Beverly listened to the commotion at the dinner table from the laundry room as she folded clothes. She heard feet stomping up the stairs and the door to David’s bedroom slam indicating he had left the scene in a huff. Every interaction between the two males seemed to end in the same way, as if they somehow knew the truth.
She decided to remind David of his responsibilities as parent to both children. Just outside the dinning room she paused to listen to his conversation with their daughter. She could see that CarolLee was sitting in his lap, her long legs barely able to fold up enough to make fitting there possible, and she had her arms around his neck.
As he held her, he said, “CarolLee, who did teach you to play chess? I’ve never seen you play before.”
“A friend,” she said, snuggling closer, and nuzzling into his neck.
“Yes, Dear. But which friend?”
“He’s not around now.”
“Your friend is a boy?” David said, unbelieving. “I didn’t think you and your girlfriends liked boys.”
“I like him.”
Intrigued, Beverly walked into the dining room, and looked askance at her husband and daughter in their warm embrace. “Well at least somebody’s happy,” she said. “Adam sure isn’t. I gather he lost again.”
David kissed CarolLee again, saying, “He’s never beat me yet.”
“Which one of you is the adolescent again?” Beverly said. “I get confused when you say things like that.”
Her husband ignored the slight. “Did you know CarolLee knows how to play chess? And she plays very well.”
CarolLee smiled at the praise, and slipped off her father’s lap, announcing she was going to go to her bedroom to read. When she was out of the room, Beverly said, “Couldn’t you have taught her another game? There is enough arguing in this house over chess.”
“Don’t look at me, I didn’t teach her,” David said. “I never even thought she was interested. She says a friend of hers taught her. A boy. I thought she didn’t like boys?”
Beverly was amused at the idea. “She doesn’t. There must be a boy at school interesting enough to pierce the solid wall of Barbie Doll conversation.”
“He must be a hell of a chess teacher,” David said. “She played really well.”
“It’s just a game.” Beverly said. “You remember your daughter is very smart, don’t you, gifted even? Very imaginative. Learns quickly. You remember the parent teacher conferences?”
“Of course, I remember. But you don’t learn to play that well, that quickly. That’s not normal.”
“You’re just afraid she’s going to be able to beat you. Then I’ll have two boys who throw tantrums when they lose.”
Adam sat at the small desk in his room, turned on his computer, and went directly to one of his favorite free porn sites. He grabbed at his crotch as he clicked through the pages looking for something of interest. Chess with his father always left him frustrated and in need of relief. It especially annoyed him that his little sister had learned to play, so now, he didn’t even have that accomplishment to himself. It wasn’t fair she turned out so smart.
Adam often imagined elaborate schemes in which he outwitted his sister, and she had to submit to him as a result. He fantasized a particularly dumb expression on her face as she realized he was the smarter one, and had to lay down on the bed on her stomach, while he pushed his cock into her butt hole. He would make her say, “Fuck my dumb ass, Adam, I deserve it,” a million times.
This line of thought reminded him of his mother’s hairbrush, which he pulled out of its hiding place, dropped his pants, smothered the handle with some of his mother’s skin cream, stuck it a good ways up his ass, and began jerking off. Lately, he had been jerking off twice a day, and he was sure that was too often to be normal. He knew the content of his fantasies was not normal, but he had tried to accept that. It was the frequency that was disturbing, as though his need could never be satisfied. Adam feared it would never be even if he jerked off five times a day. The fear was well-founded, since there had been several days in which he had jerked off six times.
He was sitting in his chair with his knees up and spread wide, one hand jerking his cock like he was trying to start a lawn mower, and the other working the hairbrush in and out of his ass when his mother opened the door and walked in. She was carrying a stack of laundry and she stopped two steps into his room to stare at him. Adam threw the brush to the floor, dropped his feet to the ground, and stood trying to pull up his pants.
“Geeze, Mom,” Adam said, “Can’t you knock?”
It seemed to take her a few seconds to respond, and then she said, “Sorry.” She set the stack of clothes on the dresser and left, closing the door behind her.
Adam was humiliated, and was sure his mother would never speak to him again. He wanted to throw the hairbrush and bottle of cream in the garbage and promise his mother he would give up jerking off forever. Stronger desires prevailed, however, and he returned to the chair, jammed the hairbrush in even farther and shot his spunk all over the keyboard.
After, mainly to get out of the house and avoid his mom, he decided to go for a run. He changed his clothes, and exited his room. CarolLee’s voice caught his attention. He could only make out a few words as he stood listening in the hall. She often read aloud, particularly at night after everyone had gone to bed, which he thought was whacky. That didn’t seem like something a girl who was supposed to be so smart would do. He left muttering her craziness, ignored the overly friendly greeting from her mother’s creepy real estate partner who had dropped by again as he rushed out the front door, and went for a long run in the hot Arizona sun.
Beverly was intrigued learning CarolLee had spent enough time with a boy to learn chess. She must have given up a few recesses or lunch periods with her friends, and she wanted to know who the girl found so interesting. There were a number of cute boys in her fifth grade class, and she thought her daughter was attractive enough to have any one she wanted. She was a big girl, far from petite, but not chubby, who took after her mother at that age. Her height alone made her look older than her classmates.
After her business partner, Rusty, had left, Beverly took a stack of clean laundry and trudged up the stairs toward CarolLee’s room. She stopped just outside the slightly ajar door when she heard her daughter’s voice. “Yes, very much… Good bye… I love you, too.”
Shocked by the words, Beverly pushed open the door to find her daughter laying on the bed on her back, the afternoon light streaming in from the gabled window above her head. CarolLee’s room was in one corner of the old brick house, the guest bedroom was opposite the hall at the top of the stairs, and her brother’s bedroom, the largest of the three, consumed the rest of the upstairs. At the other end of CarolLee’s room was the small door to the attic. When she was younger the attic door was a source of great anxiety for CarolLee, as she imagined all manner of threats lived there, and she required the light in the hall be left on in order to fall asleep. She had grown out of that, though, and no longer required a night light. Beverly looked around the room to confirm her daughter was alone. “CarolLee, who were you talking to?”
“No one,” she said sitting up, and throwing her feet onto the floor.
“But I heard you,” Beverly said. “Just now. Who were you talking to?”
Her daughter avoided looking directly at her, shuffled her feet into her shoes, then looked up and said, “I’m hungry. Can I have a sandwich?”
Beverly put the stack of laundry on the dresser, and sat down beside her on the bed, impressed by the ease with which her daughter had changed the subject. “CarolLee, we are the only two women in this house, and we have to stick together. We shouldn’t have any secrets between us.”
“You have secrets,” she said.
Beverly sputtered awkwardly, “What? What makes you think I have a secret, Honey?” She had been caught off-guard by her daughter’s accusation, and thought she had responded convincingly until CarolLee looked her in the eye. Her unflinching stare shook Beverly to the core. The woman got up, hurriedly stuffed the laundry in the drawer, and said, “Well, I want to hear all about the boy who taught you to play chess… when you’re ready.” Beverly smiled again, and left the room, trying to convince herself her daughter couldn’t possibly know her secret.