It was getting late, close to midnight and the guests were declining in numbers, the laughter and chatter had become lower and the music had also been turned down.Shane held me to him still and I said, “I’m tired now. It’s been a long day.”
He nodded, “Yeah, it has. We can probably get our stuff and see where they want us to sleep.”
Our bags were still in the car. Earlier I had only brought Shane’s back pack into the house.
“I’ll get our bags from the car.”
“Okay. Can you hand me my crutches?”
I picked up the crutches off the ground and handed them to Shane. As I walked away I heard him lock his braces.
I made my way toward the front of the trailer when I was startled by Brian again.
“Are you leaving Anna?”
I slowed in my pace, “No, I’m just getting some stuff from my car.”
“Do you need help?”
“Thanks, I got it.”
Brian smiled, “Did you enjoy yourself and is Shane happy to be back home?”
I felt somewhat uncomfortable by Brian’s questioning, “Shane is happy to be here. It’s nice I got to meet his family.”
Brian nodded smiling, “Are you guys going to move here?”
“Actually no, I just brought Shane back. I’ve to go back to New Orleans for work but I’ll come up as often as I can.”
Brian tilted his head some, “And Shane is okay with that?”
“Yes, we’re going to make it work.”
“I saw your outburst earlier with Rachelle. She’s trouble, I tell you that. She doesn’t leave any stone unturned or better any guy.”
I lowered my eyes, “I don’t care about her.”
Brian turned serious, “I don’t know how the accident affected Shane and how everything is for him now being disabled and all but he used to be a wild one. I went to school with him and I remember even back then Shane getting in trouble all the time.”
I was slightly annoyed now, “You know Brian, maybe he was different back then but I wouldn’t know and I actually don’t want to know. I know I care a lot more about him than you or anyone else can imagine and he feels the same way about me. I actually love him.”
I felt somewhat bad I let Brian have another irritated outburst but just like Shane I was also tired of hearing about all these things.
Softly I added, “I’m sorry, but…” I really didn’t know what else to say.
Brian smiled, “It’s all right. I really wish you the best with him, but here you go just in case.”
He pulled a business card out of his wallet and handed it to me. It had the logo and information of a car garage and repair on it and it had Brian’s name listed as the manager.
He explained, “I own a mechanic shop here in town and just in case you ever need to talk or something. I’ve known Shane and his brothers for a long time. I hope he’ll treat you right. Or if you need an oil change while you’re here, bring your car by my shop.”
He smiled still and his voice sounded warm now.
He was definitely an attractive guy and maybe didn’t deserve my frustration but all I said was, “Thanks. I’ve to go now.”
“Of course, we don’t want to worry Shane. I’m heading out too. It was nice meeting you Anna. Shane’s a lucky guy.”
“Thanks Brian, it was nice meeting you.”
With that we parted but I sensed Brian looking after me as I headed to my car. I got our bags and lugged everything around to the back of the trailer again where Shane intercepted me with Jenny.
She took one of the bags from me, “Here hon, I’ll show you the room you guys can stay in. It’ll also be Shane’s room for now.”
I followed Jenny into the trailer and Shane slowly made his way behind us. I waited at the top of the stairs for him, holding the doors as he pushed his body up the steps once again.
Jenny explained while walking in, “We’ve got four bedrooms. They’re not super big but it works. We used to have a single wide but got the double wide two years ago with this piece of land here.”
We got to a small bedroom in the very back of the hallway to the left. There was a bathroom right next to it. Seeing the whimsical fish and ocean themed decorations it was obviously the kid’s bathroom.
Jenny dropped the bag in the room, “So you guys can use the bathroom next to this room. It’s usually the kid’s bathroom but it’s yours now. I hope it’s all right. Let me know if you need anything and please feel at home you guys.”
Shane stood in the hallway and Jenny went up to him and actually hugged him again, “I’m glad you’re back home Shane and I know Jordan is more than happy. He really missed you. If you need anything, please let us know.”
She turned to me again, “You too Anna, let me know if you need anything at all. And tomorrow we’re all just going to sleep in and skipping church.”
