Harry and Amy
Copyright© 2005 by Lazlo Zalezac
Sex Story: Chapter 1 - Amy doesn't know it, but a couple of Druids have taken an interest in her and her Friday night activities. That's the good news. The bad news is that one of them is Happy Harry.
It was five o'clock on a Friday evening and people were leaving their jobs in droves. The doors of the skyscrapers were open more than closed as the occupants streamed out in what appeared to be a never ending flow. Traffic crowded the city streets. Horns honked and sirens wailed. The volume of noise was almost as good an indicator of the time of day as a clock.
Amy waited for her bus to arrive outside the Chicago Stock Exchange where she worked. The January weather was bitterly cold. Her breath showed as the warm air met the cold air. She shivered while looking down the street for the familiar outline of the bus. She couldn't use just any bus, but had to wait for the one with the lift. Despite the thermal bag hanging on the front of her walker, the burgers inside it were getting cold and she wished the bus would arrive soon.
She relaxed when the hulking figure of the bus turned the corner and pulled up to her stop. Johnny, the driver, waved as he pulled the bus over and stopped where she could get on without having to move. He climbed out of his seat and made his way to the back of the bus to operate the lift. It wasn't necessary, but he liked Amy and wanted to make sure that she was okay. When the door opened, he started the lift on its trip to the ground. With a smile, he asked, "How are you doing today, Amy?"
"I'm fine, Johnny. How are the wife and kids?" she answered.
"The wife is about to defend her thesis. She'll be getting a raise when she gets her degree," answered Johnny. His wife was a teacher and her pay was tied to the level of education and years in her position.
"I bet she's looking forward to being done," replied Amy. The ramp hit the ground and she used the walker to step onto it. She could hear the other passengers complaining about the delay, but she was moving as fast as she could. The walker wasn't her preferred form of support, but she couldn't carry much when she used the crutches.
Johnny hit the button for the lift and stepped back. Having a spouse who for the past four years had been going to night school twice a week was hard on a marriage. This was particularly true for a marriage with two small kids. The imposition didn't matter. He was proud of her. He said, "Yeah, we both are. It'll be nice to have her at home in the evenings again."
Amy smiled as the lift settled into place within the bus. She said, "I'm sure that you'll enjoy having her around the house."
Johnny closed the door and replied, "You bet."
Returning to the front of the bus, one of the passengers complained about the delay. Irritated by the rude comment, Johnny stopped and turned to the man. Shaking his finger in the man's face, Johnny said, "Amy's special. She's worth more than everyone else on this bus put together. I'll take as long as necessary to help her onto this bus. So will every other driver."
Amy frowned at the exchange. She didn't like to be treated special, but the damned braces that held her knees together forced it upon her. She stared out the door of the bus thinking about how a simple game of volleyball had totally changed her life. One minute she was running around and diving for the ball. A minute later, she was on the ground screaming in pain as her knees gave out on her. An operation to fix the problem showed that it was congenital and she'd never walk without assistance again.
The bus lumbered along its route. Rush hour meant frequent stops with lots of passengers getting on and off. She didn't need to signal her stop, Johnny would pick it for her just like he did every Friday night. She frowned as she looked through the glass panel of the bus door. The bus had left its normal route and was heading towards a very rough part of town.
One of the passengers complained to the driver. Johnny just smiled and explained that it was a necessary detour. His answer puzzled Amy. Usually, he dropped her off at one of three locations and this was far from any of them. They were heading into an area where people didn't know her.
The bus stopped and Johnny walked to the back of the bus. Reaching her, he said, "A special stop for you tonight."
"Thanks, I guess. It looks a little rougher than usual," commented Amy as she gathered her stuff together.
"Normally, I would agree with you. Tonight's different," replied Johnny as he opened the door. Checking to make sure that she was ready, he started the lift on its downward journey.
Amy looked at the homeless men gathered near the stop. One of the men noticed her and started moving to the bus. Recognizing the man, she relaxed knowing that Cal would take care of her if any problems developed. She smiled and called out, "Hello, Cal."
The California Kid waved and called back, "Miss Amy, we've got someone for you to meet."
