We were on our way out toward the airport, close to Kenner. Shane directed me and soon we arrived at the bar called “The Crazy Keg”, Sports bar and club. Signs with neon lights were flickering in the windows and on the building, depicting various beer names and an “Open” sign next to the door. The parking lot was crowded already and we found a spot close to the entrance.As we got out I asked Shane, “Do you think Mitch is already here?”
“I think so, we can go in already.”
As we got to the building, Shane had to climb five steps and people who were standing around on the deck watched him curiously. He kept his eyes down in front of him trying to avoid the stares. I stayed close to him and after paying a cover charge at the door we went on in. Music, voices and laughter hit us as we came inside. I looked around the place. It was crowded already. There was a band playing Rock music on the stage. People were dancing and lights shooting from a Disco ball were flickering over the dance floor. Shane nodded to me and to an area off to the side with about six pool tables. We spotted Mitch in the far corner with some other people having already claimed a pool table.
Mitch spotted us and waved us over, “Hey guys.”
I stayed close behind Shane a little nervous in the presence of all these strangers.
Mitch greeted us happily and asked me, “Anna, did you bring a friend?”
I smiled, “I’m sorry, no I didn’t bring a friend.”
He laughed, “No, it’s all good. I’m just kidding. Tammy would kill me.”
I was introduced to everyone, Jeff, Gareth, and Tim and Aaron with their girlfriends Brandi and Nicole. Everyone greeted me friendly and the guys all looked at me somewhat curious when Shane introduced me as his girlfriend.
Mitch was laughing again, “I told you idiots…Shane scored big time.”
I felt embarrassed but Nicole and Brandi distracted me, “So how did you meet Shane?”
I told the women how we met and they obviously liked the story a lot. The guys were in the middle of a round of pool and focused back on their game and the girls sat close by on some bar stools.
After we watched for a moment Shane asked me, “Do you want to get something to drink Anna?”
I thought for a moment, then said, “I don’t know. What do you want?”
“I’ll just have Pepsi, I’m staying away from the booze tonight. I already had my quota for the week at your house and this week.”
He smiled at me and I leaned over to him and quickly planted a kiss on his cheek.
“Okay, I’ll get us some drinks.”
I walked away toward the bar. It was crowded and people were in line for ordering drinks.I stood and waited and looked around the place when all the sudden a voice beside me asked, “So Anna, are you from New Orleans?”
I turned to look and saw Jeff standing right next to me.
I was somewhat surprised at his appearance but smiled, “No, I’m actually from Ponchatoula but I’ve lived in New Orleans for about 10 years now.”
He nodded, “Oh, right...”
I looked ahead again but he continued talking, “I’m not from here either. I’m originally from Lafayette but I have a good job down here at a boat building company. Been here for four years. Somehow people are different down here, like Shane and Mitch, those hard core Cajuns…how did you meet Shane anyways?”
I quickly told Jeff the story of how we met but couldn’t finish because it was my turn to order drinks. I was glad about that interruption. Something about the way Jeff looked at me made me uncomfortable.
He stayed in line behind me though and when I was done he smiled as I walked by, “See you in a moment.”
With two glasses in my hands I went back to the others and saw Shane sitting on a bar stool, his crutches leaning on the wall next to him. He watched the game and smiled at me when I walked up. I pushed myself between his legs and we tapped our glasses and drank.
We watched the game, talked and joked with the others. Jeff also came back to the table. I saw him glance at me and Shane a few times and didn’t know what was going on with that. Shane was mostly quiet. He listened more than he talked. Nicole and Brandie were all over their boyfriends Aaron and Tim. Mitch was the life of the group, joking and talking. I caught Jeff looking over at me often and it made me nervous. I didn’t think Shane realized. Jeff wasn’t bad looking, he had a nice short haircut, hazel eyes, of what I saw a toned body and wore blue jeans and a button up shirt. I was somewhat uncomfortable with his obvious interest in me though, since I was here with Shane.
Shane had his arms around me, I stayed close to him between his legs, fiddling with his braces at times and just feeling him close by.
