Thursday, January 28, 2016

For The Love Of Not Walking Chapter 5

Kieran is finally going on the date with Erin and he is nervous. Erin eases his mind though and he feels very good about being with her. They get to know each other some more and feelings that cannot be ignored are blooming. Especially Erin feels very drawn to Kieran and the way he is. It confuses her a bit to feel a certain attraction to him but she is very happy to be with him.
             Chapter 5
                Kieran woke up tired and exhausted on Friday but still made his way to the YMCA, again with Dominic in tow. He was looking forward to the evening with Erin and he wanted to feel good about himself. His work out at the Y always made him feel better and kept his mind off all the bad things. Pumping the iron there gave him some kind of normalcy, making him feel like a capable man and making him forget about his broken body for an hour or two.
After his visit to the YMCA, at home he ended up on his bed and actually fell asleep before he could get into the shower. He was tired from the ordeal of the night and he had not really slept well lately.
                It was Fiona who knocked on the door at five o’clock, “Kieran, are you all right in there?”
He shifted in his bed and answered sleepily, “Yeah, I fell asleep.”
Fiona peeked around the door into the room, “Aren’t you supposed to go on a date tonight with Erin?”
“Yes, I am getting up now.”
“I assume you don’t want to eat dinner with us since you are going out to eat.”
“You assumed right.”
                 Fiona disappeared again and Kieran made it out of his bed and into the bathroom. Sitting in front of the mirror he looked at his face and took off the gauze pad from his forehead. He didn’t want to look all beat up on his date and he didn’t really want to explain to Erin what had happened. The cut had already closed and was now just a slightly red short streak. He catheterized and he got into the shower.  

                When he wheeled out into the kitchen where Ashleigh was sitting at the breakfast bar with her cell phone in hand and Fiona stood by the stove the two looked up and Ashleigh smiled big, “Wow, Uncle Kieran…you look…” She stopped and jumped off the bar stool, walking around Kieran and then stated, “You look really good.”
Fiona wiped her hands on a towel and walked around to him, “You did clean up very nicely.”
                Kieran was wearing a dark green T-Shirt with a matching plaid dark green and black button up shirt hanging loosely over it, the buttons undone and sleeves rolled up. With that he wore the new black jeans he had bought at the mall and some black sneakers. He had left the cut on his forehead uncovered, it was a clean wound now and dark strands of his hair covered it up somewhat. He was clean shaven and had put on just enough cologne smelling of masculinity and a trace of mint. Ashleigh asked, “What time do you have to pick up Erin?’
“At seven.”          
                It was shortly after six now and the family was getting ready for dinner. Kieran was planning to take Erin to an Italian restaurant in town. It was a place he knew from a family dinner a few weeks ago and he knew it was accessible for him and he had been able to reserve a table for two.
                He felt nervous as he checked his back pack once more to make sure he had his things in it, his catheter supplies, a change of clothes, water, and medication. Just to be safe he had slipped into an incontinence brief, he really did not want to risk any leakage into his pants, which would be a disaster for him. Fortunately he had been able to empty his bowels that morning so he hoped that this would not be an issue during the evening. His hands trembled when he wheeled out into the kitchen again, the family sitting around the dinner table.
“I’m heading out.”
Ashleigh got up and walked over to give him a hug, “I’m so happy for you Uncle Kieran. I hope it will be a fun night for you.”
Kieran thanked her and hugged her back.
Dominic also came over giving him a hug and Tyler stood up and shook hands with him, “Hey, have fun bro. Swipe her off her feet.”
Kieran laughed nervously at Tyler’s comment. 
                Everyone watched as he wheeled away and over to the door leading into the garage. Fiona followed him. She held the door open as Kieran let his Quickie slowly roll down the ramp into the garage where his Mustang and the Outback were parked. It was a three car garage, there was plenty of space for him to wheel around to his driver’s side. Fiona watched him quietly as he took his backpack off his lap and threw it in the backseat. He then transferred into his driver’s seat and quickly took off his wheels, leaving the wheelchair frame, then stashing all the items in the back seat.
                He looked up somewhat nervous at Fiona, who was leaning on his driver’s door, “You okay?”
He smiled weakly, “I’m nervous.”
“I can see your hands shaking.”
He was very nervous and mumbled, “I have to put all my stuff in the back seat because…”
He paused and Fiona finished his sentence, “Because Erin will be in the front seat.”
Kieran nodded and took a deep breath, somehow trying to get control of his anxiety.
Fiona squatted down next to him, “You can do this, little brother.”
She took his hand in hers, his hand felt sweaty, “Call us if anything is up. Don’t worry about anything, okay. Just be yourself Kieran. Don’t try to prove anything or be someone you are not. If she likes you she wants the real you, nothing else.”
He nodded and with a scratchy voice he replied, “Yeah, I’ll try.”
“I have faith in you.”
                She stood up and hugged him, then she closed the door and Kieran opened the garage door with the remote in his car. He turned the keys in the ignition and with a loud engine roar and puffing exhaust he pulled his gear shift in reverse and then used the hand control lever to give it gas, the long rod pushing down on the gas pedal, whereas Kieran’s legs sat wobbly in front of him, not capable of doing any kind of work in the car.

