I didn’t wake up until eleven Friday morning and when I looked over at Shane next to me he lay unchanged and still. As I moved closer to him I saw a dark spot on his shorts and upon gently touching it I realized it was moisture. I was sleepy still and for a moment I didn’t realize what was going on. I also remembered that Shane was supposed to have his last Physical Therapy appointment that day and we had overslept. I didn’t know what to do and before anything I went to the bathroom.
When I stumbled over Shane’s back pack in the bathroom and knocked down some items from the bathroom shelf I heard his voice, “Anna?”
I called from the bathroom, “I’ll be right there.”
I finished in the bathroom and as I came into the bedroom again, Shane had his hand on his shorts and looked at me terrified.
He moved his hand away from his crotch, “Fuck!”
I walked over to him, “Everything okay?”
He pushed himself up to a sitting position. His hair was tousled around his head.
He looked down at his shorts again, “Shit!”
I came closer, “You need help with anything? What’s going on?”
He held his hand up, “Leave me alone right now.”
“Shane, what is it?”
He didn’t look at me when he asked angrily, “What is it? Can’t you see?”
I knew he was referring to the moisture on his shorts and I still wasn’t all the way sure on what had happened but I realized he was embarrassed. His eyes were dark when he looked up at me.I stood there somewhat clueless and still sleepy as he remarked tensely, “Anna, don’t pretend you don’t know what’s going on.”
I shook my head and said shyly, “I kind of don’t know but whatever it is I want to help you.”
He sounded bitter, “Anna, I fucking peed myself, in your bed. And just in case you really have no idea what this is about, yeah, I don’t know when I have to pee and I slept too long without the briefs I usually wear at night. How do you think I use the bathroom if I can’t feel anything from my hips down? I actually don’t know when I have to pee.”I shook my head, and stuttered nervously, “I wasn’t sure…and…and I wanted to ask you…but I…I didn’t know if you….” I stopped talking because I felt embarrassed and unsure on how to help him.
Shane held himself steady on the edge of the bed, his feet were now on the floor in front of him, his head hanging as he said without looking at me, “This is just another fucking issue of this whole paraplegia crap. I don’t know when I have to pee or even do the other thing. I’m on a type of schedule with doing the one thing but I have to shove a tube up my dick every couple of hours to drain my bladder. 11 hours was way too long in between the last one and now…”
I tried to sound reassuring, “It’s no big deal. I’ll wash the sheets. We can get in the tub.”
I saw the wet spot was also on the bed. I felt bad for Shane. I wasn’t mad at all but I also realized that there were still things I didn’t know about his disability. I squatted in front of him and looked at him, his head hung with his hair somewhat blocking my view of his face. I held on to his knee and stroked some of the hair out of my view and said softly, “Shane, don’t worry about it okay. I don’t care…on the contrary, I wish I would’ve known and I was wondering about it but I didn’t know how you felt about telling me these things.”He moved his eyes toward me, “I feel like a complete idiot about it.”
“Don’t! Come on, I help you get to the bathroom.”
He didn’t say anything and I added, “I love you.”
He looked at me embarrassed, “I’m sorry Anna. This sucks so bad for me.”
I shook my head, “Don’t worry about it anymore.”
Shane eventually slowly made his way into the bathroom and once inside he sat on the tub edge next to the toilet and pulled out one of the packages I had seen the day before, “This is a catheter.”I nodded and he added, “I’ve to use this to drain the urine out of my bladder every couple of hours. It kind of sucks but it’s the only way. For at night I have some….”
He took a deep breath and digging in his backpack he eventually pulled out some adult incontinence briefs and he said without looking at me, “I didn’t want to use these here at your place but now…”
I stopped him, “Don’t worry about it anymore. I’m getting the sheets off unless you need me in here.”
He shook his head and I added, “Once you have your shorts off, give them to me and I can wash them too.”
I left him in the bathroom and went back to the bedroom to take off the sheets. I felt bad for Shane and the situation he was in. I knew it was the hardest thing for him but I really didn’t mind at all. I was glad I knew now because now he didn’t have to keep this a secret from me anymore.The urine had seeped through to the mattress and I used some cleaner to somehow soak it and dab it dry as good as I could. I tossed everything in my washer.
I heard the water come on in the bathroom and I knocked on the door, “Shane baby?”“Yes, I’m letting water into the tub.”
