Made To Be Broken

Status: Finished

Made To Be Broken

Status: Finished

Made To Be Broken

Book by: AMS1971

Genre: Gay and Lesbian

Book by: AMS1971

Details

Genre: Gay and Lesbian

Summary

At age 14, Noble Richmond becomes devastatingly aware that he is gay. Being raised in a Christian home and church, Noble believes that being gay is a sin, and desperately seeks God's healing and deliverance – telling no one of his secret. Now, nine years later, Noble is engaged to a Christian girl, Rebecca, who he believes he is genuinely in love with. Convinced that God has answered his prayers and delivered him from the sin of homosexuality, Noble sees his future with Rebecca as bright and promising. But when Rebecca's step-brother, Jonah, shows up at their engagement party – Noble is forced to question his deliverance and finds himself struggling with emotions and desires he insists is not natural for one man to feel for another.

Summary

At age 14, Noble Richmond becomes devastatingly aware that he is gay. Being raised in a Christian home and church, Noble believes that being gay is a sin, and desperately seeks God's healing and deliverance – telling no one of his secret. Now, nine years later, Noble is engaged to a Christian girl, Rebecca, who he believes he is genuinely in love with. Convinced that God has answered his prayers and delivered him from the sin of homosexuality, Noble sees his future with Rebecca as bright and promising. But when Rebecca's step-brother, Jonah, shows up at their engagement party – Noble is forced to question his deliverance and finds himself struggling with emotions and desires he insists is not natural for one man to feel for another.

Chapter8 (v.1) - When You Say Nothing At All

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: October 17, 2013

Reads: 634

Comments: 4

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: October 17, 2013

A A A

A A A

When You Say Nothing At All

 

I don't know what it is you got
But it's plain enough to see
Whatever it is sure
Means alot to me, oh yeah
I try to turn and walk away
But it does no good, I've gotta stay
This feelin' that you give
Won't let me be, oh no.”

 

- Without Your Love, JOE COCKER

______________________________________

 

It didn't mean anything. It couldn't. He refused to believe it was more than an absent, subconscious scribbling.

So why did you keep it – rather than throw it away with the rest of the trash?

Noble sat on the end of his bed, shirtless, wearing soft red flannel pajama pants, his bare toes flexing against the thick, soft beige carpet beneath his feet. A mild pain throbbed in his thighs as his elbows dug into the muscle and he leaned forward. The scarred Styrofoam cup twisted slowly in his fingertips, making full circles and coming to a stop each time on the ragged heart encasing his roughly scrawled name.

“It doesn't mean anything.” he whispered, disturbed by the audible ache in his voice. “And it wouldn't matter if it did.” A sudden tightness squeezed his words, straining with a quiet, raw anger that bordered on bitterness. His hand started to clench around the cup, intent on crushing it, but as the container began to crack, he thrust it away. Too light to truly propel, it dropped to the soft carpet a few feet away, unharmed, rolled a half circle and came to rest – the gouged image staring back at Noble.

His hand went to his mouth, squeezed, his fingertips and thumb pressing hard into his cheeks. A stinging burned his eyes and his breath scraped up his throat.

Get a grip. Stop this shit right now. You're just going through a battle. You're not queer.

A bitter laugh erupted out of him and his head dropped into his hands, his fingers shoving through his hair. “Yeah.” he groaned miserably. “You're no fag. You just spend every waking minute fantasizing about fucking the man.” He straightened up and rubbed the back of his neck fiercely. “But no – that don't make you queer. Not at all.”

He raised his head and stared at the cup on the floor. If he'd just wanted to screw the guy and get it out of his system...maybe he could somehow chalk it up to fleshly lust and find a way to convince himself he wasn't attracted to Jonah with anything more than his body. That still wasn't acceptable, and it terrified him, but it didn't mean he wanted to truly be with another man. It was like any other sinful lust. He could repent for it. God knows, he would be truly sorry.

The crudely drawn heart gripped his gaze. But in his fantasy, when Jonah asked him what he wanted...he didn't say sex.

I want you to love me.

