Walter, oh the other hand, was convinced that she was wasting his time. He believed the boy needed to learn survival skills; the things that would keep him alive when he was no longer there to hunt, fish, and protect him. He knew that in this hostile environment even a minor mistake in judgment could be fatal. He also did not want his son to be a wimp, but, unfortunately, it certainly appeared that he was well on his way. He saw him clinging to the skirt tails of his mother.
As a result Walter began to resent Grace monopolizing so much of his time. Yet he gritted his teeth and accepted it begrudgingly because he knew coming between a mother and son could be counter-productive under the best circumstances, and family squabbles could divert their critical focus on survival.
Grace, of course, could feel the tension with Walter. In spite of that she had insisted that she continue Thomas' education. After much discussion they agreed that she would have several hours of uninterrupted time each day with Thomas and then Walter could have him for the rest of the daylight hours.
Walter wasn't pleased, but took what he could get. Over time he taught Thomas to track and hunt as well as spot the types of plants and roots that were editable. Thomas had picked it up quickly, but Walter that he would rather be reading or reciting poetry to his mother.
Grace made sure that she used the time she had with Thomas wisely and felt it was very important that they not be interrupted. She found a place off the beaten path; a beautiful lagoon with a water fall, where they could have uninterrupted time together. There she worked with him to insure that he maintained his math and reading skills. While they had no writing materials, they had found a number of books from the ship and she had Thomas read to her every day. She would give him math problems to solve mentally and have him recite the times table. She even gave him homework problems.
Beyond the education, she and Thomas came to love the personal time together. Thomas would often brush her long hair as she sat on the rocks overlooking the lagoon. They both enjoyed also him reading and reciting poetry. In addition they spent time talking about life and their feelings about everything from religion to politics. The only exception was sex. Anytime the subject came up Grace would divert the conversation or gently end their session. She did not feel qualified to discuss sexual matters with a teenaged boy. Yet she knew that at some point it would have to come up. Her plan was to send him to his father. Unfortunately she knew that Walter would not answer his questions either. When the subject finally came up it caught her totally off guard.
Thomas was brushing her hair one afternoon at the lagoon when he said, "Mom, I saw you and Father last night."
"Saw us?" she asked.
"Yes. You and dad were in bed."
Grace could feel her face flush and she trembled. She knew what he was talking about. She and Walter finally thought they had enough privacy to make love. Obviously it wasn't so private. "You should not be spying on us?" she said with more anger than she intended.
"I wasn't spying. I couldn't help see you two; my bed is just across the hut."
Grace knew he was right. She and Walter had known it was a risk.
"Will I ever get the chance to do that with a girl?" he asked. "I mean, I have never been on a date, or even kissed a girl, and now it looks like it will never happen."
"Of course it will, because we will be rescued." Grace felt a pain in her heart at perpetuating what she knew was a lie.
"Come on, Mom, it is not going to happen and you know it. Nobody is looking for us any longer. We are alone here, maybe forever." He paused for a few moments before he said in a quiet voice, "You have Dad, and I have nobody."
Grace turned to him and put her arm around his shoulder. "I'm sorry, Thomas, it is hard on your father and me, but I know it is hardest on you. But we can't give up hope for our future."
"What future?" he spat. "We have no future. It's all Dads fault. I hate him." He threw the hairbrush down and turned away from his mother. She hugged his back as tears fell. He was silent for a while, obviously trying to control his emotions. He knew it wasn't her fault that they were there. It was his father's career that always came first. They never stayed anywhere long enough for him to have friends or put down roots and now he had gotten them into this fix.
Thomas softened his tone and said, "I'm sorry, Mom. I shouldn't blame you. I'm trying not to hate Dad either. But I am growing up and ... I have these all these emotions going through me. I feel like my life is slipping away."
"I know, Sweetheart, I know," Grace said.
Thomas continued, "I just ... I have these feelings, you know, inside, and I don't know what to do about them. My body has changed and I have grown up physically but mentally I ... I think I am falling behind. I try to think about other things but most of the time it doesn't work. I sometimes think I am going mad. And then I saw and heard you and Dad. I know you were having sex, but I don't even know the first thing about it. I tried to ask Dad, but he just yelled at me, saying that I should keep my mind on survival and out of the gutter."
