A story by Altimexis
Welcome to the sixteenth installment of Love in a Chair. If you haven't read it already, please read the foreword under Chapter 1. It goes without saying that this story is under copyright. It is a work of pure fiction and any resemblance of characters to real people is completely coincidental. This story involves gay sex between minors and if reading it is illegal where you live, please don't.
READERS SHOULD NOTE that this is not a story about eroticism gained through urination or scat. In fact, descriptions throughout the following chapters related to bowel and bladder movements, are described for the purpose of giving the reader an incite into the complications, embarrassments, and adjustments required in the everyday life of a paraplegic.
Summary of Chapters 1-15: fifteen-year-old Aaron Johnson and fourteen-year-old Brian Sandler are two boys in love. Aaron's parents are very supportive of the relationship, but Brian's are deeply religious and cut off all contact between the two when they discovered the boys had gone to a `fag' dance. Aaron and Brian formulated a ruse to spend some time together, but Aaron was forced to drive Brian home, though a month shy of his license, when their plan for a ride fell through. They were struck by a hit-and-run driver and Brian became a paraplegic. Brian's father eventually admitted to his wife that he himself is bisexual, paving the way for Aaron and Brian's reunion. Just as they were becoming reacquainted, Aaron was arrested and led away. He was forced to spend the night in juvenile lock-up and was released to his parents, pending a hearing. In the meantime, Brian is getting ready for transfer to a well-known rehabilitation center.
Although the ride to the rehab center was a lot less eventful than the one to the hospital a week and a half earlier, Brian was unconscious the first time, so this one seemed much worse to him. He went by ambulance on a stretcher for reasons that didn't make any sense. After all, he'd been up in a chair for days already. And it seemed so weird to be lying on his back and moving at the same time. Every time the ambulance hit a bump, he winced in pain from the staples that were still in his back. The trip seemed to take forever. Finally, the ambulance arrived and he was wheeled inside the rehab center, up an elevator, down a hall, and into a room.
One big improvement - he was allowed to help scoot himself over onto his bed. He'd recently been fit with a brace - a hard plastic shell that extended around his body from just above his dick all the way up to his neck. Aaron said it made him look like a turtle and it was uncomfortable as anything, but it made it safe for him to sit up while waiting for his back to heal, and that made it worthwhile.
The stretcher was barely out of the room when a nurse descended on him and started giving him a thorough going over. No sooner had she finished, when another young woman entered the room and introduced herself as Dr. Lipton, the rehab resident who would be taking care of him. She told him he could call her Kathy. She also gave him a thorough examination and asked him a lot of questions he would have never thought of as being important - things such as the physical layout of his house, his parents' work schedules, whether there were students in wheelchairs at his school and the like.
There was a brief pause in the conversation when she asked if he had any siblings, friends, or a girlfriend who would be helping to take care of him. He told her he had a boyfriend who most definitely would be involved, which clearly took her aback, but then she went on with the rest of her questions. He and Aaron had already decided that they would be out for his rehab - there was no use trying to hide their relationship - and Brian realized he would have to start getting used to Kathy's reaction.
After Kathy finished her exam, she told him she would return in a short while with her attending physician. Sure enough, about fifteen minutes later, she walked back into the room with a tall, middle-aged, distinguished-looking gentleman who identified himself as Dr. Stevens. Dr. Stevens spent a few minutes confirming the information he had received from Kathy and then he talked to Brian about some of the things the rehab program would entail.
He explained that the catheter in his bladder would be removed later that afternoon and the nurses would be catheterizing him every four hours. They would ultimately teach him to do this himself. In addition, he would be taught the proper use of medications and suppositories to control his bowel movements. They would be injecting him with a blood thinner that he would need to use for the next two or three months to prevent blood clots, which Brian would also learn to give to himself.
He would be working at least three hours every day with a physical therapist and an occupational therapist, who would work on building his muscles and teaching him everything he would need to know. He would be seeing a neuropsychologist who would help him to deal with the emotional consequences of his injury. A recreational therapist would help him to explore the impact of his disability on his leisure activities and he would be getting daily schooling from a tutor. A social worker would help make arrangements for his discharge, which would probably be in about a month, after which he would enter an outpatient program for as long as a year.
"Do you understand everything I've told you, Brian?"
