Shawn and Trish both want to get to Eugene as quick as possible to see Jesse. A last minute decision by Shawn gives them an opportunity to connect again and also a new starting point for their relationship.
sat in his uncle’s truck and they were on their way out of town. Just when they
almost reached their turn toward I-5 South, Shawn looked over to his uncle,
“Uncle Randy…I am sorry but is there any way you can take me to Trish’s place?
I know this is stupid and I should have thought about this before you came over
but I think I need to ride down to Eugene with her.”
of his uncle being annoyed with Shawn’s last moment decision he just nodded, “Yeah,
I can take you there. No problem. We could probably follow each other down
had never been to Trish’s apartment but had her address in his phone and
shortly thereafter the map on his phone gave them directions to her apartment.
the apartment complex Shawn spotted Trish’s car in front of her apartment
number and was relieved that she was still there and hadn’t left yet.
pulled the wheelchair from the backseat and came around to Shawn who had opened
the passenger door. Once the wheelchair was sturdy on the ground Uncle Randy
had to help Shawn, the truck was a too high for him to get down into his
wheelchair. Shawn put his arm around Randy’s neck and his uncle lifted his legs
and gently let him down into the chair. Shawn mumbled a “thank you”.
Trish lived in a second floor apartment. Shawn wheeled over by Trish’s car
while Randy went upstairs and knocked on the door to her apartment. There was a
tiny spy hole in the door and Randy was sure he was being looked at after the
knock. He smiled at the hole, hoping Trish would remember him and know who he
appeared in the door, “Randy?”
Hi, I am sorry to be coming here so late…Shawn is actually downstairs, he wants
to ask you something.”
nodded with a surprised look, “Oh, O.K., I will be right down.”
nodded and Trish closed the door again.
Trish got downstairs she found Shawn by her car. He was clean shaven, he wore
regular clothes, jeans, sneakers, a hoodie and a baseball cap. Her heart was
beating fast at seeing him there in the dim light of the parking lot lantern, a perfect man in a wheelchair.
was over by his truck, checking his phone and Trish walked over to Shawn, greeting
him lowly, “Hi Shawn.”
lowered his eyes, then looked up at her and with a shaky voice he asked, “Hey
Trish. I was wondering if I could maybe ride down to Eugene with you? We could
follow my uncle or he could follow us. I am sorry…I probably should have called
and not just showed up.” He sounded
nervous and apologetic.
nodded and answered softly, “No problem… and yes, I would like very much for
you to ride with me.”
nodded and she saw a shy smile on his face, “Good.”
am almost ready, I need maybe about 20 minutes.”
fine, I will wait here with my uncle.”
nodded and a bit hesitant she added, “I am sorry I can’t show you my place.”
O.K., maybe some other time.”
smiled at him and rushed up the stairs again to her apartment. She felt so much
relief that Shawn had come and now wanted to ride with her. She tried to not
show too much excitement but her heart was pounding of joy to be close to him
again. The road trip would be at least four hours or more. Her plan was to
drive all the way through, she wanted to get to Eugene as quick as possible.
They needed to get down there as soon as they could to be with Jesse.
and Trish didn’t talk much when Randy loaded Shawn’s duffle bag in Trish’s
trunk, stashed his backpack in the back seat and Trish added her large bag in
was shortly after midnight with Shawn next to her on the passenger side Trish pulled
out of her parking space and left her apartment complex. Katie knew everything
that was going on and had wished her a safe trip and told her to keep her
updated. Randy was driving through town ahead of Trish and Shawn and they were
planning on following him, staying together just in case something happened.
Shawn sat next to Trish and they left the city lights behind, joining other
night travelers and semi-trucks on the Interstate. When Randy switched lanes Trish
did too until they eventually got a steady speed going and driving on the
middle lane heading south on I-5 toward Portland.
felt nervous with Shawn next to her, because she really didn’t know how he felt
about her anymore after the devastating discovery he had made. She was hoping the
road trip would give them a chance to talk about everything and clear things up.
much she would have loved to reach her hand over to his thigh but she didn’t.