The place was definitely packed now, lots of people were dancing and eventually Brandie asked me excitedly, “Anna, do you dance?”
I nodded smiling, “I do like to dance.”
Nicole turned to Shane, “So if knuckle head doesn’t mind, maybe we can go dance. What do you say Shane?”
Shane shrugged his shoulders, “Yeah sure, I don’t mind.”
I turned to him and asked lowly, “You really sure?”
He nodded and kissed me quickly, “Yeah, go for it. I won’t be dancing anytime soon. Ya’ll go ahead.”
The dancefloor was crammed but we found a spot for us three girls and we danced and laughed with each other.
We danced to about four songs when Brandie pointed over to the bar, and shouted over the music, “I guess the guys finished their game.”
We saw the guys by the bar talking and drinking. I spotted Shane standing by the bar, leaning on it, but holding on to his crutches.
I decided to go over to him, I was concerned about him having to stand for too long. I wanted to see about getting a bar stool for him.
I made my way through the crowds when on the edge of the dance floor all the sudden a hand grabbed my arm. I was startled and at first I thought it was one of the girls but when I turned to look it was Jeff.
He asked with a crooked smile, “Since Shane can’t dance with you, I was going to come dance with you Anna. Are you done already?”
I felt strange about this and I tried to pull my arm from him, “Yes, I’m done actually. Thanks though.”
Jeff though pulled me over some out of the view of the guys, “I don’t know how he lets you just go and dance on your own. “
It was a stupid comment and I pondered if I should say anything about it but I didn’t and just shrugged my shoulders.
He still had his hand around my wrist, “Anna, hey…I’m sorry but I want to ask you something.”
I was somewhat tense, “What?”
He looked at me with a serious expression and leaned closer to my ear, “I kind of don’t get it. I’m trying to figure it out but what do you actually want with Shane? I mean he’s obviously all messed up and stuff. I’d imagine that an attractive woman as you are could have someone a lot more…let’s say a lot more stable…someone who actually has a life and can offer you something. I’m 100 % sure you would have a choice of any guy in this joint here tonight if you wanted to. I really hope you realize Shane is just using you?”I was confused at Jeff’s words, “What are you talking about? You don’t know anything about me and Shane. We’re together and we love each other.”
Jeff sounded harsh, “Anna, he’s lying to you. You just haven’t realized it yet. He’s a damn good liar. I’ve known Shane for a while and he’s not what he makes it seem. He’s playing with you, trying to suck you dry. He’s had so many chicks in his life. You deserve someone better Anna. Shane ain’t got shit going on for him right now, no job, no money, but a good rap sheet on criminal shit that got him locked up and now he’s playing you with his fucking braces and disability, trying to make you feel sorry for him. He got fucked up with the accident and he hates it so much. He’s out on probation, I hope you know that. One thing he fucks up and he’s behind bars again. You need to get away from him before he takes everything from you and breaks your heart.”
I was utterly shocked at Jeff’s words and tried to pull away, “Get your hands off me!”
I pulled away and Jeff said, “You’ll realize soon enough, you’re wasting your time with him, Anna.”
“Let me go Jeff…”
He still held on to me some, and hissed, “Who the hell are you anyways? A fucking hooker or what? I could see that happen, Shane meeting a hooker somewhere.”
I almost wanted to smack him now. I was very upset at that point and I didn’t know if I could face Shane at this moment. I had tears in my eyes as I hurried to the bathroom and hid in a stall, breathing quickly and thinking over all the things Jeff had said. I couldn’t believe it. I leaned on the wall in the stall and tried to hold in my tears. All the sudden my emotions ran wild and I started thinking about all this stuff Jeff had said and started getting scared that he may have been telling the truth. Could I have been that blind not to realize Shane was not for real with me? I was scared now.
I stayed in the stall for a while. I heard girls talking, laughing, peeing and washing their hands outside the stall in the bathroom.
I had been in there for almost 20 minutes when I heard Brandie’s voice, “Anna, are you in here? Anna, it’s Brandie, we’re looking for you.”I opened the stall door and she looked at me, “What the hell happened? What’s wrong?”
