At my apartment complex I pulled into the parking lot outside my building. The moment I turned off the car and saw the stairwell it dawned on me that Shane probably wouldn’t even be able to come up to my apartment.Just at that same moment Shane remarked, “Please tell me your apartment is on the first floor.”
I instantly felt bad and looked over at him, “Actually not, I just thought about that too.”
He sighed, “What floor?”
He blew air out as he looked at the stairs.
“Shane, you can’t make three flights of stairs, can you?”
“I can, but it’ll probably take a while.”
I felt very bad now, “We don’t have to go up to my place.”
He shook his head, “No, it’s fine, I’ll try.”
“Is there anything I can do?”
He smiled, “Can you build like an elevator in about a minute or so?”
“Shane, I’m so sorry. I didn’t even think about this.”
“Don’t worry about it, okay. I’ll make it.”
He had already opened the car door and was in the process of moving out of the car, “Could you bring my backpack?”“Sure.”
I walked around and watched as he stood up and locked his braces. I pushed the door closed behind him as he approached the stairwell. He looked up wearily and took another deep breath.
This time I followed behind him, feeling sincerely bad and also worried.
He stopped at the bottom of the stairs and looked up again, then over at me, “You should probably go ahead, it’ll take me a while.”
“I want to help you up.”
“There’s nothing you can do Anna. I just have to take it slow, one step at a time.”
“Have you ever gone up stairs?”
“I was taught in rehab but not three flights of stairs, more like three single steps. You’ll be a witness to my clumsy attempt at stairs I guess…I’d really prefer you go ahead.”
“I’d rather stay behind you just in case.”
He looked at me with dark eyes, “Anna, just go up already…there’s nothing you can do. Even if I fall down I definitely don’t want to take you down with me. Let me just do it and that way I can focus on it. I already messed up my back, nothing worse can really happen.”
He laughed some but I didn’t find it funny.
When I stayed there and just looked at him he assured me softly, “Anna, don’t worry. I’ll make it. I’ll be all right. Why don’t you go up and have a cold drink ready for me? I’ll be up there in about an hour.”
He laughed again but I felt bad still.
He realized I wasn’t too happy, “Come here!”
I stepped closer to him and he stretched his face over and I took the kiss from him.
He repeated, “Go up, I’ll be all right. Trust me, okay!”
I nodded and very reluctantly I went ahead. When I turned around on the platform of the first flight and looked down I saw how Shane stiffly moved his right leg up on the first step, followed by a crutch, then pushing up and moving his left leg onto the same step. He balanced on his crutches for a moment and then pushed up to take another step very slowly.
I felt bad that I couldn’t help him more. There was really nothing I could do. I heard him pant, gasp and curse. He stopped after every couple of steps to get his balance, he stopped at the top of the first flight, leaned on the wall and was breathing quickly until he attempted to take on the next flight. He had to keep stopping to catch his breath every so often. I watched him from the top through the crack of the stairwell without him knowing and I saw him struggle up the stairs, his head down, his eyes on his feet and gripping the handles of his crutches very tight. I waited by my apartment door for him and when he finally reached the third floor he was exhausted. His face was flushed and sweaty, even his T-Shirt was moist from sweat.
He was breathing heavily and I gestured him in, “Straight ahead to the living room.”
I closed the door behind us and followed him into the living room where he basically dropped onto the couch, breathing and panting and resting his head on the back of the couch, “Fuck…”He barely managed to unlock his braces and I saw his arms and hands shake from exhaustion. I brought him cold water and I ran into my bathroom and moistened a washcloth with cold water. I sat next to him and he was startled when I gently wiped over his face with the washcloth.
He was still breathing heavy, “Third floor…shit.”
“I’m so sorry.”
He smiled at me, “It’s all right Anna. It’s not your fault. I’m pretty sure when you picked this place you didn’t plan at any time to meet a guy in braces who can’t walk up the stairs to your apartment.”
I smiled shyly, “Never in my wildest dreams.”
“I’m still really slow on stairs. I can’t unlock my braces because I need the rigidness to keep my legs straight. My knees would buckle if I’d unlock them standing up. Just don’t expect me to leave this apartment anymore.”
I picked on Shane’s T-Shirt.He looked down on himself, “Do you mind if I take my T-shirt off?”
It was visibly moist around the chest and belly, “The humidity wasn’t helping, huh?”
It was visibly moist around the chest and belly, “The humidity wasn’t helping, huh?”
I shook my head but was slightly nervous at the outlook of Shane without a T-Shirt, “No, go ahead.”
