Looking Back by: Tessa

Previous | Next

(Author’s note: This story and the next one take place about a year after the last one, at the end of senior year. Mr. Potter is out of jail, Bessie and Bodie are back together, and Dawson’s parents have reconciled.)

Looking Back

“Remember how at the end of sophomore year I said we should take a road trip after graduation?” Tatum asked.

“It was at the end of sophomore year.” Abby pointed out.

“Yeah, I guess not.” Tatum laughed

“How did *you* remember it?” Pacey asked.

“I was reading my diary the other day.” Tatum replied “Anyway, I think we should go for it. You know, one last chance to get out and get wild before college.”

“Tatum, we were all accepted to Arizona State.” Andie told her “The next four years are going to be nothing but partying and nursing hangovers. Still, I have to admit a road trip does sound like fun.”

“Exactly!” Tatum said “Besides, I still haven’t gotten any letters from any colleges. I don’t know if I got into Arizona State yet, Dawson and Joey already got accepted to University of The Pacific. And Jack’s already decided to go to UCLA. This could be the last chance for all of us to be totally irresponsible and wild together.”

“She’s right.” Joey said “I’m in.”

“We’re all in.” Jen said “I’m going, you’re going, we’re all going.”

“This is gonna be great.” Tatum said.

* * * *

“Ma-ma!” Noelle screamed, dumping her juice cup upside down on her highchair.

“Oh, sweetie, look what a mess you’ve made.” Tatum sighed. She lifted the one year old out of her chair and wiped her face and hands with a towel. Joey walked in with the mail “Anything good today?” Tatum asked.

“Hmm.” Joey said “Junk mail, junk mail, we may have already won thirty million dollars, junk mail, new ‘Cosmo’, junk mail, letter from Arizona State University, junk mail, letter from Oxford University, junk mail-”

“Letters from Oxford and Arizona State?” Tatum interrupted “Quick, give me those.” she ripped open the letter from Oxford first “Oh, I can’t look.” she moaned “Here, Joey. You read it. Probably says something along the lines of ‘Thank you for your application. Unfortunatly, we do not accept vapid Yanks. Nice try, you loser, you-you moron-”

“Hate to interrupt your ranting.” Joey said “But that’s not exactly how they put it.”

“How’d they put it?” Tatum asked

“You’re in!” Joey said

“No way!” Tatum screamed “I got accepted? Oh my God! I do not believe this! How cool is this?”

“Read the other one!” Joey said

Tatum ripped the other envelope open “Dear Miss Potter, due to your outstanding test scores and application.....Oh my God. I got in!”

“So now you just have to decide between getting a decent college education and being with your friends.”

“Oh fuck.” Tatum groaned “You’re right.”

* * * *

“So what is this big emergency that you couldn’t tell us about over the phone?” Abby asked

“Read these.” Tatum said, handing the letters to her friends

“You got into ASU?” Pacey asked “*And* Oxford? That’s great.”

“Yeah, what’s the ‘big emergency’ in that?” Andie said

“Guys, think about it.” Tatum moaned “I’m basically forced to choose between being with you guys and going to a good school.”

“Arizona State is a good school.” Abby told her

“Yeah. If you got a combined 1000 on your SATs.” Tatum muttered

“Hey, just because you were the only one here to get more than that is no reason to get all snooty and go across the pond to some hoity-toity British school and how the hell could you even think of leaving us?” Andie screamed

“Whoa, chill!” Tatum said “I didn’t say I was definitely going to Oxford. I need time to think about it.”

“Ooh.” Abby muttered “Miss ‘I got a perfect combined 1600 on the SATs’ is going to do some thinking.” the room was silent for a moment “Uh, Pacey, you say stuff now.”

“You’re the devil.” Pacey told her “Seriously, though. Tatum, you know I love you. You know that right? And I’ll support whatever decision you make one hundred percent. But this isn’t really just you we’re talking about here. What about Noelle? I’ll hardly ever get to see either of you for four years. None of us will.”

“I know.” Tatum sighed “It’s just that-”

“Ok, I’ve been silent this whole time.” Jen interrupted “I’ve got to jump in here. Tatum, how can you even consider going all the way to Oxford? Look at you. You’re an overworked, overachieving, underpaid brainiac. You deserve a break. And Pacey’s right. Think about your daughter. She’s only a year old. Moving across the country will be hard enough on her. Just imagine what moving to a whole new country will do to her.”

“You guys are right.” Tatum moaned as she sat down on the couch “And I know it. I just need to sleep on it.”

“Tatum,” Pacey said “the last time you said that-”

“Shut up.” Tatum muttered

“Hey everybody!” Jack said as he walked in “Sorry I’m late but I swung by the video store on the way over.”

“What did you rent?” Andie asked

“I got ‘Star Wars.’” Jack replied

“Again?” Jen whined “Jack, dammit, I’m dreaming about Jabba The Hutt!”

