Shawn was hanging out with his cousins at his uncle’s house. Marcy, his uncle’s girlfriend had cooked dinner and after dinner the guys started drinking and playing cards. Shawn had a few beers and was buzzing and feeling good playing some good hands. He wasn’t thinking about Trish too much until his cousin Danny asked, “So, what’s the deal with your caregiver? What’s her name again?”
Shawn’s expression turned serious, “Her name is Trish.”
His cousin Colby laughed, “…and? Is she hot or what?”
Shawn didn’t answer right away. He didn’t really like the question as the guys seemed to be objectifying Trish in a way.
Danny laughed, “Spit it out man? Is she hot or not so hot? Is she like a porn nurse or a real life nurse?”
Shawn threw Danny a sharp look, “What’s it to you?”
Danny grinned, “Nothing man, we’re just talking…I mean…if she is hot and you haven’t really gotten laid for a while…would that not be a good time to see if you still got it in you, try it out with her or something…”
Shawn cut him off angrily, “Shut the fuck up, Danny!”
All of them had been drinking, tempers were loose as Shawn continued tensely, “You know dude…she is…she is fucking hot but she is not like that…”
All of a sudden he felt very protective of Trish and he was mad at his cousin’s insensitive words, “You guys are assholes…she is my assistant, that’s all.”
Colby grinned, “Well, maybe she can assist you with…you know…you could probably use some help in that department too…”
Shawn angrily threw his cards on the table, put his hands to his rims, and pushing himself away from the table he yelled, “I am out…Fuck you!”
He spun himself around and wheeled toward the door when his Uncle came in, “What the hell is going on in here?”
He had heard the exchange of loud words and sternly looking at the guys he commanded, “You guys need to chill out right now…What is going on Shawn?”
Shawn asked in a cold tone, “Can you take me home?”
“I’m sorry bud, I have been drinking too.”
He looked at his sons and looking at the bottles on the table and counter he knew there would not be any driving for any of them that night, “Everyone has been drinking…not tonight Shawn…you can just stay here…what is going on?”
Shawn wheeled by his Uncle, “Nothing…I’ll just go and crash in the guest room.”
Usually Shawn and Jesse slept in the small guest room when drinking prevented any driving.
This time Shawn withdrew himself to the bathroom to cath, then retreated to the guest room with a couch and a twin size bed in it. He stayed in this jeans, only took off his T-Shirt and sneakers. He was still angry at his cousins but tried to remind himself that everyone had been drinking and it was the alcohol making the guys act stupid. So far his cousins had always been supportive and sensitive about his disability and everything that had happened.
It had touched a nerve inside him though when they talked about Trish like just another easy girl. He knew Trish was not like that and while he laid there on the couch he thought about how he actually would have liked to be in his own bed and have Trish in the house with him. He quickly tried to shake off the longing for her.
Just then it knocked on the door slightly and he heard Danny’s voice, “Shawn?”
He pushed himself up on his elbows, “What do you want?”
Without answering the question Danny and Colby came in, turned on the light and Shawn blinked toward them.
Danny came up to the couch, “Dad was about to kick our asses….hey, we’re sorry for being such idiots….it wasn’t right to say the stuff we did…”
Colby plopped into a small armchair in the corner of the room, legs stretched out, hands folded over his belly, and Danny sat down on the bed.
Shawn held himself up on his arms, looking at his two cousins angrily.
Colby said lowly, “I am sorry too man…sorry we were such idiots. Are we cool again?”
Shawn nodded hesitantly, “Apology accepted, we’re cool.”
Danny added, “So Trish…do you like her or something?”
Shawn didn’t know what to say. It didn’t make a difference if he liked Trish or not, there wouldn’t be anything going on between Trish and him.
Looking down his legs, he replied lowly, “She is cool…she is really all right and stuff with helping me…and yeah…she is totally hot.”
Colby smiled, “You think she likes you too?”
“Not more than a friend or patient I guess. It’s O.K. I think she has a boyfriend anyways.”
He thought of Corey wondering if there was still anything going on between Trish and Corey, at the moment it seemed the best answer for his cousins.
Danny shrugged his shoulders, “Oh well…anyways…we just want you to get out more again and have fun…meet some girls. You always knew how to get them. You and Jesse were always attracting hot chicks.”
Shawn smiled, “Well, I was a different guy back then.”
Danny added, “You’re still the same guy, Shawn.”
Shawn shook his head and said lowly, “No man, I am not the same guy…”
Colby announced, “Well, tomorrow night we are going out to celebrate Danny’s birthday and you are going with us and we are going to have fun and we are going to find a hot chick for you.”
Shawn smiled, “Yeah, all right then.”
The two young men got up and said their Good Night and at the door Danny added lowly before turning off the light, “Shawn, girls still dig you, you just have to come out of your shell…”
Twice during the night Shawn got up and made it to the bathroom to cath.
At eleven thirty the next morning he woke up to the sun shining bright into the room and he blinked his eyes, and was slowly waking up. He was still tired as he finally had found sleep around two in the morning after lying awake for a while.
