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    Bill W
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Mental Games - 6. Recovery and Rewards

Mike and Adam spent a great deal of their free time planning how Adam could best utilize his new ability and they only placed one restriction on it. They agreed Adam wouldn’t do anything with it until he had fully recovered. Since Adam had a doctor’s appointment coming up in another week, they decided to wait and see how that went first, before they made any other decisions.

Within days after Adam arrived home, George and Rita realized they had a problem. They both needed their cars to get back and forth to work, but Adam had multiple appointments he would need to keep, plus he and Mike would want to get out of the house from time to time. Unfortunately, George and Rita couldn't afford to take more time off of work to help with any of those things, because they had used up all of their personal time and most of their vacation days just to be with him at the hospital. This meant they would have to come up with some other way for him to get around.

After thinking about it for a while, George made a decision. He called the boys down from their rooms so he could discuss this with them in private.

“I don’t have a lot of money to spend on it, but I’ve decided to buy you a car,” Adam's father began while looking at his son. “It not only will give you some freedom and allow you to go places on your own, but it will also help your mother and me out, since we won’t be able to take you everywhere you'll need to go. I realize you won’t be able to drive for a while yet, so Mike can be your chauffeur, so to speak, until you are capable. You’ll also be able to take the car to med school when you’re ready,”

“That works for me, Dad,” Adam quickly concurred, while sporting a huge grin. “So do you want Mike and me to go see what we can find on Craig’s list?”

“I was thinking about taking you around to some car lots, but if you’d prefer to check out Craig’s list instead, then I don’t have a problem with it,” his father agreed. He then explained how much he had to spend on this purchase.

Adam and Mike went back up to Adam’s room and signed onto the computer so they could start looking for an acceptable set of wheels. They checked out the pictures and perused the details about quite a few of the vehicles listed. Eventually, they whittled the choices down to two possibilities – a Toyota Prius and a Honda Civic. They were both a few years old, but still reported to be in great shape, however they changed their minds when they came across another listing. This one was for a Honda Accord, which had a roomier interior than the other two. It also had a better price, lower mileage and was more stylish. They then went to show the options to Adam’s father and compared the listings.

“Why don’t you contact the owners and we’ll go look at each one tomorrow evening,” George offered. “Make the first appointment for the one you like the least and save the one you like best until last. That way if we get there and it’s still your favorite after looking at the others, then we’ll make the person an offer. If not, we’ll call back the owner of the one you'd prefer.”

This sounded like a fairly good idea, so the boys did as Adam's father suggested. They made the calls and were able to contact each of the owners. Since all three locations were fairly close to one another, the boys set up the appointments about forty-five minutes apart, so they wouldn't have to rush. When Adam's father got home from work, they grabbed a quick bite to eat and then took off to see the three choices.

The Prius was nice, but the Civic wasn’t in quite as good of shape as the pictures and owner had indicated. The Accord, however, was immaculate, both inside and out. It had belonged to an elderly woman who didn’t drive very often and had recently passed away, so her heirs had decided to sell it. All three heirs were at the house when they got there, so Adam sent out the thought ‘tell me the truth’, as he inquired about the car. He continued that same thought when he asked why none of the heirs wanted the car and was told they all had newer vehicles already. In fact, they even informed about the make and models each one owned, as well as the fact that none of them needed another vehicle, so they decided to sell the car and split the money.

After seeing the Accord, hearing this information and taking it out for a test drive, Adam, Mike and George talked it over and agreed this was the one they were going to purchase. Adam’s father then struck a deal with the heirs and agreed to meet them again the following day. At that time, George would give them a certified check made out to the estate and pick up the title. The estate lawyer would also be present, since he held the power of attorney and would have to endorse the title over to them.

George, Mike and Adam were all excited as they drove back to the house. Once they got there, Adam had some more information he wanted to share with Mike.

“I learned something while we were looking at the cars,” he began, while carefully dancing around like an excited little boy.

“What?” Mike asked, when Adam didn’t immediately continue.

“It seems my ability only works when I really concentrate or I’m emotionally involved in the outcome,” he stated, looking relieved.

“Why do you say that?” Mike wanted to know, since he didn't immediately see where Adam was going with this line of thought.

“Well I didn’t really want to force any of them to accept a deal, but I did want to find out if they would react to what I was thinking,” Adam explained. A smile was gradually spreading across his lips and he began to do a little happy dance as he thought about having his own car. “I just kind of let a few random thoughts form in my mind, such as ‘how about lowering the price for us’ or ‘you could throw in a new set of tires too’, but it didn’t seem to affect them one bit. Then, when we really liked the Accord and I wanted to know about it and why none of the heirs wanted it, so I concentrated on having them tell me the truth. I’m pretty sure they did too, because each one told us exactly what he drove. I think I’m slowly learning how to control my ability.”

