Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Three's A Crowd Chapter 6
Shawn is going back to the hospital for the follow-up appointment and being in town brings a surprise for the guys.
During the following week Jesse dropped Shawn off at their uncle’s house in the mornings on his way to work. Shawn was there by himself until Marcy, Uncle Randy’s girlfriend came home from work around 12:30 and could help Shawn with whatever he needed, really nothing major. Shawn mostly watched TV, chatted with Marcy or just laid around. His wrist still hurt when he didn’t take any pain medication but the swelling slowly went down. He really couldn’t do a whole lot with his hand and he hated it. Marcy was all right, she had no problem with Shawn being over at their house and helping him out a little. Around seven in the evenings Jesse picked up Shawn, but on two nights they stayed for dinner with Randy and Marcy.
Not being able to use his left hand made things harder for Shawn. He couldn’t really transfer by himself and even a catheter was difficult to insert without being able to use his left hand. Getting into the shower on his own was basically impossible. He couldn’t put any weight on his hand at all and wasn’t able to lift his body out of his wheelchair onto the shower chair or toilet.
On Thursday Dr. Thompson called to check on Shawn and his wrist and told him to come to the hospital on Friday afternoon for the follow up appointment and possibly getting a cast put on his hand. Shawn thought a cast would be good. He then didn’t have to worry about doing more damage to his wrist and maybe could use it again somewhat. At least that is what he was hoping for.
Jesse was able to leave work early on Friday. At three o’clock they were on their way to the hospital to see Dr. Thompson.
Dr. Thompson checked Shawn’s hand again and since the swelling was down enough he put in the order for a cast application.
Within forty five minutes Shawn had his hand in a black fiberglass cast. The cast reached from his elbow to his wrist but he was able to freely move his fingers and thumb. The doctor ordered Shawn to come back in four weeks for a follow up and possible cast removal. Shawn and Jesse didn’t like hearing that time line, four weeks was long and right during the time when Jesse would be gone.
The rigidness of the cast gave Shawn more strength again and he was able to push his rims fairly well and rolled himself down the hallway of the hospital, Jesse walking beside him, “How does it feel?”
Shawn nodded, “A lot better than the brace. I can’t move my wrist but at least I can use my fingers.”
Jesse added, “Four weeks sucks though. I don’t like it at all.”
Shawn replied, “I think it'll be okay, the cast works better than the brace.”
Jesse looked over at Shawn, “I don’t know if Trish will call again.”
Shawn slowed down in his pace, “I know, it’s Friday. She had said by the end of the week she would call.”
Just as they reached the truck, Jesse’s cell phone played its ringtone and when he pulled it out of his pocket he saw it was Trish, “Shawn, it’s her.”
They stopped and Jesse answered, “Hey Trish.”
“Hi Jesse, how are you?”
“I’m good. How about you?”
“I’m doing okay. So I'm calling back about the job.”
“Yes!” Jesse had a bad feeling as he awaited her decision.
Shawn looked at him expectantly and whispered, “Put it on speaker.” Jesse shook his head.
Trish started, “Well, I thought about it, you're a nice guy Jesse and I know you care about your brother, and even though I don’t like Shawn’s attitude a whole lot I’ll take the job. I want to help you out.”
Jesse was relieved to hear the news, “I'm so glad you decided to work for us, Trish.”
Trish paused for a moment, then added sternly, “I just want to let you know, if Shawn acts mean or disrespects me in any way, I'm out. I'll stay out of his way, I'll assist him in whichever way needed and I'll do my job but that's it. We don’t have to get along, it'll be purely professional and that is probably the best way.”
Jesse was thrown off by her words but replied friendly, “Well, I think he'll behave. I'm so glad you changed your mind.”
Trish asked, “So you leave in two weeks, right?”
“Yes, on August 1st, it’s a Sunday. We're actually at the hospital in town right now, just getting ready to leave. Shawn broke his wrist last weekend, they put a cast on today.”
“Oh really, that’s not good. Last weekend, huh?”
