The Swimmer

Greg saw her from across the length of the swimming pool, while he was treading water. It was hard to miss her. She was swimming in the first lane in the deep end of the pool, which seemed like it could be rather dangerous in her condition. A floatation device was wrapped around her waist to keep her from sinking as she took powerful strokes with her left arm. The strokes she took with her right arm were considerably less powerful, since all that was left of her arm was a small stump. Her legs as well were both reduced to stumps only a few inches long, which pumped vigorously to move her across the pool. Greg was mesmerized.

Greg had been swimming at this pool for years and had never seen this mysterious woman with no legs before. He scanned the area around the pool and he spotted her wheelchair, which was sitting next to a girl that looked enough like the swimmer to be her sister. Greg was glad she used a wheelchair, because he didn't care much for prosthetics. He had dated an amputee only once in his life, a girl who had been missing her right leg, and she wore the stump bare and proudly.

But Greg had never seen a woman who revealed her stumps so boldly as this swimmer. She wore a swimming suit, so he could see the curve of each stump perfectly. The way her little stumps pumped in the water made him grow hard within his swim trunks. He reached the side of the pool and clung to the edge, watching her. When she lifted her head to take in air, he could see that her face too was beautiful.

"Hey." Greg heard a voice in his ear. He looked up and saw his friend Walt standing over him. "You ready to get out?" Walt asked.

Greg decided he wasn't going to get a lot of swimming done with this beautiful woman in the pool with him. Besides, he had already done his laps. "Yeah, I'm ready," Greg said.

Walt retrieved Greg's wheelchair from the side of the pool. Having been a paraplegic for ten years now, Greg was almost completely self-sufficient, but it was impossible to get out of the pool and into the wheelchair by himself, especially since the managers of the pool made him push his chair to the side of the room. When Greg had first applied for membership at this pool, they had outright said no, that their insurance didn't cover disabled persons. With Walt's help, Greg got them to not only give him membership, but it was free of charge.

Walt grabbed Greg underneath his armpits and hoisted him out of the water. Greg grabbed the arms of his chair and positioned himself so that his body gently lowered into the seat. Greg's stomach muscles were weak, so he belted himself in to the chair, even though he was able to sit up on his own when he really needed to.

Greg had been swimming since college, although back then he swam in the university pool. The water buoyed his paralyzed body so that he was able to move just as well as any able-bodied person. His swim trunks showed his too-skinny legs, but also his well-developed chest and arms. He had gone swimming with the woman who later became his wife (then later his ex-wife) in the university pool.

Greg rolled down the ramp to the men's locker room with Walt following close behind. He felt lucky to have a friend who was willing to help him out with a few of his tasks for daily living. Greg and Walt were assigned to be roommates freshman year of college. At first Walt was uncomfortable with the idea of having a wheelchair-bound roommate, but he got over it and the pair became best friends. Walt's family knew him to be an enormous bigot, and they were all shocked that he had a handicapped friend.

The first thing Greg did when he got into the locker room was to cathe himself. He could tell when he had to pee because of the pressure on his stomach. He didn't technically need to use a toilet to cathe, but he figured it was the most sanitary thing. He placed the tube up his urethra and the urine came through. Although he could still get hard and have orgasms, he couldn't feel his penis. When he was cathing, he felt grateful for the lack of sensation.

Showers were kind of tricky in the locker room, and once again Greg needed Walt's help. The showers had benches underneath them, so Greg would transfer from his chair to the bench, and Walt would take his chair out of the shower room. Walt would turn on the shower and adjust it so that it was hitting Greg, then he would wash himself the best he could. This was a time when Greg's stomach muscles came in handy. When Greg was done showering, Walt would turn off the water and bring the chair back in.

Getting dressed was easier. Greg could do it on his own, but it took him a long time. Generally, Walt and Greg talked as Greg struggled to pull his pants on over his limp legs. "Did you see that girl swimming in the deep end of the pool?" Greg asked, lifting up his right foot with his hands.

"The one with the really huge tits?" Walt asked with a grin.

Greg rolled his eyes. "No, I mean the one with the green bathing suit."

Walt raised an eyebrow. "I think a more accurate way to describe that girl would be as the one with no arms or legs."

