The next morning Melissa woke up and before going into work decided to check her emails, sure enough the first one was from Damon.
"Really enjoyed yesterday. Hope to hang out again soon" it read.
Melissa just felt sick, she had tossed and turned all night and convinced herself that Damon would be better off without her, she decided not to reply and just delete the message and head to work. All through work one thing continued to dominate her mind again though, she couldn't believe that meeting a person one time could have such a profound effect on her but it had. Melissa started to realise it wasn't Damon she was worried about letting down it was herself, she had been single so long and any kind of feelings or attachment to anything frightened the living hell out of her, it was probably the reason she was in fact single and the reason she continued to be. After work she headed home, while picking at a bit of dinner she once again decided to head onto the computer, as she opened her inbox she saw there was another message from Damon. It simply read "Have I done something wrong?". Melissa looked at it and now started to worry that maybe Damon needed this too much and was too keen, there was 10 hours between the emails but two in one day worried her, once again she was making excuses to herself and knew that they used to talk everyday online before they met so a reply wasn't unreasonable to expect. After some heavy procrastination she finally decided to reply.
"Hey Damon, no nothing is wrong just been working. How was your day?". She waited for a reply and after a few minutes Damon responded. "Yeah day was good. Hope work wasn't too taxing. If you feel like chatting then let me know".
Melissa thought about it for a minute then decided she was up for a chat and soon they found themselves chatting like all the other times, as Melissa typed she kicked herself for being so stupid and knew that this was right. They arranged a second meeting and would meet up again tomorrow night.
The next day rolled around and after a shift at the nursing home Melissa readied herself for another date, she almost found herself stressing out more than the first date over what to wear, finally she decided on a cute pink top with some jeans and ballet flats, they were only going to the movies so she thought no need to bring out the little black dress. She was meeting Damon at the cinemas so she got in her car and made her way over there, as she pulled up in the car park she started to get really nervous again and almost started to shake, she hated how her heart just beated so quick over these kinds of things, it would all turn out fine she was sure but try telling her mind and body that. Melissa grabbed her handbag and made her way in, it was a Thursday night and there were plenty of people around, at first she couldn't see Damon then spotted him in the corner with his nurse Lydia, his big wide black wheelchair now easy to spot. She moved up to him but when she got there she had no idea on how to greet him, should she lean over and give him a kiss on the cheek or should she just say hello and that's it? Melissa was generally one to wait for the man to dictate a greeting or embrace but with Damon being a quadriplegic she was very confused.
"Hey. So good to see you again" beamed Damon once he saw her.
"Hey. How you been?" replied Melissa.
"Yeah good. You can give me a kiss on the cheek hello if you want. I'd give you one but it's a bit difficult" joked Damon answering Melissa's question without her even having to ask.
Melissa moved over and gave him a peck on the cheek, while there she could smell Damon had a really sexy aftershave on and it made her feel a little giddy. "So many people here tonight, I'm thinking I should have picked a quieter night" admitted Damon.
"Yeah there does seem an abnormally large amount of people here but oh well, it will be good I'm sure"
They decided on the movie "Midnight Rendezvous in Paris" then made their way up to the ticket counter. When there Melissa did the ordering but that didn't stop the movie worker looking at Damon the way most people did, with pity. Damon was quite used to the look but still hated it nonetheless, although he was completely paralyzed he wanted to be treated as normal as possible. All three of them including Lydia who was just trailing behind to give them a little privacy made their way into the cinema, Melissa walked in and down the aisle, completely forgetting that they would have to sit in the disabled area.
"Melissa" called out Damon. "Up here".
Straight away Melissa realised her mistake. "Oh god I'm so sorry, I wasn't even thinking!"
While they both got comfortable the previews started. Melissa looked across at Damon and smiled, having no head movement he wasn't able to look over at her but could feel her eyes on him. "What?" he asked. "Nothing. I know you can't feel it but can I hold your hand?" asked Melissa. This question pleased Damon and a grin appeared on his face "Sure". Melissa undid the strap on Damon's left arm and took his hand in hers. Soon enough the movie started, during the quiet parts of the movie the hum of Damon's ventilator became audible to a minor degree, a young woman looked around and gave him a foul look before the message "Do you think you can turn that thing down or something? This is a movie theatre not a breathing room" . Hearing this didn't go down well with Melissa and while normally never being one to say boo she got so angry and snapped back. "Why don't you turn down the ugly on your face? Looking at it is making me want to lose my dinner". Upon hearing this Damon and his nurse Lydia couldn't help but chuckle, a couple of other people seemed to be giggling too and the insensitive woman realised she was outnumbered and shut her trap for the rest of the movie. After another hour the movie finally drew to a close, as they prepared to leave the woman walked past.."Next time you think about going to the movies leave your cripple boyfriend behind ok" she snidely remarked before tearing off. Melissa sat there stunned at how someone could be so utterly rude and insensitive. "She is unbelievable. Have you ever got that before?" remarked Melissa thinking this would have to of been a one off.
