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|Peter woke up in a strange room. He soon realized it was a hospital room. He felt groggy and bandages on his face blocked his peripheral vision disorienting him further. “Mr. Kolowski”, someone said from the foot of his bed. Peter shifted his head toward the direction of the strange voice. “Mr. Kolowski, I’m Dr. Soren. You were in a car accident and now you’re at Hillcrest Hospital. Do you understand?” The distinguished looking man said while moving to the left side of the bed closer to Peter. Pete followed the man’s movements with his eyes, then forced the word “yes” from his dry throat. “You are fine. The only injuries you suffered were a broken nose and some minor cuts and bruises. You are an extremely lucky young man. One of the best plastic surgeons in all of Chicago just happened to be doing some pro-bono work in the hospital when you arrived and he reset your nose. He was surprised when he saw your x-rays for your nose was broken precisely where it should be for a rhinoplasty. He took advantage of the situation and reshaped your nose using all his tremendous skills.”
“You mean I got a nose job?” Peter asked trying to take in all the information.
“You can look at it that way. You may be the first person to ever look better after having a car accident.” The doctor smiled and leaned in closer to the patient. “And it’s covered by your insurance.” The doctor stood erect and continued “You get some rest now. We’re going to keep you overnight for observation and probably release you in the morning.” The doctor walked back to the foot of the bed.
“Doctor, what about Bryan. He was in the car with me.” Peter asked nervously.
The smile left the doctor’s face and his tone turned darker. “He should be okay. He wasn’t as fortunate as you and had more serious injuries. He’s in another room where we can keep a closer eye on him. You can see him in the morning before you leave. Try to get some rest.”
The next morning Pete followed Dr. Soren into Bryan’s room. Pete stopped breathing when he saw Bryan’s battered body lying in the hospital bed covered in bandages. He wasn’t used to seeing Bryan look for helpless and vulnerable. Pete ran to the bedside and put his hand in Bryan’s. Bryan opened his eyes. Pete smiled and said “hey”, Bryan squeezed Pete’s hand and tried to smile back. Pete noticed his friend was missing some teeth under his swollen upper lip. “We look like twins” Peter said pointing to the bandage on his face. Bryan had a similar bandage, but it was much larger covering almost his entire head. “Did you get a nose job too? Not that you needed one” Peter asked to lighten the mood.
“No he didn’t. An intern reset his nose. We were more concerned with his other injuries. For some unknown reason the driver’s side seat belt and air bag didn’t work properly, unlike the passenger’s side. Bryan shattered his right kneecap, broke his left arm in two places and cracked several ribs. His face hit the windshield with a lot of force; breaking his nose and causing a deep laceration from his forehead, down across his nose and over to his left cheek. It required over fifty stitched to close. It’s very difficult to work on facial injuries because of all the bleeding.” The doctor spoke to Peter as if Bryan wasn’t even in the room.
“I don’t remember what happened” Bryan said softly, his voice cracking more than once.
“I’m fuzzy on the details myself dude. The last thing I remember is leaving the ball field to go to dinner in your car. The last hour or two before the accident are blank” Peter said looking into Bryan’s concerned eyes.
“Memory loss is not unusual for accident victims. That time may be lost forever for the both of you” the doctor commented.
“The important thing is that we are both going to be okay”, Peter said putting his other hand on top of Bryan’s. “When can I take him home, Doc?”
“We need to keep him in the hospital at least another week to make sure he is healing properly. He needs to rest and recuperate.” The doctor said looking over Bryan’s medical chart.
“I think that’s my cue to leave. I’ll be back later this afternoon after I go to the house and get some of your things to make your stay more comfortable. But before you know it you’ll be back home with me.” Peter said letting go of Bryan, who reluctantly released his grip. A sudden terrifying loneliness overtook Bryan as he watched Peter walk out of the room.
Almost two weeks had passed, when the bandages on Pete’s nose were removed. “Ta da! What do you think of the new, improved Peter Kolowski?” Pete asked as he walked into Bryan’s hospital room with his arms held out at shoulder level. He moved to Bryan’s bedside and turned his face to the left and right to show Bryan his new profile. “Not bad, huh? I can no longer be confused with Big Bird. The beak is gone forever.” Peter’s glee filled the room. Bryan couldn’t help but smile. He stared at Peter’s joyous face. He nose did look great; it was the perfect shape and proportion. But it wasn’t just his nose that appeared different. Pete’s eyes looked larger and brighter, his cheek bones looked higher and his jaw line more prominent. Even his chin had a faint cleft; making him more rugged and handsome. In fact his entire body looked stronger and more masculine. He carried himself more confidently, like an athlete.
