Thursday, October 16, 2014

Three's A Crowd Chapter 42

Jesse is not too happy with his first intensive Physical Therapy session at the rehab unit. Kristy keeps him motivated and they grow even closer but some unexpected news are revealed

Jesse’s first session of the more intensive Physical Therapy was not too promising. He was nervous even moving his leg off the bed, he was in slight pain and Kristy tried to keep motivating him with all her professional patience but Jesse was struggling with balance and with strength. He could barely push himself up on the walker with Kristy standing in front of him.
She had wrapped a wide support belt around his waist so she could hold on to him in case he would get weak. His leg felt like a concrete block attached to his body. The bandages on his upper leg, the rigid cast on his lower leg, and his torn ACL were making it difficult to stand up. The leg bag was attached to his left thigh and even though he made sure his shorts were covering the bag, when he stood up he could feel the warmth of urine running into the bag.

Kristy stood in front of him and tried to encourage him, “You can do this Jesse. Hold on to the walker and try to hold yourself up for me.”
When she said “for me” he wanted nothing more than to fulfill her request but it was still difficult even as he used all the strength in his arms and pushed himself up on the walker for another try.
His arms were shaking as he held on and Kristy said softly, “Jesse, put your body weight on your legs, most of it on your left leg and as much as you think feels o.k. on your right leg. It is all right for you to put some weight on your injured leg now, that is why we are doing this. Don’t hold yourself up with only your arms. Delegate some of the weight to your legs.”

She stood there in front of him with her arms out to either side of Jesse and he kept his eyes down on his legs, his lips pressed together and breathing quickly through his nose. It was strange for him to be standing and using his legs again. They hadn’t been used in weeks and now he almost felt like a toddler learning to walk. He felt a slight pain running through his right leg all the way up into his thigh and for a moment he tried to remember if he had taken his pain medication with breakfast in the morning.

He tried to follow Kristy’s order of putting some weight on his legs. On his left foot he wore a sock and his sneaker and his right foot was in the black fiber cast up to right under his knee with his toes sticking out. 
He kept concentrating on shifting the weight downwards as his hands were tightly gripping the handle of the walker, his knuckles turning white.
Kristy still held her arms out to both sides of him and ordered lowly, “Try to move forward some Jesse!”
He felt the strength leaving him as he inched the walker forward, dragging his left foot on the ground and his injured leg somewhat following but feeling a distant pressure in his thigh.
He kept his eyes down when Kristy said, “Look at me Jesse and don’t think too much about down there!”
He didn’t look at her. He didn’t want to meet her eyes thinking somehow he could hide his embarrassment for the moment.
“Jesse, look at me.”
He finally moved his eyes up and met Kristy’s smiling face, “Now just keep on moving yourself forward without thinking about it too much.”
She was almost a head shorter than him and he had to look down on her somewhat.
He nodded and without saying anything he progressed forward some more, slowly moving about two feet away from the bed.

His arms were still shaking when suddenly he started feeling dizzy, stopped in his snail speed movement and took some deep breaths just standing there.
Kristy was now behind him with her hand holding the belt around his waist, “Jesse, what is it?”
She looked around him and he was just breathing and staring on the ground in front of him.
“Jesse, talk to me. Are you all right?”
He shook his head and with a scratchy voice he managed, “I am feeling dizzy.”
Kristy repositioned herself with her hand on the waist belt and said, “O.K. let’s move back to the bed. Can you make it?”

He nodded but he really wasn’t sure if he could make it. He pulled all this strength together as he slowly backed up with Kristy next to him. He was taking gasping breaths and he felt the room and the floor moving around him. Now he was worried about making it back to the bed and only Kristy’s voice kept him going, “Jesse, don’t give up. Come on, you are almost back at your bed. Don’t stop!”
When he had reached the edge of the bed he basically fell back on it, in the process an almost unbearable pain shooting through his leg and then Kristy reprimanding him with a soft voice, “Jesse, you can’t just fall back like this. You need to move slowly and sit down, not fall on the bed like you did.”
He couldn’t stop a curse coming over his lips. His legs were hanging over the side of the bed, and urine was flowing through the catheter into the bag and he felt like the biggest idiot. The room was still spinning around him though.