"She had an arm," Greg protested. He had his pants on over both feet now.

"She was creepy," Walt said.

"Little help?" Greg asked. Walt stood in front of Greg's chair and lifted him up so that Greg could pull his pants up all the way. "Thanks," Greg said. "Anyway, I don't think she was creepy."

"She had no arms and legs!" Walt pointed out.

"She had an arm," Greg repeated. "Besides, I don't have legs."

"What are those?" Walt pointed to Greg's limp legs.

"They don't work."

"Yeah, but at least you've got 'em."

Greg rolled his eyes again as he pulled a sneaker over his foot. "So if I didn't have legs, we wouldn't be able to be friends anymore?"

"We could be friends," Walt said thoughtfully. "But you'd be creepy."

Greg laughed. "I still wouldn't be as creepy as you."

"Touché," Walt replied. "So…what? Are you interested in this limbless girl?"

"Sort of," Greg said. "I guess I am. She was hot."

"You should go talk to her," Walt urged.

Greg had both shoes on. He started tying his laces. "I dunno. I think I'm too chicken. Maybe next time."

"What if she isn't there next time?"

"I have a feeling she'll be back…"


Sure enough, the mysterious girl was there next time Greg went to the pool to swim and she was there the time after that. All week, Greg watched the girl's stumps pumping water vigorously as she swam from one end of the pool to the other. They were the only two disabled people who swam at that time and Greg caught her looking at him more than once. He was waiting for an opportunity to go over and talk to her.

The opportunity finally came at the end of the week. Walt had just helped Greg out of the pool and he was drying off with a towel, when he saw the mystery girl leaning on the edge of the pool, obviously ready to get out. Unfortunately, her sister was nowhere in sight.

Greg wheeled himself over to the side of the pool where the girl was resting. "Ready to get out?"

The girl nodded shyly. "Yes…I don't know where my sister went…"

"I hate it when they go to the bathroom just when I'm ready to get out," Greg said sympathetically. "Here, I'll help you."

Before the girl could protest, Greg wheeled himself over to the corner where the girl's chair was parked. It was tough to wheel his own chair with one hand while he pulled the girl's chair with the other, but it was a short distance and he managed. When he got back to the side of the pool, he locked the wheels of his chair and held his arm out to the girl. "I'll lift you out," he told her. She looked hesitant and he added: "I've been pushing myself around for ten years. Believe me, I'm really strong."

The girl held onto him with her one arm and he lifted her out with both of his. She was extremely light, for lack of three limbs. Her wet body brushed against his numb legs before he placed her in her chair. He couldn't help but notice how uncomfortable she looked inside the chair, which was powered by a joystick on the left armrest. Greg had never used anything but a manual chair, but then again, he had two arms to work with.

"Thanks," the girl said. She craned her neck. "I still don't see my sister."

"I'm sure she'll be back soon," Greg said. "By the way, I'm Greg." He held out his left hand for her to shake.

"I'm Annie," she said quietly. "It's…nice to meet you."

"I haven't seen you around here," Greg said. "Did your old pool close down?"

Annie shook her head. "I've never been much of a swimmer, but…the doctor said it might be a good idea now that…" Annie looked down at the stumps of her legs.

"It happened recently then?" Greg asked. He wasn't sure if his question was over the line, but he thought Annie needed to talk about it.

"Yes, just last year," she said. She glanced down at Greg's skinny legs. "Why are you…?"

"My legs are paralyzed," Greg explained. "It happened a while back and I've been using this chair ever since."

"I see my sister," Annie said. She seemed grateful to end the conversation. "Thanks again for helping me out of the pool."

"If you want to thank me," Greg said hurriedly, "let me take you out to dinner tomorrow night."

Annie's beautiful eyes widened. Her right arm stump twitched a little and she stared at Greg. "What? No, I…"

"It doesn't have to be a date," Greg said quickly. "But…well, I'm assuming you don't have many handicapped friends and…I'm telling you, it'll help to have someone who knows what you're going through."

Annie shifted in her chair. "Yeah, okay. Where do you want to meet?"

