One year after Winnie had been kicked out, she stood by the entrance to Treegap. It was her 17th birthday, the day Jesse had promised he would come to meet her. The last year had been rough; she had little food and water, and even though she could not
die, it didn't make it any easier. Her toad, the one who also had some of the water, seemed to be following her around everywhere, and she planned to take him to the Tuck's she sat by the sign that said Welcome to Treegap anxiously
awaiting for Jesse. Around noon she saw them, Jesse and Miles, walking up the old, dusty road. "Jesse!" She called. "Miles!" They looked up and she started running toward them. It only took them a second for them to realize who she was. "Winnie!" Jesse
called. He ran to meet her. "Winnie!" When they met up, Jesse grabbed Winnie and spun her around, and then pulled her in for a long kiss.
It was the first time Winnie had ever kissed a guy, and she knew she would never forget it. Jesse's lips were slightly chapped, and tasted slightly of oranges that he must have eaten earlier that day. Behind all that, though, there was real passion behind
it, and they could have stood there forever, just kissing, but a small cough from Miles brought them back to reality. "So..." Jesse said. "I drank the water, Jesse!" Winnie said. "I drank it, and now I'll live forever with you." Jesse smiled at her,
and then he grabbed her hand and they began walking to the Tuck's house. It was a long journey, and it was all filled with talk. "Ma and Pawanted to come too," Miles said, "but we figured that after what happened 5 years ago with Ma we couldn't
risk it. Someone could remember her, and then she'd be in jail all over again. And we left the horse at home too, because we didn't want anyone to recall him too. So it's just me and Jesse who came here." "Ma and Pa are going to be thrilled," said
Jesse. "I know they were all like, 'Don't drink from the spring, Winnie,' but Pa's said how he doesn't want to lose you to the wheel, and Mahasn't said anything, but you can tell she wants you back. We all did, Winnie." Winnie smiled, and when
Jesse smiled back, something fluttered in her chest.
It was nearly sunset before they reached the Tuck's little cottage. Mae and Tuck stood outside to meet them. Winnie ran up to Tuck, and he picked her up and spun her around, just like he had done 5 years ago. Mae stood there, smiling and crying. "I was
afraid we would never see you again," she whispered. "Come on, Winnie," said Jesse, grabbing her wrist and laughing. "You haven't really been here until you've been in the lake!" And with that, Jesse shoved her off the shore.
A few seconds later, she emerged, gasping, while Miles and Jesse roared with laughter. "Oh, shut up, you two," she snapped, but her eyes were bright. Jesse jumped in, grabbed her waist, and kissed her again. When they broke apart, Winnie thought that
Jesse was cuter then ever, with his hair plastered to his forehead and his eyes twinkling.
"Winnie," said Jesse as he pulled her out of the lake. "There's something I want to ask you.
"If I'm honest, Winnie, I've loved you since I first saw you. I love you more than anything. And I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Winnie," he said, getting down on one knee, "will you marry me?"
Winnie said one word, barely a whisper.