Open Plains

Chapter 5

As we drew closer to our house my mind went into over drive and I thought about the events of the last time I'd been home. Thought about the cause and effect of coming out. Was it worth it? I think it was, I found the love of my life, but in the process I lost the ability to walk. Was I still mad at my Dad about it? Yes I was a little bit. I forgive them but I'm still mad about it, and I have a right to be. Dr. Williams even says I still have a right to be mad at him.

I do forgive him but as I said I'm still mad because my life has changed, there are things I can no longer do, like tennis or bowling, or taking a walk by the lake. So yeah I do still resent him some but not as much as I did.

As we made the turn on to our block I thought about getting hit. All I remembered were the screeching of tires that was all. I guess it is better to forget.

We pulled into the drive and I looked at the steps and thought about how I was going to get up them, then I noticed there was what looked like an extra room attached to Dad's office and that the porch was extended and a ramp was there. Dad parked the car, got my wheelchair from the trunk and helped me into it. I stared at the ramp then looked at my Dad. He smiled a sad smile.

"Son after the doctor told us you were permanently paralyzed I had the construction crew rebuild the porch and add a ramp. I also made other adjustments to the house. All the doors are wider to allow you to get in and out of rooms. There are handrails in the bathroom by the toilet and in the shower. I also bought a waterproof chair for the tub so if you want a shower you can sit on it. Also a few of the counters and cabinets in the kitchen were lowered so you can get a plate by yourself or a glass. There is one more thing but I want you to see it." He said.

Dad wheeled me up the drive and the ramp, Mom unlocked the door and Dad pushed me in. I noticed that the living room was rearranged and that there were several intercoms in the hallway, living room and I think I saw one in the dining room.

"Yes son those are intercoms. I had them installed so if you are somewhere and if you need us or are in bed you can just call for something." Dad said.

I looked at the stairs and wondered about those. Getting up and down them was going to be a bitch. Dad wheeled me towards his office, and as we got closer my anxiety rose. That was where it happened, that was where it began.

We stopped at his office door and Dad and Mom smiled down at me. Mom opened the door and Dad wheeled me in. I couldn't believe it, Dad's personal and private area was transformed into a room, but not just any room my bedroom. I noticed a bed bigger than my last one, a new dresser and nightstands. A TV, VCR/DVD combo system sitting on a table that was at a low level for me to reach while in the wheelchair. They had all of my posters and awards from school on the walls just like I had them in my room. They even had my desk and computer down here hooked up and ready to go. I also noticed the door I assumed led to the extra room that Dad had put in.

Before he pushed me over to the new door he took me to the closet door and opened it. There were all my cloths hung up on a bar low enough for me to reach. Dad shut the door then led me to the new door and Mom opened it up. There was a bathroom, with a low sink and cabinets for me to get in. Also the toilet was standard but it was a little lower with the handrails that Dad had mentioned. The bathtub was regular size with hand rails on the inside so I could push myself up He had handrails on the outside that could come up and down so I could put myself in a sitting position on the side of the tub then put them down so I could get out. I also noticed that the outside of the tub was wider so I could sit on the side and still use the handrails. The bathroom closet was small and all the shelves were low enough for me to get the towels and washrags out.

Dad wheeled me out of the bathroom and parked me in front of my bed. I looked at Dad with tears in my eyes; all he did was smile at me.

"Well what do you think?" he asked me.

"Why?" was all I could choke out crying. Dad picked me up and put me on the bed and held me.

"Son for two reasons one because you can't go up and down the stairs without help and there will be times when you're here by your self or with you sister and you won't be able to go up or down the stairs and your sister is not strong enough to help. Also because I love you and this is a way to show you how sorry I am." Dad said starting to cry. We held on to each other and cried together.

"Dad I'm so sorry for being gay." I sobbed out.

"Shhhh son Shhh you have nothing to be sorry for, I'm the one who's sorry. And even though you said you forgave me I still have to forgive myself." He said looking at me. I just hugged him harder.

"Then forgive yourself and let's move on and not dwell on the past. I do have one question that has been bothering me for a while." I started.

"What is it Billy?" asked my Mom sitting next to me. I looked at her then Dad.

"Why hasn't Ben come to see me?" I asked. Mom looked at Dad the back at me.

"Son, he came to the hospital to see you. But he couldn't handle seeing you with all tubes and wires running in and out of you he couldn't handle it. So he said he didn't want to see you until you were home. Even when you woke up he couldn't bare to see you in the hospital room. According to his Mom he had nightmares about seeing you in the hospital. If you want I'll call him and ask him to come over." My Mom said smiling at me.

'Well that explains it' I thought.

"Yes please." My Mom got up and went to my bedside table and called Ben. I heard her talking to his Mom, while she was talking to his Mom I heard the front door open and some running, Ben came running into my room. He saw me and started crying and ran up to me and hugged me, if not for my Dad we would have fallen off the bed.

"When did you get home? All I head Mom say to me is that you were home, the minute I heard it I was out the door." He asked smiling at me. I smiled back.