My being nervous was realistic because as I got up to get some more water Shane pulled his T-Shirt over his head. All the sudden inside my air conditioned living room it instantly became very hot when I actually saw him sitting there bare chested. I don’t know what I had expected but he sat there and my heart was racing. His chest was well defined, I caught glimpses of his pectorals and his muscular arms. His arms and chest were covered with several tattoos that I couldn’t make out at the moment. I was just too distracted seeing him like this and oh Lord he was hot. Shane didn’t realize my gaze as he was somewhat folding his T-Shirt and draped it over the armrest of the couch.
Quickly I disappeared into my kitchen to get the water but at the same time to also take a couple of deep breaths before going back in there with Shane half naked on my couch.I tried to keep my composure and I carried the water back with shaky hands.
I cleared my throat to say something but then I didn’t know what I wanted to say. Shane definitely distracted me very much at the moment. I set the two glasses on the table.
Shane asked, “May I use your bathroom?”
I snapped out of my admiration, “Of course.”
“I need my backpack.”
“Oh yeah, it’s out in the hallway actually close to the bathroom.”
Shane shifted and slid his arms through the crutches again. He pulled himself up from the couch and with a quick jerk his braces locked. I could barely look at him as he made his way toward me and I went out into the hallway ahead of him.As I held his back pack he asked, “Could you just set it in the bathroom?”
He approached the bathroom and glanced into it, “I’ll make it work.”
I realized that my bathroom was probably not very large for him to move around in. I don’t know what I had been thinking asking him to come to my place.
He turned to me as I stood there, “Thanks. I’ll be right back out.”
I nodded nervously and as he disappeared in the bathroom I closed the door behind him and my mind was racing at how he made it work in my bathroom. I really had no clue what his using the bathroom meant. I didn’t know too much about paraplegia but he said he didn’t have lots of sensation anymore from his waist down. I realized that I had so many questions still.I went back to my kitchen and set on some coffee. I needed coffee really bad.
Shane took about the same amount of time as he had at the park bathroom when after about 10 minutes he came back out making his way into the kitchen where I was just getting a cup out of the cabinet. I turned to look at him and he stood there in my kitchen, bare chested, his arms in the crutches and in his braces and I could barely stand to look at him. It was a surreal sight in a way. I hadn’t had a guy in my apartment for a while and the one’s I had had in my apartment in the past had definitely been completely different from Shane. But seeing him standing there sent a tremble through my whole body.
I think I was staring at him somewhat obvious and he lowered his eyes, “I left my back pack on the floor in the bathroom…I couldn’t grab it to bring it out.”“That’s fine. I’ll get it later. Do you want some coffee?”
“Yeah, coffee sounds good.”
I smiled at him and he came over toward me, his eyes on me. My eyes travelled quickly down to his legs as he made his way and he eventually turned his body around and with his butt he leaned on my kitchen counter while I was getting our cups. He watched me and my eyes kept wanting to glance over to his chest but I kept myself from it.When I finally dared to look up at him his eyes met mine and he demanded, “Come here.”
I moved over in front of him and he said lowly, “Thanks for bringing me here to your apartment.”
He grinned and added, “Even though it’s on the third floor.”
He laughed lowly and I pretended to pout, “You’re going to remind me all the time now, aren’t you?”
“I’m just teasing you Anna…I’m very happy to be here with you.”
I still felt somewhat bad and explained, “I wanted an apartment on the upper floors, because it’s not that easy to break in. You know New Orleans isn’t always the safest place. I’ve lived in this apartment for five years now.”
He scanned my face for a moment, “You know, I’d really want to pull you to me right now but I’ve to keep holding on to my crutches. Come closer.”
I let my eyes wander over his chest and touched my finger to his skin, “Lots of ink.”
“Happened over the years…Anna?”
I looked up and he whispered, “Come closer so I can kiss you.”
I put my hands on his arms and moved closer to his face. I felt his muscles flex with every slight movement or shift of his body. We looked at each other for a moment and he moved in on my face. All the sudden I felt his left hand grip my waist and realized that he had let go of the crutch handle and even though the crutch was still dangling on his arm his hand was on my waist. With a strong grip he pulled me closer and we fell into another long kiss. I pushed my body to him, heat still radiating from him and I felt his breathing coincide with mine. I faintly smelled the scent of a mixture of sweat and deodorant.
