Chapter Three

Jess tossed and turned while she slept. She couldn't stop thinking about something Meghan had said earlier.

"I had a dream that you were getting sicker and sicker. You couldn't move or do anything. Then one day you passed away. No one believed me when I told them you were dead. I remember feeling the pain of your loss. I went to your funeral. You were lying in an open casket. Your lifeless eyes were staring at me."

Jess went cold when she got that message from Meghan. The girl was clearly troubled, but she could still see the concern in the message. Meghan didn't know what was going on. She thought Jess was going to die. Jess didn't know what was going on either. She could very well die too.

Jess sighed. She didn't deserve this. She was 20 years old. Pretty, petite, and of average weight. She had beautiful brown eyes and long, curly, golden brown hair. She was an attractive, intelligent woman. She didn't understand how this came to be.

She remember Meghan. Her petite frame, her thin, lanky body. Her dark, sad eyes. Her short, straight, dark hair. She wanted to be just like Jess. And now the person Meghan wanted to be like was going to die.

Mortality was a horrible thing to consider. True, we all had to go sometime. But did it have to be today?

I know that Meghan is going through a rough time right now. And I know she loves me very much. And I know she would never want to lose me...but does she have to say things like that? It doesn't help my case at all!

The only thing that helped her sleep better was a message she got from Marie.

Marie was a kind, older woman. About 22 years older than Jess was. She was of the Muslim faith, where Jess was of the Christian faith. They were different, but at the same time, the same. Marie suffered too.

Marie was a truly beautiful woman. Dark hair, creamy skin, and dark, enchanting eyes. She was the friend Jess never had.

Jess read the message.

"Sweet dreams Jess...from someone who loves you very much."

Jess smiled.

Thank you Marie. You make me happy.

She fell asleep...and hoped that when she woke...things would be normal again.

But they weren't.

Jess had another weird dream. In this dream, she was supposed to visit her friends Cathy, and Haley. They were her friends from college. Cathy was the thin, blonde, hiker, and Haley was the average weighted, brunette anthropology major. They were supposed to go shopping together.

"Now don't forget Jess," Cathy warned her. "Or we'll leave without you."

"No, of course I won't forget," Jess soothed her. "I always like hanging out with you!"

Jess was supposed to go down to the bus stop and wait for them. She did...she walked all the way down to the bus stop.

But before she knew it...she woke up in her bed!

She had never gone down to the bus stop apparently. But she knew she had. She remembered seeing all those people huddled under the bus schedule.

She looked down.

No...she really did go down to the bus stop. She was dressed in her clothes for the day.

What was going on?!

She got up and tried to find her parents. They were sitting in the living room, talking.

"Mom, dad," she began. "Something really crazy is going on."

They ignored her.

"Hey, didn't you hear me?" she asked, slightly louder this time.

They still ignored her.

"Hey, please listen to me...Dad...Mom! I think I'm going crazy. I was supposed to go see my friends. I promised them that this time I would go hang out with them. But when I went to go down there, I woke up in my bed, but I was still wearing my clothes. I had a memory black out. What's happening to me?!"

They kept on talking like she wasn't even there. Jess banged her fists against the wall.

"Please...listen to me...I'm really...sick."

Then the scene went to gray and Jess appeared somewhere else.

She was in a room that she recognized, but it wasn't her own. She looked down. She was naked. This dream kept getting weirder and weirder!

She turned around and saw the person sleeping next to her. It was then that she knew whose room this was.

It was Jason Moriarity's room. And she was at least an hour away from home. Jason was someone Jess had met over the summer. He was Pat's brother. Pat had Aspergers and so did his brother Jason. They both were odd, but Jess tried her best not to judge them.

Jess remembered seeing Jason for the first time. She had just entered Pat's house. And Jason had come down the stairs. For a minute all he could do was stare at her. He held out his hand..."Hey, I'm Jason."

"I'm Jess," she answered quietly.

"Let me get showered and I'll be a lot more presentable."

"Okay," Jess giggled.

She remembered how he walked over to the table she was sitting at. He saw a cat and picked it up. "Kitty!" he cooed.

Jess felt a chill go down her spine when he did that. She knew right there and then that there was something off about this man.

When he volunteered to go with Pat and herself to the beach, she knew there was something else there.

She remembered him walking closer to her as they got nearer to the beach. The way he talked in such a commanding way.

Then she remembered how he smiled at her, and how he moved so close to her when they had a picture taken together. Jess had no idea that image was going to haunt her forever.

She was terrified as she saw him lying beside her, staring at her with those dark, sad eyes.

"You're back," he smiled.

"Yes I am," she moved closer to him

What was she doing?! Why was she moving closer to him?! This man was sick, nuts, and cruel. Why was she intimate with him?

