A Blushing Summer

by Cole Parker

When you're 13, almost 14, you do not want to spend your summer inside, on the couch, broken. It's especially cruel if you can hear your buds outside having fun just being boys, free to do as they like, and having a blast doing it.

And here I am stuck on this damn couch. I'd be going crazy except for my cellphone and my dog, Otto. Otto has one admirable trait that I never appreciated fully before the accident: he sleeps a lot. I mean, a lot! I'm supposed to keep my leg slightly elevated, and Otto is perfectly obliging about supporting both my leg and spirits.

It's amazing the difference it makes, being alone and not being alone. Otto is right there with me, even if he's slumbering away in that doggy way of his. Not a worry in the world. Rabbits and raw steaks might be galloping through his dreams. Certainly not the accident. That's what wants to keep running through mine. Both asleep and awake dreams.

But I have my phone to distract me. Thank God for that! What did boys do before they had those? My dad says he used to read books when he was laid up for whatever. Books! On PAPER. Can you imagine?

At least I don't have to do that. I can remain in touch with the world with my phone.

Did they have books that had all the stuff I can get on my phone? Probably not. I don't see how they could have. But, even if they did, they wouldn't have had it in color with live action. That phone is a lifesaver. I probably spend too much time on some sites, but what else am I supposed to do?

So when both dad and mom are at work, I can lie on the couch and not be nearly as bored as I'd be otherwise. Not have to spend so much time remembering the accident. I don't like thinking about that, either the accident itself or what came next. Not even the unhappy but thankfully short period of time when I couldn't even use my hands for much.

My phone takes my mind off all of it and onto better things. More interesting, exciting things. Uh, getting right down to it, arousing things. Yeah. Those things.

It's warm in the house, and we don't have air conditioning. So I barely get dressed at all, which is fine as it prepares me for some of what I do during the day while lying on that couch to keep from being bored. But there is a problem. I have this special kind of underwear made for people with leg casts. You can't slip underwear over a cast like I have. At least not easily, unless the underwear is so loose there's not much point in having it on. And I prefer boxer briefs; there's no way to dress in those with a cast. So I have special ones that have Velcro in the back. Pull open the Velcro and the entire back opens up and the underwear comes off, legs and all.

And I need to remove it a few times during the day or I'd have stains I couldn't really explain. Well, not to my mom. My dad would understand. Sure he would. He was a boy once, and he even talked to me about this sort of thing, the sort of thing Mom would be shocked to hear about. But my mom comes home first. She'd see the stains. Maybe want to help me change to a clean pair. No way! She's not seeing me naked. I'm really bashful that way. I don't even like being in the showers at school. Hate it. So I have to take the damn underwear off to do what I do, which is a pain and requires rolling around and tugging at the Velcro behind me, and then, afterwards, I have to get 'em back on again.

I have a washrag I keep under a couch cushion.

But even with that wonderful distraction, I still manage to think about the accident. Can't help myself. I mean, I can only watch for so long other boys having the sort of fun I wish I could have. Seeing them cavorting makes me think how great it would be to be able to join in with them. But I can only practice that distraction a few times a day. The spirit is willing, the flesh not so much. I think I heard that somewhere. Sounded better how they said it.

But, when I'm not engaged that way, the memories return.

I've learned how to prolong the period I'm not thinking about the accident. With the distraction. I don't have to get the relief right away, something I did without much thought at first. Watch it, do it: that was my original technique. After not too long, though, I found it better to be patient, to put off the inevitable end. Yeah, I managed to watch and get, well, you know, how you get so often at my age without even trying and stay that way a long time. I could lie on the couch with my eyes almost shut, one of them on the phone, one looking down to see how what I was watching was affecting my body. I liked looking at it, how it stretched my underwear. There'd been growth in the past year that I was still getting used to.

When I can't wait any longer, when the need for relief is overpowering, well, Otto really doesn't need that much sleep, does he? All that rolling around I have to do to get ready so as not to leave stains wakes him up, and he jumps down and scratches himself. But he always comes back when I need a footrest again.

I sigh, but then realize I don't need to sigh. I'm not going to be bored for long today. But after the sigh, the memories return.

"Ryan, watch me pop an ollie!"

I try to show disdain. That's what we do. We work to make the impossible tricks we're trying to pull off look casual. Make our glee seem only casual when we succeed. That's being cool, something important at my age.

Phil grins. He knows my act. It's the same as his.

