It was the bottom of the ninth. Eighteen year old Douglas Martin held his bat steady as kept his eyes pinned on the pitcher’s right hand, which badly concealed the baseball. Doug narrowed his eyes, waiting for the pitch to come, trying to predict its curve.
“Come on, Dougie!” Greg Holmes yelled from the curb. “We need a home run!”
The pitcher let loose with a would-be curve ball that didn’t have quite enough spin. Doug saw it coming. He tightened his grip on the bat and heard the sweet crack as he connected with the ball as that perfect angle. BAM! Doug smiled as the ball flew into the air, but his smile quickly faded as he heard glass shattering.
“Shit,” Doug said.
The smart, if not moral, thing to do at that moment would have been to drop the bat and run for it. The other boys were scattering, but Doug simply stood there, debating whether or not to own up to what he had done.
He might not have hesitated to take the blame if the broken window hadn’t belonged to Old Man Brody. Mr. Brody was notorious for being very bad tempered, always keeping whatever flying objects landed in his yard and frequently yelling at kids for playing in the sidewalk (possibly, as it seemed, with good reason). Nobody wanted to mess with Old Man Brody.
As Doug stood holding the bat, he saw the door to Mr. Brody’s house opening up. He knew this was the time to run, but he couldn’t get his feet to move. He saw a pair of wheels poking out of the door—Mr. Brody’s wheelchair. He wheeled himself a few feet outside the door. “Hey, kid!” Mr. Brody yelled, staring at Doug with fury in his face. “You! What the hell did you do to my window?!”
And that was the moment Doug picked to run.
Doug couldn’t shake the feeling of guilt he had over what he had done to Old Man Brody’s window. Here was Mr. Brody, this old man confined to a wheelchair, and he had smashed in his window and just left him to fix it and pay for the damage himself. Doug hated himself.
At dinner, Doug just stared down at his food, making piles with his mashed potatoes. He couldn’t even look his parents in the eye. Every five minutes, he resolved to go back over to Mr. Brody’s house and confess what he had done, then five minutes later he chickened out.
“Why aren’t you eating, Doug?” his father asked.
“I had a big lunch,” Doug mumbled.
His father shook his head. “I still think you ought to have a summer job. The summer before my senior year of high school, I got a job as an auto mechanic. A kid your age shouldn’t be lazing around all summer doing nothing. That’s why you’ve got no appetite.”
Doug shrugged his slim shoulders and went back to playing with his mashed potatoes. He knew his father wouldn’t push the issue. He was too busy with his work to pay much attention to Doug or his siblings. Harvey Martin got home every day just in time for dinner, then went straight to his desk in the den to continue working.
The phone rang and Doug’s mother stood up to answer it. When she said, “Oh, hello Mr. Brody,” Doug nearly jumped out of his seat. Doug could see his mother’s face darkening as she listened to the voice on the other line. “Thank you for letting me know, Mr. Brody. You have my word you will be compensated,” she said to him.
Doug’s mother slammed down the phone and looked over at her son. “Doug, did you break Mr. Brody’s window?”
Doug lowered his eyes. “Yes.”
“And you just... ran away?”
Doug didn’t say anything.
“You just ran away!” his father yelled in disbelief. “You’re an adult now—you have to start taking responsibility for your actions. Is that how we taught you to act, young man?”
Doug shook his head slowly.
His father slammed his fist down on the table. “I told you he should get a summer job, Elise!”
“Well, he’s going to have one now,” his mother said. “Doug, every afternoon for the rest of the summer I want you to go to Mr. Brody’s house and help him with chores. You’re going to do this until he decides you’ve paid him back for the window.”
“What?” Doug yelped. “Oh, come on, Mom...”
“I don’t want to hear another word,” his mother said. “Even if you’re still helping him when school starts, you’re going to do this until Mr. Brody says your debt is repaid.”
“But he’s an asshole!” Doug cried. “He’ll have me working there forever!”
“Douglas, language!” his mother said.
