I’m a rich person and I don’t feel one bit guilty about it. I took risks and invested in companies that made it in the tech boom. During the years, I was told several times by different guys this about my wealth, “You know, no matter how much money you have, you can’t buy love.” My typical response was to say, “No, but it can buy sex better than your wife gives me.” That usually shuts them up. Well, it pisses them off and shuts them up. I can get away with comments like that. By the way, my name is Walter Samuelson, aka ‘Big Walt’ as I stand six foot six and weigh in at 275 pounds.
Yes, I have purchased sex a lot in the past. I figured that was a lot cheaper than getting married. My work kept me busy, so I hired someone for just the cooking, housekeeping, and laundry chores. If I wanted companionship, friendship, an intelligent conversation or sex, I would take an escort out to dinner and dessert. I had escorts that I enjoyed being with enough to request them again. Unfortunately, several of them decided they would like to marry my money. After one close call with fatherhood, I had a reversible vasectomy to keep away the “Sweetheart, I’m pregnant. Aren’t you happy?” gold-diggers.
It took a heart attack and two stents in my arteries to get me to slow down my fast-paced stressful life. I had to find another interest. Since hobbies can be too consuming and addictive, I went with supporting charities. One experience with that endeavor changed my life.
It was early January, a time when the euphoria of Christmas gifts was replaced by the gloom of paying for Christmas gifts. A lot of people needed help around this time of year. I was driving to the Salvation Army Soup Kitchen feeling good about myself for being humble enough to give out soup and sandwiches before I went to a five-star restaurant for lunch. My mind was thinking about what I would say in my acceptance speech for a future Humanitarian of the Year although so far, I had done very little to earn it. Patting myself on my back meant my attention wasn’t on the road where it should have been. A little girl suddenly ran in front of my car. There was a screech of braking tires followed by a THUD! I swear I could feel the bump send a shiver throughout my car. I called 911 before I went into the street where a woman, who I assumed was her mother, was holding her, crying, and yelling for help. The girl wasn’t moving.
All I could say to the mother was, “I’m sorry. I didn’t see her in time. I’m sorry.” She ignored me while we waited for the ambulance. Once they examined the girl, the technicians put her on a board and transported her to the Baptist Hospital Emergency Room. Her mother went with her in the ambulance. I followed in my car. I went to the ER waiting room to suffer in guilty silence.
The cast of characters in the waiting room should have their own reality show on TV. There was an old man sitting in a wheelchair talking to some unseen person, a young man holding a bloody rag to his head dropping ‘F’ bombs, two bawling babies never quite getting their harmony together, and a variety of coughs and sniffles polluting the air. The people accompanying them did not look like they were that much better off than those waiting for treatment. Several of the people waiting were in sweatsuits although I doubted at their weight if they had ever done anything that made them sweat. Two women stayed on the phone having appointed themselves as the reporter of bad news to relatives, friends and anyone else on their contact list. The half dozen kids there were all on their phones or tablets playing video games or reviewing the latest on You Tube, Facebook, What’s Ap, or Tik Tok.
While I was waiting, Melissa, the social worker from the Salvation Army came in. She knew me and came over. “Are you checking on the little girl, too?”
“Yes. I didn’t see her in time.” I started crying. She had not known before then that it was my car that hit her. Melissa gave me some sympathy before giving me information about the girl and her mother.
“Man, this family cannot catch a break.” She gave me the background on what they were doing at the Salvation Army. I found out that I had a heart after all because it broke when I was told their story. The worker mentioned that she had several women in a similar circumstance: single mother, husband left, child support irregular if at all, unemployed, lost her car because she couldn’t make the loan payments, couldn’t pay rent so she’s looking for a place to stay, and so on. Melissa soon left me as she had received permission to go back and see the mother.
It was several hours before the girl’s mother came out. In that time, I went to the admission people and got the paperwork amended so that any bills her insurance wouldn’t pay would be sent to me.
The mother came through the automatic double doors and saw me sitting in the waiting room. She drew back as if to say, “What’s he doing here?”
Then she actually said it, “What are you doing here?”
“I wanted to tell you how sorry I am. I also wanted to ask how your daughter was and if I could be of any help.”
“Well, thanks to you, she’s in a medically induced coma to see how much her body can heal itself before having surgery.”