Kristy sat down on the bed next to him, he had his hands in front of his face. He didn’t want to look at her.
She softly touched his arm, “Jesse, you have to pull your body up. Use the handle over the bed. I need to put your leg back on the bed.”
He slowly moved his hands from his face, swallowed hard, then put his hands up to the triangle handle dangling over him and with his lips pressed together he pulled himself up and in the process Kristy helped move his leg back up on the bed.
When he sat back he still felt dizzy and Kristy said softly, “Just lay there and rest. Let me get the nurse to check your blood pressure.”
She came back with Nurse Lillian a moment later and Lillian stuck the blood pressure clamp on Jesse’s finger. He still covered his eyes with his hand, trying to avoid the spinning and also Kristy’s concerned look.
His blood pressure was indeed low and Lillian listened to his heart beat and stated, “Okay, enough stress for you today. You need to just rest now Jesse and I will come back in a few moments again.”
She turned to Kristy, “Kristy, can you stay with him for a few more moments?”
“Of course, I still have twenty minutes reserved for Jesse.”

Jesse glanced at Kristy from under his hand and just watched when he felt her fiddling with the strings of his left sneaker as she quietly took off his shoe. It was a very different touch and he felt his heart beat quickly as he kept his eyes on her and watched as she tended to him in this way. She didn’t know he was watching her and was focused on her task, probably thinking nothing about it.
She then carefully placed his right leg back on the foam pillow and then came up to him and said lowly, “Jesse, hey…are you all right?”
He was still dizzy, in pain, his ribs still hurt some, and he felt embarrassed.
Kristy sat on the edge of the bed and touched his arm, “Hey, you did your best. Your body is still getting used to the sudden stress of standing up and moving. We will have to take it easy, but I wish you would look at me now, Jesse.”
Jesse took a deep breath and slowly moved his arm away from his face, shyly looking over at Kristy.
He said lowly and somewhat tense, “I know I sucked big time. I barely made two feet or so until I crashed.”
“You made two feet and that is all I want you to focus on. Don’t dwell on the failure but feed on the success, two feet closer to the bathroom, Jesse.”
She laughed and he couldn’t help smile then. For a moment their eyes locked and all the sudden it seemed like there was another connection between them than merely the professional one. Aside from still feeling dizzy and exhausted, Jesse felt his hands tremble as he kept his green eyes on Kristy for a moment until she looked away quickly.

Kristy stopped the moment they shared and remarked cheerfully, “Well, I will be back later on this afternoon. We are going to do this twice a day right now. So get some rest now and be ready for the next round later on about three. Maybe we can try the crutches then.”
Jesse didn’t like the sound of any of it but Kristy then added warmly, “You can do this my friend. This is only the start and it is rough but in a few days you will be doing a lot better. Trust me Jesse.”
Jesse smiled, “Are you sure about that?”
“I am very sure about that and if you are not, then I will kick your butt.”
They laughed and Kristy then turned serious again and her voice was gentle when she said, “I am here for you Jesse and we will do this and I can’t wait to get you walking again.”
Jesse pondered for a split moment if he should say something to her, anything pertaining to how he felt about her but he stopped himself and just smiled, “I can’t wait either.”
With this Kristy got up and for a moment he felt a slight pain of seeing her leave again. He would have enjoyed hanging out with Kristy some more and talking to her about other things but she stood up and touching his arm in a friendly manner said, “I will see you later Jesse. You did great.”
“See you later.”
He watched her leave his room for her next appointment. He then let the tension in his posture relax and let his head fall on the pillow again, staring at the ceiling and into the room, taking a deep breath.

The whole ordeal had been discouraging for Jesse and even though he didn’t show it in front of Kristy inside he felt devastated. He didn’t say much even when Shawn showed up around noon. Shawn tried to talk to Jesse and just hang out with him. Jesse wasn’t very talkative at all and when Shawn asked him how the morning session had been, Jesse only answered, “I sucked.”
“What do you mean?”
“I just sucked. I crashed after two feet away from the freaking bed.”
Upon further questioning by Shawn, Jesse then told him about the situation.
Shawn replied, “It was your first time standing up. Don’t beat yourself up about it.”

Shawn was there when Kristy showed up around three again. It was Jesse’s decision for Shawn to stay or go and Shawn was somewhat surprised when Jesse explained that he didn’t want him there during the session.
Shawn thought about protesting but when he saw Jesse’s serious look he knew Jesse meant what he said.
He put his hands to his rims, “O.K. I will hang out out in the waiting area. Just get me when you are done with him Kristy.”
Kristy smiled and nodded, “Of course. It shouldn’t be too long.”

