What A Wonderful Alternate World
It had been about a week since Rose had died, and about a day after her funeral. Jake had missed the funeral, but he didn't care. He didn't care about anything, and he hadn't for the last week. All Jake could bring himself to do was lie on his stomach on his bed, staring at the picture that had been taken of him and Jake and the dance...all before Rose's suffering began, in her alternate life. It had been in Rose's hands when she had died, and it had been one of the last things that she had seen.
Brad had been caught. He had been found hiding out in a rundown apartment by two patrolling officers. At first, the two officers thought he had been a runaway, but when they realized that he matched the description of a home invader that had taken the life of a fourteen year old girl, he had been arrested on suspicion. Even more damning evidence had been found when one of the police officers had gone searching around the apartment after Brad had been subdued. The officer had found the gun that Brad had been carrying, which not only matched the description of the Glock that had been reported missing by the police department, but also carried the exact same type of bullet that the coroner had fished out of Rose's body at the morgue.
Although Brad had yet to be arraigned for a trial, there was enough evidence linking him to the crime to either put him away for life, or send him to death row. That was, if he was tried as an adult.
That didn't matter to Jake, though. Rose was dead, and there was nothing that could bring her back.
Jake sighed as he continued to stare at the picture, tears starting to form in his eyes. He was so lost in the picture that he did not even notice the sound of his door creaking as it opened. That was, until he grunted slightly, feeling some type of cloth hitting his body. Rolling over, Jake could see his clothes lying beside him and his mother, Susan Long, at the door.
"Jake..." She sighed. "...You need to get out of this house..."
"Maybe later..." Jake muttered, rolling back over onto his stomach.
"No..." Susan said. "...Now. If you aren't dressed and in the car in five minutes, you'll be grounded for two weeks..."
"I don't want to go anywhere..." Jake growled.
"Jacob Luke Long..." Susan put her hands on her hips. "...You missed the funeral. You do know that, right?"
"...Don't you want to say goodbye?"
Jake growled mentally as he got out of his mother's car, closing the door and starting to walk up the hill, making his way to the newest grave. As he walked toward Rose's final resting place, Jake glanced down, wanting to make sure that he was still holding the single rose that he had picked in his hand.
Before Jake knew it, he reached the mound of dirt that Rose was lying under. Staring at it, Jake could feel his heart sinking. He couldn't believe that Rose was gone. The Rose that he had tried so hard to protect and repeatedly save...was gone forever.
Sniffling, Jake knelt down, placing the lone rose on top of the mound of dirt. As soon as the rose touched the mound, Jake stood back up, sighed, and then turned, walking back over to his mom's car.
Jake's family had done everything in their power to keep Jake out of the house for the rest of the day. Susan drove Jake around the city for several hours, and then finally, the entire family went out for dinner, and then went out to another restaurant for desert.
Jake went along with it; he didn't have any choice. But he didn't cheer up. Throughout dinner, Jake just sat there, watching as his family tried to engage him in conversation. But Jake didn't want to join in. He couldn't bring himself to do it.
By the time the Long family returned home, it was about 10 o'clock in the evening. With much relief, Jake went into his room, put his pajamas back on, and collapsed on his bed. Jake immediately closed his eyes, starting to relax himself. Sleep came surprisingly quick, and along with the relieving feeling of sleep, came another relieving feeling. As Jake drifted off into the land of slumber, he found himself engulfed in a kind of warmth, and his mind quickly drifted to the thought of Rose. For a reason unknown to him, Jake felt like Rose appreciated the gift over her final resting place. He would never be able to explain it, but somehow, he just had that feeling--somehow, Rose appreciated what he had done.
Another month had passed since Rose's death. Brad had been convicted of murder, and he had been sentenced to a life behind bars, with no hope for parole. There was also other good news: the morning after Jake went to visit Rose's grave, Jake had woken up in a much better mood, and he had remained in that same good mood for the past month.
No one knew exactly why Jake cheered up, but they were just so relieved that they didn't care why. The only thing that mattered to them was that Jake was back to his old self.
The bell had rung throughout Millard Fillmore Middle School, releasing all of the students. Trixie and Spud joined up outside the school, waiting for Jake. They both intended to invite him to skate park with him.
Finally, when Jake exited the school, both Trixie and Spud called out to him and walked over to him. "Hey, Jakie!" Trixie greeted, Jake returning their smile. "Spudinski and I were going to go to the skate park. So, ya up for it?"
"Nah, Trix..." Jake told her, dropping his backpack to the ground and unzipping it, pulling out a bouquet of roses. "...I'm actually going to the cemetery. Rose's gravestone was put in this morning..."
Jake clutched the roses tightly as he returned up the hill that led to Rose's grave. Finally reaching the final resting place of the girl he loved, Jake looked down, looking at the polished and beautiful marker:
On her marker, beside her name, was a beautiful carving of a rose. Fitting...Jake thought to himself as he knelt down, preparing to place the roses on the marker. However, the sight of something else right below Rose's marker stopped him; upon a closer look, Jake's eyes widened as he recognized it as the rose that he had placed at her grave a month earlier.
Despite its age, the rose had not yet wilted up and died. On the contrary. The rose was as colorful and as beautiful as ever, still in full bloom.
A/N: So, I have finally finished the story. Tell me what you think of the end with a review.