"Do you have any questions for me?"
"Well, I know that my injury is complete, but what do you think my chances are for recovery?"
"That's a very good question, and I wish I could give you a good answer, but my `crystal ball' is very cloudy with these sorts of things. You see, the spinal cord and brain are very different from the rest of your body. They heal very, very slowly. If you get a bruise on your skin, it usually heals in a week or so. With the spinal cord, it can take months or even a year or more. And like a bruise on the skin, there's a central area of damage surrounded by an area of swelling. As the swelling goes down, some function may start to return and that of course is what we hope for. In short, we're going to do everything we can to promote recovery but, in the meantime, we'll give you the skills you need to manage with things the way they are now."
"Doc, I've been reading and I get the impression that my kind of injury has a bad prognosis. I want you to be honest with me. Of all the patients you've treated over . . . how long?"
"I've been doing this for just about twenty years."
"How many patients with an injury like mine have been able to walk eventually?"
"Brian, everyone is unique and I don't want you being discouraged by an answer that might not even apply to you. One thing you have is time - things could change significantly during the coming weeks."
"Doc, I really need to know for my peace of mind. It's important to me."
"OK, then. I'm afraid that none of my patients with your type of injury has ever walked, but there's always a first time for any type of injury, yours included."
Brian was expecting this, but it still came as a bit of a shock. He recomposed his face and continued, "That's OK, I was pretty much expecting that answer."
"But you know, there's a lot of promising research and the prospects of a cure are better than ever."
"I hear you, doc, but I can't wait for a cure. Even if it's five years away, that's still a long time for a fourteen-year-old like me, and I bet that a cure is a lot farther off. I have to get on with my life. I guess that's why I'm here."
"Brian, you're obviously a very bright young man, but you have to understand something. You've sustained a life-altering injury. Different people have different styles of coping with something like this, but everyone goes through a grieving process. Some people become angry and take it out on me, which is OK; I'm used to it. Bright kids like you often rationalize their injury. You can postpone your grief, but you can't sidestep it. It's something you're going to have to get through. I understand you have a supportive boyfriend and I want you to know that I think that's a very good thing. Your combined strengths can help you both get through this. Your boyfriend is also welcome to attend your sessions with Dr. Katz, your neuropsychologist, if you want him to. And he's also invited to attend your family meeting, which we'll have in another two or three weeks.
"Do you have any more questions?"
"Is there any chance I can go home on the weekends during my stay here?"
"Yes, there is, but not overnight. The insurance companies figure that if you can stay home overnight, you don't need to be here. Once you, your family and your boyfriend have learned to get you safely in and out of a car and in and out of your house, and when you can catheterize yourself, then you'll be allowed to go out on the weekends on what we call a therapeutic leave. These leaves are a good chance for you to practice what you learn here, and we encourage them."
"Thanks Dr. Stevens. I'm looking forward to getting started."
After Dr. Stevens and Kathy left the room, the curtain was pulled back and he noticed he had a roommate - an African American boy who looked to be 16 or 17. Brian said, "Hey."
"My name's Brian. How about you?"
"Hi, Kalvin, nice to meet you. You been here long?"
"'Bout two weeks."
"How were you injured?"
"I got shot."
"Oh man!" Brian said. "How'd it happen?"
"Just in the wrong place at the wrong time."
"Did they catch the guy who did this to you?"
"Nope, and they never will. Listen, man, I don't wanna talk about it."
Brian sensed there was something more to his roommate's story, but he thought better about pushing it. Just then Aaron walked in and his face brightened. Aaron came to his side and gave him a quick peck on the lips.
"Hey, hot stuff. Happy Valentine's Day." Aaron handed Brian a card.
"Hey, Aaron. Watcha doin' here so early? I thought you'd wait until after school."
"This is a big day for you. I thought you might like to have a little company. I got permission from my teachers to take the afternoon off."
"How'd you get here?"
"My dad took off early and drove me here. Your parents'll take me home later."
Aaron then leaned down and the two lovers engaged in a passionate kiss.
"Oh man! I gotta couple a fags in here with me," Kalvin snarled.
Aaron turned around and looked right at Brian's roommate and said, "Yeah, we're gay. You gotta a problem with that?"
"Yeah, I do."