“That’s because you’re dating him.” Jack told her

“Garret isn’t that big!” Jen said defensively

“Yeah whatever.” Jack said “I need to collect more information to put on my home page. The world deserves to know the truth about C3PO.”

“This again?” Joey asked “Jack, C3PO is not gay, he’s British.”

Jack started walking around waving his arms around “Oh, R2, come back! My circuits burn for you!” he said in a British accent

“Honestly.” Abby said “You need to get another hobby besides outing robots. You think every single robot is gay!”

“Hello!” Jack said “A little so-called ‘Lost in Space’? ‘Danger, danger Will Robinson.’ Big space queen!”

“Excuse me!” Tatum yelled “Are we forgetting the issue at hand?”

“Tatum, it’s ok.” Andie reassured her “You just need time to think.”

* * * *

“So, I’ve made a list.” Tatum said “Comparing Arizona State to Oxford.”

“Is that really necessary?” Andie asked “If you ask me-”

“No one’s asking you.” Tatum told her

“Sorry.” Andie said “But think about it. Oxford is 3,000 miles away. It’s close to 6,000 miles away from Arizona. We’ll be lucky if we see you during spring break. Besides, think about all Arizona State has to offer. Colorado mountains, California beaches, and Vegas casinos within a day’s drive.”

“I know.” Tatum sighed “Listen, I don’t think I really want to discuss this right now.”

The room was silent for a moment. Then Abby spoke up “Hey, you guys remember that lame-ass camping trip Doug made all of us go on the summer after junior year?”

“Yeah.” Tatum replied

“I hated that.” Abby said “It’s fun to reminisce, huh?”


* * * *

“Pacey, will you relax?” Doug said “I’m trying to watch TV here!”

“You’re telling me to relax?” Pacey asked “How would you feel if you found out your girlfriend and daughter might be going to England for four years?”

“Well,” Doug replied “considering I don’t have a girlfriend *or* a daughter......hey, if you’re so freaked out about the possibility of Tatum leaving, why don’t you ask her to marry you?”

“You know what? For once in your life you may be onto something there.” Pacey said

“Wait right here.” Doug said. He went upstairs and returned a minute later with a small velvet box. “Here, take this with you.”

Pacey opened the box “Doug, this is-”

“Mom’s engagement ring.” Doug interrupted “It’s been in the family for three generations.”

“Yeah, but isn’t it supposed to be handed down to the oldest son?”

“I think you need it more than I do.”

* * * *

“Ugh!” Tatum whined as she and Abby picked their way through the school’s smelly, disgusting basement “Abby, I can’t believe they moved your locker down here!”

“It’s just till they repair the fire/water damage.” Abby said “I guess it’s what I get for taking a locker next to Jimmy ‘Wanna buy a cherry bomb?’ Peters.”

“Yeah, well just hurry up.” Andie said “This place gives me the creeps.”

Suddenly, Tatum jumped back, screaming.

“Ahh! What?” Abby shrieked “What was it? A rat?”

“No.” Tatum whimpered “But it was carrying one in its mouth.”

“Ew.” Abby said. She shut the locker door, hitting it several times to make it close “Let’s get out of here.”

Walking down the hall, the three girls ran into Jen

“Oh my God, I am so glad I found you guys!” Jen said

“Oh boy.” Tatum groaned “I know this look! Man troubles?”

Jen nodded “Last night, I was supposed to go out with Garret, but he said he couldn’t because his sister was visiting, and I went over to his apartment to drop off his spare keys that he left at my house, and I opened the door, and, well..........if that’s his sister, he has got the most twisted family *not* living in a trailer on a riverbank.”

“Oh, Jen. I’m sorry.” Abby told her

“It’s ok, I guess.” Jen replied “Tatum, you sure called that one. How is it that you always know when a guy one of us dates is a loser?”

“I don’t know.” Tatum giggled “It’s like the same way I can always tell when a guy is gay. You know, ‘gaydar’. Only this is more like jerk radar or something.”

“Enough about me.” Jen laughed “Next item on the man agenda, Andie’s new sweetie.”

“Right.” Tatum said “Tim. Rare, sensitive male, or conniving womanizer?”

“Shut up.” Andie muttered “You wanna talk about guys? Let’s talk about yours.”

“What about Pacey?” Tatum asked “He’s perfect.”

“Bull crap.” Abby giggled “Every guy has some small flaw. You must have noticed a few of Pacey’s.”

“If you haven’t, we’ll be more than happy to point them out.” Jen added “What are friends for?”

“Ok.” Tatum sighed “Sometimes he snores and talks in his sleep. And he hogs the remote. And he just doesn’t know how to ask for directions. But it’s all typical guy stuff.” she looked at her watch “Oh, shit! I’ve got to get to the radio booth, I’m supposed to be on the air in ten minutes!”

