Harry didn’t say anything–he knew that whatever this demon was thinking, nothing that Harry did would sway him one way or another.
Mr. Elroy just turned back to him, with that same dreadful smile he had on, when he was contemplating something horrible. “I like you Harry–You’re a man–you’re a whole set of possibilities that’s meant to be savored, but I just don’t know if I can trust you. You’re just a bit too…strong willed, I think. That, and I’ve been a bit too kind to you. I’ve let you imagine that you can make a difference here. Tell me, how did it feel, when you found out your best friend was screwing your wife, Harry?”
The memory slammed into him like a freight train. He’d been gone on a trip, a few years before the accident, but arrived home early, when he was bumped up to an earlier flight. He’d come home and found Wilbur’s car in the driveway, and inside, he’d snuck to the bedroom and watched them fuck. It wasn’t like how he fucked Patricia. She never made those sorts of noises when he was on top of her, and Wilbur…he had the same virile energy coursing around him that Harry felt when they were in bed together. He hadn’t been able to help himself–he’d pulled out his cock–his much…shorter cock–and jacked off in the hallway, watching them. He was so ashamed of himself–he’d fled the house, gone to a bar for a few too many drinks, and then arrived home at the correct time. He’d never said anything about it to either of them–he loved them too much, even though he knew now that neither of them really loved him in the same way. He…wanted them to be happy. He would vacate the house at convenient times, and then sneak back in to watch, just to try and capture some of their energy, just to feel close to them, even if they didn’t know he was there.
He found himself back in his apartment, and he couldn’t stop himself–he started sobbing. Mr. Elroy laid a hand on his shoulder. “Now, now, Harry, men shouldn’t cry, you know that.”
He looked up, and Wilbur was looking down at him, or was it Mr. Elroy now? He didn’t know for certain anymore–he didn’t know anything, beyond the fact that he’d never felt so humiliated in his whole life. Humiliated, and yet, he missed them both so damn much…he had his son though–at least he had that. His son loved him, right?
“Look at you, Harry. You’re fucking weak.”
Harry tried to yell at him, but it just came out as gibberish without his teeth in. Mr. Elroy was kind enough to hand them back to him, and Harry shuddered as he put them in. “S-Shut up, this is all a damn pack of lies.”
“Lies? These are your memories, Harry. This is all you know. Can you tell the difference? I know you can’t. This is your truth now, Harry. Your best friend fucked your wife for years, and you never did anything about it, not once. It only got worse after the accident–especially since you couldn’t get hard anymore.” Mr. Elroy slid a hand up Harry’s thigh, and he felt his cock shrivel back, the pain from his knee running up into his hip now, “You’re lucky they could save at least one of your balls, though–the other one popped like a grape.”
Pain. So much pain in that memory, his leg and groin crushed under the machine, it must have weighed two tons, and he couldn’t do anything he couldn’t move, he just saw the blood running out on the ground under him, and Wilbur was there, and he just hoped he would…kiss him one last time, and take care of his family.
He flung himself back out of the memory and into the apartment. He hadn’t remembered the accident, not like that. He never wanted to feel that again.
“I could leave you there, you know,” Mr. Elroy said, “You could be pinned there, in your mind, for the rest of your days. Out here, you’ll look like a vegetable, and in there, just that horrific, wracking, neverending pain.” he knelt down, “Do you see how kind I have been to you Harry? Do you see how you’ve taken my kindness and flung it back at me, like a spoiled child?”
All he could do was sob, but he felt that same energy from Mr. Elroy’s hand on his shoulder, the same chill, and his eyes just dried up. The hurt, the anger, the grief and sadness was all still there, but calcified. He couldn’t let it out, he couldn’t show it; all he could do was live with it, remain stoic and unaffected by any emotion. That’s who he was–that’s what a real man was.
“You know why she loved being with Wilbur, Harry?” Mr. Elroy asked him, “It was because, with him, she found someone who could show some emotion. You were a real man, Harry, a real tough one, like a stone. But not very exciting in bed–just a couple of minutes on top of her until you came, and then you’d just fall right asleep. You could never give her satisfaction, and you knew it. You’re not a lover, Harry–you’re just a brute. Well, not anymore, I suppose. Now you’re just a weakling, but before…well, you remember, don’t you Harry?”
He was flung back into the past, back into himself, but while so much of it was the same…so much of it was…completely different. He saw himself in the mirror, his younger self, the unkempt hair and beard he always let grow out too long, until Patricia nagged him into cutting it off. Face caked with oil and sweat, because he rarely bothered showering–especially after Patricia insisted they start sleeping in separate beds, because he kept ruining the sheets with his dirt. He could see himself there, alone in that twin bed, sheets plain, smelling of grease and smoke and his own sweat…but he liked it. It felt comfortable, and he liked being comfortable, and if she wasn’t comfortable with him being a man–a real man–then why in the hell had she married him?