Under A Certain Tree

Seated few meters away from the sea shore under an orange tree — a blossoming orange tree. A beautiful scenery, surrounded by very green grasses and jasmine flowers — air filled with jasmine’s scent. Melodic sounds to his ears; the canary birds hovering over the tree, chirping lyrical sounds & the sound of water lapping from the sea. Watching the sun as it sets. A heavenly paradise is that place, wherein all pleasant thoughts flows: where imagination and love blossoms and grows, like a seed planted, watered by tears of love, that grows into a tree and bears fruit, that ripe themselves to cry — like a heart filled with emotions and no one to shower them on. Jafar was lost in his thoughts of Jasmine. Nourishing and relishing the beautiful moments they once shared under this very tree. Every saturday, Jafar sits under the orange tree and to mourn his loss of Jasmine and their unborn child. He died 3 times from the hands of Jade; 1st was when he caught her with her father. The 2nd and 3rd, when she killed Jasmine and their unborn child. His life has never been the same. The only place he found solace was under the orange tree where they planted the seed of their of love and watered it with tears of their painful pasts.

Jasmine was a rare gem with humble soul, who owns a fair heart. A soft spoken lady with a charming smile and a soothing laughter. Her mellifluous voice, sweeter than the voice of a Siren. She has a bright pretty face; big brown eyes, a pointed nose and succulent lips. She has a slim elegant-curvy-physique — alluring gestures while she walks briskly. She was a remarkable creature, but she could never be compared with Jade. Jade was Jafar’s first love. An epitome of beauty, she was. Think of beauty at its finest form and that is Jade. Jafar met her during his last days in the university. It was love at first sight; the connection sparked upon their first eye contact. It happened so fast, so fast that Jafar thought he was dreaming. Jade was a rare beauty, admired, adored and wooed by many (men and women). Yes, she is that beautiful. The connection between them was purely fate in action. Not even in his wildest dream has Jafar imagined them being together — in love. But fate favours whom it wishes and when it wishes; fate bound them together.

Jafar was a smart young man, full of potentials and had a bright future ahead. Jade tagged along and became part of his life. He made future plans with her in the picture. She supported and encouraged him. Life was near-perfect, everything was falling into place. Upon graduation, Jafar got a lucrative job. They started making marriage plans. They were both excited as well their families and friends. Sounded like the perfect union in-the-making for the most deserving couples who went through thick and thin together. Everything was in order, a wedding date was fixed and wedding preparations were in progress. To Jafar, life has been extremely fair to him. He had a great job, a lovely lady beside him; he was in Shangri-la. He was exceedingly faithful and loyal to Jade, patient and compassionate. In return, Jade was as loyal and faithful to him or so he thought.

One fateful evening, on his way back to town from an official assignment, he decided to make an unannounced visit to Jade’s apartment. Just a week left to their wedding and he has been away for 3 weeks, he missed her and wanted to surprise her. So he felt there was no need to inform her he was coming. And there were some minor details he wanted them to sort out about the wedding preparations. He parked his car some few meters away from her apartment — out of sight. He went through the back door and into her apartment. Gently he tiptoed in, hoping to catch her off-guard and off-guard he caught her. What he saw sent a chill thrill down his spine. An unimaginably disturbing act. Jafar stood by the door in utter shock as he watched Jade and her father shamelessly have intercourse. He tried to speak but his voice was gone. He tried to move but his body was numb. To his dismay, they were both enjoying it. Breathing heavily as he watched in horror. He found his voice and all he could mutter was: ‘Incest!’ Both turned around in amazement and utter shock. Jafar fled before any of them could speak.

