Oh boy. I was really in the doghouse now. I sat at the couch quietly, listening to the sounds coming from the kitchen as my wife banged around pots and pans. I had just broken the news of my fetish to her and I’m not sure she was handling the news particularly well. After I told her, she sat quietly for a few minutes and then she just got up and proceeded to put the remnants of our dinner away. I wined and dined her amidst candles tonight in preparation for my big confession: my love of all things orthopaedic.
Since I was a kid I was fascinated at the sight of someone wearing some sort of restricting, uncomfortable brace holding some sort of injury in place. To me, the obvious discomfort only added to the excitement. It seemed only natural to me that I would find an orthopaedic surgeon and marry her.
I was always trying to find some excuse or other to drop by her office and bring her dinner or anything I could think of, just so I could walk in and see the various implements that her patients were subjected to in order to mend their broken bodies. Having never been injured so as to need one of these devices, I was more than content to see others as they experienced the inconveniences of daily life in their immobilized state.
I sat on the couch for nearly an hour, listening and waiting for my wife to say something to me but she never did. We headed to bed and not a word was uttered between us.
This went on for nearly two weeks with no more than the most basic rudiments of communication needed to co-exist in the same household. Finally, I got a call from her.
“Meet me at Manny’s Seafood tonight at 7PM. We have some stuff to talk about.”
Finally, I would get some resolution tonight. I was either headed out the door or things would be ok. Like it or not, things would be different after 7PM tonight.
I made sure to arrive early and get one of the semi-private booths towards the back of the restaurant, as the conversation would not be for others to hear. Soon, Debbie arrived. We talked about a variety of topics all through dinner and her mood was surprisingly good. It was almost as if nothing had happened. She was cracking lobster shells and laughing away at my silly jokes. We had a drink after dinner and her mood suddenly changed and spoke very seriously.
“While your admission to me the other day came as a shock to me, I have decided that I can live with it. It’s taken me a while to reconcile my feelings as I see people in pain every day and my every waking effort is spent easing the discomfort of injuries, I think I can understand why someone might be attracted to that. I also wanted to thank you for being honest with me as I know how tough it was for you to gather the nerve to tell me. I just know that I love you and nothing can change that fact.”
We kissed for a long while before things started to get a bit heated for a restaurant setting so we headed back home. Debbie lit a few candles and poured some wine for us as we snuggled on the couch. We talked for a few minutes and I suddenly became very sleepy. I could barely keep my eyes open when I looked down into the wine glass and noticed a bit of a powdery residue floating in the wine. The last thing I remember was Debbie leaning over to take my pulse as things went dark.
When I awoke, I felt as if my head was spinning. My throat was raw and my neck was on fire! I slowly opened my eyes and found myself staring at the ceiling of our bedroom. Framing my vision was what I immediately recognized as a halo brace. I couldn’t understand what was going on, as it seemed to be attached to my head! I began to stir when a searing spasm shot through my neck. I grimaced from the intensity of the pain, the halo keeping me from moving it in any direction. A scream of pain involuntarily left my mouth as I concentrated my energies on keeping as still as I could so as to not stir up any more spasms. Shortly, I could hear my wife coming up the steps to the bedroom. Her face shortly came into the field of vision above me.
“Good morning hon! Is the pain bad?”
Her cheerful voice struck me as annoying more than anything. As if the grimace on my face and sweat forming all over my body was not enough to tell me that it felt as if red hot pokers were being pushed through my neck.
“What have you done to me?” I asked.
“Well, you said that you had a fetish for people in orthopedic braces so I thought that you should experience what it is like to be in one for real. No experience such as this would be complete without the pain that caused the brace to be put on in the first place. I was originally going to have you wear a cast or something but I decided that you would probably get sick of it right away and cut it off since there is no medical need for one. So I tried to pick the most life altering orthopedic brace I could think of and, to make sure that you would wear it, I performed a bit of surgery on your neck. I went in carefully last night and broke four of your vertebra, being careful not to sever the spinal cord. After all, I do not want to disable you, just to make you experience what wearing a necessary brace is like. The fractures are fragile enough that if you take the brace off yourself, the vertebra would collapse and render you a quadriplegic. So…you’ll be in the halo for at least six months and maybe more. I have already called work and told them about your “fall from a ladder” and that you would probably not be coming back to work until next week. I’m sure you will still be in pain then, but I think it will be important for your coworkers and the public at the store to see how uncomfortable it is to have a broken neck. Also, I don’t want you to become dependent on narcotics, so I’ll be giving you about half the dose I would normally give someone with your injury. After the brace comes off, I will be more than happy to get you any brace you like, but along with the brace will come the appropriate injury to justify the real use of that brace. Okidokey?! If you’d like some breakfast and your pain pill, you’ll have to come downstairs to get it.”
And then she was gone. I lay in bed for a few minutes, feeling wave after wave of neck spasms shooting from my broken neck. I slowly rolled myself to a sitting position, my neck being held stiff at every point by the brace screwed to my skull and wondering if my confession had been worth it…