Doug hung his head, cursing silently to himself. He had been looking forward to hanging out this summer with his pals, maybe meeting some girls. He didn’t want to spend the summer doing chores for some old man. As they pointed out, he was an adult now legally, and his parents shouldn’t have been able to force him to carry out this punishment. But as his dad figured, as long as he was living under their roof for free, he had to obey their rules.
The guys were playing softball again the next afternoon (at a different location, of course), but Doug couldn’t play. Instead, he showed up at Mr. Brody’s door in old jeans and a T-shirt at promptly 1PM for work duty. It took him almost a minute to work up the nerve to ring Mr. Brody’s doorbell.
The old man took a while to answer the door. Doug supposed the wheelchair slowed him down a lot. When Mr. Brody finally answered the door, Doug was surprised. He had never seen the old man nearly this close before and now he realized Mr. Brody wasn’t actually that old. In fact, he was probably younger than Doug’s dad. He wasn’t a bad looking guy either. Somehow, the graying hair, the spectacles, and the wheelchair had fooled the neighborhood kids into thinking he was an old man.
“You’re late,” Mr. Brody snapped. “You were supposed to be here at one.”
Doug looked at his watch, which read two minutes after one. “Sorry,” he said.
“Well, get inside,” Mr. Brody ordered. “I’ve got a lot of work for you to do.”
As Doug walked inside, he couldn’t help but admire Mr. Brody’s house. It was spotless. He wondered how Mr. Brody kept it so clean, being in a wheelchair as he was.
“I’ve got a cleaning woman who comes every other day,” Mr. Brody told Doug, as if reading his mind. “But don’t worry, there’s still plenty for you to do.”
Mr. Brody set Doug to work repainting a bookcase that was starting to chip. It really wasn’t that hard work—in fact, it was sort of fun. As Doug painted, he found his mind wandering to thoughts of his new employer. Doug had always assumed he was in a wheelchair because he was old. But now Doug wondered. Mr. Brody had a blanket covering his legs (which had added to his “old man” appearance) and he had what looked like the wrist guards that Doug used when he rollerbladed. It was all very strange.
Doug finished the bookcase off in about two hours. He called out, “Mr. Brody, I’m finished!”
Presently, Mr. Brody wheeled into the room and inspected the bookcase. “It looks okay,” he grumbled. He looked Doug’s slim body up and down, examining his paint-covered outfit. “Fine, you can go now. But you’re coming back tomorrow.” It wasn’t a question.
Doug nodded, afraid to say anything more. He ran out to find his friends and see if it wasn’t too late to join the game.
When Eric Brody had called the Martin house about his broken window, he had expected Mrs. Martin to offer him money, not her son. Eric hadn’t been all that interested in having a teenager coming over to do chores for him every day, but Elise Martin had been so insistent. “He could even read to you if you’d like,” Mrs. Martin had said.
Eric had laughed at that, although not out loud. What did she think he was—a blind 80 year old invalid? Eric knew the kids in town referred to him as “Old Man Brody” and since he rarely left his house, most of the adults in town had gotten the idea that he was elderly. In fact, Eric was 38 years old, although his light brown hair had been graying at the temples for quite a while now.
Eric didn’t mind the rumors that he was a grumpy old man, because it generally kept the kids away from his house. He couldn’t stand kids, partially because he felt that he had been robbed of half of his own childhood. The better half. Eric was injured when he was thirteen years old and consequently lost mobility and sensation in his lower body as well as the ability to move his fingers. He finished off high school being tutored at home.
Considering his limitations, Eric was very independent. He wore splints on his wrists to stabilize his hands, which made it possible for him to do activities such as typing. He had a job in computers that paid quite well and allowed him to work at home. He was also able to attach utensils and other objects to the wrist splints so that he was able to feed himself and even write with a pen (although he did very little writing with his hand, other than signing his name).
