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Joey traveled that evening back to Capeside. She knocked at Bessie's door and entered the house. She had tears in her eyes, so Bessie didn't ask anything. She made the sofa up for her sister, and went to her own room, leaving Joey alone with the cardboard box she held in her arms. Joey felt relieved that there had been no questions, and she sat on the sofa with a cup of steaming coffee and picked a few a random. The first one was one of the first letters she had written, a couple of weeks after Dawson had left.
I miss you so much. I keep going past your house and I have to stop myself calling for you. I need you here. Pacey and Jen have tried to comfort me, but they don't understand. I've lost my only love and my greatest friend. I'm lost without you. Pacey taking me to the Rialto isn't gonna make me feel any better. Last Saturday was the worst. I was looking forward all day to watching a video with you. Then I realized you wouldn't be there. I cried for hours. I love you, need you, want you.
As she read the letter, tears once again sprung to Joey's eyes. She could remember those first few days. The sheer heartbreak at everything that reminded her of him. She picked up another letter, this one was written the day after their senior prom.
I went. I even danced. Yes, your Joey danced! I danced with Pacey, and a few other guys. Don't worry though, none of them compared to you. I can't believe it's been almost 2 years! I wore this wonderful dress, Bessie chose it for me! It was midnight blue and made of satin. It came right down to the floor and was tight, without being too tight. I think you would have approved. Anyway, you'll never guess what! The votes came in...Pacey was voted class clown, Jen was most likely to marry a jock, and I was...... wait for it......Prom queen! Can you imagine my surprise??? I just wish that you were the king. I love you.
Joey smiled at the memory of being pulled onto the stage. She hadn't been expecting it at all, but it turned out she got more votes than anyone else! Still, she had wished Dawson was there for their special night. The third letter was the first one she'd written from university, the day she'd found James cheating on her.
So much has happened. I guess I'd better start with this...I met this guy. His name's James. He asked me to marry him, and I said yes. I've just seen him kissing my friend Loren. I wish you were here. You'd make all the pain go away. I miss us analyzing everything. I don't have that sort of friendship any more. I just feel so lonely. I'm 21, but I feel like that child of 12 I was when Mom died. You were there for me then, but you're not now. I need you here with me. Why aren't you? If you'd stayed with me, I wouldn't be hurting right now. I need you. I miss you.
Even after 5 years, she had needed him. Now, 5 years later, he was here. Why didn't she want him now? She hadn't got over him. She'd simply learned to exist without him. The last letter was the last one she written to him.
This will be my last letter. I'm graduating this afternoon. I've invited Pacey, but I don't know where you or Jen are. I'm almost over James. Thanks for listening to me over the past two years. If you ever need my assistance, call on me. I miss you.
Joey thought about why she was pushing Dawson away. She'd kissed him earlier, then run away. It was like the game of cat and mouse they'd played when they were 15. Maybe she was doing it to make herself safe, without being hurt. But if she carried on like this, he might not wait for her. With that thought, she fell asleep.
The next morning, she woke to the sound of voices. She instantly recognized them both. It was Bessie and Dawson! What was he doing here? She heard Bessie talking to him, explaining that Joey might not want to talk to him. As soon as she heard that, Joey raced to the door with the box of letters. "I'll ask her as soon as she's awake," Bessie said patiently, as Joey appeared behind her. Bessie was more than a little surprised that Dawson had turned up at her doorstep this morning. Although it did explain how upset Joey had been the previous evening.
"Bessie, I'm up," Joey announced.
"Well, Jo, this is a sight I haven't seen in 10 years!" Dawson said cheerfully. Joey looked down, and then flushed pink as she realized she was wearing the clothes she had worn the day before. Bessie left the pair to be alone.
"What are you doing here? How did you know I was here?" Joey demanded.
"I waited a few hours, then phoned your office," Dawson explained truthfully, "when they said you were ill, I knew where to find you."
"Well, I had some thinking to do." Joey said, as if trying to justify her actions.
"And?" Dawson said hopefully.
"And I think you need to read these," Joey said, passing him the box of letters. "When you have, come back and tell me whether you love me then. "There's still lots of important things you don't know about me and there's a lot of little details you missed out on, too." Dawson left the house with the box and prepared to learn about the woman he loved.
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