Shawn stayed in the waiting area and just watched TV there, texting back and forth with Trish. She was going to pick him up after work again.
Kristy came out into the waiting area after about thirty minutes and sat down on a chair next to Shawn, “Hey, I am done with him.”
Shawn smiled, “Did he tick you off or something?”
Kristy leaned back in the chair, “No, of course I don’t mean it like that.”
She smiled, “ Jesse could never tick me off. I am just done with him for today. He did a lot better this afternoon than this morning. He will get there.”
Shawn looked down for a moment and then back up at her, “That’s good.”
He paused, then mentioned lowly, “You know Kristy, I think Jesse likes you.”
Kristy didn’t reply right away, shifted in the chair, and took a deep breath saying lowly, “I like him too.”
They looked at each other for a moment, until Shawn asked carefully, “You like him as a guy or a patient?”
She confessed lowly, “I like him as a guy.”
She moved her eyes away from Shawn’s curious look.
Shawn thought for a moment, then added, “That’s a good thing Kristy.”
Kristy then looked up and said tensely, “I have to keep this professional though and I don’t want you to say anything to him. I need your word on that, Shawn!”
Even though Shawn was a little surprised at her urging him to say nothing he confirmed, “You have my word, I won’t say anything to him.” 
Kristy leaned forward some, looking at Shawn, “Thank you Shawn. I just have to wait to tell him but I will when the time is right.”
He nodded and smiled at her, “Okay, hopefully it is right soon.”
She nodded now and with a tap on Shawn’s knee she got up, “Soon enough. You can go back in to see him now. He is tired but he did good. I have to go see another patient now. Maybe see you tomorrow?”
“Yeah, sure.”
“Is your girlfriend Trish coming to pick you up?”
“Yes, she will be here after work.”
“Well, see you later then Shawn. Take care.”
“You too.”
She walked away and Shawn put his hands to his rims to wheel back into Jesse’s room.

Jesse was tired and back in his bed as Shawn rolled into the room, “Hey!”
“So Kristy said you did better than this morning?”
“Maybe, I don’t know…it didn’t seem like it to me. I feel I didn’t do good at all.”

“Give it time Jesse, you will get there and at least you have something to look forward to every day.”
Jesse looked over at him questioningly and Shawn explained, “Kristy! You get to see Kristy every day.”
Jesse nodded and shrugged his shoulders, “Well, at least as long as I am here.”
Shawn didn’t say anything else, he wouldn’t break his promise to Kristy but inside he was happy and couldn’t wait for Jesse to be back on his feet and then Kristy being able to let him know that she actually liked him beyond the patient and therapist relationship.

The road of Physical Therapy was tough and Jesse struggled with emotional and physical challenges. He couldn’t believe that his strength had basically disappeared in the five weeks of being in the hospital. He couldn’t believe how his body had become so weak and fragile where it was a struggle to even get up and just hold on for a few minutes and just stand. Kristy was his rock and he didn’t hide his moments of despair anymore from her. She was there for him through it all and they kept working hard until about a week later Jesse was able to use the underarm crutches and make his way to the bathroom. Shortly after the success, the order of having the Foley catheter removed came through and Jesse had reached his goal to be able to pee in the toilet again. Emotionally it was a big deal for Jesse to finally use the bathroom again and then with the help of the Certified Nurses Assistants he was able to take a shower, his leg protected with a plastic cover so it wouldn’t get wet. Feeling the water run over his skin felt amazing and he felt like a new man when he finally sat on the edge of his bed, his legs in front of him with his feet touching the ground.

He was now able to move about using the underarm crutches and Kristy encouraged him very much to get up anytime he felt like it as along as someone was in the room with him. He took advantage of his newly gained freedom and stood up or walked around a bit every time Shawn was there or anyone else. He felt more and more confident now using the crutches and moving around.

It was a few days later in the evening. It was quiet in the rehab unit, patients in their rooms sleeping or watching TV. It knocked softly on the door. He had his TV on low, sitting up in his bed and when he looked at the clock it showed almost nine o’clock.
He had no idea who would come visit this late and to his surprise Kristy appeared in the door with a low, “Hi! Can I come in for a moment?”
He pulled himself upright trying to seem more confident and replied lowly, “Kristy? Yeah sure…Hi!”
Kristy snuck in, closed the door behind herself, and walked over to his bed.
Jesse asked with a questioning smile, “Do we have a night session or something?”
Kristy sat down on the edge of his bed, “I am not here professionally.”
Jesse was unsure what this was about, “You are not?”
“No Jesse, I just wanted to stop by and visit with you. How you are doing?”
Jesse still didn’t know why she was there and he asked lowly, “Don’t you know better than anyone else how I am doing?”
“I do and I want you to know that you have been doing great. I know it is not easy but you are making so much progress and I am very glad to see that. I think you will get to go home soon.”

