Saturday, October 18, 2014

Three's A Crowd Chapter 40

Shawn finally gets the autopsy report and meets with Chris Curtis again. Jesse is doing even better and gets to start Physical Therapy with a very nice young lady.


Thursday Trish and Shawn spent their morning at home enjoying each other’s company, starting their day with a nice breakfast. The moments from the evening before still lingered between them, feelings of love, mutual trust, and being in this together. Feelings of exploring their own personal way of being sexual and intimate and completing the loving relationship the shared.

Everything about Shawn turned Trish on. She loved seeing him adhering to his daily tasks of being a paraplegic, his bathroom routines, dressing himself, transferring from his wheelchair to wherever he needed his body to be and back into his chair, the way he pushed the rims of his blue framed TiLite, the way he lifted his body quickly many times during the day and the way his arms and muscles worked in getting him wherever he needed to go. She loved looking at his still legs as they were perfectly aligned in an angle with his feet positioned motionless on the foot rest.

But aside from his life as a paraplegic, she loved him so very much in all other ways. She loved looking into his dark eyes and letting her hands run through his dark wavy hair or over his face. She loved his jokes and sometimes being lost in unspoken emotions about the things that were going on in his life. She loved the way he cared for Jesse and she loved the yearning he had for a better life. She wanted to be by his side through anything that would come their way and she couldn’t imagine being without Shawn in her life anymore.

Shawn couldn’t be happier about having Trish in his life and still sometimes he wondered. He wondered about how things had happened for him and if he wouldn’t have gotten behind that steering wheel that night he would have probably never met Trish. He had met her because of a moment of irresponsible behavior on his end and even though the past two years had been rough now he was more or less glad that he had come out of the accident paraplegic. For the past two years he had believed that he wouldn’t ever be really happy again and hadn’t thought that he would actually ever enjoy sex again or have a woman by his side. Everything had turned around in the past couple of weeks and aside from Jesse still recovering in the hospital Shawn was certain life could only get better now. The old saying how sometimes good things come out of bad situations definitely rang true for him now.


Just as Shawn and Trish were getting ready to head back to town to see Jesse they heard an engine noise in the driveway and when Trish looked out she saw the Fed Ex truck. She opened the door for the driver before he had even reached the door and she called out a “Hello” to him. The driver looked up from getting the package out of the truck and replied with a greeting, then walked up toward the house.
He had the envelope they were waiting for and Shawn came wheeling up behind Trish and greeted the driver.
He had to present his ID, sign for the certified mail delivery and took the envelope. A quick “Thank You” and the Fed Ex driver was on his way again.
When Trish turned toward Shawn he said, “I guess we should go by Chris Curtis’s office before we go see Jesse.”

Curtis & Barkley Law Firm was located in downtown. Trish found an adequate parking spot for Shawn to be able to get out of the car easy enough.
The building had an elevator and took Trish and Shawn up to the second floor which was fully occupied by the Law Firm. There was one office with a receptionist in the front for Chris Curtis and another office for his partner Spencer Barkley, also with a receptionist in front of it.
The smaller offices were inhabited by the paralegal and administrative assistants. The receptionist announced Trish and Shawn over the intercom into Chris Curtis’s office and he told her to let them in.
As Trish and Shawn entered, Chris Curtis stood up from behind his desk and approached them with a friendly smile, “Hi Shawn! How are you?”
After shaking hands with Chris, Shawn introduced Trish, “This is my girlfriend Trish Brooks.”
Chris greeted Trish and asked her to take a seat in front of his large contemporary desk. Shawn parked his wheelchair next to her and handed the envelope over to Chris Curtis, “Great, now we can get this thing rolling.”
Chris tore it open right there and pulled out a thick folder with all the papers in it, declaring the findings of the autopsy on Mr. Hovanek.

For a moment he looked over the papers and then up at Shawn, “This is what we need to get started on Jesse’s case against Mr. Hovanek’s insurance. I have already prepared all the statements from Jesse, the statements and findings from Jesse’s employer, really just explanations from the State Patrol that Jesse was wearing proper safety gear during his work on the Interstate. There was no negligence on side of his employer. Cascadia Construction is a well-established clean company and has never had any reports of not following the regulations when it comes to construction workers. Jesse and his employer did everything right. We also prepared all the evidence of Jesse’s injuries, recovery time, loss of income, personal suffering and possibility of not being able to work again in his previous job. I also added your expenses of travelling to Oregon and having to stay with your brother, we should be able to get that money back as well. Sacred Heart Hospital and St. Peter Hospital here let us have access to Jesse’s medical records concerning this accident and I believe I have a steadfast case against Mr. Hovanek’s insurance. I will submit all of this to the insurance and see what is going to happen. If they have any issues with our findings and our case against them, it will go to court but I hope we have enough evidence that they will just pay up. We have calculated an estimate of the settlement if everything goes well.”