I was seriously falling for Shane and he turned me on so much. I pushed my leg in between his and I felt the bulk of his brace through the material of the dress on my leg. A sharp tingle ran up my leg to my loins. My kissing became more intense as I pushed my leg next to his leg, trying to feel the brace even more. My hands travelled over his back where I felt his muscles work and some uneven spots right on his spine. As I let my hands run down his arms I felt his flexing biceps and triceps and the crutch loops around his forearms under my fingers.Shane seemed to be swaying slightly and he took his hand away from my waist and held on to the crutch handle again, steadying himself.
Through all the intense kissing and touching on my end I didn’t feel his jeans fill out with an erection and I wondered if I didn’t turn him on enough. My hands were tracing along his jeans waistband and I wanted to move my hand further down to his crotch.Our lips detached and I kissed his neck and nibbled on his ear, whispering, “You turn me on so much Shane.”
He was breathing quickly and let me kiss his neck and flick his skin with my lips but when my hand moved down to his crotch and he realized he shook his head slightly and hushed, “Don’t….”
I quickly pulled my hand up and whispered, “Sorry.”
The passionate moment faded out and I only softly kissed him on his mouth again. I didn’t know why he didn’t want me down there and I felt embarrassed.
I said lowly again, “I’m sorry Shane.”
He looked up, “It’s all right.”
Our intimate connection was disrupted then and I said softly, “Maybe we should have that coffee now?”He nodded and I smiled at him with another quick kiss and then turned to the coffee machine.
He stayed leaning on the counter until I told him, “Why don’t you sit down on the couch again?”
He nodded and made his way over to the living room, eventually sitting on the couch and unlocking his braces and getting comfortable.
I brought the coffee over and handed him a mug which he took in both hands. I sat down next to him with my mug. I was wondering why he had stopped me from moving my hand to his crotch and I didn’t know if I should ask him but felt awkward and didn’t.He drank from his coffee and smiled at me, “Those beers had me buzzing. Coffee feels good. Thanks.”
I smiled at him and I pulled my legs up onto the couch to move closer to him.
“So, you said you’re almost done with rehab?”
He nodded, “I have like two more sessions. I’m supposed to go back to Morgan City this coming weekend.”
“Where are you going to stay?”
He shrugged his shoulders, “Probably my brother’s place.”
“Are you trying to get a job or something?”
He laughed lowly, “I really have no clue what I’m going to do.”
“What did you work before you got hurt?”
“I worked some odd jobs and in roofing. I really don’t know anything else. I won’t be able to do that anymore. I’ve worked in roofing on and off since I was 17.”
“So right after you graduated High School?”
He sighed and shook his head, “I didn’t graduate from High School but I got my GED later on. How about you?”
“I finished High School but I never did college. I ended up dancing and that’s all I’ve been doing.”
Shane looked at me, “I really don’t know what’s going to happen. Not a good plan, is it?”
“Well, maybe once you’re settled in Morgan City, your brother can help you with a job.”
He smiled and looked down into the coffee mug, “I don’t have a car, I don’t have a way to get around….”
Now he looked up at me with a weary expression, “Am I even still going to be able to see you?”
I didn’t have a good answer and tried insecurely, “I can come visit you down there, like on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, when I’m off.”
“You realize it’s like an hour drive?”
“It’d be okay for me.”
He took a deep breath, “You know, right at this moment I can’t even imagine going back down there and you being here.”
I sensed his frustration and even though I felt sad too I didn’t know what else to tell him. We had literally just met, we basically were not even officially dating and I really didn’t know what I wanted to do. He seemed like he needed to get his life together still and I was afraid to be overwhelmed by being with him. Everything seemed to be moving so incredibly fast as I apparently couldn’t stop myself from falling for him.
Shane shifted on the couch and turned to face me, “Anna, today has been the best day for me in a very long time. I’m so happy you wanted to see me again. I hardly slept last night because I was so nervous seeing you today. Ever since we met at Charity, when I laid eyes on you for the very first time I wanted nothing else than to see you again. I couldn’t stop thinking about you. I’m dreading going back to Morgan City now that we met and all. I can’t even imagine going at this very moment.”
He swallowed and I asked softly, “Can you stay at your friend’s house any longer?”
“They’re probably ready for me to get out of there. My friend’s wife isn’t really too crazy about me.”
I had a feeling of what he wanted to hear and I tried, “Shane, I work Thursdays through Sundays. I leave my house in the afternoon and get home in the morning. During my work days I’m hardly here at my place. I can come visit you on my off days. We’ll stay in touch.”He laughed a soft sarcastic laugh, “Stay in touch, huh?”
“Yes, we’ll stay in touch and I’ll come visit you.”
He swallowed and asked tensely, “Why am I here then? Why am I in your apartment?”
I sat up some, “What are you talking about?”
