Chapter 13It wasn’t very busy inside the bar and Kieran knew he couldn’t get up on one of the bar stools so he found a small corner table and wheeled up to it, pushing a chair out of the way in the process.
It didn’t take long and the bartender came up to him, “Good afternoon young man. What can I get for you?”
Kieran looked up into the smiling face of a bearded stocky looking man, “Can I get an Alaskan Amber and a double shot of Jack Daniels.”
“All right, I have that right out for you.”
Kieran sat where he could look across the whole bar and there were only two other guests in the other corner of the dimly lit place. It was still sunny and bright outside but inside the bar there was barely any outside light. The air conditioner was on and music was playing from somewhere.
He pulled his phone out and scanned over it for a moment until the bartender came with the drinks, “Here you go sir.”
Kieran thanked him and told him to start a tab.
The bartender seemed hesitant for a moment but then replied, “Okay, no problem.”
Kieran downed the double shot of Whiskey and shook his head some at the sudden sting in his throat. He knew he wasn’t supposed to be drinking like this but at the moment he didn’t care anymore. He felt clueless and angry still. Everything that had happened to him the last few days was racing around in his mind and he felt like he was losing control of his life. Strange sensations of walking in the middle of the night, the old man appearing in his life and giving him the oddest proposition, Erin telling him she liked him being paraplegic. It was too much to process and he was angry that he was put in a situation where he had to decide to be with a woman he really liked and maybe walking again. It just couldn’t be real and in a way it scared him, but he didn’t know what to do.
He put the beer bottle to his mouth and took a large gulp.
With a snap of his finger toward the bartender he got his attention and called over, “Can I get another double shot of Jack?”
When the bartender appeared with another double shot of Whiskey he didn’t leave right away but asked warmly with a deep voice, “Is everything all right there, young man?”
Kieran looked up at him and replied tense, “None of your business, is it? You are supposed to just give me my drinks, right?”
The bartender wasn’t intimidated one bit and actually sat down on the chair at the table, keeping his eyes on Kieran, “Working in a bar I have a lot of jobs actually and I have been in the business long enough to see something is bothering you, but you are right that it is none of my business.”
Kieran put his hand to the Whiskey glass, picked it up but before he could drink the bartender said calmly, “Just know that if you keep getting doubles, I am not letting you get back behind the wheel of that hot rod of yours parked outside my bar.”
Kieran took his hand off the glass and with piercing green eyes looked at the man, “Even that is none of your business. You have no right to deny me my car or driving it.”
“I kind of do when I see you are trying to get wasted. Or I could deny you another drink.”
Kieran took the glass and with his eyes on the bartender he gulped down the double shot and shook his head again, then looked at the bartender and said sarcastically, “So, what are you going to do if I want another one?”
With friendly eyes the bartender scanned Kieran and his wheelchair up and down and answered, “I will get you that drink but you are not driving anymore, that’s all. So if you want to give me a number of someone to call and pick you up when you are done getting wasted here, we are good.”
Kieran really didn’t know what he was doing and he knew he shouldn’t be drinking like this but he felt angry and tense, “Why is everyone just trying to fuck with me? I am sick and tired of being the ass of everyone and being told what to do.”
The bartender left and got the next double shot, brought it back over to Kieran, and sat back down across from him with his own beer. Kieran was confused and looked at the bartender, but didn’t know what to say.
Instead the bartender smiled and lifted his bottle for a cheer and Kieran took his beer bottle and tapped the bartender’s bottle.
The bartender then said, “I’m Roger by the way.”
“Hi Kieran! So what is the deal with you trying to get wasted in the middle of the day?”
“Well, in bar time it’s the middle of the day.” Roger laughed at his own comment and Kieran just stared at him, wondering what the man wanted from him.
Roger took another sip of his beer and then started talking, “You know I have a younger brother down in Oregon, he’s in a wheelchair.”
Kieran shifted some and was more alert, replying tensely, “I don’t give a shit about your brother.”
Roger wasn’t intimidated at all by Kieran, “Took his first car for a premier drive and got hit by a drunk driver. Came out of it quadriplegic. He was 18 when it happened, now he is 25 years old.”
Kieran replied, “Too bad I guess. Is that why you are such an ass about me driving?”
“Yeah, that’s kind of why and I am like that with all my customers. How did you end up in the chair?”
“Again, none of your business!” He took a sip from his bottle.