"Just got in about 30 minutes ago. I heard why you didn't come and see me and It's cool I understand. I'm glad you're here now, there's a lot we need to talk about." I said first looking at Ben then my parents. My parents got the hint and left the room shutting the door behind them. Ben looked around and noticed the wheelchair.

"So it's true you're really paralyzed?" he asked looking back at me. I nodded my head.

"Yes it is, but Ben there's more I need to tell you, I need to tell you exactly what happened that led up to me being in the wheelchair." I said. Ben looked at me for a minute.

"Well your Dad kinda clued me in. He told me that you told him something and that he hit you then told you to get out. He said you ran out the house into the street and then a car hit you. He never said what you told him." Ben said.

"Ben I want you to know that you are my best friend and that if you don't want to be after I have told you this I will understand." I said. Ben looked at me strangely.

"No matter what it is you have to tell me I will always be your friend Billy." He said putting his arm over my shoulder.

"Even if I say I'm gay." I asked putting my head on his shoulder.

"Even that," He said putting his head on mine.

"I'm gay Ben." I said still holding onto him.

"I know, I've known for a long time. Trust me as your best friend there's not much I don't know. I don't care that you're gay just as long as you're happy." He said holding me tighter.

"I have a boyfriend as well." I said. I lifted my head and told him about Darren, he smiled the whole time.

"Awwww that's so sweet little Billy's in love." He said mocking me.

"Bite me." I said laughing punching him in the shoulder. He laughed and punched me back. We joked around for a bit then the phone rang. My Mom's voice came through the door.

"Billy its Darren," She said I smiled at Ben and reached for the phone but I head Joy's voice coming through door.

"Who's Darren?" she asked.

I picked up the phone.

"Hello." I started.

"Hey Billy how are you doing?" Darren asked me. I just smiled bigger.

"I'm fine, now that I have heard from you." I replied.

"Oh My God that is SO lame." Ben said laughing; I shot him the bird and laughed out loud.

"Who's that?" Darren asked.

"That's my best friend Ben, remember I told you about him when we were waiting on John to take me to PT?" I asked Darren.

"Oh yeah, so you told him your gay?" Darren asked me back.

"Yes he said that he has known for a long time, and he's cool with it. I can't wait to see you and I want you two to meet. When do you think you can come over?" I asked him. Darren giggled.

"Well if you want I can stay this Friday after I get out of school" he said.

"Really cool hold on and I'll ask."

"Ok. Darren said.

I was about to get up when I remember I couldn't move my legs. I tried to turn over and get my wheelchair from the end of the bed but with Ben sitting there I couldn't reach it. Ben saw this and hopped up and grabbed my chair. He wheeled it over and set the breaks and I got in it.

I went and found my parents and asked them.

"Mom, Dad is it ok if Darren stays the night this Friday PLEASE." I asked begging with my best puppy dog look. They just laughed at me.

"Let me talk with his Mom," said my Mom. She went into my room and had Darren get his Mom. She agreed and so did my Mom and Darren was going to stay the night in two days.

"Cool Darre and I can't." I said.

"Darre where did that come from?" he asked laughing I blushed and was embarrassed.

"Sorry I thought it would sound cute, I won't say it again if you don't like it." I said, Darren just laughed.

"It's ok if you call me Darre as long as were by our selves. I guess I better get going even if you don't have to go back till Monday I have to tomorrow. Good night Billy, sweet dreams, and I can't wait to talk to you again. And Billy?" Darren said.

I gulped and prayed he would say the three words that I have been waiting to hear.

"Yes Darre."

"I love you" he said quickly. I smiled.

"I love you too. Bye" I said.

"Bye" we hung up from each other. I looked at Ben and he was smiling trying not to laugh. Finally he couldn't stop him self.

"Hahaha I love you Darre." He mocked I socked him in the arm and we both laughed.

"What? I do love him." I said with conviction. Ben stopped laughing and looked at me smiling.

"I know and I'm happy for you. Well I can't wait to see the guy who has taken your heart. I need to get home I have to go to school tomorrow. When do you come back?" He asked. I smiled at him.

"Not till Monday. You know I am going to have a massive late start for 9th grade." I said to him.

"Yeah I do but remember I'll be there to help you, and so will DARRE." He said his name in a high-pitched voice. He laughed and so did I. He said his good byes gave me a hug and left.

I sat in my room for a few minutes then went into the living room. My sister came up and gave me a hug.

"Hey when did you get here?" I asked her.

"While you were in your room with Ben. How are you feeling?" she asked me. I smiled at her.

"Never better," I replied. She hugged me again.

"Who is Darren?" she asked me. I looked at Mom and Dad and they nodded their heads.

"Why don't you come to my room and I'll tell you."

Joy followed me into my room and shut the door. She sat on the bed and I told her about me and then about Darren. She took it well and she was happy I told her. I told her she couldn't tell anyone and she agreed.

She left the room about thirty-minutes later and I lay down. I couldn't wait till Friday night.