Ups and Downs of a Masseur
Chapter 7: Reginald Campbell… Part 4
The paramedics had by now stabilised Reginald and were getting him on the stretcher and strapping him down.
“How is he? Will he be alright?”
“We just have to get him to London Bridge Hospital. They will run tests before they identify the problem. It’s no good saying anything right now mate. He is already priority and he will be top of the list as soon as we get there, you will have to follow us, you can’t come in the ambulance.”
She was saying all that as they got him into the lift. I went to a window and watched as they loaded him up and with blues and twos on, they sped away.
I chose an outfit for him and would take it with me, and then found his pass which would get me back so that I could find other things he may need, but had no idea where any of it was.
I went down and spoke to the Sergeant Major. “Sorry about swearing at you, but get used to me being around because I’m going nowhere until I know what’s happening to Reginald.”
“Give him my best wishes please Mr West.”
“It’s Paul.” I went out to find my third taxi that day.
It didn’t take long to find the kidney unit but a hell of a time to get anyone to talk to me because as soon as they found out we were not related they clammed up.
“Someone’s going to have to talk to me, as far as I know he has an Uncle who he doesn’t have any contact with. ”
At last a youngish doctor called Frederick Thompson gave me a few seconds.
“Who are you?”
“Paul West, I’m Reginald’s friend, I found him in his bedroom when I got back from shopping and called the ambulance.”
“How long have you known him?” Oh fuck, this was not going to impress.
“Two…” and coughed a lot.
“What, two years, two months, oh don’t tell me, two WEEKS!?”
“Days.” He turned to go, I was obviously going to be useless to him, but I was having none of it.
“Doctor Thompson, it may be helpful to you if you look at his records and, just a thought, call his GP? I know Reginald would want me to know what’s happening and how he is and just one more thought, we may have only known one another for a couple of days, but if we had not met, I would not have been in his apartment, but HE would, and possibly dead by now.”
Frederick left without a word. I was on my own and no idea how Reginald was or what they were doing for him. I found a chair and sat down, I was going nowhere until someone spoke to me. An hour went by and then another one. I just sat there looking at the floor.
“Paul?” I looked up and saw Frederick looking down at me. He sat beside me and I just knew this was not going to be good by the look on his face.
“We already know of Reginald’s record believe it or not and I have just spoken to his GP, Dr Black, and he assures me you and Reginald are well acquainted. How you are is beyond me after only two days but you are the only person I can talk to, we have no record of any family. Reginald has had a massive Renal vein Thrombosis, in other words a blood clot but regrettably to his best functioning kidney, the right one. The left one is still functioning but it has always been less able than the right one anyway. We have stabilised him and he is not in any danger and we will be able to discharge him in two days time.
“We are working out different medication for him that ‘s one reason he is staying here. He now has a much higher blood pressure and we have to get that under control and keep it there, but when we do chuck him out, he will be fine so long as he keeps up his weekly dialysis treatments and medication.”
“You will already know I don’t have a clue about all this but even I am sure Reginald is in need of a new kidney and I want to give him one of mine.”
“He does need one Paul and if you are a serious donor it could take from three months to two years before you could be accepted and believe me it’s not guaranteed. You have to undergo tons of psychological and medical test to ensure you would be the right donor and the first test is one you haven’t even thought of.”
“We have to make sure you have two of them in the first place.”
“Don’t we all then?”
“1 in 1000 are born with only one kidney in the UK and it would be a bit embarrassing if we whipped it out and left you worse off than Reginald. No Paul, you need to think about it and then apply, but just be prepared for a long haul AND of course there is one more important thing you need to think about and that’s Reginald himself, if he says no to you donating, there is nothing we can do.”
“He wouldn’t dare! I am going to start the process but don’t mention it to Reginald until I know for sure I can donate, then it will be up to me to convince him.”
I was allowed to see him and sat beside his bed holding his hand kissing it and although he was pleased to see me he seemed distant and only took a cursory glance at the new clothes I had bought. He remained very quiet and I was guessing because of what had happened he was distancing himself from me and not wanting me to have to be involved in someone who he had only known for such a short time.
