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I’ve always known that my brother was someone special, someone not quite like the rest of us—it showed. Believe me, it showed. Not in anything he did on a conscious level, mind you, and he never acted like he thought he was better in any way than the rest of us. Far from it. I think he wasn’t sure himself just why he was special. Okay, he knew, but he didn’t know, or he didn’t believe. I’m not saying this right, I know, but it’s not easy to explain. He had this look about him, sort of far away, off in another world sort of thing. As if he were always living ahead, living in the next world. And he was a very strong believer in the next world, in preparing oneself to live with God. His father. No, his real father. Seriously.

Blows your mind, doesn’t it? My brother’s father is our heavenly father. Whereas mine is Joseph, the carpenter. Although my father treats Jesus like a son, he isn’t really. And our mother treats us all equally. But you can tell she worries about Jesus the most. She just doesn’t say why. It makes me wonder sometimes if she knows something she isn’t telling. Well, there must be a whole lot of story there. Her and God? Maybe someday she’ll share it with the rest of us. But you be the one to ask her about it, ’cause I can’t do it.

My name is James, by the way. I’m only about a year and half younger than Jesus. But I’m worlds behind him in many ways. I want to be a carpenter, like him. I’m working at it, but my hands just don’t have the same skill, and I don’t always have the patience for it. I’m learning, though. And Jesus is very encouraging. He tells me that someday I’ll be a real master, and have my own shop, and a big family. I tend to listen to him. He has special connections, after all.

So, in some ways, we’re rather alike, which is comforting, and even flattering to tell the truth. But in other ways we’re very different, and that’s what scares me. Not the differences. But finding the nerve to tell him about them. I hate living a lie. But I’m afraid of what he might say, or how it might change the way he feels about me. And that would be a hard cross to bear.

No, I’m not a thief, or a murderer. Or a tax collector. I don’t worship Satan. Nothing like that. I’m different from the men around me in one very significant way—I happen to like men, not women. And I’ve only recently started to come to terms with it, so I’m scared to death. I’ve heard the things people say. I know. They say it’s wrong, it’s unnatural. Sinful, even. But if it’s so sinful, why does it feel so natural, and so right?

I only wish I knew.

It’s only been once, and some might say it’s not too late for me yet, I can still change my mind about the whole thing, get married, have children. No, it’s too late. That one time told me all I ever needed to know. I liked it too much. I can’t change how I feel, and I honestly don’t want to. And being true to yourself and your beliefs is something I have in common with my brother.

It happened one market day—my work at the shop was done, and everything was swept up and cleaned to Father’s satisfaction. Which is saying quite a bit, for he liked everything to be just so, it was just his nature. He smiled at me, told me to run along and have some fun and to be home in time for dinner if I didn’t want the rough side of my mother’s tongue (not that she had one, mind you, but that was a sort of private joke between us). He knew how much I liked to hang about in the square on market day, gawking at the various people and their assorted wares. I would often find myself speculating about the lives they led back in their own countries, what they were like, what they did there, and how were they different from my own. And I would spin tales about them, to the amusement of my family. Storyteller they dubbed me, which made me smile.

I ran back into the house in a state of excitement, just because I wanted to see my mother first, and because I wanted to tell her that I was going. Call me a mama’s boy, if you like, I call it being considerate. She smiled and handed me a small bundle in which she had packed me some food for my lunch—some ripe dates from our yard, and some goat cheese she had made herself—and taking these, I ran off toward the marketplace, elated at having this time to myself to do what I wished, and to see what there was to see.

I also had a bit of a personal errand to run as well, but I wasn’t about to tell her that. One of the vendors, a Samarian merchant who sells the most beautiful pieces of cloth I’ve ever seen, was kindly allowing me to slowly buy an item from him over time—a practice most merchants did not allow and actually abhorred. But I had found the most beautiful silken scarf there, with the most intricate embroidery, and I wanted to get it for my mother, and so I had been working hard toward that end, earning as much extra money as I could to slowly pay off the balance that I might take it into my possession and give it to her as a gift, for I felt that she deserved it, and so much more. And, I admit it, I had a second reason that drew me to this particular vendor’s stall as well – Etiler Escort he had a most beautiful son, slightly older than me, by the name of Benjamin. And although we had barely exchanged more than a dozen words at any one time, all concerning moneys given and received, I thought that he had the most beautiful voice I’d ever heard, and I thrilled to hear him speak my name, it simply set me to tingling inside. Not that I showed it, of course. I never dared. No doubt he was already promised to some sweet young thing with dark hair and big dark eyes… and, well, other parts of the sort that I would never have which might qualify me to be any sort of an object of interest to him, if you know what I mean. It was enough for me simply to listen to him speak, and gaze at his beauty, I aspired to no more.