She looked over at Shawn, she only saw the silhouette of his face, his wavy longer
hair sticking out in the back of his baseball cap, his hands in his lap with his
left hand still in a cast.
you get your cast off soon?”
looked down at his casted hand, “Next week hopefully. I guess it all depends
drove in silence for a few more miles until Trish stated, “I am glad you decided
to ride with me Shawn.”
lowly, “Me too.”
didn’t make it easy for her to start a conversation and she thought of
something else to say, “If you need to make a stop or something, let me know,
I told my uncle to let us know if he makes a stop and we will do the same.”
will be a few hours at least.”
looked over and asked, “Do you think you will be all right with driving?”
you get tired we should pull over.”
but I want to get down to Eugene as fast as possible.”
sighed and then asked carefully, “What did they tell you about Jesse?”
looked down on his hands, “I guess he is stable now, but he is in a coma and the
head injury could be a problem.”
couldn’t finish because just the thought of something happening to Jesse in
terms of brain damage was the most terrifying thing to even imagine. He
couldn’t lose his brother like that. He was very scared and tried his best to
keep his emotions in check.
over at Trish though he felt a different pain in his heart and he knew that a
week earlier he would have been able to deal with anything coming at him with
her by his side. Now there was this divide though and so many things that he
wanted to know and that he needed to talk about with her.
didn’t speak a whole lot, the worries about Jesse and the situation they were
going to face was on their mind. Right around Portland Shawn called the
hospital to find out if there were any changes with Jesse and how he was doing.
The nurse confirmed that Jesse was holding up well, and still stable. Shawn
explained that he was on his way and would hope to be there early in the
morning on Tuesday.
last thing he had heard from the State Patrol was that the driver who had hit
Jesse had been an elderly man with no previous heart condition but suffered a massive
heart attack while driving on Monday morning. It was unclear if the heart
attack happened before the man crossed the construction barrier or after he
after Portland Uncle Randy called and said he was going to pull over for a pee
break. Shawn was good with that and they found a large gas station and pulled
in to park. Trish needed some coffee, she did feel tired somewhat. She brought
Shawn’s wheelchair around to his side. He glanced at her quickly before he
transferred and she actually walked away a few steps, not wanting to invade
Shawn’s space too much.
was holding the door for them as Trish walked in behind Shawn. Shawn had his
backpack on his lap but told his uncle to go use the bathroom first.
looked around somewhat nervous at the public bathroom situation and Trish
realized and asked lowly, “You O.K. with this bathroom?”
nodded a bit embarrassed, “I will try to make it quick.”
worry, take however long you need.”
was in luck as no other person was there to use the bathroom. Inside he was glad to find his incontinence briefs still dry but still catheterized. Trish stood guard
in front of the bathroom and he came out after a few minutes, glancing at her quickly, “Thank you.”
smiled and went in after him.
she joined the two men in the store Randy held a Styrofoam cup of coffee in his
hands and Shawn had a Pepsi between his thighs already.
looked at Trish and asked, “What do you want?”
need some coffee.”
pointed her to the coffee machine and while Shawn waited for her, Randy paid
for his coffee.
Trish had a large cup of coffee and Shawn asked her, “Do you want anything
else? Get whatever you want.”
am good, I have my coffee. Thanks!”
Trish pulled out her wallet at the register Shawn pushed her hand down and said
lowly, “I got it Trish. Put your wallet back in your purse.”
paid for their beverages and they left the store. Outside they talked for a few
moments, Shawn updating his uncle on Jesse and eventually they got back into
their vehicles and were off.
on the Interstate there were hardly any cars and they really had the road to
themselves, hitting speeds of eighty miles an hour.
Trish sipped from her coffee Shawn asked, “Is it fresh coffee at least?”
it is hot and fresh, tastes all right for gas station coffee.”
inquired, “You are not too tired to drive?”