“Wow! That’s great!” Mike followed, suddenly catching on.

“It certainly is, because now I won’t have to watch what I’m thinking so closely,” Adam explained. “People only react to my thoughts if I’m committed to the outcome, either mentally or emotionally. Random thoughts don’t appear to have the same effect on them.”

The pair talked about this further and Adam insisted he still needed to test it some more, but it was definitely a positive sign. This recent discovery meant he could utilize his ability to change the outcome of situations when he really wanted to, but he didn’t have to worry about doing it accidentally, so he wouldn't have to be careful about what he was thinking. He now knew that random thoughts wouldn't affect those around him or impact the outcome of situations he didn’t really care about.

Adam was in a great mood for the rest of the evening. First, he was getting a really nice car, one that should last him through med school and possibly beyond. Second, his biggest concern and fear was now behind him, because he no longer had to worry about messing up unintentionally with his thoughts.

The following day, the boys went with Adam's father to pay for the car and pick up the title. Since the Department of Motor Vehicles was already closed, they had to wait until the following day to register it. When they did this, they listed it under Adam's father’s name so he could add the car to his insurance policy. It would be cheaper that way and they could always change it over at a later date, if Adam wanted to.

Once they received the license plates, they went back to pick up the car. Mike drove it, with Adam sitting in the front passenger seat, but they didn’t go straight back to Adam’s house. Instead, they decided to take the car out for another test drive and see what it could do. In the end, they seemed very pleased with the way it rode and handled, plus they also liked that it was red. It gave it sort of a sporty feel and look.

After they got home, Adam dragged his mother outside to check out his car too, since she was the only one who hadn’t seen it yet. She was quite impressed and gave Adam a kiss.

"Adam, it's lovely and it looks new too," she gushed after walking around the car and looking at it from all angles. She even opened the doors and looked at the interior as well. "It should last you for a long time, but be very careful. No racing and watch were you park."

After telling them this, she hugged both him and Mike. The boys didn’t take offense to any of her comments, since they knew it was part of her job of being a mother. Eagerly, they agreed to honor her wishes.

The boys were still in a good mood that evening, although Adam was slightly uneasy about the doctor’s appointment the following day. It was probably just going to be a routine visit, but he had a few questions he wanted the doctor to answer as well. He was trying not to think any negative thoughts, but he couldn’t get the appointment out of his mind. Unfortunately, these concerns made it difficult for him to get a good night's sleep and he longed for the ordeal to be over.

Mike had to take Adam to the hospital first, because the doctor had ordered x-rays to be taken of his arm and legs that had been broken, but he also scheduled an M.R.I. to be done. The technicians would give Adam the results to take to his appointment, so the doctor could evaluate the progress that had been made.

When he finally got to the doctor’s office, he was even more anxious about what the doctor might have to say. Mike had driven, of course, but he also helped Adam get inside. However, when Adam’s name was called, Adam went to the examination room alone.

"Hi, Adam," Dr. Patel greeted him when he walked into the room. "Are you feeling better? The files I received from the doctor who treated you showed that you had a pretty rough time."

"Yes, I'm feeling much better now though," Adam replied.

Adam liked Dr. Patel and he'd been Adam's family doctor since Adam was in middle school. After Dr. Patel gave Adam a very thorough examination, he asked Adam several questions about the incident and how he was feeling. When Dr. Patel finished, he explained what he thought.

“You seem to be healing fine," Dr. Patel advised him, as he flashed Adam a reassuring smile. "I would strongly recommend that you see a physical therapist to help you strengthen your arm and both of your legs though. Walking with the crutches is good, but if you want to get back to normal sooner, then you will have to do more than just walk about. A physical therapist can work the muscles for you in such a way that they'll grow stronger without further aggravating the injury or damaging your recently mended bones. From the x-rays that were forwarded to me, I observed that you had compound fractures in both legs, but the recent x-rays show they have healed nicely. Even so, it will take time to get you back up to speed again.”

“What about my arm?” Adam asked. “Why do I keep dropping things? Will I eventually stop doing that?”

“I’m afraid you have some residual nerve damage in that arm and it may be permanent,” the doctor advised him, as he wrote a comment on Adam's chart. “It's still too early to tell just yet, but the latest M.R.I. looks very good and may indicate the problem is only temporary. In the meantime, though, you may still sometimes lose your grip on an object and drop it. This happens because the nerves either misfire or are incapable of directing the muscles the way they're supposed to. Whenever this occurs, please try to maintain your composure and don't make a bigger issue out of it than it really is.”