Eric used the palms of his hands to push a mechanical wheelchair, because he hated the ideal of having to rely on a electrical wheelchair. He also had a mechanical sling device that he used at night and in the morning to help him from his bed to the wheelchair and back. He wore simple shirts that didn’t need to be buttoned and he usually just covered his legs with a large blanket over his boxers. He used an indwelling catheter, which he was able to change himself with some difficulty. As a result, he was completely independent in his own home.
Of course, there were some tasks that Eric had to hire others to do. There was a woman who bought him groceries twice a week, a woman who cleaned every other day, and there was a man who came three times a week for “physical therapy”. Physical therapy consisted of stretching out and massaging the muscles in Eric’s legs and hands. He didn’t enjoy it, but he knew it was necessary.
Eric had another weekly routine that he did enjoy, however. Once a week or sometimes every other week, a male prostitute came to Eric’s house and pleasured him for the span of a couple of hours. Whichever one it happened to be that week, they were always very discreet and he was pretty sure nobody in the neighborhood knew about it.
This was a habit Eric had gotten into a while back. He was bisexual, liking both women and men, but he found that he preferred men when given the choice. It didn’t matter much though, because he found it very difficult to strike up relationships with either sex. Eric had been largely isolated since age 13 and now he felt uncomfortable around most people.
When he turned 28 and realized he had never gotten laid, he decided something had to be done. He made a few desperate attempts to meet women and men, through ads and online, but none of his attempts were even remotely successful. Additionally, he felt that he was so horny and worked up about having sex, when the time actually came, he’d just blow it somehow.
So at age 28, Eric made the hard decision to go ahead and hire a prostitute. He decided he wanted his first sexual experience to be with a woman, since girls intimidated him less. After he made the decision, he was very excited about it, although admittedly very nervous. He was worried about diseases, that the girl might turn and rob him, or a hundred other scenarios that had crossed his mind. He did a lot of research before he found the right girl.
“The right girl” was a prostitute named Cherry. She was somewhat pretty, he supposed, and in her mid-thirties. She dressed discreetly, as he had asked her to. He remembered opening the door for her, his body trembling with anticipation. He had been too nervous at first to get an erection, but she had been so gentle. It was his first sexual contact with a woman and the site of her sucking his hard penis floored him.
He alternated between men and women at that point. He enjoyed his time with the men more, but he didn’t like to think of himself as gay, so he still occasionally called for women. He still made a few attempts to meet people he might be able to start a real relationship with, but it was beginning to seem like it would never happen. About four years ago, around the same time his mother passed on, he stopped calling women altogether and began his weekly regimen of male prostitutes.
Yes, he had a few bad experiences. The problem with many of the places was he never knew what he was going to get until she showed up at the door. When he was still seeing women, often a woman would show up who was easily old enough to be Eric’s mother. In that situation, he usually figured since he was paying for it anyway, he may as well take the sex. Being sucked off was way better than masturbating, which was extremely difficult for him to do anyway, with his fingers immobilized.
He had been robbed only once, but it had been a truly awful experience. It would have been better if the guy stuck a gun to his head and took all his stuff, but instead he got him into his bed, removed all his clothes and his hand splints, then trashed his house and robbed him blind. He even trashed his wheelchair, the fucker. After he was gone, Eric managed to drag himself out of bed to a working phone, but he hadn’t called the police. He called his physical therapist John, made up some story, and John had come over to help him. He never called the police because he knew it would be a scandal in the neighborhood. Better just to swallow his losses and leave it at that.
Eric wasn’t unhappy with his life. He was almost completely independent, which was something that had always been very important to him. He considered himself a loner, so it was nice that he could work out of his home and had people to do his outdoors chores for him. And he probably got laid more frequently than most men on his block. All in all, it was a pleasant existence.
Doug was miserable the first few days he worked for Mr. Brody, but he eventually started warming up to him. Mr. Brody liked to act like an asshole, but he really wasn’t like that at all. He was actually a really nice guy.
