Jessica Wallace Heidi Valkenburg
Jessica Wallace 2007-2008
Best friend to Taylah Jordan, bitchy Jess was more interested in boys and celebrity gossip than school. Whilst Jess and Taylah were at the pool one day, they saw Bridget Parker, a classmate who'd been away for several weeks, following an accident that left her paralysed down the left-hand side of her body. The girls did their awkward best to be polite, then started chatting about how a guy there was hot, but it was a shame he was in a wheelchair. The guy - Josh Taylor - came over to them, having befriended Bridget during their physio sessions, and started telling Jess and Taylah how brave they were to continue living their lives, despite their condition. Slightly confused, the girls quickly walked away from the conversation.
Meanwhile, with his girlfriend Rachel Kinski in Canberra for two weeks, Ringo Brown became the new object of Jessica's affections. After catching Ringo in the photocopying room with a cartoon of hated teacher Helen Carr, drawn by another teacher, Daniel Fitzgerald, Jess tried to talk him into making copies for everyone, but he chickened out. Jess then found the original still in the photocopier and decided to have some fun, making dozens of copies and plastering them all over the corridor. As Ringo tried to take them down, he was caught by Ms Carr. When none of the students would admit to making the copies or drawing the picture, she took the entire grade into detention, but Mr Fitzgerald then admitted to drawing it. Everyone was free to go, but Ringo reminded Jess that they were to blame, and Mr Fitzgerald could lose his job. He went to Ms Carr and lied that he had drawn the cartoon, earning himself a detention, and, seeing an opportunity to be alone with Ringo, Jess then owned up too. Stuck together in detention, the pair started to get along, but Jess' attempts at flirting were met by a brick wall, as Ringo reminded her that he was still with Rachel and wouldn't do anything to jeopardise that.
That evening, Ringo received a call from Jess, asking to meet at the General Store. An upset Jess told Ringo that she'd been out with a guy and it had ended badly, and she'd just needed to see a friendly face. As they got up to leave, Jess leaned in and kissed Ringo, quickly pulling away and apologising as he left. Once he'd gone, Jess was joined by Taylah, who had taken a picture of the kiss on her phone, with the plan to use it to make Ringo single and available once again. However, without even having to use the video, Jess was delighted to learn from Ringo that he and Rachel had split up, unable to work out their differences, with Jess unaware that Ringo was battling an eating disorder. As Rachel caught up with Ringo later that day, the pair talked things through and decided to get back together, sharing a kiss and a hug in the General Store, just as a shocked Jess walked in and spotted them. Furious with the scene that confronted her, that evening she sent the picture of her kiss with Ringo to a stunned Rachel. When Ringo confronted Jess about what had happened, she quickly concocted a story about Taylah sending the picture, as she felt that Ringo and Jess would make the perfect couple. Taylah backed it up, and Ringo felt guilty for his accusations. Having explained the full story to Rachel, she accepted what had happened but later, at the pool, Jess and Rachel had a confrontation, which ended with Jess slipping and falling into the water. Jessica accused Rachel of pushing her, with Taylah again backing up her claims, and Ringo wasn't sure what to believe. When she spotted Jess wearing Ringo's clothes that he'd lent her, Rachel realised that their relationship had never really been plain sailing and decided to end things once and for all.
Jess' next attempt to get close to Ringo involved inviting him to a rave party being held in a warehouse. She also asked along Rachel's geeky younger brother Zeke, telling him that he needed to start living a little, but hoping that he might bring Rachel and Ringo along too. The plan failed, and Zeke ending up spending the entire night with Taylah, where a new relationship blossomed. As Jess and some of the other students were preparing to attend another rave, Jess happened to spot Rachel getting out of a car, arguing with Erinsborough High's young substitute teacher Angus Henderson. Realising that she'd stumbled upon the biggest scandal the school had seen, Jess decided to use it to get some attention and started dropping hints that she had something huge to tell everyone. As everyone gathered at the warehouse for the rave, Jess continued to stall, but eventually told Taylah that 'Hendo' was having an affair with a student, refusing to give anything else away, and then spending must of the night in Ringo's arms, as the pair finally got together. Sadly, Jess' happiness at getting together with Ringo wasn't to last, as tragedy struck the illegal rave when the roof collapsed, trapping dozens of young people inside. Trapped together in the rubble, Jess and Ringo could only hold hands until help came, but as they talked about all the places they'd rather be, and she asked Ringo to pass a message on to her mum - that she was sorry for being such a disappointment - Jess slowly lost her fight for life. By the time help came, it was too late for Jessica.
• Jessica said that her perfect place would be eating fish and chips on the jetty