A Box, a Woman and Time Ch. 01byLavared©
You were just an average Joe, working an eight-to-five desk job, driving through traffic each morning and again each evening, coming home to a wife who never neglected to remind you of your many shortcomings.
The change began that morning at breakfast when you said you needed to run some errands. You had no particular place in mind but felt the need to get out of the house and go... somewhere.
It had been a rough week, both at work and at home. But there was more to it; a sudden wanderlust, a desire to get into your car and drive forever, putting hundreds, maybe thousands, of miles between you and the sad reality of your life.
So you rushed out the door, literally dashing through it before the claustrophobia of spending another second at home could overwhelm you.
You drove with no destination in mind and tried to figure out exactly where this feeling of intense dissatisfaction was coming from. You were surprised when you realized that you were heading into the city. Not your city – The City. You wondered why your subconscious mind decided to go there but not enough to pull off the highway.
It seemed almost preordained.
The hours pass quickly and you are surprised to see the exit signs that will take you directly into the heart of the city. You drive past exits, one after another, with no sense of regret or urgency. An unmemorable song is on the radio and as you sing along with it you find yourself off the highway and driving down a street you know you have never seen before in your life. Yet you are strangely calm. With no conscious thought you maneuver through twists and turns into a completely foreign neighborhood where you stop at last in front of an abandoned warehouse near the river.
You turn the key and the radio and engine stop. It is quiet. You step out of the car and look up and down the street. There is no sign of life anywhere: no people, no cars, no birds or vapor trails in the sky and no sounds except for your own breathing and the wind.
This should be eerie.
You know that you should be afraid of this unknown, decrepit area, but again, strangely, you are completely at ease and unconcerned.
The abandoned warehouse is tall and wide with a dwarfed door just in front of where you parked your car. You walk to the door and pull it open, knowing that it will not be locked. The inside of the building is cavernous and totally empty except for a lone desk set incongruously in the middle of the huge floor. A desk lamp casts a small pool of yellow light in the center of the surrounding darkness.
There is a figure behind the desk. You walk purposefully across the dust strewn floor, your footsteps echoing up and into the vast area above. Behind the desk is a nondescript shape.
Man? Woman? You're not certain. While the uncertainty would normally drive you crazy, it seems unimportant.
You are where you are supposed to be. They are where they are supposed to be.
A box appears on the desk. It was not there earlier, no one has moved but there is the box where it wasn't before.
The figure behind the desk does not speak.
You pick up the box. It is neither large nor small; colorful nor dull; pristine nor shabby...yet it is surprisingly heavy. And it is meant for you.
It feels right. But you are puzzled about the nature of the box itself. "What am I supposed to do with this?" you ask.
"What will happen when I open it?"
YOU WILL BE ELSEWHERE
You consider this for a moment. It sounds oddly reasonable.
"What will happen to me there?"
ALL DESIRES KNOWN AND UNKNOWN
"Will it be dangerous?"
YOU WILL LEARN YOUR OWN NATURE
You look down at the box in your hands and then back up. Curiosity is beginning to reassert itself and you ask another question.
"How do I get back from th...?"
You are in your own driveway and the shadows are long. Somehow an entire day has passed but you have only the vaguest recollection of it except that the box is yours: your box, your prize, your feared yet wonderful possession. Tucking it under your arm you walk jauntily up the steps and into the house, knowing from hard-earned experience you'll be grilled at length about your long absence. You hide the box in the farthest corner of the coat closet and walk, whistling, into the kitchen, your memory of the day already faded as you consider what to make for dinner.
The opportune moment comes the next Saturday when your wife leaves for the afternoon to visit a new friend. A rare moment of solitude is upon you and your first thought is to open the mysterious box. You peer out the front window until you see her car disappearing from sight, and then hurriedly open the coat closet. The box is there, still hiding beneath the steps, waiting for you.
You pull it out and carry it to the kitchen where you place it on the wooden table. There is no discernable means of opening it, no lid or seam or hole mars its smooth surface.
But you remember the instructions clearly: OPEN IT so there must be a way.
