Spinal Meningitis is No Joke Ch. 06

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It was a ten minute drive from the hospital to our house. My sister held my gaze, and my hardening cock, for the first half of the ride home. When I was completely erect in her hand, I finally whispered, “Please stop.” She reluctantly released me, moving her hand to her lap and looking down into my lap. Her eyes shot open in disbelief before I crossed my legs uncomfortably. Fortunately, my mom took that opportunity to point out a house we passed that was on the market and told us about it. Beth managed to keep her hands to herself for the rest of the drive, and acted more like my sister once we were home.

Our house seemed smaller, somehow, when I walked up to the front door. It didn’t feel like I had been gone almost two years, since I had been in a coma for most of it. The house felt alien to me, once I was inside. It was a large 4-bedroom ranch house. I could clearly see the water sparkling in the kidney-shaped pool through the sliding glass back door. The pool was surrounded by a wide cement deck. Three lounge chairs were spread around, and there was a picnic table with an umbrella built into it surrounded by three matching chairs. I shook my head as I looked out at the pool. None of that had been there before I got sick.

The living room and dining room furniture were also new. A large flat screen television on the wall had replaced the old television cabinet we used to have. The kitchen at least looked the same, although there was none of the “junk food” that I remembered.

My bedroom was unrecognizable. In addition to completely new furniture and curtains, it had been repainted, had new carpet, and the closet was open and empty. None of the clothes that had been in there would have fit me anymore. This was a grown-up’s room now, I reflected as I looked at myself in the mirror above my dresser. In the mirror, I saw Beth was standing in my doorway. I turned to her and said, “This doesn’t even feel like the same house.”

“I know, right?” she said, as she came over and wrapped her arms around me. “Still…welcome home, Josh.” I turned to hug her back. We stood there just holding each other for several minutes. Unlike earlier, this was just a warm, comfortable moment. I felt some of the tension drain from my shoulders and neck. Beth felt me relax and rubbed my back with her hands. For the first time since getting out of the car, I did feel like I was home.

It was still early in the morning, so we all sat down for breakfast. It was our first family breakfast in almost two years. My mother wanted to take me out shopping immediately, but I was exhausted. I hadn’t slept at all last night. I was emotionally drained as well.

“I was just too excited to sleep last night,” I told them. After breakfast I excused myself. I gave my dad a big, long hug. I held my mother, and my dad and I exchanged a helpless look as she sobbed uncontrollably in my arms. Beth sat and watched, still eating, and I kissed her on the cheek before padding down the hall to my room. I stripped, put on light workout shorts, and lay down to sleep. When I finally collapsed into my new queen-sized bed, it felt huge. And empty. I was fast asleep within minutes.

I woke up several hours later, bolting upright in the strange bed. My parents were standing in the doorway, my dad had his arm around my mother’s shoulders, and they had the strangest look in their eyes. So many emotions were clearly washing over them as they watched me sleep, watched me wake in panic. I smiled at them, and lay back in the bed. “It’s good to be home,” I said.

I realized then that I was on top of the covers, and my grey workout shorts did nothing to hide my bulge. I sat up quickly and turned to the side of the bed, making a mental note to ALWAYS wear underwear in the future. My dad closed the door, giving me privacy to change into the one pair of cargo shorts my mother had bought for me. Mom wanted to take me out shopping for clothes, and dad was clearly not interested in any part of that expedition. He did, however, show me the excellent workout room he had made of the fourth bedroom. Beth had left earlier, while I slept. When she hadn’t been visiting me in the hospital, she had been hanging out with her friends from high school.

Mom and I had a nice lunch out after we left the second store. The meal was nothing fancy, just pizza; it was just nice to be out with my mother. I had lost count of the times I had stepped out of a dressing room in a new outfit to hear her say, “Oh, you look so handsome!” I realize that sounds jaded, but, come on, it’s my mother. Also, I now look so much like my dad that I would hope she finds me handsome. Otherwise, Dad’s in trouble.

The clothes shopping tour went on for hours. I did get a lot of really nice clothes. I got final say before we bought anything; nothing was awful and forced on my by my mother. Not to come across as ungrateful, but…I’m a guy. It’s clothes. Not that exciting. We were at it so long that we wound up grabbing dinner on the way home. Again, nothing fancy, some sandwiches from a Subway with chips and soda. We brought escort buca my dad’s home for him, and ate it at the dining room table. I had just taken a big sip of my Baja Blast when my mom inadvertently dropped a bombshell on me.

