Instructor: Kate Webb
A Raven's Ending
A Raven's Ending
"You have to run faster," I shouted to Brooks who was behind me taking his sweet time getting away from the guards. I'm honestly surprised he managed to get me out of their jail, typically I'm the one breaking him out but I got caught just this once. It won't happen again. We are getting far enough from the prison to the point where the guards have given up on chasing us. I slow down to a walk and look around a bit waiting for Brooks to catch up to me and I see a raven, representative of sadness and my least favorite bird. It takes him a minute to catch up, but when I hear his loud footsteps stomping my way I turn my head to look at him. He finally slows down to walk beside me and I already know he's going to have something to say.
"You have to wait for me next time, I mean, I did all that for you, getting you out of jail and stuff and this is how you repay me, leaving me alone in the dust," he yells out of breath. I don't say anything but "Well then, maybe you should work on your cardio more," and look up at him with an attitude in my eyes. He glares down at me for a second and I break eye contact with him to weave us off the path and into the woods just to be safe.
Lesson 7: always weave off the path, it's too evident if you just follow it till the end.
I take out my journal and begin writing with the broken pencil from my pocket. "What are you writing," Brooks asks looming over my shoulder, "Nothing," I responded, not looking up from my journal.
"What is it?"
I stop dead in my tracks and turn to him.
"Stop, I'm writing nothing that would interest you."
He stands there staring at me for a second before ripping the book out of my hands and holding it where I can't get it. I'm hopeless now.
I see his eyes going over what I wrote, then he hands it down to me and says "Interesting, how many other lessons are we going to have," with a smirk, and keeps walking ahead like he knows where he's going.
We finally make it back to our dusty cottage in the woods and for some reason, it's surrounded by ravens. I've never seen anything like this before. We get closer to them and they fly away immediately making our path to the door much clearer. When in the house, I lay out the map on the table and cross off the path we just came from.
"I don't understand how we have gone down every wrong path. Do you think any of these are even right? Are they running us off the earth? What if this map is just -"
"Stop," he grabs my shoulders and turns me away from the map. "You're going on a tangent and worrying too much, let's just keep going, I'm sure we will get there soon."
We held eye contact, and for a second I thought something was going to happen, not like I wanted it to happen, I just felt it in my body that he was going to do something. But he didn't, of course. I let out a sigh and started pacing the room thinking. I feel Brooks's eyes on me as I pace the room, waiting for me to come up with something. Then it hits.
"Do you remember when we went to see that fortune teller, Dr. Who? He told us a riddle, it was something like, 'How can the number four be half of five?' Well, how can it be? He said to use this riddle whenever we are stuck, well we are stuck now, it must be the answer."
We stay in silence for a moment. Both of us are deep in thought when Brooks jumps up, shouting, "Roman Numerals!"
I look at him crazy.
"Book, book," he starts speed walking to the full bookshelf in the corner of the room.
"Brooks, you're scaring me, what book?"
"The book, about Roman Numerals, written by those people in Ancient Greek times, we have it here. I saw it just a few days ago," he now on his knees scanning the first level of the bookshelf very carefully.
"Okay, but what do Roman Numerals have to do with this though?" I say, leaning against the wall beside him.
He looks up at me "When I was little I learned all about Roman Numerals, and I remember my dad telling me something stupid that thought I would never use, but I think im using it now."
I'm still standing above him, absolutely baffled and trying to figure out what he's saying when he stands up with a dusty book in his hands. He flips open the book and begins throwing the pages back aggressively until he stops and reads, eyes scanning the page and using his finger as a marker to know where he is.
"Yep I'm right it's the Roman Numeral for four, V, that's our answer."
"How," I ask, still completely lost.
"You haven't thought it through yet?"
"No, can you just tell me why?"
"Oh my lord, and I thought you were the smart one," he's looking at me with the most unimpressed look I've ever seen. I truly don't get it though.
"Just tell me."
"The map. We need the map, we have the answer, we can't waste any more time," he picks up a fast walk to the map, throws the book down on the table, and points to a path. Path number four, V. That's it, our answer, we found it.
Lesson 8: the "dumb" teammate isn't always useless.
We look at each other, it's silent, but we both know what we have to do, "Run."
I grab my bag and we both book it out the door. We are running, wind in our faces, hair behind our heads. We are tired, it's dark, and the path is bumpy, but somehow we both know where we are going, no map is needed. We are running for a few minutes before we stop. It's there, the thing we have been searching for a way too long and we're done. We made it to the finale. We both take a few steps closer and I slowly grab it from its resting place. We have it, it's in my hands, in our possession. I turn and look up at Brooks. He's staring down at it, no, at me, with a big smile on his face. I feel like crying, I'm sniffling, my eyes are watering, and my face is wet, am I crying? Again I feel that same feeling I felt not too long ago. We are keeping our eyes locked, is he going to do something? Is he going to make a move? Should I be the one to make a move? God this is stressful, I can't do this right now.
