Summary: Told from Joey's perspective as she tells the story of how she came to love Dawson. Flashes back to when they were 13 years old.
Spoilers: Could be.
That day I lost her forever, but I had also earned something so great and amazing it made everything seem worthwhile. I gained the knowledge of something I always knew, but never wanted to believe. I learned there was someone who cared about me. Someone, who loved me with all his heart, maybe not in the way I wanted, but never less special. I had somebody who would take on the world for me. I learned I needed that more badly than I thought and everything I felt would have to be put aside. I didn't want to risk losing it. My mother insisted he felt it too, but I was willing to settle for that new level of friendship I earned that day. Someone loved me other than my mother, even if it was just the kind of love you had for a sibling.
My realization of the feeling that day would keep me going. I had something to live for; something to be happy about, despite the loss I'd suffered too. I was thirteen and it was the summer after eighth grade. I had spent most of it in the hospital with my mom. That had become her home for the last couple of weeks. She had become increasingly sick and I knew her time was coming.
Chemotherapy was not working, so all that was left was giving her all the love I could in her last couple of days. I couldn't help worrying about the future without her when I'd sit in the chair besides her bed everyday until Bessie would come to switch shifts with me. I would have barely anything after she was gone. I didn't know then that I had the love of a best friend to get me through it.
Dawson, my thoughts drifted to him that day. I started to think about the past couple of months and Dawson. He was so wonderful and kind. He was purely amazing to me those days and nights. Sometimes we would sit alone in a room, him holding my hand, not saying a word and it felt like he was speaking thousands of soothing words to me. Sometimes he would stroke my hair and actually whisper soothing words into my ear. Then there were just times when I couldn't hold it in anymore. I'd break into tears, as he'd hold me in his arms. That embrace was such a comfort to me. When I needed a break he'd arranged for me to sleepover so I wouldn't have to go to the hospital or back home. He did anything in his power to be there for me. To ease the hurt. He wouldn't let anything hurt me or anything stand in the way of him protecting me. It was hard enough that his best friend was a girl, but to be comforting her as if she were more, never seemed to cross his mind.
He was the shoulder I always needed; the shoulder I'd run to. My life would have been empty without him during that time. He was the rock that kept me standing. Never was he fazed or overwhelmed by the situation. He'd visit my mom, as I'd watch from my chair in the corner. They discussed everything from news to me, which I didn't enjoy. He made her laugh like I'd never seen with his silly jokes. He never cared that her appearance was slowly dying along with her. The way the Leerys' would become family to me, my mom had become to him. She loved him like a son and he in turn cherished her as much as I did. He even called her "mom" sometimes.
"What are you thinking about?" my mother asked as she stirred awake from sleep that day that is forever in my memory.
"Nothing," I had answered dismissing it. "Just how great Dawson has been during this whole thing. He's always there if I need him and he doesn't stop there. He goes to the next level for me."
"Ah huh," she said with this knowing look on her face.
"What?" I asked confused. For a minute I considered she thought Dawson wasn't living up to my expectations. That when she was gone, he wouldn't be able to help me like I expected him to.
"Someone has a crush," she replied smiling.
"No," I had answered simply. "He's my best friend. That's, well, ugh."
"You love him," she said pointing her finger at me like I was being accused of a crime.
"No I don't," I protested. "And even if I did, which I don't, Dawson would never feel the same way."
"Then why does he do all this for you?" she asked trying to prove a point.
"Why do you spend endless hours thinking about him? And when you don't your in his arms for comfort."
"That's ridiculous," I replied not so sure of my statement.
"Deny it all you want, but I've been watching you two all your lives. Let me be the first to say you two have a connection," she said dozing off again.
"Just because he hasn't told you he loves you, doesn't mean he doesn't. His actions prove louder than words as do yours. Best friends make the best lovers."