“…mmm, that reminds me, your home healthcare worker will be here tomorrow. You remember Leanne? Your sister’s friend?”

I coughed noisily on my soda, barely managing to avoid launching it everywhere. “Sorry. Yeah, I remember her.”

Remember Leanne? My junior high wet dreams were full of Leanne. Half of all my boners were inspired by Leanne since the very first one—and that counted all the recent ones in the hospital. Most of the times I jacked off, it was Leanne I was picturing when I got off. So, yes, you could say I remember Leanne. You could also say Texans kinda remember the Alamo.

Leanne was easily the loveliest of my sister’s friends. She was funny, smart, athletic (she was on the varsity volleyball team), and she was just an awesome friend to my sister. Twice that I could clearly remember, something bad happened to my sister. I was never made privy to what exactly had happened, but then Leanne was there, they went into my sister’s room, and half an hour later, everything was miraculously better.

Leanne was also hopelessly out of my league. She was dating a guy named Steve in our high school. He was “the” Steve. He was the quarterback of the varsity squad. He was easily the most popular and attractive guy in the school his junior year, and only improved as a senior. Worst of all, he was one of the nicest guys I ever met in my life. I mean, from a distance, lusting after Leanne as I did, I wanted to hate the guy. Despite his popularity and his good looks, he was self-deprecating, polite, and treated everybody—even his girlfriend’s best friend’s dorky little brother—with kindness and respect. Once I had hung out with Steve a couple times, I actually felt guilty about lusting after Leanne. You know how it goes, though, that guilt didn’t stop my fantasies from revolving around her.

I realized when I came out of “Leanne Land” that my mother had continued talking and I hadn’t registered any of it. I just nodded, but she was already done with that subject.

She then suggested, ‘Oh, Josh, you need to show your dad all those outfits we got for you. Maybe a little fashion show right here.” She indicated the living room. She waited two seconds, and then just burst out laughing. “Oh, you should see your faces right now! Absolutely priceless.” Yep. She got us.

I actually got a good workout with my dad before we called it a night. There were a couple of machine exercises I hadn’t done at the hospital, like the rowing and butterfly machines, that I did for the first time. I was rewarded with an aching lower back and felt like I had been punched in the chest two hours later.

The next morning, I was shaken awake by my mother. After my usual morning panic passed, I looked at the clock. It was barely 8 am, so I wondered what was going on.

“You need to hurry up and get dressed,” she said, “They’re already here.”

I didn’t want to admit I had tuned her out last night, so I nodded and got up and dressed as quickly as I could. Since I had no idea who “they” were, I put on some nice slacks, a fitted polo shirt, and dress shoes. I tucked in the shirt and put on a belt. Thankfully, my short haircut didn’t take much effort, so I was presentable in six minutes. I walked quickly down the hall to the living room, where I stopped dead in my tracks. My mom was sitting at the dining room table talking with Leanne—who was dressed in dark blue nursing scrubs—and Sarah and Charlene from the hospital. Sarah was wearing a nice summer dress that was some color between pink and purple. Charlene had on a white skirt and a red blouse, and she had her hair drawn back in a ponytail. “What the hell!” I thought, “How did I tune out something like this?”

I was at a loss what to do next. I finally just kept walking toward the table and tried to look pleased rather than shocked. “Hello, ladies,” I managed to get out. With my deeper, “dad” voice, it came out smooth and confident. I had feared I would squeak or that my voice would crack.

Sarah and Charlene had been facing mostly away from me when I approached, so they both turned and leapt out of their chairs to come hug me. I wasn’t prepared for their scent. It’s not something you think about most of the time, but getting a whiff of a familiar scent tends to trigger memories powerfully. Suddenly, I found the scent of their skin, the faint, familiar perfumes that they wore, the smell of their shampoo all washing over me. The memories that exploded inside my head were overpowering, erotic visions. My knees were weak and I fought down a raging boner. Not helping my cause, Charlene growled, “God, you look so sexy Josh.”

