As I've previously described, the PSICU is huge. Each patient cubicle is glass enclosed. Each of the beds are designed with efficiency and easy patient access first and foremost. All have heating lamps up and over the bed to permit adequate warming of the patient when they are naked when visitors aren't present.
We checked in at the nurses' station where clearance was double verified. We were informed that Peter was still being settled in so we'd have to wait a few more minutes before we'd be permitted to see him.
Dad grabbed me a wheelchair. Normally, I don't go for the wheelchair thing but I was ready to sit and ride for a while. Angel took 'the designated driver' role. When he advised me that he'd gotten his wheelchair drivers' license from K-Mart I couldn't help but to crack up, feebly at first but then allowed the tension to ease.
After waiting for maybe 15 minutes Peggy went back to the room number we were given for Peter. She was gone for maybe 10 minutes before returning and saying, "Okay, he's settled in. I'll warn you that he's hooked up to almost every machine imaginable. Many doctors and nurses are hovering around and near Peter so you probably won't be able to have any 'alone' time with him. His color is not that great… he looks just as sick as he really is. Are you ready?"
I looked to Peggy, my nervous, tension and anxiety returned fully, I said, "I've been ready!" I said those words angrily. I caught myself. I felt guilt ridden at speaking to her like that. I added, "I'm sorry Peggy. I didn't mean to say it the way I said it."
Peggy put her hands on my shoulders and replied, "I know you're under a lot of stress. This has to be so very hard for you."
Tears began freely flowing from my eyes …but… I refused to cry… David needed for me to be strong. I couldn't wuss out. Yet I was hurting inside. I told myself that I'd permit a good cry later that night once I was alone in my own bed. Dad handed me a Kleenex that I used to dry my eyes and blow my nose. I said, 'Okay, let's go."
That said we took off around the corner. Peggy stopped in front of a doorway. The curtain was closed so as to afford Peter privacy. I noted that the room was the very same on that Matt had resided in for all those months.
Jeremy handed me my crutches then gave me his hand that I used to lift myself up and out of the wheelchair. Dad put the wheelchair out of the way next to a wall and then put his hand on my shoulder. He said to the group, "David and I are going to go in alone this time."
Peggy said, "The rules are that only 2 visitors are permitted during each visiting period. If possible we'll bend that rule so that everybody has a chance to see David. Remember that hearing is the very last thing to go, and is the very first thing to come back… so talk to him as you normally would. Provide him with encouragement. Reiterate his strength to do what he gave to Matt. And, I don't have to tell you, tell him you love him and are anxious for him to get better."
I could do that. I gathered up all available strength to give to he who's my husband, confidante and lover. Dad and I entered Peter's room.
A doctor wearing a pair of green scrubs and a white coat was sitting at a small desk at the far end of the cubicle. He looked up, got up and walked to us. He introduced himself, "I'm Dr. Waite. I was one of the surgeons helping with Peter's operation…"
Tears immediately sprung from my eyes. They were not sad tears rather they were grateful tears. I said brokenly, "Dr. Miller told us that you saved Peter's life. Thank you. I'm forever grateful." With that I leaned on my crutches in such a way that I could hug him warmly for but a brief minute. He hesitantly returned the gesture.
When we parted he said, "Peter's a very sick boy. He's had quite an ordeal. He's stable right now. He's got a good blood pressure. His pulse is in the normal range. His blood cell count is coming up. Dr. Rasmussen, Dr. Borkwin and a neurologist whose name is Dr. Sanderson had a conference a few minutes ago. We've decided to wake Peter up instead of inducing coma. I'd expect him to wake up within the next hour or so. We'll be able to assess his neurological status at that time."
"Can we be here when he wakes up?"
"I'm sorry. Your name is?"
"David. David Blake. I'm Peter's significant other. This is my dad James or Jim Blake."
"Unfortunately no, I'm afraid not. We'll be turning off the alarms to all systems so that it's quiet as he emerges from anesthesia. We need to evaluate him without any stimulus… I hope you understand that we have to do it this way."
"Okay, I guess. When he wakes up can I see him?"
"Once we conclude the testing I don't see that as a problem… in fact it could very well help him knowing he has his support system around him." Dr. Waite offered.
Dad asked, "So what happened that caused his complications?"