"Kalvin, chill out," Brian said. "I'm not gonna perv on you or anything. Aaron's the love of my life and he's going to be here with me to help me get through this. I'm sorry if you don't like it, but that's just the way it is."
"I just don't wanna share a room with a fag."
"I'm sorry to hear that, Kalvin," Brian said, "but I can't change who I am because you don't like gays. If you don't like it, move."
"Why should I move? I been in this room for two weeks. You're the new dude. You move."
"Nope, I'm not moving. This is your problem, not mine. If you're not willing to move, you'll just have to put up with seeing Aaron and me kiss now and then. Get used to it."
Kalvin just turned his head and stared up at the ceiling. Brian and Aaron thought about how this wasn't going to be easy, but they decided to let things slide for now and hope that Kalvin simmered down.
Before Aaron and Brian had a chance to spend much more time together, a guy in his thirties walked in and introduced himself to Brian as Jerry, his physical therapist. Aaron was asked to leave them alone and Jerry spent a solid hour with Brian, giving him a much more thorough assessment of muscle function than anything any of the doctors had done up to that point. Jerry talked to Brian about some of the things that would be happening in PT and the goals they would set for him to complete before discharge.
In the meantime, Aaron went down to the gift shop and bought Brian a little stuffed turtle. He wasn't sure if Brian would like it, but he thought it would be something for Brian to remember him by when he wasn't there, and a turtle seemed just so appropriate, given the brace Brian would be wearing for the next few months. When he gave it to Brian, Brian was obviously very touched. He hugged the little animal to his chest and then motioned for Aaron to lean forward and they kissed each other deeply until they were interrupted by a young woman.
This time, it was Jennifer, Brian's occupational therapist, and Aaron was once again asked to leave. He ended up sitting in the family lounge, reading the latest issue of New Mobility, a magazine devoted to people with disabilities. He actually found some interesting articles and decided to take one of the subscription cards with him, reasoning that it might make a nice gift for Brian.
In the meantime, Jennifer gave Brian another thorough going over, this time focusing on assessing Brian's self-care skills - how well he could use his hands, handle utensils, balance himself to try to dress and undress himself and so on. She also asked him to have his parents bring in some clothes for him to wear - hospital gowns weren't going to cut it, obviously. He knew his parents would be there after dinner, so he immediately called home and left a message.
After she finished, Jennifer found Aaron in the lounge and told him he could go back to see Brian. Just as Aaron thought he might finally get some time with Brian, in walked Jerry again, this time bringing a wheelchair. Aaron started to get up and leave when Jerry stopped him.
"No, Aaron, please stay. Rehab is a family affair and you're part of Brian's family. As long as you're here, we might as well start teaching you how to help Brian transfer."
"Brian, eventually you'll learn how to do this yourself, but we need to teach you how to balance first. In the meantime the nurses and therapists will be transferring you in and out of your wheelchair. However, I bet you'll have it down pat by the end of the week." Both boys nodded their assent.
As Jerry got the wheelchair in position to transfer Brian out of bed, Aaron got his first good look at Brian's first wheelchair.
"Gee, Brian, this wheelchair looks really cool." It was indeed, having a dark purple frame, yellow accents, black alloy wheels and a black back and seat. Aaron had been expecting something like he was used to seeing old people in - a clunky steel monstrosity. This wheelchair was sleek.
Jerry chuckled. "I know its not motorized, so you won't be able to go zipping down the halls, but motorized wheelchairs are for people who have limited or no upper body strength. In your case Brian, we want to you get a thorough workout. The exercise of pushing yourself around will contribute to your overall health and recovery. Now boys, the first thing you need to do when transferring is to lock the brakes on your wheelchair. When you get your chair in the right position, as close to the bed as possible and next to Brian's rear end, lock the brakes. If you don't, the chair will wheel away from you and Brian's ass will wind up on the floor. We have to fill out a whole bunch of paperwork when that happens, and I don't like paperwork." Both boys laughed.