Don’t ask me why, but I played coy that day, moving from stall to stall, handling various trinkets presented to me by eager merchants, pretending to haggle with them over their prices before declining their offers and passing on, moving ever closer to my goal, my heart beating with excitement, my pulse racing. Although as I sidled up to the one I was actually interested in, I feigned indifference, hanging back from the others that were there before me, waiting my turn, pretending that I didn’t care at all when I actually cared very much. My eyes were cast down upon the ground, from which viewpoint all that I could see were shuffling feet, therefore I was surprised to hear a voice, a familiar silken voice, very close at hand, calling, “Father, I shall run your errand, as you wished, and take my lunch with me.”

I tried not to show my intense disappointment. My deity was leaving me, even before I had properly arrived? What cruel fate was this? I turned to stone, wishing nothing more than to sink into the ground, a shadow having been cast over what had promised to be a sunny day.

Until I felt his hand upon my arm, and realized he had come out from behind the stall, and was unexpectedly standing beside me. “James, come, I know a quiet place, have lunch with me…”

I think I stammered something fairly unintelligible, but I fell unhesitatingly in line with his wishes, following him easily through the crowded marketplace, heart hammering in my chest, my original errand forgotten for the moment. The people we passed were just so many blurs, blues and golds and reds, indistinct shapes possessing no real form or substance for me, merely random players set upon the stage, serving no real function other than as extras in the drama which we were about to play out, as they played out their own lives for which we were merely bit players in turn. He moved so very smoothly, elegantly, almost as if he did not touch the ground – at least that was my perception of him, as I wondered what it was he wanted from me, and then realized I didn’t really care, his attention upon me was enough. He seemed to know Nazareth every bit as well as I, for he did not hesitate, nor stop to consider which way to go, leading me to an area of the city that was less inhabited, where we met fewer and fewer people along the way until it seemed that it was only he and I, and how hard I had to swallow back my desires, lest he discover them, for I feared that more than anything, giving myself away, betraying myself for the thoughts which I had concerning him, thereby earning his disgust. Then, I knew, should that occur, I should truly wish to die.

We left the city proper, and now we were heading toward the hills about it, but we were away from the main trade route, away from the sounds of Nazareth, away from prying eyes and disapproving glances. Not that I thought for one moment that any of that was going through Benjamin’s mind, I ascribed to him the motive of privacy for its own sake, the chance to be away from wearisome customers, to be out from under his father’s gaze, simply to be free. Oh, little did I know.

We found a small grassy area amid the rocks and now the rest of the world truly ceased to exist – only he and I, together, beneath the flaming sky, the sun a brilliant topaz set above us, glowing upon us, radiating warmth in gentle spires which curled about us. Perhaps I wax a bit poetic, others might disagree with my interpretations, but these were my impressions, my passions imprinting them upon my consciousness, creating memories to take out later, to thumb through and replay at odd moments, to cherish…

We seated ourselves across from one another, taking out our lunches. I offered him some of my dates, which he accepted with a smile, even if he asked would I care for some of his grapes. Of course I said yes. I was taken by surprise when he unexpectedly leaned toward me, taking one of the grapes between his fingers, moving it to my lips as if to feed me. I received it most willingly, taking it into my mouth, savoring it all the more because he had touched it, his dark eyes boring into mine as I did so. When I had swallowed, he placed another grape within my grasp.