I peeked into the bathroom and I found Shane still sitting on the edge of the tub with his feet in it now. His shorts were on the floor and I took them without asking and tossed them into the washer with the sheets. Then I joined him in the bathroom. He was still sitting on the tub edge waiting for enough water in the tub. I took off my night shirt and stepped into the tub in front of Shane. He didn’t really want to look at me.
“I can help you get into the water.”Shane let me help him and eventually we both sat in the tub again. I moved right up to him and we wrapped our arms around each other.
He muffled into my hair, “I’m so sorry Anna…this is so embarrassing for me.”
I ran my fingers through his hair and replied, “No big deal really. I’m so glad I know now. Please let me know this stuff. I want to know everything.”
Shane still had his face buried in my neck, “It sucks…it sucks so bad to not have control over this stuff anymore. At night I usually wear the briefs but I felt stupid doing it here with you. I mean what would you have thought about me? It’s so fucking embarrassing.”
“I don’t mind and if you need that at night, then I want you to do what you have to do and not feel weird about it. I don’t care Shane.”
We looked at each other and I told him, “I love you no matter what.”
He lowered his eyes and shook his head, “I don’t know how I can be so lucky.”
He took my face in between his hands, “I love you so much Anna.”
We kissed and sat together in the tub. Shane wasn’t as insecure anymore as he was the first time and as we washed, we also kissed and cuddled a lot in between. Even though I was still very turned on by him I could sense that he didn’t want to take this any further. I knew he still felt bad for what had happened.
All the sudden he said, “Shit, I just realized I forgot my appointment today.”“Yeah, you did…I realized as soon as I woke up and it was too late. You think you can still go by there today sometime?”
“I’ve to call them as soon as we’re done in here.”
We stayed in the tub a little longer and eventually just sat there. I sat in front of Shane, he had his arms around me and I softly rubbed my hands over his legs under the water. He had no idea I was touching him. I felt the hair on his legs, his bony knees and the scars and uneven spots where his skin had been compromised from the injuries and the surgeries. If my hands wouldn’t have been buffered by the water I knew they would have trembled very much at touching Shane’s legs and thinking about these things.
Shane moved my hair to the side and gently kissed the back of my neck and my shoulders, whispering, “Anna, I am going to miss you so much when I’m back in Morgan City.”I touched his hands on my belly, “I’m going to miss you too.”
He kissed my shoulders again and we just sat there for a few more minutes until it was time to get moving and get ready for the day.
I helped Shane get out of the tub again like I did before. It would have been difficult for him to pull himself up from the sitting position out of the deep tub and onto the edge of it. It was slick and awkward and the risk of him slipping and hurting himself and in the whole process probably making a total mess of water was too much.
I helped pull him up from behind again and he finally sat on the towel on the edge of the tub. I helped him lift his legs out of the tub. He couldn’t really let go of the tub edge either because his balance wasn’t very good at all without holding on. When he tried to lean over to reach for things he somehow always looked like he would fall forward. His trunk didn’t have good stability and there was no way he could brace himself with his legs since they didn’t work.
Eventually Shane had on his boxers and jeans again and sat on the chair in the bathroom. With his left leg pulled up on the right knee he was in the process of pulling his socks over his foot with one hand. I stood in front of the mirror, a large towel wrapped around my body, finishing my hair and make-up and I watched as he tried to balance himself with one hand and with the other tried to get the sock onto his foot. It was a hassle but I didn’t want to bother him. I knew he wanted to do this stuff on his own even though it took a little longer.
Finally he had his socks on his feet and I watched him in the mirror as he took his crutches and slid his arms into them, then pulled himself up to an upright position again making him slightly taller than me. Only his left foot had a weak grounding on the floor and when he looked up he met my eyes in the mirror. I blushed and looked down and he just smiled and started to make his way back to the bedroom where his braces were waiting for him.
I was just finishing up when he appeared behind me in the bathroom again. He wore a T-Shirt now, his legs held firm and straight in the braces once again, giving him strength and a much better stance without almost falling over. We looked at each other’s mirror images.He just stood there behind me watching me and I asked, “What is it?"
“Nothing, just wanted to look at you.”
“You make me nervous.”
He grinned, “Good, that’s the plan.”