“You look amazing” Bryan said, a little uncomfortable with the erotic thoughts going through his mind.
“I can’t believe how just changing the nose affects the whole look of my face. The doctor said I’m still a little swollen, but he is delighted by how fast I’m healing with no scarring. In another week, no one will ever know I was in a car accident”, Peter said without thinking. He saw the smile leave Bryan’s face. “That’s just me. My injuries were nothing compared to what you are going through. You look much better today, dude”.
“Thanks, I feel a little better too.” Bryan said trying to convince himself. Just then Dr. Soren entered the room. “Doctor, have you made a decision about my release?”
“That’s what I wanted to discuss with you, Bryan”, the doctor responded before directing his attention to Peter. “Hello Peter, I see your bandages are off. You look very handsome and totally natural. You are healing extremely well and so quickly.”
“I was told I can start exercising again too. I can’t wait; I have all this excess energy lately. It’s been frustrating not being able to work out.” Peter said while unconsciously flexing his muscles.
“You haven’t been working out. Funny, you look much more muscular than the last time I saw you”, Dr. Soren commented when scanning Pete’s physique.
“It’s the craziest thing Doc; I was on a strict diet and exercise regimen before the accident, but not making much progress. Then all of a sudden the past two weeks the excess body fat started to drop off. I had to make a new hole in my belt this morning because they are all too big for me. With the fat gone, my muscle definition has increased dramatically. For the first time I actually feel like I accomplished something from all that time in the gym, even though I haven’t worked out in weeks.” Peter said excitedly.
“Some men are naturally just more muscular than others” the doctor stated trying to flatter Peter.
“Oh, believe me I know. So can he come home with me today?” Peter responded thinking the doctor was commenting about Bryan.
“I still have some concerns. Unlike you, Bryan’s body is not healing as expected. I did a few tests and found out one reason is probably is extremely low testosterone levels. He’s in the bottom 10% of the male population. While I have a feeling Peter you are in the top 10” The doctor said making a second attempt to compliment Peter.
“That doesn’t make sense. I’ve always been a very virile man, doctor” Bryan said defensively.
“Low testosterone doesn’t make you less of a man Bryan. It only impacts some male attributes.” the doctor added.
Pete could see Bryan was still slighted by the doctor’s comments. “Doctor isn’t it a proven fact that a man’s testosterone levels fluctuate throughout his lifetime. From year to year, month to month, day to day, even hour to hour. So maybe right now Bryan is at a low point, while I’m at a higher level. That could all change by tomorrow, you just never know. It’s funny, they say when women live together their menstrual cycled sync up, I guess for men it’s the reverse. That’s another reason they may call us the opposite sex” Peter mused trying to make Bryan feel better.
The doctor laughed a little too long and loudly, then ran his hand down Peter’s arm stopping momentarily at the bicep for a quick feel. He looked into Peter’s eyes for a moment before speaking, “That’s very good. You are an insightful man with a great sense of humor, Peter”.
“Thanks Doc. Is there something you can do to help speed up Bryan’s recovery?” Peter asked trying to focus the attention back to the patient. It never dawned on him that another man was flirting with him, especially with Bryan in the room.
“Yes, I think we should try hormone replacement therapy. Bryan will take low doses of steroids to stimulate the healing process. We’ll have to monitor him closely to make sure there are no negative side affects” the doctor said crossing his arms over his chest trying to look more authoritarian.
“Side effects?” Bryan asked.
“Some men experience mood swings, acne, baldness, formation of breast tissue, liver damage and shrinkage of the testicles. But that’s when high doses are used over a long period of time. I’m planning on using low doses for just a couple of weeks” the doctor said in a matter of fact manner.
“I don’t know” Bryan said looking down at his crotch. “Can I go home today if I agree to take the steroids?”
“Yes. I think being in your own home will help your recovery too. Especially with such an attentive friend looking after you” the doctor said staring at Peter again. “Why don’t I let you two discuss it and I’ll be back in a few minutes.”
Bryan waited for the doctor to leave. “I don’t know about this, Peter. It sounds kind of risky”.
“You heard the doctor. He’s going to be monitoring your progress very carefully to make sure nothing bad will happen.” Peter said sitting on the edge of Bryan’s bed.
