Finding Forever: A Tuck Everlasting Story

Based on the Walt Disney adaptation and best-selling novel Tuck Everlasting

*I do not own any rights to the original characters presented in this story, nor any of the events leading to or brought up in this story

Synopsis

In present day New York, nestled deep in a suburban wood sits the small town of Treegap. Unlike the average small town, this one in particular held a mystifying secret. A secret that had been kept since the first summer Winnie Foster stepped into those woods and fell in love with the boy who changed her entire existence.

Prologue

A gentle breeze caressed my freckled face as the water rolled around my palm. I marveled at the feel of it dancing around my knuckles. I briefly caught my reflection in the water. A smile escaped my lips as I thought of Jessie, sweet and beautiful. It had been as easy as breathing with the Tucks. They felt like my family, like they were my home. "Go back to the spring. When it's safe, I'll come back for you." Would it ever be safe? Could I drink from the spring and live with the existence of uncertainty? Angus Tuck's words followed soon after, "What we Tucks have, you can't call it living. We just are…we're like rocks stuck at the side of the stream." Living a life that is motionless and unchanging, would that be a life worth living? To live a life forever with Jesse Tuck, maybe just maybe it was…

Chapter One

"Isaac, please." Winnie heaved, "I can't breathe." Her chest felt heavy as a thunder of laughter continued to pour from her. Isaac playfully continued his endless torment on her torso until she painfully held her sides.

"What was that Winifred Foster? Do you care to repeat it?" He chuckled as he removed her hands and pinned them to her sides.

When she caught her breath, she giggled. "No, no. I'd rather not. I've come to the realization you don't fight fair." She sat up and playfully folded her arms.

Isaac mischievously raised an eyebrow, "Oh really, is that so?"

Winnie nodded and blew some hair that had fallen into her face. "You're just so serious all the time now. I miss this part of you," she responded tapping his leg.

Isaac sighed, "I miss having fun with you. I just can't help being depressed sometimes. He hasn't been the same since his stroke. It's kind of a burden."

"See, the good thing about living your life is that it's your life. You don't have to take over the store if you don't want to. I mean you just finished undergrad and have a lot on your plate. How are you going to become a doctor and run a general store at the same time?"

Isaac knew Winnie made perfect sense. He couldn't be what his father wanted him to be. Now, after the stroke, he felt a little guilty for wanting anything else. "You're right. I just don't want him to be disappointed, you know?"

Winnie caressed the black hair at the nape of his neck, "I don't think you could disappoint him. He loves you. He knows you're going to do and be something great."

"What do you think I should do?" He whispered as he leaned toward her.

"Do what you feel." She responded surely. "There is no right or wrong answer. Either way, you're doing something meaningful."

He raised his palm to her soft cheek, "That is why I love you. You always know exactly what to say when I don't."

Winnie smiled lightheartedly, "I thought it was because of my witty charm and striking exquisiteness."

He pressed his forehead to hers, "You are way too proper, Winnie Foster."

Just as his lips inched for hers, she teasingly pushed him away and bolted to the door. She leaped from the steps and headed for the all too familiar forest that surrounded her late parent's house.

The dirt road leading toward the Foster house hadn't changed at all compared to the rest of the streets that were now covered with asphalt. Jesse Tuck slightly sped in anticipation for what was awaiting him.

He maneuvered through the dips and the curves in the old road and came to an expected stop at the entrance of the iron fence that housed Winnie Foster. That warm feeling in the pit of his stomach reappeared just like it had when he had decided it was time to return to Treegap.

He quickly released the clutch of his bike to remove his helmet. The spring atmosphere enveloped him and he prepared himself as he looked toward the house.

Jesse knew after all this time, he couldn't just walk up to her front door. He didn't even know if she would be there. His next actions had to be specifically mapped out. There was only one place he could do that.

The smell of oak filled his nostrils as he stretched forward through the clearing. His heart thudded rapidly while he reminisced of that very day he first met Winnie. Jesse thought she was the most spectacular thing he'd ever laid eyes on. He was disgusted at himself for the way he had acted toward her. He was only trying to protect his family. Ironically, she ended up defending them. For an instance, he wondered if she had changed at all. Surely, she had changed. Maybe she hadn't physically, but mentally anyway. After living for nearly a century, even the most brainless person would somehow become prudent.

Jesse had meant that he would love her until the day he died. At that moment his love for her was stronger than ever. It was so much that they hadn't done together. He wanted to see the world with her and whenever the time came, leave the world with her. The urge to see her was flooding through him as he took that final step that brought the spring into view, at least what was left of it.

Someone or something had compiled a heap of rocks and pebbles to cover the source. Who could have done this? Before his mind could race with the possibilities, a stream of laughter broke through his trance.

"Oh, you are going to regret that Ms. Foster." Isaac chuckled falling quickly behind Winnie into the woods. He had chased her from the house in a joking fit. She dived and ducked making her way through the trees. Her hair flew behind her, swaying as she increased speed. Isaac was far from being a track star, but he definitely held his own. Just when she thought she was out of his grasp, he reached for her waist. In hopes of getting away, Winnie lunged for the ground.

Hiding behind the infamous "T" marked tree, Jesse saw Winnie in full view. His eyes widened when he heard a soft squeal come from her as she hit the grass and rolled. For a second he thought she was hurt. Unexpectedly, a statuesque guy with ear-length black hair caught his eye. Winnie went into a laughing spell as the guy came closer and closer to her. He hovered above her and smiled tenderly. Jesse couldn't believe what was taking place in front of him. The unknown man slowly knelt beside Winnie and leaned his head toward her. Just as Winnie was about to oblige, Jesse Tuck shouted her name.