Friday, February 7, 2014

No Strings Attached Chapter 28

Jason is moving out of ICU into a regular room, his hospital stay is coming closer to the end. Ariana and Darryl are so happy to see him out of ICU. As Jason asks Ariana about the meeting she had with Britt days ago, it gets emotional and Ariana gets worried.


Saturday morning, Jason was awakened unusually early by Dr. Shumar coming on his round. It was only six when he looked up at the clock on the wall. The doctor stood over Jason as he was blinking at him sleepily. Jill stood next to the doctor.

Dr. Shumar greeted him, “Good Morning Jason!”

Jason still had a sore throat which made his first words in the morning uncomfortable. He managed a low mumble of Good Morning.

Dr. Shumar continued, “I am sorry Jason, it is really early I know, but I have lots of new patients to visit this morning. It has been a busy night for admits in the ICU. That is why I am here already. How are you feeling?”
Jason answered with a scratchy voice, “All right I guess.”

Dr. Shumar looked at Jason’s profile on the computer, “Well, I am putting the order in for you to be moved today, Jason. I think you are ready and everything looks really good here. I am also submitting an order for another spasm medication since you are not really getting relief from the Baclofen anymore. The medication is called Dantrolene and has proven effective for spasms as well. We can try that for a while and hopefully it will help with your spasms. Dantrolene does cause drowsiness in some people so get a feel for it at first. If it is not helping we will try to figure out something else or go back to Baclofen. For now we will hold off on the Baclofen pump and see how the new medication will work for you.”
Jason had been listening sleepily to the doctor and tried to focus somewhat, “Sounds like a plan.”
“You will be moved to the Progressive Care Unit during the morning and I will come over there in the afternoon to see how you are doing. Do you think you can do it?”
“Yeah, I am ready.”
Jill smiled, “He has been ready for days.”

Jason smiled at her sleepily. Dr. Shumar signed some papers and then turned to Jason, “Jason, the attending physician over there is Dr. Chapman. He will also see your transfer and be in charge of you over there. I will still come by later to check on you. Take it easy o.k.!”
Jason nodded, “Thanks doc.”

Jill adjusted Jason’s sheet, which was hanging somewhat low over the side, “Are you excited?”
He replied with a grin, “I want to jump for joy.”
Jill looked up at him with a smile, “Joking already. I think there is a really sassy guy in there.”
She put her finger on his chest and poked him softly. Then she fluffed his pillow a little and said, “I am going to check your vitals once more and then it’s Good Bye, my friend. I am going home in about 30 minutes.”
Jason pushed his head rest up a little with the remote and sat up some, “That sounds so final.”
Jill smiled, “I will try to come by over at PCU to see you. Cara will be in shortly. We will miss you here but we are happy you are moving on, Jason. I really don’t want to see you in here anymore.”
She laughed a little, “Seriously though, take care of yourself Jason and I hope you will get to go home soon. It was nice meeting you and a pleasure making you better.”
Jason smiled, “Thanks for everything, everyone was really great here. You have a good team here.”
She moved over a bit, “Thanks. Can I give you a hug?”
“Of course.”
Jill leaned down and they hugged.
She then turned away quickly, “Bye Jason! Get well soon and Best wishes for you.”
“Thanks Jill.”
She was already at the door and Jason looked after her leaving out his room. 

Jason spent the morning drifting in and out of sleep. Nurse Cara checked on him and even though she was more reserved than Jill she had a good nature and only meant well. The Certified Nurse Assistant came in around 9 that morning and changed Jason’s briefs. He kept his eyes on the ceiling while the CNA was busy cleaning him up in his lower regions. Jason didn’t even want to know.

Around ten Cara came in and announced, “Well, Jason, transport is on their way to take you over to Progressive Care soon. I will get you ready.”
With that she made sure the bag for collecting Jason’s urine was securely fastened on the foot end of the bed and she tugged the sheet under the bed on the side so it would not hang down too much.
She then came up to the head end, “I will also get those sensors off you now, if they want to use them over there they will attach new ones to your chest.”
The small sticky pads with the thin cables came off quickly and Cara wiped with a gauze pad with some alcohol over the spots she pulled them from on Jason’s skin. He was glad to see them gone, another accessory he was freed from now.
When she was done she stood next to the bed, “You are ready to go. I am sure you will be all right over there. They have good people over there as well. It was good meeting you Jason.”
She also bid her Farewell and gave him a hug.

