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Disclaimer: Oh gee, it's disclaimer time again. Well, as self proclaimed Professor of Disclaimerology, I guess I should probably give another lesson. Today's topic-the origin of the disclaimer. Now class, the disclaimer arose in 2346 BC, during the time of the Disclaimerian Empire. The Disclaimerians were a large and powerful dynasty, but there was a major flaw in the system which ultimately led to their downfall. Lawyers. They had millions of lawyers. And during the reign of the Great King Disclaim, troubles arose. King Disclaim was a good king, but he was a greedy one. He wanted the world to remember something he made. So he sent his royal lawyers to think up something. And they came up with the disclaimer, a few words to 'disclaim' ownership of something. This allowed the citizens more freedom. And they rejoiced. But problems arose, as they always do when lawyers are in charge. After the citizens had written a few hundred disclaimers, they became restless. So they stormed the castle, in full angry villager mode, with torches and pitchforks, and bored King Disclaim to death by reading thousands of disclaimers to him. A horrid death. However, the disclaimer survived, via the Monks at the Church of Disclaimeria, and that's why we have it today.
Author's Note: I'm tired. I just got back from Fallout '98. That's a concert featuring Marcy Playground ("Sex and Candy"), K's Choice ("Not an Addict"), Big Bad Voodoo Daddies("You and me and the bottle makes 3"), 2 Skinnie J's(Never was clear on the names of their songs), Athenaeum("What I didn't know", I'm so in love with the lead singer), and the Root Doctors("Smack the booty"). It was awesome! One giant mosh pit. I got kicked in the head and my feet are crushed, but it was still fun. However, I'm tired from all the jumping and dancing, so I'm gonna hurry up and finish this before I pass out. Oh yeah, one more thing. The short story Pacey tells here is one of mine. It was copyrighted as "My Glass House" by Katherine Thomas in 1997. If you like it, and want to see another story I did, write me at JsphnePttr@hotmail.com (since my AOL account is down) and I'll send you "Doll" or "Autumn."
Rating-PG. It's tame. Don't worry. I'll slack off on the death and danger. I've done my fill for a while, I'm gonna makes things a bit more upbeat, but I still have some conflict to create. A bit of language, but nothing too bad.
Summary-Follows up after "Crash Test Dummies." Kathleen's dead, Valerie's plan was foiled, Dawson's parents are splitting up, Bessie's sick, Cliff and Jen are tighter, Joey's upset, Ethan's granddaughter-less, Megan's coming to Capeside, and Pacey's distraught. If I say anything about this story, I'll ruin it, so I'm not telling :P.
"I used to be lunatic from the gracious days
I used to be woebegone and so restless nights
My aching heart would bleed for you to see
Oh but now…
(I don't find myself bouncing round whistling and fortunes to make me cry)
No more "I love you's"
The language is leaving me
No more "I love you's"
Changes are shifting outside the word
(The lover speaks about the monsters)
I used to have demons in my room at night
Desire, despair, desire, so many monsters
Oh but now…"
-Annie Lennox "No More I Love You's"
Pacey ran his fingers through his hair. She was really gone. Too hard to believe, to accept. The first girl in so long that had looked at him as anything but a joke.
And now she was gone. Now he would never hold her again. No more smiles. No more kisses. No more 'I love you's.'
And suddenly Pacey was struck with inspiration. Grabbing a pen and a sheet of paper, he put ink to paper and wrote the first story he had voluntarily written.
Once he had finished, he looked over the story. It was pretty good. Not the best story in the world, but it was good because it came from the heart.
Looking at his watch, Pacey saw it was time to go to school. Shoving it in his notebook, he ran out the door and headed for Capeside High.
Jen and Cliff held hands as they walked to the doors of Capeside High. They stopped before going inside and Cliff gave Jen a kiss on the lips. "I have something for you," he said, reaching in his pocket. After fumbling around for a moment, he pulled out a box.
Cliff handed the box to Jen. Jen opened it slowly. Inside was a lovely silver locket.
"It's nothing fancy," Cliff said, "but I just thought it would look pretty on you." Jen said nothing, just kissed him on the lips.
Megan glared as she watched Jen kiss some dark-haired guy in front of the school. My my, Jen certainly moved fast. Megan wondered how many Jen had been through before she got to this one. Poor guy. No guy stood a chance with Jen Lindley. Megan knew all about Jen. She only wondered if this guy did. Poor guy. Another casualty of Hurricane Jen.