Jerry proceeded to show them how to remove the arm rests, how to sit Brian up at the side of the bed and give him time to acclimate to the resulting drop in blood pressure, how to position his feet, and how to balance him over his legs and slide him onto the chair's seat without putting Aaron's back at risk of injury, taking care to avoid scraping Brian's ass on the wheels. Unfortunately, the first time he tried it, Aaron winced in pain from his healing, broken ribs. After a few more tries, Aaron learned how to better balance himself so that he avoided putting any strain on his back or trunk. Aaron and Brian had the technique down pat, and Jerry was more than satisfied. "You're a fast learner. From now on, you're cleared to transfer Brian in and out of his bed. Brian, do you feel up to staying in your wheelchair the rest of the evening?"
"Hell yeah," Brian beamed.
"You ready to try taking it for a spin?"
"More than ready!"
Jerry then spent the next half-hour instructing Brian in how to push his wheelchair and to make turns without injuring his wrists or shoulders. Brian had the technique down in no time. When dinnertime rolled around, Aaron made a quick stop at the Wendy's around the corner and he ate with Brian in his room.
Shortly after they finished, Brian's parents arrived with his clothes in tow. They stayed with Brian and Aaron for a couple of hours, just talking and catching up on Brian's day. They actually treated Aaron nicely and engaged him in the conversation, just as they would have before they knew that he was gay. At nine o'clock, visiting hours were over and they gave Aaron a lift home. It was strangely quiet in the car on the ride home, but Aaron decided that he preferred it that way rather than having to catch hell from the Sandlers about his sexual orientation.
Over the following days, Aaron got into a pattern of getting home from school, grabbing a quick bite to eat, riding with Brian's parents to the rehab center, spending a little time with Brian and then returning home. Brian's parents quickly learned to leave Aaron alone with Brian for the first half-hour of their visit, although their presence in the room didn't seem to be much of a deterrent to the two boys making out anyway. The strange thing was that his parents seemed to be getting more comfortable having Aaron around - Brian knew they would never accept him as family, but maybe, just maybe, they were finally recognizing the positive aspect of Aaron's and his relationship.
Over the first weekend, Aaron spent nearly all of both days at Brian's side while Larry, Adam and a number of friends and acquaintances stopped by. Aaron and Brian tried to act casual around all the people who didn't know they were gay, but Aaron noticed at least a few times, the surprise on kids faces when he and Brian, without thinking, held hands. Although they might have noticed, no one commented on it directly and Aaron could only hope they would keep it to themselves, at least until he and Brian decided to formally come out at school.
Brian did well with his new learned skills and was quickly able to catheterize his penis and to insert his own suppositories, giving him complete control over his bladder and bowels. He was soon giving himself his own heparin injections and was told that most patients didn't do this until much later in their rehab. Brian was highly motivated and well-liked by the nursing staff and therapists. The other patients were starting to look up to him as well, and even his roommate had stopped pestering him about his sexual orientation.
Although Brian had never been muscular, he worked out in therapy as hard as anyone and although it took every ounce of effort he could muster, he actually was beginning to develop some real arm muscles. Indeed, Brian's progress was so rapid that there was even talk of his being able to finish his rehab a week early. This came at a price, however, as Brian poured his anger and frustration into his physical rehabilitation at the expense of his emotional recovery. He skipped his sessions with the psychologist in order to spend even more time in the gym, putting on a happy face that fooled only himself. The emotional imbalance wasn't going unnoticed.
One day while he was working out in the PT gym, one of the other patients he'd seen around, a very tall African-American kid of about the same age, wheeled up to him and asked if he could meet with him in private.
"Hi, Brian. I don't think we've met before . . . my name's Jamal."
"Hi Jamal, it's nice to meet you."
"It's nice to meet you too. Brian, can I ask you something?"
"Of course, Jamal. What gives?"
"Well, you know. I've heard rumors . . ."
"You mean that I'm gay?"
"Well, Jamal, yes, I'm gay. Why do you ask?"
Jamal was looking down at the floor as he said something that Brian couldn't hear.
"What was that, Jamal?"
He spoke a little louder this time, but still was barely audible. "Well, you know, I think that maybe I'm that way too. Brian, how did you know you were gay?"
"Well Jamal, that's a tough one. I guess I didn't know it for sure until a few months ago, but I'd always been attracted to boys. I mean most boys play with boys when they're young, and it's only natural to check each other out when showering or changing clothes, but I guess I found myself being fascinated by what boys looked like. I couldn't help but looking at other boys privates when changing to go swimming. Other boys took an interest too, but they also wanted to know what girls looked like, and I never really did.
