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Dawson woke early the next morning, but he didn't wake Joey. Instead, he sat up in their bed and watched her sleep. It was something he must have spent hours doing in his life, yet he had never watched her in quite the same way. She was no longer just his best friend, or even just his girlfriend. She was his soulmate. And his first lover. He loved her.
She moved slightly, and murmured his name. He smiled. He was glad he had waited for her. He always knew that, one day, they would meet again. Only one thing plagued his mind...
As Joey rolled over once more, she opened her eyes. After a few seconds, she realized where she was, and she looked up. She looked at Dawson and smiled. "Hey," she said demurely. He leaned down and kissed her. She hooked her arms around his neck, and kissed back. After a few moments, she sank back down, taking one of his hands in hers. "So, where are we going first, Dawson? 'Cause I was thinking we could do a bit of shopping in..."
Dawson knew now was the time to ask his question. He couldn't spend another day mulling it over. He interrupted her. "Joey, how many others have there been?"
Joey paused. "What???"
"You know what I mean," he said, not wanting to ask properly. "I think I do," she said thoughtfully, "and I really don't think you want to know."
"Yes, I do, Joey," Dawson replied, slightly embarrassed. "3, OK?" she said, a little unsure of his expectations. "So that's me, James and who else?" Joey was stunned. She knew he had taken a big risk telling her he was a virgin, but she knew her answer would probably hurt him. "One other, my first."
"Who was he?" Dawson demanded, curious to know everything about the woman he loved.
"OK, Dawson, I'll tell you. But I'm telling you because I want to be totally honest with you," she said.
Dawson worried silently. Why wasn't she telling him it? "Who was he, Joey?" he asked again.
"It was Pacey," was the reply. They sat in silence as Dawson realized his two best friends had slept together. After a couple of minutes, Joey spoke.
"You wanted me to tell you." Dawson just sat there. He turned and looked at Joey, watching her nervous movements as she prepared to give more details. "It was the night of our graduation. It didn't mean anything to me. Or to him. I missed you, and he knew that. I asked him to sleep with me, and after a lot of persuasion, he agreed. After the summer, we both went to university. We only met again once after I graduated from University. He came to the function, and I told him a bit about my life. Then, he went home and we kept in contact for a bit. That's all."
Dawson was still in shock. He waited for a few moments, then realized she was waiting for him to say something. Ummm, I'm just gonna go for a walk, OK?" he asked her. Joey felt helpless to do anything. She hadn't wanted to tell him, but she knew they shouldn't keep anything from each other. She watched him get out of the bed, pull on a pair of trousers, a shirt, and some sneakers. The he left the room. Joey pulled her knees closer, hugged them, and sank her head down as tears began to form in her eyes.
Dawson almost gasped as he went outside. The morning was a frosty one, but he could tell it would warm up later in the day. However, he still cursed that he hadn't brought a coat with him. He couldn't go back in the room. He couldn't look at her right now. It hurt because he loved her. It wasn't that he wanted to be her first, he hadn't for one second even dreamed she'd made the same decision as him. It was just that he didn't want it to be Pacey, his best friend in his childhood. Pacey and Joey had always hated each other. Well, almost always. Pacey had felt an attraction to her when they were 15. Maybe the feelings had been more.
After a few hours, Joey had regained her composure. She washed her face in a vain attempt to hide the stains from the tears she had wept. She had to try and find him. Only she didn't know where to look. She was alone in a foreign country, looking for a boy who could hide himself well. She left the hotel, and saw that the weather was turning warmer.
Sunlight was slowly winning the battle against the gray and drab clouds that had occupied the sky. However, she still felt like the clouds were covering her heart. The only place she could think of to go to was the train station. After all, they were meant to be going on the train to Wokingham today. Asking a man for directions, she made her way there, holding onto the distant odds that Dawson would be there.
She looked at the notice boards that informed passengers as to what platform various trains would be leaving. The train to Wokingham would depart from platform 4b in 16 minutes, she read. She had just missed one. She walked past the escalators, praying that he would be there.
She pictured him in her mind, sat on a seat, watching the people go past. She turned left, around the corner and could still see him there. She paused a second, convinced that her eyes were playing a trick on her. But the image didn't go. Instead, almost as if he could sense her eyes on him, Dawson turned to face her. He signaled for her to sit down beside him. She obliged. She sat down next to him, and fiddled nervously with a piece of her hair that had slipped from her ponytail. She could sense him beside her, looking down at the ground and fiddling with the top of his shirt.
"Joey, what you said shocked me," he began, uncertainly. "I didn't for a moment expect to get that answer. But, I'm sorry for the way I reacted. I just needed some time to think. I know that if I'd still have been in Capeside, you wouldn't have done it. I'm so sorry I left. But, I love you. I'm so sorry for blowing you off like that. I'm sorry, Jo. Please forgive me. I'm stupid, and I don't deserve you. But I love you." He looked up into her eyes, waiting for an answer.
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