“You bring me here, you’re all over me, we kissed and I spilled my guts to you. I climbed three fucking flights of stairs to be here with you and now you’re just going to stay in touch when I leave.”
I was surprised at his tension and his words and didn’t know what to say at first. I was hurt and I was trying to figure out a plan, but I couldn’t come up with anything. Shane had to go back to Morgan City. I got up and went into the kitchen.
He set his mug on the table and leaned his head back on the couch, hissing, “Fuck!”
In the kitchen I tried to hold it together but I felt like I wanted to cry. I couldn’t really imagine him leaving either but there was no other way. He had to get his life under control, get a job, get back on track and I didn’t see how he would do that here.
A tear dropped out of my eyes as my mind was racing with what to do. I wanted him here with me, I cared for him and I felt I was falling for him hard and more with every passing minute. It hurt to think about him leaving but I didn’t have any other plan.I stood in the kitchen and tried to keep from crying before I went back to the living room.
Shane shifted some turning his head toward me and his eyes were dark and pleading. I went over to him and sat back down next to him. He laid his arm around me and I cuddled up next to him.
He started with a trembling voice, “Anna, I can’t even imagine right now not being able to see you and it makes me crazy to think about having to go back but I know I need to get my life together. These last couple of months have just been so fucking rough and sometimes I didn’t think I would make it. Now you came into my life and now I’m about to lose you again. I can’t even grasp this right now.”
I stroked some strands of hair from his forehead and said lowly, “Shane, I know it sucks but we just met and I think we both need to figure out our situation before anything else. Why can’t we just take it a day at a time right now, enjoy being together when we can and once you’re back in Morgan City we’ll just see what happens.”Shane shifted some, turned toward me, and sighed, “I hate that you’re right. I’m sorry I got frustrated. I just enjoy so much being with you. I haven’t felt like this in a long time.”
“Me neither. I’m happy you’re here with me in my apartment.”
He smiled, “On the third floor…”
I softly pounded his chest and laughed, “If you mention it one more time I’ll make you go back down and come back up again.”
At that moment I saw Shane’s right leg twitch and I asked him, “What’s going on with your leg?”He looked down to it, “It’s spastic. It happens all the time.”
“Spastic? What does that mean?”
He looked down at his leg, “The nerves and muscles are acting up.”
“Does it hurt?”
“No, it’s just annoying. I’ve got meds for it.”
“Do you need them right now?”
“I’ll wait a little, maybe if it gets worse.”
“Do you want your braces off?’
“I usually leave them on all day until I know I don’t have to go anywhere anymore.”
He looked at me questioningly. I moved my hand to the thigh cuff closest to his crotch. It was wrapped around his thigh snug fitting and buckled on the top with two buckles like a belt. I softly let my fingers run over the leather and I asked lowly, “What happens if I would unbuckle the braces?”
I looked up at Shane, smiling at him seductively.
He answered with a grin, “I wouldn’t be able to walk very far anymore because I would have to use only my arms and my crutches and my legs would just drag along like dead meat...”
His words faded as he watched my reaction and while still rubbing over his thigh cuff, I added lowly, “Well, maybe you don’t need to go anywhere anymore today.”
His expression was surprised, “What do you mean?”
“I think you know what I mean.”
I sat up some and stroked my hand over his cheek, “I want you to stay here tonight.”
He didn’t say anything, and I remarked quickly, “Unless of course you can’t stay.”
Shane seemed slightly nervous, “I have my rehab appointment tomorrow. I’d have to call Mitch.”
“Well, I can take you to your appointment tomorrow and why don’t you call your friend Mitch and tell him.”
He shifted and somewhat reluctantly he nodded, “Okay, I guess. Are you sure about this?”
I nodded, “Very sure. I want you to stay here with me Shane.”
I rubbed my hands over his chest feeling the light fluff of hair and scanning the artistic tattoo running over to his shoulders and down his biceps.
He nodded, “All right.”
I put my hand to his brace again, “So how about it? Should I unbuckle them?”He seemed slightly nervous at my intention and he took a deep breath, “I guess…so we’re really not leaving this place anymore?”
“No, we’re not.”
He still seemed reluctant but just then his leg was jumping some again with the spasticity.
I smiled, “See, they want to be freed.”
He smiled back at me, “Actually the braces keep the spasms in check some.”
“So you want to stay in them?”
He shrugged his shoulders and mumbled, “Probably won’t make a difference right now. I’m going to have to take some Baclofen anyways.”
“The medication that helps with the spasms.”
We sat for a moment, I felt his reluctance and he asked again, “So I don’t have to go anywhere anymore today?”
