Jason made it to the central bus station and after checking the schedule he realized he would have to wait for almost an hour for his bus home. In moments like that he wished so much he would have a car and could just go as he pleased and not waste so much time waiting around. He wheeled over to a coffee shop close to the bus station and ordered a coffee, then parked his chair by the window where he was able to watch the people walk by outside. He pulled out his phone and scrolled down to Ariana’s number. He wanted to text her but doubts about seeming too desperate kept him from typing. She had given him her number though; she wouldn’t have done that if she wasn’t just a little bit interested in him. He brought up the text message box and thought for a moment what to type. He started “Hi Ariana (hoping this is your name)? This is Jason from the bus stop earlier.”
Then he waited for a few minutes and almost wanted to give up on a reply when his phone actually announced a message, “Hey Jason! Yes, I remember you. J Ariana is my name. How are you?”
“I am good. I thought I was in a dream earlier.”“How come?”
”The way you came up to me and told me to type your number in my phone…”
“J I see…I know, that was a bit…a bit pushy and weird I guess.”
“I like pushy! J”
”Well, guess what? It wasn’t a dream…100 % real.”
“I am glad it was not a dream.”
“Good…What are you doing?”
“I am waiting for my connecting bus here at Central Station, having coffee…what about you?”
“I am actually at home already, getting ready to go out.”
”Where do you live?”
”Out in Junction 8”
“Oh, that is way out there.”
“Yeah, and you?”
“Three blocks from the strip over on Hummingbird Lane off of Rancho Dr. …..”
”I see…” Jason felt his hand tremble a little as he typed the next few words, “I was thinking….maybe we can have coffee sometime?”
Ariana had to smile for a moment, he had taken the bait and she replied, ”I would love to! When?”
Jason shook his head; he was excited that this woman actually agreed on having coffee with him. He felt his heart beat quickly, “Great! How about Friday night?”
”I have to work on Friday and Saturday…during the week is better for me.”
Jason nodded and whispered to himself, “O.K. I can do that.” He typed again, “How about tomorrow?”
”I am sorry Jason, I have plans already, what about next week?”
He was a bit thrown off at her seemingly busy schedule and hoped it was not an avoiding tactic on her part, “Why don’t you give me a night or day that works for you? I work some nights too.”
“How about Tuesday next week?”
”Can it be during the day?”
”Yes, we can meet during the day…what time?”
”How about 2 o’clock at Café Blue on 3rd Ave.?”
“I know where that is…sounds like a plan.”
“Great, 2 o’clock next Tue.”
”O.k. I have to get ready now. I will see you Tuesday then.”
“Yes, absolutely!” He thought for a moment and then added, “I am looking forward to it”
“Me too, Jason!” He smiled at her mentioning his name, it made her message a bit more personal. She replied, “Next Tuesday then. Take care and stay safe!”
“I will. You too. Bye Ariana.”
“Bye” She sent another smiley face and he clicked off taking a deep breath.
He felt happy but was a bit disappointed that he had to wait so long still. She seemed to be a busy woman. He wondered where she worked, maybe at one of the casinos. He had not met up with a woman in a long time and felt excited about their coffee date. With a smile on his face he had another sip of coffee and eventually headed out to the bus stop where his bus would arrive to take him home. He already thought about the following Tuesday and how he would take the noon bus to be there on time. He would be tired because he had to work on Monday night, maybe he could switch with Arlene or Peter, the two other dispatchers for Speedy Taxi Service. He definitely felt very happy about the way Ariana had come up to him and how the messaging had gone very well. It would be hard to have to wait for another 6 days but he had not been on an actual date in over a year so the 6 days would be a piece of cake. He told himself to pull it together but couldn’t stop smiling as he boarded the bus to take him home.
