I was listening in to my mother’s call, getting more and more irritated, until I heard her say, “Great, Whitney. We’ll see you on Friday night.”
All of a sudden, I went from irritated to excited. Lately, I had been thinking about Whitney a lot. A whole lot. We spent over an hour chatting at that singles mixer until my mother dragged me home.
“Whitney’s coming for dinner?” I casually asked my mother.
She nodded. “I thought it would be nice to repay her for helping you out at the hospital. I really think we owe her.”
“Okay,” I said.
Mom smiled. “Thank you, Ryan. You know, Daddy and I have really noticed a change in you lately. I can tell you’ve been making an effort and we really appreciate it.”
She had no idea the huge effort I’d been making to keep my mouth shut lately. I wondered if I kept modifying my behavior, if my brain would eventually change too. I wasn’t sure how I felt about that.
I took a deep breath and forced myself to say: “I think it’s nice when you invite company over for dinner.”
Mom beamed. “I’m so glad to hear you say that, honey. And I think we’ll have a great time with Whitney and Arthur.”
My stomach sunk. What the fuck? Whitney was still dating Arthur? If she was still dating Arthur, why the fuck was she at a singles mixer? And now he was going to be here, in my house? I didn’t want to watch the two of them be all couple-y. I didn’t want to see Arthur at all.
This was just fucking great.
Despite the fact that Arthur was coming too, I was still pretty psyched about Whitney’s visit. Believe it or not, I had an erotic dream about her the night before the dinner, which was basically her and me kissing and hooking up. In my dreams, I’m often not in a wheelchair. Or maybe I am in the wheelchair, but I’m not paralyzed. In this dream, I think I started out in the chair, but then I got up myself when we moved to the bed. I guess I’m not paralyzed in my dreams because it’s not really part of my identity yet, like my father said.
I wonder if someday I’ll get to a point where I’m in a wheelchair both in reality and in all my dreams. I had this friend that I partied with who was really into lucid dreaming, which basically means you have the realization during your dream that you’re dreaming, and therefore you can do whatever you want. You can train yourself to do it by constantly noting things around you like dates on newspapers. If you’re awake, the dates will always be the same. If you’re dreaming, the dates will change, and that’s how you figure out that you’re in a dream. My friend used to do all sorts of crazy shit in his dreams, like flying. At this point, I’d like to use lucid dreaming to walk again and maybe to have sex. Because I think that’s the only way I’m going to be able to do either one.
Mom made a big deal out of getting me ready for the dinner, which included a shower. I use a shower chair and she has to help me. I actually do have a cuff that I can use to clean parts of my upper body, but I’m pretty slow at it, and my mother has to do most of the work anyway, so about 90% of the time, she’ll just do the whole thing. I’ve been sort of letting her do it, but now I got to thinking about Whitney and Arthur and how I didn’t want to be a cripple who needed his mother to bathe him, so I said to Mom when she was getting the water going, “Can I use the cuff to clean myself?”
Mom flashed me a slightly exasperated look. “Honey, I’ve got a lot to do. Maybe next time.”
“Please?” I said. “I’ll be fast,” I promised.
She gave me a weary look. “Ryan…”
Finally, she gave in. She strapped the cuff to my hand and we divided the task. I mostly worked on cleaning my face and my chest. She used a washcloth to clean my legs and my feet. She also cleaned around my suprapubic catheter site because that was hard for me to maneuver. She also cleaned my penis because that was also hard for me to reach very well. I watched when she did that part, as embarrassing as it was, because I wanted to see if I got an erection. I mean, it’s not like I wanted to have an erection while my mother was cleaning my penis, but I felt kind of happy to get reminders that my dick was still alive. But as she pointed out to Dr. Martin, I wasn’t getting them anymore. I kept a running tally of the number of erections I’d had since my injury. I don’t want to say what the number was, but it wasn’t good. I hadn’t had any since I’d been home.
Today was no different, unfortunately—no erection. Even the erections I’d had in the last six months were pretty unimpressive, definitely not good enough for sex. Right now, I was pretty much impotent, and I hated thinking about myself that way. I mean, I was only fucking 24 years old. Only seventy year old men were impotent.
After my mother finished with my lower body, she removed the cuff from my hand (without asking) and started cleaning my fingers. Then she ended up soaping up my chest again, even though I had already cleaned it. This was why she generally just bathed me without my helping, because the truth was, I wasn’t really helping all that much. I mean, I couldn’t. Not when all I could move was one arm and just the biceps.
I heard a timer go off in the kitchen and my mother sighed. She looked really stressed out. I felt guilty for a minute, but then I remembered that having company over was her idea. I didn’t force her to entertain.
“Sean!” Mom yelled. At first I was hoping she was telling him to get the food out of the oven, but no such luck. “Can you come here and help me with your brother?!”
