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"Hello, Joey," said her client.
"Dawson?" Joey squealed once more in an unnaturally high voice. "Oh my God! What are you doing here?"
"You haven't seen me in ten years and you're not even gonna give me a hug?" Dawson teased.
"Of course I will," Joey said simply before walking around her desk and hugging him. As soon as his strong muscular arms enclosed her, Joey felt her heartbeat raise. She was sure that her face was going red. Very professional, she thought to herself.
"I don't want to let go, but I want to see your face," Dawson said after a few minutes. He let go and Joey looked up into his eyes. Yes, it was still her Dawson. "You're just as I remember you! Right down to your big soulful eyes and your cute little nose," Dawson said finally. This made Joey blush even more. "Why, Ms. Potter, is your face going red? The young Lawyer? Blushing because of her ex-boyfriend's remarks? This isn't the Josephine I know!"
"I can't believe you're here! I was in Capeside for a few days this week. It's the first time since I left there. I was stood outside your home less than twenty four hours ago!"
"I hope not," Dawson pointed out, "my house is in San Francisco."
"Your home will always be by the creek to me," Joey said nostalgically.
The two got over the initial shock of meeting one another again and went out of the office to discuss the past ten years of their lives. Joey told Dawson about her time at university, how she had studied entertainment law, hoe Bodie and Bessie had got married and had another two children, how she had been to see her Dad once a month since the night they had had the heart-to-heart and how much she had missed Dawson's friendship when she had left university and had to find a job and a house.
In return, Dawson told Joey how he had finished high school, gone on to a film course, finished top of his class, got accepted on a course led by Steven Spielberg, and written a screenplay that got accepted by Paramount Studios. He told her how he had been told in a letter a few years back written by Pacey that Joey had become a lawyer and was working in Boston. As soon as he had realized he would need a lawyer to go over some paperwork, he had called on her. Finally, he added how much he had missed her friendship too. Neither one mentioned their past relationship with each other, or those they had had with others. That was, until Dawson took a deep breath and began.
"OK, Joey. You're Ms. Potter, and I see no wedding ring, so is it safe to assume that you're not married?"
"I'm not," Joey replied, unsure of what he would say.
"Me either," was the reply.
"Anything serious in the past?" Joey asked him.
"Just the one girl, who I loved and still do."
"Oh.!" Joey said, somewhat surprised. After all these years, had he come here to invite her to his wedding or something?
"Have you?" Dawson asked.
"There was one, his name was James. It was pretty serious, but I found him with one of my friends. That was back at Uni," Joey replied truthfully.
"Jo, I'm sorry."
"That's OK," Joey replied. "So tell me what this girl's like?" she said, even though she didn't really want to know.
"Joey, it's you. I thought you knew that?"
"No…I didn't…is that why you really came to find me?" Joey thought her heart would burst, but at the same time, she felt confused. She didn't know him anymore, yet he said he loved her. The experience of James Donald had changed her as a person. She'd allowed herself to become more weak and vulnerable. How could he love that that was so much different from what he knew?
"No, I wanted to get the best lawyer I cold, plus, even if you were married, I had to find out what had become of you." Dawson tried to explain. Joey suddenly knew she had to go. She needed time to think. Only a few hours before, she'd wanted this moment. Now, she wasn't so sure. She started to get up.
"Ummm…I'm really sorry, Dawson, but I've gotta go. I just remembered something, OK?"
"Sure, but let me hug you once more." They hugged, then she pulled away and looked up at him. He leaned down and kissed her fully on her lips. It was the taste she had almost forgotten. Instead of letting herself get carried away, like she used to do, Joey turned sharply and ran off in the opposite direction. She ran leaving a very confused Dawson Leery behind to wonder what he'd done wrong.
Once back at the office, she told her secretary that she would be accepting no visitors or telephone calls, and locked herself in her office. She sank down onto the floor behind the door and began to think. Dawson, her long lost love, had just told her that he still loved her. She knew deep down she still loved him. And yet, she had fallen in love twice, and both times, she'd had her heart broken. Dawson had moved away, and James had betrayed her. She hadn't told Dawson all about James. She still felt embarrassed at how naïve she'd been. She'd fallen for him, and assumed that he felt the same way about her. She'd presumed that he'd be as good a human as Dawson.
The pair had actually got engaged. Bessie, who was pregnant with Ben at the time, insisted on making the wedding cake. Joey and her had spent hours looking at dresses. She'd never expected that, two months before the wedding, she'd walk into a room and see him making out with friend Loren. She could remember the horrible realization that had swept over her. She could remember him begging her to take him back, swearing that it would never happen again. And most of all, she could remember sending his ring back to him through the postal service.
It was during the aftermath of all this that she had really started to miss Dawson. She wanted to go back to her teenage years, sleeping in his bed, the security of being in his arms. Yet she had not gone to Capeside and reminisced. She had tried to be strong. She had started to write letters to Dawson, a thing she had done for two years after he first moved. She'd never sent any of them, she kept them in a box, tied in string. She read them when she felt lonely. In them, she discussed everything, from what clothes she'd brought to what dream she'd had last Thursday night. She needed to read them again in order to gain clarity in her feelings. She needed to remember what it was like to be completely in love with someone she couldn't be with. She needed to go home.
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