Charlotte Hanson caught the sound of an appreciative whistle as she walked down the street. She turned her head and caught sight of a construction worker who was nodding at her short skirt with approval. Charlotte smiled to herself and kept walking. She was glad to know that at age thirty she could still attract a lot of attention walking down the street.
It was past six and Charlotte had just gotten off from work. She usually left earlier than that, but there had been a crisis today. Charlotte taught Lamaze to pregnant women and one of the women began having a panic attack at the prospect of giving birth in a month. Charlotte had done her best to calm the woman down, but she couldn’t speak from experience—she didn’t have any kids herself and after teaching this course, she decided she probably didn’t want to.
Charlotte caught the bus going uptown and plopped herself down in one of the back seats, exhausted. She hoped to god they wouldn’t run into a lot of traffic, but the bus seemed destined to move as slowly as possible. The bus filled up with passengers, squeezing into the minimal available space.
I am going to take a nice, hot, long bath when I get home, Charlotte promised herself.
The traffic cleared up a bit, but as soon as they began to pick up speed, they’d have to make another stop. Finally, at one stop, the bus driver put on the brakes and stood up. “What’s going on?” Charlotte whispered to the passenger beside her.
“Wheelchair passenger,” the guy told her.
Charlotte groaned, as did the three people who had to give up their seats to make room for the wheelchair. The driver pushed his way to the back of the bus and opened up the back doors. The passenger wheeled himself into the lift and the driver helped him into the designated space for the wheelchair, which was right next to where Charlotte was sitting.
This wasn’t the first time Charlotte had been seated next to a wheelchair-bound passenger. Usually she avoided looking at them, because she didn’t want to seem like she was staring. And god forbid, she didn’t want to start a conversation with one of those freaks.
But this guy seemed... normal. In fact, Charlotte thought he was pretty cute. He was around her age and seemed in relatively good shape. He looked like he had just gotten out of the gym. His T-shirt had a drying V-line of sweat and his short dark hair seemed a little damp. He had fitted leather gloves on his hands that she guessed were to protect his palms as he wheeled the chair. He was wearing gray sweatpants and as Charlotte stared at his crotch, she felt her nipples hardening slightly.
“Have a good work-out?” she asked him. She felt surprised that she had spoken to him—the words had just popped out.
The guy’s face flushed a little. “Oh, I’m sorry... I didn’t get a chance to shower and—”
“No, no,” Charlotte said quickly, touching his arm gently. “I just meant, I admire someone who has time to get to the gym on weekdays. I’m usually exhausted.”
The guy smiled. He had a great smile. “I try to play basketball three times a week.”
“Basketball?” Charlotte stared at him in surprise. Then felt like an idiot. Of course, there was wheelchair basketball. “Um... did you win today?”
“Kicked their asses,” the guy said and winked at her.
Charlotte was looking down at his legs and saw they hadn’t moved at all since he had entered the bus. They were carefully positioned in footrests and it seemed like he probably couldn’t move them. Paralyzed. She wondered how it had happened. “I’m Charlotte, by the way,” she told him.
“I’m Adam,” he said.
Adam. Adam, have you ever had your brains fucked out? Would you like to? A guy like this in a wheelchair probably didn’t get much play from women. She could probably help him experience things he had only dreamed of. “I’m still impressed you have the discipline to go to the gym after work,” Charlotte said. “Do you work nearby?”
He nodded. “I sit in front of the computer all day. By five o’clock, I can’t wait to go get some exercise.”
“You work with computers?”
“I’m a software engineer.”
Charlotte raised an eyebrow. He was a computer programmer. Damn, this was going to be easy. “You must be very smart,” she said. “I always wanted to do something with computers.”
“Oh yeah?” Adam smiled. “What do you do?”
“I teach Lamaze to moody pregnant women,” Charlotte said with an exaggerated sigh.
Adam gave her a funny look. “No kidding? Hey, you said your name is Charlotte? You’re not Charlotte Hanson, are you?”