He moved closer to me and leaning down some he kissed me softly on my bare shoulder. I felt chills on my arms and when he looked up and our eyes met in the mirror again I said with a smile, “Maybe you need to go get some coffee made instead of making your girlfriend super nervous in here.”
He laughed lowly and turned around making his way out of the bathroom. I looked after him as he walked away and my heart was beating fast. I had to take a deep breath. I set my hands on the sink and for a few moments I stared at myself in the mirror, shaking my head at myself and thinking about how Shane made me crazy. I had never felt this way before about any other guy. Everything about him made me crazy, made my heart race in my chest, made my hands tremble, my breath gasp, and the heat rise between my legs. Having him there with me made me so happy but also stirred so many other emotions I couldn’t even fully grasp.
When I came into the kitchen he was standing at the counter, his hands actually off the crutch handles but his crutches still dangling on his arms. He was leaning with his lower body against the counter for balance, somewhat wobbly in his stance but actually putting on the coffee. The braces held him there, his legs staying straight and holding him upright.I came up behind him and wrapped my arms around him, startling him and throwing off his balance some as he quickly grabbed his one crutch handle again.
I looked over his shoulder, “Sorry for sneaking up on you…”
He grabbed his other crutch handle and turned around, smiling at me.
“I see you got the coffee machine going already.”
He nodded and I added, “Why don’t you sit down and I will get the rest?”
After a quick kiss he went over to the table and sat down on a chair.
Shane called Charity about his missed appointment and was told he could come in at 3 o’clock that afternoon. I also had to go by the funeral home that day and pick up Jay’s ashes.We sat over breakfast and talked about the plans for the day. .
I remembered, “Didn’t Mitch say he wanted to go out tonight?”
Shane nodded with a bite of cereal in his mouth and mumbled, “Yes, I need to call him.”
He then turned to me, finishing his bite, and asking, “Do you even feel like going anywhere tonight?”
“Yeah sure, it would be fun.”
As I finished up after breakfast Shane called Mitch and they talked for a little while, planning the evening.
Once he hung up he turned to me, “Tonight at 8 at this bar in Kenner if that’s all right with you?”“Yes, that‘s fine.”
Shane smiled, “He wanted me to remind you to bring a friend.”
I turned around from the sink, “He’s a married man. He should bring his wife.”
Shane swallowed, “Hell no, I don’t want to see Tammy. Mitch may be a married man but he’s not exactly happily married. But he was joking baby. You don’t need to bring anyone…in the end he always goes home to his wife.”
We headed into the city for Shane’s late appointment. Traffic wasn’t too bad and we made it on time and were in the elevator at 3 o’clock.Shane didn’t speak much and as we sat down in the waiting area after we checked in I asked him lowly, “Are you all right?”
He nodded and replied, “Yeah, it’s just weird to come here for the last time. I spent so much time here in this place over the last year and now it’s over.”
“It’s a good thing though, meaning you’re ready to get out of here for good.”
He shrugged his shoulders.
They called Shane’s name and he pulled himself up and as I stayed seated he turned to me, “You can come in with me.”
I got up, “You sure?”
“Yeah, I’m not going to do any therapy or anything, just getting my papers.”
I followed Shane to the back hallway and we reached the office of his therapist. Right across I saw a large open room where people were busy with different types of Physical Therapy.Shane’s therapist stood at his office door, greeting him, “Hey Shane, how are you?”
“I’m all right.”
Shane introduced me, “Zach, this is my girlfriend Anna. Anna, this is Zach, the torturer.”
Zach laughed and reached his hand out to me, obviously very surprised at meeting me, “Hi Anna, Shane never mentioned he had a girlfriend.”
I smiled shyly and replied, “It’s still new…nice to meet you.”
We followed Zach into his office and he pointed us to the two chairs in front of his desk. I saw different therapy equipment in his office, parallel bars, and mats, with rubber bands dangling from hooks on the wall, dumb bells and other items. Zach didn’t look much older than Shane, he was most likely around our age.
Zach took a seat behind his desk and smiled at Shane, “So what happened this morning?”Shane answered, “I overslept. Sorry I missed my appointment.”
“That’s all right, I’m glad I could get you in this afternoon though. I know you probably have enough of me torturing you.”
The guys laughed and Zach looked over to me and then to Shane, “So, where did you guys meet?”
When we told Zach how we met he was surprised, “That’s so cool. I’m happy to hear that.”