The lift touched down on the ground and Amy struggled to step off it. From within the bus, Johnny said, "You won't need a ride home tonight, Amy."
After stepping off, she turned to look back at him and saw him smile at her as the lift started its upward journey. She didn't understand why he was abandoning her there. She asked, "No one is coming to pick me up?"
"Not tonight," said Johnny.
She couldn't hear everything that Johnny said because Cal was talking to her at the same time. The next thing she knew, Johnny had waved and closed the door of the bus. She turned to the California Kid and said, "Calm down, Cal. What's got you so excited?"
"He's here," explained Cal pointing in the direction in which he had come. The young man was practically dancing in place.
"Who's here?" asked Amy curious about what was going on. She'd never seen Cal this excited. The other homeless men would normally gather around her almost as soon as she got off the bus. Tonight, they were gathered around a lunch wagon.
"Harry!" exclaimed Cal wondering why she didn't get it the first time he had told her.
As the cold wind whipped around her, Amy fiddled with the thermal bag. It took a minute to get it detached from her walker. She handed it to him and asked, "Would you hand these out?"
"I'll give them to Harry to hand out," said Cal as he rushed off with the bag of hamburgers.
Amy watched the homeless man run off to the lunch wagon. It seemed to her that he was acting like a kid rather than the beaten down twenty-something person that he normally was. She watched as he reached the back of the lunch wagon and handed the bag of burgers inside.
Looking around at the other homeless men gathered there, she noticed that there were more smiles than normal. Even more surprising was that they were smiling at each other. Usually, the men and women were quiet and reserved. Some people even considered them sullen, but she knew they were reserved out of fear that they would lose what little they had if they were too friendly.
The frigid air was chilling her to the bone and she knew that she had to keep moving to stay warm. Summoning her energy, she started the long trek to the lunch wagon to find out what was going on inside. It was only forty yards, but that was a huge distance considering her physical condition. When she used the walker, she measured distance in terms of steps. In the rough terrain of the empty lot, it took her three steps to cover a yard and her average rate was five steps per minute. Forty yards was almost a ten-minute walk.
She paused just in time to see Cal disappear into the lunch wagon. A sense of surprise came over Amy when she saw the green robed figure step out the back door. She recognized him as a Druid. In these days and times, it was hard not to recognize a Druid. She had even worked with one who was investigating a stock manipulation scheme. That guy was intense. The only question that came to mind was what was a Druid doing in this neighborhood.
The Druid looked around for a moment, spotted her, smiled, and then headed in her direction. She paused, finding it difficult to move and watch him at the same time. Not for the first time that day, she cursed the leg braces that prevented her from moving with ease.
"Amy, it is such a pleasure to meet you. I've heard a lot about the Chicago Angel. When I arrived in town, I knew that I just had to meet the woman who takes the time and effort to feed my fellow homeless," said Harry in greetings as he reached her. The crooked smile on his face was friendly and open.
His greeting stunned her. She'd never heard of herself referred to as the Chicago Angel. She wondered if that was what they called her on the streets or if it was some sort of nickname that he was giving her. Nicknames, once given, would be picked up and repeated until it became a real name. She didn't know what to say and stood in place staring at him.
"Allow me introduce myself. I'm Happy Harry, last of the hoboes," said the Druid. He gave a half bow to her as he performed the introduction. The bow was accompanied by a full arm gesture as though he were in a royal court.
"Pleased to met you," replied Amy automatically. She continued to stare at the Druid wondering what he was doing there. Stories about a Druid who served the Goddess by taking care of the forgotten people were slowly returning to her. She wondered if this was that Druid and why he would be here in Chicago in the month of January when he could have been helping others in much warmer climates.
"The pleasure is mine. Not many people will take the time and effort to buy food for the homeless out of their own pocketbook," he said while gesturing towards the lunch wagon. He added, "Would you please join me in my carriage? It is much warmer in there than out here."
"Sure," she answered. Rather than attempting to help, he stepped beside her and matched his pace to hers. After a couple of steps, she said, "You can go ahead and wait for me."
"And miss a chance to talk further with you? Never," replied Harry turning on the charm.
