The Fae World: Earth: Molly: An Unexpected Truth

This entry is part 16 of 16 in the Fae World: Earth collection
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I hid. That was the only thing I could think of doing. Up until Ian had walked into Jamie’s dressing room I’d been planning on going in there to surprise him, but I hadn’t wanted to get in the way of whatever Ian wanted to talk to him about. Instead I waited at the door, hoping Ian wouldn’t be too long, before realising that far more of the sound came out of it than I thought. Being able to hear their whole conversation… well, at least it meant I’d been able to get away from the door before they stepped through it, to give myself some time to think things through.

Jamie wasn’t Jamie. There was a point when the fans started talking about the slight changes they noticed, and I was one of them. Even though everyone knew that fae magic could be used to replace certain people it wasn’t something I’d thought would ever affect my life. Of course back then I’d just been a fan. Nothing more. It hadn’t once crossed my mind Jamie might become something more to me than he was. I never thought I’d meet him. I never thought I’d fall in love with him. I sure as hell never thought I’d be standing alone in what looked like a broom closet trying to work out what the truth meant. He was the Jamie I knew, no matter who he’d been before. I didn’t feel betrayed, because he wouldn’t have been able to tell me without breaking his contract, and from what I knew about them it wouldn’t be a contract I was willing to break.

At the same time I knew. I’d always known. If I’d stopped to let myself believe it, right back when we were all talking about it, then… nothing would be any different. It wouldn’t have changed my choices. I had a chance to meet someone I’d admired for a long time, and I grabbed it with both hands. What person wouldn’t? By that point we’d stopped asking questions. They didn’t have answered that mattered, because, to us, he was Jamie. Ian was right when he said whoever Jamie had been before was dead. There was no going back to that life. Had it been someone else would it be different? Would they feel betrayed by the man they loved keeping the truth from them? Would they be able to accept it? Feeling certain both Jamie and Ian were gone I slipped out of the broom closet, making my way back towards the entrance I’d come in. Before I spoke to him I needed to work out what I was going to say to him. Should I tell him I knew, and it didn’t matter? Should I tell him I knew, and it did matter? There were so many things going through my mind.

Of course that meant I wasn’t paying enough attention, so I bumped into Alice. We studied each other for a long time. She’d been with Ian since before the band got together. People kept telling her they were going to split up, but it hadn’t happened, and I was beginning to believe it wouldn’t. The two of them had a bond I thought it would be impossible for anyone to break. At the same time that meant she knew. She had to know. There was no chance of her not working it out with everyone else. I sighed, shaking my head.

“We all went through the same thing, Mol.” Alice smiled. “Should we tell him? Should we not tell him? I take it Ian finally did.”

“Yeah, he did, and I happened to be right outside the door.”

“Things like that happen. How do you feel?”

“Confused, mostly.”

“Do you want to talk? I can understand if you don’t, but if you do I’m here.”

Nodding, I tried to work out what I did want. “He’s Jamie.”

“He is. The person he was… I can’t imagine what it must be like to be given that choice. Leaving everything behind couldn’t have been easy, but I believe anyone who does it must have a reason. Whatever his reason was might matter to you. To us… it’s hard to put all of this into words. Thanks to Ian I knew Jamie. He was a good guy, and I wish he could have had the life they’re living now. He was someone who truly deserved it. At the same time they might not have had it with him. That’s the problem with things like this. It’s impossible to know how much effect the change really had on what happened.”

“I’ve only ever known him. I didn’t know Jamie, and I kinda feel guilty for not caring that I never got that chance, because I met my Jamie. That’s… it was the best thing that could have happened to me, Alice. When we met it was… their music had always meant something to me, and meeting him was amazing, and the more I look back at it the more certain I am that I love him. I love him for who he is, not for who he isn’t.”

“Then you aren’t that confused.” Alice wrapped her arm around my shoulders. “Back when it happened we took the time we needed to come to terms with things. I think the management company believed we wouldn’t see the difference, but we did, and we knew what it meant. We said our goodbyes to the Jamie we lost. We made the decision we were going to accept the Jamie who had taken his place, which was made a hundred times easier by Jamie. Had he been someone else it wouldn’t have worked out. Fortunately for us he’s as good a guy as our Jamie was. In some ways he’s better.”

“What would you do?”

“If you love him for who he is then just go with it.”

“Should I tell him I know?”

“You can, if you feel you should. In the end it’s up to you. This isn’t something we can ever talk about outside. People can’t know, because if they find out they’re likely not to take it as well as you did, no matter what was said before. He’s been living a lie for a long time. He did what he did, and we’re grateful to him. We needed him for this to happen.”

“Especially Jamie’s parents.” I shook my head. If I was angry at anyone it was the management company. They were the ones who had hidden the truth from everyone. “They’d be devastated.”

“We don’t know if they already know. It’s not exactly something we could bring up with them, because if they don’t know it would cause more problems, but I can’t see how they don’t know. If we don’t know they have to. They were truly close to Jamie. I think they do know. They just made the same choice we did. In the end it wasn’t as though we had a lot of options. Had we said anything there is a chance it could have got back to the management company, and we have no way of knowing how they would react to find out so many of us already know the truth.”

“How could they do something like that?”