Shawn looked over at Trish for a moment and then back at the attorney. Chris knew Shawn was wondering and without Shawn asking he stated, “We have come up with a settlement of $ 665,000, my 20 % already taken out.”
Shawn took a deep breath and Trish moved her hand over to his hand.
Shawn asked lowly, “So if all of this works out Jesse could get $ 665,000?”
Chris smiled proudly, “Yes, and I am certain it will. They have nothing against Jesse.”
Shawn couldn’t imagine this amount of money and he shook his head in disbelief, “This is crazy. I mean, I can’t even…I can’t grasp this amount of money.”
Chris added, “Your brother deserves nothing less and we will get that money for him.”
Trish smiled and squeezed Shawn’s hand.
He shook his head again and said lowly, “My brother shouldn’t have had to go through all of this.”
Shawn’s words fueled Chris Curtis’s next comment, “Exactly, he shouldn’t have had to go through this but because he is going through it he will get what he deserves because one man made a big mistake that night.”

Shawn couldn’t help the memory of his own accident bubble up in his mind. He also had made a big mistake that night and he also had killed a person because of his irresponsibility. It was difficult to remember this but now that he knew what could have happened if his friend’s family would have pushed the vehicular manslaughter on him or maybe claimed a case against Shawn all of it could have turned out so much worse. He knew now that Chad’s family had really cut him slack, they had not acted in anger toward Shawn but instead had seen that it had not solely been Shawn’s fault that night but Chad just the same for forcing him to get behind the wheel. If Shawn had not gotten behind that wheel Chad would have driven himself nonetheless and he most likely would have killed himself in the process, he had been way over the alcohol limit of Washington State. So either way Chad would have probably died that fateful night but Shawn for some little reason thought he could somehow prevent this from happening by not letting his friend go off on his own and doing something stupid. He felt that if they would go down, then they would go together or maybe one could save the other in case something would happen. He couldn’t save Chad that night and he yelled at him in the truck on the way, yelled at him to buckle up but Chad didn’t care. His family knew him and when Shawn sobbed in the courtroom telling his side of the story they had empathy with him and his situation. He came out of it alive but in their opinion was punished enough by being paralyzed and they let him go and dropped their charges against him. And he remembered how after the hearing in court he had quickly followed them in his wheelchair, still clumsy and insecure and under tears he had tried to thank them for their mercy and he had wanted to explain to them that he felt sorry and that Chad had meant a lot to him but they had not even looked at him and had walked away leaving him behind in front of the courthouse, his heart aching of the pain he felt and the guilt of having made the wrong decision that night.

As Shawn was lost in thoughts for a moment he didn’t even realize that a tear had run out of his eye and when he snapped out of the memory and looked up, Chris Curtis asked lowly, “Are you O.K. Shawn?”
Shawn quickly wiped over his face, glanced over at Trish’s worried expression and then back to Chris.
Trish squeezed Shawn’s hand again in reassurance and Chris looked at Shawn with a knowing expression and said lowly, “I know your case Shawn.”
Shawn swallowed and Chris added lowly, “My partner was the Metschner’s lawyer at that time. Chad’s family.”
Shawn didn’t know what to say at that moment and he looked down and swallowed again, his throat felt like it had a knot in it.
Chris Curtis said, “It was a good that they dropped the charges against you back then. I am very glad I can help your brother and I will do anything in my power to make the settlement happen.”


So Chris had been on his side back then. Shawn didn’t know what to say but he felt his hands sweaty and he couldn’t ignore the pain that had come up with the thoughts of his past and he tried his hardest to stop another tear from escaping his eye and with watery eyes he looked back up at Chris Curtis and barely able to speak he said lowly, “If I could turn back time…I would have never….gotten behind the…wheel and I…would have probably…gotten arrested for beating up my friend Chad…but he would still be here and I…wouldn’t be in this chair.”
Chris got up from his chair and came around to the front of his desk and sat on it right in front of Shawn, looking somewhat down on him, “You shouldn’t dwell on the past Shawn. Sometimes people make mistakes because of how much they care for someone and at that time you did this for your friend Chad because you cared for him and that is all you knew to do in that situation in that moment. Even though sometimes things turn badly we still have to keep on living our lives and make the best out of any situation. You have done just that and you are here and I am glad I can help your brother.”

