Copyright© 2016 by Jay Cantrell
Romantic Sex Story: Chapter 98 - Travis Blakely had a comfortable existence. He had a decent job and good friends. He was comfortable with what the future held for him. Then he ran into a girl he remembered from high school. His life got a lot more interesting - and infinitely more complicated
It took some time for our visitors to get used to my infirmity.
At my insistence, Liz took a photo of my battered arm on her phone. I had used the logic that it was it a “before” photo that I could use for inspiration in my therapy.
It was a blatant falsehood.
As soon as we returned down the stairs – and after Sondra had departed for home – I pulled my friends aside and showed it to them.
“It’s still there and still attached,” I said, making sure to look hard at each of them. Not surprisingly, my stare had little effect. “It’s a little beat up right now but things are going to get back to normal.”
I saw skepticism on their faces but I plowed ahead.
“This is only slightly different than if I’d had the surgery on my own,” I added. “They would have had to do the same thing that throwing a rock did. They would have broken the bone, grafted it back together around a new joint and sewn me back up. I learned how to reuse it once and I’ll relearn it again. It’s a pain in the ass. It’s why I put it off for so long.”
Again, I was lying but nobody appeared to know it but me (and perhaps Rick because he’d been around for the past three weeks).
Liz had taken over the task of entertaining the children while I spoke to everybody else. I heard Amber’s lilting laughter and saw the Liz had the little girl by the ankles and suspended upside down. Lucas was clamoring for his turn but Brandon appeared to think he was too old for such shenanigans.
I saw the smile on Susan’s face when I turned back to my friends.
“I’d like to show this to the boys,” I said, focusing on Sarah. “They’ve seen the scar before and they’ve asked about it. I think they’ll be able to understand why I won’t be able to do some of the things I used to do with them if they see this. But the decision is yours. If you think it’s too graphic then I won’t.”
Matt was nodding slightly but Sarah didn’t look convinced.
“They’re boys,” Chris said. “They’ll think it’s cool. Boys love gross stuff like that. Sorry, Travis.”
“It is pretty gross,” I said. “I can tell them how horrible it smelled. That was ... whew!”
“They’re both old enough to understand,” Matt said, looking at his wife. “And they saw and heard everything. The last thing we want is for them to be scared of him.”
“They aren’t scared of him,” Sarah said. “They’re scared of hurting him again.”
She sighed and turned to face me.
“They were at school,” she informed me. “They ... they haven’t really made it a secret that they know you and Liz. That’s a lie. They pretty much advertise that they know you and Liz. One of the little asswipes at the school heard about what happened. He told them that you’d died and then showed Brandon a video of you being put into the ambulance. On top of everything else that day, I got a call from the school to pick up the boys because they were upset about something and refusing to leave the office until they could call ... you.”
I felt tears come to my eyes at the thought of two children I adored being caused a moment of anguish because of me.
“You know Brandon,” Sarah continued. “He’s ... he’s like his dad. He’s a tough guy. He doesn’t cry or complain. When I got there, he was a wreck. Lucas was better but I could see that he was scared. I told them that you were OK. That you were hurt but you were going to be just fine in a little while. The next couple of weeks weren’t easy for them. Both of them are scared that they might do something to hurt their Uncle Travis.”
I looked back over my shoulder. Liz was on the floor with the three kids wrestling with them and tickling them.
“Yeah,” I said. “The adults are that way, too. The truth is that there are things I can’t do right now. There are things I’m never going to be able to do again.”
Admitting it aloud to my friends seemed to make it real to me. And having it become a reality made me start to worry about it less. I actually felt better for just speaking the words aloud to people I trusted.
“I don’t know exactly what those things are going to be,” I continued in a little firmer voice. “I’ll tell you this. The list is shorter than most people think it is. I’ve already got a little feeling back in a couple of fingers. I’ve got a little bit of movement in those fingers. Just having the shell off for a little while really helped. I think it might have been on too tight. I can’t feel anything above my elbow. I can’t feel much below my elbow. But I’ll adapt and I’ll figure out how to do the things I want to do. And that includes playing with the kids. Yeah, right now, wrestling is a bad idea. It might be a bad idea in six months. But at some point I’m going to get back on the floor like Liz is now. I’m going to be able to use my hand to play a video game with them. If I have to learn to put on doll clothes with my left hand I’ll learn to do it. If Amber or Lucas or Brandon wants to kick a soccer ball we’ll be doing that by next summer. If they want to throw a baseball...”
“I can probably learn to throw left-handed,” I concluded. I reached down and patted the skin on my right wrist. It was the only place I could reach and not touch the sling. “I just wanted you to know that this isn’t going to keep me from doing what I want to do.”
“Good,” Susan said.
“So that means you guys don’t treat me any differently than you always did,” I added.
“We’re not,” Sarah said.
“Oh, please,” I replied with the requisite eye roll. “You didn’t make fun of my shirt. You didn’t make fun of this God-awful thing I got strapped around me. You didn’t even ask me how I was managing to wipe my butt. I expected better from you.”
“It’s not because we think ... you’re ... fragile now,” Susan said, choosing her words carefully. “What happened to you affected all of us. It made us all take a look at how different our lives would be without you. I ... I started to look at things when...”
She looked past me to where Amber was sitting triumphantly atop Liz after winning her tickling match.
“After Mary died it made me stop and think about ... things,” Susan continued. “We always pick on you and Rick. I’m not sure we’ve let you really know how much we enjoy having you in our lives.”