We haven't been skateboarding all that long. We're still in the learning stage. Simple stuff others do that looks natural and effortless just seems magical to us. The way they do it isn't just rad; it's sick. But Phil and I are at the same level, the bottom rung, so there's no embarrassment being total losers. That's good because I embarrass easily. Kids my age don't like to fail or even look awkward. Or to care. Hence the disdain. You can't be embarrassed about anything if you don't care much about it.

We're not ready for a skateboard park, one of those places some towns have built to keep hooligans like us—which is the typical adult opinion of us—off the streets. Those places are cool, but the boys there do all sorts of tricks and we can't really do any. Phil did an ollie, but it was his first, and the next three he tries fail miserably.

I'm working on riding up a curb from the street onto a sidewalk, and even that's difficult for me. But what do they say: no pain, no gain? I've certainly had the pain, even though I've got the protective gear. What, you think I'm stupid? And since most riders wear it, there's no humiliation having it on. Pads for elbows and knees, helmet, gloves; I'm all set, and I think I look pretty cool. I've got a decent body. I'm not wearing a shirt, only shorts, and they're kinda brief. I've grown since I was 12. I have more to show off now. Tight shorts, yeah, they show there's something underneath them. I've even seen Phil giving me a glance when he thinks I won't see.

This isn't for girls to admire, but I've never told anyone about that. Not even Dad. We're close, but, well, I've never told anyone. I'm still getting used to accepting it myself. Accepting what it means. I accepted that I was this way a long time ago. I don't mind, but I don't want to deal with any negativity yet.

When approaching a curb, you have to press down on the back of the board to raise the front wheels higher than the curb. The videos make it look so easy, so natural. Let me explain something: nothing, absolutely nothing, is easy on a skateboard till you learn to do it.

So why am I so eager to learn? Well, lots of cute boys my age are into it. Very cute boys. They wear oversized shirts, have long mops of unruly hair, slim bodies, low-hanging pants, and, well, that's as good a reason as any to take up skateboarding.

Some of these boys, hopefully some of the dead-cute ones, have to be gay. It only makes sense. There are many more boys than girls skateboarding, and the boys hang together, and, well, that's why I'm into it. If you want candy, you go to a candy store. If you want boys, you go where the boys are. Doesn't take a brainiac to see that.

I'm not all that cute myself. Okay-looking, I guess. My mom says I'm cute as a button, whatever that means—hey, I've seen buttons—and if she ever said it in front of my friends . . . no, I can't even think about that without . . . no, just no! But, her telling me I'm cute is meaningless mom-talk. I know what I look like. Ordinary. At least I don't have acne. Some of my friends do. I do have just a bit of hair growing where's it's supposed to be growing. I haven't decided if I like that or not. My voice has broken. That happened pretty quickly. Not too many chirps like some of my friends. I did mention hating to be embarrassed, didn't I? Your voice squeaking is a dead giveaway that your body is changing, and I don't want people thinking about that, thinking about all the stuff that might be changing.

Okay, I know. That sort of conflicts with the shorts I'm wearing, which are meant to show that some things have changed. I can explain that. Boys my age are a mess of confusions, of contradictions. Of paradoxical oxymorons. Boys can be preposterous, implausible, impossible. So not wanting body changes to be seen and at the same time wanting one of the things that is changing to be noticed, to actually flaunt it? I'm a teenager. 'nough said.

Okay, I read that 'paradoxical oxymorons' phrase online when I was looking up something about adolescent boys and liked how it sounded. And I won't explain why I was looking up adolescent boys and then looking at pictures of them.

The internet is a great thing.

So, I'm practicing my ollie move to get up over a curb. I'm distracted by watching what Phil's doing. Phil's a few months younger than I am. He's got long, blond hair and no muscles to speak of, and his hair is only on his head. He's flat-chested, still has a soprano voice, and doesn't have the bulge I do, but he's dead cute and, even better, I think he's interested in me, though neither of us have said anything. I know he jerks off. We sort of mentioned that to each other, but being shy meant we weren't going to take it any further than that. We said it and then couldn't really meet each other's eyes and both blushed, and so while I'd have liked to say more, I didn't. I thought he wanted to say more, too, but I'm not the only one of us who's shy.

He's skateboarding semi-naked like I am, and I like looking at him. Sometimes, like at that very moment, it makes my bulge more pronounced. I'm thinking about that, wondering if he's noticed, but I should really, really be paying attention to the curb that's coming up fast.

At the very last second, I turn to look in front of me. Bam! I don't raise the front wheels enough. The board stops when the back wheels hit the curb. I don't.

I'm lucky . . . and I'm not. Lucky that the curb isn't separating the street from a sidewalk. Lucky that behind the curb is a grassy lawn. Lucky there's no gravel or cement or asphalt to land on.

