I know my ability to concentrate was greatly diminished, but I really don't think it would have made much difference. I sat behind a blue Chevy at the intersection. My mind was in turmoil and I was driving more by habit than anything else. The light turned green, so I followed the Chevy through the intersection.
At least I started to follow it. I remember seeing something from the left corner of my eye. Then the dreams, the nightmares, the hallucinations, the pain, and the misery became my constant companions. I remember seeing my family, I think. I remember people talking to me. It's funny that I could understand each word, but the words didn't make any sense collectively. They were just words, nothing more.
Everything ran together, like I was jumping from one dream, or nightmare, to the next. I never felt like I was awake, or lucid. Eventually, a part of me realized it wasn't real, that my world at present was simply a place in my mind. It didn't stop the pain, or the nightmares, but it did lessen the misery.
I opened my eyes. This was different. I could see walls and a ceiling. I could hear a voice that made sense as I listened! I began a mental rundown of my body. I could wiggle my toes. That was good. Then I tried my fingers and to my relief, they worked! The pain was a dull, constant thing, but after what I had been feeling, I was able to put it from my mind. I tried to turn my head and it almost exploded. I must have groaned.
"Mr. Hadley! You're awake!" a pretty young woman almost yelled as she moved her face close to mine and smiled. "I'll get the doctor. You just rest and I'll be right back."
I think I fell back asleep. The next thing I knew, a man younger than I was looking into my eyes and feeling my head.
"Welcome back, Mr. Hadley. You've had quite a time of it, but you are doing fine now. You were in a car accident and it was touch and go for a while, but you seem to be out of the woods. I know you have a lot of questions, but you need to sleep and heal. We've given you something to help with the pain and to help you sleep, but don't worry. You'll be seeing your family very soon."
I closed my eyes for a second and when I opened them again, I knew I must have slept for hours. Jim and Tiffany were standing next to the bed on my left side, smiling at me as I looked around.
"Oh, Dad!" cried Tiff. "We've been so worried about you! I knew you were tough and you'd pull through. I love you so much, Dad!"
"Yeah, Dad, you're too mean to die!" laughed Jim. "You've got years in front of you. I guess you have Mom to thank for that!"
I tried to answer, but my mouth felt like someone had dumped sand in it. I couldn't really get my lips apart. There was no way I could form words, so I just attempted a smile and that even hurt a little.
"That's right, Dad. Mom gave you a gift that keeps on giving. She gave you a kidney, Dad! I guess you two are joined, almost at the hip, from now on," laughed Tiffany. "Go ahead and look the other way. Mom is over there."
I somehow turned my head and saw a bed next to mine. It took a minute or two for my eyes to focus. Finally I was able to make out Gwen in a sitting position in the bed, smiling at me as tears streaked her cheeks.
Was this real, or another nightmare? What were they saying about a kidney? Why would I need one? Why would Gwen give me one? It was too much to understand. I closed my eyes again.
I slept the better part of the next few days. When I had a lucid period, nurses, doctors and my kids would explain how I had come to be in the situation I found myself. Gradually, I was able to distinguish between reality and dreams. I don't know what they had been giving me, but it was some serious shit!
I had been T-boned in the driver's side by a kid trying to elude the cops. To avoid a ticket for doing 35 in a 25 MPH zone, the kid had come within an inch of taking my life. The police estimated he was doing around fifty when he hit me. I couldn't help thinking that the speed at impact didn't really matter to me. The results were the problem. The kid wasn't hurt and his old man had him released in his custody. The little fucker was probably getting laid at his prom this weekend!
I had played football in high school and I had the idea I was a pretty good wide receiver. I was fast and I could catch anything I could touch. I went to Penn State so I tried out for the team. I didn't have a scholarship. That should have been a clue how my talent was assessed by the coaches.
All the guys were trying really hard to show their abilities and desire to the coaching staff. The first time we had full contact drills, I made my cut and saw the ball coming my way. It was going to go about three feet over my head so I leapt up and grabbed it with my right hand. Even as I caught it, I knew the coaches had to be impressed.