His body was in the same position he had fallen asleep in, on his back. Before the accident he would always toss and turn, and always moved around in his bed. Now once he was in a position, side or back, he stayed that way. He never slept on his belly anymore, worried that when he threw half of his body around during his sleep, he could twist his knees or legs oddly and maybe injure himself. He looked around a little and felt the pounding in his head. He had had quite a few beers the evening before and not enough sleep. Now he felt his body was weak. He rested on the couch for a while longer.
Her cell phone announced a call around six that evening.
Picking up her phone she saw Shawn’s number on the display and answered lowly, “Hello?”
“Trish, it’s Shawn.”
“Shawn, how are you?”
“I’m good.” There was a small pause and he continued, “Hey, I wanted to let you know that I’m going to stay another night at my uncle’s house. We’re going out tonight.”
“Yeah, it’s my cousin Danny’s birthday tomorrow.”
“Well, have fun then.”
Trish added, “…did you bring everything you need?”
The moment she said it she felt bad for sounding like a mother.
Shawn answered lowly, “I did.”
There was another pause until Shawn added, “Trish, if you want to come out…we’ll be at the Little River Casino, we’ll get there around eight or so…it’ll be a bunch of people going…my cousins and some friends…”
She could hear a slight tremble in his voice when he said it. She was somewhat excited to hear him ask her to come but then she thought about how he had acted toward her the day before and she decided to not make her excitement obvious, “I don’t know, I’m going to do some more of my school work. I want to finish a paper. I’m not sure when I will be done.”
Shawn sounded nervous, “Yeah, sure…I understand…I just thought that I….” he took a breath, “that I ask just in case you are bored or something.”
“Thanks for asking…if I won’t see you tonight then maybe tomorrow whenever you get home. I should be here, unless you’ll stay at your uncle’s again?”
“No, I will come home tomorrow for sure, sometime in the afternoon probably.”
He wanted to tell her how much he would have liked for her to come out to the casino with him, how he somewhat dreaded to be out at a bar or club around many people and how he only did this for his cousin. They had talked him into it, he had actually planned to come back home that day but then decided to go out with everyone, pushing off another night to face Trish again.
She said, “Well, have fun tonight then!”
“I’ll try,” he paused, then added quickly in a slight stutter, “…well, if you want a break from your school work….we’ll be there…maybe you can call or text me if you decide to come out and I can meet you at the door or something.” He didn’t want to give up yet.
“O.K. thanks Shawn, I doubt I will come out but have fun. Take care then.”
She had blown him off and he could barely tell her Bye before she hung up on him.
He clicked the call off and stared at the phone in his hand for a moment.
Why couldn’t he just bring it over himself to tell her that he wanted to see her? Despite his insecurity and nervousness around her, he also felt good having her there with him, that somehow even though they just met, he felt there was something about the way she treated him that made his disability seem not so devastating anymore. He stuck his phone in his jeans pocket and wheeled back to the living room where everyone was hanging out watching TV.
Trish hung up and felt how her hands were sweaty. She had been caught off guard with Shawn’s offer for her to come out and join him for a night out at the casino. In her mind he probably just wanted to be nice because he had decided to stay gone another night, not having to be around her. Her mind was racing now with thoughts of why he had asked. She didn’t know what to do and she didn’t know how much of it was sincere coming from him. She eventually tried to focus back on her schoolwork and finished her paper. It was almost eight o’clock then and she was still debating if she should actually go out.
She posted the issue on her devotee message board and within twenty minutes she had six comments from her online friends telling her to go and see her “para prince”. She smiled at the word play and replied, “O.K. you girls convinced me. I am going to get ready now.”
Suddenly she felt like she was going on her first date ever. She jumped into the shower. With a towel wrapped around herself and her hair tucked up on her head with some clamps she stood in her room looking through the clothes she had brought. She laid out some tops and skirts on the bed and looked at them.
Finally she decided on a grey mini skirt with black roses embroidered on the back pockets and a dark red tank top. She hooked a necklace around her neck, a bracelet around her wrist and adjusted her anklet. In the bathroom she fixed her hair and applied her makeup. She was happy with the results once she was done. Friends always complimented her on her looks but most of the times she didn’t feel like she was that special.
She brushed through her hair once again, it felt smooth and was shiny like a golden curtain, and her blue eyes enhanced by the make-up she had used. She felt good and content about herself. She slipped into a pair of grey wedge heel sandals, checked herself once more in the mirror and walked out to the kitchen getting her purse ready.
Suddenly she was excited, looking forward to see Shawn and hoping he would be over his distant behavior and maybe picking up where they left off when they wanted to go to dinner after the movie during the week. It was nine thirty when she left out the door.
Shawn was at the bar with his cousins and some of their friends. Everyone was drinking and lifting their glasses to cheer each other. He always felt a bit awkward being only half the height of people standing around him, he preferred people sitting when interacting with them. Being out like that wasn’t easy for him, always having to worry about accessibility and keeping up with everyone. He hadn’t been out that much since the accident and had been avoiding crowded places to his best ability. Everyone around him was chatting and laughing and as much as he tried to pick up on the conversations above him he couldn’t really make out everything they were talking about. The conversations took place over his head, people only somewhat including him in their chatting looking down to him every once in a while.
