Broken (Chap 1&2) from Loving You Hurts So Good
Hello, lovelies! Hope life has been good to you since my last post. I wanted to share my short story, Broken, with you all. It’s really a heart-felt story, and as a physical therapist, I’ve always been drawn to patients with spinal cord injuries. I will post a chapter every week (this one has two chapters since Chapter One was so short). Hope you enjoy. 🙂
“There’s a good chance you will never be able to walk again.”
The doctor’s words echoed in Jed’s mind. Back home with his parents in Texas, Jed couldn’t imagine the rest of his life in a wheelchair.
The doctor had went on explaining, “You’re lucky to be alive. They think the car that ran through the red light was going at least seventy miles per hour.”
Lucky to be alive? Jed would rather be dead than feel this helpless. Three months ago, the accident had left him with a spinal cord injury, paralyzed from waist down. The therapists kept insisting since it wasn’t a complete spinal cord injury, and he had some movement and sensations in his legs, he shouldn’t give up hope.
The shock of this drastic change in his life had done a number on him. Even with his parents’ support and his sister’s encouragement, it was impossible for Jed to not fall into depression.
Today, though, he couldn’t spend all day in his bed. His agent, Nick Tasky, was flying in from Los Angeles to check on him. Through rehabilitation, he had learned to perform basic, everyday tasks. Forcing himself to get into his wheelchair, he propelled it to the bathroom to start his day.
When Nick finally arrived a few hours later, Jed was prepared for the lectures that were bound to come.
“You look great, man! You shaved for me?” Leave it to Nick to lighten up the mood.
“Okay, you caught me. I shaved for you because I didn’t want to hear your damn nagging.” Jed and Nick were sitting on his back porch, enjoying the Texas heat.
“Well, why else do you think I’d fly all the way down here and suffer in this hot weather?” Nick laughed, punching him on his arm.
“So, what’s up?”
“I want you to get your life together, man. You can’t just do nothing. You’re only twenty-nine years old. I told you over the phone to work on a new album through this experience. You know it would be a hit. The public is waiting to hear from you. Do you know how many fan letters and emails we receive every single day?”
“What the fuck, man! Did you notice I can’t walk?”
“So, that means your life is over? You are huge right now. You can still sing and play your guitar or the piano. Look, I just don’t want you to give up. I think your music may be therapeutic for you. I really believe it’s just what you need to heal.”
Jed took a sip of his iced tea and continued watching Jade, his Labrador Retriever, chasing after a squirrel. “I know you mean well, Nick. And I appreciate you coming out here to talk to me. I just need some time to figure things out. I’m lost right now.”
“Listen, you can just come back to LA with me. That’s where you belong, and you know it. You can continue your rehab there. I think being busy there will help to get you out of your funk.”
“I’m not ready for that. Like I said, I need some time to think about what the hell happened. And, to be honest, I need to be back here, home with my family.”
Nick sighed. “Okay, I get that. But, I refuse to watch you give up. You need to join a support group. At the very least, maybe see a psychologist. As your agent, I won’t allow you to throw your career away. As your friend, I won’t allow you to throw your life away.”
Jed remained silent, but a part of him knew Nick was right.
Trina, Jed’s sister, and Nick got along instantly. When she suggested they go to the local bar to get a bite to eat later that evening, Jed didn’t know how to get out of it. He hadn’t been out since the accident, and he definitely didn’t feel like socializing—especially with anybody from this town. But, he didn’t want Nick alone with Trina since he knew firsthand about Nick’s reputation with women. Jed reluctantly agreed, making them promise they’d all be back in couple of hours.
Rocky’s Sports Bar had been the hangout spot years ago when Jed used to live here. As they pulled up, it looked like it was still the place to go. Immediately, Jed regretted the decision of coming here. He silently prayed he wouldn’t run into anybody from his past.
Once inside, they got a corner table, and Jed was happy that not only did he not recognize anybody, but nobody recognized him either. That was one thing he liked about this small town in Texas. The people were so wrapped up into their own lives and drama, they had no idea what was going on with the rest of the world.
