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The flight was really long and exhausting, but Jessica didn't feel tired at all. She put her suitcase on the floor and looked around to better understand where she was. The airport was crowded with people who kept coming and going, and so she decided to find a quiet corner to put some order in her thoughts before going to the hotel where Iris was waiting for her. Her best friend was staying there for the last two days, but apart from a short phone call in which she was begging her to come as soon as possible in Nice, Iris hadn't told her much. On the phone, Jessica had really heard her completely crushed. As soon as she finished filming the last scene of her TV series, she took the first flight to France. Jessica still couldn't understand why Iris was all alone there or what was going on between her and Nicholas, but she would find out soon. Immediately after the plane landed, she turned the phone on to see if there was any other sign from her best friend, but what she found left her even more puzzled. There was a disturbing amount of missed calls, text and vocal messages from Nicholas in which he was begging her to call him as soon as possible. But she avoided either calling him or answering his messages. Whatever happened between them, she had to hear her best friend version first. Every time she needed help or a shoulder to cry on, Iris was always there for her. So it was time for Jessica to return the favor. She would listen to Iris, she would comfort her. Ok, first of all, she had to find a taxi and go as fast as possible to the hotel and once she got there she would make other decisions based on how the situation looked like.
When she arrived at the hotel, Jessica asked at the reception what Mrs. Iris Taylor's room was. The receptionist looked into the computer and raised his head after a few seconds, telling her that in their hotel there wasn't a guest by that name. Jess looked at him stunned and after she made sure she was in the right hotel, Jess asked him to check once again for her friend. The answer came promptly and was the same as the first time. Jessica apologized to the receptionist, took her suitcase and went to sit on one of the armchairs in the hotel lobby. She couldn't call Iris, Jess knew that she didn't have the cell phone with her. What the hell was happening?! She was sure that this was the right hotel. She was in Nice... but where was Iris, where...? Jess got up quickly from the armchair and went back to the reception, asking the receptionist to look for a guest by the name of Iris Rogers. The receptionist immediately told her the room number and without saying anything else, Jessica took the elevator and went up to the second floor of the hotel.
Jessica knocked softly at Iris's door and didn't need to knock a second time. Iris opened up and what Jessica saw in front of her eyes struck her heart. Her best friend, the kindest, always smiling and the optimistic person in the world wasn't there anymore. In her place, Jessica saw a woman white as a sheet, with red eyes because of so much crying and thin as a stick that was about to faint in her arms.
"Oh, Iris dearest...," Jessica said putting the suitcase down. "Honey, what's happening to you? What are you doing here alone?"
But for the moment she stopped asking questions. There was no answer to satisfy her curiosity since Iris wasn't able to speak. Jess decided to let her cry with the head on her shoulder until she would calm down enough to tell her the reasons why she was so desperate. She helped Iris to walk towards a chair. Jess had never seen her so devastated, and, honestly speaking, didn't know how to deal with her. Iris was crying with such despair that she would've been able to move a stone.
"Come on, honey, calm down a little, will you?" she said helping Iris to sit in a chair. "I didn't understand too much from our conversation on the phone, but now I'm here, willing to listen to you. Iris, the way you look is making me worry and all this excitement isn't good for you or the baby you're expecting," she added gently stroking her back.
"Oh ... J ... Jess ...," Iris managed to say between strong sobs.
"Listen to me, Iris Taylor or Rogers or whatever you're calling yourself these days," Jess started with a slightly menacing voice, "if you won't calm down in the next five seconds, I swear I'll take you by the arm and force you to come with me to the nearest emergency room."
Jessica filled a glass with some water and handed it to Iris, who drank it in one gulp. She sat down next to her friend and held Iris in his arms, waiting for her to stop sobbing. She couldn't understand what had happened to her, they had been on the phone a couple of days ago and her friend was at that moment, the happiest woman on the face of the earth. Iris told her about the pregnancy and about the fact that she was planning a special evening to finally give her husband the fantastic news. She also knew about the surprise honeymoon that Nicholas was planning for them. But the person sitting next to her was someone she had never seen, someone she didn't recognize.