“Feed me,” he suggested, which was to me as a command, and I gladly brought the small piece Escort Etiler of fruit to his lovely lips. He took it, but in the taking he did not release my fingers, and once he had eaten the grape, he drew my fingers into his mouth, as if he intended to eat them as well, sucking upon them ever so lightly. How I tingled at his touch, how I shivered at this unexpected move, my brain wondering just what it was he was thinking or feeling, while my body only knew the pleasure that it was receiving.

He released my fingers, leaving a last lingering kiss upon each fingertip, before he stretched himself toward me, his right hand going behind my head, pulling me close to him, closer, closer, until our lips came together somewhere in the middle, and then he was kissing me with that amazing mouth, and I certainly wasn’t objecting, nor resisting in any way. In fact I found myself instinctively kissing him back, my heart fluttering like an imprisoned butterfly within my ribcage as my most secret of dreams began to be played out in the most fantastic way.

He pushed me back onto the grassy carpet beneath our feet, my unresisting body simply following his lead, my muscles bending with an unexpected suppleness, as if I had been made to move in just this way. He continued to kiss me, his limbs fitting neatly atop my own, for in a horizontal position everyone is made equal, and I became aware that his hands were now in motion – touching, stroking, soothing, exploring, as if I were something—or someone—which he had a great desire to learn and to know (and how that very notion alone sent my heartrate higher).

At first I did nothing, unsure of just what, if anything, I should be doing, but if he noticed any sort of lacking or hesitation upon my part, he did not show it. I felt the tip of his tongue prodding my mouth. Startled, I looked into his eyes, parting my lips, as if reading a message therein, and I read his approval as he entered my mouth and lightly touched my tongue with his own. But my attention was quickly distracted as I felt his hand caress my leg, pushing my robe upward as he gently fondled my thigh. I could feel myself begin to harden at his ministrations, and I was concerned about this reaction until I realized that he was experiencing the very same, and it was pressing against me in the most delicious way. I had never imagined how wonderful the feel of another’s erection could be—it was amazing. Simply amazing.

As was his hand against my bare flesh. A thousand and one thoughts went skittering through my brain as his hand continued to rise, higher and higher, along my nervous skin. I worried that I was too skinny, too hairy, too hairless, too naive, too stupid, too inexperienced, too boring, too ugly—doubt upon doubt upon doubt building within my mind. But he melted them all with his beautiful lips, and with his gentle touch as he reached the apex between my thighs, and encompassed me within his grasp, wrapping his slender fingers about my shaft, which was hardening at a rate I would have previously considered to be impossible.

Instinctively I pushed myself into his hand, desirous of more, and he rewarded me by tightening his fingers, squeezing my flesh as I arched my back, my own nails digging into the grassy ground about us, as if seeking to maintain contact with the earth lest I find myself floating off into the sky on a wave of ecstasy.

Benjamin continued to kiss me, even as his hand began to caress my hardness in long, languid strokes. I had never imagined how having someone else touch you in that most private of places could feel so very good. I was only familiar with my own touch, which had heretofore always been satisfactory to me, but now I was learning that there was something that was much much better, and this was it. At that moment I fell for him, head over heels, my heart singing in glorious syncopation with his, for his was the melody I had always yearned for, always listened for and now here it was, being played inside of my very soul.

He was taking my very breath away, and my head was spinning so much that I was developing acute tunnel vision – all I could see was him, all I could feel was him, while the world around us receded into an unintelligible blur. His lips were softly brushing across mine now, gently caressing each corner of my kiss-swollen mouth, before he murmured, “Lie back,” and before I had a chance to ask him what he meant—not that I think I could have formed such a coherent thought at that moment – he had left my lips bereft, and was scooting down my body and out of sight. I wondered what he was doing, half raising my hand as if in protest, but I was not left wondering for long, my fingers fluttering helplessly in the air as I suddenly felt the most incredible sensation, one I had never even dreamed existed before, as his lips began to softly lip my erection, even as he continued to pump it firmly.

This is something one cannot do on one’s own unless, I imagine, one is very limber. Not that I’ve even attempted it, mind you.

