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.


25. Twenty Four.

“Did you have a good time with the girls today?” Louis asked me.

“Yeah. I've really missed being with them,” I told him.

We were sat underneath a tree while we watched the others have a water war. Louis had said earlier that he had a headache, so I opted to lay down with him and rest. Louis was sitting with his back against the tree while I laid between his legs, my back against his chest. We had been like this for a while, ignoring the screams coming from our friends around us.

“Did you have fun throwing your body off cliffs?”

“Of course I did.”

“How's your head?” I asked, placing a kiss to his chest.

“It's pounding.”

“Are you going to be okay.”

“Eventually,” he kissed the top of my head. “You don't need to worry.”

I smiled at him. “Want me to get you an ice cream bar?”

“Yes, please,” he exclaimed, pushing me to my feet.

I made my way to the tents, where everyone else was, and dug through the cooler to pull out two ice cream bars. I smiled at the others, noticing that they were soaking wet. Then, the boys appeared in front of me, water guns in hand, aimed in my direction.

“I'm not participating,” I giggled, raising my hands in surrender.

They shrugged and ran off in hunt of someone else to open fire at.

“Jess,” Jenna said, popping out from behind a tree. “Your phone was going off earlier.”

“Do you know who was calling?”

“Nope. I didn't look because I didn't want to get it wet,” she said, running off.

I grabbed my phone from the picnic table and made my way back over to Louis. I tossed his ice cream at him and plopped down next to him. I looked at my phone and saw that I had missed a single call from my mother.

The blood drained from my face.

“Everything okay?” Louis asked, hand landing on my leg.

“I hope,” I replied, dialing my mom's phone number to call her back.

My breathing was uneven as I anxiously awaited her answer, my heart dropping when I heard her voice through the phone, greeting me with my name.

“What is it?” I asked.

“You need to come home,” she said.

I could feel tears brimming in my eyes. “What happened?”

“He's getting worse.”

I flung the device in my hand away from me, almost as if it had burned my hand. The world around me froze, my mother's words ringing in my ears over and over again. The edge of my vision blurred, blackening and fading away, my focus on the ground in front of me. My stomach dropped, like I was falling downwards. I could feel the air being sucked out of my lungs, like a vacuum was being held over my mouth. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up and I broke out in goosebumps, because I knew, I absolutely knew, that this was not going to be something that could be fixed. This was a sign pointing towards the end.

“Jess, talk to me,” Louis said, hands on my shoulders.

“I need to go home,” I said, standing up to fast, causing the blood to rush to my head, knocking me back onto my bottom.

“Whoa, careful,” he said, arms going around my waist to pull me back to my feet.

I think I nodded. I don't remember moving my head, but Louis helped me walk back to our tents, so I'm assuming I responded in some way. He sat me down at picnic table and went into our ten to gather our things. I knew that my friends were talking to me, looking for a response from me, but I couldn't say anything. I couldn't find the strength inside of me to utter a single word.

I vaguely remember walking to Louis' car and sitting down in the passenger seat. I vaguely remember seeing the trees pass by as Louis drove me home. My mind was whirling with thoughts, too many words in my head as once to process what was going on around me. Louis kept trying to talk to me, or at least I think he did, but I was too busy worrying about what be happening to my brother.

The numbness was returning.

I had tried so hard to make the numb feeling go away, to not let it keep me from living my life. It hurt so much to know that it was creeping back up onto me. I wanted to make it stop, but there was no stopping it this time. It overtook me in a surge of power, like a hungry tiger finding it's first meal in weeks. It spread from my core to every other part of my body, from the tips of my toes to the top of my head. It was in every crack and crevice, filling every corner to the brim.

Louis didn't say anything as he drove, and I didn't expect him to. I didn't wan to say anything, and I didn't want to listen to anyone say anything to me either. I think he knew that no matter what he said, it couldn't help. Nothing could help at this point. I needed a miracle to make me feel better, a miracle to fix Jared, and a miracle to make the feeling inside my head and chest disappear. But miracles don't happen. Miracles were made up to give optimistic people aspirations for events that have no hope; they're made up for people to not give up in the world. Miracles are made of the imagination, formed in the part of the mind that creates false realities. Miracles are a socially accepted form of insanity.