She laughed and I thanked her.
“Good Night you guys.”
The room was barely furnished with just a full size bed, a dresser drawer, a night table and a small closet in the wall. It was clean and tidy though and I could see that Jenny probably had made sure it was presentable as a guest room.Shane mentioned, “I’ve slept in here before.”
I walked up to him, “You have?”
“Yeah, when we had been drinking and I couldn’t drive home anymore.”
Shane leaned on the wall and I pushed myself to him, putting my hand to his chest, smiling at him, “Drinking, partying, girls, drugs…I don’t know what to think about you anymore. I’m starting to think you were a really bad boy.”
Shane looked down, then back up at me, “Different time.”
He held himself on his crutches leaning on the wall as I pressed my body to him and kissed him. I let my leg slide between his legs and when I unlocked my lips from him he looked at me with his dark eyes but didn’t say anything.
I let my fingers run over his cheek, and felt the stubble of his beard, “Are you all right?”
He sighed, “Yeah, it was a lot tonight. I’m just really tired and exhausted dragging myself around all afternoon. I need to get out of my braces, they’re starting to bother me.”
“I just feel the weight of them on my legs when I crutch around and just having my legs in them all day is a lot. I need to lay down but I really want to take a shower before.”
“Yeah, me too. We both smell like smoke.”
I looked up at him and kissed him one more time, “I love you.”
“I love you.”
I stepped back from him and he moved slowly, “I think I’m going to take them off in the bathroom. I need to check the shower situation again, I don’t think it’ll be too good for me.”
“Let’s go look.”
In the bathroom the shower was really just a low bath tub, built into the wall like all generic bath tubs. It wasn’t a walk in shower and there was no chair for Shane to sit on.
I saw a small roach run across the back of the sink and it disappeared in a crack between the wall and sink.
Shane let himself down on the edge of the tub, “I’ve to make it work somehow.”
The tub wasn’t as deep as the one at my apartment. I thought he would probably make it.
Shane pulled his arms out of his crutches and leaned them next to him on the tub.
Glancing at the braces I said, “I’ll help you take them off.”
He didn’t protest and just held himself steady on the tub edge while I started to unstrap and unbuckle his braces. He just sat there and watched me with tired eyes. His legs were twitching as I loosened the braces.
Once his braces were off and his feet out of the boots I said, “I’ll take them to the bedroom.”
When I came back Shane still sat in the same spot on the tub edge, sock footed, and his jeans loosely around his legs. They were jumping awkwardly and twitching. His back pack was still in the bathroom from earlier and he moved his hand down to grab it. Momentarily he lost his balance some and almost fell over forward, catching himself and hissing through his teeth, “Shit! I’m just freaking tired and fucking spams bothering me now.”
He placed both his hands next to his hips again and said lowly, “I need to cath.”
I thought for a second and realized what he needed, “Here, I can get one of those…those…things.”
I leaned down and dug through his back pack until I found one of the packages.
Shane watched me and when I held it out to him, he said, “I need to scoot closer to the toilet.”
He pushed himself along the tub edge toward the toilet and I stood there looking at the catheter package in my hand.
Once he was basically next to the toilet still sitting on the bath tub edge he looked at me, “There should also be some Latex gloves, a lube bottle and some sterile swabs in my back pack. I forgot to wash my hands while I was still in my braces.”
He looked over his shoulder to the bath tub faucet behind him apparently contemplating if he could reach it and wash his hands that way. It wouldn’t work.
I found the items in the bag and set them on the counter of the sink close by. Shane sat somewhat slouched over and was having trouble holding himself balanced on the tub and I really didn’t know how he would do this. His legs were still twitching and falling from side to side. He had no handle to hold on to or any kind of bracing behind his back to fiddle with the items and actually then empty his bladder into the toilet. I didn’t know how he had managed earlier.
I suggested lowly, “If you want I could help you.”
He looked up at me somewhat surprised.
I added carefully, “Just tell me what to do and I’ll do it.”
Shane looked down for a moment, took a deep breath and asked, “You sure about that?”
I nodded, “Yes, I’m sure. It’s no big deal.”