Unlucky that there's a small tree right in front of me. Unlucky that as I'm sort of flying helter-skelter over the curb, arms and legs all over the place; my leg hits the trunk of the tree. Wham, just below the knee. Unlucky that I hit the ground with my foot sort of buckling under me and my wrists jamming into the ground in a futile attempt to keep my face from digging halfway to China.

I hit the tree and the ground hard. I guess I pass out. Only for a few seconds. But when the blackness changes into a universe of sparkling glitter and my focus slowly returns, Phil is standing over me, looking terrified.

I start to be aware that something hurts. No, scratch that. Everything hurts. I don't think I scream, but maybe I do because Phil takes a step back. Then he says, "I called 9-1-1," his high voice pitched even higher.

I'm having trouble breathing. Maybe I landed on my back and knocked the air out of me. But no, I'm mostly on my stomach. I hear a siren in the distance. I think I'm crying, which would make sense as I've never felt pain like this before.

I somehow survive until the EMT truck pulls up. Two young guys come and look down at me.

"What hurts?" the younger one asks. Luckily, he doesn't touch me or, heaven forbid, try to move me. I'd pass out for sure. Although, that might not be too bad.

"My right leg and ankle," I say. My voice isn't my voice. I'm not sure whose it is, but mine doesn't sound like that.

"We have to immobilize the leg to move you. We'll just fix you up with an air cast. Does anything else hurt? Your back? Arms? Body? Anything?"

"Maybe," I say, trying not to scream. "The pain in my leg might be covering it up." I stop to try to do an inventory. "Oh, yeah. Both wrists hurt. I think I jammed them."

The younger one nods to the other one. The younger one is really handsome, but I don't even notice. Well, more cute than handsome, I decide, trying hard to push the pain out of me, trying to distract myself. Cute, I decide. I still hurt, though.

The older one comes back with a board with handles on the sides and a large, rolled-up piece of plastic they tell me is an inflatable cast. Moving me as little as they can, they unroll the plastic and manage to slide it under and around my leg from my toes almost up to my bulge. As far as I can tell, there's no bulging going on at the moment.

They pump air into the plastic and I feel pressure build around my leg and ankle. I thought that would be excruciating, but it isn't. It doesn't ease the pain much but just enough that I don't feel like I'm about to pass out, which is what I was feeling. I'm glad my foot isn't still bent under me as it was when I first landed. Somehow it has come loose. If they'd had to straighten that . . . I don't want to think about that.

They have to get me into the truck, and they ask Phil to help. He's still looking pale and shaky but says he will. They tell him in precise detail what they're going to do and what he has to do and then question him, and he repeats the instructions. Then they say something to Phil I don't want to hear.

"If he screams, don't be distracted; continue what you're doing. We'll tell you if you need to do something different. Only listen to us."

Then the cute one speaks to me. "We're going to lift you onto the board. We're not going to take a chance about any back issues by letting you sit up. We will turn you from your stomach to your back, but with the proper support. We'll set you down on the board on your back. You'll probably feel some pain during this. But it'll only be for about three seconds. Can you manage three seconds? A boy as strong as you are?"

What is he, nuts? NO! I'm already hurting enough for three people. I didn't want any seconds of more pain. Even one second would be too much. But I know what he's doing. He's daring me to be brave. Daring me to not show him how chicken I am.

He doesn't wait for an answer. He looks at Phil again. "I'll count to three. We start at the three, not a second after three. You ready?"

Phil nods. I hear, "One, two, and then nothing else because on three someone screams, blocking off the sound of the word. It may be me.

He's right. Three seconds, and there's definitely more pain. I don't bother to count the seconds. I'm too busy vocalizing my displeasure. Okay, I was screaming like a girl again.

They lay me on the board. Phil keeps my leg supported during the transfer. Then into the truck I go. They tell Phil which hospital I'm being transported to and drive me away. I imagine him watching us standing on that unforgiving curb.

I'd heard there are usually long waits in the emergency room, but that evidently isn't true when you're brought in by the EMT guys. They take me straight into the emergency-room area of the hospital, not reception, and in the hallway I'm transferred from the backboard to a gurney. That's not fun, but they are as gentle as they can be, and actually the pain isn't quite so bad now with the air cast on. My wrists still hurt, though, perhaps more noticeably because of the reduced pain down below. I find they hurt much less if I don't move them at all.

