Jesse lives for the here and now. He loves to explore and has great ambitions about ‘seeing the world.’ All of it, since he has forever to do so! In the decade he spends away from his parents, he travels abroad and has experiences. Once he meets Winnie, he is eager to introduce her to the idea of going places, doing things, meeting people—and doing it with him. Together. He doesn’t think about the long-term consequences of immortality, he just wants her to drink of the spring that gave them eternal life, so she can be with him forever. He does not share his brother’s miseries in having loved and lost, and once he sees what he wants, he hopes to persuade her to join him in his long life, in the endless opportunities it offers him. He is emotional and kind, not wanting to hurt Winnie even though his father gave an order to keep people out of the woods at all costs. He quickly forms a bond with her, through shared experiences, and is delighted to see her become more herself through swimming, playing in the woods, meeting deer, and dancing around a campfire beneath the moonlight. Caught up in things, he shares the secret of their immortality, a perhaps unwise confession. He and his brother stage a daring rescue to save their parents after they’re arrested for murder, without thinking of the consequences (rumors of men raised from the dead?). He urges Winnie to drink the water in his absence, and promises to return for her, when it is safe.

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Jesse loves to have adventures and he never intends to stop, slow down, or make a stable life for himself. Not when there’s so much of the world left to see, taste, touch, hear, and experience! He wants Winnie to come along for the fun, and he’s an entertaining companion, for sure—full of laughter and excitement. He gets her to try out things she never considered doing before, like learning to swim and handling a deer fawn. But the truth is, he’s also running away from the truth of the horrific nature of his predicament. He is immortal. Going to live forever. Eventually, everyone he meets or learns to care about is going to die of old age. He will leave them all behind. He can never fall in love with a girl without needing her to drink from the spring, or their love will wax and wane, because he will outlive her. What will happen at the end of time? Will he live forever, or beyond it? If he cannot die, what are the consequences? These are questions he does not ask, because they are too frightening, so he spins them into golden dreams. He gets to live forever, which is amazing, because there’s so much of life to live, so many things to see, so much to do! But he’s also family-oriented, returning home every decade to see his mother and tell her of his adventures.