I also wondered how he had managed catherization at my apartment before but at least I had a chair in my bathroom and I assumed he had probably used it when he had to cath there.
He took another deep breath, then attempted to unbutton and unzip his jeans. I saw him swaying on the tub edge. It took him a moment to get it done but since he didn’t ask me to help him I didn’t.
He looked up at me panting as he finally had his jeans undone and he started wriggling them over his butt with one hand, bracing himself in the process. The spasms in his legs didn't help the situation.
I then asked him carefully, “Shane, what do you want me to help you with?”
He held himself steady again, didn’t answer my question and I added, “I’m just going to wash my hands.”
I set the catheter package on the counter next to the other items.
I washed my hands thoroughly while Shane sat there wriggling his dark red boxers over his butt and with his jeans and boxers pulled down to his knees his flaccid penis was just dangling there now. He didn’t look up at me.
Once I was done washing my hands, I turned toward him again looking at him questioningly.
He explained, “Just put on the gloves, get that sterile swab out of the package, and wipe the top of my dick.”
I did as he instructed and leaned over to him and holding his soft penis in my hands I gently swabbed the tip of it. His legs were shaking next to my hands.
Shane said lowly, “Just leave the cloth on there until you have the catheter package open.”
I left it there covering the tip of his penis. Shane kept his eyes down and I grabbed the catheter package.
He told me which end of the package to open. I followed his instructions and did as he explained on how to hold it and slide it out of the packaging. I also had to squirt some of the lube onto the tubing.
He nodded at the tubing end I would have to insert into his urethra, “Use this end to slide it in.”
I felt my whole body trembling from nervousness and excitement at doing this with him.
I nodded slowly and answered, “Okay.”
My hands were shaking as I moved the small cloth off his penis and Shane instructed, “Now just find the hole and slide it in there slowly.”
Momentarily I looked at him for confirmation. He nodded but looked away quickly.
I leaned closer to his penis, holding it in my hands and found the small opening. Slowly I pushed in the tubing while I held the other end pointing into the toilet.
I was hesitant and Shane said, “Just shove it up there, it doesn’t hurt.”
I pushed a bit more forceful and it didn’t take long and light yellow urine started running through the catheter tubing and Shane said, “That’s it, it’s in far enough.”
He sat there holding himself on the tub, pants and boxers down, his feet sock footed scrambled in front of him, and I was holding the tubing into the toilet. His legs were bent and one leg had basically fallen over to the side, just hanging there awkwardly and I saw it twitch with spasms.
I had broken out into sweat a little. The urine ran into the toilet in a steady stream and I was fascinated at the process. I watched the urine flow through the tubing. It felt warm in my gloved hands. My heart was beating fast and even though this was very arousing to me it also made me feel so very close to Shane in an extremely intimate and special way. The catheter came out of the tip of his soft penis and at the other end of the tube the urine flowed into the toilet with a soft gushing sound. He just sat there quietly and I saw his hands holding on to the tub edge from under my bangs, trying to keep himself steady while his legs kept shaking.
I looked up and met his eyes, “Thanks for letting me help you.”
He nodded. I knew this wasn’t easy for him to let me in on this. I still saw him sway slightly on the edge of the tub though, he didn’t have good balance at the moment and his hands were holding on tightly to the tub.Shane then asked softly, “You don’t think this is disgusting?”
I shook my head and kept my eyes on him, “Not at all. I want to help you if you let me and if you need help anytime. I appreciate your trust in me baby.”
He nodded again and stated lowly, “This bathroom sucks, there’s nowhere to hold on for me around this toilet.”
I looked around and nodded in agreement, “Maybe Jordan can put one of those frames in here for you because how are you going to do this every time?”
Shane shrugged his shoulders, “I don’t know, I’ll have to figure it out or put a chair in here somehow. Not a lot of room in here though.”
The urine stream decreased and eventually only drops came out.
“Shake the end of it into the toilet, then take some toilet paper and bring it up to this end, so you can pull the other end out.”
I did again as directed and eventually slowly pulled the tubing out of his penis, dabbing with toilet paper the few drops that still ran out.
