“Flowers? Oh, Aidan... you’re so sweet!”
Beth beamed at the large bouquet her fiance Aidan had thrust into her hands. She jumped out of her seat and ran to the kitchen to put the flowers in water. Aidan watched her from outside the kitchen, his hands poised on the wheels of his chair. “You need help, Beth?”
“No, it’s okay,” Beth said. She rolled up her sleeves before dipping the vase under running water. She arranged the flowers carefully inside and brought them out to the dining room table. She sat down at the table to admire the flowers and Aidan wheeled over to join her.
“Nobody is as thoughtful as you, Aidan,” Beth breathed. “I’m so lucky I found you. I really am.”
Beth looked into Aidan’s kind blue eyes. Aidan was a very good looking man, with his solid chest and shoulders, his reddish brown hair that seemed as if it might curl on the ends if it were just a bit longer, the barely perceptible sprinkling of freckles across the bridge of his nose, and the boyish smile that was almost irresistible. They had found each other one year ago at a coffee shop of all places, just when Beth had been ready to give up hope that she would ever find “the one.” Aidan had been reading the paper at a table by himself and Beth had asked him for the fashion section. What followed was a romance that Beth considered almost too good to be true.
“I’m the lucky one,” Aidan insisted. He took Beth’s hands in his and stared into her eyes. “I can’t believe a beautiful girl like you would love a cripple like me.”
That was typical of Aidan. So self-conscious of his disability. But Beth believed that his disability was part of what made him the wonderful person he was today.
Aidan pressed his lips against hers and held her to him. She still felt that tingle when she was near him, even after a whole year. No man had ever made her feel this way before. This is how she knew Aidan was The One.
“Does it bother you,” Aidan said, “that I won’t be able to stand with you at the altar?”
“No, darling,” Beth said. “Not at all.” And it didn’t. Of course, when she had been a girl and she had pictured her ideal husband, she hadn’t pictured a man in a wheelchair. She had imagined a tall, blond, ruggedly handsome man with rippling muscles—the sort who might be photographed climbing a mountain as the wind tousled his hair. Maybe Aidan was a far cry from this ideal, but he was good looking, successful, and the kindest man she had ever met. She couldn’t wait to become his wife.
This is the story of Aidan Randall, a thirty year old incomplete T12 paraplegic located in New York City. Aidan depended on a wheelchair for his mobility and used his chair in every aspect of his life. Aidan worked in a large investment banking firm, pulling in a considerable salary. Aidan lived with his beautiful girlfriend, Beth Townsend, and had recently asked her for her hand in marriage. She had said yes.
But this is not the entire story of Aidan Randall. Six years earlier, Aidan had been an able-bodied individual. But he was not like everybody else, not by a long shot. For reasons he couldn’t fully understand, Aidan felt that he “belonged” in a wheelchair. He had felt this way ever since he was a child.
When he was in high school and going through puberty, Aidan became nearly obsessed with disability. Although he didn’t think he was gay, he sought out several men in wheelchairs and engaged in intercourse with them, hoping that this might somehow satisfy his urges. It didn’t.
Like many other teenagers, Aidan considered suicide. When he got his drivers’ license, he considered crashing his car into a tree, hoping he’d either die or be maimed in the accident. In the end, he didn’t have the nerve to do it. He believed there had to be some other solution.
Aidan continued through college, never feeling completely satisfied with his life. There were a few students on campus in wheelchairs and Aidan envied them terribly. When he masturbated, he always pretended his legs were paralyzed. When he had sex, he often let his legs go limp and refused to move them at all. Aidan enjoyed it, but the girls often complained.
During his sophomore year of college, Aidan took up roller blading in his free time. He wore wrist guards for blading and he loved the way his hands felt in the guards. He couldn’t move his wrists at all and he could move his thumbs only slightly. Aidan began wearing the wrist guards nearly all the time, pretending that his wrists were paralyzed. People began to give him funny looks, but Aidan didn’t care.
By the time Aidan graduated from college, he knew he was fairly unhappy with his life. Even though he found a good job out of school and had money to go out with his friends all the time, he got this feeling he was living a lie. Every step he took was a lie. He was never able to form any real relationships with women because he felt that he was uncomfortable with his own body. Yet what could he do to change it?