Sean appeared at the doorway a minute later, looking kind of put out. “What do you need me to do?” he asked.
“Can you get Ryan out of the shower and get him dressed?”
“Sure,” Sean said.
Let me explain to you that I have never ever had a good relationship with my brother. Sean was always the good son, the one mom and dad favored. He’s four years younger than me, but he always seemed smarter than me somehow. And I have to confess, I sucked as an older brother. I was pissed off that our parents preferred him, so I was pretty mean to him a lot. I teased him, called him names, the usual. I’d say we sort of hated each other.
So no, Sean was not my first choice to help me with personal things, like getting out of the shower and getting dressed. But as much as he could have been a douche about the whole thing, he wasn’t. I guess he figured he was above fighting with me or something.
“You need the diapers, right?” Sean asked, picking up my pack of Depends.
“Protective undergarments,” I said through my teeth.
“Whatever,” Sean said. I fucking hated that douchebag. I told myself he was doing this just because he had no fucking clue what it was like to be disabled and not because he was trying to be a dick.
“Are you staying for dinner?” I asked Sean, trying to make polite conversation as I lay in my bed naked except for the protective undergarments, and he selected clothes for me to wear.
“Terri and I are going to a movie,” Sean said.
“Hey, Ryan,” Sean said. “Remember when I was 13 and you told me that no girl would ever want to fuck me?”
I froze up. I didn’t specifically remember saying that, no, but shit, it definitely was something I could have said. Maybe I was high at the time, not that I would have needed to be.
“Kind of ironic, isn’t it?” he said.
I stared at him. What the hell was that all about? “Fuck you,” I said.
Sean smirked. “Come on, Ryan. I know you’ve got a crush on the fat girl who’s coming to dinner tonight. It’s just sort of funny that after acting like you were such hot shit for all those years, you don’t even have a chance of getting a girl like that.”
I hated Sean so much at that moment. So much that I was too angry to even shoot back a reply to what he said to me. I hated him because he had a beautiful girlfriend, because he could walk, because he could get dressed on his own, he could go to the bathroom on his own, and because someday he was going to get to move out of our parents’ house and I wasn’t. It wasn’t fair. I mean, I did some fucked up things in my life, but at least I wasn’t a douchebag asshole like Sean was.
I was quiet the rest of the time Sean was dressing me. I was furious at him, but I didn’t want to start yelling at the guy handling my bag of urine, if you know what I mean. One thing I’ve learned is that it’s a good idea to be nice to the people taking care of you. So even though Sean was a dickweed, I was still going to be nice to him. More or less.
I was dressed and in my wheelchair when Whitney and Arthur arrived. Whitney was wearing this low cut shirt and her tits looked fucking fantastic. I knew I was staring, but damn. Arthur looked like a giant tool, much like last time. From the neck up, I was much better looking than he was. It wasn’t even a contest—in all modesty, I’m actually a really good looking guy. I never ever had problems getting girls. And prior to my accident, while I was never muscular or anything, I was at least slim and in decent shape. Now I was kind of a mess from the neck down, which probably propelled Arthur ahead of me in the attractiveness category.
“How’re ya doing, buddy?” Arthur said to me when he saw me. It was like he developed amnesia for how I had kind of been mocking him during that dinner at the Chinese restaurant. He put his hand on my shoulder, which I really didn’t fucking appreciate. “Do you remember me?”
I saw Whitney stifling a laugh, and I decided fuck it, I was just going to go with it. If I was about to make a play for this guy’s girlfriend, I may as well let him believe I was some retard who couldn’t possibly be a threat. “Maybe,” I said. “Are you my friend?”
Arthur beamed. “I sure am. And you know what? You’re my friend too.”
It was all I could do not to burst out laughing, and Whitney looked equally amused.
Arthur was looking around the apartment, checking things out. His eyes landed on a professional family photo near the staircase, the last one taken before my father kicked me out years ago. Mom, Dad, and Sean were dressed up for the photo, but I was wearing my blue jeans as part of one of my typical acts of rebellion.
Mom wanted to get another family photo taken this year, but I flat out refused. I know it sounds dumb, but if we got a photo taken now or any time in the future, it would be me in my wheelchair, looking crippled. I didn’t want to have to stare at myself looking that way. I liked that I still looked normal in all the photos in the house.
Arthur pointed to the photo, at the smirk on my 17 year old face. “Who’s that?” he asked.
What the fuck? Seriously he didn’t recognize me? My face was practically identical to the way it looked at age 17. “That’s me.”
Arthur seemed astonished. He pointed at the photo again. “No, I mean that guy.”
“That’s me,” I said again.
He kept looking from me to the photo, as if refusing to believe it. OK, yes, my body looked a lot different now, and obviously I was in a wheelchair. But my hair, eyes, nose, mouth, everything else was the same.