“Will I still be able to go to med school and become a doctor?” Adam blurted out, slightly panicked.

“I don’t see any reason why you wouldn’t be able to do that,” Dr. Patel agreed. “The problem with your grip may prevent you from becoming a surgeon, but there are many other medicinal specialties you can practice where it won’t be a problem. From what I can tell from the brain scans that were performed while you were in the hospital, there doesn't appear to be any loss of mental function. It tells me that with hard work and lots of studying, I should one day be calling you Dr. Washburn.”

Adam’s face suddenly lit up and broke into a smile when he realized he could still pursue his dream. He thanked Dr. Patel for his help and agreed to wait for the receptionist to contact a physical therapist the doctor had recommended and set up his first appointment. While she was doing that, Adam filled Mike in about the visit.

“I’ve got to see a physical therapist, but Dr. Patel said I should still be able to go to med school,” he announced, with a huge grin. “I think we can both plan on starting classes in the spring, so we probably should call and let them know.”

“Let’s not rush things. We’ve still got time,” Mike urged. “We’ll wait and see what the therapist says after your first visit, so we’ll have a better idea whether you’ll be ready by then. If you are, then we’ll make the calls. If not, we’ll still make the calls, but only to let the admission officers know we'll be starting next fall.”

"Ok," Adam agreed, "but I want to start as soon as I'm able." He had barely gotten that out when the receptionist called his name.

"Adam, here's the card with the date and time of your first physical therapy appointment," she told him. "The address is also listed, but it's not far from here."

Adam got up to get it and then he and Mike headed out to the car. Adam was eager to get home now, so he could tell his parents the great news.

On the way back, however, Mike decided they should stop for some ice cream. After ordering, Adam decided to test out his theory about his powers again. Without concentrating very hard, Adam merely thought the following.

‘You could give us each an extra scoop with that.’

When they got their cones, he realized that hadn’t happened, so it reinforced his previous assumption. Unless he was emotionally tied to the idea or was concentrating really hard, it didn’t work. However, there were a couple more things he still needed to investigate about his ability. He just had to find the right opportunity to do it.

The next couple of weeks went by quickly. The boys had the car, which gave them some freedom, so they didn’t have to stick around the house all day long. Adam went to his first couple of physical therapy sessions and found they were quite rigorous, but he was feeling stronger all the time. The therapist even asked Mike to come in with them, once she knew he was there and had discovered their relationship. She felt Mike could help Adam do some of the exercises at home as well, which would speed up his recovery. Mike was eager to help out and what she told him to do didn’t seem very difficult, but he listened to her instructions carefully so he wouldn't unintentionally injure Adam.

By the end of October, Adam had stopped using the crutches and was getting around fairly well on his own. Since he was doing so well, he decided he was ready to restart his education. Even though he and Mike hadn't been able to go back as soon as they had hoped, Adam was now looking forward to starting back in the spring.

“Mike, I think it's time we contact the colleges and let them know we are ready to start with the spring semester, instead of waiting until next fall?” Adam suggested, as he looked at Mike.

“That’s fine with me, but are you sure you’re up to it?” Mike replied, while searching Adam’s face. He wanted to make sure his boyfriend wasn't rushing this.

“I feel fine and I know I can handle it,” Adam answered, while silently pleading with Mike to agree. “I’ll only be attending classes the first semester and won't have to stand for long periods, so it shouldn’t be that big of a deal.”

“You’ll still have to get around campus and I won’t be there to help you,” Mike pointed out, and the look of concern on his face was very noticeable. “I hope you remember that you’ll be in Baltimore at Johns Hopkins, while I'm at Georgetown in D.C.”

“I haven’t forgotten and I’ll be fine,” Adam acknowledged while grinning at Mike and begging with his eyes. “The campuses aren’t that far apart either, only about an hour's drive, so now that I have a car I'll be able to zip over to see you every now and then.”

“Only on the long weekends though,” Mike countered, as he relaxed and relented. “We can’t afford to spend too much time away from our studies, because that still needs to come first. We will have spring break and the entire summer to be together, and then we'll have even more time at Christmas break the following semester.”

“I know, but I'm ready to do this,” Adam reiterated, sounding slightly annoyed. “Do you want to call first or should I?”

“Maybe you should, since there might be more of a question about whether you’re ready to do this,” Mike reasoned. “If Johns Hopkins says it’s ok for you, then I’ll call and get things set up for me too.”