                He made his way to Erin’s neighborhood and found her house easily. To his relieve it was a one story house and even though he pushed the thoughts of actually being inside the house away really quickly, it did give him a little peace of mind. Her front yard was kept up nicely and just as he debated to gather his wheelchair and wheels from the back seat he was startled when it knocked on his window. Quickly he turned around and saw Erin there.
He let his window down and she smiled, “Hey Kieran, sorry…”
“Erin, Hi…I was just about to…”
She didn’t let him finish, “I saw you pull up and I didn’t want you to have a hassle with getting out and stuff.”
“Oh okay, yeah, I was just about to get my chair…”
He felt insecure and his voice was weak as he tried to explain.
Erin smiled, “I’m almost ready. I will be right out. Give me five more minutes.”
Kieran nodded, “Okay, no problem, I’ll wait here.”

                She laughed and walked away. She wore a short summer dress with a flower print on it and was barefooted. He looked after her and then held on to his steering wheel, taking some deep breaths.
Now he was even more nervous and he also remembered that he had actually planned to bring her flowers but had totally forgotten about it. He had forgotten how good she really looked and now seeing her again made his heart beat quickly.
He softly pounded on his steering wheel and said lowly, “Shit…just pull it together dude.”

                He waited patiently, just getting more nervous by the minute when finally he saw her come out of her house again. She smiled and walked up to the car. He really had wanted to open the door for her but now he just sat there watching her come around to the passenger’s side and having to open her own door. He wanted to slap himself. He should have gotten his chair out anyways and should have been waiting for her to come out and open the door for her.
She scrambled into the seat and laughed, “Hi Kieran…I’m sorry.”
Kieran looked over at her and his hands felt sweaty. He was surprised when she leaned over and hugged him.
He hugged her back and when they let go Erin smiled, “It’s good seeing you Kieran. I must say you have a very nice ride here.”
Kieran blushed a little, a compliment for his car was always welcome and made him feel proud, “Thanks…yeah, my one luxury.”
He wanted to apologize for not bringing flowers and for not opening the door for her but she didn’t give him a chance when she said, “I was looking forward to this evening all day.”
He was relieved to hear her excitement about meeting him and it made him relax slightly.
Before he started the car he attempted another apology, “Erin, I’m sorry I didn’t get out to get your door, I should have…”

                 Erin put her hand on his and he looked quickly from her hand up to her when she said, “Don’t worry about it. I can open my own door and I didn’t want you to have to hassle with getting out and all.”
He nodded, “Thanks.”
He kept his eyes on her for a moment and scanned over her quickly, “You look very nice by the way.”
She smiled, “Thanks, so do you.”
“Thanks.” He looked down on himself and laughed, “Actually I bought this shirt and pants at the mall last Saturday after we had met and Ashleigh insisted I needed some new clothes for tonight. I am not really a slacks-kind-of-guy though.”
“I like guys in jeans better anyways.”
He looked down and then up at her again, slightly embarrassed, “Good.”

