Friday, April 12, 2019

What It Was - Chapter 19

Chapter 19

Jordan headed to the bathroom while I got busy in the kitchen preparing the Keurig coffeemaker and awkwardly setting the table with breakfast items.

When eventually Jordan came rolling into the living room, I was slightly disappointed to see his backpack on his lap. It reminded me that he didn’t live here and was only here temporary. He was dressed all the way, had his T-Shirt back on, his sneakers, and probably his braces under the jeans.

I decided for now to ignore the signs of his leaving. Jordan dropped the back pack on the floor in the hallway and came into the dining area where I had set the table. I had already moved one of the four chairs out of the way so Jordan could roll up to the table next to me.

He looked at the table, “It looks good.”

The coffee was steaming in the mugs and Jordan wrapped his hands around the mug and brought it up to his lips. He looked at me while he took a sip.
His face appeared fresh despite his three-day stubble and his eyes were alert. His dark hair was somewhat tamed on his head, like he had brushed through it. He smiled as he set the coffee mug on the table.

I drank from my coffee and explained, “I didn’t know what you usually eat for breakfast so I just pulled out the cereal and the milk and bagels and stuff. I'm sorry I didn’t make eggs or anything, I also have orange juice if you want that.”
Jordan confirmed, “Don’t worry, this is fine. I don’t need a lot.”
He looked at me and put his hand on my hand, “This is plenty Shay.”
I felt his hand tremble slightly over mine and I inquired hesitantly, “Are you okay right now?”
He nodded still smiling, “Yes.”

Jordan chose to eat cereal and I had a bagel with jelly and cream cheese. I wanted to bring up the phone topic again because I didn’t know if Jordan had possibly forgot about my request to get him a phone.

I started, “So I still want to get you a phone today.”
Jordan looked up at me and bit his lips, “I really don’t want you to spend that kind of money on me.”
I had expected a reply like that, “Jordan, I know you’re going to go out there again…”

I glanced over his back pack on the floor and took a deep breath.

“I want you to have a phone so we can be in touch. I can’t be stuck here or without you and not know where you’re at and not know if you’re okay.”
He lowered his eyes and looked back up at me, nodding, “Okay, I get it, but I can just get a simple prepaid phone or something.”
I shook my head, “I have money and I want to do this. We can go to the store today and I’ll get you a phone.”
Jordan deeply inhaled and exhaled, “Okay.” It seemed like an expression of giving in.

After breakfast I made my way into the bathroom. Jordan had picked up all his things, there was no sign anymore of him having shot up in my bathroom twice since he had come to my apartment. I took a quick bath again like I had done the day before with my foot hanging over the tub and not getting my head injury wet. I used some dry shampoo in my hair. Jordan waited in the living room watching TV.

I planned to take my car and I decided to bring the knee scooter instead of the crutches with me. The cellphone store was in the mall close to my apartment and it would be easy to use the scooter in the mall. I had transferred all my essential items from my regular purse into a back pack so I could carry it on my back when using the scooter.

Right as we were about to leave, my cell phone announced a call from my mom. I had to answer this because I knew my mom would not stop trying, especially since in her knowledge I was at home and sick with a cold.

I greeted her, trying to sound slightly nasal, “Hi mom.”
“Shay, honey, hi! How are you today?”
“I’m feeling better mom but still taking it easy.”
“Should we come over after church?”
I had to quickly dodge this proposal, “I’m okay mom. I think I’ll just sleep some more today and hopefully be ready again for work in the morning”
“Dad and I can bring you some dinner over this afternoon. Or I can cook a small dinner if you have things.”
This was difficult for me, “Mom, I think I’ll be okay. I think it’s best for me to just rest all day and I actually have food here. I could always order something but right now I’m not that hungry anyways.”

If my situation would have actually been just a cold and my being at home because of it, I would have not even tried to keep my mom and dad away. I would have actually been happy to have them come over and bring me dinner. I would have let my mom pamper me and take care of me because that was what my mom did.

And because of my obvious rejecting her visit she sounded curious now, “Shay, what’s going on?”

I met Jordan’s eyes on me and he lowered his eyes quickly as I tried to think of a good reply.

“I’m just tired mom and I don’t want you guys to have to drive into the city today. It’s raining and traffic is probably bad with the Football game and all.”
Mom didn’t let me deter her that easy, “Traffic is always bad in Seattle, honey. What is really going on?”

