Copyright © 2004
This story is a work of fiction. All events and persons are fictional. Any resemblence to an actual event or person, living or dead is purely coincidental.
Authors Note: This is a work of Fiction. The Author makes no claims that the medical or military information offered within this story are accurate or realistic. This story contains adult themes and graphic sexual descriptions. It is not for children. If you are not eighteen please go elsewhere.
This story was edited by my beautiful wife and Terry Steyaert.
This story started for me in the year nineteen hundred and ninety-one. I was twenty years old and I had just returned from Saudi Arabia and the first war with Iraq. The one where we freed the nation of Kuwait from the tyranny that was Saddam Hussien. I was a member of the US Army that was stationed there. I was sent into Iraq and was in direct combat when I was wounded. From what the medic who took care of me has told me, I almost bled to death. I was shot below the belt and the bullet entered my body just above and to the right of my penis. It instantly gave me a vasectomy that can't be reversed. It tumbled, took out the artery that pumps blood into the penis and then came out the side of my left leg severing a major artery on its way out. The medics worried about stopping the bleeding before I bled to death. My sex life wasn't a big concern to them. I was put on a stretcher, loaded onto a helo and flown back to Kuwait where they did emergency surgery to stop the bleeding. I was then put on an airplane and flown to Germany. I don't remember any of this. I remember the gun fight and then waking up in Germany with my mother standing beside me holding my hand.
I didn't learn the whole truth for two days. The doctor put it to me as simply as he could.
"Jack, you can't get an erection. You can't have babies but you will live," he said.
At the time, I wasn't sure if that was the bad news or the good news. I spent a week in the hospital in Germany, then I was flown back to Walter Reed Army Medical Center where they did their best to make me look normal. Due to my leg wound, I will forever walk with a slight limp so I was given a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star for my service. I was also quietly, but honorably discharged from the military.
Exactly five weeks after I was shot, I was put in a wheelchair and taken to the entrance to the hospital and found my parents waiting for me. I was loaded into their car and taken home. After three years in the military, it was over. I was told by the Army that they would pay for me to have "cosmetic" surgery to give me some function in my penis. I could still take a piss but otherwise, it was useless. I went to a civilian urologist and asked about my options. They were simple... do something and be able to "fake" an erection or do nothing. They would basically put a bag of saline in that I could use to pump saline into my penis where the blood normally flowed. The doctors had used a smaller blood vessel to restore the blood flow but not enough blood could get in to give me an erection much less sustain an erection. At the time, I didn't see the point and told them I would consider it and never went back. I considered myself a freak and figured I would just be alone forever.
In 1996, all of that changed. I had long since moved out of my parents' home, gotten a job in the civilian world, had my own apartment; I dated occasionally but never allowed it to go too far. I rarely saw any woman more than four or five times before I ended it on some petty excuse. I was reasonably satisfied with the way my life was going. Since I didn't have to worry about my private life, since I had decided I was a confirmed bachelor for all eternity, I threw myself into my job and got one promotion after another. I figured if I couldn't fuck, I could at least be rich.
Then I met her. Her name was Tabitha. I laughed the first time I heard her name. The first thing that came to mind was the kid from the TV show "Bewitched." Who would name their daughter Tabitha? We were set up on a blind date by a guy from work, Pete. Tabitha was Pete's girlfriend's roommate in college. She was coming up from South Carolina to Northern Virginia looking for work. She was staying with Michelle for a few weeks until she got a job and got her own place. Pete and Michelle felt bad going out every night and leaving Tabitha at home by herself. So, Pete said he would get her a date and knowing I wasn't in a long-term relationship, I was his first choice.
Like I said, when Pete told me her name, I actually laughed. He laughed too. He said he understood why I laughed. When Michelle told him her name, he had laughed. He then went on to explain that "Tabby," as she was called, was actually kind of cute. Tabby stood five feet four inches tall, had sun bleached blond hair, big blue eyes, a round face, smooth tanned skin, a nice rack and short but sexy legs. That was Pete's description. He told me Tabby was quite a character. She was twenty four years old, a computer programmer, a beach baby, a movie fanatic and loved to argue about anything. I figured with that description, I'd be able to take one date with her and I'd still have to go home early. I agreed anyway, though.