                 Erin had noticed the small wound on his forehead under his hair and she asked lowly, “What happened to your head?”
Kieran had forgotten about the wound and for a few seconds he contemplated a believable answer, “I kind of hit my head on my door frame when my caster wheel got caught on the threshold of the door.”
Erin looked a little suspicious but she didn’t know what all his wheeling around incorporated and so she just nodded and replied, “I am sorry, I hope it wasn’t too bad.”
“I am okay, just a little scratch.”
Kieran put his hand to the controls and asked her, “You ready to go?”
Erin looked curiously at the hand controls and nodded, “Yeah…I have never seen anything like this.”
Kieran looked at the hand controls, “Yeah, those are my legs for driving this car.”
Erin nodded again, “Interesting.”
As Kieran started his car, put it in gear and operated the hand controls Erin asked, “Is it difficult to operate these?”
He pulled out into the street and answered, “It took me a couple of weeks to get used to it but I have it down pretty good now.”
She watched with curiosity how he operated the hand controls and the way the long main shaft pushed down on the gas pedal.
                They made their way through town and after about 20 minutes arrived at the restaurant. When Erin saw the restaurant she squealed happily, “Oh I love Francesco’s. I haven’t been here in a long time.”
Another relief for Kieran. At least she liked the restaurant.
Kieran found a spacious disabled parking spot, his blue placard dangled from his rearview mirror and this time he insisted, “I will get my chair assembled and I want to come around to open the door for you.”
Erin smiled and said softly, “Okay.”
                 She watched curiously as Kieran carefully pulled all his things out of the back seat and right outside the driver’s door he attached his wheels to the Quickie frame again and hung his back pack on the handles before he then transferred into his chair under the curious eyes of Erin. When he looked up from his task of transferring and he met her eyes, she looked away quickly.

                 He closed the door and wheeled around to Erin’s side and opened the door for her with a smile. She smiled back at him and he watched her when she got out, his eyes glancing over her long smooth legs, and her naked feet strapped in some wedge heeled sandals. She wore a cardigan over her dress and her long wavy brunette hair was held back with a headband matching the colors in her dress. She wore some dangling silver earrings and a delicate silver necklace.
Fortunately she wasn’t that tall next to him as she stood there watching him close the door and lock his car with a beep.
                He gestured Erin to walk ahead and they made their way to the main entrance of the restaurant. Erin was somewhat caught off guard when Kieran didn’t stay behind her but quickly wheeled around to the small ramp leading up to the door. He smiled at her as he came up and Erin just stood there. She watched how he spun his rims and she couldn’t ignore the feelings of watching Kieran, an excitement and amazement she had not felt in a long time.
She thought he was very attractive and even though she had no experience with people in wheelchairs there was something about him that made her heart beat fast when she watched him maneuver his wheelchair and having watched him transfer from the car into his wheelchair had given her chills. She held the door for him as he wheeled on in and then inside waiting for her to come in and get in front again.
                The hostess greeted them with a friendly smile, “Good Evening, Welcome to Francesco’s. Table for two?”
Kieran wheeled closer, “I actually have a reservation, Kieran O’Meara.”
“Oh, okay, let me look that up.”
The hostess found the reservation and asked Kieran and Erin to follow her. Kieran let Erin go ahead of him again, he couldn’t help glance at her legs and the way she walked.
                They were shown to a table off to the side away from the main paths and the other larger tables and a chair was already moved away for Kieran to wheel his Quickie up to the table.
Erin watched him and stated in a question, “They have already moved a chair for you?”
I told them when I made the reservation.”
Kieran positioned his chair and put on his break, Erin watched him closely.
When he looked up at her and met her eyes again she apologized lowly, “I am sorry Kieran, I just….haven’t…”
He looked at her with his green eyes and in trying to make her feel at ease some he replied, “It’s all right…don’t worry about it.”
He looked down and then up at her with a shy smile, “I’ve been nervous all day actually. I haven’t been out with anyone since…” He didn’t finish his sentence, feeling odd all the sudden.
Erin asked carefully, “Since when?”
He answered lowly, “It’s been over two years.”
“Why so long?”
Kieran pressed his lips together for a moment, thinking about his answer and feeling nervous about the topic, “Well, it was over two years ago when I deployed to Afghanistan, then I got hurt six months into the deployment and then with the time in the hospital, rehab and all, it has been a while since I was on a date.”
Erin seemed just as nervous and said lowly, “I’m sorry I’m being so nosy.”
She looked down at her hands on the table.
“You’re not nosy…it’s okay, really. I’m all right now. That’s why I’m here.”
She looked up and they smiled at each other.
Erin said lowly, “And I’m very glad about that.” 
                The awkward moment was interrupted by the waiter, “Good Evening, how are you folks doing tonight?”
Kieran and Erin nodded, “Fine thanks.”
“My name is Mike, I’m your waiter this evening. Here is our menu.” He placed a menu in front of Erin first, then in front of Kieran, “Can I bring you some water or do you already know what you would like to drink?”
Kieran looked over at Erin and she answered, “I will have the house red wine and some water please.”
Mike looked at Kieran, “For your sir?”
“What kind of beer do you guys have?”
Mike rambled off the list of beers and Kieran decided on a dark Ale from a local brewery.