He rubbed his eyes. A pulsing throb thumped in the center of his forehead. That wasn't true. He didn't want the man to love him. He didn't want Jonah to want him at all.

Then why did it turn your heart inside out when you saw the cup? Why can't you throw it away?

There was no reason. He stood up quick, stepped forward and scooped the cup off the floor, again intent on crushing it in his fist. But again, he hesitated. Just do it, dammit! It's just a fucking cup!

A strangled growl tore up his throat and he smacked the cup down hard – but not too hard – on the night stand. His hand swept through his hair and he gripped a fistful, squeezing.

“What is wrong with you?” he choked, fear and irritation battling for control of his emotions. His chest rose and fell with a quickness that impaired his breathing. Why had he started to get angry when Rebecca dismissed Jonah's story, as well as the man himself? Why did it matter what she thought of her step-brother? It had nothing to do with him. Nothing. He didn't care.

Even so, a vine of fear took root and grew tendrils around his heart and mind. It took all his strength of will to deny that Rebecca's touch no longer affected him, that it in fact was becoming a thing he dreaded – a constant reminder of the touch he truly craved.

“Being tempted isn't a sin.” He dropped down on the bed and laid back on the pillows on top of the blankets. Shadows pressed against the dim glow of the bedside lamp, giving the sensation that the bedroom was alive and closing in on him. “Even Jesus was tempted in the wilderness.” He swallowed tightly, grasping at straws, struggling to stay afloat. Temptation wasn't a choice. If he didn't act on it, he would be okay. And he was okay – because he'd told Jonah to stay away from him, to never touch him again. And apparently the man had taken him at his word. He seemed to be keeping his distance, if discreetly so.

Without his bidding, or his permission, the whole day replayed through his mind painfully slow. Jonah had shown him care and concern out front of the church, in the bathroom. And in his own way – whether Noble wanted to admit it or not – the man had been defending him against Rebecca. Jonah had seen him, he knew he had. And his words to Rebecca...they had been for Noble's benefit.

Friends like you, he can do without. Just stay away from him.

Between both him and Rebecca insisting the man stay away – what were the chances Jonah would cross those lines again?

“You're okay.” he whispered. “He won't push you anymore. You're going to be okay. Just think about Rebecca, the wedding. Everything is going to be fine.”

But when he closed his eyes, he saw Jonah's face, the man's eyes as they grabbed his for that brief moment just before he'd left the dining hall. Mason had asked him to stay. Even Colleen had asked him. But he had looked to Noble...

A quickening of his pulse thrust his pounding heart into his throat. Noble had been so on edge, his nerves wound out tight. Is that why he had missed it? Thinking back now, it was so clear.

He wanted you to ask him to stay.

Noble squeezed his eyes tight against the sudden burning. Had he realized it then – would he have asked him? But he knew the answer even before the question had worked its way through his mind. No, he wouldn't have.

Not with Rebecca sitting right next to you.

A tremor ran through Noble; was she the reason he wouldn't have asked the man to stay? Behind his eyes he saw Jonah walking away, the burden weighing on his shoulders and Noble suddenly understood something else; Jonah hadn't left because Rebecca didn't want him there.

He left because you didn't want him there.

Darts of guilt pierced his heart, burrowing deep. Barbed darts that grabbed flesh and refused to be plucked out again; Jonah had no place within his own family. And now Noble had joined them in pushing him out even further.

Noble sat forward and dropped his legs off the edge of the bed, his feet pressing down into the soft carpet. The cup on the night stand pulled at his gaze. Pressure swelled against his chest wall.

What am I supposed to do, God? If I apologize...will he take it to mean something it doesn't? Can I really take such a risk?

A slow breath seeped from between his lips and he reached for his cell phone. He opened it slowly and stared at the keypad – then punched out the number, hesitated then hit send and pressed the phone to his ear.

“I know it's late, but...” His voice shook a little, barely audible, when the strong male voice answered at the other end. “Can I talk to you?”

 

........................

 

“Noble?”

Mason leaned back in his chair and rubbed his eyes with his fingertips. The small desk lamp illuminated the desktop but barely dented the shadows of the study.

