The graveyard was full of stones. Not just normal stones, but stones with names on them. Names of dead people.
Some died because they commited suicide. Others had died in plane crashes and there were a couple of stones that didn't have a body under them because it was lost. Gone forever, never to have a proper burial. Most of those people were people killed on ships.

There were victims, too, that had been killed in a car crash. Some people would usually be shocked when they saw the three gravestones that belonged to three people who hadn't even left school and were about the age of nineteen – life can be unfair. They, too, died in a car crash.

Others had died because they were murdered and although there weren't a lot of people like that on the graveyard, there were some bodies that didn't die of natural causes. Perhaps the murderer was arrested and put in jail, perhaps not.

There were bodies, too, that lied there because of different reasons. Simply because their time had come. For some, that meant old age – there was even a stone that had the dates '1899 – 2007' carved on them. But, no matter how old you get, sooner or later your time comes.
For others, 'the time' came way too quickly. Nicole Engston was one of them and her boyfriend was walking over to her gravestone, trying to hold back the tears. Whenever he walked there, he thought back of the burial.

Paul had already taken care of the body and had found a proper cemetery to bury her in; plus a pretty good company that would take care of her body.

Jesse saw all the other gravestones, but he ignored them all. Perhaps, in some other place, at some other time, he would check them out. Perhaps he would see the three dead pupils, or the one who grew really old. But for now, he was only interested in one gravestone.
Exactly one year had passed since Nicole passed away.

Jesse had brought a rose with him to… well, to put it on her grave and mourn about her. If he could, he would lie a rose in there every day, but he knew he couldn't. It would take too much space. So he left it with one rose every year, and this was the first one.

When he had laid down the rose, he was standing in front of the grave for a short while, his hands trembling. The tremble quickly moved to his lips and then the tears came up. It didn't feel complete. Nicole wasn't there anymore and how he managed to survive the last year – he didn't know. He felt lonelier than he had ever been.
He tried to bring Nicole back, if only for just a little, by trying to talk to her. Jesse had always been a believer in God and he knew Nicole was now somewhere safe – but not with him. But nevertheless, there was a part of him that hoped she could hear him.
His lips trembled as he started to speak.

"You're not here… you're gone, Nicole. You can't ever come back. I hate life for what it has done to me." The grief had dried up, or at least most of it. But it's just like a volcano; it can be silent for centuries or even millennia, but under the right circumstances, it can suddenly erupt again. These were the right circumstances for the volcano in his head that produced the tears to erupt. He finally said what had been on his mind for a long time. He just blurted out everything that happened to him in the last year. Perhaps, he thought, perhaps it could bring her back, if only a little.

"Rachel has tried again with me. We dated for a brief while, but eventually I just gave up on her. I just can't try again, no matter how badly I want to. With any other girl but you." It was silent for a short while.
"Of course, I know that in a year or two I will find someone. Just like you told me to. There are more girls than only one.
But I know for certain that I can't try anything with Rachel again. Too many things had passed."

He thought back to the coincidences that led him to Nicole; not once, but twice.
If Rachel hadn't broken up with him, he would've gone to Spain instead of to Holland. He never would've met Nicole. Perhaps, he would even follow her in the student house and go somewhere else – he would be madly in love with her still and perhaps they would marry.

But Jesse knew that he preferred it the way it was. After all, the student house had given him Paul and Sandra. Nicole showed him the world around him in a way, simply by being born.
The thought of never meeting Nicole was even worse than the knowledge Nicole wasn't around anymore.
He shook his head and smiled through his tears.

"You know the joke we used to make? So many coincidences revolved around us that we eventually begun to call it destiny, when we met again." He sighed and he didn't mention the words he only thought.
He thought it was destiny for him to be together with Nicole. He could never have foreseen this.
He had been playing cards with destiny and when destiny finally revealed its cards, it was proven that it had trapped him in an ironic way.
This was not the destiny he had thought it was.
It was another destiny.
Jesse swallowed and continued talking.

"Rachel and me are still in touch, but we're only friends. I think Rachel has finally accepted the truth that we just can't be together, too much has happened. You happened, Matthew – the reason why Rachel broke up with me – happened, and that is too much for us." He sighed. "Paul misses you, Sandra misses you… we all miss you and the other day, you might just see one of them, or both of them, passing by at your gravestone." He paused again.

"In different circumstances, you know, perhaps they would be a great couple… but it's impossible. Paul's gay, anyway. I don't really know if there are any matches for him now, I think he's still hiding his sexuality from people. I hope he'll find the one, though." Not knowing what to say next, he thought he was just going to mention the will.
"Thanks for the vote of confidence in your stuff, by the way. It involved filling in a lot of papers, but I've got your stuff now. Everything went well." It was silent again as he mentioned doctor Dannel.
"I had called her once, but to tell the truth, I don't need her support. I've got enough friends around me and..." Jesse was in mid-sentence when he realized he couldn't talk anymore.

Words had said everything they could say and it had left his heart in a wreck. There were no words in English – or in any language in the whole world, be it Dutch, German or Spanish, for that matter – that could express what he else wanted to say.

He was sitting there for a long, long while until he realized it was better to stand up. He touched the rose he had put on her gravestone and looked at the name written on it.

Nicole Engston

A loving friend and the best girl in the world.

Jesse had insisted on putting that on the gravestone. Below that, her date of birth and date of dying were standing.
Teary-eyed, he stood up and he walked away from the gravestone, crying on the way.
It wasn't the destiny he thought it was.
It was another destiny.


Author's Note: I hope you liked the story as a whole. I'm really glad it's over for me; I'm not a tragedy writer and never will be one. In fact, I feel very tempted to make the next one so sugar-coated you will all get spontaneous diabetes by just reading it. I'll see if I can hold back.

Thank you to everyone who took their time to read this! And thank you twice to everyone who took the time to review it as well! You've all been a great inspiration!

If you want to read more of my stuff, I'm currently writing another multiple-chaptered one. However, I'm not going to post that one until it's finished, because I had some trouble with the deadlines in here(I finished chapter 17 and the epilogue the day I had posted chapter 16) and I hope that finishing stories first will take care of that problem for me. If you want to read more stories, put me on alert.

Until the next story!