From the gurney, two orderlies take me into a large room with lots of beds. The beds are in spaces—cubicles, I guess they could be called—that have curtains on runners that can be opened or closed. The cubicle I'm taken to has the curtains open, probably to make moving the next occupant—in this case, me—onto the bed there easier.

"We have to prepare you for the doctor," one of the orderlies says. He's young, almost as young as the EMT guy was, the cute one. This guy is good-looking, too. Enough that I'd spare him an extra glance if I walked past him in a mall. What's with it with the medical profession? Is being attractive a condition of employment? And why am I even noticing, the pain I'm in? That may be less agonizing now, but it's still clawing at me.

I see why it's orderlies and not nurses that bring me in. They have to move me from the gurney to the bed. To do that, they stand on either side of me and grab the sheet I'm on. "Here we go," the cute one says. They lift me high enough so one of them can move to the other side of the bed, and then lower me onto it. Even thought they do it gently, it's not fun again, but at least I didn't scream this time.

Then they both pick up some weird looking bent scissors.

"Hey!" I say.

The cute one—he's evidently the spokesman or has seniority or something—says, "I told you. You have to be ready for the doc. Don't worry; we do this all the time."

Then they start cutting off my clothes! Well, my shorts. That's all I'm wearing other than shoes and socks. They remove those, too, along with the gloves and pads.

I'm protesting about the shorts, but they don't stop until I'm absolutely naked. Totally nude. Uncovered.

I believe I mentioned I'm shy. I don't even like boys my age seeing me, even if we all look a lot alike. I certainly don't like two guys about ten years older than me staring at my junk. Not because I'm into guys that age but because they'll be judging me and, well, part of my shyness is a confidence problem; I don't want either men or women, boys or girls seeing what I never want anyone to see. These guys, who knows, maybe their junk is twice as big as mine. Or maybe not, but it isn't their junk I'm thinking about. It's mine, right there for them to look at. It's just lying there, exposed for all the world to see. I think I must be blushing like ripe raspberries.

They pretend they aren't looking at it, but I can see they are at times. Running their eyes over my body. Smiling. Well, maybe that's what they do, smile at patients to make them feel better, like they have nothing to worry about. Looking at my private parts and smiling doesn't make me feel better, however.

Then they let the air out of my air cast and when it's flat, slide it out from under me. A lot of the pain I felt earlier is reawakened in a flash.

"The doc will be here soon," the cute one says as he puts a hand that's probably meant to be comforting on my good leg about halfway between my knee and crotch and squeezes it gently. Then they walk out. Only after they're gone, while I'm figuring out how to deal with this resurgent pain, do I realize they didn't shut the curtains. Anyone walking by can see me. Way too much of me. All, in fact.

And I have another worry. The latest jolt of pain, the lack of privacy and with it the idea I might be seen, and though I have a hard time believing it, that hand on my thigh and the squeeze, are generating a response. Or is it that there's air movement in here from the A/C that's blowing across me? Whatever, I'm starting to grow. Maybe the pain has lowered my already-pretty-weak control in that area. Is it possible to get a boner when you're hurting?

Obviously, it is. And I can do nothing to stop it! I begin to move my hands up to cover it, but the pain in my wrists stops me. The doc does come in soon, in less than a minute, but by then, I'm almost fully hard and mostly upright.

He takes a look at me, all of me, and then ignores the elephant in the room—or at least its trunk. But it doesn't matter because when he starts feeling my knee, upper leg and ankle, gently but thoroughly, my question is answered. It's now proven that you can't be hard when your pain is excruciating. I yell and shrink. He gives me a shot for the pain. A light one, he says. It does hit the pain right away and lowers it to a manageable level.

He says I need X-rays and that he'll have the orderlies take me there. He walks out. I don't think to tell him to close the curtains and by the time I do, he's gone. I think the pain is affecting my head, making my thinking slow.

The same two orderlies show up and move me back to the gurney because, they say, while the bed is movable, it takes too long to have to unhook all the wires and tubes it's attached to and the doc wants the pictures of me stat. I guess that means right away. They wheel me out, down a hall toward the X-ray room. I'm still naked! No one thought to throw a sheet over me! Maybe in a hospital being nude isn't a big deal. Maybe these people see nude guys all the time. But it's a big deal to me! I feel so extraordinarily exposed. At least I'm not hard, and the pain does seem to have fallen away a degree or two now with the shot and because the doc has stopped his poking and prodding. But the reduced pain doesn't do anything for the embarrassment I feel riding around through the halls lying there completely naked.