“How long will Shelly be in a coma?”
“They don’t know. She might never wake again.” She started sobbing uncontrollably. I went to her to comfort her.
“Don’t touch me! This is all your fault! Why don’t you go back to your mansion or gentleman’s club or whatever rock you live under?”
“Nora, I know this must be difficult for you. Please take my card. If there are any expenses related to the accident you or Shelly have, I will pay them for you. It’s the least I can do.”
“No. The least you can do is leave us alone. That’s the most I want you to do.”
“Look, I know you and your daughter are staying at the Salvation Army. I”ll be glad to pay for a room at . . . “
“Wait a minute. How the hell do you know our names or anything about us? They told me that everything about me being at the Salvation Army was confidential.”
“My name is Walter Samuelson. I’m on the board of the Salvation Army and had to sign a confidentiality agreement when I was appointed. I’m allowed to receive personal information on clients. I am very keen on keeping confidentiality.”
“Whoop teedo. Mr. Big Shot. Well, I’m not going to take anything from you that might ease your guilt. I want you to feel bad and don’t you dare say to me, ‘I know how you feel.'”
“Nora, I hope you change your mind about allowing me to help. I will leave now since you don’t want me here.” I started down the hallway to the exit.
“Wait, do you want to buy me lunch since I’ve missed the meal at the Salvation Army?”
“Anywhere you want.”
“McDonald’s is fine.”
“We don’t have to . . . ” I changed my mind in mid-sentence as I saw the look on her face. “We don’t have to go anywhere else. McDonald’s it is.”
We sat down and tried to eat. Despite both of us being hungry, our stomachs were not relaxed enough to eat much. She was silent. I was too stupid not to let her stay that way.
“Nora, I know you lost your job. I can help you financially until you get a job if you will let me. I can even get you a car. I feel so bad about what happened. Please let me help.”
“N-0 T-H-A-N-K Y-O-U, I will not let another man ‘do me a favor.’ That’s why I lost my job. My boss wanted to do me a favor in return for me ‘doing him.’ I hope he lost at least one of his balls from my kick. How do I know you are any different? Because you say so?”
“I guess me giving my word doesn’t mean much. As far as your boss, you could sue him for . . .”
“Do they charge extra for brains on the planet you live on? I am an unemployed single parent. I can’t afford to sue anyone for anything. Anyway, it would be his word against mine, and I have no proof.”
“Did you like the job?”
“Yes, and I was good at it. The other women who worked there were nice to work with and the men, well, I could tolerate them.”
“Are you staying at the hospital or can I drop you off somewhere?”
“I really would like to take a shower and change clothes before coming back. They said it would be a while before they know anything, but I can’t stand to just leave her there by herself for long. Will you take me back to the shelter?”
On the way to the shelter, I had my first chance to really look at Nora. There was little to no makeup left after all the tears. She was very attractive although I thought she was a little too skinny. Her legs were probably the best thing about her that I could see.
We arrived at the shelter. I asked if she wanted me to wait to take her back to the hospital. She said, “I guess if you don’t mind, but it might take a while.” I asked her to call me. She got emotional again and told me she couldn’t because she couldn’t afford cell phone service. I got her to give me her number and her provider. I informed her that it would be working by the time she needed a ride. She didn’t say thanks and walked quickly into the shelter. I was happy that she let me help a little.
As I waited for Nora’s call, I debated how to get Nora to let me assist her more. I had money. She needed money. I didn’t want anything in return, but she didn’t trust me yet. That gave me an idea. I had one of my staff track down where Nora had worked.
After I got her phone service reconnected, I called her former boss. He recognized my name and was very pleasant to me. I did not return his attitude. I said, “Get this straight. You will call Nora Ezell and apologize. You will offer her job back at a higher wage. You will remove anything from her personnel file about being fired or her quitting. You will put her on paid Family Emergency Leave.”
“Wait just a damn minute. You’re not my boss. You can’t tell me shit. It would cost my department a lot of money to do that. We don’t offer anyone paid Emergency Leave.”
“How much what?”
“You’re talking about money. How much would you need to cover all I requested?”
“I don’t know, “$10,000?”
I knew that was probably too high, but I agreed. “I’ll bring the check right over.”