You briefly consider using scissors or a knife to cut through it but feel strongly that doing so would break the covenant you have with the... being who gave it to you and with the box itself.
You pick it up and carefully check every side but to no avail.
"This is ridiculous." you mutter in exasperation, "What am I supposed to do, say 'Open Sesame'?"
You sit for a moment, your heart racing as you prepare to look inside. You can't remember ever having had such an intense feeling of excitement and apprehension in your life. Slowly, you rise from the kitchen chair and peer over the sides into the box. There is something within but you can't quite make it out so you lean in for a closer look and see what appears to be a...
You are in a hallway. The floor is freshly waxed and the long beige hallway is dotted on either side with large wooden doors. A green rail runs along the walls. At the end of the hallway is a grouping of equipment: tall metal tubes on casters, collapsed wheelchairs and gurneys. It's a hospital. Your mind can't grasp the sudden change from your kitchen to these new surroundings and you look down, fully expecting to find yourself naked and in an uncomfortable dream, but instead you find yourself clothed in your normal work clothes with the addition of a tie, lab coat and stethoscope. Only now do you realize that you are standing near a nurses' station. There is a bustle of activity there and your first thought is to get away before they realize that you don't belong.
But just as you turn to head for the elevators a young nurse accosts you.
"Dr. James!" she cries. "Dr. James, we've been looking for you!"
She rushes towards you as you stare dumbly at her. Her hand grasps your arm and she pulls you back towards the nurses' station. With sinking heart you follow her, feeling that you have stepped into a play and are the only actor who doesn't know their lines but more fearful of causing a scene by trying to escape than of going along with her. She leans over the counter of the station, affording you a glance at her shapely legs as her white cotton dress rides up her thighs. When did they start wearing those white uniforms again?
"Here it is, Dr. James, her chart."
"Thank you." You take it from her and pretend to peruse it. Shortly you find that you can make some sense of it. Some of the notes are legible and you begin to become interested in the story that unfolds as you read on.
Name: Anne Morella Leighton
Date of admission: June 14, 1964 My God she's been in here a long time.
Primary diagnosis: Paraplegic
Severe trauma to spinal cord caused when patient was thrown from vehicle in an automobile accident in 1953.
Treatment: Physical therapy to maintain muscle mass. Occasional use of Thorazine to combat depression.
Prognosis: No positive outcome likely.
"It's Betty, sir."
"Nurse Betty," You begin and snort as her name hits you. You look at her, expecting her to smile ruefully at the combination of her occupation and name but she looks back, only innocence and earnestness in her blue-grey eyes.
"Nurse Betty. I'm not a physical therapist at least I hope I'm not supposed to be one and there is nothing I can do for Mrs. ..."
"..Miss Leighton. I'm sorry more than you know because you are one incredibly sexy bundle of womanhood and I'd love a chance to spend more time with you but you'll need to contact her regular doctor."
"But Dr. James, he called you in because your special treatment is her only chance. The successes you've had with your European patients have brought hope to us all. Dr. Young showed all of us the article about you in The Lancet. It was a miracle, Doctor, a miracle, and that's why... oh please... she's so good and it is heartbreaking to see her always so sad...please help her, Dr. James." Betty's eyes are swimming with tears and you fight the urge to pull her into your arms and kiss them away.
You sigh. Damn she's pretty. And you're susceptible to women's tears. Plus you're starting to feel like a real shit, even though you know you can't possibly perform any kind of miracle with someone who's been paralyzed from the waist down for over fifty years. Oh well, what can it hurt to walk in and talk to her for a few minutes?
"Lead the way nurse."
Betty leads you down to the end of the hallway. As you walk you admire her neatly coiled brown hair what's with the stupid cap? and mentally remove her crisp uniform. A very pleasant picture forms in your mind. Just as you're slipping off her white lace panties she stops in front of the farthest room bringing your fantasy to a sudden halt. She opens the door for you and then follows you into the room.
