He was walking back to the tree. To their tree. He was almost there. It was an hour drive from the quiet little suburb they used to live in, just to reach the tree. It meant everything to them. It was where they had had their first date, where he had proposed, where they had made love. The tree held so many beautiful memories. Yet he was coming here with a darkness inside of him that would forever shatter the beauty and the innocence of the tree.
“Jacob, hurry up!” called out Elle. She was running towards their tree. She was smiling wide, her blue-green eyes alive with happiness. Jacob never really understood how he had gotten so lucky, how he had ended up marrying Elle.
Elle and Jacob had met in high school, freshmen year, during their history class. They were seated next to one another, and had become best friends right away. They started dating sophomore year, and have been together for the past ten years. They were everything to each other.
They had recently gotten married three months ago, at the beginning of June. Jacob had proposed to her at this tree. On their first date, they had gotten lost and ended up here. Elle was so enthralled by the tree that she just had to get out and take a look at it. Ever since then, it was their tree. And it always will be.
“Wait for me, babe,” he said, running to catch up to her. He put his arms around her waist, picking her up and spinning her around before kissing her. He put all of the love he felt into that kiss, so that she knew just how much she meant to him.
She was laughing when her feet touched the earth again. It was August in Georgia, and it was swelling in the hundreds. The sun was dancing on their skin, a little breeze tickling them. The wild grass was brushing against their exposed skin.
“C’mon, Jacob. Gosh, you’re so slow!” she complained, turning around and smiling at him. He started to pick up his face, taking up her challenge. Elle started sprinting, about a hundred and fifty yards away from the tree. Jacob flew right past her, getting to the tree long before she did.
“You lost,” he said, flashing her one of his little smirk.
“You suck,” she said, pouting.
Jacob stepped closer to her, putting a hand on each of her elbows, bringing her in closer. He looked into her beautiful eyes, brushing back a strand of her blonde hair. It was gleaming in the sunlight. He was bringing his face in closer, warning her and also teasing her.
When their lips made contact, it was slow and tender, almost cautious. Jacob’s warm hands cupped Elle’s face, bringing her in closer and making sure that she would not escape his hungry grasp. The kiss deepened, their hands started to roam.
He gently laid his wife down on the smooth ground, looking at her. She was so beautiful.
“I love you,” he said.
“I love you,” she said.
Tears were stinging at Jacob’s eyes. He didn’t want to think about it, but he couldn’t help it. It was one of the best moments in his entire life. It was where they had conceived their child. But then life had decided to step in the way.
His life was never the same after that. Elle was the sunshine to his world, brought meaning to his life. Now, there was none of that. Only darkness; Jacob was being enveloped by it. How could one continue on with life when there was no more light? It was simply not possible, and Jacob had reached about the end of it.
“Are you sure you don’t want me to drive, babe?” Elle asked as she got into the Jeep, strapping in her seat belt. It was a bit difficult because she was six months pregnant.
Jacob gave a sloppy smile. “I’m fine!” he said.
And he sounded fine. But he wasn’t. Jacob was the farthest thing from sober, but he never appeared to be intoxicated when he was. Starting the engine was a death sentence.
“Alright, I believe you. Now c’mon, let’s go home. I’m tired,” Elle said, still smiling, still bubbly.
Ever since they found out she was pregnant, things had been nothing but good in life. They were so excited to have this child, and all of their friends and family were nothing but supportive. Life was perfect.
They had gone out to a bar to watch a football game and to celebrate one of Jacob’s good friend’s birthday. It was a bit far from their home, but it was worth the drive because it was Jacob’s best man.
They were almost home when it had happened. Jacob was fiddling with the radio, wanting to change the station. He wasn’t looking at the road, and he started to head into oncoming traffic. The Jeep was totaled.
They had hit a semi head-on, at 75 miles an hour. The car spun out of control, but Elle had gotten the worst of the damage. She had severely wounded her abdomen and was bleeding profusely. Jacob had shattered both of his legs and knocked his head against the steering wheel, rendering him unconscious.
“Oh my God,” moaned Elle in utter pain. She was getting so dizzy, everything around her spinning.
She never even made it out of the car.
Elle Ragan died on February 12th, 2011 from severe trauma to the abdomen and head. She had also lost the baby. Jacob was the only survivor.
It had been an exact year since that fatal accident. Jacob couldn’t handle it anymore. He couldn’t go on without Elle, without his soul mate.
He couldn’t forgive himself. It was all his fault. If he hadn’t been drinking, then Elle and their beautiful baby would be there with him, living such a good life. But no, life decided to step in the way and take everything away from a man with a bright future. Jacob had let life get the best of him, sank along with all of its beatings. He couldn’t stand up and move on.
“I love you, Elle,” he said as he jumped off the rock.
Jacob Ragan tainted the memory of their beautiful tree with his suicide.