“But what if she doesn’t agree to come back?”
“You better make sure she does.”
By the time I got to his office, he had contacted Nora and promised her a job, paid Family Leave, and no future sexual harassment. She agreed. I handed him a check.
He said, “I guess I was right. Her pretty ass is worth a lot. Maybe not $10,000 worth though.” I hoped that my kick had crushed the other testicle that Nora might have missed. If not, my call to the CEO of the company should hurt him some.
Nora called me to pick her up. She looked better with a little makeup and fresh clothes. On the way to the hospital, she apologized for being so harsh with me. I told her there was no need to apologize.
After a few minutes of silence, I had to ask, “Does that mean you will accept help from me?”
“No. I’ve already let you do too much. You don’t have to worry about us anymore. I got my old job back. I should be all right soon.”
“But don’t you need some money for expenses until you get a paycheck? What about a car? You need a car, so you and Shelly don’t have to walk everywhere or take a taxi. And a place to stay. I could help . . . “
“NO! Back off! I won’t accept your money. People who care give from their heart, not just from their wallet.”
“What about giving from both?”
“That would take a very special person.”
I hoped she was just irritated at me, not angry. “Do you have an application for that ‘special person’ position?”
For the first time since I had met Nora, she smiled. I was surprised how pretty she was. That smile lit up her whole face.
As I dropped her off, I asked if I could come by later and pick her up for dinner. She sighed like she was giving up. She agreed to dinner.
The feelings stirring in me because of Nora were unfamiliar. They scared me. I attributed my strange feelings to stress from the accident.
I made Nora let me pick the restaurant for supper because she had picked the lunch place. I took her to a Jewish deli that had the best Reuben sandwiches in town. A Rueben, a whole Kosher dill pickle, homemade potato chips, and a German beer — what could be better. Both of us were hungry since we weren’t in the mood for lunch earlier. By the time we finished the thickly stacked sandwich, we were bloated. Nora used the mealtime to tell me how special Shelly was. Bright, energetic, and very caring were among the traits she mentioned. I could tell that talking about Shelly filled her with pride on one hand and dread of her immediate future on the other. Would Shelly recover? I doubted Nora could allow herself to believe otherwise.
After dinner, I took Nora for a ride. She complained, “This is not the way to the hospital. What are you up to?”
“I know where I’m going. I have a treat for you.”
“Look, I told you that I don’t do favors for guys. You can just turn this car . . . ” At that time, I pulled into the Economy Rental Car parking lot. “Walt, I told you that I wasn’t going to let you get me a car.”
“I’m not buying you a car. I’m just renting you a car. This way I can stop driving you around without feeling guilty about you not having a ride back and forth to the hospital. You won’t have to be forced putting up with me being your chauffer.”
Another sigh of resignation with a smile added. “I’m such a pain in the ass, you want to get rid of me, huh?”
I almost blurted out how much I wanted to be with her. Instead, I just replied, “Yeah. Being with you crimps my style in picking up hot chicks.” I grinned. She shook her head in disbelief at my corny humor.
She showed her driver’s license and did the paperwork for renting the car. I considered asking her if I could get her a credit card, but I knew she would refuse. I needed to be satisfied with what she had accepted so far.
We sat together in the hospital later that night. She refused to let me bring her anything from the vending area, saying she needed the exercise. Most of the time, we sat silently. I was happy when she fell asleep leaning on my shoulder. That let me relax enough that I fell asleep also.
When Nora woke up, she said that she had to hurry to return to the Salvation Army before the shelter locked up. She needed to clean up and her new clothes for tomorrow. I told her I would man the fort while she was gone.
When she didn’t come back in a reasonable time, I got worried. I got a call from the Salvation Army social worker. “Walt, are you still interested in helping Nora and Shelly?”
“Of course, I’m at the hospital now waiting for Nora to come back.”
“Walt, Nora IS at the hospital. She’s in the Emergency Room. Nora got mugged coming into the shelter. I’m not sure but she may have been raped too. I know she’s hurt, but I don’t know how bad. Can you check on her?” I was halfway to the ER before Melissa finished talking.