He looked at me and smiled. “Would you do one last favour for me please, Paul?”
“What do you mean, ONE last favour?” He ignored that.
“Would you go back and pack toiletries, slippers, dressing gown. ” (Oh NO!)
In my study there is a black briefcase, would you bring that as well. Paul when you come back I need to say something.”
Oh dear Paul West, you are being fucking dumped, AGAIN!
I was back within the hour and waited until the nurses had finished with him and was told I could go in, but only for five minutes as he was going to sleep. Oh well, it wouldn’t take him long to tell me to fuck off then.
“Thanks Paul you have been very kind and I will never forget our special times and thank you for getting me here. Now you should go and forget all this and me. You are young and beautiful and you will find your man of that I am certain.”
I just looked at him and tried to work out what to say that would make him think about what he had just said. I was stuffed and all I knew I had to get out, I was going home alone, again, but I did manage to get some fucking words together after I put his flat key card and my business card on the bed.
“What you have just said I didn’t want to hear and you are wrong, I had already found my man and I’m fucking looking at him now for Christ’s sake! Either chuck my phone number or keep it until you think about what you have done to both of us. I won’t say goodbye, but I hope you get better soon.”
I got up still looking at him and went towards the door but when I got to it I turned round again and tried to think of something that would make the difference and he would ask me to stay. I waited but he never opened his bloody gob!
Ok Paul, go for broke.
“I am going to wait for you until I am SURE you mean what you have just said, but YOU will have to tell my face before I let you go Reginald.” I closed his door and walked down the corridor, crying my fucking eyes out.
As soon as I got to my flat I took a shower and after drying off I sat naked in front of my computer and emailed Nino. Half an hour later, I pushed the “send” button and then went to bed and surprisingly I fell asleep straight away. I was knackered.
As soon as I woke the next morning I turned my computer back on knowing Nino would have replied to me. It was long and full of hope.
…there are two sure things in life, one of which is certainty and the other is uncertainty and Reginald has both at this time. Certainty, he needs a new kidney but the uncertainty for him is to put you through the risk of donating yours to him.
Of course dear boy he is certain of his continued love for you and it is a matter for him to come to terms with losing you or accepting your offer of a kidney which I already know he knows that is what you want to do. Give him time Paul. I am confident he will contact you in some way very soon. BUT, allow him to get in contact first, he needs time to think…
Okay Nino, but just how long do I have to wait!?
For the next week I was in a mess just waiting for some contact and by the second week, still nothing, but I had something to cling onto as he had not contacted me to tell me to ‘fuck off’, or words that meant the same.
I was in the shower before going to work one morning and screamed at the mirror. “COME ON YOU DAFT SOD THIS IS ONLY A SHORT STORY AND THIS IS THE LAST FUCKING CHAPTER, OR POSSIBLY ONE MORE!” He must have heard me!
Just before leaving home I checked my phone and read the text.
“Hello Paul, can you teach me to swim please?” I knew my reply would make him as happy as I was right then.
“It will cost you a chicken casserole, preferably with chicken in it this time!” I had an even wider smile on my face after I got his next text.
“NO! I have booked us the same table you and Nino had and I have a lot to talk about. Bring something nice to wear (cheeky fucker I thought) and an overnight bag! Paul I am so sorry about all this. See you at 7. Collect these later if you want them and forgive me. XXXX”
How the hell I got through my day I have no idea and could not help thinking about what he wanted to say. I did have a problem about giving full body massages to two of my clients and that was one thing I had to talk to Reginald about and I was sure I would have to find another occupation, whatever the fuck that could be.
I could not believe what I was looking at as he came in dressed as he was, light blue slacks, red shoes, black tee shirt and leather jacket. His hairstyle was perfect, much shorter and perfectly cut. He did not have glasses so I presumed by now had contact lenses.
Colin saw him as he came into the hotel. “Oh my fucking God!” He jumped out of his seat and rushed to a door and opened it. “Get in there, both of you!”