Well Megan wasn't going to let Jen do anymore damage. By the time Megan left Capeside, Jen wouldn't have a single ally left.
Jen was pulling her books out of her locker when Valerie walked up. "Hello Valerie," Jen said, "what can I do for you today? Play the victim in one of your little schemes? Be the butt of your joke? Give you my boyfriend?"
"Save it Jen," Valerie said, "I'm not here to cause trouble."
"Aww," Jen said, not buying it, "don't tell me you've given up. You play such a good bitch. Even better than Abby Morgan or Nellie Olsen."
"Cute," Valerie said, smiling mock-sweetly, "I just came to give you some advice."
"Well that takes it," Jen said, "I've heard of a lot of useless stuff. Potato peelers that keep time, Watches that double as lighters, but advice from someone who needs to be institutionalized? That wins the award for most useless thing of all time."
"Look," Valerie said, ignoring Jen's comment, "You've won. I just hope you understand exactly what you've won. I know you think I'm a heartless bitch, but you just remember, you were like me once too. Oh yes, I've heard all about your little New York life. But I'll bet Cliff hasn't."
Jen was stunned. How on earth did Valerie know?
Valerie smiled. "Wondering how I knew?" she asked, "Let's just say that even though you see me as a heartless bitch, I do have friends. Quite a few of them. And those friends have friends who know stuff. Stuff you wouldn't want spread. So let's cut a deal."
"And what kind of deal is that?" Jen asked.
"A compromise," Valerie said, "And you'll like it. I won't reveal your past, or make any active attempts to steal Cliff, if you do one thing."
"What's that?" Jen asked.
"You treat him right," Valerie said, "you're not the only girl that's fallen for Mr. Football Star Cliff Elliot. I did too once. And he liked me back. And if you treat him wrong, I swear to god, not only will I take him from you, but everyone in Capeside will know about your Big Apple trysts. Look, I talked to my parents last night. We decided that Capeside's too small of a town for the two of us. Simple solution. I'm going to a co-ed boarding school in New York. My parents know some people up there. But don't forget, I can come back at anytime, so you just watch yourself."
Valerie walked away, leaving a speechless Jen behind.
Joey watched Dawson's face. It hadn't made a movement in ten minutes. Not even a blink.
"What's it up to now," Pacey asked.
Joey looked at her watch. "Ten minutes, fifteen seconds.," she said.
"Five bucks says he makes it to fifteen," Pacey said.
"You're on," Joey said.
"What?" Dawson said, snapping out of his trance.
"I win, fork it over Pacey," Joey said. She shut up when she saw what Pacey was doing. While going through his wallet for the five, he had run across a picture of Kathleen. He sat there staring at it.
"Are you ok?" Joey asked.
Pacey drew a deep breath. "I'll be ok," he said, "It's been a week. I only knew her for a short while, but I'm just having a hard time coping. It hasn't really sunk in yet. And I'm afraid of what I'll do when it does. I haven't even really cried yet. I shed some tears when I heard, but I didn't cry at the funeral or anything."
Hugging him, Joey said, "It always takes a while. It took me a week an a half before I really cried for my mom. You're going through something called denial. In a couple of days, you'll see, say, or hear something that will remind you of her and you'll loose it. The tears will come and you won't be able to stop them. It might be someone who looks like her, or even a whiff of a perfume she wore, but it'll come. Then you'll go into a stage called escape. You'll daydream more, sleep more, anything to escape reality. Eventually you'll get over it and move on, but she'll always be present in your mind."
"Boy you sure cheered me up," Pacey said glumly.
"Well I'm not going to lie to you," Joey said, "I mean, I don't want you to be like zombie boy here," Joey said, pointing at Dawson, who was in statue mode again, "over analyzing your feelings and emotions."
Pacey laughed half-heartedly. "That's Mister Analytical for you."
"Did I miss something?" Dawson said, snapping out of it and turning to them.
"Just go back to wherever you were," Joey said, "Dawson phone home."
Jen was sitting outside at lunch, writing in a notebook. It was such a lovely day. Almost too lovely. The calm before the storm, Jen thought. Hopefully her storm was over.