“You are one pissed off dude Kieran.”
Kieran looked over at the bar, “Don’t you have to tend bar or something?”
“No one here but you and those two people over there who are responsible with their drinking and don’t strike me as being out on a suicide mission. You on the other hand give me a different vibe.”
Kieran tried to sound calm, but the sarcasm in his voice was evident, “What vibe is that?”
Roger tipped his head some, “Not really sure! You are not a happy camper; that is for sure. But I get it if you want to be left alone.”
Roger got up and for some reason Kieran was almost disappointed at it because Roger seemed a trustworthy, caring kind of person and Kieran knew he had acted angry toward him.
Roger looked down at Kieran, “Again, you are not driving anymore so you can either give me your car keys voluntarily or I call the cops if you attempt to get into your Mustang. Have fun drinking then. I hope your body can handle it.”
Roger walked away and took position behind his bar again, washing glasses and drying them, in between glancing at a TV on up on the wall.
Kieran felt the knot in his throat because he really had had the urge to tell Roger about some of the things bothering him but then his pride didn’t let him.
He took the third double shot and felt his vision slowly get blurry as he looked at his phone. He brought up the message to Erin again and read over it once more and swallowing he looked up to keep the tears from forming in his eyes. How could he decide between Erin and walking? It was pure torture for him to think about this.
He let his head hang and stared at his phone in his lap and tapped on the message option to Erin again:
“Erin, I am sorry for doing this to you but I’m not well. I’m not all the way right in the head and I don’t want to put you through this shit with me. I’m fucked up not only physically but also mentally and it wouldn’t be fair to you. It hurts like hell to tell you this but please don’t ever try to contact me again. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have ever gone out with you. It’s my fault and I know I fucked up. Please forget about me.”
Once he tapped the Send button a tear dropped down on his phone and he looked over at Roger, “Bring me another double.” His words came out in a slur.
A few moments later Roger came over and set the double down in front of Kieran, “This is your last one, buddy.”Kieran could only say, “Fuck you.”
He took the glass with a shaky hand and just as he was about to drink, a major spasm shot into his left leg and threw it up and his foot off the foot rest. He left the glass on the table and grabbed his leg with his hand. His phone fell to the ground in the process.
Roger picked up the phone and looked at Kieran with a worried expression, “Kieran, I want you to call whoever can pick you up. You are done now.”
When Kieran looked up, his eyes were shiny and he swallowed but couldn’t say anything as another spasm shot through his leg. He held it down with his hands.
Roger saw a tear run down Kieran’s cheek and asked lowly, “Hey man, what is going on with you? Is there anyone you want me to call?”
Kieran shook his head and said lowly, “Not yet.”
“Where do you live?”
“None of your business.”
“Of course…Kieran, I am just trying to help you out here dude.”
Kieran held his leg down still, “No one can help me.”
Roger still had Kieran’s phone in his hand and with a glance on it he saw the message Kieran had just typed and scanned over it quickly, realizing there was obviously drama with a woman named Erin.
He set the phone on the table and watched as Kieran held his leg down and his head was just hanging.
With a shaky voice Kieran eventually said without looking up, “I’m not crazy you know but how can I decide between walking and being with Erin. It’s the most fucked up proposition. She was the first person who made me feel really good but then she said this weird shit to me and then the old man tells me I have to decide between love, or walking again. I can’t do this anymore…I can’t tell anyone about this fucked up stuff. They are going to put me away and I can’t go through that again. I don’t want to be in the fucking Psych ward but I can’t tell anyone this stuff. They won’t believe me but I’m scared.”
The words just came tumbling out of him and tears were running down his cheeks and it shook his body as he tried to keep control of his emotions but lost out. He swallowed and took quick breaths and focused on holding his legs down which were now both spastic, wildly twitching and shaking under his hands.
When Kieran actually started sobbing Roger moved closer with his chair and put his hand on his shoulder, “Kieran, hey, look at me.”
Kieran shook his head and Roger started, “Then listen to me! Whatever is going on with you, it sounds like some heavy stuff and I want you to know I believe you and you can talk to me about whatever it is you need to talk about. I was with my brother for a whole year after the accident and even though I don’t know why you are in this wheelchair I want you to know that I think I can be there for you. Life is fucking hard sometimes and for some people it sucks more than for others. Whatever you want to talk about I’m here to listen. And if you don’t want me to call anyone I won’t but I won’t let you drive anymore. I’m not going to let you kill yourself or anyone else for that matter.”