Initially, Mr. Brody had Doug doing chores in his yard and elaborate jobs around the house, but eventually he started allowing Doug to help him with some more mundane tasks. Doug noticed that Mr. Brody couldn’t move his hands very well, which was why he had the splints, so doing simple things like pouring himself a glass of juice was a difficult task for him. Doug had spied on him one afternoon when he had stayed late, preparing his dinner. Although his maid or cook or whoever had already prepared a plate of food for him, he still had to heat it up in the microwave, which took a lot of effort on his part in terms of balancing. Doug watched Mr. Brody slowly removing the plate from the fridge, concentrating all his effort on not dropping it.
After that, Doug got into the habit of preparing Mr. Brody’s dinner for him before he left. Mr. Brody never asked, of course, but Doug thought he seemed grateful for the help. After all, it was a very simple and quick matter for Doug to pop the plate into the microwave or pour a glass of soda and put a straw in it.
Doug liked talking to Mr. Brody too. Doug’s dad was rarely home so in some ways, Mr. Brody became a bit of a father figure to him. They talked about sports a lot, which Doug loved. Mr. Brody said that when he was a kid, he used to like to play softball a lot too, although he had to give it up when he was injured. Doug even confessed to Mr. Brody about this girl from school that he sort of liked, although that seemed to make him a little uncomfortable. Doug wondered if Mr. Brody ever dated, considering it seemed like he never even left his house.
Doug wondered what it was like for Mr. Brody to live his life. There were questions Doug had that he would never ever ask, such as how did he manage to go to the bathroom. There was some sort of contraption over his bed that seemed to be used to help him get in and out, but Doug still found it hard to believe he was able to do that by himself every morning and night. Once or twice in the privacy of his room, Doug pretended he didn’t have use of his fingers and he found it very difficult to do even the easiest tasks. But he supposed Mr. Brody had a lot of experience.
Another thing Doug wondered about was whether or not Mr. Brody jerked off. As an eighteen year old kid, sex was always on Doug’s mind and he couldn’t imagine how Mr. Brody could live his life without it. Doug could hardly go a day without jacking off, but he didn’t see how Mr. Brody could do it with his hands paralyzed.
As the summer went on, Doug found himself spending more and more time at Mr. Brody’s house. Lately, he found himself bringing food and staying for dinner a couple of nights a week. It seemed to Doug that Mr. Brody was a lonely man and really enjoyed the company, even though he wouldn’t admit it. And once or twice a week, Mr. Brody slipped Doug a ten dollar bill on his way out the door to thank him for the work he had done.
All in all, it was a pretty nice arrangement.
Even though Doug had gotten in the habit of helping out with some of Mr. Brody’s simpler tasks around the house, it was always because he volunteered—Mr. Brody never ever asked for help. Except for once, when Doug was working there for a little over three weeks.
Doug was cleaning up some clutter in the kitchen when he heard Mr. Brody calling his name. Doug heard the urgency in his voice and came running. To Doug’s surprise, he was calling from within the bathroom.
“Mr. Brody,” said Doug. “Should I come in?”
“Yeah,” Mr. Brody said. “If you don’t mind...”
Doug opened the door and saw Mr. Brody in his wheelchair, next to the toilet. The blanket covering his legs had been pulled down and was all wet. There was a thin tube on the edge of the toilet seat. “I had a bit of a mishap,” Mr. Brody explained, his face turning a little red. “My leg bag spilled while I was changing my catheter.”
That answered Doug’s question about how Mr. Brody went to the bathroom. “No problem,” Doug said quickly. “I’ll help you get cleaned up.”
Doug went to the closet and got another blanket, and put the wet blanket in the hamper. Mr. Brody’s boxers hadn’t gotten wet, so that didn’t need to be changed. Doug helped out by opening up a new catheter for him to insert before he started cleaning up the spilled urine in the bathroom.
Out of the corner of his eye, Doug watched Mr. Brody attempting to insert the catheter. Mr. Brody’s penis was flaccid and circumcised. He was supporting his penis with one hand while he slowly slowly brought the catheter toward his urethra with his other hand. On his first attempt, he missed the hole. On his second attempt, he dropped the catheter completely.
