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Dawson sat in the library after school resting his head in his hands. That extra tardy that he couldn't afford was given to him for running in the hall. He had had so many tardies in the past few weeks that this one meant detention. He didn't think he could live through an hour of silence with Mrs. Tringle. Today had to be the worst day in his life. His best friend had cancer and she hadn't even had the decency to tell him. He had had to figure it out on his own and then confront Jen about it. Jen had told him in Chemistry that Joey was dying and then she had burst out crying and said it was worse for her than it was for Joey. How could it be? She wasn't the one who was sick. Dawson had a kind of unreal feeling, like none of this nightmare was really happening. Just then, he heard the library door open. Just when I thought my day couldn't get any worse, Dawson thought as Abby came in. It appeared that the Queen of Gossip also had detention.
"Hey, Dawson," she said sitting down at his table. "So, would you mind filling me in on what's going on with Pacey and Susi?"
Geez, she doesn't waste any time. Actually, Dawson had forgotten about Pacey's cryptic greeting from Susi. It seemed like Pacey had got lucky again, this time with someone younger than thirty. He knew Pacey had liked Susi for a long time now but he was disappointed that he had found out about their little fling in this way. What had he done to isolate himself from his two best friends? "Who told you?" Dawson demanded suspiciously.
"Ah, so it's true!" Abby's eyes gleamed. "I thought so! I overheard the little encounter between them in the cafeteria today. What I don't get is why Pacey seems to be getting all the girls recently when he's got a knockout like you for a friend."
Dawson scowled at her. "Flattery won't work, Abby. I'm not going to feed your craving for gossip." For a second Abby looked hurt, vulnerable. Dawson could not believe that she had any human emotions.
"I was serious Dawson, you are a great looking guy. Maybe if you looked in the mirror more often instead of going into dream worlds you would know what I'm talking about."
Dawson softened slightly but only because he was taken aback. Am I really hearing this?
"Dawson, there's something I've been wanting to do for a while now, ever since our last detention together," Abby sounded hesitant. Then her face became determined looking and she reached over the desk and grasped Dawson's head in her hands. Before he had time to protest, she was kissing him square on the lips. Out the corner of his eye, Dawson could see Joey come in the library door, pause as she saw Abby sucking his face, turn on her heel and run away.
Dawson leapt to his feet and chased after her calling, "Joey! Wait!" Twice in a week! Man, this has to be a record. Dawson's thoughts were miles away from his detention as he rounded the corner to see........nothing. Joey had disappeared. Dawson stumbled to a stop, groaned and banged his head off the row of lockers. He leaned his back against the cold metal and slowly sunk to the floor. He rested his head on his knees and sighed. How am I going to explain this one? It was like Dejavu only last time Joey had found him with Jen. Both times Dawson had felt an incredible surge of guilt like he was being unfaithful, but he and Joey were only friends, right? He knew life would be unbearable without her, he would be inconsolable. But what was he feeling now? He was hurt that Joey still had not told him about the cancer. Hurt that she had told Jen before she even told him, her best friend. He felt pain for her, pain for what she was going through. Pain for his imminent loss. He felt fear. He was afraid of life without her. Joey had always been the gateway for him between the world in his head and reality. Without her he would be lost. But there was something else. His heart was pounding and his head was aching. His stomach felt like it was twisting in knots. He couldn't be in love with Joey could he? Putting a hand to his face, Dawson realized that it was wet with tears.
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