Around that time, a friend of Aidan’s underwent a transition. His friend Henry suddenly became Katherine. It wasn’t easy for Katherine, but when Aidan visited her, he noticed how happy she was compared to before the transition. She finally felt that outer self matched her inner self. That was when Aidan realized what he had to do.
When he was 24, Aidan ordered his first wheelchair. He found a store in Michigan that agreed to deliver the chair directly to his apartment. The delivery took nearly a month and every day Aidan considered calling to cancel his order. When the chair finally arrived in a nondescript brown box, Aidan smuggled it up to his apartment, certain that everyone in the elevator could tell what was inside.
Aidan opened the package right away. The wheelchair was a clunky model with the legrests detached. As Aidan put it together, he felt his heart pounding in his chest. As he ran his fingers along the dark leather of the chair, he had a deep feeling of guilt. Yet he felt himself getting extremely hard. Aidan hid the wheelchair in his closet and went to his bedroom to masturbate.
Over the next six months, Aidan never once removed the chair from his closet. Nearly every day, he opened the closet to look at it. Just knowing it was in the apartment was an arousing thought, but every time he touched the chair, he felt as if he was doing something bad.
Aidan lived in fear of the chair being discovered. He covered it with a coat, but he knew it would be easy for one of his friends to happen upon it accidentally. Fortunately, Aidan didn’t have a girlfriend at the time, but he was a social guy with many friends who sometimes came to the apartment. His cover story that he intended to use in case of discovery was that the last tenant had simply left it there. Aidan knew it wasn’t a believable story, but it was probably more believable than the truth.
After six months in the closet, the chair didn’t seem quite as scary as it did that first day. Aidan didn’t get that same tingle in his fingertips just from looking at it. He decided maybe it was time to take it out of the closet.
Aidan started simple. He decided to watch his evening television shows in the chair. He took the chair out of the closet and sat down. I am a paraplegic, Aidan told himself. I can’t get out of this chair.
He wheeled himself into the living room and turned on the television. He sat in the chair, doing his best not to move his legs at all. The illusion seemed very real to him. By the end of the first show, Aidan was a hard as a rock. He masturbated in the wheelchair.
After that, it was easier. When Aidan first came home, he immediately got into his wheelchair and spent the rest of the night in it. This was harder than it sounded, because Aidan’s apartment was decidedly inaccessible. In order to get into his bedroom, Aidan had to take his hands off the wheels and propel himself by hanging onto the doorframe.
Aidan felt that his life was changed by the chair. He found himself avoiding all his friends so that he could spend his evenings in the wheelchair. He spent hours reading about paraplegia so that his portrayal would seem realistic.
But suddenly it wasn’t enough for Aidan. He yearned to interact with the rest of the world as a disabled individual. Aidan knew he couldn’t stay in his own neighborhood because everyone recognized him there. He decided to put the chair in his car and drive an hour to a rest stop. He went late in the evening to avoid crowds.
Aidan parked in an out of the way location so that nobody would see him getting into the chair. He had packed a blanket to put over his legs because they looked too muscular and he was afraid of accidental movement. As he wheeled himself across the gravel, he felt his heart beating so fast that he was afraid he might faint. He nearly turned back, but something made him keep going.
He picked a small diner that looked friendly and had a ramp leading to the entrance. Aidan was grateful for the ramp because he wasn’t skilled enough yet to manage even a single step. He wheeled himself through the open entrance.
The hostess flashed him one of the friendliest smiles he had ever seen. “Just you for dinner?” the hostess asked him.
Aidan nodded and she led him to a single table. She took one of the seats away so that he had room for the wheelchair. He looked around and saw there were only a few other people in the diner. And they were all staring at Aidan.
Easy, he told himself, they’re not looking at you because they think you’re a fake. They’re just not used to a 25 year old in a wheelchair...
The waitress, a cheery blonde with her hair in pigtails, approached Aidan’s table. “Hello, darlin’,” she said. “My name is Becky and I’ll be your server today.”
“Hi, Becky,” Aidan said shyly. He hadn’t been shy around a woman since he was twelve years old. Ordinarily, he would have been flirting with Becky.
“What’s your name, darlin’?” Becky asked him.