"Miss a chance to talk to me?" asked Amy wondering if he was for real.
Focusing on walking, she said, "You don't know anything about me."
"I'd say that I know a lot about you, Amy," answered the Druid with a grin.
"Really?" she said in disbelief.
"Every Friday, you get on a bus carrying a bag of food. Johnny takes you to a place where a lot of homeless are gathered and you get off the bus to handout the food. With no more than a kind word to everyone, you give of your hard-earned money in a form that helps rather than tempts weak souls. From what I've been able to guess, you spend about seven thousand a year on food alone. You don't preach, lecture, or judge," answered Harry.
The wind was making her nose run. She stopped and blew her nose before she said, "Cal could have told you that."
"The California Kid?"
"Sure, he could have and he did. So did about fifty other people. Of course, none of them know that you work as a stock market analyst," commented Harry looking over at her to see her reaction.
"That's easy enough to find out. Johnny could have told you that," she retorted. She stopped walking to confront him without the distraction of moving.
"Sure, but my source was a lot closer to you than that. You worked with a friend of mine last year. He said that you were an honest person."
"You know Ed Biggers?" asked Amy realizing even as she asked the question that the Druids would all know each other.
"He's the head of those who serve the Two-Sided One. In addition, he gave me a couple million dollars and the roach coach," answered Harry with a smile. "Anyway, he told me all about you."
It unnerved her to know that Druids were talking about her. She wasn't important enough to be discussed within such circles. She was an analyst for an investing firm and was fairly successful. She made a good living and lived a simple life. Off balance, she said, "Oh."
"Ed was really sorry to learn that we could not fix your knees," remarked Harry looking down at her braces.
His direct examination of her braces embarrassed her, but she was used to being stared at by people. His gaze was different, seeming to focus on the impact they had on her rather than the ugliness they presented to others. Raising an eyebrow, she asked, "And why would Ed think he could do anything about them?"
"His wife is a healer and can heal all kinds of injuries. The problem is that the underlying cause of your injury is a congenital problem. She can't fix that," answered Harry.
The fact that he knew her problem was a result of a congenital condition suggested he knew far more about her than she had thought possible. She asked, "Are you trying to recruit me or something?"
"Good gracious, no!" replied Harry. The idea of going out and recruiting people was contrary to everything the Druids believed. People came to serve the Gods and Goddesses by seeking them out, being called to them, or by accident. The college was only a mechanism by which people could seek out service. It was strange, but in the entire time that the college had been in operation, no more than eight students in any year had become a Druid.
His answer made her wonder if he thought she wasn't good enough to become a Druid. She asked, "Why not?"
"That's not our way," explained Harry. He looked over at her and gestured towards his vehicle. It was very cold and the wind seemed to drive the chill into the bones.
She started walking while thinking about what Harry had said. If he wasn't here to recruit her, then why was he here? Lost in thought, it took her a minute to realize that she had arrived at the truck. She looked over at Harry and asked, "Now what?"
Smiling, Harry answered, "If you will allow me to lift you into the truck, you can wait in relative warmth while I finish my work here. Then I'll take you to dinner and home."
Staring at him, she wondered how this elderly man could possibly lift her into the truck. She wasn't a small woman, being close to six foot tall. Her braces added another thirty-five pounds to her weight. She said, "I'm much to heavy for you to lift me into the truck."
"I'm far stronger than I look," replied Harry with a wink.
"You can try," she replied believing that he would discover that he couldn't budge her off the ground.
With ease, Harry lifted her off the ground and carried her over to the passenger door of the truck. Upon reaching it, he said, "You're going to have to unlock your braces."
Amazed that he had been able to lift her and carry her around, she had not thought to unlock her braces. It only took a couple of seconds for her to comply with his request. He then placed her gently in the seat of the truck. The warmth of the truck greeted her like an old friend and chased away the cold chill that had crept into her body.
It was only after she was in her seat for a full minute that she thought to wonder about how easy it was for him to place her there. She had not noticed that the doors were extra wide so it was easy to carry her through them. She commented, "That seemed easy."