She saw my teary eyes and my facial expression, “Anna, what’s going on? Shane is about to lose it out there trying to find you…The guys had to hold him back…it’s too crowded for him to get through all those people and stuff, he’s frantic saying something about you having had a rough day.”
She pulled me out of the stall and hugged me, “We need to go back out there. He’s really worried. Come on.”
I looked in the mirror and fixed my face as good as I could.
Brandie put her arm around me, “Girl, are you all right? What is going on with you?”
“I’m okay again.”
Just as we came out of the bathroom I saw Shane coming down the hallway, Mitch right behind him.
Shane looked angry and upset and came over to me quickly, actually swinging his legs through the crutches, “Anna, where the hell were you at? I got worried…What the fuck?”
I went to him and he leaned on the wall, and with his one hand, the crutch still dangling on his arm, he pulled me to him somewhat possessive, “Are you all right?”
I fell onto to him, my head on his chest, apologizing.
He asked me, “What’s going on with you? I was getting fucking worried.”
I mumbled, “I’m okay again.”
Mitch and Brandie quickly told us that they would meet us at the bar.
Shane nodded to them and stroked over my back, “Baby, talk to me. What’s going on?”
When I looked at him his eyes were filled with worry, I couldn’t tell him the truth, “I’m so sorry Shane. I just had a bad moment, thinking about Jay and everything.”
Shane pulled me closer, “I’m here for you. We can go home now.”
I shook my head, “I don’t want to go home yet. I’m okay again. I need a drink.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, I’m sure. Let’s go back to the others.”
Shane wasn’t all the way convinced, but put his hand to his crutch handle and followed me to the others again. Jeff was there too and I saw his very hostile gaze on me. I met his eyes with mine, stern and steadfast. He shook his head slightly while everyone else was concerned about me and I assured them I was okay.
Shane turned to me, “What do you want to drink?”
“Crown and Sprite, double shot.”
Shane looked somewhat surprised but ordered the drink for me and I got next to him and grabbed the drink that was placed on the bar. I took a big sip and it felt good. I stayed close to Shane and after a while we all talked again, except for Jeff who stayed quiet now. He kept looking at me and Shane with resentment but I tried to ignore him. No one seemed to notice the tension between us.
I finished my drink and when I wanted another one Shane stated lowly, “Anna, you won’t be able to drive home anymore.”
“I don’t care, we can take a taxi.”
I got another drink and I felt the alcohol do its job, letting me forget and get lose, laughing and joking but also ignoring Shane somewhat. The things that Jeff had said about him were still in the back of my mind and I kept looking at Shane and I saw him differently. I think he was confused because he was quiet and basically watched me get drunk.
We all found a booth close to the dance floor and sat down. Aaron and Tim danced with their girls, Jeff, Gareth, and Mitch were chatting and I sat next to Shane. With a quick look over at Jeff and making sure he saw it I leaned in on Shane and started kissing him wildly. The alcohol made me shameless. When we let go and the waitress came to the table I ordered another drink.
Shane pulled me to him and sounded somewhat tense, “What are you doing Anna? I think you’re done.”
I snapped at him, “I can do what I want and right now I want to forget.”
With that I got up and went out onto the dance floor. I didn’t even ask Shane and he just sat there with the guys. Mitch, Gareth, and Jeff watched me curiously and I saw them talk to Shane. Shane didn’t take his eyes off me, he watched every move I made and every person that got close to me. If looks could kill there would have been some dead guys. I was loose and I danced lost in thoughts. I didn’t even realize I made some explicit moves as the guys were watching me.
A guy came up to me and leaned down to my ear, “May I join you? You look like you’re having too much fun by yourself.”
I glanced at Shane and his eyes were dark as night. I saw him shift and he moved to the edge of the seat. I was actually dancing some with the guy and just when Shane was about to get up I told the guy I wanted to dance by myself and that my boyfriend was over there. The guy disappeared but I kept dancing. Shane didn’t move his eyes from me anymore. I was dancing freely to the music, lost in thoughts and feeling the alcohol in my veins. Another guy approached me and Shane was definitely tense now.
