Jess is just starting her second semester of being a Junior in high school. To start the semester off, she volunteers to show the new kid around the school. Mainly because she gets to skip gym class, but also because she is intrigued by the idea of meeting someone new. Over the first month of school, Jess becomes really close friend with the new student, but who wouldn't become best friends with Louis Tomlinson. He's funny, entertaining, and not to mention cute, but Jess would never admit to thinking that. Louis is always there for Jess, especially when she gets heart shattering news that changes everything.


26. Twenty Five.

I didn't get to see Jared that night. The doctors continued to say that he was fine, that he only needed to rest. I needed to see him for proof that he was, in fact, okay, but that wasn't going to happen. So, that night, I spent the night in the hospital lobby, sleeping on a very uncomfortable chair. Laura, Jared's nurse, eventually brought me a blanker and a much needed hug. Even though I barely knew her, I could tell that she cared about my brother. I thanked her for bringing me a blanket and for being there for my brother when I wasn't. She gave me a sad smile and left, telling me that she would wake me if I was able to see Jared.

I feel asleep right away, feeling drained emotionally and physically. My dreams were anything but pleasant, so when I woke up the next morning, I felt like I hadn't gotten a bit of sleep. I stretched my aching back and noticed my parents and John sitting in the chairs next to me. I gave my mom a small smile and stumbled over to her. She opened her arms to me. I asked her if we could see Jared yet, but she said no. I bit my lip. That can't be good.

“He's going to be okay, Jess. Not in the grand scheme of things, but he will be for a while longer,” my mom told me in a sad voice.

“But what if he won't be?” I asked, sniffing.

“Thinking like that won't make any difference,” she rubbed my back. “Louis was here earlier.”

“I don't care.”

“Yes, you do, Jess. He's only trying to help you feel better.”

“Nothing he can do will make me feel better. He doesn't know what it's like to lose someone so close to you, so he has no right to feel bad for me.”

“Jessica Anne Benson, that is the most self-centered thing you have ever said. Your boyfriend is trying to comfort you in your time of need, and you pushed him away. Soon enough will you need him, but he he might not be there for you then,” my mom said sternly.

“I don't want to talk about this anymore,” I sighed.

“I don't want you to regret this in a few days, Jess. I want you to call him.”



“You can't make me do that, mom. I don't want to, so I'm not going to,” I told her, shutting my eyes from the pain inside my head. “Now, please stop talking about it. I have a headache, and all I want to do is see Jared.”

My mom shook her head and started to rub my back as I laid my head down on her lap. I stared straight ahead, watching people walk around the lobby. I watched people enter and leave, doctors raise around the floor, and the occasional little kid run around with their sibling. I thought about why these people were coming in here and if they would be receiving horrible news in a matter of minutes. I though about how half the people left happy, while the other half left sad. I watched as people cried on their way out, while others left laughing. It seemed rude to leave a hospital laughing, especially when there are other people leaving with heavy weights on their hearts. It's not fair that they get to leave happy, it's not fair that they get to live their lives without the reminder of what happened in this building, it's not fair that anyone has to leave this building in tears. But, then again, nothing is fair when a hospital is involved.

Eventually, my parents and John left to get lunch. I refused to leave in case I could see Jared, so I stayed behind. I sat in that uncomfortable chair, legs growing stiff, for hours until the doctor finally came out and told me that I could see Jared. I cracked my back as I walked over to the doctor, nodding at him when he said hello. He took me to Jared's room, even though I didn't need an escort, and told me that I needed to be quiet when I went in so I wouldn't cause too much excitement. He told me that I would need to be gentle as to help keep Jared's blood pressure at normal levels. He told me that I could stay as long as I wanted, to which I thanked him with a small smile. He patted me on the back and walked away, leaving me to face my sick brother alone.

I opened the door to Jared's room and braced myself for what I could possibly see when I looked at my little brother. The light was off in his room, cartoons playing on the television in the corner of the room. Jared was laying in his bed, clutching one of his stuffed animals to his chest. He looked at me when I walked in and smiled. I smiled back, trying my hardest to keep my emotions under control. He didn't look like the same Jared that I saw a few days ago. He looks small, skinny, and sick. He was pale, so pale, and I felt like if I were to touch him, he would fall apart in my arms. There were more machines hooked up to him than before, also, and it shattered my heart to see him like this.

