Jake and Mike (Part One)
My arms were tired from holding up the sign. The airport was crowded in anticipation of loved ones coming through the gates. I eagerly waited to see my friend, Jake, whom I haven’t seen for three years. It would be amazing to see him and see how he’s changed.
My imagination ran wild. I imagined his eyes with a haunted looked from having to deal with the rough terrain of the amazon. I could picture his arms, buff from working out and going through the hard world by himself. In my mind’s eye I could see him being the sexy man that I’d known since birth.
I sighed as I thought about all of the years that have passed and how I still haven’t told him how I feel. There were so many moments when it was possible. For example, when we danced with each other during prom because we didn’t have dates
I still remember the moment we had together. His hand was holding mine, and the other holding my hip. I felt so nervous with him holding me like that and almost passed out. It was a steamy moment, especially after we’d been staring into each other’s eyes and couldn’t look away. I almost confessed my feelings, but the song changed and the mood I’d felt was ruined.
From sheer exhaustion, my arms lowered the sign from above my head to in front of my chest. I continued to wait for him to come through. I watched as people flowed from the exit of the tunnel and into the warm and loving embrace of loved ones. I heard screams of excitement while I continued to watch in torment.
Why was he taking so long? I was beginning to wonder if he’d told me the wrong date or time, or even the wrong airport. I checked my phone for the time. 12:42 A.M. Only three minutes since the last time I checked it.
My eyes wounded around, looking at the other people surrounding me, also waiting for loved ones, and spotted a few shops. My vision narrowed in on one particular store and wondered if it would be too late to buy something for Jake. I thought against it since his tastes might have changed.
I kept thinking about the possibility of shopping for something for a quick second when I heard his voice call to me. “Mike!” My body quivered at the sound of his baritone voice. Everything inside me tightened as I turned and saw him. He was in a wheelchair. My eyes widened, and he didn’t look surprised.
“Notice anything different about me?” He was still joking around, even with him being in the wheelchair.
“Yeah,” I responded, in shock. “What happened?”
“I got into a skiing accident. Took a turn too soon and slammed into another guy. My spine got severed and now I’m paralyzed from the waist down.” He didn’t sound remorseful, but this was major. Jake was the kind of guy who loved doing things with his hands and being outdoors. This has to be killing him. “Thank God I didn’t hurt the other guy though. He’s fine. And, at least the ‘you know what’,” he winked, “still works.”
“That’s good at least. Are you ready to go?” He nodded and we left the airport.
I couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that he was paralyzed, but also the fact that even though he’d been in the wheelchair he still looks sexy to me. I could barely focus on the road long enough to not get us killed, but I took advantage of every red light and stared at him.