Second Chances

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Judy’s life was coming off the rails, which was saying something because it had been a complete mess ever since her ex-husband had knocked up some bimbo he had been sleeping with. That would have been bad enough, but then in his infinite wisdom, rather than admit to his wife what he had done, he had decided to support said bimbo behind Judy’s back and hope his wife didn’t notice. Well, when he ended up cleaning out both his and Judy’s bank accounts and maxed out several credit cards, his wife noticed. Apparently, Judy had married a complete moron without noticing. She promptly divorced him upon finding out, and was able to, justifiably so, get court ordered wage garnishments and hefty alimony in the divorce to make reparations for him financially ruining them. However, that implied the lazy ass had a job to garnish wages from. No, she had made the mistake of marrying the laziest, most useless, cheating, lying, unfaithful excuse of a man in northern California.

Out of money, and with a mound of new debt, she had been forced to get help, and had somehow managed to scrape some kind of adult life together after the divorce. She was working two jobs to make ends meet and pay off her debts. By day she was a pediatric nurse, which was her real passion, since she loved working with kids. By night she worked as a hospice nurse for extra money. The situation was necessary, but the double duty was wearing on her; she had been at it over a year and she did not think she could take much more of this.

What’s worse, she was about to lose her cheap lodgings, because the owner was selling the house of which she lived in the basement apartment, if you could call her barely finished hole an apartment, to a family that had no interest in a tenant. She could have fought it, but her landlady had always been super nice to her, and putting up a fight would not have changed that the owner could not afford to keep the place. She had sweetly offered to sell it to Judy, but Judy couldn’t afford it, and even if she could, no bank would lend her money thanks to her idiot ex.

Despite all of that though, things were surprisingly looking up. It seemed her sister’s roommate had just moved out, and given Judy no longer had a place to live, she had offered her spare room. Judy did not like to accept charity, but it gave her some place to go to regroup, if she could get a job that is. Since she had gotten the news from her sister, she had managed to line up a few interviews, and she was taking a long weekend to go on a few and help her sister redecorate a bit. One of the interviews in particular had her excited, as it paid enough that she would not need a night job.

So, at least she had hope, unlike many of the patients she saw at this job, like that hero firefighter quite a few of her fellow nurses were obsessed with. Here was a big strong guy with everything in front of him, likely to never wake again.

Not that you could tell that from his fan club of nurses. Judy swore that many of them thought he was going to wake up and sweep them off their feet or something, ‘right, when pigs fly ladies,’ she thought to herself. Still, she saw the draw, he was in a coma for saving a bunch of kids and really cute. He just had so little chance of recovery, though his case was one of the oddest she had ever seen.

Matthew Whitten, for that was his name, had received media attention for rescuing a mother and four kids from a smoke-filled room in a burning building. Reports were, he had moved a large book case, and protected them from other falling debris, as they were rescued. He had had to be helped out of the building by his fellow firefighters, but despite several broken bones and somewhat severe burns, he had been okay when he arrived at the hospital. He had no head injuries to speak of, and they were able to set his fractures and tend to his other injuries with relative ease. They had sedated him as a precaution, to prevent shock from setting in, but all and all everything seemed fine. It was the next day when they could not wake him that the doctors became concerned. They tried just about everything to wake him before running a bunch of tests on him. Nothing was wrong other than the injuries, he had brain activity similar to that of a person in deep sleep, his heart was working fine, and he was breathing independently. After a few days, and several more rounds of tests, the doctors could find nothing wrong. All that could be done was to see if he would wake, and let his body heal itself in the meantime.

When over two weeks had passed with no change, he was transferred to the hospice facility Judy worked at. Over the next few weeks they continued to monitor his vitals and let him heal. The only danger to him was that he could not feed himself, but they used an IV and feeding tube to take care of that. Unfortunately, as his other injuries began to mend they were running out of reasons to keep him, other than to study his bizarre case. What little family Matthew had was from Buffalo, and a few representatives were consulted bostancı escort bayan about his case when he had been transferred. It seemed that, though they cared for him, they did not want to be burdened with his care, especially given that it was unknown how long it would be before he woke, if he ever woke. They did express that they did not want him made an experiment, nor did they want to keep him alive in a vegetative state. No matter how much the hospice staff and doctors tried to explain he was fine, just deeply asleep, almost in hibernation for lack of a better term, the family just wanted the matter resolved so they could grieve. They were not convinced that Matthew would ever wake, and did not want to lose him twice. Judy understood that, even if she disagreed with their overall decision.