Trish had been sitting and listening and looking at Shawn and hearing what he had said about that fateful night made her heart ache for him but made her even more determined to help him get over the guilt he apparently still carried around with him.
She held his trembling hand and she squeezed even tighter and Shawn turned to her, then back to Chris, “Thank you so much.”
Chris Curtis smiled and replied, “You are welcome. I will get in touch with you and Jesse as soon as I hear something. I will send everything in and we will hold our fingers crossed.”
Shawn wiped over his face and nodded, “O.K.”

At the hospital Jesse was feeling good and looked content as they came into his room. He greeted them with a smile and Shawn was glad to see Jesse getting better from day to day. He wanted to tell him about his visit with Chris Curtis but he remembered how Jesse had acted somewhat unexpected when they first had heard about a possible settlement amount.
After they greeted Jesse Shawn started carefully, “We stopped at Chris Curtis’s office before we came here.”
Jesse looked at Shawn questioningly, “Who is Chris Curtis?”
Shawn sighed but decided to just explain to Jesse, “He is the lawyer who will try to win your case against the insurance of the man who hit you. We got the autopsy results in the mail today and I took all of it by Chris Curtis’s office. He needs everything to start the process, Jesse. He says there is a good chance we can win this case.”
Jesse didn’t say anything right away and Shawn added lowly, “He kind of calculated a settlement amount.”
Trish said softly, “You could get a lot of money Jesse.”
Jesse looked at them both with a questioning expression and Shawn then said, “He said you could get $ 665,000 and he is very confident that you can win this.”
All Jesse said was, “Great.”

Shawn was confused at Jesse’s indifferent reaction and he didn’t know if it had something to do with Jesse’s memory loss or if it was something else. Now he really didn’t want to say anything else about it and Trish must have sensed it too and started cheerfully, “How are you today Jesse?”
Jesse told them about his day and how he was doing all right.
They spent the afternoon together and in the evening after work Ceci showed up and later on Uncle Randy again. Everyone was relieved that Jesse was holding up well.

The next few days showed even more improvement and Jesse seemed content and feeling good. His leg didn’t show any signs of infection, was healing well and the pain medication helped Jesse not to feel the pain that his leg would have caused him otherwise. The wound catheter had been taken out of Jesse’s leg and he was glad to be rid of yet another invasive device on his body. He couldn’t wait to finally go to the bathroom again or take a real shower instead of being washed off regularly by the Certified Nurses Assistants. He had to keep brushing his teeth in bed. The CNA’s kept his hair somewhat washed and his face shaven if he chose to and made sure his indwelling Foley catheter was all right and also took care of the bowel movements Jesse had to let happen into some adult diapers. He hated it all but there was nothing he could do. He felt more compassionate about Shawn’s situation though, knowing how Shawn had his own share of issues with bowel movement and urination by using a catheter every time. It was no wonder Shawn had been more than frustrated in the beginning of his new life as a paraplegic and trying to get a routine going with these very private issues. He managed well now but Jesse could definitely relate to his brother on another level now and when he used to get mad at Shawn for not wanting to leave the house because he was worried he would literally have bowel accidents while out and about, now he understood Shawn’s worries and anxieties a lot more. He could see the issues from Shawn’s point of view now but at least he could still feel when he had to urinate or defecate. Shawn on the other hand had no idea and had to be alert to signs of his body at all times to make sure things were working right in getting rid of the waste in his body.

Trish stayed at Shawn’s house every night which on one hand made her roommate Katie Ann somewhat sad but at the same time she was happy that Trish and Shawn had reconciled and had become very serious now.
Trish had moved things to Shawn’s house again and her clothes were hanging in the closet of the extra bedroom once again. This time though her bathroom things were in Shawn’s bathroom and not in the extra bathroom at the other end of the house.
And this time she slept in Shawn’s bed every night, cuddled up close to him and being able to fully enjoy each other’s closeness.

She had been neglecting her school work somewhat over the last couple of weeks with everything happening and now the summer semester was almost over and she had to get busy again. At night she would sit in the kitchen writing papers for her Biology classes while Shawn was watching TV or playing video games.
She would have rather sat on the couch with him, cuddling or doing other things but she had to finish the semester strong and get her Associates Degree out of the way and was already signed up for the Bachelor’s Degree program.
Shawn was understanding, he wanted to be supportive of Trish’s education.