When Trina excused herself to go to the bathroom, Jed turned to Nick. “Look, Nick. Stay away from my sister.”
Acting surprised, Nick said, “What are you talking about?”
“You know exactly what I’m saying. Don’t think I haven’t seen you flirting with her.”
Nick laughed. “Your sister is beautiful. What do you want from me?”
“Damn, Nick! That’s my little sister. I know how you treat women. I, of all people, should know.”
“You’re no saint, either, Jed. Actually, you may be worse than me. I’m pretty sure I had to deal with many women’s phone calls after you broke their hearts.”
Jed took a swig of his beer. “I’m not trying to bang your sister, though! Look, Trina is different, okay? She believes in love and all that crap. Plus, like I said, she’s my baby sister.”
“She’s one year younger than you, which would make her twenty-eight years old. Pretty sure she’s an adult, my friend. But, hey, I hear you loud and clear. Don’t worry, I’m leaving tomorrow anyway.”
Jed nodded, knowing Nick was true to his word. When he saw Trina returning to the table, he didn’t say anything further about it. He knew his sister was smitten by his ruggedly handsome friend, and he was glad Nick was leaving the next day.
The conversation between the three was easygoing, and Jed was actually beginning to relax. But, just that quickly the mood was broken, when he heard Trina say, “Oh my God! What’s Sage doing here?”
Instantly, Jed’s heart stopped beating. Sage? She was supposed to be out of the country. Why would she be here? He hadn’t seen her in years, and he certainly was not ready to see her at that moment.
Before he could figure out what to do, Trina was already standing up and waving her over. Jed’s fingers tightened into a fist around his bottle of beer. He knew he was holding his breath, hoping against hope that somehow Sage wouldn’t notice them.
The familiar voice penetrated into his deepest core. A wave of emotions collided into him, drowning him. He knew he had to quickly take control of himself before she reached them.
“What are you doing here, Sage? When did you get back?” Trina asked, delighted to see her friend.
Without even turning around, Jed could feel her presence near him. His shoulders were suddenly tight, and he tried to slow his breathing down. How could this woman bring such emotions out of him after all this time?
“I just came back–maybe couple of hours ago. I tried to call your cell, but you didn’t answer.” Sage pulled Trina into her arms for a tight hug.
“My phone is buried in my purse, of course. Did you come here looking for me? How did you know I was here?” Trina continued to hold onto her friend.
“Of course I came here for you. You know you’re my only friend in this stupid town. I called your parents, and they told me I’d find you here.”
Jed was praying that somehow she wouldn’t notice him. She obviously hadn’t realized he was there yet. He just wanted her to disappear.
“Hello, I’m Nick.” Nick smiled and extended his arm for a handshake. “Would you like to join us?”
“Er, sorry, where are my manners?” Trina blushed, suddenly flustered. “Um, Sage, this is Nick, my brother’s agent.”
Sage’s friendly smile disappeared, and her face drained of color. Forgetting about Nick’s extended hand, she slowly turned her attention toward Jed. She took him in—his gorgeous face, his dirty-blond, messy hair, his blue eyes staring back at her with no emotions, and finally, his wheelchair.
When she didn’t say anything, Jed finally said, “Hello, Sage.” His voice remained guarded and indifferent.
As if that helped her get out of her trance, Sage nodded back. “Um, hey, Jed.” Turning her attention back to Trina and Nick, she said, “I actually can’t join you guys. I have to go.”
Without saying anything further, she raced out of the front door.
“Wow! What was that all about? I take it you guys have a history together?” Nick asked Jed.
Jed ignored his question, wanting nothing more than to leave and hide in the safety of his room.
“I’m sorry, Jed. Sage wasn’t due back for couple of weeks. If I had known, I wouldn’t have brought you here,” Trina mumbled, embarrassed by the entire encounter.
“It’s fine,” Jed said. “Are you guys ready to get out of here?”
Hope you enjoyed the first two chapters. More to come next week. If you want to read the full story, you can get it from Amazon. It’s also free on Kindle Unlimited. Link: here
As always, thank you for your support.