A short while later, a young male transporter came in and opened the curtains and door all the way so he could push Jason out. Jason sat upright slightly and if felt weird to him leaving the small ICU room which had been his home for the last four weeks. In the ICU he knew most of the staff by now and he got a few high fives and well wishes on his way out. He felt such a huge relief moving out of the ICU and he felt anxious to be part of the outside world again, still in the hospital but at least moving on.

He remembered the same kind of excitement when he left the Westside Medical Center and rehab after his accident. He had spent about six months there, two months in the ICU, one month in the Neurology unit and three more months in the rehab center. Now he was excited again and looked around when they pushed him through the hallways to his new room on the third floor. People in the hallways glanced at him curiously and he felt exposed but there was nothing he could do.

In the elevator the transporter asked friendly, “Are you happy to be out of ICU?”
Jason nodded, “Yeah, very much.”
They smiled at each other and then the elevator door opened up to the third floor and he pushed Jason through the hallway and finally rolled him into his new room, 3016.

Just as the transporter positioned him in the right spot in the room an older nurse came in, nothing like Cara or Jill but greeted Jason friendly nonetheless, “Are you Jason Flanagan?”
Jason nodded, “Yes, ma’m!”
She smiled, “Welcome Jason, my name is Erica. I am your nurse here for today. We are happy to have you here in our unit now.”

Jason smiled and the transporter said his Good Bye and walked out the door.

Nurse Erica checked Jason’s armband with his information and then asked him his birthday, full name and social security number, then made sure he was positioned right in the bed and helped him adjust himself somewhat.

While she logged into the computer in the room she asked Jason warmly, “How long have you been paraplegic?”
Jason was a bit surprised at her direct question but answered, “Two years.”
Erica smiled, “So it’s been a while…are you adjusted pretty well?”
“I guess so, somewhat.”

Erica explained the daily routine to him and also told him that dinner was ordered for him, soft and easily to digest food but he would have to try to start eating again. As good as it sounded he was also nervous at the prospect of eating. That would change things in his body again and he was not so excited about that.
 
After Erica had given him all the information she asked him once again if he needed anything else and Jason looked at the phone on the bedside table, “Can I call out from this phone?”
Erica smiled, “Yes, I can set that up for you right now.”
She walked around to the phone and typed something into it and then said, “O.k. it is ready for you now.”

Jason wanted to call his dad right away and dialed his phone number; it started ringing for a few moments until Darryl answered, “Hello!”
“Dad, it’s me.”
“Jason, what’s going on? You have a phone now?”
“Dad, I am in a regular room now, I am out of the ICU.”
“I am so happy to hear that son.”

Jason continued, “It’s the phone in the room….dad; do you have my cell phone and my wallet and stuff?”
“Yes, I have it all, even your wheelchair.”
 “O.k., I didn’t know where everything was. I can’t wait to get into my chair.”
 “Well, I am actually on my way out the door right now, I was going to come visit you and then go to my appointment from there.”
“Can you bring everything?”
Darryl replied, “Of course!”
“I guess I will see you soon then.”
“Yeah, I should be down there in about an hour.”
“O.k. I am on the third floor, room 3016.”
 “All right, I will be there soon.”
 “O.k., see you then!”
“See you later Jay!”

Jason hung up with his dad and let his head fall back onto the pillow. He wanted to call Ariana but he didn’t know her number by heart, he had it programmed in his cell phone from their first strange encounter at the bus stop but he had not memorized it yet. Whenever he could get his hands on his cell phone he would hopefully have access to the rest of the world again.

He turned on the TV, zapped through the channels, and stopped on the Sports Channel. He tried to remember what Ariana had said about coming to visit him today but he didn’t recall a certain time she had promised him. He hoped it wouldn’t be too long until he would see her in the regular room.