Greg named a nightclub that he sometimes took dates to. It was dark with good drinks, no cover charge, and most importantly it was accessible. Annie agreed to meet him there.


Greg arrived at the nightclub early. Although it wasn't officially a date, he had a good feeling about it. He wore khaki slacks that were loose on his legs, since anything his size could potentially hurt him in a place he couldn't feel. He wore a shirt that showed off his well-toned biceps. He knew he was a good-looking guy, chair or no chair.

He got a table near the back and enjoyed the sound of the jazz musician playing. He liked this club because there was no drink minimum, and he had given up drinking after his injury. As he sipped on his club soda, he started to get nervous that Annie wasn't going to show. He didn't think Annie was the type to stand a guy up, but he had sort of bulldozed her into the date and he wasn't sure what her sister's influence was. Maybe the sister had convinced Annie she wasn't ready to start dating again.

But Greg's fears proved groundless. Only a few minutes after the time they had agreed on, Greg looked up and saw Annie maneuvering her wheelchair through the door to the club. Greg quickly straightened up in his chair and made sure his legs were still in the leg rests, since they sometimes fell out. He watched Annie struggling to get through the fairly crowded club in her chair, and he felt some sympathy. The manual chair he had was easier to maneuver, but he still remembered how much trouble it had been to get through a crowded room during that first year. He avoided crowded places for several years after his injury for that very reason.

Other men were gawking at Annie and Greg felt like kicking their asses. Even in his chair, Greg thought he could take most of the men in this club. He wanted Annie to feel at ease, but she would never feel at ease if she noticed everyone staring at her. What the hell was wrong with those people, anyway? But her gaze was directed at Greg and she didn't seem aware of anyone else's presence.

As Annie came close to the table, Greg felt his heart speed up a notch. He hadn't realized quite how beautiful she was until now. She had soft blonde hair, wide blue eyes, and tits that were a hundred times better than the girl Walt had been staring at in the pool. Greg was disappointed to see that she had opted to cover up her stumps tonight. She wore a long skirt that fell to where her ankles would have been and a long-sleeved shirt. The empty sleeve was in her lap.

"Hello, Annie," Greg said. "I'm glad you decided to come."

Annie nodded. Her chair accidentally bumped the table and he saw her stumps bounce under that skirt. "Sorry," Annie said.

"No problem," Greg told her. "Did you have any trouble finding the place?"

"My sister drove me," Annie explained.

"Is she here?" Greg's heart began to sink.

"No, she had a date."

"How are you going to get back?" Greg asked.

"She has a beeper," Annie said. "I'm going to call her when I want to leave."

Whenever that may be, Greg thought. "You know, I could give you a ride…"

"You drive?" Annie asked, her blue eyes widening. She was looking at his lifeless legs.

Greg laughed. "Of course I drive! How would I get anywhere if I couldn't drive? I have a van with hand-controls."

"Maybe someday I'll…" Annie's voice trailed off and she looked away. "Never mind. What are you drinking?"

"Just club soda," Greg replied. "I gave up drinking after my injury."

"How did it happen?" Annie asked. Her face flushed a little. "If you don't mind my asking…"

"It's okay," Greg said with a wave of his hand. "Stupidity on my part, really. I thought I was big enough to play football, but I wasn't. Not even on the high school level. During one game, about five enormous guys piled on top of me and that was all it took. I've been wheeling ever since." Greg would never forget that day, as much as he pretended that it didn't matter. He remembered the first guy smacking into him, the loud crack of his spine breaking after the second guy hit him. He blacked out for a minute or two. When he came to, the coach was above him, asking him if he could get up. He remembered the sense of panic when he realized he couldn't get up, that he couldn't feel his lower body. After that, he was having surgeries for the next few months, and at the end of the long dark tunnel was the doctor telling him that he'd never walk again. He remembered his first time in a wheelchair, wondering how he was going to get in and out of it by himself, wondering how he was going to live the rest of his life. "So how about you?" he asked.

"Got hit by a car," Annie replied. "It was terrible. I was in a full body cast for months. They didn't amputate right away…they tried to save the limbs, but they couldn't. I remember when they took off my legs, looking down at those stumps and crying. Then my arm." Annie blinked a few times. "But I was lucky. I could have lost both my arms and then where would I be? I'd be completely helpless."