Fear for Nora and anger at her attackers fought for prominence in my brain. I rushed to the ER. Nora was conscious and agreed for me to come back and see her. She was cut and bruised and had one leg in a cast. She explained, “I tried to kick one of them but kicked a street pole instead. My beige belt in karate didn’t do me much good.”
“Were you . . . you know, molested?”
“I’ve been groped more dancing with my grandfather. The problem was when they saw how little money I had. They decided to fuck me to make up for a poor take. Although I got groped pretty good and lost some clothes, I screamed and fought enough that I got someone’s attention inside the shelter. They ran away before it got too bad.”
“Will you be all right?”
“Well, we can’t go dancing if that’s what you want to know.”
The doctor who treated her said, “Don’t let her fool you. She’s had a traumatic event and needs to rest and have assistance for at least 48 hours. Are you her husband?”
It didn’t help my ego when Nora started laughing at the thought. I offered, “No, but I’m willing to provide the help she needs.”
“Okay. She’ll be discharged in a half hour.”
Of course, a half hour in a hospital means over an hour in real time. I rolled her wheelchair out to my car and helped her in. She quickly asked where I was taking her. I told her, “My house.” Before she could ask, I mentioned that she would have her own bedroom and bathroom. I still expected her to object but she didn’t. I assumed her assent was due to a lack of better options rather than my charm.
I took her in to the downstairs bedroom and showed her where everything was. When she went to clean up for bed, I brought her one of my tee shirts to wear. It came down to her knees. We sat in the living room. Both of us needed to decompress from a day from Hell. She was giddy from her pain medications. I was about to suggest it was bedtime when she said that “Houston, we have a problem.” She needed to use the bathroom and she didn’t know if she could get herself on the commode and off again. I agreed to help. Nora’s modesty was also reduced due to the effects of her pain medication. I got flashed in the process and she just giggled.
I got her to bed. She asked me to sleep next to her. Nora wanted to snuggle. I obliged and tried to keep my erection under control. Her arms and legs were draped over me, but the medication put her under soon after we got in bed. I left and changed into my most conservative night clothes and returned to her bed. She woke first the next morning.
“What the hell are you doing in bed with me?” Nora awoke on fire. She examined her breasts and genitalia for signs of abuse ignoring the fact I was right there looking at her. Luckily for me, there were none from me or the men who had attacked her.
I got up out of bed and protested. “Nora, you asked me to get in bed. All we did was snuggle. Don’t worry. I didn’t touch your private parts.”
Evidently, Nora had remembered the commode episode. “You saw my privates, you . . . you pervert!”
“I only saw what you willingly showed me then and just a minute ago . . . Nice tattoo, by the way.” Nora had a tattoo above her landing strip bush.
Nora started crying. I was scared to go hold her. She looked up to me pleadingly and said, “I’m sorry. I’m not used to a man being nice to be without some ulterior motive.” I took a chance. I went and took her in my arms. She reciprocated willingly. We stayed that way for a while.
“Walt, is that breakfast I smell? When did you fix that?”
“I have a cook on weekdays. It smells like it’s ready. Are you hungry?”
“I could eat a little, but I need the bathroom again. I guess you can help since you’ve already viewed the scenery.”
I introduced her to Lillian, my cook. She had fruit and pancakes ready and offered to make anything else. I asked for bacon and eggs. Nora ate a hardy breakfast. Then it hit her. “Walt, I have no clean clothes here that aren’t torn. Can you get my clothes from the Salvation Army?” Before I could answer, Lillian offered to go to the Target nearby and get a few things. After getting her sizes, Lillian was off to go shopping.
“Must be nice to have a cook. She seems like a really nice woman. Is she a ‘Cook with Benefits?'”
“No. She is married and has three kids. If it was warmer, they would be over here to swim.”
All of a sudden, Nora’s mood swung. “Oh, Walt, what am I going to do if Shelly doesn’t make it or she is permanently disabled?” Tears and sobs poured out.
Taking her in my arms again, I counseled, “Nora, you have to stay positive. Shelly can sense how you feel even if she can’t hear you. Everything will work out. I really believe it.” I lied. I was scared to death that Shelly wouldn’t make it.
Nora and I lived in the same house for several weeks. I was surprised how compatible we were together. She insisted on doing some of the chores despite my pleas for her to just rest and the complaints from my housekeeper about being replaced. We both went to the hospital each day.