"That's a very good question. I suspect that Peter had the aneurysm for quite some time, possibly from as far back as birth. I was also reading his chart… it's very possible that his aneurysm was caused by the trauma he experienced. It's hard to tell really. We may never know the answer to the question. In any event the aneurysm ruptured. The aneurysm was located in a very, very difficult place with poor access. Some time ago I'd read of a similar abnormality in another patient at a New York hospital. That patient died on the table from massive hemorrhage. Mind you the patient was in her 70′s, was chronically ill, and had other vascular disease going on. This patient, your son and significant other, had none of those contributing factors. I truly believe he survived the operation because of his youth and otherwise healthy body."
Dad asked a million dollar question… I hadn't thought of it, "Is this aneurysm something that could have been detected during his preoperative workup?"
"No sir. We don't go looking for aneurysms during the donor evaluation process. They find us. These things are extremely rare. Usually they are only diagnosed at autopsy. Peter was very, very lucky his burst in the operating room with his belly already opened – otherwise… he would have died… no doubt."
Dad said to me, "This was all meant to be, David. He was very lucky."
Then everything, the complications and the operation all seemed worthwhile. I was able to considerably relax. I thought to myself, "Thank you!"
My mind and attention then changed a 180. All that stuff happened to Peter but now was now. I walked to the naked form of my Peter. I was overwhelmed with all the tubes, wires and other apparatus hooked to, going into, coming out of and resting on my beloved. My anxiety levels began climbing again. Peggy noticed since she was standing opposite of where I was standing.
She explained the purpose and use for each and every piece of equipment, what it was used for, and why. Clearly, I saw their purpose. I relaxed knowing that everything that could be done for Peter was being done.
She said, "Talk to him David. A patients' hearing is the very first sense to come back when they have been under anesthesia for as long as Peter was today. We expect him to be waking up in the next hour or so, so go ahead and talk to him. Let him feel safe to come up from his sleep."
Peter's mouth had several strips of tape crisscrossing his lips to hold that breathing tube in and a tube going into his stomach to keep it empty but I found a clear place on his cheek. I leaned down with scientific precision then kissed his soft cheek.
Although I could not swear to it, I was sure that Peter's eyelid fluttered a little bit when I kissed him. I sat back down then took his hand into mine squeezing it softly, softly because I was afraid to touch him for fear of breaking him, or for fear of disturbing the tubes, wires, and everything else that was attached to him.
Then it happened. Peter squeezed my hand very faintly. It was almost imperceptible yet I was sure he had. I leaned down to kiss it. At the same time, I looked into his face. His eyelid fluttered slightly. Peggy caught it, she saw it.
"Peter honey, wake up now. David and your dad are here. David's holding your hand. Squeeze."
Peter pushed his finger into my hand then he grabbed my finger and squeezed firmly, firmer than I would have expected because he was still so asleep, or appeared to be.
"Honey, try his other hand. See if he will squeeze it for you."
I stood up then reached across Peter's naked body, took his hand in mine then squeezed while saying "Peter, squeeze my other hand." He did.
"Peter, wiggle your toes for me." Peggy said authoritatively.
Peter's eyelids wiggled slightly but he wiggled his toes on both feet.
"Good, he didn't have a stroke." Dr. Waite exclaimed softly. He added, "From his EKG tracings, I see no evidence of a heart attack. If we can get through this critical time he should be okay."
We stayed for about 20 minutes longer. Peter slept the entire time. Peggy explained that his sleeping pretty much all the time was both normal and beneficial.
Just as we were leaving, Dr. Rasmussen appeared. He regarded our presence. He went to the computer to look at Peters' chart. He also spoke with Dr. Waite.
He walked to us and said, "Everything looks good thus far. I see no evidence of a stroke or heart attack. He'll be receiving two more units of whole blood. He doesn't appear to be losing any more. His blood count is still low but that's to be expected. His oxygen levels are okay but they'll be better after he receives his transfusions. I'm cautiously optimistic. The next 24 to 72 hours are critical. Please be assured that his is far from being out of the woods."
"Okay. Thanks doctor." Dad said sincerely.
One more time, I got up, leaned over David and kissed his cheek. Damn those tubes yet I knew they were necessary and was glad they were there.
Once we got in the hallway and began walking (me riding) to the conference room where the guys were located I said to Peggy, "You look really tired. Maybe you could come to our house to eat. We'd love to have you. You could go swimming and relax."