That Friday night, I went to Pete's apartment and we drove to Michelle's apartment for our double date in his car. My first double date since high school. Even then I double dated only because my buddy had a car and a license and I had neither. We arrived and Michelle answered the door. She let us in, gave us each a beer and told us to sit down, that they weren't quite ready to go yet. Five minutes later, Michelle came back, followed by very possibly, the most beautiful woman I had ever seen in person, in a magazine or on the screen. I was introduced to Tabitha. I couldn't take my eyes off her. I shook her hand and Pete announced we were already late for our reservations so we needed to go. Pete took hold of Michelle's hand and led her out the door. Tabitha followed them and I followed her. I watched as she walked in those four inch heels. I watched as the black skirt that hid those fantastic legs and perfect little ass swayed back and forth as she walked down the stairs and across the parking lot to Pete's car. If I could have gotten an erection, it would have been hard as a rock by the time I got to that car.
Tabitha and I got into the backseat, Pete drove and Michelle rode shotgun. As soon as we started moving, Tabitha began shooting questions at me like a machine gun. Rapid fire, one right after the other. She asked for my full name, my birth date, where I had lived, she asked about my family, my time in the military, she asked about the war, she asked about my politics, she asked if I drank, if I smoked, if I did drugs. She covered all of the bases. I didn't ask a single question the whole ride. I was too busy answering all of hers and I did so happily. I was just glad to be close to her and for her to be giving me any attention at all.
At dinner I actually managed to become involved in the conversation and somehow got some food into my mouth. My attention was almost completely on her though. You know, that girl with the funny name. I started grilling her about herself. Her full name, where she was born and raised, her job, her past, did she smoke, drink, do drugs, have any STD's. You do have to be careful these days. I tried to act just like any other guy. I'm not sure how well I pulled it off but Tabitha saw right through me. Dinner went fine. Pete and Michelle announced over dessert that they were planning to catch some French movie. Michelle speaks French and Pete is learning. I really didn't want to go. I hate having to read a movie, I didn't mention that I would prefer not to go and left the final decision up to Tabitha, as any real gentleman should. Tabitha stated that she didn't know or understand French and the few French movies she had seen, were all slow and very boring. She wanted no part of it.
I quickly asked if she would be interested in another movie or doing something else. She said "Sure." I asked Pete if he could drop Tabitha and I off at my car. Pete agreed and that's what we did. Pete and Michelle dropped us off at my car out in front of Pete's house and then they went on to their French movie. Tabitha and I got into my car and I started the engine and then looked at her.
"So, where do you wanna go?" I asked with a smile.
The engine was running but still parked. She just shrugged, smiled and told me to pick. I thought about it for a moment, backed the car up and headed out. We talked as we drove. Before we reached our destination our conversation turned to prior relationships. I confessed that I had not had a serious relationship in almost eight years but avoided details. She divulged that part of the reason she wanted to move was to get out of her hometown and to get away from all of her ex-boyfriends. She told me that she'd had three serious relationships. The first with a high school sweetheart who broke up with her just a few weeks before they were supposed to get married. Then there was a guy at college who never broke up with her, he just kind of up and moved without leaving a phone number or forwarding address and finally there was her ex husband who had left her for a red head three months prior. The conversation continued as we strolled through the mall towards the movie theater.
We got our tickets but had twenty minutes to kill until the movie started, so I bought us each a soda, sat down at a table and kept on talking. It wasn't hard. There were no long, uncomfortable silences. There weren't even any short, uncomfortable silences. It was as if we were a couple old friends catching up. Once we were in the movie, my arm just went around her shoulders and her hand slipped in to mine as if both belonged right where they were. We were quiet for most of the movie. Only a few brief questions here and there. I couldn't help but smile when, as we were walking out, I noticed I was holding her hand again. I walked her to my car and opened the door for her. She gave me a quick kiss on the cheek for "being a gentleman" and got in.
I ran around the car and jumped in behind the wheel. "Where to now?"
When she responded with "Your place?" my jaw and my tongue almost hit the floor.
I couldn't say no. I knew where the night was going and I knew I didn't want to be there. I had always been very careful about taking girls to my apartment because of what would happen but I couldn't tell her no. I just said alright and started driving to my house. I had never told anyone, not even my closest friends and definitely no woman I had dated, about the extent of my injuries. When asked about my injury, I would tell about the "leg wound" and how I almost bled to death. I just conveniently skipped over the small detail that the bullet had nearly completely destroyed my scrotum. It just didn't seem important and I always made sure to avoid situations where it might come up. That night though, my mind must have been somewhere else. Before I understood what I was getting myself into, her hand was in mine again and we were standing in front of my door. I slipped the key into the lock and turned.