Fortunately for all of us, Leanne had chosen that exact moment to exclaim to my mother, “THAT is Josh?” My mother was looking at Leanne, smiling and nodding. As a result, my mom didn’t see Sarah buca escort bayan bite my earlobe, but Leanne’s eyebrow shot up when she saw it. I squeezed the two women to me tightly for a moment, smiling at each of them, before releasing them and putting a palm in the small of their backs, ushering them back to the table. My mind was working feverishly on any plan that would get my mom and Leanne out of the house for, say, five or six hours? Drawing a blank there, I instead walked around the table and bent to give my mother a kiss on the cheek, then turned to Leanne and put out my hand. She reached out and I took her hand softly, saying, “Leanne. You look well.”

Of course, I was kicking myself for that one. “Well?” What the hell, Josh? How about, “You look great.” “You look fantastic!” “I’m so happy to see you again.” I think I managed to keep that out of my expression.

Leanne said, “Wow, you look amazing!” See? Why didn’t I say that? Good lord.

I took a seat at the end of the table, between Leanne and Sarah. I wanted as much table as possible between my mother and me to hide any embarrassing hard-ons that were likely to arise. I turned to Sarah and Charlene as I sat down, “I presume you were all introduced?” All four women nodded at me. “So, what did I miss?”

“Well, we had been reviewing your records from the hospital stay with Leanne,” Charlene answered. She paused, then, looking thoughtful. She turned to my mother and said, “Actually, Jennifer, it would probably be better if you weren’t here for some of this. It might embarrass Josh for his mother to hear some of the details of his care. No offense, it’s just…”

My mother smiled at the thoughtful gesture. She had seen all my hospital records, of course, and she appreciated how considerate Charlene always was. Rising from her chair, she walked around the table, saying, “Oh, that’s a good idea. I think I’ll head over to my office for a while.” Charlene and Sarah stood up, hugged my mother, and said goodbye before she headed out the front door.

No sooner had the door closed than Sarah turned to Leanne and said, “Oh my God, you are so lucky! How did you get this gig?”

I started at that, but Leanne said, “I know, right? Josh’s sister was my best friend all through high school, and we’ve kept in touch, so when they found out, Mrs. Thompson called me. I’m probably the only LVN they know.”

“Wow,” Charlene responded. “That is just excellent. They just kill us at the hospital. I think we all pulled 80 hours last week.”

“Hey!” I finally spoke up, “You came in on your night off. That wasn’t my fault.”

The alarmed look I got from Sarah and Charlene shut me up immediately.

“No, Josh. We just checked in on our night off.” Sarah’s clipped tone reminded me that I could still mess this up. I could still do or say something stupid and get them all fired. She then turned back to Leanne and said, “Our roommate, Heather, works with us in the coma ward. We always check in to make sure everything’s okay.”

I nodded in agreement, of course. I set a small smile on my face and resolved not to say another damned word unless I had to.

They went on to go over my physical therapy logs, most of which were compiled by Dennis, my physical therapist. There were copious notes between his entries by all four nurses. Often, I noticed, they had put exclamation points after some of the entries. I was burning to ask, but then Leanne answered if for me.

“Wow! He was really lifting weights three days out of a coma? And he was up to a quarter mile walk in eight days?” Sarah and Charlene both nodded their heads both times. “No wonder they released him so early. Sounds like he could have gone home a week sooner, if you had recommended it.”

At that, both Sarah and Charlene looked a little embarrassed, and each gave me an awkward, apologetic look. Not that I would have given up that week for anything in the world. Finally, Sarah said, “Well, we were still worried he might hurt himself. He did tend to push his workouts a bit too much if we didn’t…if we weren’t there to reign him in.”

“I see,” Leanne said. She read on a bit further, looked up again and asked, “Does he still require supervision for bathing?”

“Probably not,” Charlene responded, “We did have a nurse in the bathroom with him, but for the last ten days it was just as a ‘spotter’ so to speak. Hospital regulations required it.” I was honestly impressed at how little their faces colored, how well they kept their expressions neutral. I hoped I was not blushing.

I suddenly realized that I really had to pee. I hadn’t done so since waking up fifteen minutes earlier, and this talk about bathing made me think about it.

“Sorry,” I spoke up, “I really need to use the bathroom, now that you brought up the topic. I’ll be right back.” I got up from the table and walked down the hall to the bathroom Beth and I had always shared. I almost ran over Beth as she emerged bleary-eyed from her room wearing her pajamas. I said “Hey” and kissed her cheek, then buca escort “Leanne’s here.” Beth brightened and headed out to the dining room as I ducked into the bathroom. After I had relieved my bladder, I stood over the bowl for a moment, looking down at the huge dick in my hand. I still couldn’t believe it was mine. It was surprisingly limp, considering the company I was keeping out there. “Good boy,” I said to my dick. Then I shook my head and tucked it away before washing my hands.