“Yes, I am!” Charlotte said, intrigued. How did he know her?
“Yeah, I think my wife is in one of your classes,” Adam said.
Adam nodded. “Her name is Maggie.”
“Oh!” Charlotte said, forcing a smile. “You must be Maggie Harding’s husband...”
“That’s right,” Adam replied, beaming.
Charlotte looked down and saw that he had pulled off his gloves and there was a silver band on his fourth finger. Damn, she thought. “Congratulations, then,” Charlotte said. “This will be your first child, right?”
“Yeah, he’ll be our first,” Adam grinned, shaking his head. “I can hardly believe it...”
Charlotte remembered Maggie Harding as a quiet, very obese woman who attended her class twice a week. Charlotte had always wondered what sort of man had married her and now she had her answer. It was a damn shame too. Probably Adam thought because of the wheelchair, he couldn’t do any better. Believe me, honey, you can do a lot better.
Charlotte saw they were getting close to her stop. On a whim, she pulled her business card out of her purse and held it out to Adam. “Here,” she said. “This has my number in case you have any problems or need to call me about anything. Anything at all.”
Adam smiled up at her and she could see in his eyes that he knew what she was implying. “That’s okay, Charlotte,” he told her. “I can always get in touch with you through Maggie.”
As Adam Harding wheeled in through the front door of his apartment, he called out his wife’s name. He heard Maggie call back to him from the kitchen. He placed the roses he had bought for her on his lap and wheeled in the direction of the kitchen.
Two years ago, Adam had spent that first night alone in the hospital. As he had predicted, Maggie had never returned. He had assumed it was over, that he had scared her off for good. Then the night he had returned to his apartment, Maggie was there waiting for him. She stood in the middle of his living room, completely naked, trembling with nervousness. “I love you, Adam,” she had said tearfully. “I’m saying it first this time.” He had nearly started crying again. They got married three months later.
Maggie was now in the kitchen preparing dinner. Adam watched her stirring the contents of a saucepan and he smiled. She was so beautiful. Following their marriage, Maggie made a concerted effort to lose weight, but she had only managed to take off twenty pounds before she became pregnant and Adam urged her to take a break from her diet. The truth was, it didn’t matter to him how much she weighed. She was as beautiful at 350 pounds as she was at 110.
Maggie looked up and saw the roses on his lap. “Oh, Adam!” she exclaimed. “You didn’t have to do that!”
He placed his hands on her belly. “It’s for both of you.”
Maggie laughed and put the roses on the kitchen counter. “Well, I’ll accept on the fetus’s behalf. They’re lovely.”
She massaged his shoulders gently, running her hands up his neck and into his hair. “I’m still sweaty,” he said apologetically. “I probably stink.”
“I love your stink,” Maggie said, kissing his forehead.
As Maggie continued to touch him, Adam felt himself getting hard. They weren’t having sex nearly as frequently now that Maggie was so pregnant, and he found himself a lot hornier than he had been in a while. “You’ll never guess who tried to pick me up today,” he said.
“Charlotte, your Lamaze instructor.”
Maggie laughed. “Oh, you’re kidding! Are you sure?”
Adam smiled. “Yeah, I met her on the bus. It was quite the spectacle. It’s nice to know I’m still desirable to other women, just in case you dump me for the mailman.”
“Charlotte hits on all the men,” Maggie said with a shrug. “Don’t feel so special.”
“Hey, thanks a lot,” Adam pretended to be insulted. “Maggie honey, do you maybe want to switch to an instructor who won’t try to steal your husband?”
“Nah,” Maggie said. “I think I trust you.”
Maggie winked at him and went back into the kitchen to tend to dinner. She was cooking a lot tonight, because they were supposed to be having company. As he watched her, he couldn’t get over how lucky he was and how his life had turned around in the last two years. Thanks to her.
Ever since Maggie came back into his life, Adam never spent even a moment feeling sorry for himself. He hadn’t even realized until then exactly how depressed he had been.