                The waiter walked off and for a moment they both just looked at each other thinking about where to pick up the conversation.
Erin then started carefully, “Kieran, can I ask you one more question and you don’t have to answer if it’s too personal?"
Her voice trembled some and Kieran looked at her as comforting as possible, “Ask away!”
Even though he said it, he really didn’t stand behind his comment all the way because he was nervous about her question.
Erin shyly looked at him, “How did you get hurt in Afghanistan?”
He licked his lips, took a deep breath, and answered dryly, “A vehicle in our convoy went over an IED, it blew up, we got ambushed, tried to get away and got shot in the process. I stepped on an IED and I suffered a couple of bullet wounds and one went right through my spinal cord at the T-4.”
Erin looked at him questioning, “T-4?”
“The T-4 vertebrae in my back…the bullet severed the spinal cord completely at the location of that vertebrae.”
She still looked somewhat curious and Kieran assumed she really had no clue what his disability encompassed.
Trying to give further explanation he added lowly, “I have no sensations and feelings whatsoever from here on down.”
He showed with his hand the location on his mid chest and gestured downward.
Erin pressed her lips together and nodded silently.
Kieran didn’t know what else to tell her, he didn’t think it was a good idea to go into detail about his disability, it was way too early to talk about everything that was going on with him. 
                The moment was saved once again by Mike bringing their drinks to the table, “All right folks, here we go.”
He sat the beverages down in front of them, “Have we already decided on some appetizers?”
With their small conversation they had not looked into the menu yet and told Mike they needed some more time.
As Mike walked away Erin opened her menu and said with a smile, “Let’s see.” 
                They both felt the slight awkwardness still lingering between them as they scanned the menu and Kieran kept thinking about how he could make the situation easier but he really didn’t know how. He didn’t really focus on the meal choices in front of him. Instead his mind was busy contemplating if he should explain more about his disability and injury and all the things that happened or if he should just let it go for now.
He decided on the latter and trying to ease the tension he smiled at Erin, “What are you getting?”
She looked up almost with a relief, “I don’t know yet. Would you like to share an appetizer?”
“Yeah, sure…what are you thinking about?”
“The Bruschetta sounds yummy.”
Kieran glanced at the appetizers again and Erin explained.
He didn’t know a whole lot about food but he ate anything and at Erin’s explanation he agreed, “Yeah, let’s get that then.”
Erin smiled, “Okay.”
They scanned the menus for their main meals and when Mike came back they were ready to order.
As Mike walked away, Kieran lifted his glass toward Erin and she lifted her wine glass and smiled, “To your first date back on the market.”
Kieran smiled, “To my only date back on the market.”
They laughed and they drank from their glasses.
                    When Erin set her glass back down she smiled, “What do you mean with “your only date”?”
“I don’t know if I have the guts to do this many more times. I am pretty much out of practice and really after I asked you out last week I almost wanted to slap myself because I didn’t know if I could pull it off.”
“Kieran, I am really happy you did ask me and for the record you are doing great so far.”
He laughed and then Erin asked, “So, you must be Ashleigh’s and Dominic’s favorite uncle?”
“I am their only real uncle. My brother in law has three sisters and so the kids have only aunts and one uncle who married into the family on that side of the family.”
“Oh wow. It seems like you get along really well with Ashleigh.”
“I think so…she says sometimes she feels like she has two dads…her dad and me. I like to think I am the cooler dad.”
Erin laughed, “I’m sure you are. I didn’t see Tyler at Old Navy with her.”