Jason had dozed off when his dad walked in at about one o’clock.  Darryl knocked slightly on the door and pushed it open.
Jason shifted and opened his eyes when he heard his dad’s voice, “Hey Jason!”

As soon as Jason looked over he saw his wheelchair being pushed in by his dad and it felt almost like he saw an old friend for the first time after many years. His heart beat quickened and he felt a surge of excitement.

Darryl realized Jason’s eyes on his chair and said with a smile, “Yeah, I brought your bestie. I called here before and they said to go ahead and bring your chair and clothes with me. They want you in your chair real soon. Are you ready?”
Jason pushed himself up on his hands and nodded, “Hell yeah I am ready.”
Darryl reached the bed and set the chair by the foot end, Jason still looked at it and then said, “It is weird how seeing that thing can get me so excited.”

Darryl smiled and reached his hand out to Jason to greet him, “It is understandable I think. You have been stuck in a bed for four weeks; of course you are ready to get up and out. I think it was ready to see you as well.”
With that the two men laughed together and Darryl said, “It is good to see you in here Jason. I am glad you are out of ICU.”
“Me too! I have had enough of it. Heck, I am done with being in the hospital and I will do everything to get out of here by the weekend.”
“Don’t get your hopes up though, who knows when they feel you are ready to go. Did the doctor say anything?”
Jason shook his head, “Not yet, but I will ask him when I see him later on his rounds. I am ready, dad. I want to go home, be there for you and be there with Ariana.”
Darryl nodded, “I know.”

He then pulled Jason’s cell phone out of his pocket and handed it to him, “Here, I believe this is yours as well. I don’t know if it works in here and if you are allowed to use it.”
Jason took the cell phone from his dad’s and turned it on.
Darryl smiled, “I charged it; it was dead.”

Jason connected to the Hospital Internet Service and soon looked at his Facebook account with messages from several people, including a message from Micah checking in and asking how Jason was doing and if there is anything he could help him with. He scrolled over the message screen and saw messages from his coworkers, some friends and also from one of the guys from the bar the night he played pool with them. He would have to reply to all of them when he had a chance. 

He ended on the pictures of him and Ariana and he looked at them for a moment. They looked so happy together on the pictures. He couldn’t wait to see her.

Darryl pulled a chair over and sat down, “Well, we need you to be all the way healthy and then of course I want you to be home soon too. So is Ariana coming today?”
Jason nodded, “I hope so. She knows I was supposed to move out of ICU today so I assume she will be here sometime today.”
Jason paused and then looked at his dad with serious eyes, “She has been here every day since she found out I was in here.”
Darryl smiled, “I know… I also know she cares a whole lot about you.”
Jason said lowly looking down, “She says she loves me.”
Darryl nodded without saying anything, just a smile on his face.
Jason looked over at his dad, “I love her too, dad.”
Darryl knew Jason well enough and he knew that inside he had doubts, “You do worry though, don’t you?”
Jason nodded, “A lot…I hope she won’t change her mind about being with me when we are out there together and she will see how things really are.”
“I understand your concerns but I think Ariana knows what she is getting into with you so try not to stress too much about it.”

Jason nodded and then changed the subject asking his dad about his Chemo treatments and Darryl didn’t say much, “Well, everything is still the same. We will keep going for another three months and then go from there.”
Jason just nodded. He knew his dad wasn’t doing good but he didn’t want to ask him too many questions.

After his dad had left Jason looked at his phone again, he saw missed calls from some friends and he checked his FB and email. When he saw Ariana’s FB he saw that she had changed her status into “In a relationship” with Jason Flanagan. Jason’s name was highlighted. He went on his own profile and changed his status from “Single” to “In a relationship” with Ariana Sands.

He looked over Ariana’s FB entries. He saw a few posts pertaining to him, posts when she wrote that she was on her way to the hospital or that she couldn’t wait to see her boyfriend, posts when she wrote how she couldn’t wait for her boyfriend to get better or posts about her boyfriend improving. Jason was surprised to see all the entries and lots of people commented. Apparently once people had realized that Ariana was in a relationship with Jason everyone was supportive and made nice comments pertaining to Jason’s situation about him feeling better soon and telling her to hang in there. Apparently while being in the hospital he had become a big part of Ariana’s life.