It was after 6 pm and once he had parked his wheelchair in the appropriate area on the bus, he relaxed into his chair and felt the exhaustion of the day come over him. He glanced down onto his legs and thought about how he wanted to get the braces off soon. Even though he could not actually feel their pressure on his legs or any kind of uncomfortable fit he still wanted to get them off. They were heavy and rigid on his legs and caused him to be exhausted too. He rubbed over the thigh cuffs with his hand and felt tiredness overcome him. He wanted to just get home now and relax. He had been off that day and was able to get to his appointment which was good. Getting out on the town was exhausting for him though, that was when he felt his body react and protest at the transfers, the heat, the wheeling around, the bathroom issues he dealt with, the having to sit upright the whole time and the inability to just let his guard down with all the traffic and everything else. Going out had never been an issue for him before the accident; he had been a strong and active guy, who could handle some stress with no problems, now it wasn’t easy for him anymore to get out. He usually needed some rest before and after and always had to plan the outing. It did not help at all that he was depending on the busses and he wished so much he could eventually afford a car with hand controls. He was saving as much money as possible to fulfill that wish sometime in the near future. His mind drifted off and he saw himself in a car picking up Ariana before his eyes fell shut.
Ariana was getting picked up by a Taxi at 6:45 pm, which would bring her to the Bellagio, where she would meet her client. On her way to the casino she texted Beth to get the clients name. Beth replied with “Mr. Tobias Meinhart”. At the Bellagio she stepped out of the taxi, the driver held the door for her. Taxi fee went on the company account. Ariana looked stunning; she had decided on a dark green dress, her red hair falling smooth and shiny over her breasts, she wore only a matching green clip in her hair. Her makeup was soft and almost invisible, Mr. Meinhart apparently preferred less makeup, which had to be respected, and Ariana was perfectly fine with that request. She walked up to the entrance and the porter gestured her into the open door, saluting her quickly, “Good Evening, madam!” Just inside the foyer she looked around for a moment and swiftly was intercepted by a handsome middle age man greeting her friendly, “Miss Ariana?”
Ariana turned to him and smiled, “Yes, Mr. Meinhart?””Yes!” He pulled out his ID and a number assigned over the phone or computer by either Darren or Beth and showed it to Ariana quickly, a regular check the escort service obligated its clients to. Mr. Meinhart smiled happily, “You may call me Tobias.”
Ariana nodded, “Very well.”
He asked her, “How are you this evening?”
”I am doing very well, Thank You!” Ariana hoped he was happy with her but he seemed very pleased the way he looked at her.
He let his hand softly touch her back guiding her around to the exit again, “Miss Ariana, we can already catch a cab over to the Wynn.”
”O.k.” They left the Bellagio again, got in a taxi outside, Tobias holding the door for Ariana as she pulled her legs in and made sure her dress was all in the taxi as well. She had ruined a dress or two before in a taxi door.
Inside the taxi Tobias smiled at her, “It is a nice evening tonight.”
”Yes, a good night in Vegas.”
With her escorting she was expected to make conversation with the client, nothing personal, and nothing intimate but just friendly conversation. She would usually start by asking if it was their first time in Vegas if she had not escorted the clients before. Tobias was a new client and she would try her best to make his evening pleasant by being the perfect show woman at his side, smiling, talking with people, not stuffing her face with the expensive dinner that was served, keeping herself in posture and looking good. Tobias turned out to be a very nice man, gentleman like on Ariana’s side, enjoying her company and also talking lots of business with some other men at the dinner, some of them obviously also escorted by beautiful looking girls, some single and some with spouses. Ariana knew many of the girls from the other escort services in the city and she did recognize two girls from Upscale Escort Services, another company offering escort services. The girls would always be discreet and just smile at each other or make small talk, nothing about work or their companies.
The evening went very well, Tobias did not request an overnight stay and when he put Ariana inside the taxi right outside the Wynn to get home he said smiling, “It was a pleasure meeting you Ariana. I will definitely call for you again when I come back in the winter.””I would like that.”
They said their Good Bye’s in a friendly and warm way, he hugged her outside the car, which was o.k. and Ariana was on her way, thinking about how Tobias was really a very nice man and she wouldn’t mind at all being his regular escort. He had tipped her very generously; his fee was already paid by credit card before Ariana had met him.
At home, Ariana changed into her sleep clothes and watched a bit of TV before she fell into bed exhausted from the day. Nothing was planned for the next day, just the date with Brian at 6:30 for dinner at a local BBQ place. She was looking forward to it but before she fell asleep her thoughts drifted off to Jason and she saw him smiling at her sitting there in his wheelchair, the braces on his legs and looking so very hot.
