Gift of Life
Şub 18, 2021 // By:analsex // No Comment
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October, 2019. Lancaster, Texas
“No, I don’t really know how that works. But didn’t we already get a letter telling us which of Dad’s organs were used in transplants?” her 21-year old daughter asked.
“Yes. That came about four months after the accident, but it only told us which organs were viable. If didn’t say whether or not they were used let alone who received them.”
There was a lengthy period of silence before her daughter replied.
“Mom? Why is this suddenly so important to you? I mean, why now?”
Her mother, Renee Johnson, was 45-years old, and it had been nearly 30 months since her husband of 22 years, Phillip, was killed in a car accident. She’d been with him on their way back from Dallas to their home in Lancaster, Texas, when it happened. Somehow, she not only lived but had barely had a scratch on her. She’d been knocked unconscious but was otherwise virtually untouched.
Phillip, who was driving and just three feet away from her, had been crushed to death by the impact of the head-on collision. Renee had had most likely had her head slammed into the window next to it, causing her to lose consciousness.
The last memory she had before the ambulance was laughing at something her husband said as they were on their way to home from a romantic dinner. Their 22nd anniversary had been two days earlier, but because of work, they’d been unable to celebrate until then.
When she woke up some 20 minutes later, she was on her way to Baylor University Medical Center, the closest facility with an ER. It took her a few seconds to get her bearings, and when she did, that’s when one of the EMTs told her there’d been an accident and that she would be fine. When she tried asking him about Phillip, he would only tell her that someone would talk to her at the hospital.
Renee never saw the vehicle that hit them, and as she tried piecing together those last moments, she remembered Phillip looking over at her and smiling while he chuckled about whatever he’d just said. But that’s where her memory went blank.
It was quite likely he never saw the Chevy Suburban that hit them, either, and the police officer who later spoke to her at the hospital to explain what happened told her he felt reasonably sure her husband had died instantly.
It was precious little to cling to, but since the accident, it was all she had, other than the belief that her husband’s organs had given the gift of life to one or more other people in need. Lately however, that hadn’t been enough as her desire to somehow reconnect with her late husband seemed to consume her. She hadn’t shared any of this with her daughter, who had a full plate of her own to deal with during her last semester of college, until this phone call.
“It’s not…sudden, honey,” she told her daughter, which was true. She’d been wondering for some time now but never taken any action. “I’ve been wanting to know for a couple of months or so. It’s just reached the point where I really need to find out, so it only seems sudden because I didn’t tell you what I was thinking, and that’s mostly because I was trying to sort through a whole bunch of feelings.”
Her daughter, Desiree, was a senior at Texas A a life she’d been blessed to share with the most wonderful man she’d ever known.
So while she didn’t share any of her mother’s interest in finding out who received her father’s organs, she knew that if this is what her mother needed, she would try and be as supportive as possible.
“Is there anything I can do?” Desiree asked.
“No. Thanks for offering, Dezzie, but I’ll handle it. I just wanted to let you know I was going to have someone try and look into this. That’s all.”
“Oh. Okay,” her daughter replied unconvincingly.
“What? What’s wrong?” her mom asked.
There was another pause before Desiree, or ‘Dezzie’ as she’d been called all of her life, answered.
“Mom? I just worry about you. That’s all.”
“Oh, honey. Don’t! I’m fine. Really. It’s just that, well, I don’t know, I guess that knowing your father’s death may have helped several people live makes me want to know if that actually happened. And while I may never find out who they are, I’d also like to meet them. Especially the person who may have gotten Dad’s heart.”
“I hope whoever it was got Dad’s ‘other heart’ in the sense of being such a warm, caring human being.”
“Yes. He was that and so much more, wasn’t he?” her mother mused as she recalled the most wonderful man she ever knew.
“Yes, he was,” her daughter said in ready agreement.
Her mother knew there was still something else Dezzie wanted to say and asked her to do so.
“I don’t want to be…a nag,” Desiree told her.
“It’s been well over two years, Mom, and actually closer to three. Don’t you think it’s at least time you…tried meeting someone?”