* * * *

“....the school board apologized for any temporary inconvenience or discomfort suffered by the students and faculty caused by the mix-up in the cafeteria, but other than that had no comment.” Tatum was saying “And one final news note; Linda Tripp is a man, baby!” she yelled in her best Austin Powers imitation “And that concludes today’s ‘News Notes’ next up we have ‘Student Interviews’ with Abby Morgan this is Tatum Potter, reminding you that the world is full of apathy, and I don’t care!” she hit the cut button and took off her headphones. Of all the extracurricular activities she had participated in, the lunch hour radio station was definitely the best. “It’s all yours.” Tatum said to Abby

“Great.” Abby said “Hey, stick around for a bit, ok?”

Tatum shrugged “Sure. Why?”

“You’ll see.” Abby told her as she went into the booth. She sat down and hit the on air button. “Good afternoon, Capeside High.” she said into the microphone “Hope you’re all awake, because you won’t want to sleep through this show. I have in here with me a guy who’s got a few things to say about love. Let’s all pay as much attention as our pitiful attention spans will let us to star quarterback Pacey Witter!”

“What’s he doing?” Tatum asked

“Just wait.” Andie said “You’re gonna love this.”

“Hi, Pacey. Nice to see you.” Abby was saying “So, you’ve got a really special person you’d like to give a shout out to, am I right?”

“That’s right.” Pacey replied “See, a couple years ago, at the beginning of sophomore year, I met the most amazing girl I have ever known. Her half sister is one of my best friends, and when she came to Capeside I was one of the first people to meet her. At first, I wasn’t quite sure what I thought of her. Just when I finally figured out that I was falling in love with her, she was nearly killed in a car accident caused by a drunk driver. Fortunately, she recovered and we started dating. Over the next year, we went through a lot together. I helped her recover from bulimia, and she comforted me when my father died and my mother and sisters took off and left me alone with my brother. She helped me grow and change in ways I never would have thought possible. Today, we’re working together to raise our baby girl, and I’m just as much in love with her as I was when we first started going out.”

“Well.” Abby said “She sounds like quite a girl. Of course, people, by now I’m sure we all know who Pacey is talking about. Here’s cheerleading squad captain and senior prom queen Tatum Potter! Come on in here, Tatum!”

“Go on.” Andie encouraged, pushing Tatum towards the booth. Tatum walked in and sat down

“Pacey, don’t you have something to ask Tatum?” Abby said

“As a matter of fact, I do.” Pacey replied He got down on one knee in front of Tatum and pulled a small box out of his pocket “Tatum, will you marry me?”

* * * *

“This is so amazing.” Bessie said “I can’t believe you guys are getting married!”

“I can’t believe he proposed in the radio booth.” Mr. Potter added

Tatum giggled “I know. When we stepped out into the hall, every single student and teacher in the school was standing there applauding.”

“Have you guys given any thought to a date?” Bessie asked “Does this mean you’ve made up your mind?”

“About where I’m going?” Tatum asked “Yeah. I can’t leave my friends. And I especially can’t leave Pacey.”

“Well, you know your sisters and I are behind you no matter what you do.” Mr. Potter said “But I really think you’ve made the right choice.”

* * * *

“I love the last day of school.” Andie said “And I can’t wait for graduation.”

Tatum flipped through her yearbook until she found her photo “God, I look so weird in this picture.”

“What quote did you pick?” Andie asked

“‘There’s a time and a place for everything. And it’s called college.’ Chef, ‘South Park.’” Tatum replied

“Brilliant.” Andie giggled

“And so true.” Tatum said “Especially at a school like Arizona State.”

Andie gasped “You mean...”

Tatum nodded “I’m going. How could I even think for a second that I could leave you guys?”

“Don’t ask me.” Andie said “It was your dumb idea. Oh, crap. We better jet if we’re gonna make it to the senior talent show on time.”

* * * *

“And now, singing ‘I Will Be There’, here’s senior prom queen Tatum Potter.” Principal Markey announced

Tatum walked out onto the stage and stepped up to the microphone as the music began;

“When I lost faith
You believed in me
When I stumbled
You were right there
For every act
Of love you’ve done
I owe you one
There were hard times
I know I survived
Just because you
Stayed by my side
With all I have
With all I am
I promise you
All my life

Whenever the road is too long
Whenever the wind is too strong
Wherever this journey
May lead to
I will be there for you
Oh I will be there for you

Through sorrow
On the darkest night
When there’s heartache
Deep down inside
Just like a prayer
You will be there
And I promise you all my life

Whenever the road is too long
Whenever the wind is too strong
Wherever this journey
May lead to
I will be there for you
Oh I will be there

Whenever the road is too long
Whenever the wind is too strong
Wherever this journey
May lead to
I will be there for you
Oh yes I will be there for you
Oh I’ll always be there”

* * * *

Part 29 coming soon!
© Copyright 1999 by Femme Fatale Fanfic (FFFF) productions

Previous | Next

Email Tessa


Back to Tessa's Stories | Back to Fan Fiction | Back to the Main Page

This page has been visited times.