We pass by people, mostly nurses, and they can see all they want to see. Mostly they don't even look at me. That's probably good because I'm blushing so hard they'd think I'm about to stroke out. I do pass by one girl, high school age, who's wearing a visitor's badge. She does look, opens her eyes wider, then blushes and looks away. All I can think is, I'm glad it was a girl! But a boy probably wouldn't look away, and he'd almost certainly catch more than an eyeful, and if he were a cute boy—oh my God! He'd see me, I'd see him, and I'd start growing, and his eyes would widen and—no!. No more thinking about it! Just thinking it is starting to cause a problem.

The room we enter has an X-ray machine hanging overhead. The X-ray tech is another young man. He does look. Longer than he needs to. Then he tells me what he's going to do, and though I've never heard anyone speak like he does, I immediately get the idea that this must be what is meant by the word 'effeminate'. And the idea that effeminate sometimes means gay finds it way through my ears, down my spine, and into the part he's looking at so thoroughly. The fact that he's not looking at my face while talking to me and the idea he may be gay has the effect I was hoping the shot would prevent. It didn't. I start to thicken again.

"Oh, dear," he says, and I can hear something in his voice, something that sounds almost like yearning. "We'll have to do something about that. I need to put a leaded apron over your penis and testicles so the X-ray won't damage them, and with your penis getting hard and sticking up like it is, way up, the apron isn't going to lie flat. Hmm. What can we do here? Should we just wait and watch it and see what's what?"

He's enjoying this! Here I am naked and in pain, though not feeling as much now, and he's happy as a clam. Well, maybe a better simile would be as a tomcat on the prowl among some eager, seductive lady cats. In any case, he's not doing anything about my problem, and what can I do? Suggest he jerk me off? I don't think so! I'm still shy. And I want to get this over with.

"No, we shouldn't," I say. "Why don't you try the apron? Maybe it'll be okay." That's me, telling the professional how to do his job. So maybe I'm just a little miffed.

"Okey-dokey," he says in that perplexing, evocative voice, wearing an ear-to-ear grin. He picks up the apron and sets it down over what needs covering. Except he misses his target. How is that possible? But he does. He lays it across my stomach.

He tut-tuts and says, "Oops; missed. Well, I'll just have to adjust it." He takes hold of the apron and begins dragging it slowly down my body, nearing my extension. Unfortunately, that's now curving up over my stomach, pointing more at my chin than my toes. He knows how to fix that problem without even asking, though. Instead of asking permission, he wraps one hand around the interference, gives it a gentle squeeze, then another, adjusts his grip on it more than is necessary, and bends it back so it's no pointing toe-ward.

Then he holds it in that position and begins dragging the apron down again with his other hand. He drags it right over the part that's still not horizontal. Right over its sensitive head.

I sort of jerk, and he giggles.

He continues the slow descent of the apron till it's in its proper place. The weight of it does hold me down enough that he says, "I think this'll work. Just let me check." He runs his hand under the apron and basically feels me up for a while—which seems entirely unrelated to taking X-rays to me—and, of course, quickens my breathing and gets me even harder. It's like I'm trying my best to lift the apron while not touching it with my hands. Eventually he tires of fondling me and says everything's fine.

He takes X-rays of my knee, my ankle and my leg from the knee down. He calls this stuff the patella, the tibia and the fibula. Then he takes shots of both wrists and my back. When he's done, he asks me to wait, checks the images and says we're good to go. He pulls off the apron, this time dragging his hand over my junk in the process. It's softened during the procedure, and now stiffens again, but only slightly. He watches and sighs. Then he calls for the orderlies, and they come to wheel me back to my cubicle. They see me about half hard but don't comment, though one turns to look at the tech, who just shrugs and grins. I ask for a sheet to cover myself with. They can't find a sheet but do locate a small towel, drape that over the parts that count, and we're off.

Whew! Maybe I'm done with all this exposure.

They get me back in the bed in the ER cubicle, and the cute one says the doc'll be back in a few. Then he removes the towel.

"Hey!" He'd probably think that was the extent of my vocabulary if he hadn't heard me asking for the sheet.

"The doc gets pissed if he has to remove anything the patient has on. Chews me out, and I don't need that. Besides, you have no reason to hide that." He nods at my embarrassment. "Wish I'd looked like that at your age." He winks at me, and they leave.

So I'm lying here, and his last remark so distracts me I forget to tell him to close the curtains. Nurses walk by. So does a visitor and a boy a year of so younger than I am. He sees me and stops. He stares at me. Well, part of me. I doubt very much that if I were ever in a police lineup that he'd be able to ID me unless they asked us all to pull down our trousers. And briefs. Then he'd have no problem at all picking me out.