It was on Sunday evening when he wheeled into the kitchen to get a drink and Trish was sitting in front of her computer. He wheeled up next to her and glanced at her computer screen where she was reading up on her next year of school with some of the classes actually taking place in a classroom.
She smiled at him and stated, “I have some tough classes next year and I will be in Tacoma a lot.”
Shawn nodded, “In Tacoma huh?”
“Yes, I am signed up at Tacoma City College. Two years of school again, then moving on to get into a Physical Therapy program.”
“Where is that going to be?”
“I don’t know yet. It could be in another state.”
Shawn nodded and Trish saw his serious expression and she said, “We may have to move then.”
He heard her say “We” and looked up and Trish added, “But for right now I am still here for at least two more years.”
He sighed, “Good.”
She leaned over and kissed him for reassurance, “Don’t worry about all that yet. I love you and I know you can’t just up and leave this place. We will figure it all out when the time comes.”
Shawn nodded, “We will...” With that he wheeled away to the living room.

When they came to the hospital on Tuesday they found a young woman in Jesse’s room holding his right arm up and was just about to explain an exercise when they came in. Jesse’s right arm was out of the sling and the young woman let it down gently on the bed and turned to face Trish and Shawn, “Hi.”
Jesse took the word before Trish and Shawn could say anything, “Kristy, this is my brother Shawn and his girlfriend Trish.”
Kristy stood up and came around to the front and reached her hand out to both of them, “Hi, I am Kristy. I am going to be Jesse’s Physical Therapist from now on. We are working on range of motion for his right arm. His collar bone is healed and we got orders to get Jesse moving. Now that his arm is well we can soon get him to sit up, out of bed and get busy with that leg of his.”
She smiled at them friendly and assuringly. Kristy was a nice looking red head and some light freckles covered her face, only visible at close range.
Jesse seemed to be happy with her, chatting along as Kristy announced that it was all right for Shawn and Trish to be here now because she was done with Jesse for the morning.
She told him Good Bye and said, “I will see you again tomorrow Jesse. You had a great start with your arm today.”
She told Trish and Shawn Good Bye and walked out.

Shawn wheeled up to the bed and grinned at Jesse, “That is your Physical Therapist?”
Jesse grinned back at him, “I know right?”
Shawn joked, “Dude, my Physical Therapists were not half as hot as that chick. I had mostly guys telling me how to do stuff.”
Trish smiled, “I am right here you two.”
Shawn wheeled over to her and took her hand, “You are going to be the hottest Physical Therapist and they better not put you in with all them new paras or quads.”
Trish laughed, “That would be hard for me.”
Shawn pulled her down on his lap, “Actually I don’t even want you to work with guys like that or guys like Jesse here.”
Trish squealed as he pulled her down, “With guys like that you mean guys like yourself.”
Shawn grinned at her, “Exactly, those guys are trouble.”

Jesse hadn’t missed the little comment Trish had made and asked, “Why would that be hard for you Trish?”
Trish and Shawn both looked over at Jesse somewhat caught off guard with Jesse’s inquiry and Trish thought about her answer. Shawn held her on his lap and for a few fleeting moments they both pondered if they should tell Jesse about Trish’s secret.
Shawn looked at Trish with dark eyes and then Trish turned to Jesse, “It would be hard to be there when they first got injured like newly paralyzed.”
Jesse leaned his head to the side a bit, “But you do want to be a Physical Therapist, right? It could very well be that you would work with newly paralyzed guys or girls.”
Trish nodded, “Yes, you are right Jesse. It could be and if that is the case I am going to be perfectly fine with it.”
Jesse had a feeling there was more to the story than Trish and Shawn wanted to admit and he remembered very well the comment Shawn had made in his angry outburst on the phone. He remembered it very clearly how Shawn had thrown at him that he could make a move toward Trish again but he doubted very much she would go for it because she was only “into fucking cripples”.
He looked at them both with a serious expression and thought about putting them on the spot but then decided against it. If there was more to Shawn’s and Trish’s relationship then it really didn’t matter. They were together and they were very much in love and he only wanted to see them happy. If there would be a time he could maybe talk to Shawn about these comments he would maybe do it then but for right now he didn’t want to disrupt anything.