Peggy wearily replied, "No, not today. I'm tired. I'm sure Antoine's bored out of his mind. The best thing for us to do is to go home, grab something quick to eat, and then crash out."
Dad said, "Peggy, we have plenty of room. David's right. I think you're too tired to be driving safely. Please allow us. You've been a trooper all along and well we'd like to express our appreciations."
When we got to the conference room we found the guys lying here and there on the floor. Angel was sound asleep. Antoine was sitting at the desk. He jumped up, walked to his mom or soon to be mom where he looked at her with intensity.
It took her a second to register Antoine's anxiousness but when she did she said to Antoine, "Matt's doing well. The transplant seems to be a success. Honey, the Blake's have invited us to their home so that we can eat and rest up. Is that okay with you?"
Antoine shrugged his shoulders and nodded. He too was very, very tired. My heart relaxed knowing they would be safe at our house. I felt we owed them big time for always being there for us.
Once again, we made our way downstairs to the loading dock where the waiting limo whisked us home using various routes, switchbacks, etc. The limo driver was very efficient however and got us home quickly.
When we arrived home, dad showed Peggy and Antoine to our guest rooms. Both had showers and nice comfortable beds.
Peggy excused herself and closed the door. We didn't see her for the rest of the evening.
After eating a quick meal consisting of cold cuts, fruit and a fresh crisp green salad I took off for upstairs, took a hot shower then headed to my room where I lay down and tried to go to sleep but my mind was going 90 to nothing. The visions of Peter lying on the ICU bed kept flashing through my mind making sleep nearly impossible.
Finally, I said to myself "Fuck it", got up, went downstairs and then went to the pool. The lights were on dim. The water looked oh so inviting. I went to the kitchen found a trash bag and used it to cover my stump and then went into the shower off the TV room, turned it on and tested it for water tight integrity. It worked. While I was in there, I took a dump, stripped off my clothes down to my underwear then went to the pool and stripped the rest of the way.
The water felt wonderful. I swam several laps but not my usual 30. I felt extremely tired, and even felt sleepy too.
I got out, retrieved a towel from the pool house, dried off, wrapped the towel around my midsection and went into the house. Antoine was awake sitting at the bar eating potato chips and drinking a Coke. He was wearing a pair of jeans, and obviously a pair of white Fruit of the Looms which were sticking out from the back of his jeans.
He smiled wearily, offered me to sit down next to him and then pushed the potato chips in my direction. I sat down and munched on the chips he offered.
He was having a terrible time staying awake, as was I. We pretty much slumped against each other with our shoulders. His dark ebony skin was very warm to the touch. I felt my gland firm up and was thankful it didn't go to full staff as my towel had slipped down somewhat. I looked down and found the towel had moved such that the top of my pubes was showing. I rearranged the towel so that I was covered completely then fluffed it so that my elongating tool wasn't visible.
Antoine looked away while I made the necessary adjustments. He also moved away, in fact he changed chairs.
I said, "I'm sorry… I seem to be having a little bit of a problem. I'll go upstairs and get dressed. Don't go anywhere, okay?"
With very soft and very, very tired eyes Antoine said, "This is your home. I am a guest. Please don't change your routine."
"It's okay. You're right, you're our guest. I don't want to do anything so that you're uncomfortable. I'll be right back."
With that I took off for the upstairs, stopped in and peed a healthy stream and then went to my room and put on a pair of old green running shorts and a t-shirt. I went back downstairs. Antoine hadn't moved and was watching the late night news on TV.
When I sat back down on the bar stool Antoine turned off the TV, looked at me then softly said, "Are you okay now, David?"
"I'm fine. Thanks for asking. Are you?"
Antoine looked me in the eyes then leaned forward and rested his elbows on the bar.
"Come on, what's up? We can talk about anything. What you see is what you get… I no longer pretend who I am or lie about what I'm not."
After carefully regarding me for maybe 5 minutes Antoine said, "David. I lied to you. I'm sorry."
"What about? I don't understand. I've not felt you've been lying to me about anything… we hardly know each other, if you know what I mean."
He shrugged his shoulders, leaned down on the bar again all the while looking deep into my eyes.