"When I hit twelve, the emotions became almost unbearable. I started jacking off almost daily and my thoughts were always of boys. Still, I was in real denial. I just assumed it was a phase I was going through and that I'd eventually start liking girls. It just never happened. I was starting to wonder if I might be gay, but my parents are real religious and they taught me that homosexuality was wrong. So I just assumed that by being a good Christian boy, everything would work out, but it didn't.
"Once I started high school, I began to suspect the truth and it was almost more than I could stand. I had to tell someone, but I was so afraid of being ostracized. Then one day, I was meeting up with friends to go to a movie. One of my friends was with his brother and, when I saw his brother looking so shy and cute, I knew immediately that I was gay. I wanted that boy and I couldn't get him out of my head.
"Finally, I opened up to my best friend, Larry, about what I was feeling. Larry and I always told each other everything, but I was so afraid of telling him. I was head over heels, man, and I just had to tell someone. Larry was actually cool with it. He didn't care that I was gay and he even suggested ways I could try to meet Aaron again and test the waters, so to speak. But then I got lucky and ran into him at school. We both instantly knew what we wanted and had our first kiss. It was so awesome.
"Well, Jamal, that's probably more than you wanted to know. Kind of a long answer, huh?"
"No, Brian. That was a really nice story. It was actually pretty hot. I wish I could find someone like that, but you've really helped me a lot. After listening to you, I know that I'm gay. No maybe about it. I just don't know where to begin. You see, there's this kid at school, a white boy . . . He's so adorable. He's shy and pretty much a loner. He's also small for his age, but he has the cutest smile, a mop of golden hair and the most amazing green eyes. It would be funny if we got together, you know? I'm black, he's white . . . I'm tall, he's short . . . but I just can't stop thinking about him."
"Do you think he might be gay?"
"That's the rub. I don't know."
"Is he in any of your classes?"
"We're in the same algebra class together, but we don't sit near each other."
"OK, here's what I think you should do. Approach him about one of your homework assignments. Try to interest him in meeting with you to discuss the assignment, or just approach him at lunch and ask to sit with him. Engage him in normal conversation and ask him about what he likes to do, what subjects he likes, what he thinks about his teachers, if he has brothers or sisters . . . anything related to him. Focus the conversation on him and you'll be bound to draw him out."
"But how will I find out if he's gay?"
"Well, I did some reading on this on the Internet when I was trying to figure out if Aaron was gay. Nothing is foolproof, but there are telltale signs. One of the easiest is to watch where his eyes wander; see if he checks out guys. An even more direct way is to ask if he has a girlfriend. Since even gay kids won't admit they don't have an interest in girls, the important thing is his reaction. Look right into his eyes when you ask the question. Gay boys' pupils will dilate, they'll break eye contact and often look down, and they'll almost always blush. Now straight boys will do some of these things, too, especially if they're unsure of their sexuality or just very shy. What they say doesn't matter - it's the reaction to the question that's important.
"If you get a `gay-like' discomfort reaction, you'll need to push a little further. If he asks if you have a girlfriend, tell him that you're not really interested in having one right now. That can be taken a number of ways, but don't answer him directly. Tell him you just don't want a steady girl right now. Then push him on who he thinks is hot. Throw out the names of some `hot babes' and look at his eyes. The pupils will dilate if he's aroused by any of the names you mention. If you don't get a response, tell him you think any of those girls would be interested in someone as cute as he is. This will help set the stage by telling him you think he's cute. If he calls you on it, tell him you think he's a guy chicks would go for. Remember, though, that you have to remain absolutely cool when this happens. What ever you do, don't freak.
"If you're pretty sure he's gay by now, it will be time to take a huge risk. Tell him something like, `you know, if you're gay or anything, it's OK'. Tell him you're `cool with it'. Then if you're really feeling good about the way things are going, tell him you think you might be gay, too. If he's gay, he'll probably have trouble maintaining eye contact. He may say anything, but an angry straight boy will look right at you. If that happens, just say you were kidding and laugh - `had you going there for a minute'."
"But what if he isn't gay and he decides to tell everyone I am?"
"The main thing, Jamal, is to stay cool. Let your head and not your dick do the talking. If you keep cool, you can talk your way out of anything. Don't admit to him that you're gay unless you think he'll be comfortable with it."