"I've had lots of practice. I tend to travel in areas that are dangerous. More than one unconscious person has been carried to that seat," replied Harry with a wink and a salute.
It made sense to Amy. She'd made more than one 911 call on her cell phone to have an ambulance pick up some unconscious homeless person. What didn't make sense to her was how a guy his age could lift her so easily. She nodded understanding despite the fact that she didn't understand and waited as he returned to the truck. He packed her walker in a storage area reminiscent of the luggage area on a bus.
"Listen up everyone. In a week, a new homeless hotel will be opened up here. It will have space to sleep a hundred, bathrooms, and showers. There will be an outdoor heater. Best of all, you'll have a mailing address. There will be food for those who are willing to do a little work around the place. All of that for the amazingly low price of zero dollars!" Harry shouted his message to the gathered homeless.
His message was greeted with grins. The homeless hotels were famous as havens for homeless folk who were ill or just needed a good place to stay for a night or two. The fact that they would have an address was just as important as a bed. Getting a job often required an address. Without a job, you couldn't get an address. It was a catch twenty-two that made it harder to get off the streets.
Amy listened to Harry interact with the men and women who were gathered around the truck. It amazed her how he managed to convey hope with simple words. In all the years that she had provided Friday night dinners for the homeless, the best she had been able to do was to stave off hopelessness. She understood it was the difference between the resources they each brought to the problem.
It was twenty minutes later before Harry climbed into the driver's seat of the truck. Turning to face Amy, he said, "Hold on. This here crate put the sway into the sway backed nag."
Amy squealed as the truck rocked from side to side when Harry drove over the curb and onto the street. She expected the rocking motion to settle down, but it didn't. The rocking motion threatened to make her sick. Noticing her expression, he asked, "Are you starting to feel a little seasick?"
"Yeah," groaned Amy.
"Perfectly natural," replied Harry as he swerved to miss a pothole in the street. The motion set the truck to rocking even more. He reached over and patted her arm as he said, "Don't worry. There are airsickness bags in the pocket of the door."
She stared at him in shock and then studied the door for the pocket with the airbags. There wasn't a pocket in the door. Confused, she said, "There's no pocket in the door."
Grinning, Harry said, "Got 'cha!"
It was a joke? It was a joke. She started laughing as she realized that the Druid was joking. The laughter took her mind off her unsettled stomach. Her laughter grew as he recited a very funny version of the flight safety lecture given on airlines. She was still laughing by the time they pulled up to a very nice diner.
Harry parked the car and announced, "We have arrived."
The laughter died from her lips when she thought about the hassle of getting to the door of the diner and to a table within it. For a moment, she had forgotten her problems. Before she knew it, Harry was out of the truck and at her door. He had stopped to unpack a walker and set it by the door.
He lifted her out of the seat. While he was holding her, she locked her braces into place so that they would support her when she stood. He set her on the ground with a gentle landing that spoke of far greater strength than she guessed humanly possible.
She reached for the handle of the walker and then noticed that it wasn't her walker. She bent to examine it and was surprised to find that it wasn't a walker at all. Looking over at him with a puzzled expression, she asked, "What is this?"
"One of our makers created this device and would appreciate it if you would try it out. The base lowers down to the ground so that you can step onto it. With the flip of a button, it will raise you off the ground. The wheels are fusion powered. You steer by pushing the two handles. Forward will drive the wheels in a forward direction and back will drive the wheels in reverse. Let go and it will stop," answered Harry watching her for the expected reaction.
Furious at the presumption of the Druid, Amy shouted, "If I wanted a fucking mechanical replacement for my legs, I'd have settled for a wheelchair a long time ago! I have legs! They may not work great, but I'll use them until I can't use them any more!"
Harry laughed despite the fact that it was not what most people would have considered an appropriate response to her outburst. Her reaction had been expected and he was pleased to see it. With cheer in his voice, he said, "This isn't to replace your legs."
His reaction surprised Amy and she looked at him. She asked, "If it isn't mechanical replacement for my legs, then what is it?"
"It is transportation, just like a bus, car, boat, or airplane. You have no problem taking the bus from your office to where you feed the homeless. This is to carry you over great distances in areas that are rough," answered Harry.
