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Two weeks had passed and Dawson was coming home. It's not Dawson, Joey thought, not the Dawson I know. It was like the outer half was there, but inside it was empty. She could see Dawson, his appearance and naturally good looks were there, but she couldn't feel Dawson. She couldn't feel his presence or the love radiating from him. And he wasn't coming home; he was coming to a house he didn't even know. A place where everything was new and unfamiliar. A place and people he had no recollection of, where everyone was a stranger. "Pacey," Joey quietly whispered as she handed him a box.
"Yeah?" He replied putting the box in the guestroom with the others.
"I just wanted to…thanks…thank you," she said taking some of the items out of the box and putting them into drawers.
"Hey, no prob. These boxes can get heavy and I'm a big, strong man," he replied flexing his muscles.
"Not just for that," she said pausing, "everything. For promising to help Dawson tomorrow, for helping me move, and…just being there."
"Now don't get all girly emotional on me, Potter."
"I am not, I'm just… God Pacey, you'd think in a situation like this you'd try and be serious."
"Not a chance. See that's where you're wrong. In heavy deep emotional situations someone has to keep the mood light. We don't want everyone falling into a deep depressive state, spending the rest of their lives under the covers, and waking up 20 years later to find nothing has changed except that Jamie Kellner is president of The United States of America." He cracked a big grin and made a silly face at her. She couldn't help but let out a tiny smile. "Finally, she smiles. Come here." He wrapped her in a hug. He could feel the emotional turmoil her body was going through. Her pulse was fast, her stomach grumbled, and her muscles tensed. It could be seen in her appearance too. Her eyes were blood shoot and her face was pale from many restless nights. She hadn't eaten a good meal in days and her exercise consisted of getting out of bed. That was already taking the willpower out of her. He wanted so badly to take care of her, but she wouldn't even let a soul give her a caring hug. Joey Potter could never let down her tough exterior. There were times when she'd let herself loose around Pacey and take down the guards. Those were rare exceptional times. She needed one of those so badly right now. "Do you think you moving in here will do any good?" he asked letting her go.
"I hope so. The doctor said to surround Dawson with familiar objects. Mitch and Gail both said they couldn't think of anything more familiar than me. So for as along as it takes this guest room will be my home." She finished putting her clothes in the closet and took out a bag of M&M's from her backpack. Pacey eyed her as she opened the package and began eating all the blue ones.
"Don't you think you should take it easy on those things? That's like your seventh bag. Haven't you ever heard the saying you are what you eat? Do you want to turn into a big, blue M&M?"
"Bite me, Pacey," she replied.
"Yummy, chocolatey goodness. I might just have to take you up on that offer. Now, you won't melt in my hand will you?" She sent a death stare in his direction. "Seriously Jo, a lot of sugar, especially at a time like this, is not good for you."
"Thanks for the after school special, but I think I will do as I please."
"Just trying to help," he replied putting his hands up to show peace.
"Yeah, well I don't need your help. I don't anyone's help. I don't need people coming up to me telling me how sorry they are or telling me to stick in there. They have no idea what they're talking about. I don't need people giving me advice. It' doesn't help. And the fact that they have idea what it feels like to be in my situation, sure as hell doesn't help when they tell me," she continued, "they know what their talking about. Oh, and my favorite, I know just how you feel. How could they possibly know what it's like to be me right now or anytime for that matter? Then there's trust me. I don't trust the world right know, why would I have faith in them? It doesn't help!" By now she was screaming. This was exactly the reaction Pacey wanted to get out of her. Ever since that day at the hospital she had bottled herself up. She had created a cocoon around herself that no one could break through. It was like a shield of bulletproof glass had encircled itself around her. Help, sympathy, and anyone who tried to come close bounced right off like a bullet. Nothing could get through the surface to help what was hidden underneath, a hurting person. "God, they have no idea what it's like for the one person who ever really loved you with such deep emotion and sincerity not to remember you. The one person who's been the rock in your life, the only stable, to forget you. For that love that you shared to be gone. Practically non-existent to him." She had begun to cry. Tears rolled down her checks as new ones formed in her eyes. Pacey watched her astonished. "All those moment and memories not to even be apart of the past. They don't even exist to him at all. And the worst, for affection and love to be a one way street. I don't wish that upon anybody. To have such love for someone and know its not returned. To know they don't feel it back. He doesn't love me; he doesn't know me, Pacey. Don't you see? I need him and he can't even return my feelings."