I stroked over his chest some more, “No Shane, but if you want to keep them on, it’s fine too.”
He sighed, “Just do it.”
I felt my heart beat faster at the prospect of unbuckling and unstrapping his braces.
I glanced down to his twitching leg and Shane added, “Just unbuckle all the cuffs.”
I moved to better reach his legs and I started with the first cuff on his thigh and I felt my fingers become like pudding as I fiddled with the buckle and started to loosen the cuff. Shane just sat there and watched me and I felt my heart beat in my neck. My fingers trembled, and the strangest of all, my loins were aching for him very much.
I unstrapped one cuff after the next and I could barely stand it but I enjoyed it more than anything. During the process I let my fingers travel over the metal alongside his leg, where the cuffs were attached to, from his upper thighs down to his boots.
Both his legs were now twitching under my hands and it almost drove me crazy from an excitement I couldn’t understand.
I looked up at Shane and his eyes were right on me and he asked lowly, “Are you all right?”
I couldn’t speak and only nodded.
He touched my hair hanging down on his leg, “I can finish it.”
“I got it.”
“You sure? You seem…you seem a bit overwhelmed.”
I shook my head but I realized he sensed my excitement about doing this.
I continued with the cuffs on his shins and eventually all cuffs were unbuckled, both legs were twitching and I could feel my panties were moist. I was seriously turned on by Shane and his leg braces.
I could barely speak, “Your boots?”
“Just have to untie the laces and then take my feet out of them. I don’t have any other shoes with me though. My regular sneakers are at Mitch’s house.”
I got off the couch and squatted down in front of him, moved his jeans out of the way some and untied the sturdy black boots attached to his braces. Shane then lifted his leg some with his hands and at the same time I pulled the boots off his feet. He wore black socks and his feet felt cool through the material. He did the same with his other leg and I pulled his boot off.
I looked up at Shane as he moved on the couch to be able to pull the braces out from under him. His legs were trembling visibly. It seemed that the spasms had been getting more severe and I questioned if maybe I should have left his braces on and not insisted on taking them off. His jeans now hung loosely on his legs and I had felt that his legs were skinny under there. His feet seemed to be just flopping with the spasms and I watched as Shane let the braces drop to the floor. I glanced at them and they now were just empty contraptions, looking almost like torture equipment from medieval times.
Shane reached his hand out to me. I took it and he pulled me up to him. I sat down next to him and my chest was still moving up and down quickly. He actually then pushed me down on the couch and laid over me, I felt my whole body charged.His face was right over mine and his eyes were dark and shiny, his bangs hanging down, “What’s going on with you and my braces?”
I had my hands on his naked back and as I rubbed over it I felt the uneven spots on his spine again, scars of the painful things he had been through.
I didn’t want to say anything, I felt nervous and embarrassed and he stroked his fingers through my hair.
“Did this turn you on or something? Seems like you were in a totally different head space…”
His eyes stayed on me asking and penetrating. I nodded lightly, and whispered, “There’s something about it…I don’t know. I’m so sorry Shane…it’s stupid and I shouldn’t have pushed you to take them off. I know you’re dealing with the…the spa...spasms.”
He stroked his fingers over my cheek, “It actually turns you on?”
I nodded again, but I felt very embarrassed. Even though I wanted to tell him, I felt weird for having these feelings toward his braces and everything about it. All the sudden I didn’t want him to ask me about it and I didn’t want to be put on the spot like this. I actually wriggled out from under him and he pushed himself up on his arms and sat up watching as I got up and walked over to my balcony door.I opened the door and went outside, my mind racing at what was going on with me and how I could be so weird.
I leaned on the railing and looked out over the swimming pool of our apartment complex. Dark clouds were hanging low on the horizon. I asked myself if it was only Shane’s disability or his braces or if I actually wanted to be with him.
I was out there for a few moments until I heard Shane calling, “Anna?”
I didn’t want to face him just yet. Another few moments and all the sudden I heard some noises and when I turned around Shane was standing in the frame of the door and I could see he was holding on to his crutches very tightly with his hands and I also saw his legs were basically just dangling there, his feet oddly on the ground. He shifted and seemed unsteady.
When he looked up he sounded exhausted, “Anna? Whatever it is, I don’t care…I don’t mind. I’m okay with it…I just have never…have never thought of them being something other than the things to help me walk.”
He was breathing heavy, “But if this is something that turns…something you like about me, then it’s all right. As long as it’s not the only thing.”
He shifted his position some, obviously struggling to stand there without his braces.
I said softly, “That’s what I’m worried about…”
“What are you worried about?”