"Why give it to me here?"
"I just wanted you to have a chance to try it out. I figured from here to the door was far enough for you to get feel for it," answered Harry.
Not quite trusting him, she stepped onto the platform. Following his directions, she flipped the button that would raise the platform from the ground. She rose six inches. Unsure about what to expect, she asked, "How fast does it go?"
"Zero to sixty in ten seconds," answered the Druid. He winked upon seeing her reaction and then said, "At a normal walking pace."
She pushed one of the handles forward and started turning in a circle. She pushed the other handle and the course straightened out. She was headed away from the restaurant. It took a little time to get control of it and get it aimed in the right direction. Harry kept pace along side her. She said, "This is kind of strange."
"I'll admit that I took it for few spins around the block. I rather enjoyed it," commented Harry.
When they reached the door of the restaurant, she stopped and waited for him to open the door. He stood beside her and waited. Finally, she asked, "Aren't we going in?"
"I'm waiting for you to park it," answered Harry.
"Park it? Where?"
"How about over by that metal post over there?" answered Harry as he gestured to a metal post that held the sign displaying a handicapped parking space.
"Some one will steal it."
"If you park it over there, I'll show you the electromagnetic lock."
Maneuvering the device over to the post was a little easier now that she had some practice controlling it. She ran it up to the post and then released the handles. She noticed there were a pair of arm crutches attached to the device. She grabbed them after lowering the platform to the ground. With practiced ease, she backed away to stand beside Harry.
Harry placed a device in her hand and said, "Press the button."
She pressed the button and the vehicle pulled itself to the sign. Walking over to it, she tried to pull it way, but it was stuck fast. She pressed the button again and the vehicle rolled a quarter inch away from the pole. She asked, "How's it work?"
"A fusion battery powers an electromagnet. Once it is activated and makes contact with iron or steel, it isn't coming off until turned off."
"Neat," she replied. Looking over the device, she was amazed at the simplicity of construction. The person who had made it must have been a genius. Looking over at Harry, she asked, "So what is this thing called?"
The original name had been the 'Inner-City All Terrain Vehicle.' Everyone had agreed that the name was a mouthful and over time the name had been shortened. He answered, "We've been calling it an IC ATV, short for Inner-City All Terrain Vehicle. You can call it by what ever name you want."
Using her arm crutches, Amy made her way into the restaurant and they were led to a booth. It took her a minute to get settled into the seat, but she settled back. Looking across the table at the Druid, she asked, "So what is it that you really want from me?"
Now that she had removed her hat, coat, scarf, and gloves, Harry could see that she was a very attractive young woman. The cold air had given her cheeks a rosy glow. Her breasts swelled her top in a manner testifying to the fact that she was a well-developed woman. Her clothes didn't exactly advertise her figure but were tight enough to let him know she wasn't fat. It made him wonder why she would choose to spend her Friday nights with homeless men and women rather than socializing with friends.
Sitting back in his seat, Harry answered, "Nothing. I want nothing from you."
"Then why are you doing this?"
"I serve the Gods and Goddesses. I have been charged with helping the invisible ones in our society. My activities are part of my service. Your actions are manifestations of the goodness within you," answered Harry.
Amy didn't respond. She didn't trust herself to respond. She looked over at the Druid wondering how he would react if he understood her reasons for doing what she did. The destruction of her knees hadn't just ruined her ability to walk; they had ruined her chances for finding love. No sane man wanted a cripple in his life. She shrugged her shoulders.
Her reaction was not exactly what Harry had expected. He studied her for a moment trying to determine why she had reacted in such a non-committal fashion. He said, "I want to help you."
"You want to help me? Help me do what?"
"Deliver food, kind words, and hope," answered Harry watching her carefully. There was more to her story than he had fathomed.
She turned her head away from him and looked out the window for a moment. The glass reflected their images back at her. There was no relief from his probing gaze. She faced him and said, "I don't deliver hope. I saw that tonight after watching you. I've just been staving off hopelessness."
Harry rubbed his chin while he considered her words. After a minute, he said, "You aren't very happy."
"Do you want to know why I go out there every Friday?"