                     Kieran then asked, “How about your kids?”
Erin started talking about Chloe and her sister Ciara and how the girls were a handful but she couldn’t really complain too much. They did well in school and were mature enough.
She stated, “Chloe and Ashleigh have been friends since fourth grade.”
“Yeah, Ash is going into ninth grade now, High School. Dominic starts sixth grade, Middle School after the break. I missed a lot of their younger years really because I didn’t live here and I was gone a lot.”
“Where did you live?”
“Well, I joined the Army when I was 20, I was stationed in Fort Jackson, South Carolina, Fort Drum, New York and then back here in Fort Lewis. I deployed three times in 10 years, one year to Iraq and two separate years to Afghanistan, the second Afghanistan deployment cut short. I’m close with my sister but I just wasn’t around for her kids a lot when they were little. It’s a good thing that I’m here now and I do enjoy hanging out with them.”
“So you live with Fiona and her family?”
Kieran wasn’t too happy about the revelation of his living arrangement with his sister and her family but he couldn’t lie to Erin and answered lowly, “Yeah, hopefully just temporarily, but it’s better this way at the moment.”
Erin smiled warmly, not missing the tension in Kieran’s answer, “Well, I’m sure they enjoy having you at home now.”

                     Kieran nodded and then changed the subject, “Enough about me, what about you? Are you from here?”
Erin sighed, “No, I am actually from California. I moved up here because of love.”
Kieran nodded, watching her closely and Erin continued, “I met my ex on a vacation down there. He is from here and he was down there for spring break. I’m from San Diego. Well, we met, we fell in love, did the long distance thing for a while, then he moved down to Cali while I finished my college, we got married down there, had Chloe, then his mother got sick up here, we moved up here. I got pregnant with Ciara and it all kind of went bad and we divorced two years ago. I do miss California and I would like to move back down there, that is where all my family is but the girls have their life here and so I’m kind of hanging around. We share custody of the girls and with that I’m also kind of stuck here. He is a good dad, I have to give him that. Me in a nutshell.”
“So Chloe is Ashleigh’s age, 14?”
“Yeah, I was 19 when I had her, wasn’t really planned like that. He did help me though so I could finish college back then. I am 33.”
Kieran was somewhat relieved that Erin was about his age.
“Well, it sounds like you did a good job though with everything. I mean you have a job, your girls are good kids I assume and you are still young. I guess everyone has some kind of baggage to drag around.”
Erin smiled and nodded, “You are right about that. How about you Kieran? Any relationship baggage?”
                Mike came to the table with the Bruschetta, nicely arranged pieces of Italian bread, covered with freshly diced tomatoes, basil and mozzarella cheese, drizzled with some Balsamic vinegar and Olive oil. He set the plate down in the middle of the table and told Kieran and Erin to enjoy and asked if they needed anything else.
Erin looked at the appetizer, “That looks really yummy.”
Kieran agreed and they both took a piece of the Bruschetta and set it on their appetizer plates. Erin took a bite and Kieran followed her example, trying to eat as graceful as possible, but a couple of tomato pieces falling onto his plate.