"Thanks, Brian. You've given me a lot to think about." Then after a big sigh, Jamal asked, ". . . but how's he gonna relate to me being in a wheelchair?"
"I don't have a good answer for that one, Jamal. I mean, a lot of people just don't see beyond the chair, but if your friend is willing to get to know you, it should still be OK. It may even be a way to get to know him better, since he'll undoubtedly have a lot of questions. Once he gets to know you, the wheelchair won't matter. By the way, there's a lot of stuff on the Internet about sex in SCI, and my boyfriend has made contact with a gay quadriplegic who's giving us pointers on gay sex. I can't wait to try things out!"
"Do you have feeling down there?"
"No, I don't. But I still love my boyfriend very much and we'll work it out. As the gay guy said, my mouth still works and that's all I need."
"Thank God I can still feel my cock. It's not quite the same, but I get erections and all."
"Have you tried it out?"
"Can't. I have a C7 level and don't have much use of my hands. I've tried, but I just can't get enough contact and I can't get into a rhythm."
Brian looked down and blushed as he said, "You know, It's not like I'm a slut or anything, but if . . . you'd like to find out . . . and if my boyfriend wouldn't object, maybe I could help you out."
"What do you mean . . . What are you saying, that you'd jack me off? Oh man, that's just too much to asks of anyone."
"Well, I'm not making any promises. I wouldn't even think of doing anything unless Aaron's OK with it, and there'd be nothing sexual in it or anything. It would just be another part of your therapy. Oh, but wait a minute. . . . Do you get dysreflexic?"
"Yeah, you know, where your blood pressure shoots up and you get a pounding headache or sweaty. It happens when there's something irritating your body below your injury level. Something like an overfull bladder, a skin sore or your bowel program . . . or with sex."
"I get a headache if I wait too long to cath. myself so, yeah, I guess I do."
"I think there are meds you can take. You should ask your doctor before we try anything."
"You mean talk to him? . . . about sex?! I couldn't do that!"
"Trust me, Jamal, I'm sure it wouldn't be the first time a teenage boy has asked him about sex. I know that I certainly intend to talk to Dr. Stevens to find out all I can about having sex with Aaron. You know . . . what's safe; what's not. Think about it. Talk to him, and then we can talk some more and maybe . . .
"Hey, and if you ever want to talk to me, even after we get out of this joint, just give me a call or message me."
They boys exchanged numbers and e-mail addresses and went their separate ways. Aaron was already waiting for Brian in his room.
"Hey there, gorgeous," Aaron said as he leaned forward and kissed Brian on the lips.
After finally coming up for air, Brian said, "You're not half bad looking yourself," as he smiled broadly.
"What was the hold-up?"
"A fellow patient had some questions for me." Brian lowered his voice. "He just came to realize he's gay and has the hots for a boy at school, so I gave him some tips on how to find out if the other kid feels the same way."
"That's sweet of you, Brian."
"There's one other thing . . . He doesn't have the use of his hands, but he can feel his dick. He's not sure if his, er, equipment works. Would you be jealous if I maybe gave him a hand, so to speak? It'd only be a one time thing."
Aaron laughed so hard that Brian thought he would choke. "Sorry, man. I just had this image of you going around here offering hand jobs to all the boys on the floor."
"Aaron, I would never . . ."
"'S OK, man. Actually, it's kinda sweet. I know you'd just be helping someone out who needed it. I appreciate that you asked. You're a caring person and that's one of the reasons I fell so hard for you. Now if you ever get the notion to pull on other people's dicks around here, please let me know so I can get in on the action," Aaron said as he winked at his sweetheart.
However, as Aaron continued looking at his lover, he couldn't help but notice the dark circles under his eyes and the forced smile on his face. Aaron knew that all was not well, but he himself was doing all he could to hide the worry in his own eyes from the boy he loved.
Well, that's it for the sixteenth installment of Love in a Chair. Hope you like it so far. Please e-mail me your comments. I will try to respond to all e-mail except flames, but I make no promises. I would like to thank Riley James of the Rainbow Community Writing Project for hosting my story. I would also like to thank WriteByMyself and David of Hope for their invaluable suggestions and editing. The next installment should be posted in a week or two.