He looked at some papers in front of him on the desk and took a deep breath, “So Shane, this is unfortunately your last appointment.”
Shane nodded. He was slouched down somewhat on the chair, his legs bent and slightly apart, his hands folded over his belly. His crutches were leaning on Zach’s desk.
When Shane didn’t say anything Zach continued, “I know these past couple of months have been a rough ride for you, Shane. I really hope I was able to somehow help you manage out there on your own but they haven’t allotted any more time. I guess they feel that you’re ready. I really hate to see you go.”
Shane stayed quiet and Zach turned to me, “He’s been working very hard to get where he is now. It hasn’t been easy.”
I smiled but didn’t know what to say.
Shane said lowly, “Well, I’m getting lots of practice on stairs now.”
Zach looked over at Shane questioning, “Are you? Where at?”
Shane looked over to me and grinned, “This one here lives on the freaking third floor, no elevator.”
Zach was surprised, “Oh wow, really? How’s that going for you then?”
“It takes me like two hours to get up to her place.”
Zach smiled and I cut in, “That’s not true. He’s doing very good with it but I know it’s exhausting. I feel bad every time.”
Zach asked with a smile, “Are you still having problems with lots of spasms and your back locking up on you?”
Shane nodded and Zach continued, “Well, I’ll write you some more prescriptions and I will also send you on your way with all the exercises. You really need to keep doing those stretching exercises to keep your muscles flexible. If you could start going to a gym and work out, that would be a huge asset. We have gone over that many times, you know the deal Shane. You need to try to stay strong to make getting around easier.”
Shane nodded, “Yeah, I know. I’ll try to get into it.”
“I don’t want to see you back in the hospital anytime soon.”
Zach laughed and turned toward me, “Shane can curse up a storm if he’s agitated.”
Shane stared at his legs with a grin and I replied, “I know. So far he has been keeping himself in check.”
Zach smiled and looked back at Shane with a serious expression, “So what are you going to do now?”
Shane told Zach about his plans of going back to Morgan City, the job he had lined up, and living with his brothers.
Zach listened attentively and then asked me, “What do you do Anna?”
I was caught off guard with the question but I needed to answer.
I felt Shane looking at me from the side and then I answered, “I’m actually a dancer in a night club here in the city.”
Zach seemed sincerely surprised now, “Oh, interesting.”
It was a little awkward and he asked, ‘”So, you’re staying in New Orleans then and Shane is going back to Morgan City?”
We both nodded at the same time. Zach didn’t ask anything else about our situation.
Zach took a breath and continued, looking at Shane, “Well, my friend. I guess we’re about done then. I have some papers to go over with you and need your signature on some of them. I also talked to Dr. Clement this morning and he told me to give you his best wishes.”
Shane shifted in his chair and sat up some to get a better view of the papers on the desk as Zach started going over them and had Shane sign here and there. There were release forms, claims, hand outs and various papers. All of them went into Shane’s medical record folder, which was thick already and now had about 20 more pages added to it.
Zach had colorful brochures in front of him, “Here are the brochures with the wheelchairs in it. Do you still want these or should I toss them?”“You can throw it all away.”
I sat up some, “Can I see this?”
Zach slid the brochure over to me, “Sure, these are products of some of the main wheelchair manufacturers in the US, TiLite, Quickie, Invacare, and others.”
I pulled the brochures closer and looked at them for a second, “I’ll hold on to them.”
Shane looked over at me, “I don’t need those brochures. I can’t afford a chair anyways.”
I glanced at Shane, “I want to look at them.”
Zach added, “The leg braces Shane uses are hospital issued. There are lighter braces out there on the market but they are very pricey and since Shane doesn’t have insurance he would have to pay for them himself. I know the hospital one’s are somewhat old school with the leather cuffs and buckles and all but they’re of good quality and should last him for a long time. Any skilled orthotist can fix them or change out the cuffs, buckles or anything if it’s needed. There’s also a paper in there for orthotic shops in the area and the place that the hospital uses and where we got Shane’s braces made.”
I nodded because it seemed like Zach was talking to me since Shane didn’t really seem to care about this conversation very much. At least it looked like he had no interest in this.
I smiled at Zach and took all the wheelchair brochures. Zach pushed the folder over with Shane’s records in it and I took it as well.
