Monday, December 20, 1999

Cindy's Fault

This story originally appeared on the Secret Garden website, and is archived here at the request of author Doug Rogers.

When you come right down to it, it's really Cindy Thurston's fault that I only have one leg. Now that I have your attention, let me start at the beginning.
Cindy and I had gone to school together since she moved here in the third grade. I can remember the first day of school that year. She came crutching in on those forearm sticks she used back then, and I remember thinking "Far out! This girl ain't got a left leg!"
The teacher introduced Cindy to the class, and explained to us that she had been very sick a few months ago and the only way the doctors could make her well was to remove her leg. She didn't throw words like "cancer" and "amputation" at us. Hell, we were only 8 year olds at the time! Cindy let everyone who wanted to take a closer look at her leg (we were all wearing shorts back then!) I didn't know what a hard-on was back then, but I got one all the same.
That night, when I went to my room to go to bed, I had a thought that thrilled me in a strange way. As I was putting my pajamas on, I doubled my left leg up and put it down the leg of the loose pants. I tied a knot in the end of the pant leg, and stood up. Using the bed to walk on with my knee, I got around to where I could see myself in the mirror! I felt crazy! But my heart was pounding, and the feelings were good everywhere. I remember thinking, "I wonder if Cindy feels this way when she gets ready for bed!"

The next day, she came to school wearing this plastic leg. We used to call her "Doll" because her artificial leg looked almost like one that might have come right off a big Barbie Doll.
Cindy was a neat person (for a girl) and made a lot of friends pretty quickly. As we grew up she was always in the crowd I ran with. No one thought much about her lack of a leg. She began to wear artificial ones that looked more and more natural. Her being an amputee was one of those things that everyone knew about, but that no body thought anything of.
That was until we went to high school.