Since his FB had been quiet for weeks and he saw the private messages of friends checking in or checking on him to see how he was, he answered some of them. When he came across his friends list he saw the last friend he had added was Britt and he realized that he had not heard nor seen from Britt and he remembered the meeting Ariana and Britt were supposed to have and how he had never asked Ariana about it.

He clicked on Britt’s profile and wrote to her, “Hey Britt, what’s going on? Remember me J I haven’t seen you in a long time. I have been sick but I am getting better now, got moved from ICU to a regular room and hoping to get out of here very soon. I am tired of it. I wanted to thank you for contacting Ariana and letting her know I was in the hospital. I owe you big time. She had no idea I was in the hospital. She came and we were able to reconcile and things are going really good.  Anyways, I hope to see you again sometime, you can come visit me; I am in room 3016, third floor at Providence hospital. How are your sister Chelsea and her guy Micah doing? I hope they are well. Hope to hear from you or see you soon. Take care, Jason.”

He sent the message off and then looked over Britt’s profile. She still had “single” in her relationship status. He looked over her pictures and once again realized how she was a very nice looking woman and he remembered the conversations they had had and he was really wondering now why he had not heard anything at all from Britt anymore.

He looked around on FB for a little bit longer until it knocked and he saw the door open slowly and Ariana appear in the door frame looking amazing, a turquoise summer dress flowing over her nicely tanned skin and matching wedge heel sandals. Her red hair draped in perfect strands around her face and head. In the ICU it had been dark a lot or the light had been dim. This room was full of light coming in from the outside and Ariana shone in it like an angel.

Jason stared at her.

She walked up with a glorious smile, “Oh my Gosh, Jason, you look….you look wonderful without the ICU around you.”

She laughed and Jason was still awestruck at her beauty and her smile. She came up to the bed; Jason let his phone drop out of his hand onto the sheet and put his arms out toward her. She fell into his embrace and they kissed a long and passionate kiss. Jason held her tightly to himself and she almost fell all the way onto the bed.

Once they unlocked their lips, Jason just held her on his bed; she sat on the edge of it and looked at him, “How are you?”
“I am good, I am so happy to see you and be out of the ICU. You look amazing. Seeing you here in this room makes me realize the darkness I have been in for the last couple of weeks. I mean, how are people supposed to get better in that cave of an ICU, all dark and depressing?”
She smiled, “Yeah, I guess you are right, it was somewhat of a dark place.”
She held his hand and then her eyes travelled over to his wheelchair, “Look who is also here?”
Jason followed her eyes, “Yeah, my wheels are ready for me.”

She felt her heartbeat quicken from seeing his chair, the very part of him that had attracted her in the first place, the very core of her attraction, the thing Jason owned in a love and hate relationship but couldn’t live without anymore. Almost like his sidekick, the wheelchair was the other object with him at all times. She looked down and felt her hand get sweaty in Jason’s hand. He kept looking at her and she was breathing a little faster.

He looked over at the wheelchair, then back at her and he lifted her face up with his fingers under her chin, “Hey!”
Ariana felt a little nervous now and Jason seemed to sense it, “Are you ready for me to be in my wheelchair again?”
She nodded slowly and Jason had a small smirk on his face, “Hopefully soon I will be mobile again. I hope so much I can get out of here by the weekend.”
Ariana looked up at him, “That would be wonderful. Is there a possibility you get to go home by the weekend?”
“I don’t know, I will talk to the doctor when he comes on his rounds.”
They held hands and Jason laid his head back on his pillow looking at Ariana. She smiled at him, “You look good.”
He smiled, “Thanks, I feel good especially with you here.”

Jason started carefully, “Hey, I meant to ask you: How did your meet-up go with Britt?”
Ariana seemed to be surprised at his question and looked up quickly, “Britt?”
“Yeah, my friend Britt, the one who told you about me being in here.”
Ariana sighed and looked down on their hands, “Well…”
She paused and then looked at Jason shyly, “I think Britt really liked you…maybe more than a friend.”
Jason sat up and lifted his head off the pillow, “What do you mean?”

Ariana pulled her hand from his, he held himself steady on his hands, pushing himself up some more.