I told the guy off but Mitch came over and leaned down to me, “Anna, you probably should come back over there to sit with your boyfriend. The boy’s about to throw a hissy fit. He’s getting pissed.”
Mitch guided me back over to the table and I plopped down next to Shane.
He pulled me to him, “Anna, I think we should go home.”
I drank some more and replied to Shane, “I don’t want to go yet.”
Shane didn’t protest and I took another sip, ordering another drink when the waitress checked on us. Shane’s eyes were dark and he seemed tense watching me drink like this. Here and there I threw Jeff a glance and he always met my eyes.
All the guys except for Shane had been drinking. Nicole and Brandie were still sober too.
It was almost two o’clock when we all made our way outside to get home. We walked over to the side of the building, started talking, and were about to say our Good Bye.
Shane was leaning on the wall of the building to have an easier time standing. He had been very quiet and I knew I had made him angry some but the alcohol had stripped me of any reserve.
In a quiet moment I met Shane’s eyes and then the words just came out of me, for everyone to hear, “Shane, I want to know something? Are you just using me?”
Shane shifted some and looked at me questioningly, “What?”
My lips were numb and my voice was weak, “I asked if you’re just using me for my money since you don’t exactly have any. Or maybe just for sex.”
Shane’s eyes turned dark as night and everyone was looking at me in shock. The tension was so high, it was practically visible.
He swallowed and his voice was scratchy, “What are you talking about Anna?”
I positioned myself in front of him and demanded loudly but slurring, “I’m asking you to tell me the truth why you’re really with me…are you using me Shane? Because I don’t need this okay…I don’t need you in your braces or whatever…yeah, they’re hot but if you’re just playing with me you can leave and kiss my ass Good Bye. I don’t want to get fucked with Shane. So tell me the truth!”
Shane straightened up some and I stepped away from him with wobbly legs, “Someone told me you’re not what you’re making it out to be…you like to use girls and you’re using me. Apparently you’re a good liar.”
Shane’s expression was shocked and all he could say was, “Anna, I love you more than anyone I’ve ever loved. I thought you knew that.”
I stood there light headed and wobbly on my feet, “How do I know it’s the truth?”
He opened his mouth, swallowed and said, “Anna, we should go home.”
Mitch put his arm around me, “Anna, Shane is right. You probably should go home, we’re going to get you guys a taxi.”
“Leave me alone Mitch. I want him to proof to me that he’s for real. Are those braces even for real or is it just some weird show you’re putting on Shane? Are you even paraplegic or are you just leading people on?”
Shane didn’t speak but I saw his chest rising up and down quickly.
Eventually he asked lowly but very tense, “Who said this stuff about me?”
I got louder, “It doesn’t matter. Proof to me that you mean it and that you really love me.”
Shane stood on the wall still in absolute shock, breathing quickly, pressing his lips together and shaking his head, then saying, “Baby, don’t do this to me. I love you, that’s all there’s to it. I think we need to go now.”
I pointed my finger at Jeff now who stood off to the side and watched the whole scene unfold, “HE told me that you're using me because you don’t have anything going for you right now. He said you’re a liar and you always talk to girls…tell me Shane, am I just another girl you’re using?”
My voice was trembling and I felt tears come up in my eyes.
Brandie came over to me, put her arm around me and led me over to the side as I heard Tim say, “Holy shit!”
I sobbed now and I was loud, “I can’t handle another lie, another messed up relationship…I knew I shouldn’t have let you come into my life.”
Everyone was tense as Shane moved away from the wall and slowly made his way toward Jeff.
Jeff intercepted Shane until they were face to face, “Why don’t you just admit it to her Shane. You’re a fucking loser, that’s all. She deserves better. You should give her up and let her go.”
Shane was slightly taller and Jeff had to look to up him.
Shane said very angrily, “What the fuck do you think you’re doing asshole?”
Jeff laughed, “I’m just telling it like it is. What are you going to do about it, cripple?”