Jesse heard a tone in her question like she had just a little clue that one way or another she may have had something to do with this, “Which hospital are you at?”
“At St. Peter.”
“If you guys are up for it we could meet for a drink, I don’t live far from the hospital.”
“That sounds great.”
Jesse was very relieved that Trish had changed her mind and he wanted to be as welcoming as possible to make her happy.
Trish asked, “Do you know the Pub on the corner of College St. and Lacey Blvd.?”
“Quarts and Pints?”
“Yes, do you want to meet me there at seven o’clock?”
Jesse replied, “Sounds like a plan. We'll be there.”
“Cool, see you then.”
“Okay, see you in a little while.”
Jesse ended the call and Shawn asked nervously right away, “See her where?”
Jesse was surprised too, “She wants to meet us for a drink at Quarts and Pints and she said she’ll take the job.”
Shawn nodded, “Well, I guess that's good but why do we have to meet her now and what did you say about me behaving or something like that?”
Jesse threw Shawn a stern look, “She said as soon as you act like an idiot or disrespect her she'll quit. So you really don’t have a choice anymore Shawn. She’s going to be around you and so you might as well try to get on her good side.”
With that Jesse helped Shawn into the truck, stashed the chair in the back and they drove off toward the pub. Jesse stopped on the way for gas and they arrived at the pub around six thirty. It was a nice and warm evening and the place had an outside patio, accessible right from the parking lot. It was busy and people were having a good time chatting, drinking and eating. Jesse wanted to sit outside and Shawn was relieved the patio was easily accessible. It was possible for him to wheel himself again with his hand rigidly held in the cast, but no way to move or hurting it anymore. The cast even though somewhat bulky made things easier for him again.
A cheerful waitress came up to the table and set the menus down. The guys ordered a beer each. Shawn looked around, checking out the people. He hadn’t been out in a bar for a long time. He and Jesse had gone once after he got out of rehab but it had been at least a year ago and they never really went again. Jesse had tried on a few occasions to get Shawn out of the house but Shawn never wanted to go.
Eventually Jesse had given up trying to persuade Shawn to get out more and ended up staying at home with Shawn because he didn’t want to leave him by himself. There were times when Shawn was very depressed and Jesse was simply worried about leaving him alone in case he was thinking about hurting himself. Life had been uneventful and boring these last couple of months, but Shawn could see how good Jesse felt about being out and in the midst of life and people. He felt bad for having kept Jesse away from enjoying life for so long. Jesse had a smile on his face when he picked up his glass and lifted it toward Shawn, who then picked up his own glass and they tapped their glasses for a cheer.
Jesse nodded, “To extra money and quick healing of your wrist.”
Jesse knew Shawn felt tense and nervous about Trish but he was relieved that she had accepted, because he would now be able to go do his job, earn some much needed money for Shawn and himself and he had peace of mind that there was someone there with Shawn while he was gone.
Just when they were done placing their food order Jesse glanced at the parking lot and spotted the little silver Mazda 3, “There's Trish.”
Shawn looked over to the parking lot and saw her car. He felt his heart beat faster. He was nervous having to meet Trish after having been so rude and mean to her. He knew he had to apologize again face to face. He saw her get out of her car and he looked away quickly. Jesse on the other hand kept looking toward her, waiting to get her attention when she came walking up.
Her blonde hair was flowing in the warm breeze, she wore blue jean shorts showing her nicely tanned and smooth legs and a red and silver tank top. This time red Flip Flops were on her feet. Jesse waved at her and she smiled, waving back at him, walking up cheerfully and with quick steps. Shawn glanced up for a moment and all he could think of was how he had acted toward her a week earlier.
Trish was an absolute head turner, he really didn’t know how she was going to be his personal assistant and how he was going to let her step into the very personal space of his disability. He didn‘t know why he had changed his mind. There was really just no way. He was very worried.
Trish came up through the small patio gate, smiling and Jesse even got up a little as she reached their table, “Hi Jesse, Hi Shawn.”