I was desperate to find another excuse.

Before I could come up with something my mom asked, “Do you have a guest at your apartment? Is that why you don’t want me and dad to come over?”
In her voice though I heard a smile and obvious curiosity and it was what saved this situation as I replied quickly now, “Yes, mom. I do have someone here with me.”
Now mom sounded understanding, “You don’t have to lie to me, honey. You can just tell me.”
I took a deep breath, “I’m sorry mom but I didn’t lie about being sick. I am not all the way well either but someone is here with me.”
Mom was being a mom, “What’s his name? Who is he?”
I looked over at Jordan and his eyes were on me as I answered, “His name is Jordan.”
Mom wanted more, “Do we know him?”
“No, I just recently met Jordan.”
Mom still had questions, “Is he from Seattle?”
“Yes mom, he is from Seattle.”
She wanted even more, “Is he from your work?”
I wanted the questions to stop but answered obediently, “No, we met…we met in a coffee shop.”

Jordan’s eyes were still on me alert and questioning, most likely he was wondering how much I would actually tell my mom.

Mom seemed to be satisfied for the moment, “Oh, okay. Well I guess dad and I won’t come over then but I still want you to take it easy. Is that Jordan taking care of you?”
“Yes mom, Jordan is taking care of me.”
Mom sounded relieved, “Well, I hope we’ll meet that Jordan sometime.”
I had to set the boundaries, “You’ll meet him if this turns into something serious and if the time is right.”
“Of course, Shay honey. I’m sorry that I’m such a curious mom.”
I felt slightly bad for mom, “It’s okay mom. Don’t worry about me. Everything is good, Jordan and I are having a good Sunday and I’ll be okay.”
Mom asked, “Does your brother know Jordan?”
I had to tell her, “Yes, Chad knows Jordan.”
Mom sounded like she smiled, “Oh you two. Keeping things from your parents.”
I tried to lighten the situation, “You know that’s what siblings do?”
Mom laughed on the other end, “Of course. Well, my child, I’ll let you go then. Have a wonderful Sunday and let me know if you need anything.”
“I will mom, thanks. I love you and daddy.”
“And we love you.”

I finished the conversation with my mom and ended the call.

When I looked at Jordan, he was quiet and I took a deep breath before I said, “She’s just being my very typical mom.”
Jordan nodded, “That’s a good thing.”
He bit his lip and when he didn’t say anything I added, “Everything will work out. I thought I could at least tell her your name, and the coffee shop wasn’t all the way wrong, was it?”
Jordan smiled, “No, it wasn’t. It could have been a possibility.”

I made my way over to him and sat down at the coffee table.

Jordan took my hands into his, “I’m sorry you can’t tell your parents a normal story about meeting me.”
I lowered my eyes, then looked at him again, “It’s all right. We’ll figure it out somehow.”
Jordan then remarked, “Your family loves you very much.”
I nodded and exhaled, “They do and they will love you too.”

Jordan laughed softly but didn’t say anything.
He squeezed my hands in his and then pulled my hand to his mouth and kissed the back of it, his eyes on me the whole time.

“I love you Jordan and I’ll make it work somehow.”
“I love you too.”

Soon we were in my car on the way to the mall, my knee scooter and Jordan’s back pack and disassembled wheelchair in the back seat.

I had a hairband wrapped around my head to cover up the injury on my forehead and even though at first it had been slightly uncomfortable with the stitches it worked out all right and the stitches were covered up. Jordan sat next to me with a baseball cap on his head.

He had his hand on my thigh as we were making our way through the city. It was raining again and I seemingly spotted every homeless person on the sidewalk. Jordan looked out the window and didn’t say much but I could feel the trembling of his hand on my leg.

At the mall I found a parking spot close to the entrance and as I got my back pack and knee scooter out of the back seat and got it situated next to my car seat, Jordan pulled the wheelchair parts from the back seat and assembled the Quickie next to the car. I watched as he transferred into the wheelchair. He left the back pack in the back seat and when I asked him, he said he didn’t need anything from it at the moment.

We hurried through the rain to the mall entrance. Jordan would have been faster without me tagging along but I realized he kept his rolling pace matched with mine.

