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It had been raining all day. It was a cold rain, the kind that keeps most people indoors all day. Most office workers have lunch delivered instead of fighting the rain and the crowds.
I had been sequestered in my high-rise office getting a lot of work done and feeling pretty smug about it, when I glanced at the clock and saw that it was 7PM. I had been working all day without stopping, but it had been so dark outside all day that I had not noticed when night had fallen.
"Kady, are you still here?" It was Cindy, our receptionist/researcher.
"Yes, I guess the day just got away from me," I said. Cindy walked stiffly into my office on her leg braces and crutches. I watched as she removed her crutches and unlocked the joints at her knees as she sat on my office couch. She's one of those women who is naturally pretty, the ones the boys always like. Blonde hair, perfect fair skin, and pouty lips that curl easily into a smile.
"And what keeps you at the office until this hour, young lady?" I asked in a mock serious tone.
"Oh, some stuff I have been putting off and the weather, you know. I'm parked several blocks away."
I imagined how difficult it must be walking on slick, rainy sidewalks and crossing streets in the rain with crutches and legs that don't work. So I insisted that I take her home. After all, one of the perks of my job is parking in the building's garage, and you don't have to go outside to get to the car.
She was shaking her head and attempting to refuse, so I came out from behind my desk and sat in the leather chair next to the couch. I crossed my legs and she stared at them "How on earth can you walk in those shoes with those heels all day?" She asked.
"These are nothing," I said, getting up and walking over to the filing cabinet. "Take a look at these."
I had worn some mid-heels to the office. Very professional looking, about a two-inch heel, albeit a thin, spikey heel. At the filing cabinet I took out my apres work *date* shoes, sometimes referred to as FMPs. These particular ones are black patent leather T-straps with four-inch high heels--not high enough to be slutty, mind you, but high enough to get *his* attention. I sat the shoes on the coffee table, and Cindy picked one up, turning it in her hands. The look on her face suddenly made me think this was a big mistake. "Hey, these are for sluts anyway," I said as I stood up and reached for the shoes. It was my intention to put them away.
"No," she said. "Would you mind if I try them on? I have never worn shoes like these.
"Please," I said, relieved. "Be my guest."
I watched as Cindy raised her skirt up to the tops of her thighs and began to unfasten the straps of her braces. There were velcro straps around the tops of her thighs, and two or three little buckles at each knee. She unstrapped her cute little mary-janes and lifted each leg out of its brace. I helped by taking the braces and holding them. She lifted one foot and propped it on the opposite knee, picked up my shoe, and worked it onto her foot, finally fastening the t-strap.
She gently placed that foot on the floor, then put the other shoe on, and gently crossed it over the other one at the knee. She smoothed her stocking from the ankle to the knee of the crossed leg, starting with the heel of the shoe. "Oh my, look at me," she said.
I had to admit her legs looked pretty good in those heels. That's the reason I wear them. They tend to lengthen and straighten you legs. Her legs were long and slender the start with, not having much muscle tone, and the heels looked good on her.
I was staring down at the leg braces in my hands as I said, "Mind if I try on your shoes?" My face was so hot I was afraid I would begin to sweat, and my heart was pounding in my throat. I don't remember what she said, but she must have said to go ahead, because I leaned one brace against the chair and began to put the right one on. My foot slipped right into her shoe, and I buckled the shoe strap. When I lifted the brace and pulled it snug around my leg, I was startled to find that it was still warm from her.
I pulled my skirt from around the brace, then fastened the thigh strap and connected the knee pad. By now my nipples almost hurt they were so big and hard and sensitive. I wanted to answer their cry for attention with my hands, but I reached for the other brace instead. Cindy's left shoe is built up by about an inch or so, and I wondered about walking in it for a split second, then pulled the brace on and buckled it. My head was swimming, and my hands were shaking.
"Here, you will need these." It was Cindy as she held out her crutches for me.
Feeling extremely awkward, I stood up, and my breath caught as I heard the knee locks engage. I was so dizzy I felt like I needed the crutches to remain standing, and it felt natural to slip my arms into them. I moved around the room as I had so often seen Cindy do, and returned to stand in front of her.
"If you will go get my wheelchair out by my desk, we can leave," said Cindy. "You look like you could use a drink, and so could I."
Cindy Part II
As Cindy wheeled herself and I swung my braced legs through the crutches on the way to my car of the fourth floor of the parking garage, the phrase, "What the hell am I doing?" Kept racing through my mind.
"What would Mother think?" Or better yet, "What if someone you know sees you?"
We made it to the car unseen as far as I could tell. I opened the passenger door for Cindy and she smoothly scooted onto the car seat, then lifted her legs into the car, crossing them again. I deposited the crutches on the back seat along with her wheelchair, and we were off. Driving was interesting in leg braces. The full range of motion is not available, and I noticed that I could not move my ankles, so the foot pedals were a bit awkward, but I soon learned to just use the flat part of the shoe and push from the knee, not the foot.
We decided to go to restaurant/bar that we had both heard of but neither of us had ever been to, a good distance from either of our neighborhoods. Luckily it was accessible, and we were soon seated at a small round table. We ordered drinks and salads, and I decided to head to the ladies room. It was only several steps away, so I just got up and walked on my stiff legs, leaving the crutches on the floor by the table. Upon my return, Cindy was entertaining two really good-looking guys. She was seated in her wheelchair with her legs crossed out from under the tablecloth so she could show them off in the heels.
I was introduced to Dennis and Brad. Dennis was an old friend of Cindy's, having met at an Americans With Disabilities rally several years ago. They had worked for passage of the ADA in Congress, so they knew each other well. Brad had taken my seat. He stood as we were introduced, but sat back down in my chair. Dennis looked at me and smiled, "Here you go. Best seat in the house." And he pulled his wheelchair next to the table and patted his knees with a *come hither* grin.
Totally embarrassed, I walked over to him, unlocked my knees and sat squarely in his lap. "I-I hope I'm not too heavy," I stammered.
"Nope, can't feel a thing, " said Dennis, smiling.
My you-know-what were getting like little hard erasers again as I began to look forward to the rest of the evening.
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