Jesse pulled a chair out for her, “Hi Trish, it’s good seeing you.”
Shawn greeted her lowly, “Hey Trish.”
Jesse asked, “Is this okay for you out here?”
Trish nodded, “Oh yes, it’s fine. It’s such a nice evening compared to all that rain we had last weekend.” With that she glanced at Shawn.
Jesse smiled, “You're right.”
Trish smiled at him, Shawn sat quiet and was surprised when Trish turned to him again and asked softly, “How are you Shawn?”
He looked up at her, “I’m all right.”
She added, “So you broke your wrist?” Her eyes travelled to his left arm covered in a cast.
He felt nervous in her presence and it really threw him off when she touched his cast for a moment, “That’s not good, huh? I can imagine it makes things complicated.”
Shawn was trying to find words and all he came up with was, “It’s okay I guess.”
He was unable to talk much and was hoping Jesse would somehow start picking up the conversation. In his mind Shawn kept telling himself not to be so intimidated by Trish. He didn’t know what it was about her. Her beauty and obvious confidence made him feel even more incapable and insecure. Trish still looked at him expectantly. Shawn was hoping for Jesse’s help in taking control of the situation but it didn’t happen.
Finally his words came out low, “Trish…about last weekend…when you came to the house. I'm really sorry for what I said and having been an idiot. I guess I had a bad day and…” he paused and took a breath, then said with a slight tremble, “I'm just freaking out a little about my brother leaving and stuff.” He moved is eyes from her.
It was difficult for him to admit to his worries, but he figured he needed to be honest.
Trish smiled at him compassionately, “I totally understand…I know you guys have been in this together for quite some time and I get it. I'm worried too but then again I want to help you guys out. I want to become a physical therapist and I think working with you will really broaden my knowledge on things. I’m totally ready.”
Her eagerness surprised Shawn. He wondered what she thought she would learn by being his personal assistant. It wasn’t exactly an exciting life he led. Trish had kept her eyes on Shawn the whole time.
Shawn glanced at her and nodded, he didn’t know what else to say and fortunately Jesse finally took the word, “Well, I’m really glad you reconsidered and I think it'll be good.”
Trish smiled at Jesse now. The waitress came, brought another menu for Trish and the food the guys had ordered. Trish ordered a beer too and scanned the menu. Jesse asked her where she lived, how far and how she liked her car.
Trish explained, “I really like it. The seat folds down in the back so the wheelchair will easily fit in there when we go places.”
She glanced at Shawn. He was quietly eating and thinking about where they would be going and what places was she talking about.
Almost like she could read his mind, she added, “Like to the store or appointments and stuff.”
Jesse replied, “That sounds perfect.”
He then went on talking about how inconvenient the truck was for Shawn and how a car with hand controls would have to be a next investment. Shawn sat there quiet, his mind was racing though how this woman was going to live in his house and be so close to him and his vulnerability.
Trish felt nervous herself and Shawn’s silence didn’t help but she was good at hiding her nervousness. She couldn’t help glance at him and his wheelchair while Jesse was chatting along happily. The thought of being around Shawn for a couple of weeks made her heart beat into her neck and her hands sweaty. She still felt she may have made the wrong decision by putting herself in such a situation but how long had she been yearning for something like this and with Shawn it was like the perfect storm had begun, its loud rumbling and bright lightning inside her with waves building up higher and higher.
She was pulled out of her thoughts when the waitress brought her food. Trish focused back on the table and they all ate for a little while.
After a few minutes they were interrupted when a young man approached the table, “Hey Trish!”
He sounded surprised to have spotted her and Jesse and Shawn stopped eating and looked up from their food.
Trish seemed surprised too, “Hey Aaron.”
Aaron smiled, “Long time, no see.”
Trish nodded, “Yes, it has been a while. Aaron…these are Jesse and Shawn.”
Aaron nodded at the guys and they replied with a mumble of a greeting, then he turned toward Trish again, “We missed you at Kristin’s birthday party last week. We thought you'd still come even though…you know?”