“Is it only that - the braces…the paraplegia…how can I be turned on by these things...it’s wrong.”
His head hung and he was focusing on his stance which was basically non-existent.
He pleaded tensely, “Anna, please come back inside.”
I snapped out of the moment and turned to go in. Shane turned himself around with his crutches and I watched him make his way over to the couch again, his legs and feet dragging on the carpet, still jerking from spasms. He basically just pulled his legs through, breathing heavily and his face was tense and focused as he seemingly barely made it to the couch and fell on it, obviously running out of strength. He took some deep breaths of exhaustion and I stood there.
He looked at me, “Just come over here please Anna…” He sounded slightly impatient.
I walked over to him and he pulled me down, “Don’t walk away like this…especially not when I can’t go after you.” He sounded tense with slight sarcasm to it but also like he meant it.
He shifted to get a better sitting position and I didn’t look at him when he started, “Listen to me…”
I moved my eyes toward him and he started, “This right here…” He pointed at his legs and the braces on the floor and continued, “This will never go away again and I thought up until just recently that being paraplegic meant that I was done. I won’t date, I won’t work, I won’t have shit….I fucked up, that’s all this meant to me. Broken, fucked, nothing else and I had no motivation to somehow change things. Stuff is still not looking great but there is at least one person now that I know I really need to get my shit together for. You letting me be with you, me being here is still like a dream right now. I keep thinking it’s not real and I’m going to wake up and nothing and no one will be there. And the fact that for some reason you actually get a good time out of my braces and maybe other stuff concerning all this shit going on with me…it’s something I have yet to grasp and yes, I’m thinking about it and it is occupying my mind how a beautiful, hot woman like you can actually be into me despite all of it. And I’m still scared it’s somehow just my imagination or something. I want to keep touching you and want to keep feeling that you are real and that I’m allowed to be in your life, even here on the third floor in your apartment. I would’ve climbed ten fucking flights of stairs if I would’ve had to, just to be with you. If my climbing up stairs to be with you is what it takes I will climb my ass off, Anna. I will climb to the end of the world to be in your life….”
His voice trembled now and his eyes were shiny, “Please don’t feel weird or bad about how you feel about this stuff, I can’t even begin to explain how it makes me feel that you’re into it. I’m okay with it Anna. I’m happy you feel that way. I didn’t mean to interrogate you or put you on the spot, I just wanted to hear it I guess because it made my heart race when I saw you take my braces off a while ago. You were so focused and so…so gentle and your face…it just had this glow to it and it just makes me so happy.”
His eyes were shiny still and he had taken my hand in his and finished lowly, “We shouldn’t overthink it, maybe just go with the flow. Right now I can’t imagine not seeing you all the time but I know I have to get it together and that probably means going back to Morgan City. Thinking about it makes me crazy because you’ll be here and I’ll be there but I want to focus on right now, this very moment right here with you and nothing else.”
He rubbed his thumb over my hand, “Anna, I’m seriously falling for you right now and I know it all seems too fast and so deep but I can’t stop thinking about you. I don’t know what it is…but I’m not going to lie to you about how I feel and you can take it or leave it I guess.”
I took some deep breaths. His words rang in my head and it was overwhelming but I knew while Shane was admitting to his feelings I was still fighting mine and I was still trying not to fall for him, because I was scared to. I was so scared to let myself go and for some reason something happen to us and it would be over. I didn’t want to go through this, I wanted to be happy with him but deep inside I had doubts and I felt a pain I couldn’t describe. Something about Shane had me on a rollercoaster of emotions and I was getting dizzy.
But now I looked at him, into his deep, dark eyes and my heart was racing and everything about him had my senses go crazy and when his hand touched my cheek I let myself fall into his arms and he held me tightly and he whispered in my ear, “I know this just happened so freaking fast, I don’t know why but we shouldn’t fight this anymore…I care a lot about you Anna.”
He kissed my neck and he buried his face in my hair as I pushed him down on the couch, his twitching legs under me, his hot body against mine and his heart drumming with mine. We fell into a long kiss lying on the couch, my loins were aching for him and I wanted to become one with him.
Shane’s legs didn’t stop with the spasms, but instead they became more intense. It turned me on to feel his twitching legs on mine and even though I kept kissing Shane and I was very excited he didn’t move his hands below my waist and I remembered how he had stopped me earlier when I tried to move my hand to his crotch. I wasn’t sure if he just wasn’t ready to take this any further or if it was something else that I possibly didn’t know about his disability.