One important thing he had done was to start going to the gym and getting involved in wheelchair sports. Adam had always felt self-conscious about wheelchair competitions, thinking that everyone was watching and feeling bad for him. But once he started playing basketball, he realized that wasn’t the case at all. It was a real sport and the guys who played were incredible athletes.
And through basketball, Adam began making friends with other men like himself who were full time wheelchair users. He didn’t realize how great it was to have friends who were also disabled—it made him feel a lot more comfortable with his own disability. When Maggie became pregnant, Adam voiced his concern to another paraplegic player, Bob, that he wouldn’t be able to do everything with his son that his own father had done with him. After all, Adam wouldn’t be able to play softball with him, football, go hiking, etc. What kind of father would he be?
In response, Bob had insisted that Adam accompany him and his 10-year-old son on a camping trip. Adam was surprised to see that Bob did everything with his son that Adam used to do as a kid on camping trips. They pitched a tent, built a fire, and they even found a cleared path to “hike” through. It was great.
Maybe I won’t be a terrible dad, Adam thought. He was still scared, but he had a lot more confidence than he would have had otherwise.
Adam wheeled into the bedroom to get undressed. He had to take bath and change before the company arrived. He flipped on the news as the phone rang. “I’ll get it, Maggie!” Adam called. He picked up the phone. “Hello?”
“Adam? It’s Marisa.”
Adam smiled. “Hey, Marisa. What’s up? You running late?”
A few months after that awful dinner where his mother tried to set them up, Adam called Marisa Warner and suggested they get together to talk. He wanted to apologize for the way he had acted and attempt to offer an explanation, but they got to talking and he realized he really liked her. Despite her twisted and palsied body, she had a very sharp mind and a kind heart. After that, they became good friends and often got together for dinner.
“No, I was just trying to figure out what I should wear,” Marisa said. “Actually, my mother was trying to figure out what I should wear.”
“That long black dress,” Adam said without hesitation. “That’s a hot little number. Yeow!”
Marisa laughed. “Adam, how did I let you talk me into this? You know I hate being set up.”
“Yeah, I know, but this guy is... he’s a great guy. He’s one of my best friends, Marisa. I swear you’ll really like him.”
“I don’t know,” Marisa sighed. “He doesn’t sound like my type. I mean, he sounds like he’s really needy. You know I don’t want that. I’ve got enough needs myself.”
“Look, I’m not asking you to marry the guy,” Adam said. “Just come over and meet him. Maggie’s cooking something that smells great.”
“Okay, I’ll do it for you, Adam,” she said. “But no promises I’ll go out with him...”
Adam hung up the phone and began tugging off his sweaty T-shirt. As he pulled it over his head, his eyes were drawn to the television set. There was an add for Revlon lipstick with a sexy young model painting her lips as she winked at the camera.
“Oh my god,” Adam muttered as he recognized the model’s face. “Brynne...” He smiled and shook his head. “Damn, good for her.”
In the past two years, Roger Jacobson’s life had changed completely in ways he never could have predicted. The first few months had been the hardest by far. He lay in his hospital bed, crying tears of pity for himself and his four missing limbs, wishing that Joy had just killed him. His stumps were too short to make much use of prosthetics, so he found that he was completely dependent on others for practically everything.
But things had very gradually improved. Over the time that followed, Roger found out who his friends were. His parents were very supportive of him during the entire process and were willing to do or spend whatever it took to make him more independent. Adam and Maggie amazed him too with their support. Adam especially was incredible—he came to visit Roger nearly every day in the beginning and they still saw each other practically every week.
Roger had faced many obstacles in his life, some of which he had overcome and some of which he hadn’t. He had gotten through law school and he had worked his ass off to rise in his law firm. Now he directed all his energy to learning to use prosthetics. The doctors informed him that his left arm stump was just barely long enough for him to be able to use a prosthetic with a hook on the end if he really worked at. Roger said that he was willing to work at it.