Ariana answered lowly, “Jason, she liked you more than a friend, that is all there is to it. She said she will stay out of your life now, out of my life. I think it was very difficult and courageous of her to contact me when she knew about us and also had feelings for you. I appreciate it so much that she did this because she probably knew she would possibly get hurt in the process. She said it is better this way and I tried to tell her we should be friends still but she didn’t want to. She said she couldn’t see you with me in your life.”
Jason looked puzzled, “I…I don’t know…what to say.”
Ariana looked at him and said softly, “Jason, we both cried…I think she really cared for you.”

Ariana got up and walked over to the window looking out and said with a trembling soft voice, “She told me she had hoped I wouldn’t come back into your life because I hurt you. Now that I am back she told me I better knew what I was getting into with you and you deserved so much more and I should consider that.”

Jason looked over to Ariana; her back was turned to him.
He took a breath, “Wow…”
Ariana continued softly, “I didn’t want to tell you and I had hoped you would forget about it, and not ask me how it went and not ask me about Britt. I was so scared you would actually also have feelings for Britt, that she deserved you so much more than me, because she didn’t have a freaking agenda like I did when she first met you.”

Ariana felt a knot in her throat and her eyes become blurry. Jason laid his head back on the pillow; he was still stunned at the revelations. He started thinking about Britt and saw her in front of him at the gas station and he remembered how he felt drawn to her in a good way, how she had radiated such positivity to him when he felt so bad about how things were with Ariana back then. He remembered how he felt good being at her house and then meeting her sister’s boyfriend Micah and thinking to himself how he fit perfectly into this group of people, the two sisters who dated paraplegic guys, the two sisters who seemed to know exactly how to deal with guys like him. At that time Ariana had been far away in his mind. He looked over to her and he saw her body tremble slightly, she stared out the window, waiting for his reply.

He swallowed and cleared his throat, then said lowly, “Ariana?”
She didn’t move and didn’t reply.
He repeated, “Ariana, come here!”
She still didn’t move and he saw her body tremble, “Please Ariana.”
Ariana turned around and wiped her eyes. Jason patted the bed with his hand, “Come here!”

Ariana walked over like a shy little girl and sat on his bed, still wiping her eyes. She had started crying at the thought that Jason could actually harbor feelings for Britt and it scared her so much. The worst thing was that Britt seemed to be the saint in this situation and she saw herself as the evil one. Jason shifted his body over a little and touched her arm, “Ariana, I love you, not Britt.”

Ariana sniffled slightly, the tears in her eyes loosening up fluids in her nose, “Britt is a good woman and I….” she swallowed, “I was so scared you would realize that and you would remember that you didn’t even care for me anymore because of the way I had treated you.”

Jason saw how she could be afraid of that, she wasn’t all the way wrong with her assumptions but he said softly, “Ariana, I loved you from the first moment I saw you, not even Britt could change that. Yeah, I did get along with her and yes, she is a good woman but the person I thought about every minute of the day and night was you. When my dad brought me here a couple of weeks ago I wanted to call you so badly, I was scared that something bad could happen to me and I wanted to see you again before maybe something….”, his words faded and he took a breath, “You were the only woman I wanted to have close to me. I know we started out weird and even though I still don’t get it all the way, I have come to a point where I want to understand and want to see the positive of our relationship. I think we can have a really good thing now and I am just so glad that you actually decided you wanted to be with me for more than just….one thing. I love you and I want to be with you. I understand if Britt can’t see me…us again and I am sorry about that but it is probably better that way. Please believe me when I say I only want you, Ariana.”

Ariana looked over to Jason, a few tears were still running down her face and Jason said softly, “I hate to see you cry. Don’t!”
She sniffled again and replied, “I am sorry Jason. I just feel bad about everything and I also feel like I took something from Britt that should have maybe really been hers…you.”
“What did I just say? I may not be able to make all physical decisions but I can make all my mental decisions and I know what I want.”