The final decision was made that if he had not had any change by the end of the following week’s end, they would remove the IV and feeding tube, and see if the hunger and dehydration would wake Matthew. Judy and many of the other nurses found this to be the same as killing him, unlike most cases where they ‘pulled the plug’ so to speak. In most cases she and many of her fellow nurses saw pulling the plug as an act of mercy, but in Matthew’s case, it just seemed wrong somehow. Unfortunately though, it was what his family wanted, and no one had the power to overrule them since, legally, they alone had the power to make his care decisions.

The night following the visit by the family, Judy was doing her rounds and came to Matthew’s room to find, once again, one of the guys from Matthew’s firehouse sitting vigil. She swore since Matthew had been in the hospital at least one of them was in his room at all times, as if he could wake up any minute. This one’s name was Ray, and he must have had the shift at the same time as Judy’s rounds, because she usually saw him when she came in to check on Matthew. He had talked to her a few times, and a few of her coworkers thought he had a thing for her, but she was definitely not interested. Ray was a smoker, cocky, was a bit of a loud mouth, and clearly thought himself a lady’s man. It also did not help that, like all of his fellow firefighters on the vigil, Ray was a good six inches short of Judy’s 5’9″. Judy chuckled a bit with some of the other nurses that Matthew was probably the only tall one, at around 6’3″, in the whole firehouse judging by the group of at least seven others they had seen on the vigil. Judy had to admit Ray had made her smile a few times, and she admired his loyalty to his friend, but that was about where his admirable qualities, except of course his line of work, ended. “It’s a shame what they’re going to do to Matt, simply because they don’t want to bother with him. I told that so called family of his we’d watch him, even pay for his care, that he’s too good a man to lose like that, but they wouldn’t listen.”

“Yes it is,” Judy said fixing Matthew’s pillows and checking the IV. She sighed, “God knows most of us agree with that, but there’s nothing we can do. The family’s wishes are the family’s wishes, and like it or not we have to respect them. The only way around it is if one of you has a legal document saying you have the power to make his care decisions, otherwise what they want, goes. I’d help him if I could, but there’s not really anything I can do at this point.”

Ray shook his head, Judy had figured that was the first thing her boss would have asked once the family had made that controversial decision.

“Have a good night Ray,” she said, leaving when it was obvious he had no reply. He nodded and Judy went about her work for the rest of the night. Later that evening she was sitting at the nurse’s station with a few other nurses when Ray came up.

“Hey Judy, did you mean what you said? About helping Matt if you could? I think I’ve got a way, what do you say I buy you some pie or something when you get off, and we discuss it?”

Judy open her mouth to turn him down, but her friend Eileen put her hand over Judy’s mouth and said, glaring at Judy, “She’d love to Ray.” Judy tried to remove the hand, but Eileen was persistent, “she gets off around 1, where should she meet you?” Ray named a nearby 24 hour diner and Eileen smiled and said, “she’ll be there.” Then looking at Judy she said, “Won’t you Judy?”

Resigned, Judy sighed, nodded, and Ray smiled and left. When he had gone Eileen finally removed her hand from Judy’s mouth.

“Well, that was uncalled for Eileen! You know I’m not going,” Judy said glaring at her friend.

“Oh, come on Judy, you haven’t been on a date in months. As far as I know that’s the first cute single guy to ask you out in a while. I know you haven’t gotten any since the divorce, and I’m guessing so do a few others, since you’re starting to get the nickname Sister Judith Agatha around here, and not even the cute firefighter seems to impress you.”

“Really?” Judy asked kind of depressed, realizing that she actually had not had sex since the divorce, and irritated ümraniye escort that people here thought her some kind of nun.

“Yes, Judy, your life is this job and the pediatricians office, you need a bit of fun.”

“Ok, fine, but why Ray? He’s nice enough, I guess, but he’s so full of himself and I’m a half foot taller than him!”