Now, two years later, Roger had achieved a small amount of independence thanks to his arm prosthetic. He lived with his parents and needed their help (or the help of a hired assistant) for many of his daily tasks, but he was also able to do many important things on his own, such as feeding himself, manipulating his wheelchair, or working on the computer.
Roger did get depressed sometimes. He still hadn’t completely adjusted to his disability and it was difficult. He needed help to get in and out of his chair, to get dressed in the morning, and to go to the bathroom. He hated needing his dad or his assistant to hold his penis for him when he went to pee. And he knew it was going to be like this for the rest of his life.
Worse still, he couldn’t stop thinking about Joy. How he had loved her and how she had betrayed him. He had gotten word that she had been sent to a mental institution along with her nephew Brad. Roger knew that her love for him had been fake, but he missed it nonetheless. And now that he was a quadruple amputee, there would probably never be another woman in his life.
Adam had been an unbelievable friend during the last two years. Roger didn’t know what he would have done without that friendship. Adam related what it had been like for him in the months following his own “accident”, when he was struggling to regain his independence. It was good having a best friend who was also in a wheelchair, to teach him about accessibility issues and stuff like that. Roger had been one of the few friends invited to Adam and Maggie’s wedding, and he actually found himself in tears during the ceremony. He was very happy for them.
Adam was very nonchalant when Roger expressed his worries that he would never find a woman who would love him. “My chair never kept me from picking up girls,” Adam always reminded him. “That is, before I had... you know, the old ball and chain.”
“But you’re totally different,” Roger pointed out. “You’ve got a job, your own apartment. You’re completely independent. I’m not and... I never will be.”
“Don’t even worry about it,” Adam said. “I’ll fix you up.”
Roger shook his head when Adam said that, but then last week Adam came by his house, very excited: “Rog, have I got a girl for you...”
Roger raised his eyebrows. “You do?”
“Her name is Marisa,” Adam said. “I’ve known her a while, but it just hit me that she’d be perfect for you.”
As Adam told him more about Marisa, Roger actually found himself getting a little excited too. She sounded like a nice girl and it would certainly be nice to go out on a date again, even if it didn’t lead to anything. Even if it was just to prove to himself that he was still capable of dating.
Roger was going to meet Marisa during a dinner at Adam and Maggie’s apartment. Roger’s father helped him get ready for the date. His father dressed him in respectable khaki slacks and a button down shirt with a tie. Roger hated the way his body looked now, hated his stumps, and hated the way pants and shirts lay flat where his missing limbs were. He almost never looked in the mirror anymore for this reason.
But now Roger directed his wheelchair toward a full length mirror to examine his appearance before his date. He looked himself up and down, deciding that for a guy with no arms or legs, he looked okay. He used his hook to carefully straighten his tie. He was ready.
Maggie was just about done with dinner when she heard the doorbell. Adam was still in the bedroom getting ready, so she had to answer it. She knew it took Adam a little longer to do everything, and it was one of those things she had come to accept. The last two years with Adam had been nothing short of wonderful for her and having to occasionally wait for the bathroom was a small price to pay.
When Maggie got to the door, she saw Marisa Warner in her wheelchair, accompanied by her mother Ethel. “Hi,” Marisa said.
“Hello, Maggie darling,” Ethel said, giving Maggie a peck on the cheek. “I’m just dropping her off, and now I’ll be on my way.”
Maggie stepped back to let Marisa direct her chair into the apartment. Marisa smiled up at Maggie, “Smells good.”
“Thank you,” Maggie said. Marisa was a frequent guest in the Harding abode and Maggie didn’t dislike her. There was no doubt in Maggie’s mind that Marisa had a little crush on Adam, but it was a benign crush. Adam’s love and devotion to his wife was unparalleled and Marisa knew that as well as anyone. “Roger should be here soon.”
“Roger,” Marisa rolled the name around her twisted tongue. “Is he really as nice as Adam claims?”
Maggie smiled. “Sure.”