Jen swept the campus with her eyes. Some jocks were throwing a frisbee over in the corner. A gaggle of girls were gossiping and pointing at some boys. A couple made out on the lawn.
It happened so fast. Jen might not have noticed it. The blond hair, similar to Jen's, pulled back in a nondescript ponytail, the dark sunglasses, the baggy clothes and canvas bag. But it struck something in Jen's mind. Something she hadn't thought of in a while.
Jen looked back, but the girl was gone. Blinking a few times, Jen shook her head. Must have been a daydream.
Megan laughed and adjusted her glasses as she saw Jen's reaction. She saw Jen's eyes pass over her. As soon as Jen's eyes had moved, Megan stepped behind a tree and watched Jen do a double take.
"You must think you're going crazy," Megan said, watching Jen's face, "At least you remember me. I would hope our parting wasn't that forgettable."
Miss Gresham hit Pacey's desk. He had drifted off. "Mr. Witter," said the Writing 101 teacher, "I don't appreciate you dozing off in my class."
"Sorry," Pacey mumbled.
Miss Gresham was about to say something else, but the bell rang. "It appears you have been saved by the bell," she said, "class dismissed."
Pacey grabbed his stuff hurriedly and shoved in it his bookbag, intending to get to work as quickly as possible. In his hurry to leave, he didn't notice the paper that fell out of his notebook.
Joey groaned. "Bodie," she said, "I'm glad Bessie just had the flu, but have you noticed how she's taken her illness as an excuse to rag on me?"
Bodie laughed. "Is the matriarch too much to handle?" he asked.
"She wasn't this bad when she was pregnant," Joey said, "even Alexander doesn't get like this."
"Once she's better she'll be back to her old self," Bodie said.
"Now where have I heard that before?" Joey said, grimacing as Bessie called her.
Jen went to sleep as soon as she went home, intending to escape the day. It had been exhausting, to say the least.
But even Jen's dreams weren't peaceful. Gone were the old Brad-Pitt-Caribbean-cruise dreams. Instead, she remembered the last time she spoke to Megan…
**Jen shut her suitcase and wiped her tears. This was it. She was leaving New York. Her father had walked in on her and Billy a few days earlier and hadn't spoken to her since. This morning she woke up with a letter saying she needed to pack her things.
Things had been horrible. The old Jen would have shrugged things off and gone to get drunk, but the new Jen couldn't. Not getting caught had been one of the thrills of breaking the rules. There was a thrill in seeing what she could get away with. Most people would call it teenage rebellion, but it wasn't. Rebellion was doing things where you got caught to prove something. Jen hadn't been trying to prove anything. She just wanted to have fun.
And a fat lot of good it had done her. 'You're really having fun now, aren't you Jen?' she thought to herself. Her father wasn't talking to her. Everyday he came home late at night, reeking of alcohol. Her mom acted like Jen was a leper, recoiling when she hugged her, and keeping a safe distance. Her friends weren't any help, they just offered her alcohol to 'get her mind off of it.' And Billy had been hanging around her, trying to convince her that they could 'still have fun.' Translated from Billy language, that meant he didn't care what happened to her, his thing had needs.
Well screw his thing. She was done with being the old Jen. It hadn't done a thing to her. No matter what she had done, she had always returned to her old world, with a daddy that worshipped her, a mother that had impossible standards, and a sister that hated her.
Jen laughed wryly. A sister. Sisterhood. That was a load of bull. Sisters were two people who no matter what happened, were closer than anything. They shared secrets. Nothing like her and Megan.
Jen and Megan were sisters in name only. They had both agreed to that a long time ago. With Jen and Megan, it was always competition. Who got the most love from their parents. Who got the cutest guys. Who got away with the most stuff. Jen usually won, and she made a point of rubbing it in Megan's face.
That had been a mistake, Jen thought. She would have liked to have been close with Megan. But competition had always gotten in the way.
And now Megan hated her. Jen didn't blame her either. Looking back on it, Jen would have hated her too. But it wasn't completely Jen's fault either. Megan had somewhat of an obsessive personality. While most people would have pretended they didn't care and gossiped about Jen in secret, Megan openly expressed it. When Jen got something, Megan destroyed it if she didn't get one too. When Jen got a boyfriend, Megan slept with the boy, hoping to steal him. Usually the guys ignored Megan after that, and that really made her mad. One time Megan had even cut off Jen's hair. Jen had just styled her newly short hair and everyone at school raved over that. Boy had that pissed Megan off.