Seeing him now outside of my apartment I realized how he was really one with his wheelchair. It enabled his mobility and moving through life quickly. His wheelchair belonged to his body really. The wheels of the Quickie rolled noisily over the wet parking lot. I kept glancing at him as he pushed his rims next to me and I was mesmerized. With both his hands he pushed the rims in unison, spinning the wheels and at the entrance he quickly found the slanted sidewalk and rolled up under the canopy.

Jordan headed right to the automatic doors and they opened for us. We were inside the warm and dry mall. Right way it was obvious that it was busy on this Sunday. Lots of people were strolling around.

I hadn’t really thought about anyone I knew possibly spotting me until we were inside. Thinking about the chance of that happening I now looked around nervously. I tried to remember if any of my coworkers lived in the area close by. Some of my friends lived close by and in my mind, I thought about what my explanation would be if someone would see me.

At the moment Jordan looked like a regular guy except he was in a wheelchair. None of my friends knew about my attraction. I could always introduce Jordan as a friend. Right away I scolded myself in my mind about introducing Jordan just as a friend when in reality he was so much more to me than that. I knew eventually the world would find out about us and people would know about Jordan and me. I really didn’t know how long I could keep this a secret and the rebel in me kept thinking that there was no reason to keep it a secret and I should just put it out there that we were a couple. Jordan had affected me and my life tremendously, he had shaken up everything I had known. I was certain I wouldn’t get around to eventually having to be open about what the situation was with me and Jordan.

The stranger situation momentarily was my use of the knee scooter with my foot propped up on it and people would ask what had happened and that’s when I had to come up with a lie. And some people actually believed I was at home sick with a cold since I hadn’t shown up to any of the Halloween parties over the weekend. I tried not to worry about anyone spotting me and told myself I would deal with it if the situation would arise.

Jordan had adapted to my pace and looked over at me, “I don’t know this place. I follow your lead.”
I snapped out of my thoughts and looked at him, “The store is down this way.”

I pointed down one of the main walkways and we turned into it. I kept glancing at Jordan the whole time, watching how he smoothly glided over the shiny marble mall floor. His tires squeaked slightly as they were still moist from outside. I heard the frame of the Quickie make soft creaky noises when Jordan moved his body. I loved looking at him maneuver the wheelchair and for a few moments I forgot all the issues Jordan dealt with and all the worries I had. For a few moments I imagined us to be a regular couple but quickly my factual mind took over and I knew that we were all but a normal couple. We were a couple though and we were in love either way.

We did stand out though, I saw people glance at Jordan and I saw people glance at me and probably wondering what our situation was. I also realized how I did not particularly enjoy this type of attention, the curious stares and glances. Jordan didn’t even seem to realize; he was focused on pushing his rims and rolling along. I realized that he was probably more than used to getting looks of pity and lots of times probably looks of disgust when he was out on the streets begging for money or possibly when people crossed paths with him when he was high.

Out on the streets Jordan was considered a pest, a problem, and an issue chosen to be mostly ignored by the general public. People passed by him daily and didn’t look at him twice, he was a shadow out there, one with the city streets and its alleys and parks.

I used to be that person too, the one who didn’t really spend much time looking at the homeless on the streets or I was just used to the daily sight of them sleeping on the sidewalks, in doorways, on benches. I felt helpless in the face of this and it was something I had avoided to think about too much.

Every so often a homeless person would catch my attention either in the way they behaved, obviously high on drugs or drunk and noisy, also a bit scary and I felt bad but quickly moved on. I didn’t know what to do about it and never thought much about their story and that these people had ended on the streets for many different reasons.

Realistically no one was safe from finding themselves in a similar situation, one loss of a job, one divorce, one illness, or one addiction away from being on the very bottom of the food chain and having to survive and being viewed as a burden and a disgrace to society. For the longest time the homeless situation in the big cities had become more dire with every passing year and even though city officials did lots of talking, taking action to find a solution was moving very slowly. Homelessness had been a topic on the evening news for the longest time. 

Jordan had caught my attention not because he had been noisy or drunk but because he had been quiet and was in a wheelchair. I had seen men in wheelchairs but usually those encounters had been fleeting moments in our daily and busy lives, never enough time or opportunities for me to actually get closer to any of these men who pulled me in with so much force, usually occupying my mind and body for days after such encounters.

