1. Where It Begins

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~4 Years Earlier~

Everyone knew when their mother sat them down to 'talk' bad things would ensue.

"Honey, we have some things we need to discuss."

"Oh...kay..." Atlas hummed while he fidgeted in his seat across from his mother, Elizabeth.

Elizabeth sat straight in her seat with grace; regardless of the embarrassment she was about to put her child through. She ran her fingers through her wavy burgundy locks moments before speaking in a soft voice that didn't help lessen the tension in the air, "You are at the age where you are going to start getting these urges-"

Fucking hell, Atlas thought as his dark brown eyes shot wide open.

"Mom," the poor boy pleaded moments before shielding his shame behind quivering hands. He didn't hesitate to slam his hands against the table upon hearing her take a breath in to continue. He was not ready for this conversation with his mother. In fact, Atlas wasn't sure he would ever be ready. Sadly, the universe was not kind to poor Atlas whose plea went unheard.

"-Masturbate."

Atlas waved his hands frantically through the air to erase the words that he swore he could see floating his way. "Whoa, whoa, whoa, no," he said, voice cracking. "We don't need to talk about this."

"But we do, sweetie," Elizabeth insisted. She felt as uncomfortable speaking of this with her son as Atlas probably did hearing it. While Elizabeth was contemplating how to continue, Atlas was imagining packing everything he owned, throwing that shit into a trunk then shipping it and himself off to China.

"No, we don't. Mom...we really don't." Atlas threw his mother a crooked grin that he prayed to the Lord above she would catch on to. He didn't exactly want to say they didn't need to talk about it because the boy had already been introduced to such a thing for a while. What child wished to speak to their mother about their alone time with their hand? Not to mention, speaking to ones mother about such things was...odd, though Atlas figured it would be far worse speaking to his father who would simply condemn him for such an action.

Elizabeth was not one for subtly. She rarely caught onto things that were not pointed out to her. She did not see through Atlas' expression anything pointing to the possibility that the boy was already aware and well versed with his 'urges' so she continued, "Masturbation is perfectly normal for your age."

Atlas felt so very done that he knew his only chance to get out of this was to shout, "I know enough because I've already started!"

Thanks to Atlas' wonderfully working vocal chords, his voice echoed throughout the house. He flinched upon hearing a series of 'ew' and 'gross' from one of his sisters that must have heard most of the conversation and his admission. Atlas' face lit up like a Christmas tree on Christmas day. Sweat formed on his upper lip as he attempted to wipe it away with the back of his hand.

Elizabeth, feeling slightly relieved, chirped, "Oh!" The tension in her shoulders dissipated until realization hit her. Her eyes went wide and brought on a topic that was even worse, "That's...great? Um, then sex-"

"I'm done, done!" Atlas was out of the kitchen and halfway to his room before Elizabeth could blink. She sputtered momentarily before getting up to holler some 'we'll talk later' and 'if you have any questions' towards her son who had already made an oath with himself to never speak to his mother about anything related to sex...though, his reasoning was a bit different than most would assume.

Before Atlas could reach the sanctuary of his room, Rulia, one his older sisters, blocked his path. She stood before his door, arm over her chest while her elbow rested in her hand. Her other hand twisted her colored blond locks as she chewed her gum obnoxiously like a cow. Atlas narrowed his eyes on the girl whose lips pulled back into a grin.

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