Kieran wiped over his face, trying to get rid of the tears and looked at Roger with sad eyes, then saying lowly, “There is stuff going on with me that I don’t understand and no one will believe me if I tell them. I’m about to lose the only person who actually cared for me beyond family and it is killing me.”
Roger tapped Kieran’s shoulder and said lowly, “How about some water right now? On the house!”
He smiled when he said it and Kieran just nodded. He watched Roger get up and fetch a large glass of ice water for him, then came back to the table and sat back down on the chair next to Kieran.
Erin was inside with a cup of coffee, reading over her Facebook messages and threads when her cell phone announced a text message. She took her phone in her hand and saw the message was from Kieran. With shaky hands she tapped on it and her eyes scanned the message and she shook her head while reading it, and mumbled to herself. Tears collected in her eyes again. She was at home by herself now, Chloe had left to a friend’s house and Ciara was across the street at the neighbor’s house. Erin stared at the message and a few tears dripped down again. She was still upset about the earlier message from Kieran and now he had sent another one that upset her even more. Without thinking she dialed his number on her phone.
Kieran had calmed down some while telling Roger about everything that had happened to him lately. He was startled when his phone played its ring tone and quickly he grabbed his phone and he saw Erin’s number on the display. He looked up at Roger who asked, “Who is it?”
“Erin, the woman I went on a date with.”
“The one you broke up with already?”
Kieran nodded, “I can’t answer that. I can’t talk to her.”
Roger tried to motivate Kieran, “Maybe you should answer it.”
Kieran shook his head and actually clicked his phone off and set it back down.
Roger had been listening to everything Kieran had told him about the last two weeks with the nightly spastic episodes that gave him sensations back, meeting Erin, meeting the old man at the mall, the waterfront, the VA hospital and now on the mountain. He had also told Roger what the proposition was the old man had given him. As strange as all of it sounded Roger believed Kieran and he could tell that Kieran was desperate to find out what was going on and that it all weighed heavily on his mind to the point where he was losing his grip on life. Kieran also told Roger how he became injured and how he ended up in the wheelchair and Roger just sat there listening the whole time, nodding and saying little words in between.
After he had spilled all of it to Roger it felt like a rock was lifted of his shoulders and he couldn’t help some more tears streaming out of his eyes as he finished with, “I need to know what I said the night I got injured. I don’t remember much anymore but if I could meet up with my friend Andy maybe he would be able to tell me.”
Roger nodded, “Yeah, I definitely think you need to meet up with your friend first before anything else.”
Kieran was clueless, “I just don’t know what to do.”
Roger asked lowly and seriously, “So do you want to walk again?”
Kieran didn’t know how to answer but his initial thought on the proposition had been that he would give up Erin if he could walk again. Now after having told Roger everything he wasn’t all the way sure anymore.
Roger suggested, “Maybe you should try to talk to Erin about all this stuff?”
Kieran shook his head, “No way, she will think I am crazy.”
Kieran had never touched the fourth double shot of Jack Daniels, it was still sitting on the table with half a beer next to it. Kieran had actually been drinking from the water Roger had brought for him. He still felt his vision blurry, and his legs had been spastic the whole time while he was talking to Roger.
Kieran looked up at Roger, who was still sitting there, “You really believe all this stuff I told you?”
“Yes, I believe you and you can talk to me anytime if you don’t want to talk to anyone else. I want to try to help you Kieran. Try to contact your buddy Andy again and meet up with him, maybe even here. You guys need to talk about that night again as hard as it may be for you. I also think you should talk to Erin about all of this because she doesn’t know why you are turning away from her now. Don’t tell your family just yet, it may be too difficult for your sister to comprehend and just from hearing you talk about her I can tell she loves you very much and is very worried about you. So don’t talk to her yet, wait until you get more of an understanding what is going on.”
Some new customers came into the bar, a group of young men, finding seats right at the bar.
Roger looked over and then back to Kieran, “Kieran, you can come here anytime if you need someone to talk to, you hear!”
Kieran nodded and said lowly, “Thanks for listening Roger. I’m sorry for having been an ass when I first came in.”
Roger smiled, “It’s understandable. You got a lot of shit on your mind but I’m here for you buddy.”