"Sure," answered Harry.
"I have nothing better to do," she declared. This was the first time she had admitted it aloud and it hurt far more than she thought possible.
"I agree. There is nothing better than going out and helping your fellow human beings," said Harry even though he knew she didn't mean it in that manner.
"You don't understand," cried Amy. She fumbled with the silverware to unwrap the napkin. Tearing the napkin off, she put it up to her face and cried into it. Years of frustration, loneliness, and pain burst forth.
Harry's voice took on a gentle smoothing tone as he said, "I do understand. Ever since your accident, men haven't paid attention to you. They see the braces, not the woman the braces hold upright. You can't do any of the other activities that filled your life before the accident. You see a future without love, so you reach out to others who share your sense of abandonment."
His words soothed her enough for her to look over the shredded napkin at him. A small piece of the napkin was stuck to her cheek, held in place by a tear. He reached across the table and removed the errant piece of napkin. Shaking his head, he said, "You couldn't see anything better to do, but there were thousands of other things you could have done. You chose the best and it was a giving choice."
"But I'm not doing it out of the goodness of my heart," countered Amy amazed that this man wasn't condemning her motives.
"Sure you are. You just don't realize it," answered Harry. Everything about the way he spoke suggested that she wasn't to argue the point.
Amy dried her tears, tearing the napkin into even smaller pieces. He might forgive her motives, but she didn't. She sighed and then answered, "Okay."
It didn't take a mind reader to know that she wasn't convinced, but convincing her wasn't his task for that evening. He said, "I want to help you make a difference. I travel around the country taking care of people in the large cities, but I'm only one person. Would you oversee the homeless hotel for me?"
"Oversee the homeless hotel? What does that entail?"
"Stopping by once a week to deliver the money to keep it operational. Make sure that the person in charge of daily operations doesn't need any special resources. That's all."
"And if I chose not to do this?" asked Amy.
"Then someone at the Fusion Foundation will take care of it," answered Harry without guile. Although he was asking her to work, it wasn't because he needed her to work for him. He was, in truth, giving her the opportunity to help in a broader manner.
"The Fusion Foundation?" she asked, eyes going wide at the idea that he could call upon their resources.
"Sure. The Fusion Foundation provides the money for the daily operation of the homeless hotels. They pay for food, blankets, clothing, and all of the utilities."
"Why would they do that?" asked Amy.
Harry spent the rest of the meal telling Amy about the founding of the Fusion Foundation by John Carter and the subsequent management of it by Ed Biggers. The picture that unfolded staggered her imagination. She couldn't believe someone would give up billions of dollars to help others in the manner that John Carter had. She couldn't believe someone would dedicate the rest of his life to see that vision spread to every community in the country and across the world. She had worked with Ed Biggers and hadn't known.
Harry parked the truck next to her car. Turning to her, he said, "It'll just take a minute for your stomach to settle."
"You need to get this truck fixed. It isn't normal for any vehicle to move like that," she complained. The thought that she'd have lost her dinner if she'd eaten anything greasy made her nauseous.
"It's not that bad," countered Harry. He rather enjoyed the motion of the truck although it had become a little more extreme of late.
"It's that bad," she charged.
Harry got out of the truck and helped her to the ground. He then showed her how to fold up the IC ATV and put it in the trunk of her car. Made of lightweight composite materials, the vehicle was surprising light at only thirty pounds. Once it was packed away, he walked with her to the driver's side door of her car. With the arm crutches, she could walk a normal pace.
After she had gotten into her car, but before she had closed the door, Harry stepped close to her and dropped to one knee. He took her hand in his and kissed it. Amy was shocked by his action and looked at him wide-eyed. He said, "There was only one part of your reason for helping the homeless that I object to."
His words were like a cold slap in the face. Incredibly hurt, she asked, "What?"
"That you were destined to a future without love," said Harry.
With a smile, Harry said, "You will find love. You have the word of a Druid on that."
Amy sat in her car for ten minutes trying to make sense of the Druid. She felt something stirring inside her, but didn't she know what it was. It came to her when she finally reached home. That something she was feeling was called hope.