I am still good, I will make it. We need to get down there.”
a while of silence Trish started carefully, “I heard you were in the hospital
was caught by surprise and for a moment he thought about what to say but Trish
cut in before he could say anything, “Ceci had called me that night.”
looked out the side window and didn’t say anything when she asked, “Are you
glanced over to her and for a moment he just looked at her and when she
realized his gaze on her he looked down and nodded, “Yeah, I am O.K. again…I…I
kind of had a mental….” He stopped, he couldn’t talk about it.
said softly, “It is O.K. Shawn, you don’t have to tell me. We don’t have to
talk about anything.”
her surprise though Shawn replied lowly, “Trish, I…these past few days…I didn’t
know how to keep going…I have all these thoughts in my head and…I have
questions…now I have this situation with Jesse…”
swallowed, the pain trying to bubble up.
said lowly, “Jesse needs us now and he needs us to be strong. I want to be
there with you Shawn and help you through this. I don’t know what your opinion
is of me and I know we have to talk about everything, talk about us. I am so
scared, you don’t even know…I am scared of so many things…since our…since our
fight, all I could think of is that I didn’t want to lose you.”
tears escaped her eyes and Shawn tried to think of what to say. His worries
about Jesse and his heartache about him and Trish were trying to eat him up
inside as he continued with a trembling voice, “Trish, last week was so
freaking hard for me. I wanted to talk to you again, I didn’t want it to be
like this. Now I can’t believe we are on the way to Eugene to see Jesse in a
hospital. I can’t lose Jesse…I will go crazy if something happens to him. It is
like a fucking nightmare that just doesn’t stop for me…”
took a deep breath and Trish said lowly, “If your uncle wouldn’t be in front of
us, I would pull over now. Shawn, right now we are together though and that is
all that matters. Together we will face whatever will come our way when we get
down there. Jesse will make it. Shawn, please believe me when I tell you, no
matter what happened between us and what you saw, I still love you so very much.”
tears were slowly flowing now and she added, “I want to explain everything to
you and I hope you will understand and realize that I am not some kind of
monster or freak.”
looked over at her and saw the tears rolling over her cheeks. He moved his
casted hand over to her thigh. Trish glanced down at his hand and without
hesitation she took his fingers in her hand and looked over at him. Shawn then
pulled his fingers from her hand and wrapped his fingers around her hand,
keeping his eyes on her, “Trish, I love you too and I freaked out when I saw
this stuff on your computer. I want to understand and I want to know
everything. I care so much about you and us…you made my life so much better
these past few weeks, I really didn’t want to think about that it could be over
for us. I was devastated…I actually had some bad thoughts in my head.”
shiny eyes Trish glanced over at Shawn, “It will work out and now we are
together again and I will let you in on everything and I want us to be O.K.
again. I missed you so much Shawn.”
cried and her voice trembled. She would have loved to pull out at the next gas
station because she wanted to hold Shawn and kiss him and she wanted to be held
by him. Instead she had to keep driving though because Randy had no idea what
dramatic conversation they were having.
leaned over some and squeezed her hand, “Trish, I love you and I need you so
didn’t want to let go of her hand and Trish let her tears roll down her cheeks
said softly, “From now on you won’t have to cry anymore when it comes to us.
another hour Randy called and told Shawn he was going to pull over at the next rest
stop, he needed to get gas.
was a truck stop where they pulled out, 18-wheelers parked all over the place
with restaurants, two large gas stations, a gas station for the trucks and a
motel close by.
pulled into a parking space next to Randy, but left room for Shawn on the other
side. As soon as she had turned off the car, Shawn was unbuckled and turning
toward her he pulled Trish over to him with his good hand and helped with his
casted hand, holding her around her waist and his hand on the back of her head
he pulled her face to his and in the light from outside they looked at each
other for a moment.
