As it turns out, Jacobi just meant that he’ll bring me home once my injuries heal. I’m not sure why I couldn’t just go to a hospital, because surely it would be better equipped to aid my healing than a man in strange clothes with herbal remedies and advil. He said it was important, though, and the serious look in his eyes and the desperate tone of his voice made me decide to appease him for now. I was most likely physically stronger than him anyways - I was on the swim team, and Jacobi looked like he struggled to get out of bed because he was so thin - so I wasn’t too worried about physical violence from him.
It’s daytime, and light flows into the room through sheer colored curtains, red, bright, and hazy. I rub my eyes a bit, then wince at the soreness in my chest and head. I want to know more about where I am, but I also don’t want to be rude, and I’m worried that it will be very awkward if Jacobi finds me shuffling through his things, so I settle for a more in-depth look around me. The couch I’m reclined on is right beside a window, and squinting against the bright sunrise I can see that this cabin is in a forest. Like, deep forest. As far as I can see, there is dense foliage, and I can hear the sounds of the woods through the walls.
I feel a hand on my shoulder, then turn around to see Jacobi. He’s wearing a red button-down shirt and loose brown jeans and his hair is piled on top of his head as if he just woke up. His deep and puffy eyebags give the impression that he didn’t sleep at all, but he seems alert and awake at the moment. “Want some coffee?” he asks, and doesn’t wait for a reply before he pushes a steaming mug into my hands. “It’s got sugar in it, don’t worry.” he says, and I don’t have the heart to tell him that I prefer it black because he sounds pretty proud of himself about it.
“There’s some chores that need to be done, nothing major, but I’m gonna need a hand to get them all finished, is that ok?”
I honestly don’t know if it is. I’m still sore from the whole ordeal of last night, and I’m surprised he isn’t more lenient, given my situation. But when I voice my concerns, he waves his hand, saying: “Nothing too strenuous needs to be done, little one - just some dishes and sweeping, and it pains me to see you in pain, but I live alone and I need the help. You don’t have to, really,” but then he hands me a broom and leaves the room.
He lives alone, shouldn’t he be used to working alone, then? But I don’t want to wear out the hand that’s currently feeding me, so I give up on protests and get up. Jacobi had some spare clothes set out for me, and now I’m changed and ready in a slightly loose t-shirt and a long, sun-bleached skirt.
Per his instruction I begin to sweep the living room. It’s not too bad, and I wonder again why he needs my help. I sigh as I bring a couple dust bunnies into a pile. I guess I shouldn’t question such a simple request.