My life changed instantly as soon as she set foot inside my apartment. First thing she asked was if she could use the bathroom. The soda before, and then another during the movie were trying hard to get out. I led her to the bathroom and left her alone to do her business while I went back to the living room and quickly tried to straighten up; picking up the week old pizza box, the dirty socks and underwear and the two month old TV Guide from the coffee table.
When I heard the bathroom door open, I ran into the kitchen and acted like I was getting myself a beer. I offered her one and she accepted. I led her into the living room where we sat on the couch together. I opened both beers, handed her one and then proceeded to drink about half of mine in one gulp. My nerves were getting to me. It was finally sinking in exactly what I had gotten myself into. Apparently she noticed my discomfort. She asked if something was wrong once I finished chugging the beer. I blew it off and told her I was just nervous because she was so pretty. She smiled but I knew she didn't buy it. The dumbest blonde I ever dated wouldn't have bought that line.
"Do you mind if I take off my shoes? These shoes are new and are killing my feet," she said.
I smiled and told her to go right ahead. She lifted one leg up first and then the other, undid the buckle around her ankle and slipped her shoes off and dropped them on the floor in front of the couch.
"Oh, much better," she said. She smiled at me "So, what should we do now?" She gave me a beautiful smile and I desperately wanted to kiss her.
"Your night. You decide," I told her.
"Why don't you slide over here." She patted the couch next to her. I had been sitting on the opposite end of the couch from her. If I slid over, I knew we would end up making out but if I didn't I knew she would assume I didn't like her and would cut me off right there. This was an important moment for me. I had only seconds to decide how to handle it. Slide over and possibly end up being forced to reveal everything or don't slide over and lose the girl of my dreams forever. Of course, there was always the third option, slide over, reveal all and then have her dump me for a guy who could have sex. I swallowed hard and moved over beside her. I put an arm around her shoulder, kicked off my shoes, put my feet up on the coffee table and laid back. She smiled at me, put her feet up and settled in next to me and laid her head on my shoulder. She turned to look up at me and smiled. I lowered my head and our lips met. Fireworks!
The next thing I knew, she was straddling me. Her black skirt was pulled up around her waist, my hands holding onto her panty covered ass. Her arms firmly around my neck and our lips and tongues were locked in a skirmish to see who could occupy the other's mouth. She lowered her hips and sat down right where my hard on should be and wiggled around for a few seconds. As she did, the intensity of her kiss slowly faded and after a moment, she pulled away.
"Is something wrong?" she asked.
"No!" I told her with conviction. "What makes you think that?"
"Well, usually when I'm on top of a guy and his hands are on my ass, usually a guy has a hard on," she said flat out.
I kicked myself. It had finally happened. I had gotten myself into a hole and now had to make a decision. Tell her the truth or tell her that the assumptions she was making were right, that I wasn't attracted to her and that I would take her home right then.
"You remember asking about my time in Iraq?" She nodded. "I didn't tell the whole story. Pete doesn't even know this." I put my head down as I spoke. "I wasn't hit in the leg. The bullet came out my left thigh but it entered through my scrotum. I lost one testicle and it severed certain important things needed for getting an erection and for making babies."
"Are you saying you can't..." she asked. I looked her in the eye and nodded.
"I can't get a hard on."
She seemed stunned. She sat down on my lap and looked at me for a moment. She then sat there and stared into space for about thirty seconds.
"Can't they correct it?" she finally asked.
"They can fake it. But no, it can't be fixed," I told her. "Like I said, I haven't told anyone about this. Right now, you are the only person except my parents and brother who know the entire story. It's why I haven't had a relationship since..." I stopped speaking.
She just sat there, apparently absorbing the new information. "If you want..." I started but she interrupted me.
"You dated women and then broke up with them just so you wouldn't have to tell?" she asked as I nodded.
"That's horrible. Yeah, some of them may have walked away. But some of them... God, that is so cynical of you. You don't seem that jaded and cynical to me."
"I'm not. Except in that area. And I think I have good reason."
"Bullshit!" she told me. She got up off of me, fixed her panties and lowered her skirt. "That's just wrong." She picked up her shoes.
"Do you want me to take you home?" I asked and stood up.
