Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Coda 34


Jake Riordan from the Adrien English series (this coda takes place one year after The Hell You Say).

 



Baby, I’ve been here before
I know this room, I’ve walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew you.

 

Yeah, once upon a time. Halle-fucking-lujah.

The first time he’d heard that song it had been in that very building. Cloak and Dagger Books. It had been around this time of year. Not quite this late in the season. The song was on a Christmas album that Adrien had played a lot. Rufus Wainwright. Jake had never heard of Rufus Wainwright before then. Never heard the song “Hallelujah.” Now it seemed to be on every time he turned on the radio.

What the hell did it even mean?
 



And remember when I moved in you
The holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah

 

Such a weird song. Such a weird time in his life.

It was all over now. Over and done. And he did not believe in wasting time on regrets over the things that could not be changed.

Should not be changed.

But here he sat in his car, watching the dark and silent building across the street.

Sometimes it seemed like a dream, those months. Ten months. Not even a year. How could the most important relationship of his life have been the briefest?

But that’s how it felt sometimes. And that’s what he would tell Adrien if he had the chance. If Adrien came home alone tonight, Jake would get out of his car, cross the street and try to tell him…something. It was Christmas Eve after all, and if there was ever a night for holding out an olive branch -- for asking for forgiveness -- this was the night.

That’s all he wanted.

That’s all he’d ever wanted those other nights he’d parked here. Waiting for the right moment. Trying to get the nerve up.




Maybe there’s a God above
But all I’ve ever learned from love
Was how to shoot at someone who outdrew you

 

You could refuse to take a phone call, but it was a lot harder to turn away from someone standing in front of you. Too hard for someone as soft-hearted as Adrien. No, Adrien wouldn’t turn him away. Not on Christmas Eve.

But he wasn’t coming back tonight.

It was past midnight now. The windows above the bookstore remained dark. The surrounding streets were silent and empty.

Adrien would be at the Dautens’. Or at Snowdon’s. He’d be with people who loved him. Which was where he belonged. It was where everyone belonged on Christmas Eve.

And Jake…had spent too long sitting here already. He could not afford to arouse suspicion. He did not want to have to lie. Okay, compound the lie. He turned the key in the ignition.

Still, engine idling, exhaust turning red in the taillights, he waited a few minutes  longer.

The stars above the city lights twinkled with cheerful indifference, blazing that cold and broken hallelujah.

 

 

 

 

52 comments:

  1. Finally! Inside Jake's head. This answers a few questions. It wasn't a couple of times, it was many. It was an obsession. But the second year he had stopped parking, Josh?

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    1. I would say this would be the turning point. Jake would stop finding reasons to pass Cloak and Dagger after this.

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    2. And I'm guessing that's when he started going back to the club?

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  2. I never hated Jake. I resented him for what he did but never hated him. It's not easy to break from what you know, from who you know to be...well, yourself. Life is not a (romance) novel ;-).
    Thank you for the Coda, Josh!!!

    Goge

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  3. At first, I just couldn't get over the lyrics. I truly think Jake lived alone, a solitary existence in his own mind, before he knew Adrien.

    :') I read this and tears welled up in my eyes.

    Thank you.

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    1. PS: I'm not much into songs, but there's this one, 'Say Something' by A Great Big World, that just reminds me of Adrien and Jake, at different stages in the book, but most notebly in The Hell You Say.

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    2. I agree. That son is perfect for them during this time in their relationship.

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  4. Oh, Jake! My poor Jake. So sad. So lonely. I am happy I've read the books and seen them together in The Boy with the Painful Tattoo, otherwise my heart would be broken. I've always liked Jake, always thought that he was as fragile as Adrien, but only inside... I do not like to see him suffering. It hurts!! Again, thank you Josh for the sneak peek at TBWTPT. I loved it.

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  5. Just when I think I couldn't love these two any more...they remain my favorites of the heart. Thank you, Josh and Merry Christmas!

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  6. Oh my. Thank you so much. This made me sad, too. Thank goodness I know there was a happy ending.

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  7. How melancholy. It's a good thing we know how it ends. :-)

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  8. Oh, Jake, Jake, Jake. How I feel for him. Poor tormented man. But he gets his happy ending, eventually. :)

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  9. As Carli said so well, just when i thought i couldn't love these two more... Feeling Jake's loneliness and heartache breaks my heart, and i can feel Adrien's loneliness here too. And i want to tell them that things will sort themselves out eventually *sigh*
    Thank you so much, dear Josh.

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  10. Oh, Jake. I hurt for you all over again. You hurt Adrien, but harmed yourself so much more.

    This is magnificent, Josh. This coda from Jake's POV is a present we have wanted for so long and feels like a dream come true. And the song! One of my favorites! The words and melody fit the mood of your piece perfectly.

    Thank you, Josh, for this, and always for your gift of brilliant writing.

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    1. I'm just now seeing this (WHERE WAS I???) and, Susan, you express my sentiments as well. And quite eloquently. My Adrian and Jake - my HEART! Poor broken Jake. Poor, brave, broken Adrian.

      Josh, you make my world go 'round. Thank you!

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  11. I don't hate Jake. But if I were there that night, I would've flattened his tires.