“It’s just pie Judy, what’s the big deal, it’s not like I’m saying marry the guy. By the way, as for you saying you’re not going, you nodded Judy, which means you are going, I know you.”

“Fine,” Judy snorted, “But if this goes badly I’m blaming you!”

“Just as long as you invite me to the wedding if it goes well,” Eileen said smiling. Judy glared at her and she immediately said, “Kidding! Wow don’t be so touchy, but seriously if he offers sex, I say take it. You need to get some honey, and full of himself or not, you could use being full of him if you know what I mean.”

“Eileen!”

“I’m just saying that ex of yours was a world class jerk, no need to be celibate for that moron. Live a little, Judy.”

With that Eileen went off to do rounds and Judy finished off her shift. Before she left, now that she had a sort of date with Ray thanks to Eileen’s interference, she stopped to make herself look a bit more presentable.

She arrived at the diner and found Ray already seated, and two cups of coffee on the table. He got up and greeted her.

“Thanks for coming Judy, it looked like you were pretty reluctant to come. Your friend seemed to push you into it, I wasn’t sure you’d show. I ordered you coffee because I figured you’d need some after a long shift.”

Judy sat and smiled, “Not a problem, I appreciate you trying to help your friend, I’m just not sure what I can do to help. As for Eileen, she’s just trying to be a good friend, misguided as she can be at times. Thanks for the coffee, you’re right, I can definitely use some.”

Ray then began asking her about herself, getting her background, finding out whether she was seeing anyone and such, during which time the waitress came to take their order. Judy started to feel like she had been lured when she asked, “Ray, as much as I love telling you about myself, how exactly does knowing my life story help your friend Matt?”

“It doesn’t, strictly speaking. You see, this isn’t so much about saving Matt, much as I’d love to do that, that ship has kind of sailed as you said. It’s more about fulfilling a last request so to speak. You see we have this pact in the firehouse that in the odd event one of us ever ends up in Matt’s condition, that one of us arrange kind of a ‘final sendoff’.”

“So, what, you want me to give him a kiss or something?” They were interrupted by their food arriving.

“Or something,” he said uncomfortably. He then took out a piece of paper, and set it on the table, before starting in on his pie. “You can read for yourself, this is a copy of the pact.”

Confused and slightly concerned, Judy read the pact. Basically, in the event of incapacitation resulting in a plug being pulled the agreement called for a member of the firehouse to arrange one last lay, for the firefighter in question, before said firefighter was taken off life support. Judy read it again, to make sure she read correctly.

“You want me to do what, with a patient?” she said incredulous. “Ray, I can get fired for that, heck I can lose my license.” Then she leaned in and said more quietly, “not only that, but without consent, that’s rape. I could be arrested.”

Ray smiled, “I figured you might take it like this. I know it’s odd, and as for that last point this is a binding agreement, in this case I am legally authorized to give consent for Matt. Only in this matter, unfortunately, though, and trust me I asked the lawyer that drew this up. So, no charges can be brought against you. As for your job, I understand that, I just figured, why not ask? Truth is, well, I’ve been watching you, and I think you’d be Matt’s type.”

“Why? Because I have these?” She said irritated, pointing to her ample chest.

“No, though those, and your body, don’t hurt,” he said with a smile.

Judy rolled her eyes, she knew she had an okay body. After all, much to her amusement and annoyance, she caught some of the dads at the pediatrician’s office she worked at checking her out. She could not really understand the draw though, as other than her boobs, she did not think she was that impressive.

She was a slightly above average height woman, who was a bit on the chubby side, with wide hips, shoulder length light brown hair, brown eyes, and just a few years shy of 30.

“Really though, it’s the stuff I saw, the way you handle yourself, and the stuff you just told me. I can just tell you’re the kind of woman he’d like.” Then after a pause he added, “though it doesn’t hurt that he’s a sucker for beautiful brown eyes and a gorgeous smile like yours.”

Judy smiled at that, and taking that as an opening, Ray began telling her about Matt. He grew up in Buffalo one of five escort kartal kids, he loved math so much he became an accountant. He was a good one too, until one year during the thick of tax season he missed a family party, busy with work, and that night a space heater shorted out and his family’s house burned down. He lost his whole family in the fire.