They lay together for a while. Jess suddenly wanted this, needed this, and needed him. But he was so cruel to her? Why would she want someone who was so horrible?

"You make me happy," he breathed. "Happier than I have been in a long time..."

And then...

Jess woke up, confused and scared.

What just happened?!

"Jess," her dad called. "We have a hair appointment today, remember?"

"Oh yeah," she croaked.

"Do you still want to go?"

"Not really," she gasped. "I don't feel well."

Her dad nodded. "Okay."

She continued to rest until her parents left. Then she awoke.

She got up and stretched. Her joints still ached. Was this pain never going to go away?

She grabbed some aspirin and opened it up. She took two tablets. She hoped this would help with the pain.

She opened up her facebook. She decided she wanted to talk to someone. She figured Erica would be a pleasant person to talk to.

"Hi," Jess greeted.

"Hi," Erica replied. "How are you?"

Jess knew that she was concerned. Even though she couldn't hear the sound of her voice, she knew that Erica was acting different. Normally she was chipper and upbeat. This Erica was calm and serious.

"I'm okay," Jess answered.

"So," Erica began. "Are you living at home next semester?"

So she had read the status, Jess thought. Well its better she knows now than later when it is suddenly a surprise.

"Yeah," Jess admitted. "And I'm taking online classes as a part-time student. So I'm not leaving PSU."

Things could have been a lot worse, she thought.

"Cool," Erica replied.

"My doctors want me to take it easy," Jess explained.

"Awww...campus life not so fabulous anymore?"

"Oh it is fabulous! It's just that my body can't handle it."

"Wow...what's wrong?"

"My body can't handle it. And when that happens, everything goes bad. I love my friends, and I love PSU."


"And I hate the thought of leaving. My whole body is screwing up. I might have some kind of autoimmune disease. It's so bad that it gets in the way of learning."

Damn it! Why won't facebook chat work?!

"Oh my goodness!" Erica exclaimed. "And you're just finding this out now?! I'm sorry to hear that."

"Some really creepy things have been happening to me," Jess explained.

"Wow," she gasped.

"Yeah I know...," she agreed. "Lupus runs in our family. It's so scary. I have arthritis and stuff, memory blackouts and vision problems."

"Oh no!" she gasped. "Oh honey, hopefully a semester home will help."

"I feel crappy a lot of the time," she continued.

"Like emotionally?"

" physically. I can't do anything anymore because it hurts my joints. It's like I got old really fast."


"Yeah, PE in high school was horrible because I couldn't run fast."

"And now you know why!"

"People would say I ran like an old lady, that I was slower than molasses, mean things like that."

"Oh my!"

"At least I can still get an education."

"Indeed, here's to that!"

"Oh yeah, power to me? Are you still doing theatre?"

"Yes ma'am," Erica answered happily. "I'm getting a lot of good experiences this year. I was an understudy for a lead (didn't perform though). But I'm stage-managing a play that performs in March!"

"That's great. I'm doing stuff too even though I'm not on campus. Yes sir, I'm not doing nothing!"

"That is good!"

"I have to go though, talk later?"

"Yes ma'am!"

Jess smiled.

Thank you Erica.

Throughout the day Jess began to notice something. She felt sicker somehow. She didn't know how such a thing was possible. But it was. She looked down at her hands. They looked slightly deformed. The First three fingers sloped off to the side while the pinkie remained put. She ran her fingers through her hair. It seemed to be getting thinner.

God...what's happening to me?! Am I dying? And why haven't I gotten the results back from the blood test?

She opened facebook and got two new messages. She decided to read them.

One was from Mallory, who had graduated the year before and was now going to Graduate school.

"Hang in there Jess and I hope your results are better news! See you soon on December 11th."


Yeah but I'm not gonna be at PSU on the I won't get to see you.

The next message was from Jenny.

"you're a great new friend and i'm glad i met you :)
hope you feel better Jess! "

Thanks Jenny. That really made my day.

Suddenly Jess got a call from her mother. She picked up the phone.

"Jess?" her mom asked. "What's happening to your hands?"

"I don't know," she answered. "They're all deformed."


"Yeah they don't look like normal hands."

"Oh wow."

"And my hair's getting thinner too."


"And I keep having these horrible dreams."

"Oh my."

"I think whatever it's affecting my brain."

"Oh Jess, don't scare me like that!"

"I'm sorry."

"Don't worry Jess, we'll get to the bottom of this."

I wish it was sooner rather than later. Because I don't know how much time I have left. I'm really worried. Are my dreams trying to tell me something? Meghan had a dream that I died. Am I really going to die in the near future? I'm 20 years old, I'm too young to die! I can't die now, I have too much to do. Oh my god...what is happening to me? And why do I keep having dreams about Jason? He doesn't even speak to me anymore. Ever since I told her I had a boyfriend, he cut me out of his life. Why is the whole world going insane?!