The guys stood by obviously on alert and the girls stepped back, Brandie leading me away.
Jeff added with a mean grin, “I really don’t know how you got in her pretty little head but she could do so much better. I’m not sure why she’s with you, she’s way out of your league Shane. You’re just one pissed off fucked up cripple, that’s all.”
At that Shane moved himself closer to Jeff, their faces almost touching and he shoved Jeff with his body causing Jeff to tumble back a few steps, “You need to back off asshole. What is your fucking problem?”
Jeff still grinned, “You do realize that you don’t stand a fucking chance against me anymore Shane. I can beat the crap out of you so quick you won’t even know what happened.”
Shane stared at Jeff and then spit in his face. Jeff pressed his lips together and just when he was about to throw a punch at Shane, Mitch interfered and punched Jeff so hard, he tumbled to the ground.
Jeff yelled in a hysteric laugh, “Oh, here’s your fucking babysitter defending your crippled ass.”
Shane was breathing quickly standing over Jeff and with his crutch he roughly shoved Jeff on the ground a few times. Jeff was laughing now, his lip was bleeding from Mitch’s punch.
Shane shoved his crutch hard into Jeff’s stomach. Jeff tried to get up coughing but Shane pushed him back down with the crutch, losing his own grounding some and quickly setting the crutch back down to find his balance again.
Jeff was coughing and still laughing, “This is so funny. You’re about to bust your own ass trying to get at me. Idiot!”
Mitch pushed Shane away and tried to deescalate the situation, “Jeff, you need to get out of here right now before someone is seriously getting hurt.”
Jeff yelled trying to get up, “Cripple is on fucking probation. I can get his ass back in the joint in no time.”
This stopped Shane and Mitch pushed him over to the side some more.
Shane was furious though and Jeff sat up with a bloody nose and lip and laughed over at Shane, “You may as well break up with her now because I’m getting your ass locked up again. You didn’t serve your time yet selling crack to my brother.”
Mitch had to hold Shane back as he took gasping breaths and wanted to get at Jeff.
I cried in Brandie’s arms and watched the whole scene.
Tim and Aaron kept Jeff from getting to Shane again.
Mitch held Shane pressed onto the wall and Shane yelled, “Fuck you Jeff…”
Jeff finally got up somewhat wobbly, wiping with his hand over his bleeding face.
He pushed Aaron and Tim out of the way, “Get out of my way, fucking losers.”
Mitch now boomed angrily, “Get your ass out of here before I beat the shit out of you.”Jeff walked off and Mitch held Shane against the wall again, “You stay put bro. I’m not letting you get yourself in trouble like this.”
Shane wanted more revenge but he gave in and let Mitch hold him back as Jeff walked away and screamed, “Fuck you Shane…fuck all of you. Have fun screwing the hooker…oh, wait I heard your junk is fucked too…so whatever…”
At that comment Shane almost broke loose from Mitch again but Mitch actually pressed his arm onto Shane’s throat, almost choking him some, yelling at him, “LET IT GO SHANE.”
Shane was breathing quickly and he pressed his lips together in anger and fury, then looking over to me as I stood in Brandie’s embrace crying.
When Mitch didn’t let him go right away Shane yelled at him, “Fucking let me go man!”
Mitch was strict, “You need to calm down before I’m letting go Shane.”
Shane was still devastated and his eyes were shiny as he called over to me, “Anna, get over here…”
Brandie let me go and somewhat dizzy I walked over to him. Mitch stepped away and I saw Shane’s whole body shaking and he let his head hang and he was breathing heavily, trying to speak but couldn’t. I moved right up to him, tears were streaming down my face and I fell onto him and I cried into his T-Shirt.
I felt his heart beat very fast and I mumbled, “I’m so sorry…”
Shane said with a trembling voice, “I love you Anna…that’s all and you have to believe me. I love you so much…” He couldn’t talk anymore as his voice broke and he swallowed.
