Mark eventually went back to his room to sleep. Ryan wanted him to stay the night, but Mark explained that he had to cathe himself, among other things, and he felt more comfortable going back. Once Mark was gone, Ryan dared to check his email. He was horrified to see his entire inbox filled with emails calling him a liar, a fraud, and a phony, each one threatening to turn him in. He read the first few, then felt too sick to continue.
Ryan turned off his computer, then stood up in his braces. He was unsteady and needed to cling to the desk. He hobbled over to the couch, then removed the braces from his bare legs. He stood up. He could still walk, although he felt wobbly. He looked down at his legs. He wasn't like Mark. He wasn't disabled; he was just a phony like the mysterious emailer had pointed out.
And he couldn't be happy with Mark while he wasn't disabled. He couldn't be happy in life. He'd know he was just a fraud and didn't deserve the extra attention and sexiness he got from his chair. There was only one thing to do.
Ryan's eyes fell on a file cabinet at the corner of the room. It was made of metal and was very heavy. If it fell on Ryan's legs, he was pretty sure there would be no saving them. Ryan looked down at his think legs and pictured two small beautiful stumps in their place. He began to get hard at the thought.
He made the call to 911 first. Then he lay down on the floor and used his arms to tip the cabinet over slowly. It was hard work, but he got it to fall on him.
Ryan’s plan wasn’t well thought out, so it failed. Or at least, it didn’t succeed in the way that Ryan had hoped. The cabinet did crush his legs. The doctors tried to save them, but they couldn’t, so he was left with two stumps, each only a few inches long. The unexpected consequence was that the file cabinet had also caused Ryan’s spine to snap at the T1 level. He woke up in the hospital, heavily sedated, and realized he couldn’t feel anything below his nipples.
Ryan hadn’t wanted to be a paraplegic, especially at such a high level. He lost control of his bowels and his bladder, and like Mark, he could no longer feel his penis. His arms were somewhat affected by the injury, and he had to concentrate hard in order to move his hands the way he wanted. That meant that he would have to give up his mechanical wheelchair for an electrical one.
Ryan’s parents came up to visit him. They were confused by a lot of the things that were found in his apartment, such as the braces and the wheelchair, and they didn’t understand why the apartment was accessible either. Ryan kept his parents in the dark about his homosexuality and his disabled life. They wanted him to come back home for rehab, but Ryan didn’t think he could handle that. He insisted on staying in the city and they finally agreed, lending him whatever money he needed.
Rehab was hard. Being paralyzed from the chest down was a lot harder than pretending to be disabled. Because of Ryan’s lack of legs and abdominal muscles, he had a lot of difficulty just sitting up. They arranged it so that he was belted into his chair at chest-level, so that he could stay in the chair by slouching. Ryan didn’t think it was a very attractive position, but it was the only way he could keep from losing his balance.
Sometimes at night Ryan cried and wondered why he had done such a horrible thing to himself. He’d touch his beautiful stumps, then despair because he couldn’t feel the sensitivity other amputees had told him about. He’d often stare at his once impressive penis, which was now limp and had a tube snaking out of it so that he didn’t wet his bed.
Mark came to visit often. He still didn’t realize that Ryan had been faking his disability before. After some talk, they decided to move in together, since Ryan needed help with his everyday activities now. Mark was very supportive and told Ryan he’d bring him anything he needed. When it was time to leave the rehab center, Ryan asked Mark to bring him some clothes to go home in.
Even though it was cold out, Mark brought Ryan a small pair of shorts to wear. Since he only had to pull them on over his small stumps, they were easy to put on from his bed. He needed some help putting on his sweater. Before pulling the sweater over Ryan’s head, Mark ran his hand over the length of Ryan’s chest, the bit his nipple lovingly.
Mark helped Ryan into his chair and belted him in. The belt was just below Ryan’s nipples, so that his body divided in half at mid-chest. He had a good view of his lower body (what was left of it), and saw the ends of his stumps were sticking out from the shorts. The sight of his own stumps was arousing to him, and he was sorry that he no longer had anything that could respond.
Mark had bought a hand-controlled car, so he was able to drive home. Everyone in the building seemed very happy to see Ryan again, and he noticed some of them staring appreciatively at his stumps. Molly saw him at the door and asked him when he’d be able to participate in the committees again. Ryan said he’d do it right away.
The first thing Ryan did when he got back to his apartment was to direct his chair to the full-length mirror in the bedroom. He hadn’t seen his whole body since the “accident.” Before he took a look, Ryan pulled off the shorts he was wearing and the sweater, so that he could see himself nude. He had some trouble getting the sweater off, but he refused Mark’s help.
Ryan stared at himself in the mirror for a full five minutes. His upper body had deteriorated considerably. His arms were no longer as muscular as they were and his belly had evolved a bit of a gut, which stuck straight into the air, since his lower back needed to rest flat on the chair in order to maintain his balance. Then his eyes rested on the stumps, which were smooth and round, with little scarring. He touched one of them gently and imagined he could feel it. He realized his penis was erect now. He stared down at his genital area, with the two little stumps and the large penis, and he thought it was the most wonderful thing he had ever seen.
“Mark,” Ryan said. “There’s something I need to tell you.”
“What is it?” Mark asked anxiously. He reached out to caress one of the stumps. Ryan knew that he loved them too.
“When we first met,” Ryan began, “I wasn’t really handicapped. I was just pretending. To get attention, I guess.”
“I know,” Mark said.
Ryan frowned. “You do?”
Mark nodded. “I was the one who sent you all those emails.”
“But why?” Ryan was confused.
“I was angry,” Mark explained. “I didn’t know you then. I didn’t know you were such a wonderful person. All I knew was that you were pretending to be handicapped but you really weren’t. Then when we had that dinner together and…well, you know…I was sorry I sent them. It was too late by then though. I thought about telling you, but then you had your accident.”
“That wasn’t an accident.”
“I know,” Mark sighed. “I was sort of hoping it was, that it wasn’t all my fault. I didn’t want to be the one that drove you to do this to yourself.”
Ryan shook his head. “But you don’t understand. I wanted to be like this.”
“All my life I wanted to be in a wheelchair,” Ryan said. “Not because I was pretending, but because I was really handicapped. And to be an amputee…that was my dream. It was because of you that I actually did it. I had some regrets at first, but looking at these…” Ryan massaged the soft skin of his stump. “I know I did the right thing.”
Mark touched his other stump. “You know, with those legs, you’re the sexiest guy I’ve ever seen in my life.”
Ryan smiled. He had Mark, he had his wheelchair, and he had his two stumps, so he figured he had pretty much everything he had ever wanted.
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