"I'd like to be as open and honest as you are. Someday I might be. The truth is that I've never been with anyone 'that' way. I am finding myself attracted to another male. I have watched you and Peter… you are so open and not afraid about your relationship."
I giggled. "Yeah, you and Matt have it bad in the best possible of ways. I saw it. Everybody around here sees it. I think even your mom suspects something."
Antoine sadly said, "I cannot be 'that' way. It is against my culture."
"I understand what you mean. The church my brother Jeremy and I grew up in said homosexuality's wrong, very wrong. Antoine?"
"Peter was very afraid of telling your mom he's gay. He was even more afraid of telling the doctors taking care of him. You know what your mom said?"
"No. She wouldn't understand my feelings. I don't even understand my feelings. I shouldn't feel this way."
"You know what she said?"
"She says that we aren't responsible for who we fall in love with because whoever we do fall in love with is natural and normal."
"Really? I did not know she who is becoming my mother feels that way."
"Have you ever asked her?"
"No. Not ever. It is something I must work out for myself. In my culture women are never consulted with feelings."
"Welcome to America. We don't talk much about feelings either. I guess that's where Peter and I are 'odd' for guys that is. We talk often and deep about ourselves. That's how we get to know one another."
"Excuse me for being blunt… do not answer my question if you feel uncomfortable… please promise me you won't."
"That's easy to promise. Shoot."
"I am very abnormal. I am a freak. I could never all in love in 'that' way with anyone. They would laugh. They would run away. It is better for me to be alone."
Confused, I said, "What's your question? I don't understand. And you are NOT a freak. I like you. You're nice. Yeah, I definitely like you. I promise I won't make fun or you or laugh or reject you. Okay? I promise. Just don't lie to me."
"I will not lie to you."
"You already have lied to me… you've told me you're a freak… you've told me that nobody will fall in love with you. Those are lies bro."
Tears sprang from Antoine's eyes. Quickly, he looked around the kitchen, dining room, living room and the stairway. He was obviously looking for people, for lights on, for …. and whatever else he was afraid of."
I put my hand on his shoulder hoping my gesture would relax him, to let him know that I was listening to whatever he needed to share.
After reassuring himself that nobody was around, he looked deeply into my eyes. Surely, he would have figured that what I said was the absolute truth. He did figure it out.
He stood up, clasped the belt buckle holding his pants up, undid it and then in one fell swoop lowered his pants and underwear. I saw a very respectfully sized penis and a nice set of balls. He seemed to be concentrating and didn't touch his organ. Slowly then quickly his maleness elongated into the most beautiful cock I'd ever seen in my entire life – mind you, I was not versed in cockology because the only one's I'd 'seen' were dad's, Jeremy's and of course Peter's. Antoine's cock was very, very long but it was relatively thin – no wider around than Peter's – but God it was long. It reached to about halfway down his legs.
Once he ascertained that I'd seen 'it' he quickly pulled his pants up and fastened them closed. He then sat back down on the bar stool and put his head in his hands. He didn't even look up to see my smile.
Not knowing what else to say because my amazement was running rampant I said, "Dude, your organ is beautiful. If Peter wasn't my husband then I'd want your penis deep inside of me… ALL OF IT, and I mean single inch!"
Quietly, Antoine said sheepishly, "No girl will have me. I would hurt them."
I giggled. "So are we talking about girls or are we talking about guys? Spill it."
"One person." Antoine said looking up into my eyes. Our eyes locked for a moment. Then it donned on me. I decided to play with him for a moment or two or three.
I said, "It gets hard, right?"
"Yes of course. I am very hard."
"It squirts, right?"
"Well, yeah, of course. It shoots way too much. Nobody wants all of that stuff inside of them."
"Dude, how much we make doesn't matter. Put a towel in the right place… problem cured. Seriously, we have a penis for a reason. It feels good. So long as we treat it with respect and are careful to not intentionally hurt someone with it or our thoughts then I say go for it."
"Thank you David. I knew I could trust you with my secret. Please, do not share what we have shared tonight. I must deal with this in my own time."
"Uhm, I don't keep secrets from Peter. I assure you that we will not break your trust, okay?"
Antoine smiled for the first time. He had a beautiful smile. His eyes sparkle when he's happy.
With that, Antoine said, "I must check on mother. She works too many hours. I worry about her."
"Okay, uhm, can I hug you?"
"I'd like that. You made me feel very good, you know – in my heart."