No lights are on and the cloudy day has the room much darker than the bright hallway so it takes a moment for your eyes to adjust. There is a woman, sitting in a wheelchair, with her back to you as she gazes out the window. Her hair is unbound, long, and red instead of the silver you expected. She wheels the chair around to face you and you are looking at the most beautiful woman you have ever seen, more beautiful than you imagined a real woman could ever be; a creature so lovely that it literally takes your breath away. She is tall and willowy with milky white skin. Her red hair flows around her oval face, framing her brilliant sea-green eyes, falling past her rounded shoulders and down her slender body until it ends in gentle curls near her waist.
You cannot speak. Words, like breath, elude you as you stare in awe. Then you look into her eyes and see in their depths a profound sadness. It breaks the spell and you breathe again and remember that there is an entire world that is not just her loveliness. "Excuse me. I am looking for Anne Leighton. Have you seen her?"
"I am she."
"But..." The medical record stated that Anne was injured in an automobile crash in 1953. It is now 2005. She should be at least 50 some years old and your assumption from reading the chart was that she was an adult at the time of the accident. That would make her at least 70 but she appears to be a woman in her late twenties or early thirties. You glance over at Betty, Betty in her crisp white uniform, white cap, white hose and white nurse's shoes. It all begins to click into place.
"Miss Leighton - I need to ask you a few questions. Please don't be offended by these, they are very routine. What year is it, Miss Leighton?"
"It is January 27, 1966. Our president's name is Johnson. My first grade teachers name was Mrs. Haslett. Seven times nine is sixty-three and you have a tiny nick on the left side of your chin, probably from shaving this morning. I'm sorry, Doctor. I've been asked these questions so many times by so many different experts that I can recite them in my sleep. I don't mean to come across as sarcastic. You look like a very nice person. Please call me Anne."
She smiles at you warmly but her eyes are still tinged with sorrow. It makes you wish more than anything else to be able to erase that sadness.
You excuse yourself, grab Betty and pull her out into the hallway. She carefully closes the door. You lean back against it and look up towards the florescent lights that line the ceiling.
"Oh God, oh God this sucks. This sucks! What the fuck am I supposed to do?"
"Doctor," says Betty, quietly as she looks down in embarrassment. Her sweet face she is such an odd mixture of innocence and sexuality, like a modern day Messalina but with the eyes of an angel stops you. It is 1966 and obviously doctors aren't supposed to talk like this in front of nurses.
"Tell me what you know about my treatment. The specifics, Betty. Tell me everything you have read or heard."
"The article didn't give any real details on the treatment. It said that your treatment only works in cases like Anne's where the lower extremities react to stimuli but the messages are blocked from moving up the spinal cord to the brain. I remember that it involves a tactile sensory overload that can sometimes create a new pathway allowing the brain to once more feel sensations from below the point where the cord was damaged."
You are not a doctor. You have no degree, no medical knowledge; you don't even read the health articles in magazines. But you can't bear the thought of that exquisite woman being trapped in a wheelchair forever. And... you're here. The box unbelievable that you have almost completely forgotten about it and your other, real life and the change in time, everyone believing that you are some supposed expert – obviously there is some type of magic afoot. Maybe that magic, whatever it is, can work for you. Maybe it is even supposed to.
"Is there anything else you remember that you can tell me?"
Betty looks at you with an enigmatic expression that quickly passes before she begins. "Only that you do what you do best and it works."
You stand in silence for a few minutes and contemplate the meaning of her last sentence.
"Leave me alone with her for a while. I will press the button if I need you."
Anne is still by the window. When you return she looks up at you with interest but without much hope. You walk over and kneel before her, taking her slender hands in yours and looking into her green eyes. You could drown in the depths of those eyes but you have a job to do, and other features to explore. Carefully you explain that you are going to attempt to help her regain her feeling again below her waist. That you are going to do this by stimulating her in her most sensitive region. That you are a doctor and that she needn't fear or be ashamed of anything you do to her or that she feels.
She nods her assent.
"I am not afraid, Doctor, and I will not be ashamed of anything having to do with my body. I hope... oh this is embarrassing I guess because I hardly know you, but I hope you succeed, not just because I want to walk again and feel again but because... I want to feel that again too. It has been so very, very long."