He began to slowly unwrap his fingers from my flesh as Etiler Escort Bayan he took my length into his mouth, replacing one with the other, and I was certainly in no position to object to the substitution as I felt him engulf me in his moistness. His digits took up new positions about the flesh which hung beneath my cock, as if they were a desirable piece of material that had to be examined manually. His fingers were smooth, and very dexterous, as they gently handled my testicles, although it was hard to focus on that when his mouth was causing me to lose control in such a delicious way.

I could feel his tongue exploring my manhood, circling it adventurously, as if he sought to map it. I had no time to wonder if I tasted right or if I felt right, or any of the other questions which might have occurred to me to ask if I hadn’t been so preoccupied with the very amazing sensations which were flowing through my body just then. Daringly I released my insane grip upon the poor tendrils of grass which I had been thoughtlessly crushing , finding purchase for them within the depths of his soft dark tresses, hoping that he would not mind if I did so.

As if he could read my mind, he lifted his eyes to mine, and his were filled with the most incredible tenderness that I instantly melted, for never had anyone looked at me like that, and I fell for him even harder than before. There was a light which seemed to emanate from the depths of his eyes, and never had I seen anyone so beautiful in my life—not just physically, but spiritually as well. I was so filled with him, with the wonder of him and what he was doing for me, that I found myself unable to hold out against his talented mouth’s entreaties, and with a sharp cry of pleasure, and no warning, I released myself inside of him, losing control as my wayward organ began to spasm, my seed flowing from me in heated rivulets. I was terrified that I should not have done so, that he would hate me for doing so, but those fears were soon laid to rest by his reaction – he closed his dark eyes once more, and literally drank from me as if I were a fountain, as if he were a child which I was suckling with my cock (I know, a strange analogy, but an apt one).

When he was done, he smoothed my robe back down and moved up along my body, seeking my lips, kissing them softly, smiling at the undoubtedly besotten expression upon my face. “You look like an angel,” he whispered approvingly, and I felt my cheeks redden, even as I demurred, insisting that he was the angelic one.

We finished our lunch in between soft kisses and tender caresses and all too soon we had made our way back to the marketplace, our idyll ended. I concluded my business with Benjamin’s father, and promised another payment on the next market day. I was almost afraid to look at his son, afraid I would find dismissal there, indifference, or perhaps mockery. But his eyes were still alight, as I suspect mine were, with an intimate glow, as he told me that next time he would talk his mother into sending something special for lunch. A promise if ever I heard one.

I hastened home, my head in the clouds, happy, but also confused about what had happened – not what so much as why. Not even that, but more a now what sort of thing?

And now here I sit, alone in my room, pondering questions which make my head ache, and my heart fear for the future. I want to be with him again, I want to touch Benjamin as he touched me. Does that make me wicked, then, as people say of boys who lie with other boys? I wish I knew. I wish there were someone I could speak with that could help me understand.

Unbidden, the image of my brother fills my mind, and even though I know he may possibly be disappointed or even angry with me, I know that he is the one that I wish to turn to, to speak to. I suspect that he may be in the temple even now, so I slip from the house quietly, unwilling to face the questioning eyes of either my mother or my father, and I make my way toward the place that I think Jesus will be.

My soul is afire with so many things, as I try to order my thoughts, so that I can make him understand. Is it his forgiveness I am seeking, in actuality? I don’t believe I’ve done anything wrong, it felt entirely right. And Benjamin – how can I explain my feelings for Benjamin? Why do people have to make things so difficult? If Jesus rejects me, I don’t know what I will do. I’ve heard some of his followers talk, the ones he refers to as his apostles, and somehow I don’t think they would understand, but it is his understanding which I seek. His and his alone.

I am in luck, I see him, up ahead. He must be on his way to the temple now, he walks with one of the apostles. The two of them are ambling slowly, so I lessen my own pace, not wishing to come upon them quite yet, as I am still ordering my thoughts, preparing my arguments. They are unaware of my presence, though, and now I see who it is he walks with – it is Judas of Iscariot. What I remember most of Judas is that he is constantly fighting for the poor, championing their cause, and seeking to better their lot. An honorable man. As I watch, the two of them pause in the shadow of a building which they are passing, and I watch in amazement as Jesus takes Judas’ hand, pulls him toward him and kisses him softly on the lips. And then they are walking once again, along their way.

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