Antoine and I hugged deeply and lingered. He gives really good hugs… he's so strong yet he's gentle. When we parted I took hold of his upper arms, squeezed lightly and then said, "Talk to Matt. He needs a friend like you. I wouldn't be surprised that you two get along really good. You are both really good people."
"Yes. Matt and I have talked many times about many things. I think you are correct. I think of him often."
"Kewl. Well, I don't make predictions very often but I'll bet you and he go far. I've already seen the connection you two have. Don't be afraid."
I went back to bed however I was still unable to fall asleep so I called the hospital. The ICU nurse told me that Peter was doing well considering what he'd been through. She then handed the phone to Dr. Waite who told me that Peter was responsive to commands and stimuli. He also told me that Peter was no longer bleeding and that his blood count was rising slowly.
I asked him if Peter was experiencing pain. He replied that they were keeping him medicated but that yes he was experiencing discomfort but not too much.
I thanked him for talking to me because his words were reassuring.
As I lay back down and got comfortable and positioned correctly I pulled Peter's pillow into my face and smelled his aroma. I took deep breaths and became filled with his essence. With his pillow lying over my face I reached down, coaxed my dick into an upright position and then jacked off to a nice conclusion. Without cleaning up the fallen sperms I closed my eyes with Peter's bright smile in my mind and fell into a deep, restful slumber.
We all awoke late in the morning. I needed to pee like a racehorse, got up and headed to the bathroom however the door was closed, and the shower was running. I went to Allen and Angel's room. They were making their bed. After giving them a quick hello I used their facilities and then took a shower. Remiss of me, I know, but when I finished drying off I went streaking to my room. Peggy was just coming out of her room when I flashed by. She was feeling her oats because as I walked past her she wolf whistled loudly, clucked her tongue and exclaimed that I too had sweet cheeks. Spontaneous combustion was not that far away.
When I went downstairs dad and Peggy were making breakfast. Soon its preparations were complete, consumed, and cleanup performed.
Peggy and Antoine then excused themselves. Dad had them returned to their home using the limo and driver.
We spent most of the day at the hospital with Peter. Even though he mostly slept. He'd wake up just long enough to make eye contact. He'd wiggle his eyebrows. He'd squeeze my hand.
The doctors were pleased with his progress. Dad told him that he'd had a complication in surgery but left it at that. Peter blinked his eyes indicating he understood.
Matt was a different story however… he was pretty much wide awake except when they'd give him a pain medicine otherwise he was talking and moving around in bed. It was nice to see his pee bag full… to me that meant that Peter was very much live and well.
Peggy was off that day. We did call and talk to both her and Antoine. Antoine told me in confidence that he'd 'slipped up' by masturbating no less than twice. I think he was looking for me to shame him or something. I asked him if he wanted to have phone sex… he laughed hard about that. He said that he very well might slip up later when he went to bed… I think he was looking for absolution or some such thing. To put his mind at ease I told him that I'd definitely be slipping. He found that funny… if only he knew just how serious I was ha haa.
That night we all slept in Angel and Allen's bed. True to my word I definitely slipped up and down – on my male pole and 'suffered' a climactic ending to the slip.
Their alarm woke us up at 6:30am because after all it was a school day. Jeremy went to his room while Angel, Allen and I jumped in their shower, cleaned up and then jacked off onto the glass door. With the nads released I took off for my own room and got dressed for the day after dressing my stump as directed.
With Allen, Angel and Jeremy we went to Alice's house and started school at 9:00am. I had an appointment at 11:00am so I'd be excused at 10:15. I'd also take the afternoon off to visit Peter and Matt in the adjacent hospital.
My appointment went just fine. Dr. Miller was pleased with my progress. It was also time for my checkup for cancer so he examined me from end to end. After my blood work was drawn dad and I went to the hospital to see Matt and Peter.
We stopped off a Matt's first. I was somewhat surprised that Antoine was with him… yet I wasn't surprised at all. He wearing a mask to protect him from germs while walking the hallway and met us at the front door. Despite his ordeal his smile was bright, his eyes lit up at seeing us, and even though he was walking slowly, and even though he got tired he refused a wheelchair. By the time he got back to his room he was exhausted. Antoine helped him into bed and he dozed off for a couple of minutes then opened his eyes, turned to dad, "My brother's sick isn't he?"