“I'm sorry.” Noble's quiet voice seeped through from the other end hesitantly. “Did I wake you? It can wait. I-”

“No.” Mason smiled. “I'm up.” He paused, then asked with concern, “Is everything all right?”

“Uh, yes. I was just...” A notable hesitation, then, “I was wondering if I could...get Jonah's number from you.”

Mason sat forward slowly. “Jonah's number?” he said slow. “Yes...of course. Is...” He paused, recalling his son's behavior whenever Noble was nearby. “Is everything...okay?”

Silence hung heavily on the other end of the line, and for a moment, he thought maybe Noble had hung up.

“Yes.” Noble's voice adopted a slight tremor that Mason struggled to interpret. “It's just...I was kind of...rude to Jonah earlier today, and...” Another extended silence. “I wanted to apologize.”

Warmth seeped into Mason's heart; it wasn't often people apologized to Jonah for their rudeness or criticism. “Yes, of course I can give you the number.“ Mason said and recited Jonah's number through the phone. “But...I'm going out to his place tomorrow. If you'd rather talk to him to face to face, you're welcome to come along.”

Noble went quiet again.

 

........................

 

Face to face. Could he even make the apology to Jonah in person?

In the fantasy, he'd told himself he'd followed Jonah into the woods to apologize. But it had been an excuse to go after man. Even in his own mind, he had to have an excuse to justify his actions.

But an excuse was all it had been. He had known what would happen if he and Jonah were alone in the woods like that. And he'd wanted it.

This time, though – Mason will be there. Nothing is going to happen. Wouldn't a face to face apology carry more weight? Be more meaningful?

“I'll think about it.” he murmured.

“Of course.” Mason said. “How about I give you a call in the morning?”

Noble pressed his lips tight. “Yeah...okay.”

“Well then, I guess I'll talk to you tomorrow.” Mason spoke light and Noble could hear the smile in his voice.

“Okay.” Noble said quietly. “Have a good night.”

“You too.” Mason offered. Noble started to hang up when Mason added, “By the way...Jonah is a night owl. I'm sure he's still up.” He bid Noble good night and ended the call before Noble could reply.

The cell slowly snapped closed and he sat on the edge of the bed, staring numbly at the floor. Did he really mean to call Jonah? Though the man was miles away, Noble knew that just hearing his voice over the phone would make it feel as if he were alone with him. And that unnerved him.

He can't do anything to you...or make you do anything. Not if he isn't here in person. You're safe.

Noble didn't feel safe. Still, he slowly opened the phone again, and picked up the small piece of paper on which he's jotted down Jonah's number. His hands shook as he opened his contacts list, started to type in Jonah's name then hesitated. Why was he putting him in his phone? After this one call – he never meant to call him again.

It's no big deal. You can delete it later. It doesn't mean anything.

When had this started? Lying to himself as well? A low sigh seeped out and he shook his head-then added the number to his phone.

“What are you doing?” he muttered. “The door is closed. What hell are you doing trying to open it again?” He combed his fingers through his short hair and sighed again. Jonah's name stared back at him from the contact list. His thumb pressed the menu tab then hovered over the call option.

“Shit.” he hissed quietly and stood to his feet, then paced around the bed, the phone gripped in his hand. Quit being such a chicken shit and make the damn call. He groaned and dropped back down on the edge of the bed, his pulse racing. Why was he so worked up over a simple apology phone call?

The answer to that question wasn't something he was eager to examine too closely. His jaw tightened with frustrated determination and he completed the call.

 

........................

 

The glow of the television screen was the only light in the bedroom. Jonah lay stretched out on the thick comforter, eyes heavy as he gazed at the t.v., barely aware of what was playing. Some classic t.v. sitcom.

He wanted to sleep, let go of the tension that squeezed his mind and body. But when he closed his eyes, Noble was waiting for him, his anxious voice begging Jonah to kiss him, his hands grabbing at Jonah's clothes, wanting him, needing him-

His cell buzzed and he jumped, gasping. “Shit.” His breath quick and ragged, he grabbed the phone. He didn't recognize the number and the name merely read wireless caller. A frown pinched his brow. Who the hell was calling at this time of night?