You lift her gently from the wheelchair and lay her down on the bed. Standing next to her you run your right hand down the side of her face, her long neck, past her collar bones and rest it on her right breast. You begin to caress and squeeze it gently and lightly pinch her nipple, feeling it harden slightly even through her blouse. You put your other hand on her left breast so that you are caressing both. She watches you silently but her chest is rising and falling faster than before. Feeling her this way, through her clothing, knowing what you are about to do to her body turns you on immensely.
"I'm going to remove your shirt now, Anne, so I'll need you to sit up in a moment for me."
One by one you undo the buttons on the front of her blouse and then pull it open, revealing breasts which are small and tipped with rose-colored nipples. You rub your thumbs over her nipples and notice that she closes her eyes for a second when you do. Goosebumps rise on the skin of her breasts and her nipples tighten even more as you roll them between your fingers. She is breathing faster now and you can tell that she is going to be highly responsive to everything she feels. You lean down and lick her nipples, wetting them with your tongue and then blowing lightly across them, one after the other. Anne moans very softly.
With gentle pressure on her back you help her sit up. She lifts her arms to help you pull off her shirt. Her long red hair flows over her shoulders, nicely framing her petite breasts. You run a hand over them again. You're not a breast man but these are perfectly champagne glass shaped and the more-red-than-brown nipples are damned near irresistible.
Stepping closer towards the head of the bed you lift her thick hair off her back and push it to the side, revealing her long, elegant neck. You put one knee behind her on the bed and begin kissing her neck, cupping her breasts in your hands at the same time and pulling her in towards you. Her neck is warm and supple so you linger there a while. She tilts her head, offering herself more fully to you and moans again when you begin licking her ear. Her skin is incredibly soft and feels like velvet to your fingertips. You spend a long time touching her, running your hands over her neck, shoulders, arms and breasts and she leans in to your every touch.
You wonder if she is growing wet. Will her body be this responsive below the waist even if she can't feel it? You decide it is time to find out. There is an extra pillow on the window ledge. You put it on top of her regular pillow because you want her to be able to see and be aware of everything you do to her. You place a hand behind her back and lower her back down to the bed.
Slowly, very slowly, you pull down her skirt revealing her waist... hips... panties... thighs...until you have it fully removed. You hook your fingers inside the top of her panties and slowly ease them off her hips, down her legs and off her body. Then you spread her legs enough to see between them. For a moment you merely stand and admire her exquisite body. Her skin is smooth and the color of the palest cream, offset by the long red curls at the top and the short red curls between her long, slender legs. Unable to resist you run your fingers through the hair above her pussy. It is as soft and silky as the hair on her head. She watches you touch her without saying a word but her breasts are heaving and there is a sheen of moisture between them that you find extremely sexy.
From the foot of the bed you lean forward and rest your hands on her knees.
"Anne, I'm going to begin stimulating you below the waist now by touching you with my hands and my fingers and my lips, even with my tongue. I want you to watch carefully everything that I do to your body and imagine that you can feel it. When I touch you like this," you run a hand up her leg and over her pussy before returning it to her knee, "I want you to imagine that you can experience every sensation just as you could before the accident. But there is something else I need from you Anne. It is important that your upper body continues to undergo stimulation as well. So I want you to caress yourself. When I look up I want to see your hands on your breasts, doing whatever you know will make them feel good. Can you do that for me Anne?"
"Yes." She answers and moves her hands to her breasts. She squeezes them and begins to lightly stroke her nipples. Then she stops, puts both index fingers in her mouth, pulls them out dreamily and uses them to wet her nipples before stroking them again.
After enjoying the sight of her massaging herself for a few moments you return to the task at hand. You pull her legs further apart so that her lips are in plain view. Beginning on the inside of her thighs, just above her knees you lightly run your fingertips in ever widening circles, slowly moving up her thighs as you go. The skin is softer there even than on her breasts. You run your thumbs from back to front, at the very top of the inside of her thighs, then lean down to feel the smoothness of her skin with your tongue. You are so close to her pussy that you can smell it.