"Achoooo!" I sneezed for the hundredth time this morning. At least it wasn't just my constant nightmare keeping me awake every night, but now I was lucky enough to have the flu that kept me awake long enough to avoid my nightmares. My head was swimming in pain, my bed was scattered in scrunched up tissues, I looked like something the cat dragged in and what was worse it was Saturday! I was meant to go to the movies with Tyler today... Well I told mom I was going to the library again. I have no clue why I keep lying to her, I thought as I blew my nose again. It's just ever since the time she freaked out a week ago I am walking on egg shells. I continue to lay in bed, feeling like a zombie, a hungry zombie. Mom is at work and I'm alone, so I'll have to get out of bed. "Just get up Jess." I say to myself grudgingly.
When I finally manage to drag myself out of bed, I see my reflection in the mirror. Puffy red eyes, a huge red nose, messy hair. Urgh I'm so glad I canceled our date now, I think while tying up my hair in a messy bun. Friend day out... Not a date Jess... I scold myself. "Bleep!" went my phone in my pajama pocket. A text from Tyler, it read - "Hey Jess, sorry u r sick. Have 2 cu 2day. Coming over l8ter. Will bring tissues.xx."
"Awww", I said aloud to myself. We've only known each other for a week now but we've become such good friends. After school we'd sit in the park just talking. I keep wanting to tell him the truth about me but I'm afraid of what he'd think of me. I really don't want his pity... and worse I don't want him to think of me as amnesia girl.
I found my way to the kitchen and made some plain toast and lemon tea. I can't taste anything so it doesn't really matter. I'm suddenly craving beans... I think to myself so I start to rummage through the zillion drawers in the kitchen for a can opener. I finally come to a drawer that's really hard to open, I pull really hard but nothing happens so I have a crazy idea and I kick it really hard and it opens. Weird... the drawer is full of papers. I can't help it when you have no memory of who you are. It's a bit difficult not to want to snoop around a bit. I start shoveling through the mass of papers.
"It's just junk Jess..." I told myself but then my eye caught a glimpse of a banknote. I pulled the page out of the pile of junk and saw a balance of $50,000 for the month of October which we were in now. I looked through the drawer again. I found slips with the same bank balances since late June... Were these Mom's Salary slips? If so then why did she get paid during June in the summer holidays as well? $50,000 was a lot of money! I still don't know what mom's job is as yet. I asked once and she just said she does odd jobs and errands but those jobs couldn't possibly pay this much money every month. I heard a key turning in the handle of the front door and I quickly stuffed July's bank slip in my pocket and stuffed the rest in the drawer and slammed the door shut as hard as I could. Then I grabbed my plate of toast and ran to sit on the couch in the lounge and I clicked on the TV.
Finally the door opened and Mom turned to smile at me. "Hey honey", she said. "I just forgot my purse at home, so I came to fetch it. I might be home late so you can help yourself to oven fries and nuggets if you like. Ah here's my purse", she said finding it on the fridge. She kissed my forehead and noticed one of the drawers I left open. "Were you looking for something Jess?" She suddenly looked serious, menacing even. "I was just looking for a can opener to open the can of beans." She opened a cupboard and found it for me. "Here you go Jess. Bye see you later", she said and she locked the door.
As soon as she locked the door, I ran to my room and sat on my bed. I pulled the banknote out of my pocket and I noticed something. All the bank balances had been credited by the same bank account every month. So the same person was putting money in mom's account every month. Was it her boss? If it wasn't, then who was doing it and what for? The person's bank account number was on the banknote but there's no name, I thought sighing. I felt my phone buzz in my pocket. It was from Tyler again, it read - "Will be there in 15min. Can't wait to cu.x" For that moment I forgot all about the banknotes. Tyler was such a great friend... I felt so much for him even though we'd only just met, well bumped into each other two weeks ago. I didn't want to take the chance that he didn't feel the same way.
I stuffed the banknote in my underwear drawer, right at the back. I then took a quick shower, covered my green complexion in some make-up and put on jeans and a hoody. I looked at myself in the mirror and thought, 'Not bad Jess", then I noticed a tissue stuck in my headband and I pulled it out quickly. Finally I heard the door bell ring and I ran to open the door for Tyler. He was so cute I thought as he enveloped me in a bear hug. "You shouldn't be hugging me Ty... I'm sick remember."
"Well you shouldn't be trying to make me miss you Jess." He said hugging me and swinging me around as I laughed. "How can you cancel our movie date then just expect me to stay away?" Movie date! Ahhhh! I screamed in my head of course. So he thought of it as a date too.
"Are you hungry Ty?" I asked him when he finally put me down. "Later, I came to look after my patient so let's go up to your room." he said taking my hand.
When we got to my room he tucked me into bed and then he sat alongside me. We talked for ages about everything. Everything except what was hanging in the air of course. Tyler turned to face me and he stroked my cheek. "Jess, I feel so close to you but so far away at the same time. What's wrong? You can tell me. You're a million miles away today." I bit my lip and thought of telling Tyler but thought better of it, "Ty... would you mind taking me to the bank later? I have to pick up my bank card."
"Sure Jess, anything for my patient."
I started feeling so drowsy from the medication and soon I fell asleep in Tyler's arms.
As she lay in my arms, she looked so beautiful. I actually had to stop myself from stroking her soft cheek the entire time while she slept. Every time I look at her face I think wow. Not just because she's gorgeous but because I really feel that I know her from somewhere or that I've seen her from somewhere. I keep having this weird feeling like she's keeping some big dark secret from me. She seems lost and scared mostly and I just want to protect her, I thought and I wrapped my arms tightly around her. She suddenly started to move a lot in her sleep. She's talking in her sleep too and she's crying.
"Jess, wake up." I'm telling her but she won't wake up. "Jess!" She's still screaming but I can't make out what she's saying. "Daddy!" she screamed and she woke up sweating. She's awake now and she's started to cry.
I hug her close to me and wipe the tears from her eyes. "Daddy?", I think to myself. Does Jess have a father? Is that her secret that she can't talk about? I want to ask her but I decide against it. I don't want to upset her more than she already is. "You okay Jess?" I asked her. "Yeah I am... I just have these weird dreams sometimes. I don't understand them though."
"Would you like to talk about it Jess", I asked her hoping for some answers. "Actually could we maybe go to the bank? I'm just excited to get my bank card." I smiled at her and replied ruffling her hair, "Sure my patient, let's go." I still wish I could build the rest of Jess's puzzle but it's worth waiting for, she's worth waiting for I think as I grab my car keys while she gets her bag in her room.
As I look for my purse under my bed, I hope that Tyler didn't think I was even more of a weirdo now because of the way I reacted to a stupid nightmare. I don't understand my dreams really. Everything's just dark and I can't remember where I am. I feel lost and there's this man... I think I want to get away from him. That's all I know. Here it is, I think as I found my purse. I put the banknote in my purse and go outside to Tyler's car where he's waiting for me. For the whole car ride I am very quiet and Tyler sings Maroon 5 songs to keep himself busy. "She will be loved.... She will be loved" he sang while looking at me and I felt myself blushing and he laughed.
Finally we get to the bank and I've thought of my whole plan and it'll work. I think... "Hey Ty, I'll just be a few minutes... They have to check my details before they can just hand it over to me. I'll buy some ice cream on the way home okay." Tyler laughed. "I feel like a child that has to wait while my mom's in the bank and I'm getting a treat afterwards. Okay see you in a few", he said squeezing my hand. As I walked to the entrance of the bank, I suddenly felt afraid. What if I didn't like what I found out? Worse even... What if my plan doesn't work and Mom finds out what I'm up to?