"Yeah I have got it a couple of times. People always think there issues or wants and needs are worth more than yours. Don't get me wrong I don't want to be treated any different but i think I have a right to be able to watch a movie and breath for god's sake" remarked Damon.
"Damn straight you are" Melissa agreed strongly.
As that was said Melissa noticed Damon was a little pale. "Are you ok?" she worried.
"Not particularly but I should be ok" replied Damon.
Lydia took his blood pressure and it had spiked. "I'm just going to have to find a quiet spot and get you reclined for a bit, get your blood pressure down" she advised.
Melissa looked on with concern, she knew this life was tough but she had no idea of all the little, or major things that could go wrong. "Can I do anything to help?" she asked.
"It might be best if you head home I think. Damon will need to be like this for at least 30 minutes, then after that home and bed" told Lydia.
Melissa watched on as Lydia reclined the imposing 210 pound figure of Damon, she wondered how often things like this happened but she guessed time would tell, she wasn't planning on giving up on him anytime soon. "Ok Damon I'm just going to head off but I had a great time, hope you feel better quick and see you again soon" she expressed before giving Damon a kiss on the forehead goodbye, he smiled and managed a "Sorry" before a goodbye. Melissa hated to leave him but the nurse told him he needed 30 minutes downtime before he was well enough to go back in the van and back home again. That night Melissa couldn't help but fear for Damon's health, she just hoped he would be ok and they would be able to meet up once again.
After a restless night worrying about Damon, Melissa was glad to wake up the next morning and see she had an email waiting from him. "Sorry about last night. I felt really good throughout the movie then it just hit me. Sometimes when I spend too much time upright in my chair I can feel a bit sick but it's all good now. Hope it didn't freak you out too much.." read the message. Melissa was glad he was ok, and the fact he was polite enough to tell her about his well being, she messaged back and after a bit of email ping pong they arranged another date.
Their third meeting was to be at a restaurant Damon had been to and enjoyed, it was an Italian eatery and Melissa was excited as not only did she get to see Damon again but she loved a good lasagna. This time she didn't stress out too much over what to wear choosing a summery pink dress as she know felt fairly comfortable around Damon, he wasn't like most guys, both mentally and physically. As she pulled up outside the restaurant though she once again had a bit of nerves, she figured that was a good thing as it meant she liked him. Melissa hopped out of the car and made her way inside and to the front desk to announce her arrival to the maitre'd. As she got there though she saw Lydia waving. "Over here Melissa". She made her way over to a table next to the window, Damon was looking very hot in a nice tight black top and jeans, his feet in black shiny loafers. She said hello to Lydia then looked at Damon."Looking good" she smiled. Damon hadn't heard a genuine compliment for a while and almost blushed. "Thanks. Looking pretty good yourself" he gestured back. Melissa sat down on Damon's right while Lydia sat on his left, she noted one couple staring at them a little but just ignored them and looked down at the menu.
"So what are you having?" asked Melissa.
"Was thinking the spaghetti bolognaise" replied Damon.
"Well that's a pretty good choice in a Italian restaurant haha. I'm thinking the lasagna"
Soon after that was said the waiter came over. "What would you like to order?"
"I'll have the lasagna please" announced Melissa followed by the waiter looking at Lydia.
"I'm just nurse for him I'm not ordering" she replied.
The waiter looked at Damon and wasn't sure of his condition or whether he could talk. "Would you like to order Sir?" asked the waiter.
"I'll have the spaghetti bolognaise" he ordered.
The waiter wrote it all down before taking the menus and walking off. Due to the busy nature of the restaurant Lydia had to sit in with them this time as there were no spare seats anywhere else.
"So how long you been looking after Damon? asked Melissa.
"About 8 months" replied Lydia.
"Hope he doesn't cause too many trouble" joked Melissa
"No he is ok" answered Lydia. "Most of the time" she added smirking.
"I'm a model patient, come on!" piped up Damon.
"Yeah your ok, much better than others I have looked after in your condition" expressed Lydia looking after Damon a bit.
As they continued to chat their meals finally came out. A steaming hot spaghetti bolognaise was put in front of Damon while Melissa looked at her lasagna and was suitably impressed. Lydia unflapped a napkin and tucked it in at the top of Damon's t-shirt just below his vent. Melissa began to eat her meal then looked on as Lydia twirled a bit of spaghetti and prepared to fire it into Damon's expectant mouth, she didn't want to make Damon feel self conscious but she had to sneak a look at him opening up his mouth and Lydia placing the pasta dish in, she had done it plenty of times at the nursing home but this time it was different as it was a young man, a man she was starting to become fond of. Melissa watched as he chewed away, she knew that it must feel degrading to some degree not being able to feed yourself but she couldn't help but admire Damon's courage and persistence to still get out and do things like eat a meal in public. "You amaze me" she gushed. "Why?" asked a perplexed Damon. Melissa felt no need to explain as she didn't want to appear cliched or condescending by saying how "inspired" she was by Damon. After Melissa finished her meal she could see Damon still had a few mouthfuls to go. "How does it taste?" she wondered.
