Sometimes Jimmy wishes that he could have the same courage that Jacob does—Jacob who had found the courage to break free first, Jacob who had the courage to put this life behind him and go off to pursue his dreams at MIT, Jacob who always had the courage and the smarts. Jacob, who literally had the world revolving around his finger due to his genius mind while Jimmy remains nothing else but a mere shadow of his brother, the tag-along that falls short from his brother’s gifted mind.
Sometimes Jimmy wishes that he could have the courage to leave with his brother on that fateful day so many years ago (he knows the exact day and date and time and year but doesn’t want to remember because then he’ll know how long it’s been since then) and live out their lives together. He would have applied to a place nearby, he thinks, and in a bid to save cash he would have slept at the same dorm, the same room that Jacob would be in. He would have hung out with Jacob and his friends when he’s not being swamped by homework, and Jacob would have assigned him for clean up duty and laundry duty and duty for everything else that his brother would never bother to do and Jimmy would have to pick and clean up the messes that Jacob would always inevitably make. Jimmy would be exasperated about it every single time but he’ll always do it on time and with a system so that Jacob doesn’t live in a pigsty of a dormitory.
Sometimes Jimmy wishes that he could have the courage to tell Jacob about how he really feels and how much he doesn’t want his brother to leave him. He wants to tell Jacob how much he loves him and needs him and wants him to stay by his side until death does them part. He imagines how Jacob would respond—how he would snort at the words but ruffle up his hair affectionately and would promise to never leave him, would promise that they’d be together. He’s the elder brother and Jacob’s the younger brother, but they switch around so much in those roles that it’s all but meaningless in Jimmy’s head. There’s no elder or younger, dominant or submissive—there’s just two halves of a whole, and Jimmy wishes he could have told his half to stay with him.
Sometimes Jimmy wishes that he could have the courage and tell Amelia about the countless lies that he’s been telling himself ever since Jacob left for MIT, about the pain and agony of living without his other (better) half and how it’s never faded at all, even until now, even with her and Claire. It’s terribly unfair to his wife and his daughter and Jimmy knows it, but time won’t heal this pain and make it go away. Its always going to be there and its always going to hurt, and the best that Jimmy can do is to bury it deep inside his heart so that nobody can ever wrench it out from him.
Sometimes Jimmy wishes that he could have the courage to actually open his mouth and speak when he dials a number on his mobile (or his office phone, or his house phone, or a random payphone at the streets) and hears a painfully familiar voice inquiring a ‘Hello?’ from the other end of the line. He wants to say a million and one things over the phone—about the hurt that will never fade, about the courage that he lacks, about the life that he can never truly enjoy without his brother at his side, about how he just wants Jacob again and about how nothing else matters to him but the idiot brother who calls himself Jacob Glaser and not Jacob Novak and somehow that stings Jimmy more than anything else he’s ever felt in his life.
“Hello-o?” he hears the voice prompting again and he wants nothing more but to respond and to answer and reply, but Jimmy is already pulling the speaker away from him and ending the call before he can let anything tumble out from his lips.
There is a beat of silence in the air, and Jimmy closes his eyes to take in a shuddering breath right before he continues to hear his brother’s voice coming from the space behind him.
“Al-righty then. Just keep those calls coming in though, folks; and this time, be sure to actually speak up and give me your real story.”
Sometimes Jimmy wishes that he could have the courage, but he knows that it’s never going to happen.