I looked at Jordan as we made our way through the mall and my heart was filled with so many emotions and in a way, I still couldn’t grasp all the way that this had happened. Jordan looked up at me almost like he had sensed my glances at him and he smiled for a moment, then focused back on the path in front of him.      

At the cell phone store, we were welcomed by a young sales clerk. When he asked what he could help us with, I explained to him that I wanted to add another phone to my plan.
The sales clerk’s name was Travis and he replied friendly, “Oh cool, is it for another family member?”
“It’s for my boyfriend.”

Travis looked at Jordan questioningly, probably wondering why Jordan didn’t have a cellphone already and before I could say anything, Jordan said, “I was with another company and my phone got stolen.”
I was surprised at his quick reaction but Travis bought it, “Oh man, that sucks but yeah, we could definitely add you to your girlfriend’s account.”

Travis then looked up my account in the computer and Jordan and I looked at the phones. He insisted on getting an older version of a smart phone, really the cheapest one and even though Travis tried to sell us the fact that the newest phone would be free for the first six months and then only cost a low monthly rate added to my account, Jordan basically had taken the lead and insisted on getting the older version. I ended up staying mostly out of the conversation then and even though Travis kept looking at me since it was my account and kept smiling and trying to make a good sale, Jordan remained solid and we ended up adding an older model smart phone to my account for a low monthly rate added to my bill.

After an hour, Jordan and I left the store. Travis hadn’t made a great sale but he had made a sale and my monthly bill wasn’t going to increase too much. Jordan had stuck the phone down in between his thighs. We were a small distance from the cell phone store and Jordan said my name.
I stopped in my motion and turned to him, then pushed with my knee scooter right up to him.

He took my hand and looked at me, “Thank you Shay.”
I smiled at him, “You’re welcome. I feel better now with you having a phone.”
Jordan nodded and I added with a grin, “I’ll put a tracking in your phone so I know where you’re at all times.”

Jordan laughed and lowered his eyes.

He then pulled me down on my hand and kissed my cheek, “I love you.”
I smiled, “I love you too.”
I stood up again and laughed, “So which cell phone company were you with before?”
Jordan laughed and I added, “You’re a good liar, aren’t you?”
He grinned, “One of my many skills.”
We laughed and then Jordan said, “I think it could have been awkward if we would have told him the truth.”

Next to each other we strolled through the mall.

After a few moments I asked Jordan, “While we are here, do you need anything?”
Jordan seemed surprised and shook his head, “No Shay, I don’t need anything else. You already did enough today.”

I didn’t protest because I could feel Jordan’s apprehension about my wanting to get stuff for him. He then stopped abruptly and I stopped and turned toward him. I saw how he pulled his foot up onto the foot rest again, it had come off and I saw his leg was shaking. He adjusted his leg and held it down with his hand and waited a moment.

“Are you all right?”
Jordan looked up at me, “Yeah, just a little twitch going on.”
“Maybe we should eat something and take a little break.”

Jordan put his hands to his rims again and started pushing.

“I’m not really hungry Shay but if you want to eat something, it’s fine with me.”
I asked, “So you don’t want to eat anything?”
He shook his head, and I stated, “You should eat something. It’s been a few hours since we've had breakfast.”
Jordan replied, “I’m good still.” 
I was hungry but I felt awkward eating and Jordan not eating so I said, “I’m okay too.”

Jordan stopped and I stopped and looked at him.

“Shay, if you’re hungry, I want you to eat something. I’m okay, I’ll find something later.”

I took a deep breath and even though I wanted to say something to him, I didn’t. I had no right to tell Jordan when to eat or not. I decided to eat and maybe he would change his mind then.

Jordan didn’t change his mind, instead he had a Coke only and watched me as I ate some Chinese food. I did see how his hands trembled though and I sensed a distant tension in him. He looked around the mall at the people and a few times when I said something, he seemed lost in thoughts and snapped out of it when I said his name.

I felt a slight distance open up between us as Jordan didn’t seem all the way present again. He seemed nervous and unfocused.
I was done eating and wanted to use the bathroom before we left. Jordan was going to wait. I was worried about him again.

I made my way into the bathroom. When I was done, I stood at the sink and washed my hands. A person got next to me and turned on the faucet next to mine.