After that, he left Buffalo and moved to San Diego to get away from anywhere that needed space heaters, and quit accounting to become a firefighter. He was a hard worker, and had only just qualified a few months ago, but he was quickly becoming one of the best in their house, earning the loyalty of his fellow firefighters quickly along the way. As she knew, he landed in the hospital saving a mother and her four kids.

“He does sound really great Ray, but this is a big ask.”

“I know, and if it helps, me and the guys have some money…”

“I am NOT a whore!” Judy hissed, angrily cutting him off.

“Not saying you were,” Ray backpedaled quickly, “I just thought I’d mention, your friend said you had money issues. I meant no offense, really. I wasn’t implying, just thought I’d offer.”

Judy nodded and calmed down, as she figured out he had meant well, “It’s ok, just some advice though, let the woman ask about money in future if this ever comes up again. Most women won’t respond well to being paid to screw a guy.” She regathered her thoughts and asked the obvious question. “Why me? I know you said you think he’d have liked me and all, but seriously there are nurses I work with that would gladly pay YOU to sleep with Matt. Why ask me?”

Ray thought and said, “First off, you don’t fawn over him, Matt wouldn’t want that in a woman, but you still treat him with respect. You do your work and move on, Matt would respect that. It really is a shame he’s in a coma or you’d be his type. I think you’d be the kind of woman Matt would settle down with.”

Judy smiled, touched, “Did he want a family?”

“Yeah, a big one, and your friend told me you love kids.”

Judy’s heart sunk, “Then I’m not his dream woman. I’m infertile.”

“You sure?”

“Not that it’s any of your business but, yes. My ex-husband and I tried to get pregnant for like 3 years, then all of the sudden I learn he’s knocked up some bimbo he’s sleeping with on the side, with twins. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out where the problem is.”

“I’m sorry, not about your problem, I mean that sucks, but about your ex, the guys a d-bag in my opinion. You don’t cheat on your wife just cause she can’t get pregnant, you find other ways.” Ray paused and smiled, “like adoption for instance, which by the way, Matt has always said he’d like to do someday. So like I said, you’re his dream woman.”

“Accept that part about him being stuck in a permanent dream, Ray; no offense but I’d like my dream man to be able to talk to me and hold me.”

“Still, will you think about it? We have a few days until they pull his plug, so to speak. The guys and I would really appreciate it.”

Judy said she would think about it, mentioning that it really could cost her big time if she got caught.

“I’m leaving town for a few days tomorrow, and I’ll be back the middle of next week, I’ll let you know what I decide then. Does that sound fair?”

Ray nodded, thanked her, paid the check, and they left.

Judy immediately called Eileen to berate her, telling her what Ray had asked her to do. Eileen was of course no help; she said to do it, she would even help.

Judy hung up the phone and, as promised thought it over for the next few days. The next few days were filled with interviews, helping her sister, and just catching up with her sister in general. Despite all the distractions, what Ray asked was never far from her mind. Fortunately, it did not distract her too much on her interviews, which she thought went really well.

She was still on the fence about what Ray asked later the next week, with her deadline to make a decision for Ray looming, when she got word she had gotten the job in San Francisco and it decided it for her. She had already filled out her notice paperwork the previous week so she already only had a few days left. As long as she did not get caught everything should be fine. She knew she would not be the first nurse to do something inappropriate to a patient, she just had never imagined she would find herself considering doing something like this herself. When she got to Matt’s room Ray was of course sitting there.

“Well?” he asked, as he had the past few nights since she got back.

Judy sighed and looked at him, “I must be out of my mind, and your pact is stupid, but if anyone deserves this, it’s this man. So, I’ll do it. Tomorrow night, right before I go home.”

What the hell, right? This time next week she’d be living with her sister in San Francisco, getting ready to start a brand new job. She was still taking a huge risk, but less so somehow now that she knew she had a new chapter waiting for her.

Just to be sure though, she did take Eileen up on her offer of help. She traded rounds with her, and Eileen agreed to make sure the hall was clear. Ray and a couple of the guys from the firehouse offered to stand guard, but Judy did not want this to turn into a spectacle.

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