“To them the most important thing was the money. They’d invested in the group. The first album was out, the tour was booked, and they would have lost a lot when Jamie died. Without someone like him the group wouldn’t have become as big as it did. That’s something we’ve all said in the last few years. I was there for the beginning. I was there when they were still trying to get noticed. I know how hard they worked to get to the point they did, and I don’t think Jamie would have been angry with whoever took his place. He would have been angry with the management company for trying to hide it from everyone, because that just wasn’t fair of them. Keeping the truth from us… none of us trust them, not that we did before. It’s hard to see them as anything more than money grabbing business people, who didn’t care that their choices would hurt people.”

“I feel like I need to tell him I know. I feel like I need to tell him it doesn’t matter. I love him for who he is.” I bit my lip. “I just… this is going to sound weird, but I feel like I should be bothered be this. I have so many feelings right now. This isn’t what I needed today, to be honest. I’m glad I know, because I think it might make it easier for him, and I half wish I didn’t.”

“Mol, we’ve been through it all. I know some of how you feel. For us it wasn’t exactly the same, because of our relationship with Jamie, but, like you said, you never knew him. You know the new Jamie. You know the Jamie we all know. He’s always been Jamie, and who he was before is a part of who Jamie is now.”

“Yeah.” I breathed the word, more than said it. “This is going to take a while. It’s not him, though. I don’t care.” That was true. I didn’t care that he hadn’t always been Jamie. “It’s the not caring that’s going to take time. I think someone else would have felt betrayed, because he was keeping this huge secret, and maybe that will come. Maybe I will get angry with him later on, and berate him for not telling me the truth, but I can’t see it happening. Had he told me I would have lost him.”

“The management company would have got someone else to take his place, and we would have gone through all of this again.” Alice shook her head. “I wouldn’t want to do that. Going through it all the first time was hard enough.”

“What would have happened to him?”

“Even though I’ve gone through that contract multiple times I haven’t found any description of what will happen if someone does go against it. To be honest I think it’s unlikely they would. You have this chance to live an amazing life, and I can’t see anyone walking away from that, but saying something would terminate the contract. Maybe they’d give him another face, and send him out, alone, to live his life.”

“How horrible would that be?” I shuddered at the very thought. “Someone might actually have gone through that.”

“Personally I think it’s the not knowing that keeps people quiet. They have no idea what might happen to them if they do say the wrong thing to the wrong person, so they don’t. Instead they keep doing what they signed up for, no matter how hard it gets. Guilt is something they wouldn’t let themselves feel, because not feeling it would make it all much easier, and that was why Ian went to talk to Jamie. He knew the guilt was beginning to affect Jamie’s decision making. He was feeling bad for keeping the truth from you, because he loves you. He feels like you aren’t seeing the real him.”

“Maybe I’m not. Maybe I am just seeing someone he’s pretending to be.” I sighed. “I don’t think I am. I think he is who he is. Jamie has become a part of him. No matter who he was before the changes in his life have turned him into this conglomerate of Jamie and whoever he was before. I’ve always know that person, and he’s never seemed dishonest, or like he was trying to keep up an act, or done anything to make me think he’s a fraud. He knows how to play the guitar. He knows how to write songs. The singing might have come from the glamour, but everything else is him. I’m certain of that.”

“So are we. Had he not been a musician it would have been a problem. I have a feeling they plan for these sorts of eventualities. The management companies watch out for people enough like the people they represent, so they can be put in place if need be. Whoever he was before it makes sense that he was found due to his music.”

The shudder was something I couldn’t stop. “I really hate thinking they might do that.” I couldn’t imagine being someone who went out looking for someone to take the places of people, simply because they happened to be famous. “Unfortunately it makes a lot of sense.”

“Yeah, it does, and that’s the world we’re in now, thanks to the magic of the fae. I don’t blame them for this. I can’t. They had no way of knowing how their magic might be used, although I dislike the fae who actually cast the glamours. How can they do that?”

“Money, Alice. That’s why people do most things. It’s probably why the person who became Jamie agreed to do this in the first place.”

“It might be, and it might not. We have no way of knowing what life he might have lived before. I’ve wanted to ask him for a little while, but obviously it’s not the sort of thing you bring up, unless the person in question happens to know you’re likely to. You should probably warn him I am interested in why he made his decision. I don’t really have any interest in who he was, just why he made the decision to take Jamie’s place.”

“I would never do something like that.”

“Neither would I, but we both have happy lives. People who don’t often want something more. One of my friends is dealing with some family problems, and I think she’d jump at something like this if she was given the chance, because she wants something more. She isn’t happy, and she wants to be. She deserves to be. At the same time I don’t know how comfortable she would be taking the place of someone who’d died.”

“That’s probably my biggest issue with all of this. How can someone take the place of a dead person?” How could the person I knew have done it? Of course he would have had his reasons, and I was beginning to understand why Alice wanted to ask her questions. “I think I want to talk to Jamie.”

“We can go now.”

“Alice…”

“Ian’s not going to mind. They’re just having a song writing session, and it’s not as though they don’t spend half their lives writing songs.”

“I know.” I thought of the book Jamie had with all his songs in. Some of them he’d shared with me, while others were more person. Were they about the life he’d lived before? “I don’t know if I’m ready, though.”

“If you spend all your time waiting until you’re ready you’ll never get anything done. Talk to him now, while you can, rather than leaving it until you can’t.”

<<< The Fae World: Earth: Gareth: Faking It***
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