Colby and Danny tried their best to acknowledge Shawn. Since the accident they had witnessed most of the issues Shawn faced on a daily basis. They had always been close like brothers to him and Jesse. They had tried to support him in any way possible and especially on a night out with a bunch of people. Usually Jesse was there but not this time. Shawn was by himself and he felt odd.
He looked around in the hopes of maybe spotting Trish but it was almost ten o’clock now and he didn’t expect her to come out anymore. She was probably out with her own friends. He thought about how he should have not let Colby and Danny talk him into going out. He should have made them take him home before but then again it was almost Danny’s birthday, he was turning 25. He couldn’t have really declined the invitation to go out, he just had to make it through the night. He felt the occasional gaze from a woman on him but he mostly kept his eyes down.
He spun himself around some to get a better view of the TV, at least he could pretend to look at the silent pictures with subtitles on the screen. He didn’t count on Trish anymore and he couldn’t ignore that deep inside he felt disappointment about it.
Eventually Colby came up, “Shawn, we’re going over to the club…are you coming?”
The club was adjacent to the bar and was a decent size with a large dance floor and stage, tables and chairs everywhere for people to sit. There was a low ramp going up into the club and even though the floor was carpeted everywhere it wasn’t too difficult for Shawn to wheel himself up the ramp. LED lights lined the paths into and through the club, along the walls and the glittering Disco balls and colorful rays of light were twitching wildly over the dance floor. People were dancing to the music, a cover band playing classic rock was on the program for that night.
The group around Shawn and his cousins found two tables and he was relieved to see some people and his cousins sit down. Everyone was feeling good and laughing, chatting and drinking. Shawn only held his second beer in his hand, he didn’t plan on drinking too much. His body still needed to recover from the night before.
He watched people when suddenly Kate, one of the girls from Danny’s birthday group came up to him. Kate seemed tipsy, laughing and chatting excitedly, throwing her head back and her long brown curly hair falling around her.
She smiled at Shawn with shiny eyes, “Hey Shawn babe, what’s up?”
Shawn smiled shyly, “Not much.”
Kate leaned down to Shawn, “Can I sit on your lap?”
Shawn was surprised at the question and part of him wanted to say “No” right away but part of him thought why not? It is not that he had much going on at the moment and feeling a bit odd all night he thought that maybe Kate could cheer him up some.
“It may not be too comfortable.”
Kate bent down even more, “I don’t care.”
Shawn did not have time to reply as Kate scrambled on his lap already, her arms around his neck holding on. She threw her legs over the side of the wheelchair and Shawn let his casted hand rest on her thighs and his other arm around her waist, holding her steady to him.
She looked from his cast to him, “What happened with your hand?”
“Well, something must have happened…” Her breath smelled like liquor as she leaned into Shawn.
He replied with a grin, “I beat up a guy.”
Kate smiled in surprise, “No way…you?”
Her eyes were glossy, she was definitely tipsy.
Shawn smiled still, “Yeah, me… you don’t think I still got it?”
Kate laughed, “Well, I am not sure….”
She laid her head on his shoulder and without a care asked into his ear, “Can you have sex?”
Shawn had not expected this question and thought about his answer.
She pushed on, “Can you?”
He shook his head slightly, “It depends…”
He took a breath and thought of what to say but really couldn’t think of anything and really didn’t feel like discussing this issue with a drunk girl on his lap. He hadn’t had sex with anyone since the accident. He hadn’t really tried too hard to test his abilities out of fear of not being able to do much at all. As far as he could tell his penis didn’t really function anymore.
Trish made her way through the casino. She wanted to find Shawn without calling him on his cellphone, she wanted to surprise him. She walked confidently through the place and men checked her out. She was turning heads without even realizing.
With Kate still on his lap Shawn had separated from the group a bit. He didn’t care too much for Kate but he did somewhat enjoy the attention from her. He hadn’t really had too many female encounters in the last almost two years and he actually toyed with the thoughts of just finding a quiet corner and having a little fun with Kate even if it would just be kissing her and feeling her close to him. Kate still had her head on his shoulder whispering things into his ear about wanting to get down and dirty with him and telling him how hot he was to her. He smiled and she giggled.
Trish walked into the club scanning the place for Shawn’s wheelchair. She felt excited and good about seeing him soon. Just as Shawn was wheeling himself and Kate toward a corner in the club, looking around Kate’s head trying to dodge some people he spotted Trish walking into the main entrance. Right away Trish’s eyes met his and she looked from Shawn to the girl on his lap. Her smile faded and her facial expression was sad as she turned around to leave.
Shawn was shocked to see Trish standing about twenty feet from him in the crowd, looking very serious and he panicked when he saw her turn around at the door again.
He nudged Kate, “Kate, please can you get off of me, I …..” he tried to find an excuse, “I am feeling spasms in my legs.”
Kate didn’t know what he was talking about, “What are spasms?”
Shawn pushed her slightly, “Please Kate, I have to go to the bathroom quickly, very quickly. Please get off of me!”