As our lips detached Shane said lowly, “I probably need to take my spasm medication. I don’t think my legs are going to stop. The stairs did ‘em in today.”He smiled and I got off him.
“Is your medication in your back pack?”
He nodded, “Yes, do you think you could get it for me?”
I got up, “Sure…”
In my bathroom I found his back pack on the floor and some stuff was sticking out of it. As I pulled it up I couldn’t help but take a peek and I saw some packages and when I pulled it out to see what it was, I read “Catheter”. I only had a vague idea what a catheter was and I quickly stuffed the package all the way into the back pack again.
When I came back to the living room Shane sat up on the couch, his legs in front of him still jerking oddly with a life of their own.I dropped the backpack next to him and he started digging in it, mumbling at the same time, “Where are they?”
He eventually took a small white tablet with some water and then leaned his head back, “Now I just have to wait.”
I watched his legs for a moment and then suggested, “Do you want to order Pizza for dinner?”
“That sounds good. I really don’t think I can do much else anymore today.”
I scrambled next to him on the couch, “Are you tired?”
“Yeah, kind of.”
He pulled out a twenty dollar bill from his jeans.
“What’s this for?”
“Shane, keep your money, I got it.”
I pushed his hand with the money back and he looked at me, “Take it, Anna…please.”
I didn’t take it but he also didn’t put the money back in his jeans. He just put the money on the table
“Hey, I’m going to change into some comfy clothes.”I still wore the dress from the morning.
He nodded and I went to my bedroom to get into my sweat pants and a hoodie.
When I came back out Shane had his eyes closed, his legs were barely twitching anymore and when I softly said his name, he didn’t respond. He had fallen asleep on the couch.
His legs had become still again and only when he started falling over he startled himself and cursed lowly, “Shit…”
“Shane, are you all right?”
Pushing himself up in a sitting position again he replied sleepily, “Yeah…”
I walked over to him and as he was trying to sit up I said, “Why don’t you just lay down on the couch all the way, with your legs up?”
He didn’t protest but apologized, “I’m sorry Anna, I guess I’m tired.”
“It’s all good. Lay back down.”
He pulled himself up some and just when he wanted to grab his legs and pull them up onto the couch I asked him, “Can I do it?”
He leaned back relieved, “Go for it.”
I lifted his legs onto the couch and was surprised at the weight they still had, no life but just a piece of flesh and bones. I positioned his legs next to each other on the couch and Shane had laid back on the pillow and watched me as I straightened his jeans some.
I squatted next to him, “What kind of Pizza do you like?”
“Any kind, whatever you want to get.”
“Okay, I’ll go ahead and order the Pizza then.”
He pulled me in for a quick kiss and then I went back over to my dining room table and picked up my phone to make the call.
Shane closed his eyes again and laid there resting as I looked at something on my computer. Outside dark clouds covered the evening sun and a storm was brewing. Thunder was audible in the distance already, the storm was moving in from the Gulf and most likely soaking the city very soon.
My doorbell rang and as I looked through my spy hole I saw the Pizza delivery guy outside. I undid my security lock and my regular door lock and opened the door to a broadly grinning Pizza delivery boy, “Hi, delivery for Anna Ashworth.”“Yep, that’s me.”
I handed him the money including a tip and he thanked me happily, “Have a good night.”
“Thanks, you too. Be safe out there.”
He left and jumped down the stairs.
I locked my door again and went back into the dining area and set the Pizza on the table.
Shane was sitting up now and I asked, “Do you want to eat over on the couch?”
“No, I’ll come over there.”
As I gathered some napkins and plates from the kitchen, Shane got himself up holding on to the crutches and as I walked out to the dining area he came toward the table. His left foot looked like it had somewhat grounding on the floor but his right foot dragged along useless and Shane had to use all his arm strength to get himself over to the table. He focused down on the floor, mostly pulling his legs through his crutches and setting one crutch before the other. He was breathing heavy and I realized once again that walking without his braces was basically impossible and the little walking he could do was very difficult and strenuous. He glanced up at me for a moment and my eyes met his as I watched him come over to the table.
He made it and I pulled a chair out for him, he lowered his body onto the chair and I heard him breathe as he pulled his arms out of the crutch loops.As I sat down I asked him, “Is it very difficult to walk without the braces?”
He nodded and smiled at me, “After ten steps I’m done...I can’t do much more. My hips have to do most of the work. It takes all my arm strength and my upper body balancing myself somehow. I’ve busted my ass before on a couple of occasions.”