He shifted in the bed and pulled Ariana over to him on her arm somewhat demanding and then pulled her face close to his and said with serious eyes, “I want you and I know you want me and I am going to show you what I am about and what you are getting with me and you won’t want to give me up and you will want to be with me any chance you get because you wanted a paraplegic guy and that is what you are getting. It is for real now Ariana, you don’t have to lay in your bed at night and dream about someone like me and get all wet and excited, I am going to be right there and as much fun as it will be, it will be exhausting too but I know that is what you want and I am totally ready to give you what you desire so much. So if you are ready, I am ready. I want you and only you.”

With that he pulled her down to his face and pressed his lips onto hers for a hard kiss, taking Ariana’s breath away.  The way Jason had said those things had given her a tingle down her spine and it excited her very much. She let herself fall into his kiss and felt her whole body react to his kissing and thinking about him and his situation. He turned her on so much and she wanted him so much, right then and right there.

------------------

 
Ariana was there when Dr. Shumar and Dr. Chapman came on their rounds at 6 o’clock that evening. They two doctors walked in and Jason pushed himself up in the bed to greet the doctors. Dr. Chapman walked over to Jason and reached his hand out, “Hi Jason, I am Dr. Chapman, I am one of the attending physicians here on the third floor. It’s nice to meet you.” Jason reached out to Dr. Chapman, “Nice to meet you.” 
Jason felt slightly nervous with the two doctors in his room. Dr. Shumar greeted him with a smile, “Hey Jason. Good to see you in here.”

The two doctors then turned to Ariana and smiled at her with a greeting.

Jason felt he needed to introduce Ariana, “This is my…girlfriend Ariana Sands.” Both doctors smiled at her, “Nice to meet you Ariana.”
Dr. Shumar turned to Jason, “How are you feeling?”
Jason nodded, “I am feeling really good.”

Dr. Chapman stood next to Jason’s bed while Dr. Shumar opened Jason’s file on the computer Dr. Chapman started, “So, you have been in ICU for quite a while, Jason.” It was more a statement than a question and Jason just nodded.

Dr. Chapman added, “Well, you look like you are doing really well. You made the transfer to this unit without any issues, blood pressure is looking o.k. and everything else seems to be good as well.” Dr. Chapman looked over at Dr. Shumar for confirmation and Dr. Shumar added, “Yes, everything looks really good for Jason.”
Dr. Shumar turned to Jason, “Dr. Chapman is going to take over here.”

Once again Jason just nodded, hoping Dr. Chapman would be easy on him and hopefully give his o.k. to get him discharged very soon.

With that Dr. Shumar looked over at Jason’s wheelchair, “I see you have your wheelchair here again.”
Jason nodded, “Yeah. My dad brought it in today.”
“Good, so about getting in there….how do you feel about that?”
Jason shifted a little, “I can’t wait doc. I am ready.”
Dr. Shumar and Dr. Chapman looked at the computer again with Dr. Chapman saying, ”Well, I don’t see a problem with you getting into your chair again but you are still on the indwelling catheter. You may have to adjust to that somewhat but your nurses and CNA’s can help you with that.”

Jason felt embarrassed talking about his catheter in front of Ariana and replied lowly, “Do you think I still need that?  I really want to start using intermittent cathing again. I haven’t had any spasms and I feel good, doc. Please don’t keep me here too much longer. I am just ready to get home. I am doing o.k.”  He glanced over at Ariana who seemed to listen attentively.

Dr. Chapman nodded, “If you want to come off the indwelling catheter we can maybe do that tomorrow. We will see what your urine output was today and will be tonight and I can make a decision in the morning.”  

Jason nodded and looked over at Ariana shyly. She came up to the bed and took his hand, because she could tell Jason was worried about the doctors’ decision and time line.

Dr. Shumar smiled at her and then looked at Jason again, “Jason, you come this far, you can handle another day with no problem.”
Dr. Chapman smiled, “Let’s aim to get you out of here on Friday.”

Jason didn’t say much. He knew in the end it was the doctor’s decision what was going to happen. With that they looked over Jason’s file again, made some notes and then Dr. Chapman looked back at Jason, “I will come by again tomorrow.”