I leaned on him and I just cried and repeated lowly, “I’m so sorry Shane…”
I felt him literally shaking. His face was buried in my hair and he took quick breaths but couldn’t speak anymore as the anger and the tension escaped from his broken body. I could see his hands gripping the crutch handles tighter and I could feel he was unsteady.
I stood up and with teary eyes looked at him, “You need to sit down.”
Mitch came over and supported Shane as he guided him over to a bench. Shane sat down slowly and almost fell over.
Mitch supported him, “Hey hey, it’s all right, man…”
I watched my boyfriend be overcome by all the emotions going through him and my heart wanted to burst. He looked over at me, his eyes were shiny and sad. I could see he was fighting his own tears.
His eyes were pleading but he still didn’t speak. I sat down next to him and just cried.
Brandie and Nicole stood with their boyfriends and everyone watched us and mumbled things about what had just happened.
Mitch decided, “We need to call a taxi for those two.”
Shane had pulled his arms out of his crutches and laid his arm around me and pulled me close. That's all he could do, he didn’t speak and I silently cried. When I glanced up at him I saw a few tears were running down his cheek too.
We just sat there and while everyone waited and made sure we were okay a taxi came.
Mitch asked, “Are you guys going to be okay?”
I nodded, “Yes, Mitch, thanks.”
Mitch leaned over to Shane, “Shane, bud…are you all right?”
Shane nodded but didn’t say anything.
Mitch then turned to me, “Anna, all these things Jeff had said…it’s not true. He’s the fucking liar. He was drunk and jealous and there has been some tensions between Shane and him for a long time. Shane can tell you all that stuff himself. So don’t believe anything Jeff had told you. Shane cares a whole lot about you, more than you can even imagine. I know you mean the world to him, okay. Forget about everything you heard from Jeff. It’s not true. He was a fucking asshole tonight.”
I sat there and looked at Mitch and tears were still running out of my eyes.
He repeated, “You believe me Anna?”
“Yes, I believe you.”
With that Shane held out his knuckles and Mitch bumped him with his own knuckles.
Mitch looked at me again, “This guy is like a brother to me.”
Mitch then watched as Shane got up and slowly made his way down the stairs to the taxi. Nicole and Brandie held me in their embrace and guided me to the taxi. The girls hugged me Good Bye.
We got in and I thanked Mitch again as he stood outside the taxi. The guys waved at us and called their Good Byes as Mitch shut the door.
The taxi driver turned around to us and said friendly, “Good morning folks. I’m Eddy and I’ll be your driver tonight. Where can I take you to?”
I told Eddy my address and the taxi went on its way.
Even though the alcohol was still in my system, the whole altercation had somewhat cleared my head. I looked over at Shane and he only glanced at me quickly and he looked sad. I laid my head on his arm, he didn’t put his arm around me and I started crying silent tears again. I thought about all the things I had said and how much I had probably hurt him. I didn’t know how he felt and I didn’t know what to say.
We got to my apartment about 25 minutes later and as Shane got out I paid the driver and thanked him. I watched the taxi drive off and then followed Shane, realizing I was still feeling very wobbly on my feet and somewhat dizzy in my head. Shane didn’t say a word as he started making his way up the stairs with the usual difficulties and focusing only on the task of moving one leg after the other to get up the stairs. I had to hold on to the railing myself and stayed behind him, my vision not very sharp. I felt very tipsy and my steps were somewhat uncoordinated. I thought about taking off my heels.
Shane took a break on the first platform but he didn’t look at me as I stood on the first step of the second flight and looked at him, “Are you going to make it?”He only nodded and started ascending up the next flight. I was ahead of him this time and when he stopped on the second flight catching his breath and adjusting his stance and grip of his crutches I kept going up to my apartment. It took me a while to find my keys, I was swaying in front of my door, fiddling with the keys and eventually finding the hole to unlock my door.
Inside I dropped my purse on the chair in the hallway and slipped out of my heels kicking them over to the side. I rushed into the bathroom to pee and I also felt somewhat sick in my stomach now.
When I came out of the bathroom I saw Shane make his way into the bedroom already.
I followed him and Shane said lowly, “We left my backpack in your car.”