I closed the door and we simply melted together and kissed. Oh SHIT did we kiss!
Neither of us could say a word, we didn’t trust ourselves, so just carried on kissing for a very long time.
I kissed him once more and took control. “Come on Reginald, if we don’t go soon they will be serving breakfast.”
Reginald sat where Nino had and we held hands and smiled at one another for a very long time, not saying a word, until I opened my mouth.
“I love you so bloody much Reggie and you look absolutely beautiful!”
“Actually it’s Reginald!” YES! We were back!
Reginald ate his lettuce leaf with a prawn on top while I stuffed down my French Pate with lots of toast topped with full-fat cheese. He then went onto his main course of diet soup with fuck all on top and I stuck into my double beef bugger and a ton of chips!
I thought it was not a good idea to order the ‘Unique Hotel Capital Apple Sensation’. Which was in fact an apple fucking crumble and no sodding custard, just a ton of cheap whipped cream to hide the fact that what you were eating was a slice of apple fucking crumble!
“I knew you would want to donate a kidney Paul and at that time I just would not allow it. I spoke to Dr Thompson for ages and then to Dr Black and in the end it was obvious I have a limited time left unless I get a new one. I could of course gone on the transplant list, which is a very long one, and I may have got lucky but then I also knew it would upset you SO much if I did not take yours. That’s when I text you about swimming lessons and Paul IF you still want to, I would love to have a bit of you inside me that would mean we are together with the same chances as anyone else for a long life, but you know the risks don’t you?”
I knew them very well as I had read all I could find about kidney donation. Just removing one from a donor could take up to three hours and then even longer to have it transplanted. BUT, the biggest risk of all was a possible rejection from the recipient and it could take a long time after he or she had a new kidney before that could become a possible problem.
I looked at my man and all I could do was smile at him and at the same time got it right for once.
“Reginald you’re getting tired aren’t you?”
This fucking beautiful man smiled back at me and nodded.
“Just a bit, but when we get to bed I want to talk more if I can stay awake Paul, but if I drop off please forgive me.”
I paid the bill and for the whole walk back to his apartment I never let up about being invited to dinner and having to pay for it!
‘Security’ was fast asleep and nearly had a heart attack when Reginald opened the front door and woke him up. He managed to focus on us and asked for ID. “Bugger off.” Said I and he replied, “Shit!”
The door opened into Reginald’s flat and we stepped inside and stood on the very spot that I had first been on and dumped my gear, two weeks and two days previously.
“Doctor Reginald Campbell, may I kiss you?” Reginald had listened to me taking and the bad language I used thinking it was normal.
“Course you can you fucking piece of crap!” I was disgusted!
“REGINALD! That’s NOT the way to speak! That is SO not you!”
“Piss off donor!” I was fucked up again, the bugger had me around his little finger and I was so happy to be there.
We closed the gap, kissed and stripped one another off and our clothes found themselves on ‘MY’ spot!. Neither of us were even close to getting hard or sexually wound up. There would be plenty of time for that, so long as Reginald’s body would except a very small part of my body that would keep him alive and for us to be together?
“I’m sorry Paul but I am very tired, I need to take my medication. Can you take me to bed please? We can talk tomorrow if that’s ok with you?”
I was in bed before Reginald arrived and as soon as he came in, we kissed and told one another of our love. We held on tight until Reginald’s body relaxed and he fell asleep with my arms still around his wonderful body.
FUCK! It was the most uncomfortable night’s sleep I ever had…, but would never, ever change it.
I must have stayed awake for ages, pulling him gently into me, kissing his head and shoulders and stroking his back. I stopped doing all that as I felt him tense and stayed very still waiting for him to fall back to sleep. Reginald rewarded my care for him by giving off the most evil of farts that could have been recorded on the fucking Richter scale! It was so load it woke him up.
“Opps, was that me Paul?” He then fell back asleep.
The very fact he could fart, mutter something and then fall back to sleep knowing he was being held by someone who loved and adored him, told me Nino was right in that I would find my love, but even he could not know of what we had to go through just to keep Reginald alive and us being together.
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