“Let me put it this way: would you go out with him?”
“If I wasn’t having Adam’s baby? Well, yeah... sure. Maybe.”
Adam wheeled out of the bedroom at that moment. As he entered the room, his eyes met with Maggie’s and he smiled at her, mouthing the words: “I love you.” Then he wheeled over to Marisa and made a big deal over how she looked. “Goddamn Marisa, you look hot tonight.”
“Stop it,” Marisa smiled, blushing.
As Adam spoke to Marisa, he put his hand on her shoulder and she seemed to enjoy the attention. Far beyond jealousy, Maggie thought it was sweet the way Adam treated Marisa. He made her feel like a woman, which was probably something she didn’t get much of. Maggie knew the feeling.
When they first got married, Adam didn’t have any friends with disabilities and seemed very uncomfortable around other wheelchair users. But now, just two years later, it was exactly the opposite. Most of his friends were in chairs and he seemed to prefer being around these people. Maggie might have felt left out if Adam wasn’t so attentive to her.
The doorbell rang again and Maggie knew it must be Roger. Poor Roger... he really had quite a time adjusting to his new disability, but he was trying his best. Maggie didn’t know what would have happened if Adam lost his arms too... it certainly would have made things more difficult.
Maggie opened the door and Roger was there in his wheelchair, with his father accompanying him. “Hello, Maggie,” Mr. Jacobson said. “Or should I say, Mrs. Harding?” He smiled. “You know I was good friends with the Mrs. Harding before you, your mother-in-law.”
Maggie nodded and smiled, acting as though Mr. Jacobson hadn’t already told her this. He was getting a bit senile in her opinion. “It’s nice seeing you again, Mr. Jacobson.”
“I guess I’ll leave Roger with you,” Mr. Jacobson said hesitantly.
“Don’t worry,” Maggie assured him. “He’ll be fine.”
Roger rolled his eyes slightly when his father was gone. “He’s worse than my mother sometimes,” he said. He looked Maggie up and down. “Wow, you’re getting close!”
“Don’t remind me...” Maggie murmured.
“Not at all. Just a little bit terrified.”
Roger smiled. “You’ll be a great mom.”
Maggie watched as Roger used his hook to manipulate the controls on his wheelchair. He was getting a lot better at it. Adam had instructed Maggie to cut up all the meat into little pieces so neither Roger nor Marisa would have a problem with it.
Maggie followed Roger into the dining room where Adam and Marisa were talking quietly. She watched his expression as Roger first laid eyes on Marisa. He smiled and his eyes lit up. It appeared that he liked her. “Hi,” Roger said in a slightly quavering voice.
Marisa looked up now from her conversation with Adam. Maggie could see that Marisa didn’t like the looks of Rogers stumps or his hook. Marisa was a nice girl, but she was so particular about what she wanted. She wanted a guy who was disabled, but it couldn’t be someone who was too dependent. “Hi,” Marisa said.
And the dinner began.
Adam could see that Roger liked Marisa a great deal, as he had predicted. Roger had zero confidence now when it came to women and Marisa was the first girl he met who he felt he might have a chance with. Unfortunately, Marisa was shooting down every attempt Roger made to get to know her better.
Adam was disappointed. Roger was making great progress in using his hook. He was able to feed himself without dropping his utensils once the entire meal. That was a hell of a lot better than Marisa did. But then again, he supposed it was her decision.
When Roger excused himself to take a phone call from his mother while Maggie assisted him, Adam leaned in toward Marisa: “So what do you think?”
“I don’t really like him,” Marisa admitted. “I’m sorry, Adam.”
“Why not?” Adam was taking this very personally.
“I just don’t think we have anything in common,” Marisa said. “Plus the hook is creepy.”
“What are you talking about?” Adam said. “Rog is one of the brightest guys I know!”
Marisa didn’t have anything to say to that.
“Please, Marisa,” Adam said. “Rog is such a great guy and he’s had so much shit happen to him recently. He’s really lonely. I can tell he likes you a lot and I wish you’d give him a chance.”