I love you so much and I don’t want to be without you anymore. We will figure
out the rest and I don’t care anymore. I really don’t care what is going on
with you, I just know I need you and you are good for me. That is all there is
to it. I want us to be together and if my being paraplegic is something you are
into then it is even better. I have talked to people online about it and other
wheelers wrote to me about it and for the most part it seems like it is a good
thing for guys like me. I just got so scared at first because I thought you may
have only been using me and I would lose you, I couldn’t bear the thought of
losing you and I just couldn’t imagine that what we had was just a game or
something. You are everything I need and want and I hope I can make you happy.”
dark eyes were shiny as Trish nodded and smiled, “I love you a lot too, I want
to be with you Shawn, for the man you are and not for your disability. I hope I
can show you that I am serious about wanting to be with you, I want to be
everything to you because you are everything to me. I love you.”
pulled her closer and pressed his lips onto hers and they fell into an embrace
and a kiss full of love and passion. It was a kiss that changed everything for
them, the declaration of wanting to be with each other and a kiss strong enough
to overcome whatever obstacles they had faced so far and from then on wanting
to be there for each other and with each other in whatever the future would
didn’t want to let go, he held her and he kissed her and for a moment Trish
opened her eyes and she saw Randy walking into the gas station.
their kissing slowed down and they unlocked their lips. Shawn lowered his eyes,
breathing quickly as the kissing had triggered so much for him but still
reminding him that he was going to have to face another tough situation soon
but feeling strong because he had Trish with him.
still held Shawn’s hand, “Your uncle went inside already.”
looked over to the truck and nodded, “Yeah, I guess we should go too.”
nodded and smiled at him warmly when she let go off his hand to get his
wheelchair out of the backseat.
time she somewhat stood by when Shawn transferred and he glanced at her quickly
after the successful transfer.
locked the car and they went inside. This gas station had a Starbucks attached
to it and Trish spotted Randy in the line, “He is over there.”
wheeled ahead of her into the Starbucks and Randy saw them come in. Shawn
wheeled up to him, “Hey…sorry we needed a moment.”
just smiled and nodded, “It is quite all right. Do you guys want something? I
and Shawn stood next to Randy as a friendly barista took their order, then they
moved over waiting for their beverages. It was almost four o’clock now and
Trish felt somewhat tired.
they waited for their coffees, she yawned and Shawn looked at her a bit
He reached his hand over to hers and took it in his, asking, “Are you
going to make it?”
nodded. It made her feel so good how Shawn had taken her hand.
their coffees in their hands they walked back out to their cars. Randy wanted
to hang out a moment, get some fresh air and stretch his feet and legs some.
Trish handed Shawn his coffee and took a sip from her own hot brew. It felt
good and tasted fresh and better than the coffee she had earlier from the gas
walked around a little and then looking over at them both he said, “Are you
guys all right? We are almost there now, maybe another hour.”
looked over to his uncle, “Yeah, I can’t wait to get there.”
you heard anything else from the Police or the hospital?”
got back on the road again after about twenty minutes and Trish did feel
fatigue trying to overcome her but she needed to stay awake and alert. Shawn
was tired himself but he wasn’t going to sleep because he did not want to leave
Trish on her own with him sleeping beside her. So he stayed awake and he moved
his casted hand over to her thigh again, leaving it there in assurance that he
was there with her.
didn’t speak a whole lot anymore, instead Trish had the music somewhat loud.
sun came up around five thirty and it felt a little better to be driving with
daylight setting in. The Interstate got busier too, more cars joining them and
more 18-wheelers pulling out from the truck stops along the way.
the city limit sign of Eugene appeared on the Interstate. They had to get off
the Interstate and followed the directions to Sacred Heart Medical Center in
the outskirts of Eugene, a place called Springfield.
felt very nervous now and Trish looked over at him as they neared the hospital,
“Are you all right?”
nodded and said lowly, “Yeah, I just want to see Jesse.”
pulled into the parking lot of the hospital and while Randy found a spot in the
regular parking, Trish pulled into one of the disabled parking spots. It was
almost six o’clock in the morning.