Kieran actually brought a smile over his face, “Thanks man.”
“Let me water those bulls.”
Kieran smiled at the expression and Roger got up and walked over to the bar, greeting the guys loudly.
Kieran pulled his phone over and turned it back on. He saw the missed call from Erin and a message from her in his inbox. His hands trembled when he tapped on her message:
Hi Kieran, I tried to call you but in a way I knew you wouldn’t answer. So I decided to write you a message. I hope you won’t just delete it. I got your two messages and as you can imagine I was very sad about them. I really don’t know how to fix what I destroyed with my ignorance last night but I do know that I am very much attracted to you and I really like you. I cannot imagine what you may have been through but it doesn’t mean that I don’t want to know or be there with you even when you are having a difficult time. I wish you would give me and also our friendship or relationship a chance. We can take it as slow or as fast as you want and I am perfectly fine with whichever pace you choose. Kieran, please don’t push me away like this. Whatever is driving you to do this, I think you may regret it in the long run. I want to be there for you in whichever way. I will take friendship over a relationship anytime if that is what you want but I wish so much I could stay in your life. I am sorry about anything I said to make you angry but please give me another chance. Erin”
He kept looking at the message and read over it again and sighed. It was now almost seven and more people started filing into the bar, taking seats right at the bar or at the tables around the place. A few guys started playing pool and Kieran watched the commotion as Roger served everyone their drinks and eventually also had a young woman behind the bar helping him. Kieran had finished the glass of water but he knew he still had the alcohol in his blood and he couldn’t risk driving home. Roger wouldn’t let him anyways.
His phone rang and when he looked at it saw it was from home, “Hello!”
“Kieran, where are you at?”
Kieran thought for a moment if he should tell Fiona where he was.
“I am actually having a drink at a bar in town.”
“Tyler told me you left at like one o’clock today. Where did you go?”
“Fiona, please stop interrogating me. I just needed to get out and be alone, that’s all.”
Fiona didn’t want to sound too overbearing but it was difficult, “Kieran, are you all right?”
“I think I will need to get picked up though. I had a few drinks.”
Fiona sounded annoyed, “Where is the place at?”
“It’s the Watering Hole at the Green Briar Shopping Center.”
“Hold on for a moment.”
Kieran heard as Fiona called out to Tyler if he knew of the Watering Hole bar and where it was. He could hear Tyler answer that he knew exactly where the place was at.
Fiona came back on the phone, “Tyler will pick you up.”
Kieran asked, “Do you think you can both come and Tyler can take the Mustang home? I don’t want to leave it here.”
Fiona sounded tense, “I guess. We will be there in a little while.”
He hung up with Fiona and took another sip of the water. He then decided to make a trip to the bathroom and catheterize before he would pee on himself.
He wheeled up close to the bar and Roger spotted him, “What’s up Kieran?”
“Is the bathroom in this joint accessible?”
“We have a disabled stall in the men’s restroom. You should be all right.”
Kieran nodded and wheeled toward the hallway with the restrooms. He felt somewhat wobbly in his chair and his vision was off some. The Whiskey in his blood was definitely doing its job. The men’s restroom did have a large disabled stall and he was able to get his catherization done without too much trouble.
When he came back out he wheeled up to the bar again and Roger came over, “You need another drink?”
“No, I am done for today.”
Roger leaned on the bar, “Good, but you are still not driving home dude.”
Kieran shrugged his shoulders, “My sister and brother in law are coming to get me. I don’t want to leave the Mustang here. My brother in law can drive it home.”
Roger nodded, “Good.”
Roger was called over for another drink order and Kieran wheeled back to his original table. He still had the double shot of Whiskey sitting there and decided to just down the drink. It burned in his throat and mouth again and he pulled out his phone and looked through it again.
Fiona and Tyler showed up about 45 minutes later and walked into the bar looking for Kieran. Tyler spotted him and they walked over to the table.
Kieran looked up at them somewhat tired, “Hey!”
Both greeted him and Tyler looked around the bar, “I’ve never been in this place. Looks all right.”
Fiona only asked tensely, “Are you ready to go?”
She saw the four Whiskey glasses on the table and could only imagine what Kieran had possibly drank.
Kieran looked over to the bar, “I still need to pay.”
When he waved Roger saw him and came over with a smile toward Fiona and Tyler, “Hello! You must be my friend Kieran’s ride? I’m Roger, the bar owner.”