Well, no, actually, my hair was bleached. Maybe that was why he didn’t recognize me.
Anyway, Arthur, being the great guy he was, went to the kitchen to see if my mother needed any help, leaving Whitney and me all alone. She settled down onto the couch and I wheeled over to get closer to her. “Hey,” I said.
“Hey,” she said.
“How can you date such a tool?”
Whitney laughed. “What are you talking about? Arthur is a really nice guy.”
“Exactly,” I said. “That’s all he is. A nice guy. He can’t possibly turn you on.”
“And you think you know what turns me on?”
“No, but I’m willing to bet it’s not Arthur.”
Whitney was looking at me funny. “So who should I date?”
“I don’t know. Someone better.”
“Like who?” She raised her eyebrows. “You?”
There was something a little disparaging about how she said “you.” Like the thought of dating me was something completely ridiculous or unthinkable. I looked down at my gut, flopped over the seatbelt across my lap, and suddenly I felt kind of ridiculous. Had I honestly believed I could steal a girl away from someone? Nobody who could get an able-bodied guy could possibly be interested in me.
I was never going to have a girlfriend. Never. I mean, look at me. I was a quadriplegic in a wheelchair, which I couldn’t even transfer into by myself. People stared at me on the street. And worst of all, I lived with my parents and depended on them for all my most intimate needs. No woman was ever going to want to date me. It just wasn’t possible. Dr. Martin was right. I wasn’t going to ever have sex again.
“No,” I mumbled. “I didn’t mean me.” I felt really embarrassed and I couldn’t say anything else. I excused myself and wheeled back to my room. I didn’t feel like having dinner anymore. I didn’t want to eat with my splint in front of two virtual strangers. I just wanted to get into bed and go to sleep.
I heard my mother calling me but I didn’t want to come. After a few minutes, Arthur peeked into the room to find me. “Hey, buddy,” he said. I wanted to punch him in the nose. “Did you hear your mom calling you?”
“I’m not hungry.”
Arthur gave me this really condescending smile. “Sometimes I’m not hungry either. But it’s always important to eat and get your daily nutrients. Or else you could get sick.”
“Can you tell my mother something for me?”
“Yes, of course. Anything.”
I looked Arthur in the eyes. “You tell her that if she wants me so fucking bad, she should come out and get me herself.”
Arthur got this bewildered look on his face and wandered out of my room. I expected the next person to come inside would be my father, undoubtedly looking really pissed off, but instead it was Whitney. She had this exasperated look on her face. “Ryan,” she said. “What are you doing? Your father is really getting upset.”
I couldn’t even look Whitney in the eyes. “I’m not hungry.”
She sighed. “Ryan, what do you want me to say? That I think you’re cute?”
I blushed, actually blushed.
“Well, fine,” she said. “I do.”
I was fucking stunned. “You do?”
“Don’t let it get to your head,” Whitney said with a small smile.
I stared at her and those fantastic tits. “So, um. What do you want to do about it?”
“What did you have in mind?” she said teasingly.
I swallowed. “You could, um, let me kiss you.”
I thought for sure she’d say no, but instead she leaned over me in my wheelchair and allowed me to press my lips against hers. All the parts of my body that I could feel started to tingle. I’m not sure why, but somehow kissing had become a lot more intense since I’d been injured. I felt her fingers in my hair and my whole scalp tingled. I raised my right arm to pull her closer to me, but between her size and my lack of strength, it wasn’t an easy task.
What I really wanted to do was to bury my face in those fantastic tits. No, better yet, bury my face in her pussy. It would have been great to fuck her, but obviously I couldn’t do that for lots of reasons, starting with the fact that I was currently basically impotent. But eating her out would have been fucking amazing, maybe even better than fucking her. I was never into eating carpet before my injury, but now I desperately wanted to lick her cunt. I could almost taste her in my mouth and I felt myself getting painfully turned on. I wondered if I had a hard-on. I glanced down at my pants when our lips parted and it looked like I probably didn’t.
“Whitney,” I breathed.
“We’ve got to get out there,” she said, straightening up. “We can’t do this here.”
I stared at her, feeling really frustrated. I wanted to scream. “When can I see you again?”
Whitney smiled in a really coy way. “Eager, aren’t you?”
“Fuck yeah,” I whispered.
She traced her finger down the side of my face, down my neck, and across my collarbones. “Tell me what you’ll do to me next time.”
“I’ll…” I paused. This wasn’t the first time a girl made a request like that. Most of the time, I’d tell her that I’d rip her blouse open and ram my rock hard cock in her tight little pussy. And if this were a year ago, that’s exactly what I would have done to Whitney, whether fucking Arthur was in the next room or not. But I couldn’t do that anymore and Whitney knew it. The fantasy wasn’t fun if it was impossible. “I’m going to eat that sweet little cunt of yours.”