All the sudden she spoke, “So you found Jordan.”

I looked up in complete surprise and there stood Jordyn, the girl from the club weeks earlier. I looked at her mirror image first and then turned my head to look at her. She seemed real as she stood there.
She still had that red hair but it was up in a bun and her make-up was perfect again. She wore regular clothes, not clothes like she had been wearing at the club.
She smiled at me. My jaw had dropped at seeing her and I nodded in awe.

Jordyn said with a soft voice, “I’m so glad you found him.”
I finally snapped out of the moment and closed my mouth, then said, “You’re…you’re Jordyn…Jordyn with a “y” from the club…a few weeks ago.”

Jordyn nodded and still smiled.

I had so many questions and when I quickly looked around us, the bathroom was empty and all the stall doors were open. No one flushed, no one peed, there were no other women in the bathroom with us. I tried to remember if there had been any other women when I had come in. I couldn’t remember anything.

Jordyn only looked at me and I stammered, “Who are you?”

She had this aura around her like she was more an apparition than a real person next to me.

She didn’t answer my question, “You love Jordan very much and he loves you. I’m glad about that. It makes me happy to see him happy.”
I swallowed, “How do you know him?”
She didn’t answer again but said, “You need to hold on to him when he is not with you and especially hold him when he is with you. Make sure he always knows you love him. He will love you the same even if sometimes you may not be sure of it and sometimes it will be painful. But just know that he loves you no matter what happens, and he needs you very much.”

My vision became blurry, I wanted to know who she was and why she said all those things but I had a profound feeling that she wouldn’t tell me who she was. I didn’t know if she was even real.

I reached out to her arm, wanting to touch her and before my hand could touch her, she stepped back. Her deeply green eyes were on me and I pleaded, “Please tell me who you are?”
She only smiled and I begged, “Why do you know Jordan, and me?”
Jordyn swallowed and shook her head but still smiled her soft smile, “It doesn’t matter Shay. I’m glad you found him and I’m glad he has you. You will be each other’s keeper. Keep on loving him the way you do and I know he will do the same.”

With that she turned around and before I could even react, she disappeared around to the exit of the bathroom and as I quickly focused, I realized the faucet was still running. I turned it off and grabbed my knee scooter and hurried around the corner and out of the bathroom, but Jordyn had disappeared. I stood there completely clueless and looked around when a voice sounded behind me, “Excuse me ma’am?”

I was startled and turned around.

A young woman came toward me and held a lipstick in her hand reaching out to me, “You left this on the counter in the bathroom.”
I was speechless really but took the lipstick and stuttered a “Thank you, I appreciate it” to the young woman.

I held the lipstick in my hand and looked at it, it was my favorite color, the one I always bought at Rite-Aid. It still had the sticker on it just like weeks earlier when I found this exact lipstick on the counter in the bathroom at the club. I swallowed the knot in my throat. I couldn’t believe what had just happened. I also realized that I had lost a few tears and went back into the bathroom to check my face. I stood in front of the mirror and now heard commotion and noise in the bathroom, women coming and going and using the toilet and washing their hands.

My body trembled though but I finally felt like facing Jordan again. I made my way back out there and he still sat at the table and I saw he sat hunched over looking at the cell phone in his hands. I stopped and looked at him from a distance and my heart was heavy. I doubted my sanity and didn’t know if this had actually happened once again.

I slowly rolled toward the table and when Jordan looked up at me, I saw the familiar nervous flicker in his eyes.

I looked at him for a moment and he asked, “Are you all right Shay?”
As to shake any trace of having had this vision of Jordyn in the bathroom I nodded quickly and asked, “Are you all right?”
He didn’t answer and instead looked at the phone, “I was trying…I was trying to figure this out.”

I took the seat next to him and looked at him. His face was hidden behind his hair as he looked at the phone and when I looked at his hands with the phone in it, I saw his hands were visibly shaking.

I said softly, “Jordan, are you okay?”

He looked over at me and even though he tried to focus I saw how he kept straying with his eyes but he nodded.

I said softly, “We should go home.”
Joran now licked his lips, “I can’t go home with you anymore.”
I had feared a reply of that sort and lowered my eyes, “Why not?”
“I don’t have any more dope.”
I took a deep breath, “Where can you get some?”
Jordan replied, “I thought you could take me into the city and let me out there.”