"Yes I do," she said and then turned on me. She got right up in my face and poked me in the chest with her finger as she spoke. "But first I want you to understand something. I'm not going home because of your wound or because your impotent. I'm going home because you're a cruel man. Much crueler than I would ever have given you credit for. You're cruel and cynical and that I just can not abide." She then turned, went to the door, flung the door open and, in her bare feet, left the apartment. I quickly slipped my shoes on, fixed my shirt and followed her out.
She was sitting on the front steps putting her shoes on when I caught up to her. I waited patiently as she finished putting her shoes on and then walked with her in silence to my car. I drove her back to Michelle's apartment and dropped her off. The only words said the entire trip were "Thank you for the ride" as she got out. She slammed the car door shut and went into the apartment building. I waited out front until I saw the light go on in Michelle's apartment. I put my car in gear and drove home.
For the first time in nearly three years, I had a nightmare that night. I watched, in slow motion, as the bullet came towards me, ripped into my desert camouflaged BDUs. I felt the pain as it seared through the skin of my scrotum. I felt it sever my right testicle and then proceed into my thigh and out the other side. I felt every muscle rip as it tore through. I heard the blood gush from the vein even before it poured out and down my leg. But this time, as I fell to the ground, I looked up and saw her. When the medic appeared, it was her face. I could see the horror in her eyes. Not at my wound but at what I had become. I could feel her distaste for me. I woke up the next morning still tired and with a sense of dread in my heart. I was glad it was a Saturday.
I rolled out of bed and went to take a shower. Her voice kept ringing in my ears. Every time I closed my eyes, I saw her eyes scolding me. After my shower I tried to busy myself with a GI cleaning party of my apartment. I started in the living room and worked my way through the house, picking up the trash, gathering up the weeks of dirty laundry, finally putting away the clothes that had been laid out on my dresser, clean and folded. I washed the pots, pans, dishes and silverware that had been building up in my sink for weeks. It helped but when I finally sat down in my newly cleaned apartment, I could still hear her voice. When I closed my eyes that night, I still saw her face. I had another restless night's sleep.
The next day, I couldn't stand it anymore. I called Michelle and asked to talk to Tabitha. I was told that Tabitha did not wish to speak to me. Michelle inquired about what I had done but I just told her to mind her own business and hung up on her.
Another night with another nightmare passed. I went to work Monday morning, still seeing her face and hearing her voice in my head. I lost myself in my work. I cleared my mind and just worked. I was on auto pilot all day. Work kept me busy. Work paid the bills. I didn't need her. That's what I told myself. That night I had another nightmare. This one didn't involve being shot though. This one was of me, as a seventy year old man, sitting in my apartment, alone, staring at her picture and thinking "What if?"
I had an epiphany Tuesday morning as I showered. I had to prove her wrong. I had to get her back. I went to work that day but accomplished very little. My mind was on her. I had decided I was in love with her. I had fallen in love with her at first sight. I had to get her back. My mind tried to figure out how to do that all day long. I arranged for flowers, chocolates and a teddy bear to be delivered to Michelle's apartment that evening. A card inside would read, "I'd like to prove you wrong." I sat by the phone all evening but she didn't call.
I didn't know it at the time but Tabitha had returned to South Carolina. She had found a job and gotten an apartment and had returned to South Carolina to hire movers to bring her furniture and the rest of her belongings up north. She didn't even know about the gifts or the card until Michelle told her about them the next day over the phone. She couldn't contact me about them until she was back in Virginia. So I waited by the phone each night for three nights. On Friday night, she returned from South Carolina and finally received the gifts and read the card. She called at nine-thirty PM that night.
"Jack, it's Tabitha," she said when I answered the phone. "I'm sorry it took so long for me to call you back but I was in South Carolina."
"That's fine," I told her. "I'm just glad you called at all. I was about to lose hope."
"As long as you have hope, you have life," she said. "What do you have in mind?"
"I don't know. All I know is I can't stop thinking about you," I confessed.
"I've thought about you too," she stated and a smile crossed my face. I was glad that she couldn't see me.
"I'd like to see you. Tonight if possible," I said.
"Where?" she asked.
"You'll meet me?" I asked, rather shocked.
"Tell me where," she repeated.
"How about I come get you?"
"Fine, but you have to buy me dinner. I literally just walked in the door. I haven't eaten anything since lunch," she told me.
"That's fine. I'll be there in ten minutes."
"Make it twenty. I need to clean up." I agreed and we hung up. I dressed quickly, brushed my teeth and hair and paced the apartment for ten minutes. I didn't want to arrive too early. I didn't want to appear too anxious. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, I went downstairs, jumped into my jeep and drove to Michelle's apartment. I was about to knock, when the door opened and she was there.