The thing I had not anticipated was the speed and power of the guys trying to make the defensive team. Before I could bring the ball back down and tuck it in, a 245-pound linebacker hit me. He was going full bore when he lowered his shoulder and laid into my right side. I folded around him like a pretzel as he drove me to the synthetic turf of the practice field.
I woke up in the hospital. I pissed blood for a week and the doctors seemed pretty worried for the first few days. By the end of the week, I was allowed to leave. The only problem was my right kidney had been pretty well ruined. I was cautioned to always be careful and to take real good care of my left one. It would have no trouble handling all renal functions, as long as I never did anything stupid, like play football, or get T-boned in the driver's side.
This is where it became interesting. I wasn't really banged up as badly in the accident as you would expect, except my left kidney was pretty much toast. Naturally! It was determined that if a donor could be quickly found, a transplant was the best option.
Gwen was tested, although the odds were really against her matching up. You guessed it! While I was floating in and out of my dreams and nightmares, it was decided that I would receive a kidney from Gwen. They told me I was made aware of the decision and even agreed to it! I didn't see any sense in arguing that assertion, but I didn't remember anything that happened, or agreeing to anything.
Gwen was feeling better a lot sooner than I was, but that was normal. She didn't have a foreign organ implanted in her body. I was the one they had to watch for rejection of that organ. As she recovered, Gwen was by my side constantly. She read me the paper, wiped my brow, and even helped to the bathroom. It was a difficult time for me, but I finally was allowed to go home.
I laid around for another six weeks or so, before I could return to work. During that time, Gwen was attentive and understanding. She tried hard to be cheerful and upbeat. The kids were back in college, but came home most weekends to see me and help their mother care for me.
Gwen recovered fully in a very short period of time. At least it seemed like it to me. She was back at work in a couple weeks and I lay around the house alone for a month. I gradually recovered and by the second week that Gwen went to work, I was able to walk around the block. That seemed to be the break-through event in my recovery. By the time I went back to work, I was getting around quite well. The doctors told me it would be months before I was one hundred per cent, but that day would come.
When I went back to work, I was given light duty for a couple weeks. I finally complained to the supervisor that I needed to resume my regular duties. I worked for the phone company. I'm one of those guys with the bucket trucks that check lines and poles. I'm good at it and I enjoy it. The next week I was back doing what I enjoyed, and felt better about myself. I was a little nervous driving for a few months and I still look both ways at every intersection. I knew how lucky I was that I had been in a company truck when the kid hit me with his dad's SUV. If I had been in a car, it would've been all over.
Six months after the accident, almost everything was back to the way it used to be, with one big exception. Gwen and I hadn't made love. It wasn't that she wasn't willing. She was. In fact, she was a little insistent at times, but I just couldn't get interested. I had some major issues.
The day of my accident, I had been working out by the interstate. I was concentrating on a mess caused when an excavator had ripped down a line. I had been given the job because I had done it before and they knew I could do it again.
I happened to glance across the top of a dump truck parked near by. Just beyond it was a motel, catering to motorists on Route 80. I noticed a car a lot like Gwen's pull in and park not fifty feet from where I was perched in the boom. It's funny but we seem to be invisible while we're working in those buckets.
Another car pulled in and the driver got out. It was Ben Pool, a coworker of Gwen's. As he walked around the front of his Explorer, a lady stepped from the other car and met him with a slow, hot kiss. That was no lady; it was my wife!
I watched in stunned silence as they walked hand-in-hand to room 108. Ben swiped the key in the slot and they went inside. Before Gwen was able to pull the curtain, I could see Ben feeling her tits through her clothes.
I felt ill as I considered my situation. Gwen had never been an especially sexual woman. She was attractive and always dressed well, but if I didn't initiate sex, it just didn't happen. It wasn't all that unusual for it not to happen even when I tried to get it started. I had accepted the fact that her sex drive wasn't all that great. She was a wonderful mother and wife in every other way.