Grace winced at his words. "I am not a very good person to ask about these things," she said weakly. "You know that your father has been my only partner and when I was growing up no one talked about those things, at least to a girl."
"Dad won't answer my questions and you won't, so who do I ask about it? Maybe I should talk to the birds or the fish."
Grace sighed. She knew she had no choice. She would have to be the one to teach him. Still, although she knew a great deal more than he did, she didn't know that much about sex either. After several long minutes she said, "Okay. But you have to understand that I am no expert."
"You know a lot more than I do."
"I was eighteen when I married your father and I had never dated anyone else. Our families expected us to get married, because it was best for them and the two businesses. So, while it wasn't exactly an arranged marriage, it was not my choice either. In many ways I am like you. I didn't have my teenaged years. Your father and I only knew each other for a few months before we were married."
Then he asked a question that shocked her, and she wasn't prepared to answer. "Do you love him?"
She hesitated for several long moments before she said, "Yes, I ... I suppose so."
"You made love to him, so you must love him."
"Married people do that."
"Well, to procreate the species."
"What is 'procrate'?"
"The word is procreate, and it means making babies."
"Procreating is the way the species survives and most people want their family name to survive. It is inbred in all animals, including humans. Without procreation, families and society would end."
A smile came to Thomas' face. "You and Dad could make more babies and I would at least have brother and sisters."
Grace didn't return his smile. "We tried to have more children for years and years, but unfortunately your father cannot make any more children. He is a lot older than I am and when men get older they lose their ability to make babies. We think it might have been when he got sick early in our marriage. He got the mumps."
"But I saw the two of you making love, so if you cannot make babies why do you do it?"
Grace sighed. "Because it feels good, and people, men and women, have been endowed with sexual desire by our creator in order to insure that the species survives."
Thomas looked confused.
"Let me explain it this way. Sexual desire is a natural part of our lives. It is a motivating factor for all species. I am sure the feelings you are having are perfectly normal. Sexual feelings begin in the early teens or earlier. All animals, especially humans, have sexual desire inbred in them. We satisfy that desire by making love and that, in turn, creates babies."
Thomas nodded. "So is the primary reason for making love to make babies or for pleasure?"
Thomas was silent for a few moments and then he said, "This is going to sound really dumb but how do babies get made exactly? I mean I know a little about it, but not much. You've taught me everything, but we have never discussed sex."
Grace could feel her face flushing hot. "I suppose I was waiting until you were older, or maybe hoping that you would learn it on your own. I'm sorry I didn't make it a part of your education." She paused for long moments to get her thoughts together. "Let me see if I can make this simple. When the man gets excited and his thing ... uh ... penis gets hard, he gets an erection, and then he puts it into the woman. That is called intercourse. He moves it back and forth and eventually he shoots the seed into the woman. The sperm, as it is called, travels up the woman's canal until it reaches an egg and they mate. Nine months later a baby is born." She paused, feeling proud that she had made it seem so simple. Then she said, "That is the condensed version."
"I know what an erection is," he said with a smile.
"I figured you did," Grace said returning the smile.
"So sperm is that white stuff that comes out?" he said.
"Yes and no. The white stuff, as you call it, is actual called semen and is mostly protein. It is the liquid that your body produces to protect and carry the sperm. Sperm is the life giving force. From what I understand there are millions of them and each one carries what and who you are on to the next generation. The woman produces one egg per month and the millions of sperm battle to be the one that inseminates the egg, making the woman pregnant." Grace paused and then said, "There is a lot more to it and it is complicated. Does any of this make sense?"
"Yes, I think so. So you and Dad have the desire to make love and you do it, but not always to make babies. And Dad can't make babies anyway."
"Yes. However, even if a man has lots of sperm a baby it not always made. You remember when we saw the baby sea turtles rushing to the water the other day?"