She didn’t say anything else for a moment but instead looked down and then to Jesse’s surprise took his hand in hers. It wasn’t the touch of a Physical Therapist, it was the gentle touch of a woman and Jesse felt his breathing quicken but didn’t know what to say.
Kristy rubbed her thumb over the back of his hand and Jesse asked carefully, “Can’t you get in trouble for this?”
She nodded but she didn’t stop rubbing her thumb over the back of his hand and Jesse then put his other hand on her arm and whispered, “Kristy, what are you doing?”
She didn’t look up at him but said lowly, “You know, I always promised myself that I will never fall for a patient of mine. I didn’t think it would ever happen but with you it just came over me like a hurricane.”
Jesse couldn’t believe what he heard and then Kristy said, “I told them today that I don’t want to be your therapist anymore.”
Jesse shifted some and whispered nervously, “What are you talking about?”
Kristy then looked up and explained, “Jesse, I resigned from your case today because I feel more for you than just a patient. I fell for you a long time ago and here I am laying it all out and you can take it or leave it I guess. I tried to stay professional but I can’t anymore. I think about you all the time and I like you a lot more than just my patient.”
Jesse was speechless and could only stutter, “Kristy, I…I didn’t…I didn’t know…you never…”
“I kept it professional Jesse.”
He leaned closer to her and stroked his hand through her hair, “Kristy, I like you a lot too. I have from the first day I met you.”
Kristy looked at him and laughed lowly, “I was hoping so much you would say something like that.”

Jesse didn’t really know what to do and how to act but his heart was pounding quickly in his chest and he wanted to tell her so much more but couldn’t find the right words.
Kristy scooted up to the head end of the bed and leaning closer toward Jesse they were face to face and he whispered, “Kristy, I don’t know what to say…”
With that she moved in on him and pressed her lips to his falling into a gentle kiss.
When they unlocked their lips Jesse just held her in front of him, “Kristy…I…I just don’t know, I am surprised but…I am happy.”
She nodded and looked down shyly, “I hope so.”

After a moment she added, “So I told them I can’t work with you anymore because of something coming up and you will have another therapist starting tomorrow. He is great, you will like him. I waited until now to come off your case because I am actually leaving for a couple of weeks. I am going on a mission trip with a group of health professionals. This has been planned for months. I am going to South America, we are staying for two months, going into villages and providing health care to people in need. I felt with this trip coming up it won’t be so obvious that I am not going to be able to work with you anymore.”
Jesse was even more shocked now, “Kristy, what are you saying? You are leaving?”
“Yes, but I wanted to let you know before. I really care for you so much Jesse. I like you a whole lot. I am so sorry I am doing this to you but when I come back it will be great.”
Jesse took a deep breath and pressed his lips together, then said lowly, “Shit…I mean…two months…I just don’t know what to say right now. This is…I don’t know.”

He really didn’t know if he should be angry with Kristy or sad or happy. There she was telling him she liked him and in the same breath that she now was leaving him for two months. He didn’t know how he was supposed to feel.
“I have to go on this trip, it is an annual thing that is put together by the organization and this year I volunteered for it, they are counting on me Jesse. I can’t leave them hanging.”
“But you are kind of leaving me hanging.”
“It didn’t matter if I told you earlier or now, the trip was going to happen no matter what. I want you to trust your new therapist and I want you to work hard and not give up and when I come back in two months you will be walking and we will have the best time. Please Jesse, don’t make it harder for me than it is.”

Jesse took another breath and exhaled thinking about what to say, “This really sucks but I guess there is no other way. So are you saying that right now is the last time I will see you for two months.”
She nodded and when she looked up she had tears in her eyes, “I am so sorry Jesse. I didn’t know how to run this by you and what to do. I couldn’t show my feelings earlier because it would have put my job at risk and I didn’t want to lose you or my job. I wanted to stay your therapist and get to know you and connect with you. I knew the trip was coming from the day I met you for the first time but I didn’t know what to do when I actually started falling for you. This is the only way I could think of. I like you so much and I hate to do this.”

Jesse kept calm though and even though it hurt him to think about the situation it wasn’t a Farewell forever. She was going on a trip she had to take and he would keep doing what he was doing back here and she would come back and they would be together and it would all turn around.
He pulled her to him again and looked into her eyes, “I am so pissed off that you dropped the bomb on me like this and it freaking hurts but at the same time you make me feel so good now that I know you and I can be together when you come back. I will work so hard for you and I will come and pick you up from the airport when you get back.”
He kissed her hard without waiting for her reply and he held her tight to him and enjoyed the few moments they had.