He lingers. "Enjoying yourself?" I ask.

I don't think he understands sarcasm—or does but simply is able to ignore it.

He finally looks up at my face. Briefly. "Am I going to be that big in a couple of years?" he asks.

Okay, I haven't mentioned it other than perhaps suggesting it now and again, but I am kind of large. I want to add 'for my age', but with the comments I've heard today and the actions of the X-ray tech, maybe I don't have to. Maybe I'm just kind of large, period.

But what do I say to a kid whose eyes are no longer on my face?

I decide. "You'll be whatever you're meant to be. What's important is whether it works or not. If it does, then the size isn't all that important."

He grins at me. "It works fine."

"There you go, then." I grin back at him.

The doc comes in, checks the X-rays, and tells me I have a hairline crack in my fibula and tendon and ligament damage but nothing that will require surgery. Other than the fracture, my ankle sprain is the most significant; the wrist strains are the least significant, even if painful. My knee was hyper-extended and should be supported, but as I can't be up on my leg till the crack has healed, it won't need to be immobilized. "That's good," he says, "because then you'd need a lot more therapy to get it bending again, and it would be painful. This way, you can still bend it, and I strongly recommend you do that."

But I'm not to put any weight on my ankle or leg. I need to be on my bed or a couch. He says he'll have them give me crutches, and I can use those to be mobile after my wrists are healed enough to use them. He thinks a couple of weeks or even a bit less and they'd be fine again.

He says I shouldn't use my hands for much of anything while the wrists are healing as bending them will slow the healing process, and most anything I do with my hands will result in flexing the wrists.

Then he looks me in the eyes. "I know boys your age have a need to use your hands to satisfy urges. My advice is, don't. Either stay away from that—" he nods at what's still uncovered "—or find a friend to help. Otherwise, it'll take twice to three times longer for your wrists to heal, and you won't be able to begin with the crutches. You'll be completely off your feet all that time."

He doesn't ask if I have a friend, a close friend, who can help me that way. Too much information, I guess, or outside his area of expertise.

I'm still shy, but the thought of going weeks and not getting off is disconcerting, to say the least, and very depressing. I'm used to twice-a-day pleasure! This is important, and I think of a way to broach the subject to him. "I've never done anything with another boy," I say, "but, well, this is sort of an emergency, isn't it? So couldn't I ask a friend, using the emergency fact as an excuse?"

He looks like he's fighting off a smile. Maybe he's human after all. "I think we could call it that. But, you know, it doesn't have to be a boy. A girl could do just as proficient a job if you train her right." Then he winks at me. "But, if it's to be a boy, I guess you'll find out who your real friends are. And you wouldn't need to do much training at all!"

He tells me I'll be taken to the orthopedics department and have the leg and wrists taken care of.

The orthopedics department also has cubicles where people are treated. I get a woman. She's young and pretty, and my shyness takes over big time. The orderly who pushes me from the ER to this department had covered me with my towel at my request. It doesn't seem like nearly enough covering, but they do things their way in a hospital, and you don't have all that much say in matters, at least not when you're a kid.

The ortho doc comes in, looks at my X-rays, then at my chart, and then smiles at me. "Hi, Ryan. I'm Doctor Stroh. Our tech will be fitting you with a cast. It'll be from your foot up to just below your knee. You'll be wrapped over your knee to halfway up your thigh and fitted with a knee brace. We'll wrap your wrists, too, but those wraps will come off soon. You can be the judge of when. When you can flex your wrists with no pain, you won't need the wraps any longer. Now, let's look at you."

And saying that, she removes the towel.

I blush like crazy. I didn't mind the girl visitor so much; it was brief and she looked away; but this is a nice, friendly lady, and I've always been shy around women. She is looking me over, and there I am. Open for inspection.

And she doesn't just inspect. She handles. She speaks as she does it, but still, she touches me. Touching my thighs more than anything else. At least she isn't prodding my bad lower leg. "I need to check the musculature here," she says, not sounding a bit embarrassed as she thoroughly squeezes and massages my upper thigh. "I know boys your age can be just a bit shy, but I've seen hundreds of guys your age. It's just part of my job. I need to know how tight to make the wraps."

Just her job, maybe, but I'm not used to this, and she is squeezing my thigh, and moving upward towards the goods as she does so, and I can't really see where her eyes are focused. And there I go again; I can't help it. She is nice and pretty and I like her and she is almost to the point of touching more than my thigh. Up I rise, and not slowly this time. I'm blushing so hard, it's surprising there's enough blood in my body to erect what is erecting, but erecting it certainly is.