He reached his hand to Fiona and Tyler and they greeted him while Kieran dug his wallet out with shaky fingers.
Tyler replied, “I’m Tyler, Kieran’s brother in law, this is my wife Fiona.”
Fiona was kind of angry at Kieran for having drank and not being able to drive home and really for just disappearing altogether.
She looked Roger up and down, “I didn’t know you are a friend of Kieran.”
Roger smiled, “Well, I didn’t know him before but I would hope we are friends now. I wasn’t going to let him drive anymore. He’s got a sweet ride out there.”
With that he looked at Kieran who handed him a $ 50 bill, “Is that going to cover it?”
Tyler tried to ease the tension Fiona felt, “Well, thanks for keeping an eye on him. I will take his car home and my wife will take Kieran home.”
“Good, I’m glad you came for him.”
Roger took the money from Kieran, “Let me get you the change, buddy.”
“Just keep it man.” Kieran sounded slurry.
“It’s too much Kieran.”
“Keep it! You did more for me than just get my drinks, I appreciate it, man.”
Kieran held his hand out for a shake and Roger replied with a hand shake, “All right! Next time you get a free drink then.”
Kieran put his wallet back in his pocket and put his hands to his rims, “Okay, let’s go.”
Kieran wheeled off with one quick nod to Roger and Fiona let him get by.
As he was wheeling away, Tyler turned to Roger, “I hope he was all right.”
Roger nodded and smiled under his beard, “He came in somewhat depressed. The boy has got a lot on his mind I guess, but he’s a good guy.”
Fiona still looked suspicious, “We take good care of him.”
“I know and I also know he loves his family very much.”
Now Fiona was thrown off some and mumbled nervously, “He’s my brother and I’m there for him whenever he needs me.”
Tyler heard his wife’s tension and nervousness, he knew Fiona was angry at Kieran.
Roger nodded again and said in a friendly tone, “If you want I can give you Kieran’s change.”
Tyler interfered trying to ease Fiona’s tension, “No that’s all right. Thanks again for looking out for Kieran then. Maybe I will come in with him sometime.”
Roger smiled, “I would love to see you guys come in sometime. You are always welcome.”
Tyler shook hands with Roger and then followed Fiona out to the cars.
Tyler knew how to drive the Mustang with hand controls and even though it was strange for him he still managed for the drive home. He had driven the Mustang before, partly to learn about the hand control operation just in case a situation like the one they were in would come up. He also liked Kieran’s car very much but for him it was just a dream at this time to own a sporty car like that.
Before he got in Kieran warned him with a smile, “Don’t wreck my baby.”
“I won’t, I will see you guys at home.”
After Kieran had transferred into the front seat of the family’s Subaru, Fiona stashed his Quickie in the trunk and got into the driver’s seat.
Kieran sat quietly next to her, he felt tired and he felt the alcohol still working, causing his legs to twitch with oncoming spasms again. They left the parking lot and headed home.
Fiona was tense and even though worried about Kieran, also a bit angry at him. She was debating what to say and her mind was racing with her emotions.
Eventually she blurted out, “What is going on with you?”
Kieran had almost dozed off some and looked up alert at Fiona’s question but didn’t answer.
She looked over at him and said tensely, “I’m starting to wonder what is going on lately. I guess it was quiet for too long and now there are issues again. Kieran, I don’t want to go through this anymore. I just simply can’t do it again. We took you in so you would somehow be okay, get away from the drinking, get your depression under control, calm those thoughts you harbor, and I thought we were doing good. We did everything we could for you, gave you a nice home, a normal family life and despite everything been there for you this whole time….”
Her voice sounded shaky and Kieran’s silence made her even angrier.
She added, “What do you have to say for yourself Kieran?”
Kieran replied lowly, “What the fuck do you want me to say Fiona?”
“I have given you my family despite everything…”
Now Kieran sounded tense and raised his voice some, looking over at Fiona, “Despite what? Despite my being fucked up, despite my not being capable to live on my own in your opinion….What the fuck you want me to say?”
Fiona felt her eyes get teary, her voice shaky, “We love you and we are trying our hardest to give you a normal life Kieran.”