It had been so long that he had kissed a woman and he didn’t want to stop.
His lips stayed on her and he didn’t let her get away from him, he whispered in between, “I hate this so much. Why are you doing this to me?”
He kissed her again and when they let go of each other, he whispered, “When you get back you will see me in a whole other light and you better be ready for me.”
Kristy giggled lowly, “You are scaring me.”
He grinned, “Oh you better be afraid, very afraid.”
They kissed again and eventually Kristy finally took the initiative and said, “I have to go now Jesse.”

It was after nine o’clock and visiting hours were over and with another kiss and Kristy then getting up with Jesse still holding her hand, she moved away from him and their arms stretched with their hands still interlocked Kristy then pulled herself away and at the door she said, “I will text you when I can. Be good for me Jesse. I am so sorry.”
Jesse didn’t say anything else but he did see the tears on her face as she disappeared from his life. He couldn’t believe what had just happened. He had a girl and he didn’t have a girl.
That night he barely slept, he kept thinking about Kristy and he hated the whole situation but he had a reason now to get better and stronger and he wanted to pick her up from the airport.

When Jesse opened up to Shawn the next day about the situation with Kristy, Shawn was awestruck. He couldn’t believe it and at first he thought Jesse was playing a trick on him but eventually he realized it was the truth and he really felt bad for Jesse then, “That is fucked up man.”
Trish also was more than surprised at the news but she trusted Kristy and she knew Kristy was real and she would come back for Jesse. In the end they were happy for him even though he had another two rough months ahead of him, two months to still be there for him and support him.

Jesse’s new therapist Jeremy was a quiet but friendly guy. He knew Kristy and he knew about her trip. She had left all her notes and charts on Jesse’s progress and Jeremy picked up where Kristy had left off. After just a few days working with Jesse, Jeremy told him that he felt Jesse was almost ready to go home now. He used the underarm crutches confidently enough, moved around good already, was able to get himself to the bathroom and was doing good altogether. Kristy had really already done most of the work with Jesse and had prepared him to hopefully get discharged soon. Jesse was getting stronger every day.

Jesse had initially heard from Kristy when she arrived in Guatemala but soon after he didn’t hear from her anymore. Kristy had warned him though that she most likely wouldn’t have very good connections in the remote mountain villages where the group was going to provide health care to the population. She sent him a few pictures, showing her working with the elderly and children, smiling into the camera wearing her bandana or a hat, one picture with her backpack and hiking boots on sitting in the shade under a tree.

In a hospital publication Jesse also found an article and a picture of the whole group consisting of various health professionals from the organization, ranging from surgeons to dieticians and everything in between, Kristy smiling and squatting in the front row.

He looked at her pictures on his phone every day and was mad at himself for not having taken any photos with her while she was still here. He had nothing of her and it was hard for him to think about her without being able to actually talk to her or connect with her. There were moments when he had serious doubts if he would actually be able to meet her once she would be back. It all seemed to strange, how they had spent a few weeks together and then when she finally told him she liked him she left the day after.
The following days and nights on many occassions Jesse’s thoughts drifted off and he imagined Kristy and himself together and hoped very much that once she was back they would be able to connect on the the outside like they had inside the hospital.  


  1. Thank you so much for the new chapter! Your regular weekly updates are always anticipated! Posting at regular intervals is a kind of cool way to show that you care about your readers and don't leave them hanging! :)
    I truly hope that Jesse and Kristy will meet again! Jesse seems in need of something (i.e. somebody) positive in his life!

  2. Great chapter. Jesse deserves some happiness too.
    It is so great to have you every Wednesday!
    Thank you for the sweet and thoughtful chapter.

  3. Woww Dany 42 chapters!! Thank you for sharing your stories with us.

  4. I can't wait until Kristy gets back from her trip!

  5. To be honest... I liked Jesse as a secondary character.
    I'm no that much into (non dev) romantic novels and there wasn't much Shawn in this one.
    But anyways. Good work and thank you for all the effort you're putting into this!
    xo Alexandra

    1. Sorry Alexandra, had to kind of focus on Jesse a little more with the recovery to lead into the rest of the story. Tried to keep it somewhat devvy. Please forgive me. Hugs!

    2. No problem Dani! I'll keep on reading nevertheless!

  6. Thank you for giving us Shawn and Jesse.