My dress shoes clicked on the tile floor of the bathroom. Since I realized now I wasn’t going anywhere, I took the shoes off and dropped them on my bedroom floor before padding down the hall. As I approached the dining room table, I saw Leanne and Beth sharing a laugh, with Charlene and Sarah joining in.

I was feeling a little paranoid, so I was relieved when Sarah went on with her story about this poor, bumbling intern who had been trying to hit on Charlene in the hospital cafeteria. I had to cringe when I heard how badly he had embarrassed himself in front of several dozen witnesses. Poor bastard, I thought. I watched as all four of these lovely young women had tears rolling down their cheeks. Something like this had no doubt happened to each of them; some poor slob trying and failing miserably to earn their company.

All I had to do was nearly get myself killed with meningitis.

I had read up on the disease while I was in the hospital, of course. It progresses so rapidly that it kills one in ten people that get it, usually because they mistake their symptoms for a flu or cold and don’t seek medical help until it is too late. That was what I had done. Also, people who are in a coma for more than six weeks often don’t come back. I was lucky just to be alive. As I looked around the table at the gorgeous women surrounding me, I had a horrifying thought.

What if I am still in a coma? What if all of this is just some fantastic dream I’m having while dying in a hospital bed? My palms started sweating at the thought. Leanne was the one who first noticed my expression.

“What’s wrong, Josh? Are you okay?”

My voice croaked as I tried to make the words come out. I shook my head, then, and got up to get a glass of water. I gulped down the cool water, then splashed some in my face to clear my mind. When I sat back down after drying my face, I had everyone’s undivided attention.

“Have you ever read ‘An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge’ by Ambrose Bierce?” I asked. That earned me blank stares for a moment.

Understanding dawned on Leanne’s face. She sucked in a breath, “Oh, that’s horrible. Josh, no!” she shook her head, “This isn’t some fevered dream. You’re really here, with us, in your house.”

She totally got it. Everyone else did after she had said it. There was so much compassion in their faces, I felt a lump forming in my throat.

“I was just looking around the table,” I said, “at how beautiful you all are. It just…it’s all too good to be true.”

Beth was out of her chair in a flash. She ran over, pushed my chair back, and hopped into my lap. She fiercely hugged my head into her bosom and rocked me back and forth. I felt Sarah’s hand stroke my right shoulder while Leanne touched my left arm softly. Everyone was talking softly and trying to reassure me. I managed not to cry or break down. I am so unbelievably lucky, I thought, as I was gently rocked and reassured. (For weeks afterward, I was haunted by this thought that I was dreaming, still in a coma. Not all the time, but it was enough to be really disconcerting when it did happen.) Once I had recovered, I pulled my face from between Beth’s heaving breasts and smiled up at her. She kissed me—chastely—on the lips. I cleared the lump from my throat.

“Thanks, guys,” I finally said, “Now where were we?”

Beth stayed in my lap as Leanne looked at her legal pad. “We were talking about your course of care for the next six weeks here. Sarah had worked up a really solid physical therapy regimen.”

“Dennis really did most of that,” Sarah said, “but, yes, it is a good course. If you can stick to it, you should be…” she was looking at me, lost for a moment, before she softly finished, “…just fine.”

My dick, which had been behaving so well all morning, lurched in my slacks as I met Sarah’s eyes. I hoped Beth hadn’t noticed. I smiled at Sarah and in as normal a tone as I could manage, “Thanks, Sarah. You’re awesome.” I smiled at Charlene and Sarah, and they smiled back.

Looking back at Leanne, I went on, “I’m still not clear on this though. You mentioned earlier how this is a ‘great gig’ for you?”

Charlene answered that. “Oh, good lord, Josh. Leanne is getting paid by your dad’s insurance company to supervise your home health care for up to three months after your hospital stay. Normally, and correct me if I’m wrong here, Leanne, that is just a dirty, tough job that pays squat.” Leanne nodded in confirmation. “For this job, she gets paid by the insurance company almost three times her normal rate to watch a young stud work out six hours a day, five days a week, whenever she wants to schedule it.” Leanne, Charlene, and Sarah were all smiling at that. I couldn’t read Beth’s expression, but she didn’t correct Charlene for calling her little brother a “stud.” She was, after all, sitting on the evidence.

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