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.
.... There is more of this story ...