“Every since the accident I haven’t felt like myself. I feel so weak and tired all the time. I’ve lost so much muscle mass and gained a lot of fat. And not just in my stomach as usual, but in my chest, hips, thighs and ass. But now I may go bald, grow bigger tits and have my balls shrink. I haven’t told anyone this yet, but I think my cock and balls have already shrunk since the accident. I don’t want them to be any smaller.” Bryan’s voice got softer as he spoke.
Peter could see his friend was truly scared. “Listen, bro. Your body has been through a very traumatic experience. It’s going take time to get back to the man you were before. And I don’t think a man’s bits and pieces get smaller for no reason. It’s just an illusion. I’ve noticed my stuff looks a lot bigger since I’ve lost the fat around my pelvis. Plus I did a little man-scaping of the old pubes, and presto-chango I look like a fucking porn star. I swear it even feels bigger but I know it really isn’t. I bet a similar thing is happening to you. Since you’ve been lying around in bed, immobile for the past 2 weeks, you’ve gained a little weight making you only look smaller. Once you get fully healed and hit the gym again. The weight will fall off, you’ll gain all your muscle back and that giant horse dick of yours will look as big as ever in no time.” Peter said in a comical way.
Bryan laughed. “You’re probably right. I think being stuck in this place is affecting my brain. I’m constantly worried about everything and I get nervous around other people. I need to go home. I’ll do anything to get out of here.”
Doctor returned with a nurse in tow. “Have you made a decision?”
“I’m going to try the hormone therapy” Bryan answered.
“Good, we’ll start the first dose next week. But now I think it’s time we remove the bandages from your face too”, the doctor started to unwrap the top layer of gauze from around Bryan’s head. He hesitated and put his hands on Bryan’s shoulders, “Now remember you had a more severe injury to your face than your friend. So you’re not going to look as good as he does this soon after the accident. So brace yourself. It will be a shock.” The doctor then gently removed the thicker bandages that covered Bryan’s injury being careful not to reopen the wound. Bryan felt the sting of cool, fresh air hit his face. The doctor had no expression as he examined the injury then pulled out the cotton swabs that were stuffed in each nostril. Bryan looked at the nurse who gave him a half-hearted smile. Then he looked at Peter who quickly looked away down toward the floor. “The wound looks clean. We’ll remove the stitches in a couple of days. It’s not completely healed, but the scarring should be less than I feared.”
“That’s good right?” Bryan asked. The doctor nodded a confirmation. Bryan looked again at his friend who was still looking at the floor. “Pete, do I look that bad?’
“No, of course not. It’s just I haven’t seen you without bandages since the accident, that’s all” Peter said with his eyes darting around the room.
The nurse gave Bryan a mirror. He slowly raised it up to his face. His nose was discolored from multiple bruises. It had a bump on one side where it had been broken, causing the bottom half of his nose to curve off center. Bryan’s perfect facial symmetry was destroyed in the accident. The deep cut that crossed the center of his face was still oozing puss in several spots between the multiple black stitches. Bryan was in shock, he fought back his tears. He thought he looked like Frankenstein’s monster.
“Why don’t I start packing up your things so we can get you home”, Peter said going into the attached bathroom. He opened up a small toiletry bag and began to put Bryan’s belongs inside. He could hear the doctor trying to comfort Bryan, he knew that should be his job, but he couldn’t do it. Not now for Peter was fighting back tears too. He was grieving the death of his idol, the manifestation of the perfect man. Peter wiped his eyes and reentered the room without looking at anyone. Bryan watched Peter move about the room gathering his belongings into an overnight bag. Bryan wanted Peter to say something, anything. An orderly arrived with a wheelchair. The nurse instructed him to help Bryan dress. Peter silently placed an old pair of sweat pants and a t-shirt on the bed for Bryan to wear. The once snug fitting clothes now hung loosely on Bryan’s diminished frame making it easy to get the clothes on over his casts. Once dressed, the orderly put Bryan into the wheelchair and together they left the room. Peter who had been standing in the far corner staring at the floor, followed behind. Since the cast on Bryan’s leg made it impossible for him to sit in the front seat, Peter helped Bryan get into the back of his car. Bryan’s body felt much softer than Peter had expected. During the short drive home, Peter tried to engage Bryan in small talk. Bryan barely responded and just watched the world pass by the car’s window. Peter stared at his fallen idol in the rear view mirror. He couldn’t believe it was the same man he had lived with and loved for the past six years.
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