Jafar bolted out of the house in shock, forgetting his car, he ran as fast as he could — far away from Jade. Jasmine was late for an appointment — she drove as fast as she could in order to make it. Her phone rang, while trying to remain focus and at the same curious to find out who was calling, she quickly glanced at her phone to see who was calling. Next thing she felt was her car ramming into something, she quickly brought the car to a halt. Her heart racing, she began sweating instantly, her body trembling while a million thoughts ran through her mind. ‘What did she hit?’ ‘How could she be so careless?’ ‘She should never have glanced at her phone when it rang.’ She took a deep breath, pulled herself together and got out of the car. Lying before her in a pool of blood was a man. She looked around but there was no one around to help her. Tears flowed from her eyes, afraid she might have killed him. She ran to him, dragged him into her car and took him to the hospital. Jafar was unconscious for 2 weeks. The doctors at first thought he wouldn’t make it. Jasmine was really disturbed. She spent the whole 2 weeks beside him, praying he wakes up. He had no identification on him, no wallet, no phone — nothing. She couldn’t contact anyone. She was lost and full of fear. Late into the night on his 2nd week of coma, Jasmine was asleep on a chair beside his bed when she heard someone murmuring which woke her up. She woke up startled, hoping he was the one murmuring. And to her delight, it was him. She tried to make sense of what he was saying but couldn’t. All her ears could pick out was: ‘Damn you Jade! Damn you Jade! Damn you Jade!’ She put her hand on his chest and tried to calm him down. After some minutes, he was silent and fast asleep. Back in her chair, Jasmine wondered who Jade was. Jafar regained consciousness in the morning. After some series of tests, the doctor declared there was progress. A sigh of relief came from Jasmine. Jafar couldn’t remember what happened and how he ended up in a hospital. Jasmine spent the whole evening chatting him up, relaying everything that transpired. She pleaded with him to forgive her, seeing the sincerity of plea in her eyes, he forgave. He never intended to blame her for the unfortunate incident. A week later, the doctor declared him fit to be discharged.

Upon his release from the hospital, Jafar pleaded with Jasmine not to take him back to his apartment. He asked her to take him to a hotel, and promised to pay her back when he has recovered fully but she objected. She wanted to keep an eye on him, she had a better idea. She took him to her apartment. Jafar was grateful for that gesture. Days went by and he unconsciously grew fond of Jasmine and so did she of him. They will spend hours talking at length about life, cook together, take evening walks and go to the movies sometimes. One beautiful saturday morning around 4am, Jasmine woke him up and told him to get dressed. He reluctantly did so. When he was ready, he found her waiting in the car. She took him to the beach. Hold my hand and walk with me Jafar, she said. She led him to an orange tree surrounded by jasmine flowers, a lovely spot with a lovely view of the sea. Sit with me Jafar, let’s watch the sunrise above the sea. She turns to Jafar & took his hand into hers. Gently, while staring into his eyes, she asked him: ‘What’s that dark story inside you that is eating you up? Talk to me please! Tell me all about it!’ Jafar stared back into her eyes and then looked away. I want to let it out but talking about it hurts even more. Love is cruel! My heart cannot take any more pains and betrayal. He sighed.

Jasmine was silent and still as he spoke, he raised his head to let his eyes catch her gaze and saw her eyes filled with tears. He felt guilty. Gently, he squeezed her hand and asked why she was crying. She then relayed the whole story to him. How her about-to-be husband died from a car accident on the day of their wedding. She lost interest in life after his death; she was emotionally battered. She found this spot a year after his death. She found it comforting and peaceful. Under this very orange tree, she grieved. I once gave up on love, she said. But I found hope in it again on the day I rammed into you with my car. It was sign, a sign that my emotions could still glow and love. It reminded me of how my beloved died. Gently, Jafar pulled her to his shoulder to comfort her. He then told her about Jade and what transpired the day the accident happened. Tears flowing from their eyes, with both hearts melting — overwhelmed with emotions. Under the orange tree that morning, a new seed of love was planted. A year later, they got married. It became a ritual to them, every saturday, they go to the beach in the morning to watch the sunrise and in the evening to watch the sunset.

Life was good — near perfect, until the day Jasmine died mysteriously. Jasmine was 7 months pregnant, both were happy and eagerly awaiting the arrival of their baby. For weeks, they have been arguing on what name they will give the baby. They both agreed they will decide 2 weeks before she delivers. On that fateful day, Jafar left Jasmine at home and headed to work. As he always does ever since she got pregnant, he calls her hourly to check on her. While at work, an idea occurred to him about what name to give the baby. He closed early from work and rushed home to his beloved wife. On arrival, he ran into the house calling out her name but what he met was stiff silence and the echo of his voice. He ran upstairs, checked bedrooms, the bathrooms, ran downstairs, checked the guest-room, but he couldn’t find her. Where could she have gone? He thought. He dialled her number and heard her phone ringing from the kitchen. He ran into the kitchen and found her lying in her pool of blood. He falls on his knees and crawls towards her, crying profusely as he strokes her face. His eyes caught the sight of a glittering object a few meters away from Jasmine’s body. He stood up and reached for the object, picked it up and behold, it was Jade’s ring. He slumped and fainted.