I didn’t know what to do with the catheter and Shane told me, “Just drop that thing in the sink for right now.”
I did that and while I pulled the gloves off my hands Shane moved his body away from the toilet some. I disposed of the gloves and flushed the toilet, then closed the lid.
I asked him, “How you wanna do this?”
“I have to sit down in the tub like at your place. If I’m going to stay here I need a shower chair to transfer over to. It sucks with just a shower head way up there.”
He glanced up at the shower head on the wall above us.
I got up, “Here, let’s do this.”
I put my hand to his T-Shirt and he let me pull it over his head and quickly placed his hands back on the tub edge to hold his balance.
“I should have asked Jordan to help me in. I don’t want you to have to lift me every time. I’m too heavy for you.”
“I can do it babe. You’re really not that heavy.”
Shane’s legs were twitching and falling over to the side again.
Somewhat wobbly and hunched over he pulled his one foot up on his knee, and took his sock off with one hand, still holding himself with the other hand on the edge. He did the same thing with his other foot.
Meanwhile I put the stopper into the tub and turned the knob on the faucet, letting warm water run in.
Shane sat there trying to get his jeans and boxers all the way off and as I turned to him again I asked carefully, “You want me to help you get your pants and boxers off?”
He nodded without words, straightened his posture some and held himself again with both hands by his sides while I pulled his pants and boxers off.
Once there was enough water in the tub, he twisted himself around on the edge of the tub, and his legs just dragged along. I assisted getting his legs over the edge and placing his feet into the water. Just like at my apartment I was worried about him slipping. As he got ready to get into the tub, I slid my arms under his arms from behind and locked my hands around his chest, then let him slowly down into the tub.
I was relieved when he was in the tub. The water somewhat broke the drop and it only splashed up a little over the side.He looked at me quickly, “Thanks. I can get it from here.”
Shane held on to the side of the tub with his hands and I turned the water off. The tub was really too small for both of us to fit in and so I just took his clothes to the bedroom, “I’ll be back.”
I gave him some time and after a while I went back into the bathroom just as he was finishing up.
He looked over at me, “I need a container or something to rinse my hair with.”
I thought for a moment and said, “I’ll get something.”
Jenny was still in the kitchen when I came in.
She turned to me, “Hey hon, what’cha need?”
“Jenny, do you have like a bowl or large cup we can use for water. Shane has to wet his hair and rinse it in the tub.”
Jenny opened one of the cabinets and handed me a measuring cup with a spout, “Here, I think that’ll work. You can just keep it in there so you guys have it. Are you guys managing all right in the bathroom?”
I sighed, “It’s a little complicated but we manage. Shane maybe needs a shower chair or bench for the tub.”
Jenny nodded, “Yeah, Jordan can take Shane to get that of course. The can talk about it tomorrow.”
When I came back into the bathroom, Shane was in the process of somewhat wetting his hair with his hand but wasn’t very successful.
I closed the door behind me, “Here, I have something. Lean your head back some.”
With one hand he held himself on the tub edge, with the other on the faucet as he leaned his head back some. I scooped up some water in the cup and gradually wetted his dark hair.
As he was going to get the shampoo, I pushed his hand back on the tub, “I got it baby. You just hold yourself steady.”
I softly massaged in the shampoo, letting my fingers run through his hair and then rinsed it with fresh warm water. I saw his legs twitch under the water making small waves and splashes.
“Okay, all done.”
I placed a towel on the tub edge so he would have some kind of grip when he got up there. He put his hands onto the towel and with some help from me he pulled himself up onto the tub edge again. I handed him another towel and he dried off. I combed through his wet hair. He actually brushed his teeth over the tub.
We adhered to all these tasks mostly quiet. I could sense that Shane didn’t like very much that I had to help him with some things. I had brought his sweats and a pair of incontinence briefs and with one hand he was quietly slipping them over his legs. I was ready to get in the shower myself now.