She looks at it, watches it grow, then turns her eyes to me. "This happens all the time. Now I've seen it, so no reason when you're with me to be shy any longer or to try to hide it. I'll ignore it and you can, too. You just look like you're a good, healthy boy to me. If this happens again, or if it remains erect for a while, don't worry about it. I'll be concentrating on your treatment."

She finally finishes squeezing my thighs. Then she uses the towel I came with to cover my upwardly mobile shyness. It looks a bit grotesque to me, rather like an half-open umbrella or a tall, skinny mushroom. She has her cast expert come to see me and tells her what is needed.

The tech has to apply the cast and the wrapping and the brace. She gets busy without even talking to me. She's an older woman, way older than the doc, probably about ready to retire from how she looks to me. She leaves wrapping my knee and thigh and the brace to last. I've softened by then. To do this final stuff, she removes the towel, gives my junk a glance, then returns her eyes to it again. "Wow," she says.

Damn it! That's all it takes and I'm off again. She watches, which pisses me off but doesn't have any effect on the show I'm giving her. When maximum growth has been reached, she says, "Humph," or a word like that, then, "boys!" in a dismissive and perhaps disgusted voice and goes back to work. The towel has been discarded and she doesn't bother to find and replace it.

That was about it at the hospital. They did issue me a pair of crutches and undershorts that had Velcro holding them together. I could put them on and take them off without dragging them up my legs past the cast. That resulted in more embarrassment, though, because another girl, one young and shy enough that I figured she was a candy striper, had to show me how to do it, and instead of using a manikin, she used me. I guess my dick was in rebellion by now. Before today, it was kind of used to getting hard and then being used for what was its intended purpose. It had been doing its part all day by getting itself up and ready, and I hadn't done mine, thereby allowing it to eventually soften. Now it seemed to have noticed my neglect and be saying, 'the hell with you!' It stayed soft the whole time I was being fitted with the shorts, even though she couldn't help brushing it a time or two, blushing again each time she did. Thank goodness for that; it was a great relief to me and perhaps to her, too, that it was quiescent. But while I was taking what she was doing in stride, well, as much as I could, it was easy to see those involuntary blushes of hers when making contact.

Phil was my first visitor at home. I was on my bed. I'd told my dad I wanted to spend my days on the couch in the family room. The TV and game system were both there, and I wouldn't be isolated from the family. No way was I going to spend the summer in my room.

But this was my first day home, and I was in bed. I'd slept late, and Dad was already at work. I wouldn't be on my crutches for at least a week yet, maybe two, and so I was stuck in bed. I had a glass of water and a bedpan. Not looking forward to using it at all. I wouldn't be moving to the family room till tomorrow, and even then, certain bodily functions were intended for the bathroom, not the family room. Especially for a shy boy.

You'd think that hospital visit would have cured me of being shy, but it hadn't.

Phil came in without knocking. He is just suddenly standing in my doorway.

"Hi," he says, sounding very tentative. "Your dad told me just to come in, that you'd be the only one here and couldn't come to the door. He left the back door unlocked for me."

He grins at me. I love his grin. In fact, it causes some stirring. That could be because I'm used to getting off two or three times a day and haven't at all for a whole day now. It was late when I left the hospital, and I'd been given another shot for pain, and then I'd simply been put into bed by my dad and fallen asleep immediately.

"Hi. Am I glad to see you. It's ten in the morning my first day home, and I'm already so bored I'm going crazy."

"You feeling all right now?"

"No, but I'm not in any real pain any longer, just some soreness. Bored and restless and, well, just getting used to what I can't do for a while yet."

"Like what?"

"Like get up and take a leak. Most natural thing in the world. We don't even think about it. We just walk into the bathroom, pull it out and have at it. I can't do that now. Now I have to go into a bedpan while mostly lying down. Then I have to wait for someone to empty it. I hate this. I haven't had to take a crap yet, but that's going to be even worse."

"How long till you can get up on the crutches?"

"Maybe two weeks. Or less. The doctor said I had to let my wrists heal. Hey, you know what he said? Get this: no jerking off! It might hurt my wrists!"

As soon as I said that, I realized what it might sound like to him. I'd only said it because it had been pretty shocking to me that a doctor would even think of that or that he'd then say it. I told Phil because that's the kind of lewd, suggestive thing teens like to talk to each other about. But this was kind of suggestive in a way I hadn't intended.

Phil doesn't say anything, just looks at me, and then his grin turns into a smile. But what he says doesn't seem to have anything to do with what I'd just said.