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  12. Thank you. (merentha13)

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  13. Break my heart a little more...

    This close to the holidays I'm closer to tearing up anyway and then this... *watery sigh*

    Thank you, Josh!

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  14. Thank you Josh, such a beautiful coda. I love getting a peak in Jake's head. Very bittersweet, makes me want to read the whole series again for the third, maybe it's fourth time :)

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  15. I can't help thinking of the words from a Vince Gill song "Never knew lonely til you"
    Of course while reading this, I just had to keep telling myself over and over(in between sniffles) that Jake gets his HEA. And Adrien, too.
    Thanks for this peek into Jake's head.

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  16. Aww, Jake, but at least they are together now and I loved that they were in the latest Holmes and Moriarity-- in fact I cheered.

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  17. Thank you for this gift, Josh. Thank you for ALL the gifts you give us with your amazing talent. <3

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  18. Heartbreakingly beautiful. Thank you :-)

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  19. Oh how I love these two. And I've always wondered what goes on in Jake's mind! Thanks for this! Love it

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  20. Heartbreaking. <3

    I love that song, btw.

    Thanks for writing and posting this, Josh. :)

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  21. That was lovely present on Christmas Eve...thank you.

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  22. My heart is broken, I have tears in my eyes and if I read this coda and listen to this song just one more time, I'm going to be a complete, hot mess sitting at my desk. I have always loved Jake...just as much as I love Adrien. Thank you for Jake's POV, Josh.

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  23. That was so lovely, Josh. So touching.

    And I love, love, love the last line of the coda:

    "The stars above the city lights twinkled with cheerful indifference, blazing that cold and broken hallelujah."

    Beautiful and piercing. So melancholic, but luminous. Perfect, really.

    Thank you so much, Josh.

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  24. Beautiful, my heart aches for Jake. Thank you so much for this.

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  25. Oh, gosh, heartbreaking!! Thanks for giving us Jake's perspective. And the song "Say Something" is totally amazing for the two of them.

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  26. **sniff**
    Blown away you chose to do this.
    ~Whitley

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  27. Jake, Jake, Jake - such an alone person

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  28. I love that these are sometimes bittersweet posts, and love this year's combination of poetry and excerpts and codas. You've created a new holiday tradition for many of us — Josh's advent calendar. : )

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  29. Thank you for the look into Jake's feelings when he and Adrien were apart. I love this.

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  30. Beautiful... Josh, you are such a talented writer and sometimes you just blow me away with your words. This is a perfect little gem of a story and now I'm going to have to reread the series again for the 6th time. Merry Christmas to you and thanks for this gift.
    Sheila

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  31. You always have a singular talent for punching the reader right in the throat --- and leaving them happy for the experience.

    Thanks!

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  32. Beautiful, Josh... thanks for sharing!

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  33. Interesting get to see things from Jake's perspective. It'd be great if we can get the chance to see things from JX or Tucker's point of view. :)

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  34. Oh, wow! I suppose if you would have written this before The Dark Tide you would have received death threats ;-). As everybody commented this is wonderful, but heartbreaking, and only the knowledge that there is a happy ending in sight makes it bearable.

    Thank you so much! Enjoy your favourite days of the year, dear Josh!

    Greetings from Lake Como

    Antonella

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  35. Such a heart-wrenching coda! What hurts most is often not the tears, but when tears just won't come.

    Thank you, Josh, for a most fitting follow-up to the scene from two days before.

    Savanna

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  36. This is a wonderful gift for us readers! It's great to get Jake perspective! I didn't know Rufus Wainwright did a version of this song- I only know Leonard Cohen's original and Jeff Buckley's remake- but they all seem strikingly beautiful in their own way! And it certainly captures Jake here.
    Thanks!
    Rin

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  37. Thank you for this gift! Jake is such a dynamic character, one who demonstrates his feelings through actions rather than words. I've always been curious as to when he admitted to himself that he was in love with Adrien. It was clear he was falling hard in book two and he was pretty open about his feelings in book four. The moment he realized he was in love must have been a painful one indeed.
    Merry Christmas!

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  38. Thank you josh, just when I thought I could not love this couple more

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  39. I love Jake :) Thank you for this lovely coda from Jake's pov.

    -Andy Slayde

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  40. This is pure brilliance. Moved me to tears, much like I was at the end of The Hell You Say. Books don't do that to me often, but hell! Thanks, Josh. Really. It's beautiful. [sob] Merry Christmas to you. :)

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  41. In my complete and utter obliviousness I totally forgot to check your blog for codas... >.< After finding out that you did ones for Blood Red Butterfly, Stranger on the Shore and Everything I Know, I didn't think I could love you any more, but this was heartbreaking. T.T And I'm not even supposed to feel sorry for Jake since he's the asshole. Thank God, I know that it'll work out okay. After this shock I'll have to reread both The Dark Tide and the cameo in The Boy with the Painful Tattoo.
    Anyways thank you so much for having done codas this year again and a Happy New Year to you!

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  42. damn that hit me in the stone I call my heart lol no really I think i heard something like that once in shrek? HEH it touched me tho, guess love is bitter, sad and full of tender hope all the same?

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