Silence fell over the room like a plague. She realized what she had just done. She had revealed her very soul to Pacey. Everything that had been kept locked away, buried deep down inside a part of her that was never revealed. She whipped the tears off her face and tucked her hair behind her ears. She breathed deep, looked Pacey straight in the eye, and mustered up all the dignity she had after her outburst. She wiped her hair over her shoulder, regained her composure, and turned around only to become face to face with Dawson. She watched his expression go from shock to pain and finally settle on disappointment. He had heard everything. The realization sent the feel of a dagger stabbing her in the back through her body. She had taken out all her anger at the world on him. She had blamed what she was feeling on him not being able to remember his feelings for her.
"Dawson," she stated quietly. No sound came out of his mouth. Instead he ran upstairs with no idea where he was going. He just ran without a thought. He felt like he had disappointed everyone. They all wanted him to remember so much. He tried, but he just couldn't. He stopped at the top of the stair and looked both ways. He realized that he had no idea where his room was. He walked down the hall looking inside the rooms until he came about one decorated in movie posters. Well if this one isn't mine then something is defiantly wrong with this house, he thought. He looked at the video collection on the bookshelf. As he came across "Psycho" he heard footsteps in the hall.
"Dawson, I'm really sorry. I didn't mean to make you feel worse than you already do. It's not your fault you don't remember and it was unfair of me to take my anger out on something you can't control," Joey said from the doorway. "It's not your problem that I feel lost because you don't remember you loved me."
"How did you know?" he asked. "I mean, what I was feeling."
"It's a gift. A connection only you and me have," she replied coming inside into the room. "What are you looking at?"
"Psycho. Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh. Universal. 1960. Little known fact; did you know Hitchcock surprised Janet Leigh with freezing cold water to get her to scream effectively?"
"Figures," she said smiling, "for the one thing you remember to be movies. I guess it's a good thing that you won't have to worry about a career if you…never… remember. You'll always have the movies."
"Yeah," he said sitting down on the bed. "I'm trying, you know. Everyone wants me to remember, but I don't. I want so badly to be able to. To feel what you feel. To remember the love I had for you. I now it's hard for you. It must be awful to go from being deeply in love with someone to in a minute having to keep your feelings hidden because they can hardly recall your name. I don't really know what to say except, I'm sorry."
"Don't be sorry," Joey said sitting down next to him. "You have nothing to be sorry for."
"If it makes you feel any better, I don't think there's any guy who'd be crazy enough not to love you. I've only known you for two weeks, but I can already tell your special. Even though I don't remember you, I'd like to get to know you. Maybe we could regain what we had. Maybe I'd recall something. Do you want to give us a chance? I know it's not the same, but...," he trailed off looking pleadingly into her eyes.
"I'd like that," she replied, "but we should take it slow."
"This slow enough?" he asked taking her hand.
"No. This is slow," she replied kissing him. It was a slow, gentle kiss. After it was done Dawson could still feel the taste of her lips on his and the touch of her hand on his check. "Goodnight. Pacey will be here around seven to help you out." As she left the room, Dawson laid down on the bed, staring at the ceiling.
"You're close," he heard a voice say.
It was happening again. It was the same voice that he had heard in the hospital telling him to follow Joey, that she was the light. I'm not crazy, he thought, it's just the wind. He could hear it again. He sat up on the bed and quickly looked around the room, but no one was there. "What do you want?" he yelled to no one.
"You're close," it repeated. "Don't let go."
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