"If I'm being honest I wouldn't know for sure. With the vent you pretty much lose you sense of smell and taste" replied Damon.
Melissa didn't know this and once again just remarked at how little she knew about all of this and what Damon must go through on a daily basis. "There's just so much more I need to learn" admitted Melissa.
"Yes there is a lot to being a ventilator dependant quadriplegic but just learn what you can. All I want is for people to take an interest that's all"
"Well I'm not going anywhere" beamed Melissa placing her hand on Damon's leg. It really 'felt' good and Damon couldn't help but break into a big smile.
After their dinner was taken away it was time for dessert. "I'd really love a chocolate fudge sundae but I'm not sure I could eat it all, want to go halves?" asked Melissa. Damon didn't want to disappoint so agreed. The fudge sundae came out and was quite large, Melissa plunged the spoon in and got a generous amount of ice cream and fudge on it.
"Do you mind if I feed you?" proposed Melissa surprised even herself at how forward she was.
"Yeah sounds good" replied Damon. "You have to wait for me to open my mouth up and place it on my tongue though as I can't lean forward to take it off the spoon" he instructed.
Melissa moved over with the spoonful of dessert, while she wanted to do it her hand started to shake a bit as didn't want to do it wrong, Damon opened his mouth and Melissa placed the sugary treat on his tongue, he closed his lips and slid it off, the action of it all got Melissa a bit hot and bothered and made her think of her own lips clashing with Damon's, it had been so long since her last embrace with a man that she knew a kiss would send her heart into a frenzy, she was definitely ready for it though if it arose. Lydia looked on as the tension between the two was obvious for anyone to see, she was in an uncomfortable position in a sense but once they left the restaurant she knew they could talk alone and do what they liked. Soon enough the chocolate fudge sundae was polished off and they called for the bill.
"I know you probably want to get home but do you feel like a night walk in the park?" asked Damon.
"A walk?" questioned Melissa.
"Yeah I know. It's a bit silly saying walk but you know what I mean" replied Damon
"That wasn't what I meant but yeah that sounds good" enthused Melissa.
The park was just 50 metres away from the restaurant and the two of them took off with Lydia telling Melissa that if anything went wrong to run back and tell her. Damon mastered his straw as they took off along the path and very quickly they found themselves at a park bench. "I had such a good time tonight" commented Damon.
"Feeling is mutual" bubbled Melissa.
"Does any of this ever become too much?" asked a worried Damon
"You being a quad? Not really. I have to admit I was taken aback by the fact you were a quadriplegic originally, then I had a little freak out that I didn't want to lead you on but that was just my issues really"
"So you think we could have something?"
"Yes most definitely. I know that I enjoy spending time with you and that's normally half the battle isn't it?"
"Very true. I probably shouldn't ask but what do you think when you see me getting fed though?"
"I don't think anything, nothing bad anyway. That's why I fed you myself. I wanted to stay away from the cliches but I just think your so incredibly brave for getting out and about. I know if it happened to me I would be a complete wreck not wanting anyone to see me. Not that being a quadriplegic is anything to be ashamed of it would just be my own stupid insecurities coming out preventing me from doing anything"
"You see that's the thing. I don't see a shy insecure woman, I see one who is bursting with not only beauty but also warmth and love, your a very special woman Melissa Ryan and you should never forget that" expressed Ryan causing Melissa now to blush.
She had never been one to make the first move but after such an overwhelming compliment and seeing the look in Damon's eyes she knew it was the right thing to do, she moved forward and prepared to land the sweetest of embraces on Damon. Sitting in his wheelchair immobile he could see Melissa coming towards him and knew that this was it, their first kiss, Melissa paused ever so briefly for a second wondering if she should do it, as she got closer she could once again smell Damon's aftershave, it smelt so good and this all felt so right so she didn't delay any longer and closed her eyes before planting her lips on Damon, as soon as they touched Melissa was sent into a world of delight, fireworks seemed to go off in her head and she couldn't believe how good it felt to be close to someone again, she didn't dare open her eyes but hoped Damon was enjoying it too, he had no movement of his head but he still seemed to know how to kiss, using his lips in a way Melissa had never felt before with also just the right amount of tongue, after a few passion filled seconds Melissa finally came up for air... As she pulled away she looked into Damon's eyes and had never seen a man so taken by her, his pupils were fully dilated and he clearly felt what she did, pure ecstasy..."Wow" said an almost breathless Melissa. "Wow indeed" agreed Damon, he didn't believe he could ever feel this way again about someone but he was now starting to think it was possible...