“You think he likes me a lot?” Marisa seemed surprised.
“Definitely,” Adam replied.
Marisa sighed. “All right... I’ll try to keep an open mind.”
Three years ago, Roger would have taken one look at Marisa and just kept right on walking. Or worse, he would have stared or gawked at her, and thought to himself, How awful for that poor girl!
But now things were different. Now Roger was just as disabled as Marisa or even more so. He had believed that he never would have a chance with a woman ever again, but now here was a girl who was a possibility. She understood what it was like to struggle just to be able to feed yourself.
She didn’t talk to him much during dinner, but he thought it was probably because she was shy. He was shy too. He didn’t know what to say to her to make her like him better. He thought of all the lines he had tried on women in the past, but those lines had just gotten him rejected. He didn’t want to screw this up with Marisa.
As they were finishing dinner, Roger knew he had to do something before the evening ended. He smiled at Marisa in the most charming way he could. “Would you like to join me in the living room?” he asked her.
Marisa hesitated and Maggie jumped in, “Good idea! We could bring you guys some cocktails out there!”
Marisa looked over at Adam, who was nodding at her enthusiastically. “Well, all right,” she agreed.
Roger beamed, happy to have gotten this far with her. But now was the hardest part: convincing her to like him. And he wasn’t sure if he could do it.
The thought that popped into Marisa Warner’s head when she first saw Roger Jacobson was, Oh god. He wasn’t a good looking guy to begin with, but then add in four missing limbs and that awful hook. He barely seemed like he could control his wheelchair, much less handle a girlfriend.
Marisa knew she shouldn’t be so picky. But everyone has to have some standards. Roger was dry, uninteresting, and not at all attractive to her. But putting all that aside, how could she attempt a relationship with someone who was so dependent? How could they ever have any physical closeness if neither of them could be left alone?
If Marisa had her choice of any man in the world, no restrictions, she would have picked Adam without a second thought. Her body still tingled when she thought of the one kiss they had shared two years earlier. But he turned out to be a lot different than the scoundrel/player she had first believed him to be. He was a genuinely nice, wonderful guy who was a lot of fun to be with. And really really cute too. That Maggie was so damn lucky.
When Roger invited her into the living room, she would have refused if it didn’t seem so impolite. Also, she figured he couldn’t make a move on her since he only had that one hook. So she just had to get through another awkward hour or so and then her mother would be by to pick her up.
Roger was so nervous that Maggie had to help him wheel his chair into the living room. Marisa supposed Maggie didn’t know better, but she put Roger’s chair in a place where Marisa would have a hard time moving her own chair without Roger moving first. Marisa would have said something, but Maggie ran out before she could.
“So that was a delicious meal, wasn’t it?” Roger said awkwardly.
“Uh huh,” Marisa said, avoiding eye contact.
“I didn’t know Maggie was such a great cook,” Roger said. “And I’ve known her a very long time.”
“Really,” Marisa said.
Roger bit his lip. Marisa saw his left leg stump was trembling.
“This is the first sort of... date I’ve been on since... I’ve been in the wheelchair,” Roger said.
“This isn’t a date,” Marisa said quickly, then immediately felt guilty.
“Oh right,” Roger said, embarrassed. “I know. I just meant...”
“I don’t date much either,” Marisa volunteered. She saw that his leg stump was now very visibly twitching. Roger noticed it too and he put his prosthetic arm over it to try to calm it down.
“I get these stupid muscle spasms,” Roger said. “Usually when I’m nervous and stuff. Usually when someone massages it, it goes away. It’s a little hard for me to do it though with my... uh, hook.”
Marisa surprised herself with her next action. She moved her own curled up hand onto Roger’s stump and tried to massage it herself. She was having a lot of trouble controlling the movement—it was more like she was slapping the stump than massaging it—but it actually seemed to ease the twitching. Roger smiled at her, “Thanks, Marisa.”