“Great, because I’m itching to get started,” Adam agreed.

Adam jumped up and hurried over to the phone. He dialed the admissions director to let him know he was ready to get started and make sure there wasn’t a problem.

“Mr. Washburn, I’m glad to hear you are doing fine and feeling better,” the admissions director stated. “There’s something I’ll need you to do first, however, before I agree to this. You scored very well when you took the M.C.A.T., but your father mentioned you might have suffered some minor brain damage when he first called to report what had happened. Due to that, I’ll need you to take the M.C.A.T. again. I want to be certain this hasn’t affected your potential first, before we finalize your admission.”

Adam hadn’t seen this coming and didn’t want to take the Medical College Admission Test again. Instead, he decided this might be the perfect time to try something out.

'Accept this instead,' he thought before he spoke again. He was concentrating really hard on this idea and hoped it would work,

“My doctor says I’m fine and the MRI scans show there is no brain damage,” Adam responded, as he began to fidget in his seat. “What if I just have him send you a full report instead?” he added, after taking a deep breath.

“I’d rather see a new M.C.A.T. score,” the admission director repeated.

That cleared up one of Adam’s questions. He obviously wasn't able to convince people mentally over long distances, but now he wanted to test out another possibility.

“Didn’t you get a copy of the second test results?” Adam asked, as he put his plan into action. “I took the M.C.A.T. again shortly after I was released from the hospital. I scored the same on it as I did the first time and you should have received the results by now. You must have it there somewhere.”

“Ah, I do recall something about that now,” the admission director stated and Adam could hear him shuffling papers around on his desk. “It seems we must have misplaced the notice, so I’ll just jot it down on your records. Seeing that’s taken care of, you are cleared to start in January.”

Adam felt a little guilty about deceiving the man this way, but he felt confident that he hadn’t suffered any permanent brain damage. If anything, it had actually increased his mental capabilities by giving him this new ability. He also had the answer to a couple of other questions as well. Not only could he telepathically get people to do what he wanted when they were in close proximity to him, but he could talk them into doing things as well. His only limitation so far was that he wasn't able to mentally convince people if they weren’t near one another at the time. However, he could still get them to do what he wanted by speaking with them, including over the phone. Whether he was trying to get them to do what he wanted mentally or verbally, he still had to concentrate on what he desired.

Now that Adam had his answer from Johns Hopkins, Mike called and cleared things up with the Georgetown admission director too. He and Adam now had only a couple of months to wait before they’d be leaving for their new campuses. They’d also only be one semester behind where they should have been, if this hadn’t happened. Even though things had looked bleak at the start, it hadn’t worked out so badly after all.

Since there wasn’t much else to do, the boys decided to take a drive in the country. The leaves had already started to turn, so a sea of green, yellow, orange and red foliage surrounded them on both sides of the road.

“Wow, this is really gorgeous,” Adam observed, while gazing out the passenger side window. “Now that I’m not driving, I have time to just look around and enjoy the scenery. It’s really beautiful.”

“Yes, it is, so what if I pull over and take the opportunity to enjoy it with you?” Mike asked.

“I’ve got a better idea!” Adam replied, while shooting Mike a devilish grin. “Why don’t I drive for a while?”

“Are you sure you’re up to it?” Mike countered, mildly concerned.

“I’m pretty sure I am, so this will be a good time to test it,” Adam answered. “I’m dying to get behind the wheel again.”

Seeing Adam wanted to give it a try and Mike couldn’t see any reason why he shouldn’t, so they switched places. At first Mike kept a close eye on Adam to see how he was doing, but once he was convinced Adam wasn’t having any problems, Mike began to enjoy the scenery as well. It was a really lovely day and a very relaxing drive, but Adam had also taken another step toward a complete recovery.

When Adam's parents arrived home after work, the boys quickly filled them in about their plans. They were both very animated during this discussion and their hands were flying around like they were drawing pictures in the air, as they explained about resuming their studies. George and Rita merely smiled, since it was so easy to tell how excited the boys were about doing this.

As Thanksgiving drew near, they all began to realize they had a lot to be thankful for this year. Adam had completely recovered from his injuries, without any significant permanent damage, and Adam and Mike would be continuing their education soon.

Before they began to eat Thanksgiving dinner though, Adam had something he wanted to tell everyone. “I really want to do something special for those who don’t have as much to be thankful for this year. I’m not exactly sure what it will be, but I want to come up with an idea before Christmas. I think that would be a great time to give back.”