“Got a lot of experience with that?” Whitney asked.
“Well, no,” I admitted. Fuck knows why I was honest about that. I should have lied and said I’d eaten out half of Loserville. But truthfully, I avoided eating pussy if I could. When you’re high and horny, you don’t really want to mess around with lots of foreplay. But I had the feeling that I was soon going to get really experienced with eating pussy.
Whitney was still running her finger along my neck and upper chest and it felt amazing. I was almost shaking and for a second, I thought I might actually cum or something. “You’re sweating,” she observed.
“You’re so fucking hot,” I gulped.
Whitney’s fingers went down my chest to the area where I couldn’t feel. She pulled out my shirt where it was tucked into my pants, then her hand disappeared below the beltline. I could only watch. I had my fingers crossed that there was some activity going on down there, but I wasn’t too hopeful. “Am I hard?”
Whitney shook her head.
OK, that sucked, but fuck it. “Just leave it alone,” I said.
I was trying to figure out how I was going to get in a good position to lick Whitney’s cunt when there was a knock on the door followed my mother bursting in on us. Whitney yanked her hand out just in time. I could tell Whitney was glad we didn’t get caught, but I wasn’t. I wanted my mother to realize I wasn’t an asexual cripple.
“Time for dinner,” Mom said cheerfully. “You’re coming out, aren’t you, Ryan?”
I felt Whitney’s hand squeezing my shoulder and it gave me the strength to face yet another family dinner.
Dinner with Whitney and Arthur was torture. It was bad enough that I had to use my “cripple plates,” as I’d started calling them—plates with high edges so I didn’t push food off the plate while trying to spear it with my fork—and then there was the fact that Mom had to cut up all my meat for me and the napkin that Dad tucked into my collar that was basically an adult version of a bib. But what was even worse was the way Arthur was suddenly really affectionate with Whitney. He was always touching and kissing her, enough to make everyone at the table pretty uncomfortable.
The pinnacle of the evening though was when Arthur spotted my shirt sticking out of my pants from when Whitney had pulled it out. It would have been bad enough if he just pointed it out, but instead the fucker decided to tuck it in for me. I couldn’t believe he touched me like that. I wanted to kill him.
But I was going to do one better. I was going to steal his girlfriend.
It was pretty awesome if you thought about it. Here I was, a quadriplegic, and not only was I getting a girl (who might not have been Scarlett Johansson, but had two of the most fantastic tits I’d ever seen), but I was stealing that girl away from another guy. Whitney was choosing me over someone else. It made me feel like, even in a wheelchair, I was still attractive. Plus it would show my parents that my sex life was far from over.
I expected Whitney to call or email me that night. But she didn’t. Then I was sure she’d call the next day, but she didn’t. Three days later, I was really thinking what the fuck. Whitney didn’t seem like the kind of bitch who would just blow me off.
Finally, I sent her an email. No reply.
Really, what the fuck?
By the time church came on Sunday, I was really looking forward to seeing her and figuring out what the hell was going on. I sat in the back like usual with Alan, craning my neck to see where she was. Whitney’s parents were really visible, considering they were easily the fattest people in the room. But she wasn’t with them.
“Looking for Whitney?” Alan asked me, a dopey grin on his face.
“Maybe,” I said, still pretty distracted.
Alan squinted at me. “Hey, did something happen between you two?”
“Maybe,” I said again. For a moment, I forgot that I was getting blown off, and felt kind of proud of myself for having kissed her. Alan certainly wasn’t getting any kind of action.
Some family I didn’t recognize was walking into church and they stopped to scope out where to sit. They had a kid with them who was maybe five years old and while his family was looking for seats, he just stood there, staring at me. He was pretty much gawking with his eyes open wide and his jaw slack, like I was some kind of fucking animal in the zoo. And I couldn’t fool myself into thinking it was Alan he was staring at. It was me.
The words “what the fuck are you staring at” were on the tip of my tongue, but I just couldn’t seem to push them out. The thing was, I wasn’t as much angry as I was embarrassed. I never thought I was the kind of person who got embarrassed easily, but I could feel my face getting red as this kid continued to stare at me. I was so fucking sick of being a freak that everyone either stared at or pretended not to stare at. I just wanted to be normal again and be able to get girls again and be able to feed myself without my mom having to cut up all my food and put a fucking splint on my wrist.
But there was nothing I could do. I couldn’t go back and undo the damage to my spinal cord. I’d never be able to be normal again, not even for one minute.
“You okay, Ryan?” Alan asked me.
The parents of the little boy had dragged him away. People were still staring at us, but not quite as obviously anymore.
“I’m just sick of this shit,” I said. “I’m sick of this fucking wheelchair and needing help with everything.”
To my surprise, Alan laughed. “Well, you better get used to it, because you’ve got a long way to go.”
To be continued....