Do I believe in fairies? I do now. Do I believe in giants? Yep. Do I believe in Jake? Do you even have to ask? He was right wasn't he? Happy now? I was wrong, Jake was right. It's not really that surprising. Once upon a time, I didn't believe in Jake or his stories. Not since he brought home 'magic beans' instead of the money we need to hire a doctor to help our poor sister. I remember she died soon after that and mother followed a few years later, leaving Jacob and me alone in the world. For a long time I resented dear Jake and I am ashamed to admit that I treated him like dirt and I never gave him the time of day.
He always talked about fairies and giants and witches etc. as though they were real things. I never did. "Hunting" and "killing" them was just a way to make some money and keep Jake quiet and happy. And, for a while, it worked. But Jake got older and wised up to the world and started searching for, what he called, 'the true stories of the supernatural'. After that Jake became obsessed with finding the 'real' things. I let him do his own thing for a time but then I needed him back and, like the selfish brother I am, I made him come back and help me on a job. It's not like he had done anything with himself. But I did feel bad after that.
After Marbaden I was more inclined to let Jake do his own thing. We continued to live in the small village with Angelica and her sisters. If something came up we packed up what we thought we would need, left, did the job, and then went back to Marbaden. And the cases were real and I trusted Jake's judgement. I didn't see way I shouldn't. He had saved me from the Queen and from death and so I trusted him with my life. Plus Angelica would sometimes come with us and helped out with everything. I trusted that both of them would get to the bottom of the case and they always did. Though a lot of the time it would be me who found the vital clue.
After a while Jake found a small case in the north of Germany which he felt that he could handle on his own. I disagreed at first but Angelica convinced me that Jake could do it in his own. So I let him go. Our mother had also told us to stick together, to matter what happened. We had to stick together and I had to look after Jacob. Up until that point I had done just that. I had looked after him even when he didn't want me to. I still did because he was my little brother and I love him…
I loved him. You can't love a dead man, can you?
Jake went to the town. When he didn't return when he was meant to I left, against Angelica's wishes. She thought that Jake was fine and that it was only taking him a little longer than we first anticipated. I thought otherwise. Something inside of me was telling me that Jake was in trouble and that he needed my help. So I trusted my instincts and raced north to reach Jake, hopefully in time. When I finally reached the town I asked after Jake but no one would answer me. They all tuned their faces away from me and hurried in doors. I found a man sitting in a gutter on the street and asked if he knew Jake. I feared that he would run but instead he looked up at me with a sad smile on his face.
"The witch took him."
He would say nothing about the witch and only pointed when I asked him where the witch was. I followed his directions without thinking about my own safety. There was a house on the top of hill that looked as though it should have fallen down long before my great-great-grandpa was even in his mother's belly. I found Jake in the top most room of the house. He was chained to the west wall by his ankles and wrists. I tried to get him down but the witch attacked me and threw me out the window. I managed to get a grip on the windowsill and pull myself back in through the window. Then the witch was easy to kill.
I went back to Jake, chained to the wall like an animal. I lifted his head in my hands and surveyed his face. It was covered in bruises and blood. His eyes were swollen and I didn't think he could open them. The rest of his body was much the same. Covered in bruises and blood. He wore only pants. His glasses lay on the floor broken just like his fragile body. Jake's chest moved in labored breaths and he gagged every time he breathed in.
His voice was a mere croak, a shadow of its former strength and self-assurance. I assured him that it was me and not the witch. He was silent for so long. I undid the shackles and gently lay him on the floor, using my jacket to cradle his head. His breathing become easier and he didn't gag any more.
"Will… I… am…"
Jake fell into a fit of coughing. I rubbed his back gently, helping him through. I told him that he was going to be okay, that I wasn't leaving him that we'd always be together because we were brothers.
I knew he was sorry for thinking that he could do it on his own. I told him that it was my fault, that I shouldn't have met him come on his own. Jake started to cough again, worse than before. I knew that he didn't have long but I didn't want to believe it and I certainly wasn't going to tell Jake that he was dying. He already knew that. Otherwise he wouldn't be apologising for it.
"Bye…Will…. Miss…. You…"
I had begged him to stay with me. I apologised for everything I had ever done to him. He somehow managed to open his eyes and look up at me. They said everything that he couldn't. Mainly though they said: "I forgive you, Will." Jake's lips turned up in a smile and his lit up for the last time. He breathed out slowly and closed his intelligent, blue eyes for the very last time.
I sat there for a long time holding Jake, my little brother, Jacob, close to my heart, tears running down my cheeks silently. I lifted up his limp body and carried back to Marbaden, back home, back to Angelica. Although I had a horse with me, I walked carrying Jack, ignoring the dull ache in my arms, back and legs. I walked back into the town of Marbaden, back into our hometown. Everyone stopped and removed their hats and held them over their hearts as I made my way to Angelica.
We buried Jake last night in the cemetery. They're going to make a big memorial to him and place behind his headstone. They asked me for a suggestion as to how to remember him in a statute. I told them to make an image of Jake, to make him look like the god he was. I think they agreed. I'm not really sure. I was too busy thinking about the moment I've arrived at now. I'm not sure how to do this even though this is all I want. I'm standing at the edge of cliff. It's not very high but it's high enough. I can see Jake's kind eyes in the sky before me and I know that he's waiting for me just behind the thin and fragile veil that lies between life and death. My mother and sister will be there as well, not just Jake. I want to see them as well.
"I'm coming, Jake. I promise."
I take a step…
I hit the rocks…
I see my mother…
I see my sister…
I see Jake…