“Is there another phone number to get in touch with you Shane? I only have this one.” Zach showed Shane the phone number he had on record and it was Mitch’s house and cell phone number.
Shane looked over to me, “Maybe Anna’s if it’s okay with her.”
I nodded, “Of course.”
I wrote down my name and numbers for Zach and he thanked me.
Zach sighed, “Well, I guess that’s it then.”Zach got up and came around his desk, “Man, I hate to see you go, Shane. I know we had some rough moments together and I know you hated me sometimes.”
Shane grabbed his crutches and pushed his arms through and pulled up, jerked his braces in the lock position and stood upright, swaying slightly.
Shane grabbed his crutches and pushed his arms through and pulled up, jerked his braces in the lock position and stood upright, swaying slightly.
Shane smiled, “Well, you just did your job, and I probably wasn’t the easiest patient either.”
Zach laughed, “I’m going to miss your cursing.”
Shane laughed lowly and focused on his stance and Zach added, “I know it was rough for you, but I want you to hang in there, all right? You got my numbers and I want you to know you can call me anytime, not only as a therapist but also as your friend.”
Shane seemed somewhat emotional but he didn’t say anything and just nodded.
I saw his eyes glistening and Zach said, turning to me, “I hope he behaves himself. If not you can call me as well, Anna.”
I smiled, “He’s pretty good around me. He’ll be fine, I’ll make sure of it.”
Zach nodded, “I’m very glad to hear that. He’s a good guy. Thanks Anna.”
He gave me a quick hug and then turned to Shane, who stood by silently.
“Well, Shane, my friend. Take care of your body and yourself, okay. I hope to hear from you sometimes or visit if you’re in the city.”
Shane just nodded and he took a deep breath.
I could sense it was difficult for him to say Good Bye to Zach, “Thanks for everything Zach and thanks for being so patient with me. I know I wasn’t easy sometimes. You helped me a lot. I’ll stay in touch.”
Zach leaned in on Shane and gave him somewhat of a bro hug, patting Shane’s back. Shane only focused on standing.
We started off toward the door, Shane didn’t look back when he walked out.
At the door I smiled at Zach and whispered, “I’ll take care of him.”
“Good, I do worry about him. He hasn’t had it very easy.”
“I know but I’ll keep him straight.”
With that I handed Zach one of my business cards, “If you’re ever on Bourbon Street.”
He glanced at it and looked up at me with a surprised smile, “Call me if there’s anything going on with him.”
“I will, thanks Zach.”
I walked out of his office, Shane was already a short distance down the hallway.
Zach called out once more, “Bye Shane, take care.”
Shane didn’t say anything but just kept walking.I hurried after him and we made our way to the elevator. I know he wasn’t okay.
At the elevator he mumbled, “Let’s get out of this fucking hospital.”
He kept his eyes down and didn’t say anything else.
We stepped into the elevator and as I stood next to him I softly ran my hand over his back, “Are you all right?”
He shook his head, but didn’t speak. When we stepped out of the elevator in the parking garage I just followed him to the car.
At the car I didn’t unlock it yet and instead walked right up to Shane, who was waiting to get in, “Shane, what’s wrong?”
He shook his head again and his voice was shaky as he answered lowly, “I don’t know. It’s just weird. I hated this place so much so many times and I couldn’t wait to get out of there but now it’s strange to know I won’t have to come back anymore.”
I wrapped my arms around from behind him and I rested my head on his back, “Oh baby, I know what you mean. I think I understand. It’s like Charity was my second home while Jay was here and now I left this big part of myself here. So many emotions are connected to this hospital. Is that how you feel?”Shane nodded and I added, “Isn’t it weird how we both have been here so much and for so many months and have just now met when all of it is over?”
“Maybe it was meant to be like that. It’s probably better you didn’t meet me earlier. I wasn’t doing good most of the time, mentally and physically.”
I pushed my head to his back, “But now it’s good and I’m just glad we met at all.”
Shane shifted and I let him turn around. He leaned with his back against my car and I pushed myself to him and we kissed.
We drove over to the funeral home and after we parked Shane asked me, “Do you want me to go in with you?”“Yes please.”
We walked in together and Mr. Carlyle greeted us in the lobby, “Hello Anna, it’s so good to see you.”
I introduced Shane to him and I saw Mr. Carlyle glancing at Shane’s braces and crutches, “Nice to meet you Shane.”
