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Adriel remembered listening to Tom Petty singing, “The waiting is the hardest part,” on the radio back when he was in second grade and the feeling of helplessness that lying in bed with a full bladder instilled in him resurrected his early childhood feelings of dependency. Seven minutes of waiting is a long time when you don’t know if there will be relief or just more of the same discomfort and angst at the end but his patience was rewarded with the repetitive chime of his wife’s phone sounding in alarm. She had set her alarm for seven which meant relief for his bladder was imminent.

The mattress swayed as Gabrielle reached to silence her phone and she then patted her husband’s immobile form next to her. “Morning,” she mumbled, kicking her legs over the side of the bed.

Adriel let out a grunt that he hoped would help her understand that his need to relieve himself was urgent and she responded with, “Gotta’ go, don’t you? Sorry,” she added as she scrambled from the bed to the bathroom and grabbed the flask. “I should have thought of that last night,” she added, holding the urinal for him while he experienced the euphoric relief of an overly taxed bladder emptying itself.

“Whew! That has to feel better! Let me get rid of this and use the potty myself and then I’ll bring you some water. You smell dehydrated again.”

He heard the toilet flush, water running in the sink and then again felt the mattress sway as his wife cum keeper returned to bed. “We’re going to have to hurry a little through your exercises, sweetie,” she said as she started to first gently knead and then manipulate his legs. “I don’t want to be late for my appointment with Doctor Theia,” she added as she methodically worked her way up his body, moving limbs and asking him to resist her as she manipulated him.

Try as he may to accede to her commands he couldn’t help but wonder if she could detect any resistance from his flaccid, failing form.