“No problem,” she said. She realized with surprise that this was the first time in her whole life when she had used her own physical abilities to help someone else.
“The thing is,” Roger said, “I’ve never really done much in the way of dating, so I really don’t know what I’m doing. I thought by age 31 I might have a clue, but I really don’t.”
“Neither do I,” Marisa said.
“You know in the movies,” Roger continued, “they always have people hooking up and falling in love. And I know it’s just acting, but I get jealous of those people. Because I want that. I want to be the way those people are. The way they are when they’re together, the way that they kiss with such... with such...”
“Passion,” Marisa finished for him.
She was staring into his eyes and he was staring into hers. “I want to kiss you, Marisa,” he said.
“Okay,” she said.
She leaned forward and he leaned forward and their lips met. They tried to grope at each other, her using her curled up hands and him using his hook. It wasn’t like in the movies, not by a long shot, but there was passion and it was good.
When Adam and Maggie left Roger and Marisa, they went into the kitchen to wash dishes and talk. The sink was modified so that Adam could reach from his wheelchair. He had insisted on that, because he didn’t want Maggie to be forced to do simple chores like washing the dishes for him. He rolled up his sleeves and washed the dishes as Maggie dried.
“They hate each other,” Maggie said. “Or rather, Marisa hates Roger.”
“You’re so wrong,” Adam said.
“I’m so right,” Maggie insisted.
“They’re probably smooching it up right now,” Adam said with a wink.
“Bullshit,” Maggie declared. “The only person Marisa would ‘smooch it up’ with is you, my dear.”
Adam grinned at her. “Yeah, she’s got the hots for me. So who doesn’t?”
“So confident...” Maggie sighed. She reached out and touched his cheek. He looked up at her and felt a rush of love and affection. Oh god, Maggie. How did he get so lucky? “If you could have any woman, what are you doing here with me?”
“Because you’re the best woman,” Adam replied.
“Adam...” Maggie’s eyes lowered and he could tell she was feeling a little insecure. He told himself it was part of the mood swings from her pregnancy. She never had any reason to doubt that he loved her with all his heart. “What if I hadn’t shown up at your apartment the night after we had that fight two years ago?”
“What do you mean ‘what if’?”
“I mean,” Maggie said, “where would we be right now?”
“I’d probably still be alone,” Maggie murmured. “And you... you’d probably have found someone else by now.”
Adam reached out and took her hand. “I knew you were going to come back to me. I knew it. I know you. Come on, Maggie.”
He pulled her down towards him and cupped her cheeks in his hands. She was so goddamn beautiful, with her big worried eyes. “Maggie,” he breathed. “Let’s go to the bedroom... your crippled husband wants to fuck you...”
“Adam, we have company!” Maggie protested, blushing.
“Fuck company,” Adam said. “Fuck the bedroom. I want you here, now.”
Maggie smiled and allowed him to kiss her. “Okay.”
What Adam never told Maggie was that he had not believed she would return to him two years ago. He knew he had hurt her badly and he had expected her to do the typical Maggie thing and run away forever. He had been completely shocked when she had surprised him in his apartment two years ago, completely naked. He was so shocked that he forgot to tell her about the letter he had composed for her hours earlier:
To my dearest Maggie,
There probably isn’t anything I can say in a letter that will make you forgive me for the things I said to you the other night. The only thing I can say to you now is that I’m sorry. I’m more sorry than I’ve ever been for anything in my whole life. I will never forgive myself for making you cry. I love you so much and when I saw you trying to leave me, I went crazy for a minute. I love you more than anything on earth and I can’t live without you.
I’m begging you to please let me have one more chance. I know I don’t deserve it, but I swear to you that if you do give me that chance, I will make you the happiest woman alive. And if you want to say no, go ahead and say no. But you won’t get rid of me so easily. I love you too much to let you get away from me again. I’ve loved you since I was fifteen and if I live till a hundred I will spend my every waking moment winning you back.
All my love in the world,
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