I quickly ran through my mind what all was in his back pack, “Do you need stuff out of it?”
“I have some more catheters in my bag here, just my meds are in the back pack but hopefully I won’t deal with any spasms tonight.”
He stood there and I walked over to him asking softly, “Are you going to be okay?”
“I hope so. Can you get me my other bag from your closet?”
I nodded and unsteady walked into my closet to get his bag and set it on the bed. Shane pulled his one hand off the crutch handle and one handed tried to unzip his bag but couldn’t do it. He also stood very unsteady with only one hand holding a crutch. I snapped out of my daze and unzipped his bag as he moved his hand back to the crutch handle.
“There should be some underneath my clothes in a plastic bag.”
I dug to the bottom of the bag and found the plastic bag and pulled out one of the packages for him. He stuck the catheter package into his jeans waistband and made his way to the bathroom. I didn’t say anything to him but I felt very dizzy all the sudden and had to sit down on my bed. I still felt sick to my stomach. Shane took a while in the bathroom and when he was done he came into the bedroom again. I had fallen back onto the bed and everything was spinning.
I was taking quick breaths and Shane sat down and asked lowly, “Are you all right Anna?”
I shook my head but quit right away as my head didn’t like the movement at all. Shane took his arms out of his crutches and set them next to the bed. He slid his T-Shirt over his head and then moved his whole body onto the bed, by scooting and helping with his arms and hands.
I felt sick and not good at all. He made it next to me and looked down to me, “Anna, what’s wrong?”
I mumbled, “I’m drunk, dizzy, and sick.”
He stroked a strand of hair from my face, “You did have a lot to drink but you didn’t want to listen to me.”
I moved my eyes to him and looked into his face, his dark eyes scanning my face and I mumbled lowly, “Shane…I totally understand if you’re going to leave me…” My voice was weak and my speech slurred.
He didn’t say anything right away, but he gently let his finger stroke over my cheek.
I kept my eyes on him, “I know I fucked up…big time.”
Shane shifted some and said lowly, “Jeff was jealous, that’s all. We have a history about a girl and yes, I did sell drugs to his brother for a while. His brother was an addict and eventually committed suicide. I know Jeff is blaming me.”
I heard him talk but I didn’t fully comprehend, my mind was racing and my head was spinning. I felt very sick at my stomach now and had to jump up and ran to the bathroom where I vomited into the toilet. I kneeled in front of the toilet bowl and puked.
Shane eventually appeared in the bathroom and lowered himself onto the edge of the bathtub close to the toilet. He was able to reach me with his hand and watched as I puked again, rubbing my back. In the corner of my eyes I saw his legs next to me, still in the braces and boots. When I felt I was done, I was sweating and shaking and I turned around on my knees and wriggled myself between Shane’s legs, laying my head on his knees. He didn’t say anything but let his hands runs over my hair. We sat like that for a few minutes.
Eventually I started, “Shane, I’m so sorry for what I did to you tonight. I deserve being sick like this.”
I felt tears come up in my eyes again and he stroked his hand over my head still.
When he didn’t speak I sat up and looked at him. I knew I Iooked like a total mess, my makeup was smeared all over my face, I was sweating, and my skin was blotchy.
He moved his eyes to me and I took his hand in mine, “I don’t know how you’ll ever forgive me.”
Shane looked at me for a moment, then said lowly, “I can see how you would doubt everything about me and what we have. I’m sure Jeff isn’t all the way wrong with what he said…”
I listened to him now and he looked down for a moment, then at me again, “Anna, I don’t have much I can give you, not right now…I have no money, no job, no place to live. I have nothing to offer you, absolutely nothing. All I can give you is myself and my love for you. And yes, I was different before all this happened. I’ve done some stupid shit but I paid for it, still am paying for it. And all of this….”