I was aware that this meant that Jordan didn’t want to come home with me anymore.

Almost like he was trying to smooth the situation he said with a trembling voice, “I’ll call you with…if I can…I have the phone now.”

I took the phone from his trembling hands and he moved his hands down into his lap.

“Here, this is where my number is.”
I showed him how to call me and when I was done, I looked at him and asked, “Will you call me Jordan?”
He nodded, “I promise, I will.”

I couldn’t stop a tear from running out of my eye and Jordan wiped it away with his finger.

For a moment he was focused on my face and he then smiled, “I have a phone now Shay.”
I nodded and replied softly, my voice shaky, “So I want you to use it to call me.”
“I will.”

We made our way out of the mall and back to my car. We didn’t really speak. I was still processing what had happened in the bathroom and I was also dealing with the fact that I was going to take Jordan wherever he wanted me to take him and let him out and I wouldn’t know when I would see him again.

We eventually sat in the car and Jordan’s legs were shaking in the floor board. I was worried about him and like he sensed it, he put his hand on my thigh again as I started the car.

I swallowed the next lump in my throat, “Where do you want me to take you?”

Jordan now explained to me where he wanted to be dropped off and that is where I was heading with the car now. It was raining and imagining Jordan out in the rain and cold made me so very sad. I sat there in the car and my mind was racing.

“Maybe you could find some stuff and come back with me?”
Jordan didn’t reply right away and I looked over at him.

He then replied, “I want you to drop me off and go home.”

I pressed my lips together and nodded. I had to hold my tears back.

Jordan sat quietly next to me until we had arrived at a spot in downtown Seattle where Jordan wanted to be dropped off. It was a few blocks from where I worked and I pulled over into a parking spot on the side of the road. I still couldn’t comprehend that I would just have to drop him off here.
I turned the ignition off and we sat there silently.

Jordan then shifted and turned on the seat somewhat, looking over at me, “Shay, I want you not to worry about me. I’m okay. I want you to go home, rest, and get well. I will call you when I can or you can call me anytime.”

I couldn’t help my tears run down again even though I wanted to be strong.

I asked Jordan, “Do you know a woman named Jordyn?”
When I looked up, Jordan had a questioning expression on his face, “Jordyn?”
“Yeah, Jordyn with a “y”.”
He shook his head still with a questioning expression, “No, I don’t know a Jordyn. Why?”

I thought about how to explain this best as not to sound like I had lost my mind.

“Never mind.”
Jordan didn’t give up that quick, “Who’s Jordyn?”
I shook my head, “No one, I…never mind. She’s…”

I tried to think of a believable answer because Jordan’s eyes were fixed on me expectantly.

He repeated, “Who is she?”
I stammered, making up an explanation, “She’s…she’s a…a drug counselor. She works…she sometimes…comes…” I thought of my answer while I was talking, “She comes to my work place and gives…classes…like awareness…classes on drug awareness…like addictions and stuff.”

I felt like I had “liar” written on my face and when I looked over at Jordan, he had turned his eyes and looked out the front window.

He said softly, “I have to go.”
My heart was racing and I tried to smooth this over again, “Jordan, I’m sorry.”
I grabbed his hand, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to…”

I didn’t know how to finish and Jordan didn’t say anything.

I took quick breaths, “I…I love you…and whenever you’re ready, I’m here for you.”
Jordan hung his head and I begged him, “Please Jordan, I’m sorry I mentioned it.”

He turned his head and looked at me, then shifted, and leaned over some, looking directly in my eyes.

I tried to smile at him, “I love you Jordan, I always will, no matter what happens.”
I saw his eyes were shiny and he nodded, “Thank you. I love you too Shay. Never forget that. And…and whenever I’m ready…you’ll know it and we’ll figure it out from there.”
He took a deep breath, then added, “Until then, please…be patient with me. I…”

He stopped and bit his lips, then exhaled, “I’ve never been in a…in a situation like this. My mind is now fighting with my body, it’s racing…and my body is still winning…and I want nothing more than for the way this is right now to change…but it can’t just happen…but I hope it will…soon…I hope.”
I nodded and tears were streaming from my eyes now when Jordan added, “And when that time comes…I will need you more than ever…because I know I can’t do it alone…”
I managed to say, “I don’t want it to be too late when the time comes.”
Jordan took my hands in his and looked at me with his dark, glistening eyes, “It won’t be too late. I have a reason now to never let it be too late, never, because you’re in my life.”

