こんにちは! Hello everyone!
I'm back with another chapter—I'm not trying to make you guys wait so long for chapter updates anymore. I'm going to try to finish off the story. I'm studying hard! And guess what!? (sorry to include personal stuff, I'm so happy, I'm expressing it to the world). I never really explained much, but I study Japanese on my own and I teach myself. It's really difficult and I've always looked into classes, but where I live, they won't be offered. But! I finally got a grant from the state and I can take classes (for a credit) online! I'm really excited Anyway, enough about me. Please enjoy the chapter!
Disclaimer: (I forgot the disclaimer in the last chapter, so it goes for Chpt. 7, too, of course). I still don't own Tuck Everlasting.
Not everyone who visits you has to be a bad man. But who would just randomly come out to a stone cottage in the middle of nowhere? Jesse hadn't mentioned making any friends here either, and the look on his face right now wasn't suggesting that idea to be the truth. As we walked inside the cottage cautiously, hand in hand, the man turned to face us. "Ah," he purred, "this is the famous fiance—the reason you wouldn't marry me, Winifred."
It was Mr. Jackson.
"M-Mr. Jackson?" I stuttered.
"Surprised to see me again, Winifred?" he sneered. Jesse pulled me back a bit, but I pushed my way back to the front, angry. It was my fiery personality—there's no way I'm standing in the background.
"Why are you here!?" I demanded. Why did he have to show up and ruin everything? Everything was supposed to be perfect—back with the Tucks and happy.
"You didn't really think you could get rid of me, did you?" he laughed. This man disgusted me.
"You know him, Winnie?" Mae just kind of stared at the man and looked at me and back at the man. Jesse had met the man in the yellow suit, all the Tucks had, but all of them were unaware of Mr. Jackson.
"This was the man I was supposed to marry," I spat out and Jesse tensed up beside me.
Mr. Jackson, being the horrid man he was, proceeded to tell the two Tucks everything that had happened the years they'd be gone. The walks, the dinners, the rides, and even the many ways I had refused him. He ended on my last day with my parents—and the journey in getting here. That's when I realized he'd been following me the whole time. Thinking back since I left my home, there had been odd occurrences. I'd just never thought anything of them. Actually hearing about how he'd been following me around, hunting me down almost as if I were his kill, his prey. It scared me. But... Why? "Why are you following me?" I asked, "Is there a reason for all of this? Why would you go to such lengths? You can't actually want to marry me."
"Oh, Winifred, you'll never understand the relationship we had—I never wanted to marry you in the first place. You were never actually of any importance to me, I just needed you in the long run."
As much as I didn't want to marry him, the thought of almost being married to a man who was just going to use me split my heart in two right there. I wanted to scream and cry, as I'd wanted to many times in my life before. Who was he that he could say such things like this!? "So why then!?" Jesse demanded this time. I can tell he was just as angry—if not more angry from this conversation.
"You see, Winnie here drank the water."
… "What?" Mae asked blankly.
"Don't play around, Mrs. Tuck," he laughed, "I know all about the mystical waters. I grew up looking for the water; I live for that water."
"What kind of joke is this?" she sounded hysterical.
"You see, my father has always wanted his hands on that water. He ruined my life all for that water. He even left my mother and took me with him—all for the damned water. When I was six, only six, that's when I realized it," he laughed again and ran his hands through his hair, "I've always hated my father. I thought if I could find the water—if I could get the water to my father, I could finally leave. And finally, I found the water. But apparently, it wasn't enough for my father. Why? Because my father never actually wanted to drink the water."
"What do you mean?" Jesse asked.
"It's what every man wants—money, fame, power. He wanted to get the water and sell it. But he needed Winnie—he needed a display. Someone to show off how the water worked and how amazing it was. That's why I was going to marry Winnie. But then, you left! You ruined everything!" he screamed.
I stepped back, but stared the man in the face. I had too much hatred for the man to feel bad for him—if it weren't for that, I'd consider feeling bad for him. His story was pitiful , in fact. "Continue," I said, coldly.
He just laughed, quite insanely. "You had to ruin everything!"
"Calm down!" Jesse yelled and struck him across the face with his hand.
Mae looked terrified. Mr. Jackson seemed to calm down a bit. Suddenly, he pulled something out of his pocket—a shotgun. What was he trying to do!? Jesse was immediately in front of me again and I didn't push my way to the front again. I don't care if I won't die, I didn't want to get shot. I wasn't sure if I would die or not—I didn't trust the water right now. "Put the gun down!" Jesse shouted.
"Please put it down," Mae begged.
"Winnie, you ruined me. You—it was you who ruined me! If you would have just listened to your parents, married me... I would've been gone! Who knows, I may have even had a good life now?" He laughed once more—and pulled the trigger.
I screamed. He had shot the gun… at himself? I covered my mouth with both of hands, in fear that I would scream again, and Jesse hugged me tightly. I faintly heard him telling me it was okay, but the sound of the trigger replayed in my head several times over. I closed my eyes and tried to force the sound out of my head.
"W-why?" Mae was suddenly speaking again.
And then I heard his laugh. My eyes snapped open—he had drunken the water. That was the only thing that could have possibly happened. Because there he was, Mr. Jackson perfectly alive in front of me. There was no blood. No dead man lying in front of me. No pain? Was he hurting? Did he even feel it? "W-why did you drink the water?" I gasped.
"My father needed a demonstration—remember? And you didn't fill that spot. I desperately followed you here, trying to retrieve you. But my father never had his hopes set on finding you anymore. Instead, his plan turned on me. He wanted me to drink the water. He made me drink it. He said we would start here—start selling the water here. He brought bottles and bottles of it."
"Did he make anyone else drink it!?" Mae asked, terrified for all the people who could have possibly drunken it by now.
"I drank it all," he smiled, "I drank it all and I freed myself."
"What?" Jesse snapped.
"I drank it all—and then I killed him," he chucked, "One bullet to the head was all it took to finish him off. Unlike me, he died. If only the person who would have drunken the water was himself... It wouldn't have happened."
Did he really kill his father? "How could you kill your own father?" I asked him.
"Easily. He ruined my life. All I could think about was ruining him, finishing him off. And I did."
"I don't believe it," I shook my head in disbelief.
"You don't?" he laughed and threw his suitcase to the ground.
"...Don't tell me..." Jesse took a step back, grabbing Mae and me.
At that moment Miles and Tuck walked in—they had just come home from working. And Miles had looked down at the ground. I could only see Miles face, Jesse had turned me away from the scene in front of me. What was it? Don't tell me it was true... that... Mae went to Tuck and I slowly turned around, ignoring Jesse's protests. I held on to his hand and turned all the way around. And there, laying on the floor, was the man in the yellow suit. Dead.
So that was Chapter 8. Yeah~ I'm trying to wrap up the story now, draw conclusions. Please review! Thanks so much, you guys.