"You were really hurting when you left here. What was it like?"

"The pain, you mean? It was awful."

"No, I mean being in the hospital. I've never been in one that I can remember."

"Weird! I guess I can tell you. I wouldn't tell anyone else, but you're like me, a little shy, and so you can relate to this and not think I was an ass. I can tell you how it all felt, and I think you'll empathize." So, I tell him about being naked and everyone seeing me, and how I kept getting hard and people seeing that, too, and about the X-ray guy, and Doctor Stroh and the candy striper.

His eyes have grown about three sizes, hearing this. And I think he's gotten hard. I can see a distinct bulge.

He's quiet for a moment, then says, "And the doctor told you not to jerk off. What are you going to do?"

So it's up to me. Shy me. How bold can I be?

"He actually said jerking off was okay, but not to do it myself as it could delay my wrists healing. Then he said it was okay if I had someone to help me."

"He said that!" Phil doesn't know where to look. Anywhere but at me, it seems. He can't stand still, either. He goes for a walk. My room isn't large enough for that, so making a circuit or two doesn't take long.

"Would you want that? You said you were shy. Me, too, you said. And you were right. Are you asking me to help? You want me to, uh, you know?"

I wait till his eyes are meeting mine. "I wouldn't object. It is an emergency, like the doctor said. And, I mean, the whole world has seen me hard now. Why shouldn't my best friend?"

"But it's more than seeing, isn't it?" He says this with an entirely straight face. He's looking at me with an intensity that isn't like him, and he's frowning. But he can't hold it. It's like the sun and moon both come out together, the way his face lights up. But then he frowns again and tries to sound serious. "Uh, what's in it for me? You can't reciprocate. This would be very one-sided, and that would seem weird."

"Hey, I'm the one hurting here. You can get all the relief you want. I can't. This is about me, remember." I try to sound mad, angry even, but can't manage it and break out laughing. He's obviously enjoying this, so I can, too.

"I am shy. You know that." He's sounding very adult again. "I'm shyer than you are. But I'm also in a great negotiating position here, and I'd be a fool to give it up that easily. Yeah, you need help. Yeah, I can provide it. But that won't always be the case, and even now, just talking here, there are possibilities we haven't explored. So, we could talk about things that could be done down the road when you're healthy enough to even the score—or we might talk about what's available now. You know—uninjured body parts."

I can only think of one thing I can do now that he might be suggesting, and that thought results in some stress on my Velcro. Pretty serious, heavy-duty stress, actually. Something waking up and wanting attention.

"Are you suggesting what I think you're suggesting?"

He grins again. "Just opening the door to a discussion. And to see which of us is shyer. I think I'm on the same wavelength you are about what's possible, but we're about to find out for sure about who's shyer, huh?"

So, down to me again. I don't hesitate. "I think you're talking about me giving you a blow job."

He blushes. "Yeah, and you just proved I'm still shyer. I couldn't say that. Think it, yeah, but not say it. Maybe hope a little. But no, I'm not pushing that. Not even requesting it. That would be taking advantage." He pauses and his voice changes when he speaks again. It's now his normal voice, and there's friendship and closeness and even compassion in it. "I'll help you without asking for anything in return. Except I will get something, you know. I'll probably like doing it almost as much as you do. I've been thinking about you and me for a long time now. I've even imagined that maybe you feel the same way. Uh, are you, like, ready right now?" He gives me a very nervous giggle, then says, "I am."

I am, too. And I want to see him naked, too. I want him to see me. I want a whole lot more than I am able to do right now. But I do have a consoling thought. We have all summer. And it's not going to be nearly as boring as I'd thought it'd be.

That was how the accident and the day after it went. The summer was much better than I'd believed it would be. Not boring at all! But only a week after I got to know Phil a whole lot better than I had before, he had to go with his family for a two-week vacation. Today he was returning.

By now, my wrists are fine, so I don't need him so badly. Don't need—but want. Want very badly. We've become much more than best friends. So here I am, on the couch, listening to the kids outside, watching a little porn on my phone, but mostly killing time. Phil is coming back today! I'm more than ready. Otto will have to find somewhere else to sleep.


This story is part of the 2022 story challenge "Inspired by a Picture: Crashing Bore". The other stories may be found at the challenge home page. Please read them, too. The voting period of 17 Dec ember 2021 to 7 January 2022 is when the voting is open. This story may be rated, below, against a set of criteria, and may be rated against other stories on the challenge home page.

The challenge was to write a story inspired by this picture:

2022 Inspired by a Picture Challenge - Crashing Bore

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A Blushing Summer

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