“That’s a wonderful idea, dear,” his mother agreed. “I can’t wait to see what you decide to do.”

Adam was even more anxious to do this now, so as soon as they finished eating Adam dragged Mike up to his room. He wanted to begin discussing different ideas with him about this.

“What do you think?” Adam asked as soon as they were alone.

“I’m not sure,” Mike answered. “Maybe we could throw a party for people that don’t have very much.”

“But who are the people most in need?” Adam wondered, as he eyed Mike.

“I always hear news reporters talking about the homeless and I've seen the homeless shelter in town, so how about doing something for them?” Mike offered.

“You know, that’s not a bad idea,” Adam agreed, while flashing Mike a look of respect.

“So how about we throw a party for the people at the homeless shelter?” Mike eagerly suggested.

“I’m not sure. What kind of party would it be?” Adam wondered, since he didn't see how this would work. “I imagine we would have to provide some sort of entertainment and maybe some food too. But then it wouldn’t be much of a Christmas party if we didn’t have presents to give them, would it?”

“Yeah, that would be kinda lame,” Mike agreed, while making a face.

“I’ve got it, we’ll go around to a bunch of different places and ask for contributions so we can do this,” Adam suggested.

“And with your ability, they won’t be able to say no,” Mike joked, as he punched Adam in the shoulder.

“But I’ll only urge them to contribute. I’ll leave the amount up to them,” Adam confirmed, while making the discussion serious again. “I don’t want anyone to give more than they can actually afford."

Once they agreed to this plan, the boys grabbed the phone book and began making a list of the fraternal organizations, business offices, stores and shops they were going to approach. Although they didn't have all of the information yet, this list would include all of the vital statistics for each of these groups, which included their address, phone number, contact person and a blank area to keep track of what they were contributing. This was obviously going to be a huge undertaking and would take a considerable amount of time to pull together, but they both felt it would be worth it.

This project would have some other benefits as well, besides doing something nice for the homeless. Adam would be able to use these encounters of soliciting donations to polish up his ability to convince others to do what he wanted. He'd be able to test his limits, work on his technique and investigate if the effects are short term or long lasting. Adam was eager to find the answer to these questions, so he would start making calls and visiting the various places as soon as possible.

Thanks for the comments so far and I'd loved to hear more about what you think of the story so far.

Copyright © 2017 Bill W; All Rights Reserved.
If you enjoyed what you have read, please leave a reaction and/or comment for the author!

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Chapter Comments

Damn, Adam certainly has more morals and ethics than I have. Reckon a harem of fit, baby oil covered men would be top of my list! B)
Well done on an interesting story though. It's good that Adam's every thought doesn't get everyone around him doing exactly what he wants, that would make for a very uncomfortable life. Even for those of us who are morally corrupted, that would get old very quickly.
Looking forward to the next chapter. :great:

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On 07/22/2016 05:34 AM, DragonFire said:

Damn, Adam certainly has more morals and ethics than I have. Reckon a harem of fit, baby oil covered men would be top of my list! B)

Well done on an interesting story though. It's good that Adam's every thought doesn't get everyone around him doing exactly what he wants, that would make for a very uncomfortable life. Even for those of us who are morally corrupted, that would get old very quickly.

Looking forward to the next chapter. :great:

Thanks for the feedback, DragonFire. I'm glad you're enjoying the story so far. As far as Adam's ethical and moral choices, I had a long chat with my beta about this. In the end it was decided that with Adam wanting to be a doctor and Mike wanting to be a lawyer they would walk the straight and narrow. Hopefully, that's not an oxymoron. Besides, you're correct in thinking that life could become boring if you got everything you wanted.

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On 07/22/2016 05:24 PM, Stephen said:

I want Adam's powers.

-To use for good, never evil...

Don't we all, Stephen. It would be neat to be able to steer people in the direction you want them to go. Thanks for the feedback.

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Adam has a great idea for wanting to give back to those who are homeless by holding a party for them at Christmas time. I'm sure between the two of them they'll get it done without a whole lot of trouble. I also wouldn't mind having Adam's ability to be used for good, not to be used to intimidate anyone. :2thumbs:

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1 hour ago, Butcher56 said:

Adam has a great idea for wanting to give back to those who are homeless by holding a party for them at Christmas time. I'm sure between the two of them they'll get it done without a whole lot of trouble. I also wouldn't mind having Adam's ability to be used for good, not to be used to intimidate anyone. :2thumbs:

Yes, Butch, that would be the trick.  Avoiding the temptation to use it to benefit yourself, rather than doing something good for others.  Thanks for the feedback.  

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