Page 2 of Tobias

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Of all the things JB could have done or said, that one cut him like a knife. They did everything together. Everything. Except sex.

“Good afternoon, young Tobias Franklin,” smirked Franklin. Tobias stared at the old ghost and gave him a forced grin.

“Hi, Franklin.” The ghost frowned at him, pointing to one of the stone benches. Tobias knew that this would be a lecture, and honestly, he wasn’t in the mood for it. Not today. “Oh, I have homework.”

“It’s Friday, boy. I’m not stupid. Sit.” Tobias nodded, and Franklin sort of hovered near him. “What did you do?”

“I didn’t do anything,” he said, looking down at the dirt.

“A boy who’s honest looks a man in the eyes,” said Franklin. “I’m a ghost, Tobias. I tend to see and hear everythin’. You been sleepin’ with that girl?” Tobias let out a long, slow breath. You couldn’t hide anything from these damn ghosts. They were inside your head in a flash.

“I slept with her once,” said Tobias. “We were out by the lake, and she had on a little bikini, and well, things just escalated. I mean, she was rubbing my dick, Franklin. What was I supposed to do?”

“Say stop,” he frowned. “You young folks are all kinds of stupid, sometimes. Bein’ a father is a gift, Tobias. It was the greatest gift of my life, and it was ripped from me. But you ain’t ready for that.”

“I know. I’ll use condoms going forward.” He started to stand but felt as though Franklin had weighed him down with a thousand pounds. Taking his seat again, he looked up at him.

“You shoulda been usin’ them all along. That young girl has a daughter already. I ain’t judgin’ her. Things happen. But she wasn’t worried ‘bout it happenin’ again. You woulda been trapped with a wife and child, Tobias. You woulda been takin’ care of her other child. She sees you as someone with money and a future.”

Tobias realized how right Franklin was. He’d never thought about all of that. Then again, it was hard to think when all the blood was in your penis.

“How do I control it, Franklin? JB seems to be able to, but I get hard when the wind blows right and all I can think about is burying myself inside a girl.”

“Just ‘cause you get hard, don’t mean you gotta take care of it. Focus on somethin’ else. Run. Write in a diary. Lift weights. Think of your mama or your grandmama. That should do it. Do somethin’ other than think with your manhood.” Tobias chuckled at his words, nodding.

“But if they’re willing, why not?”

“Boy, you don’t get it. You gotta be the man. You gotta be the one that has common sense and knows when somethin’ ain’t right. Look, Tobias. You’re gonna go off to the Army soon. Gonna be a lot of pretty girls seein’ you in your uniform and wantin’ to be with you. But you gotta be strong enough to say no. Get to know them. Make sure they’re women you wanna spend time with.”

Tobias stared at the image hovering near him, then nodded.

“I promise, Franklin. Thanks for talking to me,” he said. Franklin watched as he walked back toward his brother in the cafeteria. He felt Martha, Yori, and Nathan come up behind him.

“Did it help?” asked Nathan.

“I don’t think so. That boy’s got a powerful sex drive, and he don’t know how to control it yet. I have a feelin’ he’s gonna meet the one he really wants, and she won’t have him.”

“Well, we did what we could,” said Martha. “The rest is up to him.”

JB stayed mad at Tobias for three days. He worked hard to not give in to his urges with every woman he met, but the female population was not helping his cause.

At some point, JB gave up being his brother’s keeper when it came to sex. But in fairness, Tobias learned to be honest with the women he hooked up with.

“God, you’re sexy,” mewled a woman, rubbing herself on his leg.

“You’re pretty hot yourself. What do you say we go back to your place?” She nodded and started to pull him toward the door, but Tobias pulled her back. “A few rules. I wear double condoms. No staying the night. And when we’re done, I leave. No drama.”

“I can live with that,” smiled the woman.

The sex was good, but like almost every woman he went home with, she couldn’t keep her word. She wanted his full name, where did he live, what was his phone number. Not one woman could just let him walk out the door. You would have thought he’d learned.

“Tobias?” called JB walking into the apartment.


“We gotta go. Mission in the Bahamas,” said JB.

“Bahamas?” grinned Tobias. “That’s no mission, brother. That’s a vacation.”

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