Dr. Shumar came up to Jason, “Well, Jason, this is it for me then. Dr. Chapman is taking over from here. We spent quite some time together these last couple of weeks, didn’t we?” Jason nodded and Dr. Shumar continued, “As much as I enjoyed working with you, I am also ready for you to get out of here and I hopefully won’t see you again anymore for a while. I know you are ready to get out Jason. It has been a rough couple of weeks for you but you did good. I know it wasn’t easy.”
“Yeah, thanks doc.”
The doctor looked over at Ariana, “It was nice meeting you.” Ariana smiled at him.
Both doctors then left the room and Jason looked over at Ariana trying to read her thoughts.

Ariana smiled, “You will make it through these last couple of days. I will come every day. It will go by quickly.”
Jason shrugged his shoulders, “I hope so.”

A little later, a dietary service staff brought Jason some soup and crackers for his dinner. He was now supposed to be eating regularly easy to digest food. He let his bed up and shifted his body with his hands to sit in a good angle to the bedside table over his bed. Ariana sat on the edge of the bed and saw him look at his food somewhat sketchy. 
She tried to motivate him, “Hey, real food…enjoy it.”

Jason looked over at her and took the spoon stirring the soup a little. Wen he tried the soup it was not bad and he enjoyed the taste of the soup on his tongue. It was strange to have this taste in his mouth after not having anything but plastic tubing in his throat for a long time and no solid food. Just the brushing of his teeth had been the only pleasure to have while he was in the ICU when the CNA’s would come and help him with that. He ate slowly and focused.
Ariana opened the package of crackers for him and he smiled at her, “Thanks babe.”

Ariana hung out with Jason until she had to leave at 9 o’clock.  She sat on his bed and leaned over for her Good Bye. Jason held her down to him and they kissed long.
When they let go off each other he asked, “When will you come tomorrow?”

Jason was curious if Ariana had any jobs for the week but had decided not to really ask her anymore about her jobs because it caused him too much pain to even think about it. He really had no choice in the matter because Ariana made good money and it would be up to her when she would maybe want to change her job or do something different. Until then he just had to deal with the fact that his girlfriend was an escort and had to trust her and trust in what they had.
He really didn’t want to know anymore but Ariana replied, Probably around noon. I have to work tomorrow night.”
Ariana telling him she had to work stung him for a moment and he pushed the thoughts aside quickly and trying to sound carefree, “Well, I will be here. I’m not going anywhere.”
Ariana smiled, “I know you won’t be going anywhere…and I like it.”
Jason grabbed her wrist in fun and said smiling, “Hey, watch what you are saying.”
She gave him another quick kiss, then took her purse and walked away, at the door turning to Jason once more and waving a small wave, “Love you.”
“I love you too.”
He let his head fall back on the pillow and closed his eyes. Despite feeling good all day he was exhausted and felt tired. He knew the nurse would come again to check his vitals, and catheter and he didn’t want to fall asleep until then. He grabbed the remote control for the TV and started zapping through the channels until he stopped on a movie and watched a little.

Ariana took a cab home that night. She thought about everything Jason had said about his feelings for her and Britt. Just the thought of another woman maybe having a chance to take Jason away scared Ariana. Finally she had found exactly the kind of guy she had been dreaming of and she couldn’t let anything come between them. She wanted to be his one and only. It was almost 10 o’clock when she got to her apartment. Melody was there with her boyfriend, watching TV and cuddling on the couch. They both looked up and greeted Ariana.

Ariana didn’t do much anymore, but got ready and comfy in her room checking her emails, Facebook and some of the sites she frequented about Abasiophilia and for devotees. She had been posting on her devotee site to the other members about Jason and what was happening with him and her and everyone had been happy for her and wanted to stay updated on how he was doing and what was going on. She updated the women on Jason moving out of the ICU and mentioned how she couldn’t wait for him to get discharged from the hospital and they could finally start their relationship again on a whole other level. Around midnight she turned off her light glancing once more at a picture of Jason on her phone.

It was different in the regular room, there seemed to be more sounds and commotion out in the hallway and Jason heard voices during the night. He was still on the indwelling catheter for his bladder. The Certified Nurse’s Assistant had come in after Ariana had left and put a new pad under his butt in his bed and also had pulled some fresh adult incontinence briefs on him just in case there would be some bowl movement during the night. It had reminded Jason of his least favorite issues with his disability and thinking about it he still didn’t know how all of that would be with Ariana around. It would be a difficult conversation they would have to have one day.