Trish nodded, “I know but I had other things going on. I'm sure she had lots of people come out.”
“Oh yeah, but still…it would have been nice to see you there.”
Aaron glanced at Jesse and Shawn and his eyes focused on the wheelchair for a second, then he continued the chat with Trish, “So what have you been up to?”
“Actually not too much, just working really and doing my college.”
“You still work at the nursing home?”
“The senior citizen community, yes, I still work there.”
She smiled, then added, “Jesse and Shawn here are also my new employers actually.”
Aaron looked confused, turning to the guys, “Oh yeah, what do you guys do?”
Jesse took the work, “Well, actually Trish will be my brother’s personal assistant for a couple of weeks.”
Now Aaron really looked surprised and glanced at Shawn again and was met by a dark gaze from him. Shawn couldn’t help feeling a little hostile toward Aaron and he didn’t know why. Aaron didn’t deserve it but just being so friendly with Trish somehow rubbed Shawn the wrong way. The history or common friends they shared bothered him even though it was none of his business.
Aaron tried to figure out a reply but all he could say was, “Oh…cool!”
Shawn forced himself to smile and said, “Yeah, it's going to be really cool.”
Trish heard the sarcasm in his voice and Shawn was baffled when she quickly took the word again, “Well, you know I want to become a physical therapist so this is a great opportunity for me.”
Aaron looked back at Trish, “Yeah, definitely.”
He paused then continued, “Well, I guess I'll let you get back to your dinner but hey…Kristin would love to see you sometime. We can get together and go out or barbecue or something. Would be nice to see you around again.”
Trish smiled, “Okay, I'll call Kristin. I'd love to hang out sometime.”
“Great!” Aaron turned to the guys, “It was nice meeting you.”
Jesse and Shawn nodded and mumbled the same in agreement.
Aaron turned to Trish, opened his arms and she got up for a Good Bye hug, “It was good seeing you Aaron.”
“Yeah, same here. I'm glad I ran into you. I'll let Kristin know. We miss you.”
“I know, I'll try to be better again.”
They smiled at each other and hugged tightly. Shawn couldn’t help but glance at them but then looked down quickly when they had finished saying their Good Bye’s. Aaron waved once more and walked off.
Trish seemed distracted and tried to explain, “Aaron is a good friend.”
The guys didn’t ask any questions.
Jesse picked up the conversation again with Trish, “So I was thinking if you could come over on Saturday already next weekend. I leave on Sunday morning. That way we can go over everything and discuss the details one more time.”
He looked at Shawn, “Do you think that would be good Shawn?”
“Yeah, sure.” Shawn had been quiet.
He could not stop thinking about the fact that Trish would actually live with him for five weeks, it seemed surreal that a woman like her would be his live-in assistant, it worried him tremendously and he felt uneasy about it.
He could barely look at her and it’s almost like she read his mind when she asked, “Shawn, you are quiet. Are you okay?”
Pulled from his thoughts he looked up at her stuttering, “Huh…yeah I'm okay.”
He looked over at Jesse for help, “Usually Jesse does all the talking in this relationship.”
Jesse smiled and Trish added, “Well, that has to change when we have to live together for five weeks.”
She laughed and Shawn smiled at her. For a moment it seemed like they had a friendly connection.
Jesse laughed, “Get him two beers and he’ll start talking your ear off.”
Trish replied, “Yes, usually alcohol makes the tongue loose.”
She smiled at Shawn and said softly, looking him directly in the eyes, “I think we'll be fine.”
She said it in an assuring way, almost like she could sense his worries and tension about the whole situation. His dark eyes met hers and she realized again how attractive he was and when her eyes travelled past his face and to his wheelchair she felt warm and excited, her hands feeling moist.
They spent the remainder of the dinner talking about college, Jesse’s upcoming out-of-state job, remodeling the rambler sometime and some of Trish’s stories from the senior citizen community. Shawn’s history and the time before and after the accident was successfully avoided.