Shane pushed his arms through the crutch loops and with all his strength he pulled himself up from the low bathtub edge. I stood in front of him now as he looked up and said shyly, “Thanks for helping me with all this crap. I hate I can’t do it all by myself but I need a more accessible bathroom. I haven’t had that ever and I wish so much it would be easier for me to shower and stuff. Even though it still sucked at least at Mitch’s I had a shower chair in the tub and one of those things around the toilet.”He smelled fresh and I smiled at him, “One day you’ll have an accessible bathroom…hell, an accessible apartment or house as a matter of fact. Until then I’m here for you babe.”
He leaned over and kissed me, then turned to make his way to the bedroom.
I took a shower and got done in the bathroom and when I came back into the bedroom Shane was already in bed. I smiled at him. He looked tired.“Do you need anything else before I get in?”
“Just you in bed next to me.” He smiled.
I crawled into the bed next to him and he turned toward me. We were facing each other. With my elbow on the bed, I rested my head on my hand and I just looked at him, his mesmerizing eyes on me dark and deep but also tired. His hair was still moist and strands of his bangs had fallen into his forehead.
He laid there and just looked at me.
I smiled at him, “I love you.”
“I love you.” He stroked his fingers through my hair hanging down and added, “I don’t know what I’ll do without you here.”
I sighed, “Let’s not think about that right now. I’m here until Monday for sure.”
His eyes were sad, “I’m sorry about this evening with all the stuff going on.”
“It was something, all right. And because I love you it really pissed me off. You really were with her?”
Shane moved his eyes and nodded, “Yeah, but you heard what everyone says, she sleeps around town, always has done so.”
“So why did you sleep with her if you knew she’s like that?”
Shane seemed irritated, “Anna, I’m a guy, and things were different back then…”
“Do you think you’re different now?”
He looked back at me, “Yeah...I mean look at me…Anna, I’m not the same guy and you know it. What do you want me to say?”
I shrugged my shoulders and said lowly, “I guess I’m wondering how you used to be and what is different now?”
Shane shifted and replied still tense, “Everything is different Anna…everything.”
He took a deep breath and I realized he was getting annoyed with the conversation.
I laid down next to him and we looked at each other for a few moments until Shane said again, “I love you so much, you don’t even know.”
I pressed my lips together and inhaled through my nose, then said softly with my hand on his cheek, “I love you too and I’m sorry. It just scared me so much when she came around.”
He confirmed lowly, “You’ve nothing to worry about. You’re so much more to me than anyone ever was and will be.”
We kissed again and eventually fell asleep in each other’s arms.
Iwas aroused from my sleep when I felt Shane jolt next to me. He was talking in his sleep. It was still dark outside and as my eyes adjusted to the dark I saw Shane move his head from side to side and with his hands he seemed to be warding off invisible things in the air. He was mumbling words I couldn’t make out and I pushed his hands down next to his head and whispered, “Shane, baby…wake up.”
I held his hands down still and whispered, “Shane, you’re dreaming…hey.”
With the dimness of a light outside coming in through the mini blinds I saw Shane opened his eyes and I turned over and switched on the lamp on the night table. When I looked at him, he just stared at me in a daze.
I saw sweat on his face and when I touched his chest it was sweaty as well, cold sweat, “Shane, it’s me…Anna.”
I stroked over his forehead and he just stared at me, his eyes were dark and shiny and even though he had them on me I didn’t think he really saw me, “Baby, wake up…you’re dreaming.”
I kept stroking his face and wisped strands of his moist hair off his forehead.
He was breathing quickly and I realized that his focus changed becoming more alert and as I leaned over him he mumbled, “I didn’t mean it…”
I asked softly, “What are you talking about?”
He didn’t say anything else and then his eyes moved around the room and fixed on me again.
“Go back to sleep baby.”
He nodded silently and I was surprised when he moved closer to me and basically buried his face in my hair. I felt his body tremble and shiver some, his arms had chills on it and I pulled the blanket over him some more. We fell asleep again and the next time I woke up daylight fell through the mini blinds.
When I opened my eyes and moved I was surprised to find Shane sitting up in bed next to me, leaning on the head board without a shirt but in his jeans and braces already.He looked down at me with a smile, “Good Morning sleepy head.”
