"Fuck that Amy, Give me the bottle." Beatrice had just downed her third shot that night and was reaching for the entire bottle of Jack Daniels as her drunk friends looked on, laughing their heads off. Her alcoholism had just begun that past month. It was two twenty am and she was already high, getting drunker by the second.
She was a victim of unrequited love.
She had fallen into a downward spiral of depression, and only one man could pull her out.
Winifred Foster went to work every morning, no matter how hungover she was from the previous night. 7:00am at the local diner, close to where the spring used to be. She was now 107 years old. But to her 'friends' and colleagues, she was 17 year old Beatrice Allen, new to the town of Treegap since a year ago, when she had grown tired of Tokyo. She kept a low profile, and traveled around a lot, blown off lots of replaceable friends, but she did this because she could not risk the secret of Tuck Everlasting.
The spring had survived, she was still the rightful owner of the wood, she refused to sell it. Even if she had wished to, no buyers would be able to track her down. So many years of aliases, and fake IDs. Her actual identity was a mystery to anyone who wanted to find out. She only faintly remembered the 'Man in The Yellow Suit' now, but he was still there, taunting her somehow. Maybe it was her remorse, for not being there when her mother died, for faking her death and leaving everyone behind. It wasn't her fault she had begun getting older and not a thing had changed. She had no choice but to run. She had a new life to expect then. Now? After nearly one hundred years, and still no Tucks. She had no idea what to expect.
And as she poured some water for a kind gentleman in his booth, she wondered if she could make it another day, in her meaningless existence. She contemplated drinking herself into alcohol poisoning; but 'of course', she thought with a bitter laugh she would never die.
Jesse returned, almost a century later. Still as youthful and handsome as the day Winnie met him. The smell of the flowers that blossomed with springtime hung in the air. He came to find her, carrying roses in his hand, one of the many gifts he had prepared for her in his bag of treasures from around the world.
He'd expected her to have waited. He expected her russet loose curls, her aqua pools that she called her eyes. Every day he'd thought about her; for one hundred years.
Instead, walking through the garden of the house, he'd found Winifred's tombstone depicting her epitaph. And even more hopelessly, saying that she had only lived until the age of 18.
"Suicide..." He wept angrily. He began yelling at the heavens, questioning them as to how they could take her from him. He fell to his knees in despair, wanting, for the first time in a little over a hundred years, to die. He stayed there for who knows how long.
It was only when Angus Tuck rested a hand on his shoulder, did he move from where he knelt. Angus tried to lift his son up from the ground, Jesse would not budge. Tears flowing freely, Jesse wanted nothing more than to wallow.
"Jesse. She loved you too." Angus tried to comfort his son.
"She couldn't have loved me. She didn't wait for me."
Angus was lost for words, his son had a point.
Jesse wiped away disdainful tears as he returned to his motorcycle.
Angus tried to lighten the mood, "How about we meet up with Ma, and Miles. Then we grab something to eat before we leave?" Tuck suggested.
Jesse nodded. He began crying once more.
"Beatrice!" The cook called. "Come get this coffee!"
Winifred was quite used to the name Beatrice; it was her new name for almost two years now. It seemed she was wearing out her stay here. It was time to go again. Maybe this time to Peru?
She'd roamed everywhere from Scandinavia to Michigan. She'd have to start over again in Hawaii after this.
The small bell over the diner door jingled, but Winnie ignored, she'd seat them in a moment. There were other waitresses. She grabbed the coffee mug and began crossing the room towards the customer who wanted some. It was all in slow motion after that, the door closing behind the new customers, the fake smile she put on to please the man in his booth, the sound of chattering and forks amongst people.
"Winifred?" Someone called, in utter disbelief.
Winnie almost didn't turn; no one had called her that in many years, she'd always gone by other names. But she did turn, to face Jesse, who knocked a chair out of the way to get to her.
She wasn't as scared as she was shocked. This must be a dream.
She dropped the coffee pot with a loud crash, she could faintly hear the manager yelling at her to clean it up, but she'd gone partially deaf with the sight of the Tucks, especially Jesse.
Winnie tore off her apron and ran, the other way, out the back door. Taking one last look at the stunned Tucks and customers, and then she was out the door.
Winnie tore past so many people on the street; she didn't know what made her run. Mostly she was afraid. All this time, she's planned out exactly what she would say to them if they ever returned. Now, all that was out the window, all she could think was how, if she could die, she would've had a fatal heart attack back there.
Jesse was zooming down the roads on his bike, searching for her. He almost didn't recognize her back there, her black hair. He didn't like it, but they would talk about that later, after he was done making her his wife. She'd have a few things to explain.
Winifred ran until she nearly fainted. She was at the edge of town, near the wood. And her small apartment she called 'home'. She stumbled up her stairs, sobbing. She was overcome with emotion, how… why did he decide to come back now? How could he keep her waiting 100 years? He said he would love her until the day he died. Was keeping her suffering, love?
"WINNIE! PLEASE!" He was looking for her, and he was close.
Only a matter of time before he started describing her to people on the street, they would give her away.
'The crying girl? Oh she went in that building.'
She heard the woman who sold candy in front of the stores say to Jesse.
Winnie heard him scramble up the stairs from behind her apartment door, calling her with such hurt it physically hurt to hear. He wouldn't know which door to knock on; it was a building of 23 apartments.
"WIIINN! Come out please, I-I'm sorry! I don't know what I did, whatever it was I'm sorry!"
Winifred opened her door to find him standing there. She stepped out. With no words he enveloped her, which such force she thought she would fall, but Jesse, as he once promised, didn't let her go. He began kissing her face, forehead, nose, cheeks and his mouth then found hers. A current of electricity raced from Jesse to Winnie and back again. Winnie found her fingers lacing themselves through strands of Jesse's hair; she parted her lips and inhaled him. Suddenly Winnie began giggling uncontrollably. Jesse wanted to continue on with her, but could not help himself and started laughing as well. He did not know why.
"W-what?!" He choked out through laughter.
She hugged him. "You make me feel young again Jesse Tuck."
"You are young, Winnie. Forever." he grinned.
"Jesse, don't let go." she sighed on his shoulder.
He held her closer. "It's okay Winnie Foster. I'm never going to let you go."
"I love you." They said in unison. The laughter started again.