At least, I had believed she was. Knowing that Ben was fucking her brains out gave me cause to rethink her rating as a wife. It just wasn't something I was going to accept. I didn't feel that rushing to the motel and demanding some sort of reckoning would solve the problem. It was a bit late to avoid being a cuckold. I knew better than to think this was their first meeting. They were far too comfortable with each other for that.
Sadly, as I thought about the situation, it gradually became apparent to me that there was only one solution, short of having them both wacked. I had no desire for revenge at the time. I was just a man in pain. I wanted to crawl off and lick my wounds in some cave. Hurting Gwen didn't even occur to me.
At the same time, I knew our marriage was over. I wasn't the best looking guy in the world and a lot of men made more money and had bigger cocks. If any of those items, or all of them, made a difference to Gwen, she should have found a different husband those 23 years ago. I wasn't a superstar, but I did have some pride and self-respect. If I didn't get rid of Gwen, I would have nothing. I had to appreciate the irony of that. If I lost Gwen, I would have almost nothing of importance left. If I continued as a cuckold, I'd have even less than nothing. It really was a no-brainer.
Then that miserable pimply-face little prick decided to outrun the police. I was only able to walk around the planet because Gwen gave her kidney to me. That really fucked up my resolve. I thought of little else since the accident. I was as far from reaching a decision, as I had been when I first learned that Gwen had donated her kidney to me. I never agreed to that! It wasn't fair. It would have been far easier if they had just let me die. Now, I had to decide how to live the life that had been returned to me, in large part by an unfaithful, cheating slut wife.
"I think you should see a doctor, Paul," Gwen told me one night as we lay in bed. She had made sexual advances that I had once again resisted. I just couldn't get interested in her sexually.
"I've spent the last six months seeing doctors, Gwen," I replied. "I really don't care to see any more. I'm pretty well healed anyway."
"I was thinking more about a psychiatrist," she responded. "You have to admit you haven't been the same since the accident and I'm worried about you. It might be something mental and a doctor can help with it."
Actually, I had been thinking along the same lines. Maybe a shrink could tell me what the hell I could do to get my shit together. I needed someone to set me straight, to tell me what to do with Gwen's cheating ass.
"Okay, Gwen. If you set it up. I'll go," I calmly answered. "That might be a good idea."
"Really? I didn't think you'd go along with it, Paul. I had a whole argument memorized to persuade you into it," revealed Gwen. "Can you tell me why you accepted my suggestion so quickly, if I may ask?"
"Sure, you can ask," I responded as I rolled over with my back to her. "It's because I'm all fucked up. Good night."
Tuesday after work saw me in Dr. Wright's office. She was a reasonably attractive woman around my age. She was dressed neatly, but conservatively. She looked the part she had chosen as her career.
"I guess if you have any children, they aren't named wrong," I surmised as we shook hands.
"What makes you say that, Mr. Hadley?" she asked.
"I've always been told that two Wrights don't make a wrong, Doctor," I replied straight-faced.
Her eyes sparkled as she attempted to maintain her poker face. I just looked at her until she broke into a big smile.
"I'm supposed to make you relax and feel comfortable, Mr. Hadley," she laughed. "Not the other way around."
Then we went through the predictable bullshit for ten minutes. The outcome was I would call her doctor and she'd call me Paul.
"Paul, I see on my notes that your wife made your appointment. She explained to my receptionist that you had a serious accident about six months ago. She, in fact, donated a kidney to you. She also said that your recovery seemed to be going well with one exception. You have lost all interest in sex. Is that accurate, Paul?" asked the lady shrink.
"Tell you what, Doc. Peel your clothes off and lie down on this couch and we'll both see how interested I am," I responded a little testily.
I was irked that Gwen had told the receptionist so much and that all the blame was placed at my feet. Gwen could have put an ad in the paper and still been more discreet!
Doctor Wright looked intently at me, gauging my temperament.
"Are you saying that you are interested in sex, Paul?" she asked. "I will decline your invitation for obvious reasons, which I'm sure you already know. Why does your wife feel you have lost interest when you feel you have not?"