Opening the Pizza boxes and getting a slice for him and me I asked, “So, if you could afford a wheelchair would you maybe get one?”He thought for a moment, then answered, “Well, I can’t afford one right now. I’ve no insurance and a good wheelchair can cost up to two thousand bucks. I don’t have that kind of money.”
“But you would be willing to use one?”
He shrugged his shoulders, “I guess for longer distances it wouldn’t be bad to have one but at the same time a wheelchair would seem so final.”
I looked over at him, “Final how?”
He looked up at me with weary eyes, “Not ever walking again. It almost seems like a wheelchair would be my accepting the defeat I guess…I don’t know. It’s probably stupid but it’s mental I guess…”
I did understand what he was getting at and I didn’t push the topic any further. I put a slice of Pizza on his plate and handed him a napkin.
Outside the thunder seemed a lot closer now and I saw some flashes from lightning outside the living room window.
Shane looked over to the window, “Sounds like there’s a storm coming.”“Yeah, they announced it in the weather forecast. I’m glad we’re home.”
“You have a nice place here.”
“Thanks, I like living here. The neighbors are nice and we have a good community here.”
I told him about my neighbors and asked him eventually, “How was living at your friend’s house?”
“Not great, but at least I had a place to stay, which reminds me - I guess I should call them and let them know I’m not going to be there tonight.”
“Oh yeah, you should call them so they won’t worry about you.”
He laughed at the last sentence, “They don’t worry about me…Mitch maybe but his wife isn’t too crazy about me there anyways.”
I pushed the phone over to him, “Here, you can call them.”
The call was quick and without lots of emotions as he informed them he wasn’t coming home for the night.When he had finished the call he informed me, “That was Tammy, his wife. She doesn’t care about me a whole lot.”
“Why doesn’t she like you?”
He looked at me with dark eyes, “A story for another time.”
Apparently this was not something he wanted to talk about but it did make me curious as to what the situation was.
After dinner I cleared the table, the thunderstorm was now very close. It had started raining heavily and the lightning and thunder sounded very strong.
Shane stayed seated at the table as I finished up in the kitchen. It was now after eight that night and it had been a long day for both of us. Shane looked tired and exhausted. I felt somewhat fatigued myself.When I was done in the kitchen I went over to him and wrapped my arms around him from behind and lowly said, “We can spend the rest of the evening in bed.”
Shane touched my hands on his chest, “I may fall asleep on you again.”
I kissed his neck, “Or maybe not.”
He smiled but didn’t say anything.
“Why don’t you make your way over into my bedroom while I get in the shower?”He nodded, “I actually need to get into the bathroom again.”
I stood up, “Of course, go ahead. Do you want to take a shower too?”
Shane pulled me around to face him and I squatted in front of him.
He said lowly, “I don’t know.”
I thought for a moment and took a breath before I asked, “Do you think there is a way for you to get into the tub?”
He looked down for a moment, “I really don’t know. I can’t stand in there, that’s for sure. I really don’t know if it’s a good idea for me to get in there.”
“I’ll help you.”
He looked up and smiled at me, “Even though I would like that, I am…” He paused and took a deep breath, “I don’t know if I’m ready for that…you seeing me like this.
I knew he was nervous and besides his naked upper body and his legs under the jeans I had not even really thought about anything else pertaining to his body. I realized this was a lot more than just me being into him for his paraplegia.
I took his hands in mine and looked at him, “Shane, I…I’m sorry…I actually don’t even know anything about how you deal with your disability and even though I assume there are things you have to do and all, I really have no idea and I’m sorry about my ignorance. I want to learn everything about your paraplegia and what it encompasses and what routines you have. You probably have a special shower or tub at your friend’s house, don’t you?”
“Yeah, I’m dealing with some stuff but you don’t have to be sorry that you don’t know. I mean, how would you know? You haven’t been with a paraplegic guy before. And no, I don’t have any special stuff at my friend’s house, I just have been making it work and it hasn’t been easy. Mitch helps me with things but it’s anything but ideal. I probably shouldn’t have come to your place because there is too much stuff going on with me but when you asked to come here I didn’t think and I was just happy to be with you.”“I’ll help you with whatever you need help with, I don’t mind.”
He laughed lowly, “Easy for you to say.”
He looked down again and I repeated, “If you tell me what to do, I’ll do it.”
His eyes were dark and shiny when he looked at me, “My body is messed up Anna.”
Just he saying this actually made my heart beat faster and I started realizing how this was not easy for him.
I squeezed his hands in mine, “Shane, I don’t mind. Let me help you into the tub.”
He shook his head and said lowly, “I don’t know if I can Anna.”
I pulled on his hand, “Come on. Trust me Shane.”