Examination of Jan Hooks continued

"I hear a loud crash on the other end of the line, and then moaning. I don't want to listen anymore but I can't put the phone down. I can hear Phil's groans, and the more I hear the more I cry."

Are you sure this is what you hear? Listen again.

She didn't understand what they wanted her to do. But she put the phone back to her ear and heard Phil's voice saying 'hello, is anyone there'?

Go to him Jan; he is there for you.

"Phil, can I come over? I have to talk to someone." she whispered. He knew something was wrong, he could feel it from her even through the phone. Jan could hear a girl's voice in the background, protesting, pissed off. Phil was pushing her away, telling her he was sorry but she had to leave.

"No, I will come over there. Be there in a minute."

Jan looked around the room. A sense of deja-vu came over her. She had been here before she was sure but… but… she hadn't. She couldn't explain it. She grabbed a robe and began to pace, waiting for him.

(They were happy she made it through so easily. Not many people do. They were proud of her, this young one. They had a lot of hope for her. But her story was just beginning and there was much more to learn.)

She startled when she heard him knock on the door. "Come in!" she called, and he stepped inside. He looked a bit disheveled, a tiny bit nervous. He had thrown on a pair of jeans and a T-shirt in a hurry and totally forgot his shoes. If she wasn't so scared she would have giggled. She flew into his arms, surprising him. Her sobs wracked her body as he held her gently, her tears soaking through his shirt to his bare skin. He did not speak, did not move, and did not let her go. He held her until she could cry no more. Finally he whispered in her ear "what is it Jan, tell me what is this all about." With a trust born of years of deep, devoted friendship she took his hand and guided it to her breast. What should have brought them both pleasure only brought them pain as she pressed his fingers against the lump. She stared up into his face hoping beyond hope that he didn't feel it, that she imagined the whole thing. But the shock in his eyes shredded the last bit of hope she had. "Phil, I think I am going to die."

Examination of Philip Hartmann continued

If he didn't know better he would have sworn that this was the real Jan. She felt real enough but 'they' had made this whole thing up to let him explore what would have… no should have happened that night. That was okay by him. Just to be with her again, even if she wasn't real, was enough to make his heart soar.

Continue please.

"I didn't want to touch her breast again, can you believe that? Oh, not because I was repulsed or anything like that. I didn't want to feel that lump again. She fell back against me and for just a second I thought she might have fainted. I couldn't escape that lump it seemed because now, with her breasts flattened against me I could feel it against my chest. And when she said that she thought she was going to die, I…"

Slowly now, what did you feel?

"Well, how do you think I felt? I'm sorry. When she said that it was as if the breath was knocked out of me. She was never sick, one of the healthiest people I had ever known, in fact. But I knew about her mom and other relatives that she had lost to breast cancer, and I knew that that put her at risk. But it was going to pass her by, it had to. Not Jan, not Jan. I remember the tremendous feeling of loss. Here she was breathing and very much alive in front of me and yet it was as if I had already lost her. Tell me all great-and-knowing ones, how does one lose someone they never had?"

He waited for an answer that he knew would never come.

"So there we were standing there under her glass-covered bedroom, holding on tight to each other. The rain was hitting the skylight hard."

We cried for her that day

"You did?" He was taken aback. Maybe he had these 'people' all wrong.

Go on

"I had this incredible urge to make love to her. I didn't know how to make it better, I couldn't fix it. All I could do was comfort her and maybe make her forget for a little while."

But you didn't, did you?

"You know very well I didn't. It was not what I thought SHE needed from me. All she needed was a shoulder and two strong arms to support her. I was being selfish again. I needed to take something from her when all she wanted was to share her fear. Why, of all times, did I want to do that to her?" He shook his head, angry at himself for his blindness.

But you didn't, did you? Why can't you see your actions for what they were? They were appropriate, loving, giving. It would have been a confirmation of life. It would have embodied love. You were overcome with shock. You reacted correctly.

Do you wish to make it right?

Without any hesitation, he said no. He understood what they were saying. He never could admit to himself that he was not in the wrong that night, but now he could let that go.

"I did make it right."

(They smiled to themselves)

Part 4