“Sorry about that,” Mr. Brody said as Doug opened up a new catheter. “Usually I’m a little better at this.”
“If you want, I can do it,” Doug offered.
“Uh... that’s okay.”
“It’s really no problem, Mr. Brody.”
Mr. Brody looked at Doug through his spectacles. “Well... I guess it would be faster that way...”
Mr. Brody gave Doug instructions on what to do. Doug held Mr. Brody’s penis in his left hand to steady it. He then brought the end of the tube into Mr. Brody’s urethra, instinctively wincing as it went in. He pushed it deeper in, past a point of resistance, then all of a sudden, urine began to flow into the attached bag. Doug was smiling with his achievement until he noticed that Mr. Brody’s penis had become somewhat erect.
“Don’t mind that,” Mr. Brody said, blushing again. “Because of my spinal cord injury, there’s no connection between my penis and my brain. So when someone touches my penis, it usually, you know, gets hard.”
“Don’t worry about it,” Doug assured him. He felt a little bit uncomfortable, but it wasn’t Mr. Brody’s fault that this had happened. “And if you ever need help in here again, just ask me.”
Eric was impressed with how calm Doug had been when he asked for help in the bathroom. Doug had handled Eric’s penis expertly. Eric had been telling the truth about the connection between his mind and his dick being severed, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t very turned on by the site of Doug handling his penis.
Eric was doing his best not to fall for Doug. It was hard to have a good looking eighteen year old kid with a great body doing chores around his house every day without getting a little bit turned on, but it was unrealistic to think anything would ever happen with Doug. Doug saw Eric as more of a father figure, as evidenced by the fact that he was still calling him “Mr. Brody” even after Eric had told him more than once it was okay to call him by his first name.
Still, when Eric was jerking off or even when he was with his “weekly visitors”, he was thinking about Doug. How great it would be to have Doug’s lips wrapped around his cock. Or Doug fucking him in the ass. But the Martins probably wouldn’t approve of that.
Eric guessed that Doug had no idea what he was thinking. Doug acted a lot younger than eighteen years old and even though he was pretty attractive, he had never had much in the way of relationships. Doug probably wasn’t a virgin either though. Nowadays, it seemed like all the teenagers were having sex. But not the crippled ones, of course.
Eric had been a teenager back in the eighties. At age 13, he had been riding his bike and a car had slammed into him, throwing him 30 feet into the air. The next thing he knew, he was in the hospital in a neck brace. Because of the swelling in his spinal cord, he could barely move his arms at all initially, and none of the doctors could give him a straight answer regarding whether he ever would. The first month was probably the hardest, being fed all his meals by nurses, unable to even scratch his nose.
His parents decided that he had to continue with his education, although Eric didn’t see the point. They hired tutors to work with him while in the hospital, then later in rehab. As he regained more movement in his arms, Eric felt more motivated to learn. He opted to continue his high school education in his home, and he completed his college education largely through correspondence courses.
Eric worked very hard to get to the stage of independence where he was now. It wasn’t easy to perform his activities of daily living without being able to manipulate his hands. He could move his wrists fairly well, but he kept the splints on so that they didn’t flop down. It kept his hands steady so that he could attach utensils to the splints, etc. Eric was told by doctors and physical therapists that he would never be able to live independently, and now here he was, proving them all wrong.
Still, Eric sometimes felt that he had missed out on some very important part of life. When he saw kids like Doug out having fun with their friends or girlfriends, he regretted missing out on that experience. Eric spent his teenage years at home with his parents, lusting over Patrick Swayze on TV. He hadn’t been to one party since age 13, never experimented with drugs, and never had sex with someone where it wasn’t for money.
Eric knew that he had isolated himself from most of humanity, which was one of the reasons it was nice having Doug around. Even though Doug was just a kid, he was the first friends Eric had had in a very long time.
To be continued...