We followed Mr. Carlyle into his office, he closed the door behind us and gestured us to have a seat.
He walked over to an adjacent door, “If you would excuse me for a moment, I’ll get Jay’s remains.”
I looked at Shane nervously and he reached his hand over and took mine in his and I felt him squeeze it for a moment.
Mr. Carlyle came back out with the urn that Jay had picked out a long time ago. He also brought a small urn dangling on a chain necklace. Jay’s wish had been to be buried in the cemetery in Ponchatoula, but the small urn held some of his ashes as well and he had wanted to have those spread out in the French Quarter eventually.
Mr. Carlyle set the two urns down in front of me, “Here they are Anna.”
Shane sat quietly next to me. I felt a tremble go through my body at looking at the urns and I felt sad.
Mr. Carlyle added, “This is a beautiful urn Jay had picked out. It looks very nice.”
I nodded, “It does.”
I felt strange though about sitting there and looking at the urn which held what was left of my brother. I really couldn’t believe it.
Mr. Carlyle didn’t let me think too much, “Do you already have a date for the burial in Ponchatoula?”
Al and Cindy had arranged all that and at the moment I wasn’t all the way sure when the burial would be. Until then I would keep the urn at my place. This is what I told the funeral home director.
“Okay, all right. Now the small urn you open whenever you decide to acknowledge Jay’s wish of the ashes being spread out where he asked for.”
I couldn’t really focus too much and just nodded quietly. I just wanted to get it over with I guess. Shane held my hand and I felt somewhat grounded with him holding on to me.
I had to sign some papers and forms to finish the process and Mr. Carlyle handed me copies of the papers, “Anna, if there’s anything else you need from us or if there’s anything else we can do for you, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. I hope everything was to your satisfaction, we make it our priority to meet our client’s needs at all times. If there’s anything that needs improving, we welcome your feedback.”
“Everything was wonderful, just how Jay would have wanted it. Thank you for all your services. I appreciate it so much.”
Mr. Carlyle smiled at me, “I’m very glad I got to meet Jay. He was a wonderful person. I know he’ll be missed by many.”
I lowered my eyes because tears were forming and I didn’t want to break down, “Thank you Mr. Carlyle.”
I started to get up and I heard Shane get up and lock his braces as he stood upright. Mr. Carlyle got up and came around the desk.He hugged me tightly, “All the best for you Anna.”
We said our Good Bye’s and I picked up the small urn and hung it around my neck, the large one in my hands. Mr. Carlyle held open the doors for us and I walked out behind Shane. My hands were shaking as we walked to the car. I couldn’t speak and I was fully focused on carrying the urn to my car where I then set it down in the floorboard in the backseat. I felt so strange, like in a daze and I started my car as Shane was still getting in.
I didn’t say anything and was startled when Shane asked lowly, “Are you all right to drive?”
I looked over at him, “Yes…”
Shane reached over and placed his hand on my thigh. We drove home in silence. I tried to keep the tears in.
When we got to my apartment I didn’t even wait for Shane. I locked the car, held the urn in my hands and walked up the stairs. I walked careful enough not to stumble but too fast for Shane to keep up with me. All I could think of was the urn in my hands. I left the door to my apartment open for Shane but walked straight to my living room where I sat the urn on a shelf. I took the small one from my neck and set it next to the large one. I dropped my purse on the floor and just stood there holding on to the shelf and staring at the urns.Tears were forming in my eyes as I started to speak, “Jay…Jay, you’re here with me again….”
I hung my head, “I miss you so much…so very much.”
I laid my hands on the large urn, it felt warm from the heat outside, “I wish so much you would still be here with me.”
I didn’t realize that Shane had come in and he stood in the doorframe to the living room quietly, just watching me. He was still gasping for breath from having climbed the stairs. I had started crying and only realized Shane was there when I heard him sit down on the couch, unlocking the braces, and dropping his backpack by his feet. I realized he had carried his backpack up on his shoulders.I turned to look at him and he said lowly, “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you.”
I took my hands off the urn, my tears were streaming quicker now.
Shane looked at me intensely and held his hand out, “Come over here.”