He really didn’t know exactly how everything would be once he got released from the hospital. He had lost his job and was now unemployed and paraplegic, a bad combination. All he had done in his life was maintenance work or groundskeeper. Back in California he had worked for the school district and the job was well paid and actually was really good until he had to move to Vegas for his dad. Then he had worked at the MGM casino as a maintenance guy and then the dispatcher job at the taxi service. He had no clue what he would be doing now; he had to figure out something. Ariana had her job but he didn’t even want to think about that. It made him crazy to think about her being with all those men in her job. If it was up to him she would quit this job as soon as possible but he really had no right to tell her to quit. They needed her income and she was not his wife but merely his girlfriend and very early in the beginning of their relationship.

He also worried about his dad and he knew his dad didn’t tell him how things really were with his health. Ariana didn’t have a car; he didn’t have a car, only his dad’s truck which Jason couldn’t drive. He lived 10 miles from the city and he didn’t know how things would be.

While he lay there with all those thoughts going through his head he thought about his brother Brandon and how much he sometimes missed him in moments like this. Moments when he could have used a brother to help him out or tell him things would work out somehow. Brandon had always been the more positive of the two brothers, usually seeing the glass half full whereas Jason leaned more towards the glass half empty metaphor. Brandon had also always been the more daring and would push Jason toward things he was initially careful about. Jason had always been the one to remind Brandon to buckle up in the truck, not forget the helmet on his motor cycle or convincing him to maybe not go out surfing when the ocean was especially wild. Brandon would still go out and Jason would go with him just because he wanted to keep an eye on his younger brother in case he had to save him from a wave. They had been close and most of the time Jason was successful in pushing any thoughts or memories of Brandon away in his daily life but then there were moments when the grief almost got the best of him and he longed for his brother so much. He never talked about Brandon with his dad; they both had dealt with the loss all on their own.

The beeping of the blood pressure monitor pulled Jason out of his thoughts. The only light in the room was the flickering from the TV. Jason looked over at the monitor and saw his blood pressure a bit high and he couldn’t believe how this machine could remind him so quickly that he wasn’t feeling all the way right. He sighed and looked up at the dark ceiling hoping the nurse wouldn’t come in to check on him. He tried to let the thoughts he had pondered fade out and maybe calm down again.

It didn’t take long and the night nurse Amy came in, coming up to his bed and whispering in the darkness, “Hey Jason, how are you feeling? What is going on?”
Jason could see her silhouette in the room and she said without waiting for his reply, “I am going to turn this little light on.”
A dim light came on over Jason’s head board and he looked over at her.
She smiled, “Are you doing o.k.?”
Jason nodded and said lowly, “Yeah, I am o.k. I don’t know why this thing came on.”
“Well, your blood pressure increased a little but nothing to worry about. Is there anything you need right now?”
He shook his head, “No thanks, I am good. I probably just need to sleep.”
Amy nodded, “Yeah, do you need a sleeping pill or something?”
Jason shook his head again and Amy smiled, “Well, try to get some sleep o.k.?”
He nodded, “I will.”
She turned the sound off and then said, “I will keep checking on you during the night. Hope you can sleep. Good Night.”

Jason thanked her once more and then she turned the light off and walked out, pulling the door shut leaving only a crack. Jason took a deep breath and let his head rest, closing his eyes and thinking about Ariana. He fell asleep and was only awakened when Nurse Amy came in around 5:30 to check his vitals again.

5 comments:

  1. Thanks for the early post and thanks for the long post. Love seeing their relationship cultivate!

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  2. Would the FB post lead to drama?! Cant wait!!!

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  3. Great chapter! Happy to see Jason is recovering and I'm looking forward to see him out of the hospital. :-)

    -Mille

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  4. Great chapter.
    Lots for characters to go through next.
    Can't wait!

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  5. Thanks for giving us such a long chapter. I really enjoyed the conversation between them about Britt and Ariana's worry that he might have decided Britt was a better option for him. Can't wait to read the next installment!

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