"It could have something to do with the fact that she's a cheating whore," I deadpanned. "I just don't feel much attraction to a slut putting out for half the town. Does that make me sick, or crazy?"
"We don't use that expression, Paul. Why do you feel that your wife is a whore, as you call it; that she has cheated on you? She must be concerned about you to make an appointment with me, don't you think?"
"Now we're getting down to brass tacks! That's the problem. She's been very good to me. She gave me a fucking kidney! Excuse my language, Doc. You can see my dilemma, can't you?" I asked.
"You feel that your wife is unfaithful to you, yet willing to make incredible sacrifices for you? Is that what you are telling me, Paul?" questioned the doctor.
"Pretty much in a nutshell, Doc," I answered. "She's fucking a coworker of hers. I saw her with him the day of my accident. I was prepared to toss her ass out to the curb, but then I was sidetracked, as well as sideswiped, by some hormonal little prick in his father's SUV."
"So you are certain your wife is having an affair and that was caused you to lose interest in making love to her? Couldn't your concerns be a result of your accident? Is it possible that you may have not seen what you thought you were seeing, Paul? Couldn't you have made a rather hasty assumption," she asked.
"Suppose you saw your spouse meet someone at a cheap motel, kiss them long and hard, walk hand-in-hand into room 108, watch the other person run their hands all over your spouse as the drapes were being closed. Then you watch for over an hour while they remain in the room. Finally, they walk to their vehicles, kiss again, and drive off. Would you naturally assume they had a hell of a game of scrabble, or would you think they were fucking like minks?" I demanded.
Doctor Wright seemed agitated as she considered what I had just told her. She quickly composed herself and forged on.
"Have you discussed this with your wife? Does she know what you saw and has she had a chance to explain her actions? You must discuss it if you are ever going to get past it, Paul," she stated emphatically.
"Now that's the problem, Doc. It isn't easy for me to bring up," I admitted. "The other thing is, she has to confess to me and beg for forgiveness before there is any chance for our marriage to survive. She has to give me reasons, the number of times they met, how long it went on, how many men she's nailed while we've been married, and convince me she has stopped and will never try it again. If I have to force a confession, it isn't worth a pinch of pig shit!"
"I said convince me, Doc," I quickly added. "That's a lot more difficult than telling me. I have to be convinced, and quite honestly, I doubt that she can do it, even if she were willing to try," I concluded.
"It sounds like you've given this some thought, Paul," Doctor Wright responded. "What do you hope to gain by coming to me?"
"I want you to tell me if I'm wrong to feel betrayed. Am I wrong to not want to make love to a woman being fucked by some miserable prick behind my back? Am I wrong to give her a chance to explain? How long should I wait before I toss her ass out? Will I be depressed and guilty if I divorce her after she donated a kidney to save me? Should I just accept being a cuckold and let her have lovers? If I can't even look in the mirror, how can I keep going on?" I demanded. "How can I make any sense of my life?"
"The answers to these questions are all inside you, Paul. I can't tell you. I think you know that. I will say that you have to resolve this conflict in your life, or it will destroy you, as well as your marriage. We need to get together every week and work for a solution," she told me.
"Sure, Doc. My insurance covers this. You will maintain your professional confidentiality, won't you?" I asked. "My wife will be asking you what the hell is wrong with me."
"Of course I will, Paul," she replied. "I think it would be helpful if your wife saw me separately. As is so often the case, this is not a problem created, or resolved by one partner."
"Well, Doc, that's up to her. Maybe she can take a day off from fucking the bastard to stop in; especially if it means keeping her wimp husband around to pay the bills and a mercy fuck now and then. I will tell you this, Doc," I added. "If you even hint to Gwen that I know she's fucking at least one guy behind my back, the marriage is over and I'll insist you don't get paid, and whatever goddamn board issues your license revokes it and you'll be waiting tables the next time I see you."
"Paul, do you think you frighten me?" asked the shrink confidently.