As if on cue, Megan walked in the room. "And how is Princess Jenny?" she asked, smiling sweetly.
"Like you care," Jen said.
"You're right, I don't," Megan said, "and I won't lie and say I'll miss you. It's not that I have too much respect for you not to mention it, more like I don't care."
"How nice of you," Jen said, trying to tune Megan out. Megan was deliberately trying to get Jen into a catfight, trying to find another reason to hate her.
"I mean, things will be much better with you gone," Megan said, "now that Mom and Dad see you for the little whore you are. Now I'll be the favorite. All of your friends will be my friends now. People will see me as the pretty one. And you can't watch Billy while you're gone. With you gone, I'm sure he'll need some 'comforting.'"
"I'm just ignoring you Megan," Jen said, "Not because you're getting to me, not because I'm a wimp, but because I know what you're trying to do. You're using my leaving as an excuse to push those last daggers in, hoping in some way it will boost your pathetic self-confidence and self-image. And I pity you Megan, I really do."
That shut Megan up. "Screw you Jen," she said.
"Sorry," Jen said, "I don't do that anymore."
"Right," Megan said. "we'll see how long this little goody-two-shoes rep will last. You'll never escape your past, Jen. And if by some wild chance you do, don't worry. I'll be there to remind you. I'll be there."**
Jen woke up in a sweat. Megan was near. Jen could feel it. "And what do you want this time?" Jen wondered aloud.
The bell rang and Pacey stepped in his Writing 101 class. A moment late, but Miss Gresham didn't seem to notice.
"Good afternoon, class," she said, "I was going to start this class of with a quiz…" The class groaned. "…but," Miss Gresham continued, "one of your classmates saved you."
The class looked at each other. What was going on?
"Yesterday," Miss Gresham said, "one of you left behind a paper. I was picking up and almost threw it away. But being the curious person I am, I read it. It was a story. A pretty good story."
Pacey raised his eyes. Probably belonged to Linda Fisher. She tended to "accidentely" leave behind good pictures, papers, or stories, hoping to impress someone.
"And so I thought I'd share it with you," Miss Gresham said pulling out the paper, "so here it is."
"There once was a girl who lived in a glass house." Pacey's eyes opened wide. "She could not leave the house." 'Oh no,' Pacey thought. "People would walk by the house just to look at her, and then they left." 'This isn't happening,' Pacey thought. "Some of them waved to the girl. Others blew kisses that never reached her. They would reach out and touch the glass, but she couldn't touch back. She pounded on the glass, begging for their help, but they never noticed. They were blind to her pain, deaf to her suffering. She both loved and hated the house. It kept her safe from harm. No one could reach her. She was the special girl, the chosen one who got to live in the beautiful glass house. But she was always alone. There was no one to make her laugh, No one to feel her pain. When she cried, no one patted her back and told her that things would be all right. There was no escape for her. She had lived this sheltered life for too long. But she was determined to escape. She beat on the walls, making them shake. She pounded harder and harder. She screamed louder and louder. She cried more and more. People stopped and noticed her. They had known her all her life, but they never knew her. She was different. She had changed. She was glad. They finally noticed her as a person with feelings, and not the little princess that lived in her own special world. She vented all of her fury into one final blow which shattered the house. She let out a yell as the pieces of her glass house rained down on her. Down they came, like rain, razorsharp and beautiful. Lovely little pieces of a world she once knew rained down on her like fury from heaven. The rain shower stopped and all that remained was a silence more horrid than death."
The class didn't say anything. Pacey sunk down in his seat. He hadn't intended for anyone to hear it.
"Mr. Witter," Miss Gresham said, folding the paper and handing it to him, "I believe it belongs to you."
The class looked at Pacey. "PACEY wrote that," Abby said, "no way, he stole it."
"Be quiet Abby," Miss Gresham said, "Everyone has their talents. And now on with today's lesson."
Jen was walking home when she heard footsteps behind her. Jen sped up, hoping it was just someone who was lost. The footsteps sped up too.
Jen sighed. Might as well face it. "What do you wan…" Jen stopped. "..t." she finished.
"Hello Jen," Megan said, lifting her glasses, "miss me?"
To Be Continued in
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