Jessica: I got abandoned at birth. I never met my real mom or dad. They found me and my sister in a bed full of worms. 

BW: Did you grow up with your sister?

Jessica: Kind of, sort of. My adopted parents put me in mental institutions and stuff. 

BW: Why?

Jessica: I been through a lot in life. 

BW: It sounds like it. Tell me about getting shot.  

Jessica: My friend did it by accident about a year ago. I don’t remember much. See, when you get shot in your head, you lose your memory. When I woke up in Grady, I couldn’t even walk. I didn’t even know my eye was gone. The first thing that came out my mouth was “You’ve got to call Kumar [the man who shot her] and make sure him and Terrell are OK.”  

BW: Do you still talk to Kumar?

Jessica: Yes, he calls me. He’s worried sick about me. Every time he calls me we both start crying. I lost my life two times that day but God kept me here for a reason.

BW: What do you think the reason is?

Jessica: I have a son and I’ve learned so much. I could talk to other people and help them work through their things. I’ve thought about writing a book actually. 

BW: What would you want to accomplish with the book?

Jessica: The book would be for other people to read and realize that there are others out in this world that they could talk to, that would understand. People are not just looking at you and judging you because you’re different. 

BW: Sounds like a good book. Do you have any regrets?

Jessica: My biggest regret in life is that I surround myself with the wrong people. 

BW: Why do you think that is?

Jessica: Because I don’t listen to God. You can be doing something and God’s trying to tell you to stop. You ain’t listening. Now, he may not let nothing drastic happen to you, but eventually you’re gonna be like, “hold on a second, why is it happening like this?” ‘Cause God want you to see, “Hello, I’m up here. I see what you’re doing!” 

BW: Do you feel like that’s what happened with your eye?

Jessica: Mmmhhhhmm

BW: I’d say that losing your eye is pretty drastic. 

Jessica: He was talking to me and I wasn’t listening. God wanted me to see that when he talks to me, I need to listen. He’s the reason I’m here. I mean… I’m not trying to have a religious talk with you.

BW : I’m open to talking about it. I believe in something. I’m just not sure what. 

Jessica: You’ll figure it out. Write… Write a book about it. 

BW: [Chuckle] You know, it looks like my next book may be about that very subject. Maybe… maybe this conversation that we’re having right now will be the first conversation in the new book.

Jessica: Let me tell you something. God had me run into you for a reason. There’s a reason why you stopped to talk to me. Are you ready?

BW: Yes, I am.