“Well, Aidan... you take a look at the menu then you can tell me what catches your fancy.”
Women often flirted with Aidan because of his good looks and infectious smile, but he hadn’t expected it while he was in the chair. Becky was full of bright smiles just for him and she even touched his shoulder at one point.
By the time Aidan had finished his dinner, the restaurant was empty. Becky came over with a slice of cherry pie that he hadn’t ordered. “It’s on the house,” Becky told him, “as long as you let me spend my break with you.”
Aidan smiled, “Only if you help me finish the pie.”
They made small talk for a little while as the diner stayed empty. It took Becky half an hour to ask him about the chair, even though it was obvious she was dying to ask.
“I was in a car accident two years ago and injured my spinal cord,” Aidan told her. “I’m paralyzed from the waist down.”
“So you can’t feel anything?” Becky asked.
Through the blanket, Aidan could feel Becky’s hand sliding up his leg. Oh, fuck! Aidan thought. His face began to turn red.
“You can feel this, can’t you?” Becky asked, smiling.
Aidan nodded. “A little,” he lied. He was glad he had the blanket to hide his erection, but Becky’s hand was getting dangerously close.
“Becky! Customer!” the manager yelled.
“Oh, shoot!” Becky exclaimed. She jumped out of her seat. “Sorry, Aidan,” she said. “Gotta get back to work.”
But before Becky left him, she scribbled down her phone number on a napkin. She handed it to him. “Call me, Aidan,” she said. “I’ll show you a good time.”
Aidan was completely blown away by the experience. As soon as he got back to his car, he jerked off immediately. He didn’t even care if he got caught.
That was when Aidan decided that he had to live his life the way he was meant to. Obviously, nothing was going to happen to keep him from being able to walk, so he had to take some initiative.
Aidan found an accessible apartment in New York at a reasonable rent for the city. He purchased a nice executive-style wheelchair and some leg braces so he didn’t have to think about accidentally moving his legs. Then he started looking for a job.
It wasn’t quite as easy as he had hoped it would be. At age 26, Aidan was in many ways attempting to start his life over again. He was abandoning all his friends, none of whom knew about his secret life. He’d have to make new friends now as a paraplegic and he was worried it might not be so simple. Aidan also discovered that staying off his legs wasn’t enough to make them as thin as a paraplegic’s—he began wrapping ace bandages around them when he went out, hoping to stimulate some atrophy.
Aidan had to make a decision about how to handle his bowel and bladder care. Of course, he was fully continent, but it just didn’t feel realistic to go on the toilet just like an able-bodied person would. But Aidan had to draw the line at inserting a catheter into his bladder—most paraplegics couldn’t feel it and he most certainly could. He compromised by using a condom catheter that fit over his penis and drained into a legbag. He tried to train himself to urinate into the bag without thinking about it, but it was difficult to erase all those years of toilet training. But eventually, it got to the point where he thought he would have an accident if he went without the catheter.
Finally, Aidan had to find a job. This was the hardest part of all. Maybe it was discrimination, but people seemed a lot less interested in hiring Aidan than they did when he first got out of college. It took him a long time to find work and the job he got paid considerably less than his last job.
But it all paid off. By the time Aidan was 28, he was living his dream life as a disabled male. Everybody in his life knew him only as a paraplegic. And in his mind, he was a paraplegic. He never cheated, not even when he was alone in his house. It had been so long since he had walked that he was able to stop wearing the leg braces because his legs were so weak.
Aidan kept in good shape—just because he was in a wheelchair, he didn’t want to become unattractive. He also tried to keep his weight down so that his legs would stay slim. He went to the gym nearly every day of the week, either weight training or racing on the track or playing wheelchair basketball once a week. He was a really good wheelchair athlete, but he always shied away from forming friendships with any of the other paraplegics he played with. They were the only ones he thought might discover his secret.
Aidan dated, but he was anxious about getting involved in a serious relationship with a woman. It would have been so much simpler if he were a real paraplegic, but he felt bad about lying to these women. Aidan knew that he was meant to be in a wheelchair, but he had a feeling that these girls would think he was nuts if he told them that. So he generally broke it off with them after a few months at most.
That is, until Beth came along…
To be continued....