Her daughter’s voice was gentle and full of concern, making sure her urging came through in the right way. She’d heard her mother explain casino şirketleri why she wasn’t ready to start dating yet several times before, so, just like with this new search, it was none of her business. And yet this was her mother and her best friend, so Desiree felt she had every right to at least share her feelings on the subject—again.
“I actually have tried,” her mother said, surprising her daughter in a very big way.
“What? You…have you…been on a date?”
“Two. With two different men,” her mother quietly admitted.
“Mom! That is so great! Why didn’t you tell me?”
“Because it was just coffee and then just lunch. They weren’t really even dates. It was more just two people sitting and talking. And to be honest, I don’t think I’ll be seeing either one of them again.”
“But that’s a start, right?” Desiree replied rather hopefully.
“I suppose,” her mother replied without any hint of enthusiasm.
Now it was her mom’s turn to wait before replying.
“They were both nice enough. There just wasn’t any chemistry there at all, and if that’s what dating is like, I’m happy to pass on it. I’m sure that sounds strange, but it’s how I feel.”
“It’s not strange if that’s how you really feel,” Dezzie told her. “And I guess I kind of get it. I mean, you and Dad had so much in common. You two always stayed so active. The running and the hiking and the ski trips and the the whole mountain biking thing. And Lord knows we never ate junk food. At least not in our house.”
Renee laughed then said, “Right. Which is why you spent so much time at your friends’ houses, huh?”
Dezzie laughed, too, and told her mom she was right.
“Yeah. That was how I got my Dorito fix. Oh, and ice cream and Oreos and…”
“I miss talking to you so much,” her mom said, unintentionally interrupting her.
“Me, too, Momz. But we do talk almost every day on the phone, right?”
“Yes, but it’s just not the same as having you home.”
“Well, just a few more months and I’ll be done with school.”
“True. And you’re welcome to stay here as long as it takes to find a job, and when you do…”
“No worries, Mom. I should be out on my own by the time I’m 35. Forty tops.”
She waited for her mom to laugh then laughed, too.
“I do miss you so, Dezzie-Dez.”
“I miss you, too, Momz,” she called her, using her favorite word for her mother. Her father had been Dadz so that everyone had a ‘z’ in their name, and it had been that way since she was five or six.
“Anyway, I’ll let you know if I find anything out,” her mom said as they got ready to wrap up their phone call.
“Oh, right. Yes, please do. And if you are going to look, I think I’d kind of like to know how many people Dadz helped, too.”
“I’ll keep you posted, and you keep studying, okay?”
“Will do, Momz. Love you!”
“Love you too, Dezzie!”
It was only six o’clock, but it was too late to do anything else until the next day, but Renee already had a couple of names to call to start the investigation process the following morning to satisfy her growing curiosity. She’d made several calls to the hospital where she’d been taken, as well as to other places she thought could help her, but every call had ended frustration.
“I’m sorry, but we don’t have that information,” was the most common reply.
The other was, “I’m sorry, but we aren’t authorized to release that information.”
Renee realized the only way she was even going to have a chance of finding anything out was to pay someone to help her snoop around in order to get answers to her questions. She wasn’t wealthy, but she was in sound enough financial shape to afford to pay a private investigator and not have to work. She and Phillip had prepaid their daughter’s tuition, and that had been a huge help. For now, she was able to stay home, but she was getting restless, and finding a job in the near future be might just what the doctor ordered.
As Renee started getting something ready to eat for dinner—alone—she tried not to feel sorry for herself, but that was a huge challenge. Dinner was the second worse time of the day. Going to bed—also alone—was the worst by far.
She’d only gotten started when the doorbell rang. It wasn’t that no one ever stopped by, it just hadn’t happened very often since shortly after Phillip died. As she rinsed her hands off before grabbing a small towel, she thought it was probably her best friend, Kathy, who was most likely checking to make sure they were going running in the morning.
The doorbell rang a second time just before she got to it, and when she opened it, she couldn’t have been more surprised.
“Hi,” the man standing there said, a lopsided grin on his face.
“Oh, my…goodness. Ben?”
“Hi, Renee,” he replied, confirming her guess.
“How long has it been?” she asked as she looked at her former high school classmate and the last serious boyfriend she’d had before meeting Phillip Johnson.