Jason made it home around 7:30 and he was exhausted. As Jason wheeled into the house his dad, Darryl sat on his recliner as usual in the living room, “Hey son!”Jason nodded to him, “Dad! How is it going?”
”I am o.k., how about you? Long day, huh?”
Jason sighed, ”Yeah, you can say that again.
His dad smiled, “Long day, huh?”
Jason laughed while he closed the door of the trailer. His dad was always up for a little joke. Jason wheeled into the living room and threw his phone on one of the coffee tables in between the couch and recliner. They had minimized their furniture in the trailer for the sake of Jason in his chair. He needed enough space to get around and the trailer was small as it was and too much furniture wouldn’t help. Not that they had much stuff anymore but at least a place to sit, two coffee tables and a table and three chairs in the kitchen. Jason parked next to the couch and his dad watched him transfer onto the couch with a sigh, “I am beat.”
Darryl still had trouble seeing his son paralyzed and wished so many times things would have gone differently but there was nothing they could have done, Darryl himself was battling the prostate cancer and trying very hard to stay somewhat healthy for Jason, who still needed him around.
Jason adjusted himself on the couch as his dad looked on, “How are those working for you?” Jason was trying to sit upright, “Dr. Ramirez made me walk in them for like half an hour, and it was exhausting.”His dad finished the sentence, “…but it worked?”
Jason nodded, “Yeah, it works all right but it is not fun.”
Darryl added, ”You should use them more often then?”
Jason looked over at his dad, grinning, “O.k. Dr. Ramirez!”
He took a breath and started to unbuckle the thigh cuff on his right leg, “Right now I just want to get out of them.” First he took his sneakers off and then he managed with some difficulties to unbuckle all the cuffs and take the braces off. Once the braces dropped to the floor, Jason fell back onto the pillow and sighed. Darryl usually let Jason do everything on his own, he didn’t like to be helped much. He had been like that from right after the accident, he didn’t want help, and he wanted to do as much as possible himself even if it took him longer on some things or if it was tiresome and exhausting. Accepting help or assistance of any kind had been difficult for Jason. There were times though when he did need help. It was when spasms shook his whole body and he had no control of himself anymore, when he tried to catheterize and his hand was too shaky to insert the tubing, or when he actually had fallen out of his chair on some occasions because he had not buckled up and lost his trunk balance due to spastic shocks. Those were the moments when it was especially hard for him to accept his disability and those moments happened all too often.
Darryl said, “There is some casserole in the oven, it may still be warm if you are hungry.”Jason nodded, “I am hungry.”
Darryl pushed the foot end of his recliner down and said while getting up slowly, “I will get you a plate.”
Jason replied looking at his dad, “You should have told me before I got planted on the couch, I could have gotten it.”
Darryl was at a point where he didn’t reply to comments like that. He knew Jason was exhausted and tired; he had no problem getting the dinner for his son. At least he could still walk and use his legs to get around. After a while Jason ate, his dad was back on the recliner and they watched the TV for a little bit until there was a commercial break and Jason said between bites, “Something weird happened to me today.”His dad looked over alert, “What do you mean?”
Jason finished a bite and looked at his dad, “Well, this woman came up to me and gave me her phone number just out of the blue.”
“Out of the blue! What kind of woman?”
”She was very attractive, dad…her name is Ariana.”
“You know her name already?”
Jason laughed a little, “Yeah I know her name, she gave me her number...”
Darryl looked at him suspiciously and Jason told him about the encounter at the clinic, the exchange of glances and then the meeting at the bus stop, coming very much as a surprise and even more surprising how she told Jason her number. He also told his dad how speechless and nervous he had been. He didn’t tell him about her comment of something being hot on him, which he still could not figure out what she was referring to since he would have never thought his leg braces looked anything close to hot. Maybe she meant his gloves? He had to shake his head thinking about that option. No way!
His dad listened attentively and when Jason was done telling him about their planned date for coffee he said, “So, you think she is nice?”Jason looked down at his legs, “I don’t know if she is nice, she just walked up to me and told me to type in her number. I sure hope she is nice, I do know she is very nice looking, I have never met a woman like her, not even before my accident, dad.”
His dad then smiled, ”Well, I guess you will find out next week then if she is nice.”