For a moment, Greg pictured Annie without any limbs, unable to bathe or feed herself. He suddenly felt the familiar warmth coursing through his body that he associated with an erection. That was a thought more worthy of his ex-wife. He and Patricia might have still been together if his level of paralysis had included his arms, although his motionless legs kept them together for several years.

"Anyway," Annie went on. "Eventually, I may get prosthetics, but I don't think I'm ready for them yet."

"Prosthetics are awful," Greg said. "It's not you."

"It'd be nice to walk again," Annie said. Her face flushed again. "Uh…sorry."

Greg felt like giving Annie a good shake, even though he knew firsthand where she was coming from. "I have a confession to make," he said.

Annie raised an eyebrow. She looked nervous all of a sudden. "Yes?"

"The truth is," Greg said, "I did invite you here for a date. I'm very attracted to you, Annie. I know you say you're not ready, but I say you are."

Annie shook her head. "I'm very attracted to you too, but…"

"Listen, I understand," Greg said. He rubbed his legs. "After ten years in this chair, it's second-nature to me. I barely even think about it anymore. But I know it's still new to you. I just wanted you to know how I felt and it's up to you what you want to do about it."

"Do I have to decide now?" Annie asked.

"Take your time," Greg told her. He touched her hand gently, then moved his hand away.

"I'm going to order a drink," Annie said with a smile. She turned her chair slightly to look for the waiter and Greg saw that there was a bag attached to her chair with all sorts of the things in it. He saw a fashion magazine in it, and something on the cover took his breath away. "Hey, that's my ex-wife!" he exclaimed, before he could stop himself. He immediately cursed himself.

"Huh?" Annie said.


Annie reached into the bag on her chair and pulled out the magazine. She squinted at the model on the cover. "That's your ex-wife?"

Greg winced. "Yeah. Listen, I'm sorry I said anything."

Annie looked from Greg to the model on the magazine. "Were you married before you…"

Greg raised an eyebrow. "I don't look that old, do I? No, I didn't meet her until a few years after I was injured."

"But how…?"

Greg was slightly offended by Annie's surprise, but he knew that his marriage to a girl like Patricia was surprising, even if he hadn't been a paraplegic. He had a class with Patricia in college and he had ogled her along with the rest of the boys in the class. When she approached him, he nearly fell out of his chair. They started dating and Greg became obsessed with the idea that he was the object of some bet she had with her friends that she wouldn't date the crippled guy or something. He was so upset over it that he finally attempted to break up with her, then was baffled when she burst into tears. As it turned out, it was the wheelchair that Patricia loved.

Lesser men might have been upset, but Greg took it as a good sign. Patricia was the most beautiful girl in the school and Greg could offer her something that nobody else could. She gave him blow jobs while he sat in his chair, she stroked his thin legs, and she kissed his paralyzed feet. When they got married, Greg thought he was the luckiest guy in the world. Unfortunately, they began to realize that they had nothing in common besides Patricia's attraction to his wheelchair. The marriage ended amicably and Patricia still stopped by every once in a while for a little fun. She was desperately miserable dating able-bodied guys. "Greg," she would sigh, "sometimes I think you're the only cute paraplegic in the world."

"Patricia was a devotee," Greg told Annie. "She liked guys who are disabled. She got off on it."

Annie's eyes widened. "There are people like that?"

Greg grinned. Annie had a lot to learn. "There are a lot, actually. Mostly men, you lucky girl."

"I don't know how I feel about that," Annie admitted.

"Is it really different from a guy liking you because you're just so incredibly beautiful?"

Annie caught the way Greg was looking at her. "Do you really mean that?"

Greg slid his hand over the stump of Annie's leg. He caressed the soft mound with his fingers and he saw Annie shiver with pleasure. Annie probably also didn't know that orgasms were better for amputees-it was a biological fact.

"I don't know whether or not to slap you," Annie said.

"You can kiss me," Greg suggested.

Annie smiled slightly. She leaned forward, her little arm stump trembling with the effort. Her soft lips brushed against Greg's cheek and she leaned back again. "How's that for starters?" she asked.

Greg just smiled.

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