“Well, casino firmaları we spoke briefly at our ten-year reunion, but other than that…um…let’s see, that would have been back in 19…”
“Stop! Please don’t say it!” Renee said with a laugh before inviting him in.
“I hope I’m not interrupting,” he said before accepting her invitation.
“No. Not at all. Unless breaking up my utter boredom is ‘interrupting’,” she told him with a smile.
“Well, in that case, thank you,” he said as he stepped inside.
“I was just starting dinner. Can you…would you like to maybe stay and eat with me?” Renee asked.
“Gosh, I was almost too afraid to even stop by, and suddenly I’m staying for dinner. I’m not sure I can handle that,” he told her with a warm smile.
Renee laughed quietly then said, “That’s up to you, Ben. But you’re more than welcome, and I’d really appreciate the company.”
After offering him something to drink, her old flame explained why he was there, beginning with heartfelt condolences for her loss.
“I uh, I’m also single again myself, but not for the same, horrible reason you are,” he let her know after explaining how he learned about Phil.
“I got divorced about 18 months ago, and well, when I found out you were…alone…I thought about stopping by just to, you know, say hello and tell you how sorry I was. But I didn’t go to the funeral, and it had only been a year for you when I finally did find out, and the last thing I wanted was to make you feel like I was…I dunno. Some kind of…”
“That’s okay, Ben. I understand. And I wouldn’t have felt that way at all,” Renee told him.
He smiled weakly then told her, “I’m glad to hear you say that, but I did tell myself that somewhere after the two-year mark, I’d look you up. So anyway…here I am.”
“Well, I’m very glad you are,” she replied with a smile of her own.
It was a little after 9pm when Ben said he should probably be going. He didn’t want to leave, but he also didn’t want to overstay his welcome, as he found himself still very attracted to his one-time girlfriend who’d also been his ‘first’. Renee didn’t ask him to stay, but she did thank him sincerely for stopping by and let him know how wonderful it was to see him again.
“You, too, Renee. And in my case, it really is a pleasure. I mean, I swear you look like you’re 30 years old, while I uh, well, I look my age.”
“Oh, stop!” she told him, even though it was mostly true. He did look like a man in his mid-40s, but unlike the other two men she’d gone out with, Ben still looked good to her, and she assumed that had something to do with having known him when they were both very young.
What was at least partially true was that Renee still looked much younger than her 45 years. She definitely did not look 30, but she did look 5-10 years younger than her birth certificate said, and that was due in large part to a lifetime of healthy eating and regular exercise. In fact, she had met her late husband at a track meet in college where he ran the 110-meter hurdles and she ran distances of 5k and 10k.
“No, it’s true,” Ben insisted. “I went to our 20th reunion, and there wasn’t another girl there who looked the way you do.”
Had it been anyone else, the use of ‘girl’ to describe women her age might have made her roll her eyes, but she knew what Ben meant and thanked him for the kind words. She’d skipped their 20th, so she had no way of knowing how much she might have agreed or disagreed with his assessment, but it was very nice to hear.
“You’re welcome, and they’re not just words. You really do look amazing,” her told her very sincerely.
Renee would never use the word ‘amazing’ to describe herself, but she had been blessed with a very pretty face, blonde hair the color of flax she still wore just below her chin, and a still-perky pair of breasts that fully filled out a B-cup bra. Everything else was a result of her hard work and dedication to running and maybe some facial oils and cremes. She stood 5’8″ tall and weighed 121 pounds and still wore a size 6 dress, so maybe Ben wasn’t just being charitable. Or, more likely, she was just being too hard on herself.
There was an awkward moment at the door before they ended up hugging and again saying how wonderful it had been to catch up.
“Listen,” Ben said just before leaving. “Would you maybe like to, you know, do this again sometime? Getting together?”
Renee tilted her head then said, “You know what? That sounds very nice, Ben. Yeah. Sure. Let’s do that.”
“Yeah? Well, great. I’ll uh, I’ll give you a call later on this week sometime, if that’s okay.”
“Yes. Please do,” she told him before he thanked her again for a delicious meal and a very enjoyable evening.