He patted his leg brace and continued, “All of this is real, and I’m for real with the way I feel about you and for you. I’m not using you or playing with you. I hate that I can’t do more for you financially, I couldn’t even pay for the fucking taxi a while ago. I hate it and I’m waiting for the moment when you come to realize and then you’re gone. I’m really worried once I’m back in Morgan City it’ll end between us. I’m going to live down there, I don’t have a way to come and see you, I’m going to depend on you coming to see me and I know you work a lot and you have a life here in the city. It wouldn’t surprise me if it would end…but even if it does I want you to know that everything I told you about myself and the way I feel for you is nothing but real and when you said all those things tonight I felt like I was getting a preview of what is to come. It hurt like hell and I couldn’t help break down. I was ready to kill Jeff and it was good that Mitch was there. I was so furious at everything he said…”
Slowly my tears were running over my face as I looked at Shane and listened to him. My head was somewhat clear now and I heard everything he said.His dark eyes were drilling into me, “I have nothing to give to you except for myself and my love for you. I want nothing else than to make you happy and hopefully proud of being with me. I know it’s not like that right now but I promise I’ll try my best to make it better and be the man for you that you deserve. I love you more than anything in my life.”
His chest was moving up and down quickly and I saw a tear run down his cheek.
My mouth was dry as I opened it to talk, “Shane, I love you very much and what I said tonight was horrible. I’m just tired of having my heart broken, I can’t handle that anymore. I want to be with someone long term and I want that person to be you but I know being with me is also not easy. You’re so brave taking me on with my job and all that. Gosh, it’s all so difficult but I want to be with you and I can’t imagine not having you with me anymore. I love you so much Shane and everything about you and I want to help you get your life together again. I’m sorry I let Jeff influence me tonight with the hateful things he said, I should’ve known better and I can’t forgive myself at how I could even consider anything he said about you but when he said it, it scared me so much and I was afraid he may be telling the truth. I should’ve never doubted you or what we have, never.”
Shane ran his finger over my cheek and with a tear falling from his eye he said lowly, “It was a rough night for us.”
I nodded and sat up on my knees to be closer to his face, “It was and we should never let anyone or anything come between us like this.”
He shook his head and instead of kissing we hugged each other tightly and I cried again onto Shane’s naked shoulder.
He mumbled in my hair, “I hated to see these guys come up to you tonight and I’m sorry I acted stupid. It just made me so freaking jealous.”
I replied, “You have nothing to worry about, I’m yours only.”
We hugged and eventually I washed my face, brushed my teeth with Shane sitting there in the bathroom waiting for me and then brushing his teeth too. We headed into the bedroom.
I had brought some water and Aspirin as I felt a pounding headache come on.
Shane took his arms out of his crutches and pulled himself up on the bed in his jeans and braces and let his head fall onto the pillow. It was now after three o’clock in the morning.
I looked at him, “Do you want me to take the braces off for you?”
He shook his head and replied lowly, “I’m just going to stay in them right now. I don’t have my spasm meds and I can feel they are acting up some. The braces will help keep them in line.”
I asked warmly, “But is it not uncomfortable for you?”
He shrugged his shoulders, “It’s all right. Remember, I can’t feel them on my legs, and it’s just better. I’m afraid my spasms will get bad tonight, there was a lot of stress this evening. My legs get pissed off at me sometimes. I’ll set my watch to wake up in about four hours or so to pee.”
He smiled at me and I went into my closet, took off my clothes and slipped into some Yoga pants and a tank top. I felt odd putting on my skimpy night shirt if Shane laid there in Jeans and boots and braces.
I climbed next to him, my head hurt badly already and I laid myself in his arm and rested my head on his naked chest, seeing it move up and down as he fell into even breaths falling asleep.
I wasn’t far behind him and fell into a restless sleep with vivid dreams of all kinds of weird things. I woke myself up as I was startled so bad and when I looked at Shane his eyes were open in the dark and he pulled me close, and whispered, “Hey, what’s going on? You were dreaming or something…you were whimpering.”
I felt my body tremble and my head hurt like it wanted to explode.
I only said softly, “I was dreaming weird stuff.”
He pulled me closer, “It’s all right. You’re safe with me.”
I heard the smile in his voice and mumbled, “I love you Shane.”
“I love you.”