As Ethan was waiting in line to get something to eat, he thought of what Dorothy had said. I’ve always been very careful with my tools and never really cut myself. Scrapes and bruises for sure, but I’ve never bled.
Placing his order, the cashier told him, "That'll cost you five dollars." He quirked an eyebrow at him. Apparently he knew of Ethan’s habit of using archaic terms and expressions. He smiled, handed over the five credits, took his snack and sat down where he continued to ponder. If I were to cut myself and bleed on a piece I was working on, I’d clean it up immediately. Since the virus can’t live outside the body, there’s no risk in continuing on.
This revelation caused him to cheer up. He can still do the three things he loved, woodworking, running and swimming.
Looking over the next restoration project and saying to himself, this won’t take long at all. Some wood-filler, sanding and staining and it will be good as new. Intent on his work, he didn’t hear Chris enter the shop.
“Hey, Ethan, how’d the therapy session go?”
After coming down from the ceiling and putting his skin back on, he rounded on his brother. “Butt-munch! You scared the shit outta me!”
Laughing, Chris made a show of looking around the floor where Ethan was standing. “Hm. That’s funny. I don’t see any shit on the floor. Is it still in your pants?”
Ethan picked up a standing block and launched toward Chris’ head. “Don’t ever sneak up on my like that! You never know what kind of tool I might be holding onto.”
Chris groaned and rolled his eyes. “That’s a mental picture I’ll never be able to get out of my head.” He complained.
“What picture?” Ethan asked, pretty much knowing what the answer would be.
“You holding onto your tool.”
“Fuck you, the horse you rode in on, and anyone who even remotely looks like you.”
“Now I’d pay good money to see that!” Chris shot back, grinning.
“See what?” Poor Ethan had no clue as to what Chris would say.
“You said, ‘fuck you, the horse you rode in on, and anyone who even remotely looks like you.’ Since you and I look somewhat alike, that means you have to fuck yourself. Should I go get you a dildo?”
“Ha, ha. Very funny. Not!”
“Seriously, how did your session go?”
“It was nothing like anything I’d seen before in those old vids. No couch, no psycho- babble bullshit. We sat in chairs facing each other and just talked, kinda like what we’re doing now. She convinced me that it would be okay to continue doing woodworking.”
Chris lightly punched his shoulder. “Dumb ass, I told you you didn’t have to give it up.”
“Dumb ass? Where’d you pick that up from?”
“You, numb nuts.” Chris replied laughing, using yet another archaic expression. “You’re not the only person who likes to use those old phrases. So what are you working on now?”
Ethan showed him a coffee table that was in superb condition except for several small holes on the surface. “A little wood-filler, a little sanding, a little stain and you won’t know the difference.”
Chris looked at his little brother with respect, shaking his head. “You’re amazing. I don’t know how you do it, but you always manage to pull it off. The only thing I’ve seen you unable to restore was the old chair that was badly burned in a fire.”
“I don’t know how I do it either. I just do it.” His telecommunicator beeped. It was Alicia calling. “Hey, what’s up?”
“Ethan I have something serious you and Chris need to know about. Is he there with you by any chance?”
“Yeah, he is.” He activated the speaker.
“Hey, Alicia,” he hollered so she would hear him.
“Okay. You guys need to sit down.”
“Sit down why?”
“If you don’t, you’re gonna fall down.”
“Okay, we’re sitting.”
Alicia’s deep breath was clearly audible. “Ethan, the video of you getting gang-raped has somehow found its way into the telecommunicator network. Probably everyone has seen it by now.”
Ethan turned white as a sheet and started shaking so hard Chris had to grab him to keep him from falling out of his chair. “Alicia, get over here now! Bring Troy with you!”
“Shit. I thought all this was behind us. What are we going to do?” Troy asked as he worn a groove into the carpeting with his pacing.”
“I know what I’m going to do,” Alicia snarled, “I’m going to find out whoever did this and make them pay dearly; with their lives if necessary. I’ve already contacted the telecommunications bureau and they’ve pulled it form the network. The bad thing is we don’t know how many people have seen it, and what they’re reactions will be.” She looked towards the stairs where Ethan was in his room sleeping.
Chris went to a closet and brandishing a weapon. “If anyone comes around looking for trouble, they’ll find it!”
“Chris, put that away. Violence is not going to help Ethan.” Troy ordered.
Chris shot him an angry look. “It may not help him, but it will damn sure protect him!”
Alicia, normally the voice of reason told Troy she’d do the same thing. “I think we need to get in touch with his therapist.”
“Good idea. What’s her name?”
“Dorothy Daniels.” She pulled out her telecommunicator and spoke into it. “Locate and connect to Dorothy Daniels.”
“Dorothy Daniels. How may I help you?”
“Hi, this is Alicia Evans, Ethan’s sister. We have a situation with Ethan. The video of him getting gang-raped was put up on the telecommunicator network. We have no idea how many people may have seen it before I got it pulled. I’m afraid of how people react around Ethan.”
“Does he know?”
“Yes. I felt he had a right to know.”
“How’s he taking it?”
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