Shawn changed the subject quickly, “Well, I am glad you got your arm back. It is constantly getting better.”
Jesse loosened up and nodded, “Yes, and Kristy is really nice. I am kind of nervous though to have her be my Physical Therapist.”
“Why?”
“I don’t know. I am all messed up right now and I don’t want to be too clumsy but I am worried how it will be with my leg.”
Trish cut in, “It is her job to help you Jesse. You don’t have to worry about your performance. You are dealing with a severe leg injury and surgery and Kristy will help you get mobile and get better. You don’t have to be all hunky dory for her, you are her patient.”
Jesse nodded, “I know but I guess it is hard to be like this with an attractive woman like her.”
Shawn assured him, “You will do great. Don’t worry about it Jesse.”

Kristy came every morning from Monday through Friday. She worked with Jesse on his arm movement and helped him stretch and get strength back in his arm.
Jesse did well with the exercises and it didn’t take long when Kristy appearing in his room every day made his heart beat speed up some and his hands get a bit sweaty.

Outside summer was turning into fall and the leaves on the trees started turning colors. Rain was in the forecast leading from August into September.
It was two weeks after Jesse’s surgery when Kristy came in one Wednesday morning and cheerfully started, “Guess what Jesse?”
He sat up in his bed and looked at her expectantly, “What?”
“I have orders for your transfer into our Inpatient Rehab and we can get started on your leg. You are getting transported over there this afternoon as soon as they have a room ready for you.”
As good as it sounded it also came a bit as a surprise. Jesse knew it wouldn’t be easy for him and when up until now he had been laying in a bed for over six weeks now the thought of that changing worried him.
He smiled weakly and Kristy came up and sat on is bed, “Are you excited?”
He really couldn’t say he was excited.
Kristy seemed to sense his emotions and she looked at him with her emerald eyes, “Jesse, I know you are probably nervous. It is a good thing though. You getting transferred to Rehab is a big step. You are moving on. You are stable. Everything is good and now we can tackle your leg. I will help you with that and I am happy they let me stay with you as your Physical Therapist. We will spend a lot more time together.”

At those words Jesse actually had to laugh lowly. He couldn’t ignore the feelings he felt when Kristy was around him with her cheerful attitude, not pretending, but just real cheerfulness and obvious joy to be there for him. He liked her but had no idea about her life outside of her work. He didn’t know much about her yet but he couldn’t help his hands tremble when she touched him or moved his arm or watched him closely as he lifted the small dumb bells getting his arm strong again.

She didn’t know how embarrassed he was when the urine flowed through the catheter into the bag on his bed and she was there witnessing it. She had never mentioned it, had never even acknowledged it but he hated for her to see it. How was all this going to be with the therapy for his leg? She would see a lot more possibly and once again he was reminded of Shawn’s concerns when Trish came to the house in the beginning and was supposed to be Shawn’s assistant while he was gone. Now he knew exactly why Shawn had not wanted Trish in the house with him when he didn’t even know when he had to pee or do something else.

Being a young man and being so vulnerable in front of an attractive woman or any woman for a fact was almost against nature. Now he wished that they would have taken Kristy off his case and maybe assigned him to someone else. He wondered if he could request another therapist. He was almost certain though they would ask why he didn’t want Kristy and what would he say then? He didn’t want her because she was attractive and friendly and good hearted and made his life so much better at the moment. He didn’t want her because his heart beat sped up when she walked into the room and his body trembled when she touched him with her slender and soft hands.

He was pulled out of his thoughts when Kristy said softly, “Jesse, did you hear me?”
He looked at her quickly and somewhat dazed but answered, “Yes, I heard you.”
She touched her hand to his arm, “Jesse, I for one am pretty stoked that we will keep working together. I hope you feel the same way.”
Jesse looked up at her and forced a smile, “Yes, I am happy too. Just be patient with me.”
She laughed, “Of course I will be patient with you. We are taking this one step at a time but I can’t wait to see you get up and start walking. Just think soon you will be able to go to the bathroom again. We will get you on that toilet and we will get you into a shower. Just look forward to those things. It will keep you motivated.”
Jesse had to laugh at her words. The very things he was worried about she was excited about.

But when he looked at her and saw her beautiful face with the fair skin and the light freckles on her nose, her red hair up in a ponytail he told himself that it was her job to help him and she didn’t think twice about it and he needed to relax about it all.
Lowly he said, “I am very happy you are my Physical Therapist.”
Kristy smiled at him warmly, “Good, you got me worried there for a moment.”
She patted his hand with hers and added, “You will do great Jesse. I am happy to work with you.”

3 comments:

  1. I love the new physical therapist. Great episode.

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  2. As always, still enjoying the contrast between the two brothers' situations and personalities

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  3. Ahh, great, touching chapter.
    Thank you so much for something to look forward to every Wednesday.
    Just wonderful!

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