Sleeping Jessica lay on the chair in her office, carelessly sleeping. The office desk was in a mess. Just a glance at her, one would know she was so exhausted. Dark circles under her eyes, unsteady breathing. Even in her sleep, she looked worried.
Staying away from home, her mum and her brother for the past one week was something she had never dreamt of and now she had done it. She considered herself brave and bracing up to face other challenges. As she lay in the bath tub, thoughts of what happened the other night came flashing in her head as lightening flashes in the sky. She could see him, all dressed in back, his face covered. Blood streaked down his hands, it spread to his body and legs. His way of walking wasn’t steady, he was staggering moving towards her. Pointing the dagger at her b—–s, he opened his mouth and he revealed a set of teeth stained with blood, no trace of any white color, the normal color of one’s teeth.
Trembling, Jessica couldn’t do a thing. She tried screaming, wanting to shout for help, but she lost her voice. She opened her mouth, but no sound came out.
He moved closer, held her hand and stabbed her at the chest.
“Nooo!!!” she screamed .
She opened her eyes, felt her chest, no blood, no injuries, no cut, nothing. It was then she realized that she dozed while taking her bath. She turned off the shower, immediately went to the room, wore a silk night dress and ran to her mum. Coincidentally, Mrs Beauty was on her way to Jessica’s room to know what was wrong when she heard her scream.
“Mum, mum. I’m scared” she said
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Giving her a puzzled look, Mrs Beauty replied, “Come with me. You’ll sit, while you let me get you a cup of coffee to calm yourself down. Then we can talk about it.”
Mrs Beauty helped Jessica into the living room, sat her down and went to get two cups of coffee. She handed one to Jessica, sat beside her and patted her gently.
“Jess, what’s wrong, why do you look like you’ve seen a ghost?” asked Mrs Beauty, so concerned.
“I had–” Jessica was about to speak, to narrate her scary dream to her mum, but she knew how badly it would affect her mum. She would also suggest things Jessica didn’t like, such as staying away from the hospital and if possible report the last incident to the police. Jessica would buy none of the ideas. She quickly changed her mind and lied to her mum. “I was dreaming, getting married, having kids but one of my children had died and I screamed and I fell down and hit my back hard on the floor. That’s all.” Jessica wasn’t a good liar.
“Jessica, you are not telling me everything. I want the whole truth.” Mrs Beauty demanded.
“Mum, I’ve told you the truth, that’s all.”
Mrs Beauty wasn’t satisfied.
“Jessica, look into my eyes and say what you just said.”
Jessica was caught between crossroads. She couldn’t look her mum in the eye and lie to her, yet she was determined not to let her mum know anything. She got up from the sofa, gave her mum a brief hug and said to her, “I’ll be fine, I’ll take care of myself. I love you.”
She hurriedly walked to her room, dialed Shirley’s number.
“Shirley, we need to talk.” she said impatiently.
“Jess, calm down. Where do we meet?”
“I’m home. Come straight to my room.”
“I’ll be there.”
**** **** **** ****
Taking a deep breath, Shirley collapsed into her chair. Staring at her chamber and the pile of files on her table, she sighed again. Being a counselor was not an easy job at all. Visiting clients, listening to their reports, talking about money, preparing cases and going to court almost everyday was tiring and something difficult for just one person to handle. Thanks to her colleagues who helped her out and they stood for one another. At least she could find time for her family and friends. Without wasting much time, she abandoned the files at her desk, grabbed her car keys and dashed off to see Jessica. The files can wait. Jessica was more important. She was her best friend. A friend rare to find and so precious. Yes, she was important.
**** **** ****
“Hi, Mrs Beauty,” Shirley smiled, in a warm tone, greeting Jess’s mum.
“Hello, how are you?” replied Mrs Beauty while giving Shirley a side hug and placed kisses on her cheeks.
“I’m doing good, as you can see.”
“Your friend isn’t doing good.” her mood changed. “Hope you’re not over working yourself.” She suddenly brightened up.
Great! Jessica’s mum had started again. She was a sweet, caring and compassionate person who loved to take care of everyone who was nice to her. She hate seeing young girls overwork themselves. She always wanted to help them out in a way or two. Shirley knew what would come next. Mrs Jack would lecture her up to an hour, telling her things she didn’t want to hear and what she’d heard over and over again. She could even complete Mrs Jack’s statements. Realizing she was taking much time and Jessica was waiting-she knew it was something important and something had to be done, she hurriedly ended the conversation with Mrs Jack.
“I’m not over working, ma’am. I really have to see Jess, take care.” She ran off.