"We have to go, we need to get this back to the mayor or police station as fast as possible, we could be in danger," I turned away from him, but it wasn't easy.
I feel this force trying to pull us back together, I can't, we have more important things to be doing right now. God Damnit.
Lesson 9: never fall for your partner, it just makes the job harder.
We start our walk to our final destination. We start walking faster, and faster, and faster until we are running towards the police station. We are going back the way we came, passing the entrance to the path, our dusty cottage that housed us for so long. It feels like we are undoing all of our work, going back in time, unraveling and untangling the knot that we worked too hard to tie. But it's for the better, the weight will be lifted off our shoulders, and we can move on to other things, more important things. And whether that means together or separately it will be for the better, and we both know it.
We finally made it to the police station. We are standing at the door, looking at our future, but something feels wrong. It doesn't feel right, it feels like once we step in that door and turn it in something is going to go wrong. Right before we are about to step in the big doors I hear the sound of a bird and look at the sidewalk to see a raven. This can't be a coincidence. I dont look at it for too long because we have something to get done, we walk in the door and make our way to the head sheriff's office.
"We have something to turn in… something important."
He looks up and makes eye contact with us for a split second when the shiny object in my hands catches his eye. He stands up and walks toward us carefully holding his hands out to take the bloody knife out of my hands. I'm hesitant to give it to him, something still feels wrong but I do it anyway. It's for the best right? Right?
"So this is what killed her, you think, the weapon the killer used to do the job," he says walking back to his desk with it in his hands.
"Yes sir, it is, we are positive," he placed it down on his desk and looked at us.
"Positive huh? Well, how can you be positive if just a few hours ago someone else came in and turned in the exact same weapon for the same case? How do I know who is right?"
Brooks and I look at each other puzzled. How could there be another weapon? We spent days and hours researching and finding this thing to solve the mystery and we saw no one else doing the same. We were dedicated and got the final answer. How could there possibly be another one?
"Well sir, we went the extra mile for this item, we followed the paths and broke the codes we couldn't possibly be wrong."
"Well then, I don't know who to believe."
"Believe us, sir, we did it all, I can assure you that the other artifact is a fake, it's not the real one," I'm getting mad.
I'm moving toward him and pointing my finger, I can feel my face getting redder and redder.
"I understand that you two might have gone the extra mile but what are the odds that two random teenagers come into my office with the same artifact as the real, older, and certified detectives? Who do you think I'm going to believe, little girl?" he's up in my face, and I'm using everything I have to hold me back from jumping at him and tackling him to the ground.
"You can see yourself out of my office now," he smirks.
He's kicking us out of his office. The ones with the truth. I'm stunned, I can't move, it took Brooks to tug on my arm a few times in order to get me out of that office and onto the sidewalk, standing like a stranded baby animal in front of the front doors of the building.
"What just happened? '' Brooks speaks, filling the silence.
"I … I don't know."
"But we were right, we did all the right things, how are we wrong?"
"I don't know."
"What do we do now?"
It takes me a second to think of a response, but in the end, the only thing I can say is "I don't know."
Brooks and I always knew that our partnership would come to an end at some point, but we never thought it was true. I never thought it would end like this, us sulking around the town of London, not speaking a word to each other. We never thought that we would be turned down after we did all that hard work. We tried so hard, we put in our all, just to be turned down. We both knew what had to be done, we had to find this person that was lying, and we had to expose them because we didn't do all of this for nothing. But for now, what can we do, we have to find these people but how. How do we start? We stop and I pull myself out of my thoughts to look around. We are at a train station. We turn to look at each other, we know what we have to do but neither of us wants to do it.
"I guess if we walked ourselves here…we should-"
"Yeah, we should."
We hold eye contact again and there I feel the same feeling as I did before. We know in our minds that we don't want to say goodbye to each other, but right now there is nothing else we can do together.
"Eh, well, goodbye Terra Caddel, it was a pleasure working with you," he sticks his hand out to me.
"Goodbye Brooks St. James, it was an honor," I take his hand and firmly shake it.
Then, I watch as he gets on the train to go back home. Our eyes stay connected as he pokes his head out of the train window and as the train begins to roll away. I watch as his blonde hair blows in the wind until he's out of sight. I stand there for a second, feeling like a stranded baby animal again with an empty pit in my stomach. I turn the other way and begin my journey of finding a new place to stay when I see the raven again. Sad endings, now I get it. But I know there is hope because you might think because we are saying goodbye means we are never going to see each other again. But that's not true because Brooks and I have that kind of relationship that God wants to keep together, and I know I'm going to see him again. I can feel it. So, it's not goodbye, it's sees you soon.
Lesson 10 says: adventure never ends, it just takes a different form in the same person's hands. And we both know for sure that this adventure isn't over.