It was the summer between middle school and high school. We had all agreed on the last day of school to meet at Rosewood Pool the following Monday. The pool opened at 10 in the morning, and there we all were, lined up to get in.
When we came out of the clubhouse in our suits I was really surprised. First, I was surprised that most of the girls in the group now had honest-to-god boobs! Nothing like the girls I had seen in my brother's Playboy's that he had hidden in his room, but real, big-girl breasts none the less! Cindy was sporting a yellow bikini that showed she had a set to rival (and surpass) any of the girls in the group.
The second surprise was, Cindy was on crutches. I don't know what I had expected. I guess somehow in the back of my mind I had figured that her fake leg had sort of grown onto her, and of course she'd go swimming with it! Not so!
Cindy's stump bobbed up and down a little as she crutched her way to the edge of the pool, and dropped her towel there. The last time I had seen it had been those many years ago in third grade. Now, instead of the blunt, shortened leg I had remembered with the deep scar, she was sporting a neatly tapered appendage that had every bit of the allure of any other curve on her body! The scar, which I had remembered as being so red and bold, was faded now. It was simply a faint line running across the end of the leg.
I can still remember all of her girl-friends going over to check her out. Cindy didn't seem sensitive about the attention. They were all looking and talking animatedly. Finally, the girls decided to take a dip, and they all hit the pool.
Across the pool, the guys had been watching the girls. At least most of them had. I had checked out the sights, but had decided that the scenery was better over here. Of course, at the time, I didn't understand the feelings. I just knew that those funny feelings that I was supposed to get from the girls in "Playboy" weren't happening. For me, they came from looking at Marty Kaslin's rounded butt, or from noticing how full Joss Parkin's speedos looked in front. I almost wanted to reach out and touch Jimmy Quinn's chest. God he looked strong! But I knew better. I knew that if I ever did anything like that the guys would call me a "queer" and that would be that. So, I pretended to look at the girls too!
We got into the pool, and played water frisbee for about an hour. When we all climbed out to sit on the side of the pool and dangle our feet in the water, I noticed that Josh pulled up on one side of Cindy and Jimmy positioned himself on the other. Cindy and Josh were talking a blue-streak, but I noticed that Jimmy wasn't saying much. He was just sitting there, trying not to let anyone catch him staring at Cindy's amputated leg.
That night I couldn't get to sleep. I was horny as hell. I turned the bedside lamp on, and thought for a minute. I kept thinking about Cindy. Not her firm tits, but that cute, tapered, animated, sexy shortened leg! That was what got me started.
I was still wearing pajamas. My mother probably will never let me give them up until I go to college. I thought a minute, then pulled the short pants down to my knees. I bent my left leg double, and pulled the pants back up. Sitting there on the side of the bed with my knee sticking out of the pajama pants, I opened the drawer of the bedside table and fished out an orange magic marker. Carefully, I made a mark from one side of the knee to the other. Then, just as I had years before, I used the bed to walk around to my mirror so I could see what I looked like.
I moved my "stump" forward just as I had seen Cindy do earlier in the day. The effect was pretty convincing. So much so that I got a wad of Kleenex out of the drawer and put it handy and ready. All the time I was takin' care of business I was thinking of Cindy, and that stump of hers. As time went on and I got closer and closer to the end, it was not Cindy, but the sight of Jimmy looking at her that kept spilling into my mind. And in the end, just before I came, nothing was on my mind except that totally awesome chest he had and the way his muscles moved when he did anything at all!
When it was over I cleaned myself up, took my leg down, and cried myself to sleep. I knew I was "gay" and there was nothing I could do about it!
Our 16th Summer finally came.
Josh and Cindy had been an item, off and on, for a couple of years now. I never was able to figure out if he really liked her, or if it was her chest (now about a 36 D I think), or if he was into one-legged chicks. Probably a little of all three.
I was spending more of my time with Jimmy Quinn than with anyone else. He was into working out big time and I had taken up lifting so that I had an excuse to be around him. He sort of looked at me as someone he was showing the ropes and that suited me fine. We both spent all our spare time at the gym and no one thought anything about it. It was great to not have the "why don't you have a girlfriend" crap going on. It was assumed I was just too busy.
What I had failed to notice was that Jimmy didn't have a girlfriend either.
We were out riding the circuit one night in mid-summer. Jimmy had suggested that we drive up the hill to check out parkers at the lake. I thought, "Why not."
I killed the headlights and was creeping around the corners by moonlight when I finally saw a car parked up at a scenic overlook just ahead. "There!" I told Jimmy. He nodded. We parked my car, and got our flashlights and sneaked up to the parked car. As we got near, the sounds emanating from it left nothing to the imagination as to what was happening.
We peered into the back window. Yep. There they were. A guys' bare butt could easily be seen shining in the moonlight. The white outline of his partner's right leg could be seen cradling him, but the left leg, on the other side of his rear, ended in a pointed stump!
Jimmy and I looked at each other and smiled! On the count of three, we hit the switches on our flashlights.
"Hi Josh! Hi Cindy!" we said in unison.
It is a good thing that you can run faster with your pants up than down. We had the advantage over Josh. He was out of the car in a flash, promising to beat our collective butts. But we made it back to my car far ahead of him and were gone before he could catch up.
As we drove down the road back toward town, we finally stopped laughing.
"I never thought I'd see Thurston gittin' her jollies," I laughed.
"Or Josh! Man, did you see the way he was tryin' to run with his shorts around his knees!"
"No shit! That was worth all the times we've made that cruise and haven't caught anybody!"
We were quiet for a moment.
"Man, I don't know what to think about Cindy," I finally said.
"About her screwin' him?"
"Naw, man. Everybody screws. About the sight of her with that leg of hers up in the air."
"Yeah. I know what you mean. Like, it's shitty of me to like watchin' her, cause it's bad she lost her leg..." He paused. "But it sure makes her look different and sexy." He looked at me. "You think I'm a shit because I said that, don't you?" It was more of a statement than a question.
I looked at him. "No, man. I think she's hot, too."
Jimmy waited a couple of seconds and then started again. "And did you get a load of Josh?"
"Yeah?" I looked at Jimmy out of the corner of my eye. "What do you mean?"
"That thing of his!"