“Hi, buddy,” I said, carefully sitting down next to him.

“I missed you,” he said to me.

“I missed you, too.”

“Did you have fun camping?”

His voice was different. He sounded weak, like each word he said was putting a strain on him. It seemed like he head to make an extra effort to speak.

“I did. It was a lot of fun to hang out with my friends again.”

“That's good,” he breathed, shutting his eyes for a second.

“Plus, Louis is a really good kisser,” I told him, trying to lighten the mood.

Jared laughed, but it came out sounding more like a wheeze. I noticed then that the sparkle in his eyes were gone.

“I'm going to go to sleep now, okay?”

“Okay, Jared. I love you so, so, so much,” I kissed the top of his head.

“I love you, too, Jessi,” he smiled at me.

I sat in his bed a while longer, watching him sleep and listening to the steady beep of his heart monitor. When I noticed that I was crying, I climbed out of his bed and left his room. I shut the door quietly behind me, waving to Laura when I saw her in the hallway.

“How is he?” She asked.

“Different,” I sighed. “He can hardly keep his eyes open.”

“I'm so sorry,” she frowned.

“It's so hard.”

“I know, Jess. I lost my older brother to cancer when I was little,” she said.


“Yeah. He was such a good person, and he went too soon. It was so hard to watch him go through something like that, but it inspired me to become a nurse and to work with children with cancer, like your brother. He's a real fighter, Jess. He's fighting so hard, but eventually everyone has to lose their battle to live.”

“I don't want to lose him,” I wiped my eyes.

Laura hugged me close and told me that she would be with Jared as much as she can. She also told me that she would be there for me along the way, if I ever needed to talk.

“Thank you so much, Laura,” I told her.

“Have a good night, Jess. Spend some time with your family, it will help,” she smiled and walked away.

I took my phone out of my pocket for the first time since I got here and saw that Louis had called me several times and sent me more than fifty texts. I ignored them, still not wanting to talk to Louis at the moment. I called my mom and asked her if she could come pick me up. I was tempted to read the texts from Louis as I waited outside for my mom, but I left them as they were. He knew that I didn't want to talk to him.

“Hi, baby. How is he?” My mom asked me when I got into the car.

“Really tired.:

She nodded. “We'll come back and see him later.”

“Okay. I really want to go home and lay down right now.”

“Alright. We can watch a movie or something,” she gave me an overly forced smile.

When we got back to the house, I stopped my mom from walking inside and gave her a hug. We stood in the garage hugging because all I wanted was a hug from my mother. She rubbed my back, and I soon noticed that she was crying. I hugged her tighter, feeling a high sense of sadness swarm my body. I couldn't stand to see my mom cry.

I didn't talk to anyone but my family for the next few day. I was either at the hospital with Jared or somewhere in my house with my parents and John. Louis tried his hardest to get through to me to talk, whether it was phone calls, texts, or showing up to my house. I wasn't ready to. I only wanted to be with my family because it was what I needed. I needed to be surrounded by my family in order to keep from breaking down. So, every time Louis or one of my friends came to my house, I got my dad to answer the door and tell them that I couldn't see them.

I felt depressed. I didn't have the motivation to do anything. I didn't feel like like eating, sleeping, and sometimes even breathing. I was so numb, so horribly detached from reality. I felt a constant sadness inside of me that was drowning me. It felt like something was eating me alive.

The worst part about what Jared was going through was that there was no reassurance. The doctors didn't know when he would die, they didn't know why he all of a sudden got worse, they didn't know what to do to make him feel better, the didn't know anything. They told us that it was a 'rare case' that they had never seen before but reassured us that they were 'trying their hardest' to come up with a solution to help Jared. Their dialogues were filled with 'I don't know' and 'it isn't clear at this point', which made nothing easier. At that point, it would have been better hearing 'there is nothing we can do', just to receive a straight forward answer for once.

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