I nodded and tried to smile, but tears were still streaming slowly over my cheeks.

Jordan squeezed my hands and said, “Shay, this weekend was the best time I have ever had. You mean so damned much to me, you can’t even imagine. I will call you; I will text you and you will always know where I am when we’re not together. I promise and remember, you have to trust me.”
I nodded again like a little child, “I trust you.”
Jordan nodded, “Good, I love you Shay.”
“I love you so much Jordan.”

He moved closer and I moved closer and we fell into an embrace and held each other tight. Jordan’s hands ran through my hair and I tried to contain my tears and enjoy the closeness to him once more.

We held each other for a few moments until we loosened our embrace and Jordan looked at me again, “Thank you Shay for everything. I love you and I will call you later.”
I nodded, “And if you need to have a warm place or food or something, you know where I live or call me and I come and pick you up wherever you are.”
Jordan nodded, “I know you would.”

He now opened the car door and grabbed the pieces of his Quickie from the back seat and assembled the wheelchair outside the door. I watched him and still couldn’t fully grasp that this was happening. I watched as he transferred into the wheelchair, he pulled the baseball cap further down over his eyes and he then closed the front car door and opened the back door so he could grab his back pack.

I watched as he awkwardly attached it to the wheelchair handles.

He looked into the car, “I love you Shay.”
I sniffled my nose, “I love you. Do you have your phone?”
He brought the phone out from in between his thighs and showed it to me, “Right here.”

I tried to end this with a smile and so I did bring a smile over my face and Jordan then slammed the door shut. He moved his wheelchair under the canopy of a store right there and I turned on my car.

I looked at him once more and he waved at me with the phone in his hand. I put on my blinker waiting for a good moment to pull out of the spot. And as I drove off, I saw Jordan become smaller and smaller right there under the store front and I started crying so very much. I didn’t like any of this and I now doubted very much once again how I was going to deal with this situation.

I drove through the city with the windshield wipers on and here and there I caught glimpses of homeless people on the sidewalks under the storefront canopies or in doorways and I couldn’t comprehend that my boyfriend was one of those people, disappearing in the swamp of drugs and crime once again.

I now questioned myself why I had just dropped Jordan off. I questioned myself that I should have forced him to come home with me again or that I would pick him up after he had found some drugs and had enough to stay with me again for a day or two. I didn’t want Jordan out there; I didn’t want him to sleep in a tent on the cold ground or in his wheelchair where he could never take his clothes off. I didn’t want him to not eat enough or not at all. I didn’t want him to have to keep his knife by his side just in case someone could try to attack him. And I didn’t want him to shoot up in the alleys or in some park and then be alone while the poison would penetrate his veins and travel into every corner of his body, numbing him from all the pain and the suffering.

I wanted him to be with me when he was high and when he didn’t know where he was or what was going on. I now questioned myself that I should have given him money so he didn’t have to beg for it from strangers and buy his dope from some dealer. I wanted him to have good Heroin, not sketchy or dirty Heroin that could kill him. I wanted him to be able to shoot up with clean supplies and I wanted him to have a home with me.

My tears were streaming as I drove through the city and questioned everything in my life at the moment. I was tempted to turn around and find Jordan and bring him home with me but I knew he wouldn’t come with me. He wasn’t ready yet, he wouldn’t come home yet. My place was not his home, not yet. It would be on his time line when he would come home with me again. It would be on his time line when I would see him again and when we would be together again. It was on his time line when he would maybe agree to get help and then we would have to see.

It gave me some peace of mind that I had Chad and Amber on my side and I was planning on calling my brother as soon as I got home. I needed to talk to someone about this. I still thought about the encounter in the bathroom with Jordyn and I now doubted if this had even been real or had just been something out of my imagination.

I was glad when I pulled into the parking garage of my apartment complex and finally was in my place and closed the door behind me.


  1. Dani, i'm so glad you're back.
    Really, i missed so much Shay and Jordan. Thank's for sharing with us.

  2. Thank you very much for the new chapter! Looking forward to the next one!