“Shane, how long have you been awake? You’re already…”
I stopped and glanced at his legs.
He nodded, “Yeah, I had to get up and get into the bathroom to cath. I also started off with spasms so I got done and strapped my legs in already.”
“You already were in the bathroom and stuff? Did you manage okay?”
He nodded, “Yeah, I managed.”
I rubbed over my eyes, “What time is it?”
I sat up some, “What?”
“Yeah, almost noon.”
I looked at him for a moment, “You were dreaming last night. You woke up in cold sweat and you were saying stuff.”
His eyes were alert, “What did I say?”
“I couldn’t make out anything but you seemed to be having a nightmare or something. I’ve never seen you dream like that.”
He didn’t say anything about the dream but only, “I’m sorry I woke you up with that I guess.”
“It’s all right, I was a bit worried about you.”
He pulled me over to him, “Thanks and sorry again.”
He kissed me on my cheek.
“Well, I guess since you’re all done I will get into the bathroom now. Are you feeling okay?”
He nodded and he moved down the bed to the edge of it, then unlocked his braces and sat there.
I moved up next to him and kissed his neck and shoulders, “You should have woke me up if you needed help.”
“I managed okay Anna. I felt better than last night.”
As I kissed him again he just sat there taking in my gentle kisses on his naked shoulders and neck and eventually he turned his head to the side and said lowly, “What are you doing to me?”
I smiled under my kisses, “Nothing, just want to taste your skin right now.”
He smiled, “I’m about to throw you back on the bed if you don’t stop this.”
I stopped and grinned, “Oh no, I’m scared, I guess I’ll get dressed and done.”
I jumped up and smiled at him as I hurried out to the bathroom.
I heard noises and voices coming from the living room and kitchen, the kids apparently watching cartoons.
As I came out to the living room I found Jenny in the kitchen, Shane at the table already. Jenny greeted me and Shane moved a chair out for me to sit next to him. He had coffee in front of him already.Jenny asked, “Did you sleep well Anna?”
“I did, thanks. I can’t believe it’s already noon. You should have woke me up. I could have helped you.”
“Oh no, don’t worry. I slept in too. But I usually can’t sleep past eight even if I tried. Coffee for you Anna?”
Jenny got me the coffee. I smiled at Shane.
Jenny made breakfast for us, scrambled eggs and sausages. We ate as she sat with us and we talked. Jordan came in from outside, “I think I’m done outside.”
He smiled at me, “Morning Anna.”
Apparently Jordan had been cleaning up some more outside. He positioned himself behind his wife, wrapped his arms around her and leaned down next to her gently kissing her cheek.
The boys were watching cartoons in the living room. The evening before we had not really met them, they had been playing in the yard all night with other kids. Now Jenny talked about them a little more. When they heard their mom talk about them, Kyle, the five year old, came over into the kitchen to us and sat on his mom’s lap and stared at us suspiciously.
Jordan got himself some coffee and as he leaned on the counter he asked, “What are your plans for today?”
Before I could answer Shane did, “I want to go out to see where Nick is buried.”
Jordan looked down and nodded, “Yeah, sure…I’ll go with you guys if you don’t mind.”
I think Shane was somewhat surprised at his brother wanting to come with us but he nodded.
After breakfast Jordan went to take a shower while Jenny and I went outside to clean up the yard some more. There were still some chairs, glasses, cups, and bottles. I helped Jenny clean up the rest. Shane stood on the back porch and watched us. It was a very humid and hot day again, the crickets were chirping loudly all over the place, the sun was beaming down on us. The fire that had been burning high the night before was now a big pile of ashes.
While we were picking up trash next to each other Jenny said lowly, “You think Shane will be all right to go to the cemetery?”“I don’t know but I know it’s important to him. I hope he’ll be okay. Maybe it’s good that Jordan is coming with us.”
Jenny nodded, “He hasn’t been out there for a while either.”
“Are you going too?”
“Nah, I’ll stay here with the boys. I think Jordan and Shane have to do this. You can stay if you want.”
“I want to go and be there for Shane.”