"Yeah. I have gym with him. That son-ov-a-bitch is long when he's soft!"
"Of course, mine's longer," Jimmy said, trying to be funny.
"Right!" I answered.
"You know what would REALLY be interesting?"
"Josh with Cindy's leg!"
I laughed. Then it hit me. I looked at Jimmy, and smiled as I never had before. Jimmy liked guys too! "That would be a sight!" I told him.
We didn't discuss it any more. Over the next couple of days, as we would workout together, I tried to make little passes at Jimmy. Nothing he could take offense at, but, you know, like nudging him when I'd tease him. He seemed to like it, but he never would try anything with me. In the middle of finishing up a weight set after school Jimmy looked out the window and stopped what he was doing in mid-repetition.
Cindy was crutching by. Something must have been wrong with her wooden leg, because she was on crutches that day. Jimmy watched until she disappeared. "Let's get outa here," he said.
In the shower, I noticed that he was hard. Again, neither of us said anything. I washed my hair and pretended I had my eyes closed all of the time. Through the slits of my eyelids, I could see Jimmy was looking at me. I could feel his eyes scanning every inch of my body. I bumped against him "by accident" but again, he did nothing.
I went home frustrated.
It took me several days to sort it out. When I got to the conclusion, it was so damned simple. Jimmy was gay. He liked guys. In particular, he liked ME! Jimmy knows our town. He knows if it gets out that you are queer, you're dead meat. Jimmy also likes amputees. He digs stumps! In a big way.
The answer to how to connect with him was obvious!
I kept looking at my left leg. I wiggled the toes. I looked at how long it was. And then I imagined it gone. Missing. Amputated. I liked the idea of it. And so would Jimmy. If that didn't make me desirable to him nothing else was going to!
It took me three more days to think of a way to do it. The old man had been talking for three months about trading in the old car. It didn't run that great and the suspension was shot. I figured that I could total the thing and the insurance would pay for it. All I had to do was set it up so I'd get hurt the right way.
The setup was the easiest part.
I drove up Hunter's Hill to the lake just about dark. I positioned my car going down the hill and opened the door. There was a wall of rocks about 100 feet in front of me. If I didn't turn the car, it would crash into the rocks slamming the open door shut. If my leg was hanging out the open door, well, what more would I need?
I waited until I saw the lights of an on-coming car three hills down, and I stuck my leg out. I had sort of measured where to put it to lop it off like Cindy's. My right foot relaxed and the car began to roll down the hill.
The world seemed in slow motion! I saw the hillside coming at me faster and faster. I checked to make sure I had my seatbelt on tight enough to keep me from going through the windshield. The rocks loomed closer and closer! At the last minute, I chickened out. I hit the brakes and started to pull my leg in from the open door.
But I was too late. The car door struck the first of the stones with my knee just inside the frame. It was strange. I had expected the pain of the bones being crushed to knock me out, but it didn't! I remember thinking "How strange!" as the car finally hit the stone wall and came to a sudden stop, throwing me forward against the seat belt. I blacked out then.
The car that had been coming over the ridge was a police car, as fate would have it. They got the EMS crew out there, and those guys took me to the hospital. They told me later that the lower part of my leg didn't make it to the hospital with me. It had been sheared completely off when the first rock struck. They didn't find it until the next morning around daylight.
It was just as well that my mother and dad were down at the coffee shop when I first woke up. The doctor told me what had happened and I cried some. I don't know if the tears were real or not. I was all confused then. They said that I hadn't made it out of the car and that the door had torn my leg off. When I asked to see it, the doctor turned back the covers. There it was. A four-inch stump trailing from my knee. I remember, in a way, being glad I hadn't lost more of it, and in another way thinking how much prettier Cindy's stump was than mine would be! Like I said, I was a little nuts around then.
Being young and healthy, I healed fast. Several times there in the hospital I had these spells where I got super scared! I knew I had just made the biggest screw up of my life! I hated Cindy for being my inspiration! I hated Jimmy for being the object of my affections! But those times were alternated with periods when I would look at my brand new stump, and think "How cool!" If the shrinks had known what I was really thinking, they would have locked me up for sure!
As it was, Rehab wasn't but about eight weeks, and when I came out, I was walking on a brand new artificial leg. It didn't handle as easily as I had thought it would in my fantasies, but it wasn't that bad either.
I remember playing hell getting Dad to let me go out that first night home, but he finally agreed. I called Jimmy and asked if he could go cruising.
"Sure," he replied.
"You're gonna have to drive," I told him.
"No problem, buddy," he answered.
I told him to drive up Hunter's Hill. I told him I wanted to see where it had happened. I don't think he really wanted to, but he did. We got to the top of the road, and he started to turn around.
"Stop here," I said.
Jimmy set the brake and killed the headlights.
"Turn on the dome," I said.
He did.
"Wanta see my scar?" I asked innocently.
Jimmy looked embarrassed. Finally he managed to spit out "Sure."
I undid my jeans and slipped them into a pile on the floorboard of the car. Easily, I slid my stump out of my artificial leg, and swung it up onto the seat between us.
Jimmy looked at the leg, transfixed. His hand started towards it, then he stopped.
"Go ahead and touch it," I told him. "Just be easy. I doesn't hurt any more unless I hit it real hard on something or wear my leg too long at once."
I raised my leg and Jimmy put his hand under it, palm up. I placed the stump in his hand. At first he didn't seem to know what to do, but when I wiggled it back and forth a little bit he closed his hand and started rubbing it softly. He looked at me like he was asking if this was OK.
I smiled at him. "Will I do instead of Josh?" I asked.
"Don't you remember?"
"Remember what?"
"That night we caught Cindy and Josh goin' at it! Remember what you said?"

Jimmy blushed.
"So, will I do? I don't have Josh's schlong or Cindy's stump..."
Jimmy lifted my leg up and slipped over toward me, letting my leg rest over his lap. He put his right arm around my neck and kissed me tenderly. "You'll do fine," he whispered. "I didn't know how to tell you before. I've... I've wanted you for a long time."
"So the stump's OK?" I smiled. "Even if it's not as short as Cindy's?"
"You ass," he said, kissing me again. "I loved you with two legs!"
"You sorry I lost one?"
He looked a little sheepishly at me. "Shut up and kiss me some more!"
So, like I said, it really is Cindy Thurston's fault that I have only one leg. But I'm not mad at her. I'm not mad at her at all!

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