Dad and I locked eyes. I knew we couldn't keep his brothers' problem from him. Dad answered, "Yes he is. He had a complication that nobody could have predicted."
Tears began free falling from Matt's eyes. Antoine sat on Matt's bed then laid his hand on Matt's knee. Dad continued, "Matt, Peter had an aneurysm of the big blood vessel that goes out of his heart and down his body. The vessel was located in a very difficult place to get to. The important thing to know is that he's getting better."
"No… he got sick because he gave me his kidney. It's all my fault. If he dies then I'll kill myself." Matt said angrily, grimacing with pain.
I said, "No. He would have died if he didn't have the operation. The doctors said the aneurysm would have burst SOMETIME. He was lucky, Matt. He was on the operating table, his belly was open, they caught it in time!"
Antoine supported me by saying, "That's true, Matt. Dr. Rasmussen and the other doctors said the same thing. If Peter would have been at home or somewhere other than here, anywhere else other than on an operating table with his tummy opened… he would definitely died. I have no doubt."
Our, including Antoine's profession calmed Matt down considerably. He fell asleep.
Antoine tenderly patted Matt's knee while looking at me for my approval. Dad also looked at me wondering what Antoine meant by his touching Matt in a non-clinical way but I made no effort to confirm or dispel any notions he may have had. Somehow the eye contact Antoine and I had experienced gave him the answer he was looking for. In any event, he rose from his perch next to Matt and joined us to go visit Peter in the PSICU.
Peter was awake though the usual sparkle was absent, his color was much better, the ventilator was not, or did not appear to be working quite as hard, the beep beep beep from the overhead monitor appeared louder, his pee bag was clear, and he was sitting up. With his hand he beckoned me to his side. Of course I did. I leaned down then kissed free of wire and tube places on his chin and cheek. He tried to mouth something around the breathing tube but I unfortunately couldn't decipher what he was trying to say. I looked at Antoine… he had no clue either.
A lone tear escaped from his right eye and pooled in that space between the lower lid and the bone below it.
I asked, "Are you in pain?"
"Do you want me to get a nurse?" I said. Antoine got up from his seat in the chair next to Peter's bed.
"Is two blinks a no or a yes?"
Peter took hold of my fingers. He blinked once. At the same time he did a thumbs' up gesture.
"Are you hurting?" I asked.
"Are you horny?" I asked in a silly way.
Peter closed his eyes. His cheeks puffed out. He then opened his eyes and rolled them up into his head and then looked at me… I saw a fleeting sparkle pass through his facial features, his eyes brightened for a moment… but then he dashed my hopes (LOL) by blinking twice. He did squeeze my middle finger and made a jacking off gesture, running his fingers up and down its shaft. I giggled. Peter tried to giggle too. It, of course, triggered the alarm on the respirator which brought dad and a nurse.
After resetting the alarm the nurse asked, "Are you okay?"
I said to the nurse, "One blink means 'yes' and two blinks indicate 'no'. Peter blinked once.
The nurse then asked Peter, "Are you in pain?"
"Do you want some pain medicine?"
Peter sadly looked at me. Slowly he blinked once. I said, "It's okay. We'll stay here until you're asleep."
The nurse injected pain medicine into his IV… soon he was peacefully though drug induced asleep. I reached down to his face and kissed him on the nose. Dad did likewise.
I looked at Antoine, "Do you want us to take you home. We can, can't we dad?"
Dad inquired, "Of course. Would you like for us to take you home?"
Antoine shrugged his shoulders but he did get up and walked to dad, "Only if it isn't going out of the way… maybe you could drop me off at school?"
"We can do that. Are you ready to go?"
Again, Antoine shrugged his shoulders. Dad displayed a puzzled look but then reached for Antoine's shoulder, tenderly patted his back then gently urged him out of the room.
The limo took Antoine to his school and let him off there. Antoine gave me a thumbs' up gesture then strode on into the building.
Dad and I stopped off at Mickey D's for lunch.
When we got back into the limo to head home dad said, "Let's go to the beach. Would you like to go?"
Dad knew my weaknesses like the back of his hand. Whenever we were super troubled by something going on in our lives he'd occasionally take me there. We'd usually talk out what was going on. On the other hand we'd go there for quiet time. The ocean, despite the noise created from waves crashing on the sand, was quiet, peaceful and mind clearing.