“We know,” Rick said. “It’s the same way with us. Eric and I both know that our lives are a lot better now than before we all became friends. It’s not different jobs or more money. It’s having you guys in our lives. It’s having your children in our lives. You don’t have to act differently than you always have. That’s part of what we love about you. OK?”
Rick and I had spent a lot of time together in the past few days. Our relationship hadn’t been altered. I would say it had been strengthened and I think he’d agree.
“If I would have known about your new fashion plan I would brought all those old T-shirts that I’ve been trying to get Matt to toss for years,” Sarah said, smiling at me.
“And Chris has about a thousand Navy T-shirts that I think he has numbered,” Susan added. “I used one to wipe up paint and he knew almost immediately it was gone.”
“Maybe we’ll go with the one-sleeve look when we get home,” Eric said. “Look what the one-glove look did for Michael Jackson.”
“Don’t bring up Michael Jackson after Travis just told us he plans to do things with our kids,” Sarah admonished.
“Particularly since Liz probably has enough money to build Travis his own Wonderland,” Matt added.
“You should take the kids down to see the horses tomorrow,” I said.
“You should take the kids outside to see that freakin’ pool,” Rick claimed. “Shit, Liz doesn’t need to build Wonderland. She already has it. She just needs to bring in some kiddy rides so Travis can get dates.”
“Oh, fuck,” I mumbled, laughing.
“He’s already got a live one,” Rick said, twisting the knife a little deeper. “There’s a little girl that calls every day to talk to him. It’s pretty creepy if you ask me.”
“Hey!” I said. “That’s just mean.”
“A little girl?” Sarah asked with raised eyebrows.
“It’s not ... like that,” I said.
“Uh-huh,” Sarah said.
“Lucas Williams’ daughter,” Rick continued, hoping to increase my discomfort. “She’s what? Six?”
“Almost nine,” I said.
“Yeah, that makes it all better,” Susan replied with a laugh.
“You know, I see a pattern,” Sarah said. “First his jailbait neighbor, now the prepubescent daughter of one of Liz’s friends. Maybe we should take the kids and stay at a hotel.”
“Liz seems pretty nice,” Matt said, elbowing his wife. I wasn’t sure if he was trying to alert her that she was nearing a boundary (which wouldn’t have mattered) or just urging her to keep needling me.
“And she has that sweet pool,” Rick noted. “They won’t have a waterfall at a hotel. I mean, you have two kids after all.”
“Jesus Christ, will you people stop,” I said.
“You asked for it,” Chris said, laughing at me.
I rolled my eyes and shook my head. But I was relieved that my friends weren’t going to start treating me like I was something different than I was the last time I’d seen them.
I decided it was best to give the kids time to get used to being around me again. The boys were content to play with the video game console that Liz had set up for them.
Amber was the first to get bored and wander over to where the adults were stationed nearby. She looked around for a moment and then came over to sit next to me. I was the person with the most room around them because Liz had gone into the kitchen to take a phone call, I guessed.
“Hey, Sweetie,” I said.
She looked up at me with her big eyes and the little freckles across her cheeks. I reached down and ran my finger down her nose. She wrinkled her nose and giggled.
“Wanna draw pictures?” I asked.
Amber’s eyes widened and she nodded furiously.
“Give me a second and I’ll be right back,” I said. I shifted my legs and arose from the couch – which wasn’t easy to do without using my arms. I found where Liz had stashed the supply of materials she had purchased for our budding visiting artist. I suspected Amber was more of a crayon and marker type but Liz had also purchased water paints and colored pencils.
I decided we would start small and collected two coloring books, a blank sketch pad and a big box of crayons. I found my sling made a perfect hold-all for the crayons when I tucked them into the crook of my elbow.
I had lost my seat when I returned but Amber was still bouncing up and down in anticipation.
“A pwincess!” she exclaimed when she saw the cover of the front book.
I should have realized that coloring was not an activity to be undertaken on the couch. Amber clambered off the sofa and took me by my wrist (because my hand was filled with books). She looked around for someplace to color – and found none in the room where everybody had set up shop.
“The kitchen table is clear,” Liz told me with a smile. “We’re going to eat outside tonight.”
Amber had little compunction at crawling onto my lap when I sat down at the table. There were works of art to be completed and a brand new set of crayons (a box of 128 count) to be used.
I put my arm around her to keep her from toppling backward – which left me pretty useless for anything else.
“Dees are gweat!” she said as she flipped through the books. “What should we culwer?”
“Anything you want, sweetheart,” I said.
Amber gave lengthy consideration before selecting a picture of a princess, a unicorn and (what else) a rainbow. She perused the crayons for a long moment, pulling out two shades of blue before deciding which she liked better. Personally, I saw no difference but it was evident that she had a preference.
She put the discarded crayon carefully into the box and set to work with great diligence. She stopped and looked at me midway through turning the sky into cerulean hues.
“I pwayed for you,” she informed me.
I considered looking away before she could see the tears that her words had brought. But looking away would do no good. I had no way to wipe them away.
“Thank you, sweetheart,” I said. “Your prayers helped me a lot.”
She nodded her head.
“Mommy Mary said I could pway to heah when I was sad or scawed and she’d help me,” Amber said. “I asked heah to help you get bettew.”
I gulped and kissed Amber on the top of the head.
“You don’t need to be scared or sad to talk to Mommy Mary,” I said. “You should tell her when you are happy and when good things happen, too.”
Amber put the crayon down and shifted to face me. Amber gave me a searching look, one that I found far too mature for a child of her tender age. But she had been through more in her four years on the planet than most people would face in a lifetime.
“OK,” she said simply.
I hugged her to me as best as I could.