I walked over to him slowly, slipped my shoes off and crawled onto the couch next to him. Shane laid his arm around me and pulled me close and with my head on his chest I started crying and my tears were coming out like a waterfall. I sobbed and Shane just stroked my hair and head and I soaked his T-Shirt with my tears. We didn’t speak, I just cried, Shane just held me close. I was so glad to have him there with me at this moment. I glanced at his legs in the braces and tears just came streaming out even more. I just felt so emotional at the whole situation now. We sat like that for at least half an hour. When my tears finally subsided some I looked up at Shane and met his dark eyes, beautiful and deep and giving me chills.
My voice was still tear filled, “I’m so sorry Shane.”
“You don’t have to be sorry for anything. I’m here for you.”
“I’m so glad you’re here with me.”
“No other place I should be right now.”
I kissed him and he wiped my tears from my cheeks, “I love you so much Anna.”
“I love you Shane.”
We sat for a few more moments, just together in an embrace until Shane said lowly, “I should probably make my way into the bathroom.”
I sat up some, “Of course baby. Do you need your stuff?”
"I left a catheter in the bathroom this morning."
He planted another quick kiss on my cheek and got up. I watched him walk away slowly.
I stared at the urns and thought of Jay again, wiped my face and got up.
I wanted to make us something to eat.
I was in the kitchen when Shane came back in, “Hey, we don’t have to go anywhere tonight if you don’t feel like it.”I turned and looked at him. He looked so good standing there in my kitchen and I replied lowly, “No, I think we should go, I really need to get my mind off today.”
He came over and nodded, “Okay, Mitch wants to meet at around 8 tonight at the bar.”
“Yeah, we’ll eat and I’ll get freshened up and ready.”
Shane nodded, “Okay, if you’re sure.”
I stood in front of him and just looked at him.
He smiled, “What’s up?”
“Nothing, I just want to look at you. You have the most amazing eyes baby. I love your eyes. I love your smile, your face, your body.”
Shane looked down embarrassed and said lowly, “Stop saying all this stuff.”
He stood there holding on to his crutches and I put my hands on his holding the handles, “I love you so much. I love your legs, especially in your jeans and braces. You’re so hot to me, you can’t even imagine.”
He laughed nervously, “What’s going on with you?”
“Nothing, I just wanted to let you know and thank you for letting me be in your life.”
He shook his head now and looked at me with his dark eyes, “Anna, it’s the other way around. I have to thank you for letting me be in your life. I keep thinking I wake up from some kind of dream. I don’t want to be without you again ever.”
We kissed, Shane holding himself in place and feeling a little wobbly as I pressed my body against his.
Shane sat down on the couch and zapped through the TV channels while I prepared a quick dinner. We ate and it was almost seven then. I still needed to freshen up and change into something more appropriate for a bar and for the night.Shane said he would wear what he had on and I was fine with that. He looked good to me either way. He waited in the living room for me while I got ready. I got into some tight blue jeans, a tank top with a short leather jacket and some high heels.
When I came into the living room Shane looked over at me and whistled through his teeth, then said lowly, “Damn…”
He got up, locked his braces, and came over.
In my heels I was almost as tall as Shane and he smiled at me, “You’re beautiful. I’m going to have to fight off all the dudes tonight.”
“You’re not bad yourself there, player…”
I stretched my face to him and pressed a small kiss on his mouth, “Are you ready?”
“Almost, I’ll use the bathroom once more before we go.”
I gathered some things from my large purse and transferred them into a smaller purse.
When Shane came out of the bathroom he looked like he had freshened up some, his bangs were moist and I smelled a scent of deodorant or cologne surround him. He was in the same clothes that he had put on in the morning, his jeans with the braces over them and the dark T-Shirt I had wet with my tears earlier. Around his wrist he wore his wide leather watch band.“Do you want me to get your back pack?”
By now I knew Shane had his backpack with him wherever he went. It had important things in it for him just in case, and of course included a few catheters.
We made our way downstairs slowly, Shane carefully placing one leg after the other, heading down and holding on to his crutches helping him keep his balance and steadying himself. He was totally focused on the stairs, I could just see how difficult it was for him. It worried me a lot every time to see him make his way down. The staircases were steep, concrete and metal, no kind of slip proof surface. I was worried to see him fall down the stairs. Shane was fully focused, he didn’t look at me and only on the platform of every floor we looked at each other. I encouraged him and in my mind was thinking how eventually I needed to find another apartment very soon if Shane and I would be a permanent thing.