After dad told the driver to take us there he took me in his arms. I guess the magnitude of all that had happened over the previous 48 hours caught up with me. Valiantly as I could I tried to squelch a sob from making its presence known… but my efforts failed utterly. Then when dad pulled me into his strong arms I totally let loose and had a good cry.
The closer we got to the beach the more my composure returned. By the time the limo stopped at the outermost ring of sand brought up by high tides I was okay… in fact I felt free of the tension that had been bottled up inside.
I still wasn't good at walking in sand with my crutches so dad supported me while we made our way to The Wall where we sat and watched the waves come crashing in for an indeterminate period of time.
Off in the distance we observed some high school kids out surfing. They were pretty good too, catching a wave and riding it in to shore. One of the guys saw us sitting on the wall and waived. I waived back.
I said to dad, "I miss doing being out there in the ocean riding the waves in. Is there a way I can do that again someday?"
"I don't see why not. We can check with one or more of the instructors. They might have an idea on how to train you to do what I know you love."
A wave of exhilaration passed through and through me. Maybe Peter would like to learn how to surf too, or did he already know how… I didn't know. I promised myself I'd ask him.
Dad started cracking corny jokes. We laughed and carried on for some time.
Out of the blue, seemingly from nowhere, words came to me and they needed to be expressed, "Dad, we like Peggy. She's kewl."
Pensively at first, then exuberantly dad replied, "I like her too. I like her a lot. I know she can't… I'd like to take her on a date, you know – to get to know her better. Would that be okay with you? Do you think your brothers would mind?"
"Dad, if you're worried about what mom would think… well I think mom would like her. Dad, I know you need someone to talk to. Who knows, maybe you'll … uhm, well never mind."
"What?" Dad asked.
"Uhm, well, maybe, I mean, you know… maybe you guys will fall in love or something. <I giggled>. Sheesh dad, you guys look at each other like… uhm, there's something special about you two."
"Oh I don't know about that. Don't forget I'm an old fart."
I laughed, "Yeah, true, I forgot."
Dad looked at me with mock indignation and playfully slapped me up the back side of my head and then giggled.
I said seriously, "It happens. Look at me and Peter… and look at Antoine and Matt."
Dad looked at me then looked way off into the distance. He then put his head in his hands… he put his arm around my shoulders, squeezed cautiously. I could see that tears were flowing down his cheeks. I snuggled into his side and we sat there in our own thoughts observing the waves coming in and hearing them crash against the wall. The waves were getting taller and more 'violent' so to speak. I looked at my watch… it was closing in on 4:15. I knew from the time that high-tide was soon approaching. We then watched a monster wave come in. When it crashed into the wall it thoroughly soaked us. I quickly reached into my pants pocket, retrieved my cell phone and found that it was okay.
The next thought was ornery. I punched in speed dial #8. She answered on the third ring. I said, "Dad wants to talk to you." then handed my phone to dad. I said, "It's Peggy."
I snickered, got up and made my way down to the waters' edge. The sand was firmer, fairly easy to walk on. I was far enough away from the direct brunt of the waves… they only reached my ankle. I'd stop until the water receded then would continue to forage my way to… I didn't know where I'd end up – probably as far as I could before he'd would join me.
Sure enough dad came running down the beach. When he got close enough I saw that he was in no mood to play… not at all. He looked distressed. I said, "I'm sorry dad. I probably shouldn't have…"
"No, you're not in trouble. We've got to go now. There are a whole bunch of media vans at Peggy's house."
"Oh shit. Okay, let's go."
With that, dad picked up and he half ran to the limo.
On a second thought dad paged the driver. We then changed directions. Dad said, "We're going to pick Antoine up."
He then called Peggy and told her what we were going to do.
As we were headed to his school dad said, "Look out for him. He's walking home."
When we got into the residential area we carefully looked for Antoine. Just as we were getting close, dad spotted him. He called the driver and told him to stop that we were picking up the boy.
At first Antoine looked at us. His body language changed dramatically. He was looking all around then took the first crosswalk but dad quickly jumped from the stopped vehicle and walked to Antoine.
They talked for a minute maybe two. I rolled down the window and shouted, "Hey Antoine!"
Together they walked to the limo, got in and the driver headed toward his home.
To be continued