"Many of them do not survive the trip to the water and then many more are eaten by fish once they get to the water. Only the strongest survive and they in turn have been given the desire to mate with other sea turtles and the species lives on. It is the same with sperm. They are all making the dash for the water, so to speak, but the difficulty of the trek and chemicals inside the woman prevent all but a very few from making it to the end. And then only one, or sometimes two, the strongest, are able to penetrate the woman's egg."
Thomas summarized what he thought his mother was saying. "So we were given the desire to mate and it is a natural part of our being. You and Dad make love because it feels good even if he cannot make you pregnant. It satisfies a desire."
"Yes, that is exactly right. It feels good and it is a way to show love." Incredibly this discussion had made Grace's heart beat faster and her nipples had grown hard under her top. She was wearing a thin top, riding pants and boots. The shirt was too thin, allowing the soft flesh of her large breasts and pink nipples to be seen if the light was right. The pants were a little too tight on her butt and across her groin and she could now feel the seam rubbing between her legs.
"We love each other, Mother and we don't make love," he said with a cock of his head and a little smile.
Grace's face glowed hot. "That is different. We are mother and son."
Thomas was silent for a long while before he said rather sadly, "Mother, if we stay on the island forever, I will never get a chance to make love."
Suddenly the tone of the discussion had changed. Grace felt her heart breaking. His words were true and there was nothing she could say to make him feel better. "We will not stay here forever. We will be rescued," she said unconvincingly. Then she added as brightly as possible, "Now I think that is enough about the birds and bees for today."
"Birds and bees ... I thought we were talking about men and women making love," he said, a smile coming to his face.
Grace returned his smile. "Don't get impertinent, young man," she said as she reached over and tickled him. Thomas fought playfully and tried to tickle her. In their laughter they tumbled across the ground with Grace landing under Thomas. Suddenly he was on top of her with his hips between her thighs. Just as suddenly their laughter stopped. Somewhere during the conversation Thomas had gotten an erection. Grace felt his hardness pressing to her strangely tingling private parts.
"Is this how you and Father do it?" Thomas asked breathlessly, pressing his erection to his mother's crotch.
"Thomas, get off of me this instant. This is inappropriate," she said. She pushed Thomas off and hurried off down the hill toward the camp without looking back.
Thomas wondered what he had done wrong. He couldn't understand why his mother had gotten so upset. He never wanted to hurt her and he wasn't trying to have sex with her. He was confused. When he got back to the hut he saw his mother preparing dinner. "Mother," he said with tears in his eyes, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to make you mad."
Grace turned around ready to admonish him again when she saw her son's repentant tears and her heart melted. She pulled him to her for a tight hug. "I know. I know," she whispered as tears suddenly streamed down her cheeks. She held him tightly for a long time.
After a few moments Thomas said, "Can we still ... talk about ... uh ... things?"
Grace pushed him to arm's length and looked into his eyes. "Yes, but you have to promise to behave yourself."
Thomas smiled through his tears. "I'll try," he said as he wiped his eyes.
Grace returned his smile and hugged him to her heaving breasts again, suddenly wondering if she could "behave" herself.
Grace began to have second thoughts about their meeting place. It was quite private and maybe just a little too remote. The trail leading to the rock was hidden and once they were there they could not be seen. With the exception of the top of the rocks above them, which was difficult to get to, they were totally hidden. Then Grace wondered why she was so concerned. After all the was the adult and she could control the situation ... at least she hoped she could.
For several weeks the conversation stayed mostly about the basics of reading and writing. However, she knew that sex was always on Thomas's mind and she dreaded the continued conversation. But as expected, Thomas brought it up again.
"Mother, uh, I have a question," he said.
"Sure, you know you can ask me anything."
"Well, uh ... it is kind of personal."
Grace felt her face flush and knew what was coming. "Uh ... go on."
"You know we talked about ... we uh ... we talked about sex and stuff," Thomas stuttered. "Sometimes I get an ... you know, an erection and I am not sure why. I mean it is not always when I am thinking about sex."
