• Dave Orlansky

The Talk

Adam paced back and forth across the length of his bedroom, seemingly lost in thought while murmuring faintly to himself. He knew what he was going to say; he had repeated it in his head on a continuous loop a thousand times. And yet his nerves still got the better of him as he tossed and turned throughout the previous night's sleep, consumed in anxious thought. The sounds of his frenetic shuffling in this early morning hour finally awoke Eve, who slowly rubbed her eyes and let out a quiet yawn as she turned to face her husband.

“Adam, honey, you really need to relax. You’re going to be fine. It’s just a quick talk.” Eve reached out and grabbed ahold of Adam's trembling hand, gently squeezing his palm against hers.

“What if he asks too many questions? What if it’s awkward?” Adam asked.

“Well of course it's going to be awkward. But you said yourself you think he's ready,” Eve assured him.

"I mean - he is 13 now,” Adam continued. “And God himself said that means he's a man."

“Well you can’t argue with God,” Eve said, while gently tracing her fingers down the length Adam's spine.

"Alright, that settles it," Adam replied. "I'm just going to march over to his room, sit him down and have the talk. Father to son. No big deal."

And with that, Adam leaned over, kissed Eve on the forehead, and caught one last reassuring glance from his wife before walking over to Cain’s bedroom on the other side of the hut. He knew this day would come, but he still couldn’t believe how quickly his eldest son had grown up. He fought back tears as he thought of Cain’s first steps, his first words, his first cave drawing; all of which seemed like just yesterday. Adam wiped his eyes, took a deep breath, and knocked twice on Cain's bedroom door. After a brief moment of hesitation, he entered his son's room.

"What's up dad?" Cain asked as he adjusted himself on the thick mattress of hay so that his back leaned up against the tall wooden frame of the hut. Adam sat on the edge of the hay pile beside Cain and put his hand firmly on his son’s left shoulder.

"Son, as you know, 13 is an important age."

Cain rolled his eyes in a way that only a teenager could.

"Yeah dad, I know. I'm a man now. You've told me this already. How many times do I have to hear it? You sound like a broken record."

"It's more than that son. You probably started to notice your body is going through some, um, let’s call them changes."

"Daaaaad," Cain whined while darting his eyes toward the ground in embarrassment.

"Now I know it’s not ‘cool’ to talk about this stuff with your old man, but I want you to know that what you’re going through is completely normal,” Adam said.

“Thanks dad. Can I please go outside and play with my sticks now?” asked Cain, whose face had now transformed into multiple shades of red. Cain began to lift himself off the hay, but Adam kept his hand firmly on Cain's shoulder.

“I know you don’t want to talk about it,” Adam continued, “but we recently started finding a lot of sticky fig leaves in your trash can, and I think it’s important that we discuss what these changes mean for you.”

Cain squirmed uncomfortably, unsure of how to respond.

"And your mom found you massaging what looked to be two grapefruit in the garden the other day."

Cain opened his mouth to talk but nothing came out. Adam took a deep breath and continued.

"This is nothing to be ashamed of. As you know, you’re a teenager now, so your hormones are in overdrive."

"Dad, we really don't have to talk about this," Cain said as he continued looking down at his fidgeting hands.

“Well as your father, it is my duty to explain what’s expected of you now that you’re a man.”

“Dad, I’m not an idiot. I already know everything there is to know about being a man.”

“You do?" Adam asked. A sense of relief washed over his entire body.

"Yeah, dad. I’m 13 now. I’m not a child anymore."

"Well that's fantastic then. What a relief!" Adam exclaimed. He stood up from the hay pile as a smile crept across his face. "And here I was, so nervous to talk to you about all this. Looks like I was worried for nothing!"

Cain's face was still beat red, but he also couldn't help but let out a faint smile as well, now finally sensing they were nearing an end to this awkward conversation. "Can I go play now?"

"Sure son," Adam said, tussling his son's hair before walking toward the bedroom door. "I love you so much kiddo. Oh, and just let me know when you plan on having sex with your sister, okay?"

Cain suddenly shot up from his reclined position on the hay pile. "WHAT??!!"

"Well you have to have sex with your sister silly. You're a man now Cain. I thought we were on the same page here? You said you knew everything."

"Same page? What are you talking about dad? Are you insane?" Cain shouted, the veins in his head about to pop.

"What did you think – I only came here to talk about grapefruit and sticky fig leaves?" Adam chuckled to himself.

“Yes, that’s exactly what I thought we’d talk about,” Cain cried.

"You had to have known this day would come,” Adam said. “How did you think we’d repopulate? We’re the only family on Earth.”

"I don't know. I guess I just figured that you and mom would keep having more kids.”

Adam couldn’t help but laugh to himself before pressing on. "Even if we did have more kids, you’d have to have sex with one of your sisters eventually. How else are we supposed to create a new generation? Mine as well bang it out early son.”

“Bang it out early? What are you even saying right now?” Cain shouted. I’m going to throw up in my mouth.”

Adam rubbed Cain's shoulder. “I know this isn't ideal son. But look, I'm not asking you to marry your sister. It’s just sex.”

“Yeah, with my sister. That’s disgusting. Why can’t Abel do it?” Cain asked.

“You’re the eldest son,” Adam replied. “Our blood line should be carried through you.”

“Ugh, Abel gets away with everything just cause he’s the baby in the family. I’m gonna kill him.”

“Son, you don’t mean that. This is all just part of becoming a man. Think of it as a rite of passage.”

“I hate this family and I hate you,” Cain shouted before reburying his head in his straw pillow.

“That must be the hormones talking. Puberty is such a confusing time,” Adam said, while gently patting Cain on the back. “But I’m really glad we had this talk. 13 is an exciting age – you’ll see. I’m proud of you kiddo.”

Adam stood up from the bed and began walking toward the door before turning back for one last word.

“Oh and Cain, please don’t use protection.”

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