She was dressed in a button down short sleeve flannel shirt, blue jeans and cowboy boots. My eyes drank her in as we stood there. She came to me, wrapped her arms around my neck, kissed me gently and then hugged me.
"I'm sorry I was so hard on you last weekend,." she said when she stepped back. "It wasn't appropriate."
I had to laugh. "Your little tirade has been bouncing around in my head ever since. It's part of the reason I called," I told her.
She grabbed her coat, stepped outside and shut the door. I kept talking as we made our way back to my jeep. "I can't decide whether I'm here to prove you wrong or if it's because I'm falling in love with you," I said as we reached the bottom of the stairs.
"Maybe it's both. Maybe you want to prove me wrong because you're falling in love with me," she said with a faint smile.
"You don't seem too surprised," I said.
"That you're in love with me? Why should I be? I felt it too," she admitted as we reached my car. I opened the passenger side door and she climbed in. Our eyes locked for just a second. Then she gave me another quick smile, blushed and looked away. I closed the door and circled the jeep and got in.
"Where are we going?" she asked.
"You want burgers or real food?" I asked as I started the engine.
"Real food," she answered.
"Okay," I said, threw the jeep into reverse and backed out.
"So, how are you going to prove me wrong?" she asked as I drove.
"I haven't the faintest idea," I told her.
"Make love to me tonight," she said without looking at me. I almost hit the car in front of me before I recovered from shock.
"Excuse me?" I said, once I got the car stopped successfully, without hitting the small Toyota in front of me.
"Make love to me tonight. That's how you can prove me wrong," she told me again. This time looking me right in the eyes.
"Tab, I already told you. I can't do that. It doesn't matter how much I love you. I can't do it. It's physically impossible," I told her.
"You never said that. You said you couldn't fuck me. You never said you couldn't make love to me," she retorted.
"I'm sorry. Aren't they one and the same?" I asked, incredulous.
"Men!" She said and looked upwards as if talking to God. She then looked at me. "You have a lot to learn. I guess most guys learn the difference after age twenty. You haven't had the experience so you're still holding on to your fifteen year old boy fantasies," she said. She then turned away, shaking her head. I put the jeep into first gear and followed the Toyota through the green light.
"If you're so smart, explain it to me," I said. I was mad. I felt like she was laughing at me and I was already so unsure of myself.
"I will... but not over dinner," she said. "I'll explain it to you while we're in bed," she said without looking at me. I was stunned. We were arguing about sex, yet she still planned to get in bed with me in an hour or so.
I wanted to retort to that comment but the only response I could come up with would have blown my chances of getting her into bed. I didn't want her to leave again. I was afraid if I said something to the effect of "What makes you think I still want to go to bed with you?" which is what I was thinking, I figured I would be taking her home again, in silence, and I would just end up sending her more flowers to get her to talk to me again. We finished the ride to The Olive Garden in peace.
Once we were seated and had placed our orders, I changed the subject and asked her about her trip back to South Carolina. It was then that she calmly explained to me about her new job, her new apartment and her reason for returning to her hometown. I found out that she had gotten a job with one of the 'beltway bandit' companies. These were firms that dealt mostly with the government, designing computer programs for them. Once the contracts with the government ran out, the company usually went away. The jobs paid okay but these guys didn't know the meaning of job security. I mentioned all of this to her.
"It's a job and a paycheck. That's all I need," she said and gave me a friendly smile as the waitress set a glass of red wine in front of her.
It amazed me how friendly she was being again. It was almost as if she had completely forgotten the argument we had in the car on the way to the restaurant. I was still holding a grudge, but doing my best to make friendly conversation. We continued making small talk throughout dinner. She told me about her trip home, her visit to her parents' house and the long drive there and back. I told her about what I was doing at work, about how I had cleaned my apartment and other such things. Once we were both full, we sat there and each drank a cup of coffee before paying our bill and leaving the restaurant.
"Anywhere else you want to go?" I asked as I held the car door open for her.
"We can go to your place now," she said. I closed the door, shook my head in disbelief and circled the car. I got in behind the wheel and started the car. She turned on the radio to a slow jazz station, turned it down so we could just barely hear the music and then cuddled up next to me. She laid her head on my shoulder, held my arm with both of her hands and quietly hummed all the way back to my place.