He snapped open the phone when it buzzed in his palm. “Hello?” His voice felt thick, and he cleared his throat, waiting for the caller to identify themselves.

Nothing.

Jonah sat forward, his frown deepening. “Hello?” he tried again. The line was open, someone was there. His heart thumped against his ribs and he wasn't sure why. “If you're calling this late...it must be important.”

It isn't him. You're out of your mind. Don't even go there. He would never call you.

Still, his voice lowered a bit and he murmured, “It's okay...you can talk to me.”

The line went dead in an instant.

 

........................

 

He didn't know it was you. He couldn't have.

Noble threw the phone on the bed as if it were a snake ready to strike. He was on his feet again, pacing, agitated, fingers raking his hair. Guilt poked at him.

You didn't do anything to feel guilty about. You were just calling to apologize.

Why should he feel guilty? But he knew, didn't he? It wasn't the call he was feeling condemned for - But the effect Jonah's voice had on him.

It's okay...you can talk to me.

His words seared Noble's mind, sizzled in his heart. He was talking to you. He knew he was talking to you. You could feel it.

Noble rubbed his eyes then raked his hand down over his mouth, letting it linger as he stared at the phone laying on the bed. A deep inner fear widened his eyes and surged his pulse.

Just go to bed. Forget about the call. You're imagining it all. Jonah doesn't know it was you-

The phone buzzed, muffled against the blankets. Noble jumped, darted through with electric shards of start. His heart kicked against his ribs, robbing his breath, squeezing his throat. He took a step towards the bed then froze. Had his number shown up on Jonah's phone? His name wouldn't have, but...his number?

By sheer will, he forced his feet to move forward. The cell trembled in his hand when he lifted it off the bed and looked at the caller name glowing on the display. Jonah. The tremor in his hand spread out through his body and he dropped the phone again and stepped back quick. He took another miscalculated step, caught his heel on the end of the bed, and dropped to his butt on the carpet with a grunt.

“Dammit.” he choked and rubbed his hand quick over his head then wiped at his eyes, startled to find them wet and draining tears down his face. “What is wrong with you?” he choked on a cry and swiped at his face again, grabbing the edge of the bed. He dragged himself back to his feet, his legs shaking.

A low musical chime announced a new voice mail message.

Delete it. The thought was instant. Insistent.

His hand crept to the back of his neck and squeezed. He stared at the phone then slowly picked it up. The voice mail notification floated on the display, offering Noble two options.

Listen now. Listen later.

“Delete it.” he whispered. Whatever Jonah had to say – he didn't need to hear. He opened the phone and chose Listen Later then snapped it closed again. “Just get rid of it, now.” he chided himself. He opened the phone again and put in his PIN and waited, his stomach twisting and knotting. The recorded voice came on informing him he had one new voice mail and gave him the options to listen or delete.

Press 1 to listen.

Press 2 to delete.

His thumb raked across the number one key and rested on the two. “Do it, dammit.” he groaned, troubled as to why is was so hard for him delete a simple message from the man. Maybe for the same reason you can't throw away the damn cup.

But what reason was that – exactly?

He didn't want to know, and he didn't try to figure it out. His thumb pressed the number one keypad and raised the phone to his ear, his insides roiling.

Later, he would tell himself it was by accident he pressed the 1 instead of the 2.

 

........................

 

The phone was warm against the center of his chest as he lay on his back and stared at the ceiling. Jonah traced his fingertips over the smooth hard plastic of the cell's outer casing and willed it to ring again. But somehow knew it wouldn't.

Noble had lost his courage – and now knew that Jonah had figured out it was him. He wouldn't be calling back tonight, whether or not he actually listened to his message, and may never call back. But he had called once. And it had been for a personal reason. If it hadn't been personal, the guy would have talked to him, that much he was sure of.

A low flutter rattled his heart. Noble had initiated a move – without Jonah's prompting. The fact that the man had lost his nerve and not followed through only strengthened the meaning behind it. A person didn't get nervous and uptight like that unless something deeper was involved.

Noble was breaking down his wall. Slowly and with great effort – but it was coming down.

 


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