Grace giggled. "That happens sometimes in the morning when you have to go to the bathroom. It happens to your father. That is healthy."
Thomas smiled. "Oh. Then lots of times I have these strange dreams at night and it gets hard. And then I ... I ... you know get all wet and stuff. Is something wrong with me? I mean it is like I am trying to make a baby without a woman."
Grace had to smile again. "Nothing is wrong with you, Thomas. What is happening is perfectly natural," Grace answered with a slight blush.
Thomas thought for a few moments and said, "Sometimes ... I ... uh ... touch myself, but I have been afraid to do it too much. I mean it feels good and the stuff comes out, but ... I ... don't want to do it too much because I'm afraid I might hurt myself. Can I do that too much?"
Grace laughed out loud, putting her hand over her mouth, and immediately regretted it. "I'm sorry. It is not funny ... it is cute."
Thomas's face turned red with embarrassment.
Grace moved to sit next to him and put her arm around his shoulder. "Don't worry, you can't hurt yourself. A boy playing with himself is perfectly natural."
"Really?" he said, his face brightening.
"Do you do it?" he asked.
That sent a shock through Grace. She paused for several long moments wondering if this was too personal. Yet she knew that he didn't have anyone else to ask. She had to tell the truth. "Yes, sometimes."
"You don't have a penis like me, right?" He waited for Grace to nod and then asked, "So how do you do it?"
Grace wondered if he was only acting ignorant now. She couldn't be sure so she had to answer. "I have a vagina and has an opening where the penis goes."
"I know that," he said as if he had not just learned it. After a pause he said, "So how do you do it then, you know, pleasure yourself?"
Grace felt her face glowing hotter. "Well ... uh ... the vagina is very sensitive and it feels good to rub it. There are lips that protect the opening and they swell with blood and become very sensitive to the touch. Then there is a special place at the top of the vagina and it has the same type of sensation as the head of the penis. In fact it is kind of like a little penis head. Instead of stroking it with my hand I rub it with my finger tips."
"But since you have Dad, why do you need to do it like I do?"
"Well, sometimes we need to do it on our own. Only we can know what is the most pleasurable to our own bodies. So while many women feel guilty about doing it to themselves, most do. Women, based on our sexually repressed society, are not supposed to enjoy sex."
"I don't know. Our backward society says that it is wrong. Women can't even vote."
"So all women do it then?"
"Yes, all women masturbate ... that is the word for it ... masturbate ... if they are normal."
"Sometimes when I do it my thingie, uh penis, gets kind of raw. And sometimes it just kind of goes off too quickly."
Grace's face was bright red, but she laughed and said, "That's because you need lubrication to keep down the friction. As far as doing it too quickly, you need patience and to take your time. It is all about pleasuring yourself while you are doing it and not just climaxing. The climax is great, but it is the end."
"Unfortunately many men don't care how fast they climax. That means that many times, when they are done having intercourse, the woman is not satisfied." Grace thought for a moment and then reached into her satchel and pulled out a coconut that was cut in half but wrapped back together with a vine. She handed it to him. "Here, take this. It has cream inside that I use to put on my body. If you put it on your hand and rub your penis it will make it more pleasureable."
He took the coconut and said, "What about going off ... you know getting off too fast?"
"'Getting off' as you call it, is climaxing and you have to practice in order to make it last longer. When you do it, take it slow, let it build up. When you feel too close, slow down or stop. With practice you can solve that problem."
Thomas smiled and said, "I can do that ... practice that is."
"I bet you can," Grace returned, holding back her smile this time. "A man climaxing too fast is rude and selfish. So if you practice delaying your climax you will be able to last longer and one day when you meet that special woman you will be ready."
Thomas chose his words carefully. "Okay. But since I don't have a girlfriend or a wife, and may never have one, I am not sure that matters."
"It does matter," Grace said, trying to keep a slight hysteria from her voice. "First of all the pleasure is better when you take your time, but beyond that, we have to keep up hope that we will get off this island one day. You need to be ready for that in all ways." Grace felt frustration coming over her and knew she had to end the conversation. "Now run along and find your father."