Kieran was irritated now, “And didn’t I already fucking tell you a thousand times that I appreciate everything you do for me…” He took a breath and continued, “Yeah, okay…I’m dealing with shit again, I’m dealing with my fucked up head, my fucked up body and I think I have done good for a while now…I did everything you wanted me to. I went to the fucking meetings and the doctor, I’m trying to find a job and I’m there to watch your kids when you are working…what do you want me to say? Do I have to be happy and content all the time? I’m fucking trying my hardest to be that guy for you Fiona…that content and happy PTSD fucked and paralyzed guy. But there are days when I can’t be that guy and why do you always have to be on my case when I don’t have great days…can’t I just be pissed and depressed sometime, please?”
He said it angrily and sarcastically and Fiona felt a tear run down her cheek.
She asked, “What happened between you and Erin?”
Kieran looked out in front and his breathing came quick.
He swallowed and answered, “That is between me and Erin, nobody’s fucking business. I will deal with it.”
Fiona didn’t say anything anymore. Instead a few more tears ran down her cheeks as she realized she needed to back off and leave Kieran alone at the moment.
They didn’t speak the rest of the way home.
They got home before Tyler, who was driving the longer route just to enjoy the Mustang for a few minutes longer. Quietly Fiona set Kieran’s wheelchair next to him, they didn’t look at each other and she took off without saying a word.
Kieran felt tired and had a hard time transferring. He grabbed his backpack from the floor board and almost fell over, barely held on to the car door to catch himself and cursed lowly to himself.
In the house he didn’t stop anywhere but wheeled straight to his bedroom. Just in passing he saw Dominic had a friend over and they were watching a movie in the living room but he didn’t see Ashleigh anywhere and also heard no noises coming from her room.
Fiona was just setting her purse down in the kitchen when he wheeled by but didn’t say a word.
He closed the door to his room, he just wanted to be alone with his misery and even though it was only 9 o’clock that night it felt like it was much later. He threw his backpack to the floor and just leaned with his Quickie on his closed door and was staring into his room, thinking and pondering, feeling bad and feeling the buzz of the alcohol. He also felt anger at himself and at the whole situation and he could feel the tension in his body and the increasing spasticity of his legs added on to his not feeling well. He watched his legs for a moment when his right one flew off the foot rest and instead of picking it up he just let it hang there and let the spasticity control its movements and twitching.
He felt a sudden onset of rage but didn’t have a way to let the emotions out and just stared at his legs with small eyes, hating his body once again. He actually punched down hard on his thigh but his leg really didn’t care and instead twitched even more.
Kieran let his head hang and cursed lowly, “Fucking legs.”
He wheeled over to his bedside table and took some Baclofen, knowing it would make him very tired with the alcohol in his system. Just as he had swallowed the tablet his phone announced a text message and when he pulled it out he saw it was from his friend Andy:
Kieran, I was so freaking happy to get a message from you. I’m sorry I didn’t reply sooner but I was actually gone for a few days hiking in the mountains and didn’t get signal up there. Got back home this afternoon. I want to definitely see you as soon as you want to get together. How about tomorrow night? Peace out, Andy
Kieran read over the message once more thinking about the hiking in the mountains, something Andy was still very capable of doing and he envied him. He typed with shaky hands:
Andy, tomorrow night sounds good. Do you want to meet at Frankie’s?
The reply came right away and the time was set for Sunday evening at Frankie’s restaurant down by the waterfront.
Even though Kieran was glad to hear from Andy, he also felt nervous about meeting his longtime friend and battle buddy after such a long time. It had been almost two years since he had seen Andy last. Once Kieran had been transferred back to Fort Lewis from Walter Reed Hospital, Andy had come to see him at the Rehab center of the VA hospital. The visit had been awkward and depressing, the two men not able to show their emotions concerning the situation of Kieran’s injury. So the conversations had been shallow and Kieran had tried his hardest to sound confident whilst Andy had tried his hardest to motivate his friend in his future endeavors. They didn’t see each other anymore after the visit and even though Andy had tried to contact Kieran on a few occasions Kieran never replied and only followed Andy’s life on Facebook from then on.
Now while he sat there he looked over Andy’s Facebook page and saw some new pictures of the hiking trip he had been on and seeing some other guys with him on the picture with the caption: “One last hike with the guys as a free man LOL.” He was apparently referring to his upcoming wedding of still being a free man at this time.
Kieran stared at the pictures thinking if it was a bad idea to meet with Andy after looking at all his friends on the photos, able bodied and athletic guys still fully using their bodies for fun and work.