She did the same then said ‘goodbye’ and thought about calling her daughter just to get her off her case about dating. But she knew that would only spur her on to urge her mom to really ‘get back in the game’, and right now, this was about güvenilir casino all she could handle.
Seeing Ben again had been nice, and although she had no intention of getting serious, she found herself looking forward to seeing him again, and that was a very positive sign.
The following morning, Renee was up early, and as soon as the office of a private investigator she found online opened for business, she dialed the number.
Within minutes she was well into explaining what she was looking and for and why, and to her great delight, this particular PI told her he’d take the case, but pulled no punches about what to expect.
“This should be pretty easy in terms of finding the people involved,” he began without adding ‘with your husband’s organs after he died’.
“The harder part is going to be finding anyone willing to tell us anything about who received what. It’s possible we’ll find someone with information who’s willing to talk, but I can’t promise you that.”
Renee told him she understood the privacy aspect and that it didn’t matter. Any amount of information, no matter how small, would be helpful. She didn’t even blink when he told her his retainer fee and how much he charged per day. It wasn’t as though they’d been rich, but they were comfortable enough not to have to worry about a couple thousand dollars, and that was about what she thought this might cost. To her, it was money well spent.
“All right, Mrs. Johnson, I’ll get on this tomorrow and keep you posted,” her new PI told her.
Now it was just a matter of waiting.
True to his word, the private investigator got busy mapping out his strategy by starting with the information he had then trying to piece together which ambulance company had transported the body, the specific location it ended up in, and exactly where and when the organs had been removed.
From there, he’d try and track down any and all individuals who might have been involved in transporting them to donors at various transplant centers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Anything outside of the that would get very expensive for his client.
The good news was that that there were several places that did organ transplants in the greater Dallas area. With that in mind, he started making phone calls hoping to find that first lead from which he could branch out and provide the needed information to his new client.
Two Days Later Just South of Dallas
“Yo, Eric. You ready to roll, old man?” Randy asked his best buddy.
“Does a chicken have lips? Does a rattlesnake have hips? Is the Pope Catholic? Does the big bear…”
“Yes. Yes to all, and the big bear shits anywhere he damn well pleases,” his friend replied in order to stop the rant.
“Then let’s go, because some hot, young woman is about to get very lucky tonight!”
Eric Rust had recently turned 30, and he was bound and determined not to slow down one little bit, his friend’s kidding about his ‘advanced age’ aside. From around the age of 19 he’d been on the hunt, and since he turned 21 there’d rarely been a night when he’d gone hunting that some girl or woman hadn’t gotten lucky, and tonight wasn’t going to be any exception.
He’d been a late bloomer, but when he finally bloomed, he’d really bloomed, and women of all ages began noticing the previously-invisible, skinny, pimple-faced kid who was all grown up and very attractive.
As his confidence grew, so did his boldness. And to his great delight, he learned that most women loved handsome, confident men, and the number willing to sleep with him seemed never ending. And for the last ten or eleven years, adding to his tally of sexual conquests had been his reason for living.
He’d gone to community college for two years right after graduating from high school, and he’d maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA the entire time. But no matter who it was telling him that academics were valuable, he couldn’t connect what he was learning with anything he might want to do down the road.
So against his parents’ very strong objections, he abandoned college and within three months, enrolled in an EMT training course. He did just was well in that endeavor, but this time he could see a very direct connection between the training and his future.
Quite a few, if not most of his peers, enjoyed their work, but Eric Rust loved it. He thrived on the adrenaline rush and the uncertainty of what was coming next every time the station house alarm sounded. In a very real sense, the lives of other people often depended on what he did or failed to do, and the challenge to do the right thing every time kept his head in the game, and all these years later, he still loved what he did for a living.
His silent musings ending when a Lyft driver pulled up a few minutes later. As they rode to a favorite local watering hole, Eric tried remembering any of the scores of women with whom he’d hooked up that he might want to have a relationship with. It was hard enough remembering individual names, but it proved impossible to come up with even one that he thought he’d like to call and ask out on an actual date. It was an odd thing to be thinking about, but for some reason it was a thought he couldn’t let go of.
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