Trish wanted to know so much about Shawn but she knew it was not the right time, not yet. She kept glancing at him and a few times his eyes met hers. For about two hours they connected and talked until it was time to go. As they walked out to their vehicles, Trish watched Shawn struggle somewhat to push his wheels over the gravel parking lot. Jesse was busy talking, Shawn was focused on getting himself to the truck and Trish was tempted to just push him but she stopped herself and was thankful when Jesse acknowledged Shawn, “Are you making it bro?”
Shawn nodded, “Yeah, freaking gravel.”
Trish knew he had wanted to say the other F-word but had kept himself in check.
Almost at her car she would have to split off from the guys and turned to Jesse, “Well, I guess I'll be over there with my stuff on Saturday, probably around noon if that's okay with you?”
Jesse smiled as always, “Yes, great, I'm looking forward to it. If you have any concerns before then, please call us.”
“Thanks Jesse, I'll see you then.”
The moment was awkward, Trish didn’t know if she should hug Jesse but decided against it. As Jesse walked off Trish turned to Shawn, who sat quietly in his wheelchair, his hands on his thighs.
He looked at Trish with serious eyes, “Saturday then?”
Trish smiled, “Yeah…are you ready for me to move in for a little while?”
To her surprise Shawn smiled and shook his head, then said lowly, “Honestly, I can’t even imagine.”
Trish replied, “I know. It's kind of weird for me too, Shawn…but I think we'll figure it out.” She smiled, “By the end of the five weeks we'll be like this.”
With that she pushed her right middle finger over her right pointing finger and showed Shawn the two tightly locked fingers
Shawn had to laugh a little, “Is that right?”
She laughed as well and she looked so beautiful, “Yes, it's totally right.”
She unlocked her fingers and balled her hand into a fist, holding it toward Shawn who smiled and accepted her knuckles with a fist bump.
Trish turned serious, “Bye Shawn, I'll see you next weekend.”
He nodded, “See you then. Bye Trish.”
She walked away, Shawn looked after her for a moment, took a deep breath and then placed his hands on his rims, and making his way over to the truck. Jesse waited for him there, helped him in, stashed the chair in the back seat and they headed home.
In the truck Jesse looked over at Shawn and asked with a smile, “Did I see you and Trish fist bump?”
Shawn replied dry, “Did you?”
“I take that as a good sign?”
“Maybe…I don’t know.”
Jesse asked lowly, “Do you feel okay about the whole thing now?”
Shawn asked a return question in a serious tone, “Do I really have a choice?”
Jesse shrugged his shoulders, “Well, really you don’t.”
Shawn took a breath, “Why couldn’t you have a picked a guy or some heavy set butch-like nurse or something?”
Jesse laughed a little, “I'm sorry Shawn, she was the only one left.”
Shawn sighed, “Jesse, have you actually looked at her?”
Jesse nodded and kept his eyes on the road, “Yes, I know, she is hot.”
Shawn said a bit louder, “Yeah, so put yourself in my shoes, better yet, in my chair…I haven’t been around any chicks in almost two years, man and now you bring in the mother ship of hot chicks and I'm all fucked up.” He sighed, “I don’t know Jesse, I just don’t know how this will go down.”
Jesse said seriously, “Well, this is the only choice I had and I need to do this Shawn, for us…we need the money! I can’t leave you by yourself for five weeks and you don’t want to sit in the TV room on Saturdays for movie night at the nursing home with 80-year-old Sally-Mae and 95-year-old George eating popcorn and then have nurse Mary Beth who looks like Bigfoot without hair put you to bed, tuck you in and pull the bedrails up before she gives you a Good Night kiss. Instead you'll have Trish and you'll have to loosen up about it. There is no way back anymore Shawn!”
Shawn was surprised about Jesse’s comment and the unpleasant picture he had painted in his head about being in a nursing home. He was right though and Shawn knew there wouldn’t be any other way. Trish was moving in and she would most likely get to be with him in his worst moments and it scared him very much.