                   Erin had not forgotten about her question, “So, Kieran…do you have any relationship baggage?”
He finished his bite, cleaned his mouth with the napkin and then started, “Well, not really baggage. I don’t have any kids. I had a fiancĂ© and we were about to get married when I had to deploy and during the deployment she called the whole thing off. I don’t blame her, it was the second time for me deploying during our four year relationship and she said she couldn’t handle that kind of life anymore. I tried to keep it together telling her I would get out once I would get back but she was done, she didn’t want it anymore. I stayed in, eventually deployed again and this is it, right here. I really don’t blame her, it is not good for relationships. All those deployments nowadays are not for everyone. Puts a lot of strain on any relationship for sure. So, I don’t hate her or anything. She is back in South Carolina, it’s all right. We don’t talk anymore. So the only baggage I have is myself.”
Erin’s large hazel eyes were on him, questioning and wondering but he didn’t say anything else. They kept eating in silence for a while, enjoying the appetizer and here and there glancing at each other with a smile. 
                Eventually Kieran asked Erin, “Is there anything you like to do in your free time?”
Erin finished her last bite and answered, “I like to be outdoors and I like going to concerts. I like a lot of different music. I go to concerts with the girls and with my friends. I also enjoy reading. How about you do you have any hobbies?”
Kieran shook his head, “Not really. I like driving around in my car.” He smiled and then added, “That is kind of the only good thing to do when you are by yourself.”
“Do you have friends you hang out with?” 
                Kieran hesitated for a moment, realizing that he didn’t really sound like a very fun guy and probably boring to Erin.
He hadn’t hung out with any friends. Coming back from Afghanistan injured and ending in the disability had changed everything for him and along with the psychological issues he had dealt with for the longest time he really didn’t have the nerve or energy to make friends or hang out and socialize with people. He knew it needed to change and he was slowly making his way to establish connections again but it had not led to any close friendships and being in the wheelchair only gave him so much wiggle room to do certain activities that guys would possibly be into. His best friend Andy still had a very active life, riding a motorcycle, hiking and having fun with a steady girlfriend who was about to become his wife. Kieran had withdrawn himself from all contact for a long time and only Fiona and her family were his life line to the outside world.
He answered lowly, “Not really, it has been kind of rough for the past two years so I didn’t really have time for making new friends or keeping the ones I had before all this happened.”

                 He drank from his beer and Erin took a sip from her glass. He didn’t want to talk more about his life and how everything had really fallen apart for him and he hoped she wouldn’t ask and the more he talked about things concerning himself and his life past and present the more he realized how it made him uncomfortable and nervous to open up about things that have been going on for him.
For a moment the thought of maybe the whole date having been a bad idea occupied his mind but Erin surprised him with her comment, “Well, I guess we are starting to change that with tonight.”
She lifted her glass again and Kieran tapped it with his glass and with a smile they drank again.
                Their main meals came shortly after, they ordered another drink each and in a friendly atmosphere they ate and chatted about the kids, life, school and Erin some about her job. There was no more conversation about any of the painful topics and Kieran was very glad about that. When Erin was in the middle of telling him a funny story about herself, she laughed and in a reflex suddenly she touched her hand to his and her laughter subsided and her face turned from laughing to a shy smile and Kieran looked from their hands up into her eyes. Her cheeks slightly flushed pink and Kieran took charge of the moment and took her hand in his. He took a deep breath, looked at her and tried to think of what to say or if this was the right thing to do. 
                During the course of their meals he had not been able to keep his eyes off her, her mature but beautiful face surrounded by the long waves of her brunette hair, the large hazel eyes dominating her face, showing only the slightest of wrinkles when she laughed and her full lips enhanced with a warm colored lipstick. She had a slender figure, her hands were soft and warm when she touched him and he felt a surge go through him at her gentle touches.
                Erin felt the same way about Kieran. She was very much drawn to him and she knew there was more to him than what he had revealed so far. He had an aura of sorrow around him but covering his feelings with his smiles and trying his best to make this a memorable date. Strands of his dark bangs kept falling into his forehead and a few times he ran his hand through his hair. A couple of times she witnessed when he lifted himself up from his wheelchair seat for a few seconds, his arms then revealing nicely toned biceps, triceps, and flexor muscles, some very detailed tattoos showing from under the rolled up sleeves of his new shirt. His eyes were piercing green commanding his face, also revealing some wrinkles in the corners when he smiled. A barely noticeable shadow of a beard was showing and she spotted some scars on the left side of his neck, running down toward his collar bone and disappearing under his black T-Shirt. She couldn’t see the internal scars he carried around with him but she sensed them. 
                When he took her hand she smiled at him and he left his hand around hers. His hand was strong and felt like it had acquired a lot of wear over his time of being in the military and having held weapons or all sorts for many years and now pushing the rims on his wheelchair every day.
For a moment they just looked at each other and then Erin said lowly, “I am really glad to be here with you, Kieran.”
He felt his heart beat fast, glad that his taking her hand had not been a mistake and he nodded, “Me too.”
For a moment he let his thumb run over her hand and when Mike came to get their empty plates from the table he let go of her hand.
Mike asked if they wanted to try any of Francesco’s popular desserts but both declined as the plan was to go for a drink still.
Kieran said, “You can bring the check.”
He left his hand on his lap now and Erin lightened the moment, “So this was really good. Their food is delicious.”
“Yeah, I liked it too.”
Mike came back with the check and Kieran slid his debit card in the slot of the small bill fold.
He caught a glimpse of Erin yawning and as soon as she realized Kieran had seen her, she smiled and apologized, “I’m sorry Kieran…I’m not tired.”
He smiled, “It kind of looked like it.”
“No, No, it’s still early and I am okay.”