Then Louis pulled into the hospital parking lot, and I felt a surge of emotions rise through me, almost making me gag. I ran out of the car and into the building that was overly clean and felt like depression. I think Louis followed me in, but I wasn't sure because the only thing on my mind was getting to Jared.

When I got to his room, my parents were standing outside the door. The stopped me as I reached for the handle.

“Why can't I go in?” I asked, trying to move around them to get inside to my brother.

“They're doing some tests. We have to wait until they're done,” my mom told me.

“No, I have to see Jared,” I said, my dad taking hold of my arm to keep me from getting inside.

“You have to wait,” he told me.

“No!” I screamed, tears spilling from my eyes and down my cheeks.

I pushed my dad off me and ran out of the hospital, seeing Louis chase after me from his spot in the lobby. I pushed the doors open and collapsed onto the sidewalk, loud sobs coming from my mouth. I felt like I couldn't breathe, my brain on the verge of exploding inside my skull. All I needed to do was see my brother. I needed to see that he was alive, I needed the reassurance that he was still there, at least for the time being.

“Jess,” Louis said, sitting down on the ground next to me.

“Go away,” I muttered, wiping my nose on the sleeve of my jacket.

“Hey, it's okay,” he told me,

“I said, go away!” I said with more force. When I felt his hand on my back, I yanked away from his touch, turning to him as I screamed. “Don't touch me!”


“I don't want you to talk to me! I don't want you to touch me! Just leave me alone!”

“Jess, you don't mean that.”

“Yes, I do! Get away from me!” I screamed again, pushing at Louis' chest.

I saw hurt flash through his eyes, his mouth opening then quickly shutting before he walked away. I watched him get into his car and drive away, away from me, away from everything surrounding me.

Jared was dying. It's not a matter of 'could be' anymore, it's a fact. I don't know how much longer he has, but he isn't going to make it out of this, and that's something that I needed to adjust to. But, as I sat on the sidewalk and cried, part of me felt a tinge of hope that a miracle could occur. I thought about what would happen is he were to survive. I would have my brother back again, and things at home would be back to normal. I wouldn't have to worry about every phone call that I get, wondering if it would be the one that holds my brother's fate. I would be able to leave my house and go somewhere without something at the back of my mind nagging me about how I shouldn't be having fun when my brother is in a hospital, fighting for his life. My family would be complete again.

That's not going to happen. Jared is going to die. He has a limited number of days left. He would be spending his last moments in a hospital bed, looking sickly, tired, and pale. I would be spending time with my brother, not to bond with him, so he would be around his family before he's gone. I would be saying things to him that would eventually become the last words he would ever hear from me. At one point, I would see Jared for the last time, hug Jared for the last time, and tell him that I love him for the last time.

Then, I started thinking about my parents and how they are going to lose a child. They have been watching their son go through something horrible, something no one should ever have to go through. They have been watching Jared get progressively worse, and they can't get too emotional over it, because they have two other kids to think about. They can't get worked up, they can't have their moments of sadness, in sake of being strong for John and me. They have their duties as our parents. They have the expectation of being the strong ones, being the ones to help their children when they breakdown but can never breakdown themselves. Each time they react to a new situation, they are in the spotlight created by their children, casting their reaction on a stage; however they react decides how John and I react. They aren't able to be terrified without it causing a chain reaction to John and I. They have to keep it together at all times, which is a strong trait that I do not possess.

My parents are strong people, but I know this is something that must be crushing them on the inside.

I started to develop a headache, and all I wanted to do was have Louis hold me in his arms. I felt a need to be near him, a need to be in his comforting embrace. That's when it hit me: I yelled at him, I pushed him away from me, I told him that I didn't want him to talk to me. I took my frustration out on him. In a moment of mental lapse, I reacted in hatred and fury. I pushed my favorite person away from me when I needed him most.

“I'm such an idiot!” I yelled to myself, hitting me head against the brick building behind me.

It left a dizzying feeling in my head, not helping my already nauseated state. I was shaking, feeling a cold sweat break out on my skin. It was the worst feeling ever, knowing that my little brother was in pain and that I couldn't be there for him. I was locked out of his room, locked out of his life. I wanted to scream until I lost my voice, cry until I drowned in my sorrows, punch something until my hand breaks, anything to make the pain go away. I needed someone to make this easier, but I had no one.

I was already losing Jared. It was too much to be losing Louis, as well.

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