Kieran spent his evening in his room, not coming out and not joining the family. He made it into his bed around 10 o’clock, the spasms in his legs had subsided but he felt sleepy and dizzy. In bed he looked over Erin’s message again and he couldn’t help feeling a pain in his heart again at the whole situation. He saw Erin in his mind and he remembered the kisses they had shared and he wanted it all so much but the thought of maybe one day hiking with Andy or doing the things he used to do as an able bodied man made his heart beat speed up. He leaned his head back when a few tears tried to form in his eyes and he felt so alone with everything that was going on with him. As much as he was angry at his sister for reproaching him for all the issues he had he knew she had only said it because she loved him and she was worried about him and in a way he somehow longed for someone to come into his room and showing interest in how he was doing. No one came in and he fell asleep with tears in his eyes.
But as every night before, the time of his rude awakening happened once again at 12:48 and severe spasms ripped through his legs and into his hips, jerking him awake and throwing the sheets up. He opened his eyes in shock, awakened from a fairly deep alcohol and medication induced sleep but realizing that it was happening again, his body coming back to life in the strangest form and he sat up on his elbows and looked up at the ceiling still fighting tears from earlier which tried to escape his eyes once again. His sensations came back, he moved his left foot and was surprised to feel the pain of his sprained ankle again, but not caring about the painful sensation, instead taking it all in. This time he didn’t stay in his bed, he quickly threw his legs over the bed feeling every motion and every sensation on his skin, feeling the padded and warm briefs around his manhood, feeling his weak stomach muscles contract as the spasms seemed to give him a workout of its own kind. He sat on the edge of his bed and he cried but he stood up and even though his ankle hurt, he just stood there and looked down on himself, looking down at his socked feet and bony legs, the hair on his shins giving him a tickling sensation. He watched as his foot moved up for a step even though he was scared of his body deceiving him and making him collapse and realize it was really all a dream still.
It wasn’t a dream, it was real and he moved his other foot and took one slow step after another making his way over to the forearm crutches by his closet. He took both crutches and slid his arms through the loops, gripping the handles and feeling somewhat safer with the crutches to help hold his body up. He had not used these crutches in a long time, he really didn’t need them for anything ever and they had just collected dust in the corner, a relic from his rehab days when they still tried to tell him he could stand sometimes which was a total lie. They had let him have the crutches for some weird reason, crutches he had barely pulled himself up with on maybe two occasions before they tried to force him to stand holding on to the parallel bars, which had been a disaster every time. For a while already he had been wanting to get rid of the crutches but just had forgotten about them every time Fiona took items to Good Will.
Now the crutches actually made him feel not so vulnerable on his two legs, helping him balance and taking some more steps as he walked around in his room and over to the window. He stood there and looked down again, lifting his left leg up some and then setting it back down on the hard floor. His ankle hurt but he didn’t care, he almost enjoyed feeling the pain. The whole time tears were silently running over his cheeks as he was thinking about the proposition of having to decide between this feeling all the time again or maybe being with a person who cared for him in a very good way, and who he cared for a lot as well.
How could he be forced to make such a decision? To think about it made him mad and angry but the tiny shimmer of his dream of walking maybe coming true literally sent a shiver down his spine.
He wanted the walking, he wanted to have sensations again, being able bodied and being a capable and fully functioning man again.
He walked into his bathroom and turned on the light, right away seeing himself in the slanted mirror and he saw the dark circles under his eyes, the moisture from his tears and his hair tousled on his head.
His upper body and arms in the crutches were strong and toned, in comparison to his legs which were skinny.
He stood there for a moment looking at himself upright and tall and then looking down he shook his head still thinking about the proposition. He also knew he needed to get back to his bed before his time would be up and he would fall down to the floor with full force, losing his legs again.
He made his way back out into the bedroom and to his bed. He didn’t want to sit down yet, so he stood there next to his bed, wriggling his toes and lifting his legs off the ground, moving his hips some and just waiting for it all to be over.
It was over soon and without a warning his legs gave out under him and he barely managed to fall back on his bed and not on the ground, the crutches still around his forearms as he tumbled onto his bed, breathing quickly. He just laid there for a moment, staring at the ceiling, processing again the sudden loss of everything good he was allowed to feel for almost half an hour. Sensations he may be able to feel for a lot longer if he decided to not ever be with Erin.