                After two beers and some water Kieran decided to go to the bathroom, “Erin, I am going to go to use the bathroom.”
She nodded and he considered telling her it would take him just a few moments longer than any guy who would pee standing up.

He didn’t say anything but let off his break and with his hands on his rims he backed up swiftly from the table and spun around to wheel away. Erin felt her hands tremble as she watched him wheel away and she wasn’t sure what to make of her reaction to Kieran in his Quickie. She really enjoyed very much seeing him in his wheelchair and for just a few moments she let the view linger but then quickly tried to shake the thoughts, feeling somewhat strange of enjoying seeing Kieran in his wheelchair. It didn’t seem the right thing to feel but it somehow did something to her she couldn’t explain at the moment. Her excited reaction to the way he was one with his wheelchair confused her as it was something she felt she shouldn’t enjoy. To distract herself  she pulled out her phone for a moment and checked for messages or any missed calls. The girls were with their dad that weekend, she had the house all to herself. 
                Kieran came back a few minutes later and with a smile he wheeled up to the table and saw that the bill fold was gone and just then Mike came back with it, “Okay, here you go Mr. O’Meara. Thank you so much and you folks have a wonderful rest of your evening.”
Erin and Kieran thanked Mike. Kieran wrote out a gracious tip on the check and then took his bank card out and put it back in his wallet.
He glanced at Erin, “Are you ready?”
“On our way out I will stop at the bathroom as well.”
She gathered her purse, slipped into her cardigan again and Kieran let her get in front of him and they made their way to the exit. Erin really would have enjoyed being behind Kieran but without thinking anymore about her feelings she walked out in front of Kieran.
She split from him at the bathrooms, “I will be right out.”
“Okay, I will head on to the car.” 
                Kieran didn’t get into his Mustang yet. Instead he had unlocked it and he had opened the passenger door and he waited for Erin. When she walked up he felt his heart beat fast and he felt very happy at having this beautiful woman with him. Erin smiled at him and he gestured her into his car.
“Oh thank you Kieran.”
He closed the door behind her and then wheeled around to the driver’s side and opened his door. Erin watched him as he pulled his Quickie right next to the seat and with his one hand on the car seat and his other hand on his wheelchair he pushed himself up and transferred over into the seat.

                Her heart beat raced in her chest, and she felt chills run down her arms at watching his transfer and then taking the wheels off his chair, stashing everything in the back seat carefully not to hit her with the items and then adjusting his legs in the floor board. Kieran felt her eyes on him and when he was positioned right he looked over at her slightly embarrassed at her curious observations.
He didn’t say anything about the transfer into the car but asked with a smile, “So, are you up for a drink still?”
“Yes, I would love to.”
“All right, I know a place.”
He turned the key in the ignition, the Mustang coming on with a powerful roar of the engine and putting the car in reverse and operating the hand controls he backed out from the parking spot and then drove out onto the main road again, heading for a bar he knew from a visit with Tyler.


  1. Woo hoo for a update!! Will they get liquid courage coming up? ;)

  2. Great, lovely descriptive chapter. Sounds like the perfect date so far despite the pre nerves.

  3. Great chapter!

  4. Thank you for keeping us posted. Great story so far!

  5. What a great chapter. Kieran is such a wonderful character. I'm so hooked. Thank you!

  6. I can feel a great beginning between these two. Can't wait for more.

  7. I really enjoy your empathetic style of writing. It was really cute to see Kieran being so nervous and I really like that Erin is discovering a new side of herself!