As she fell back asleep I thought about her words. Could she be right? No way, I thought, Dawson's like my bother. I could never love him like a boyfriend. It was almost incestuous and sinful. It's just wrong, I convinced myself, and not true. Her words kept ringing through my head still. You two have a connection; actions prove louder than words; best friends make the best lovers. I couldn't get them out of my mind, until the thought came to me. So what if I do? He was perfect and love could overcome the friendship factor. My mother had taught me to believe love can overcome all circumstances, but I never truly believed it. How could I after what my father had to done to my mother? If loved could overcome it all, wouldn't they have overcome it? What if Dawson didn't feel the same? Would love be able to overcome the circumstances?
"Mom, wake up," I said as I lightly shook her. I shook and pleaded, but she didn't wake. She'd never wake I realized. She was gone and I broke into tears. I ran out of the room, down the hallway, and out the front entrance. I couldn't stand to be there any longer. Since that day I've had this fear of hospitals. Like all they held was pain and grief. I hate the smells and machines. I hate them and avoid them at all costs, but at that moment I was standing in front of the entrance without a clue where to go. I considered going back inside, but I couldn't do it.
So I let go of all my thoughts and inflicting emotions, and just let my feet do the work. And where else could they possibly lead other than Dawson's house? I ran so fast, I lost all sense of direction. I stood by the ladder for a moment thinking if I was making the right choice. I took a deep breath and climbed up the ladder and through the window. The room was dark and quiet. The whole house was I realized as I poked my head into the hallway.
Then I remembered Dawson mentioning that he was going out with his parents. I opened the door to the closet and sank down in the corner. When he came home I knew he'd come here to hang his coat. The hours flew by. I wasn't sure how long I was in there when Dawson came home. I didn't have a watch and I couldn't make myself come out so I wasn't sure of the time, but when Dawson opened the closet door I could see darkness outside the window. He looked down at me surprised. He definitely wasn't expecting to find me sitting on the floor of his closet. His eyes met mine I knew he knew what had happened.
Just like that he knew. Maybe it was the sadness in my eyes or the hurt in my face, but he knew immediately.
"Oh God, Joey," he said sympathetically clasping down besides me. He wrapped his around me and brought my head down to his lap. For a long time neither of us said anything or cried. He didn't say I'm sorry because he knew it wouldn't help. He knew that, and that meant more to me than the words. We just sat there at the bottom of the closet. His arms around me and stroking my hair, as I lay my head in his lap. I didn't want the moment to end. I knew this was as close to romantic love, as I would ever get with Dawson. I think the silence was getting to him though and he sensed I was holding a lot in.
"Cry," he said softly. That was all I needed. The tears starting running down my cheeks. I couldn't control them; they just kept coming. I watched them fall to the floor and splatter. That was the only word he spoke to me that night, but I never felt more comforted. We ended up falling asleep in there in the same position we had started out in. I slept so peacefully knowing Dawson was there holding me. I felt safe and loved more than I ever had in my life. I didn't want to move. I didn't want to wake for fear it was all just a dream. But it wasn't. It was happening.
Dawson woke first, then me. When I opened my eyes I felt his eyes watching me. He hadn't moved an inch. I didn't want to either, but I knew I had to. As I stirred, he shifted uncomfortably. But when I came to rest sitting upright against the wall, he took my hand. I looked down at our hands intertwined and then back at him. Our eyes met once again and we both froze. The tension was building so thick it could be cut with a knife. For a moment I swear I saw a sparkle in his eyes.
"Because," he answered. "Isn't that enough?"
"I'm just curious," I replied. "Everyday for the past couple of months you've been there for me above and beyond."
"I love you," he said. I felt myself go into shock and my heart stop. He means it in the friends' way, I reminded myself, but what if…. I couldn't help wondering. Could it be possible he felt the same way? I had to know. I leaned closer to him. He was so near, but the moment was lost.
"Listen," he said. I stopped and listened to the sounds around me. Then I answered, "It's just bells somewhere."
"No," he said. "Mom got her wings."
"It's too soon," I said back. "She just passed yesterday. There's no way she could have gotten them already."
"It's never too soon," he said, "because she was already an angel." I smiled and he smiled back at me. My heart melted right there. How could I have never noticed how cute he was? He wrapped his arm around my shoulders and I lay my head on his. I noticed the time on his watch. Nine forty-three it read. I had been in here since four the day before. Dawson and me had spent the whole nigh in here. My time was running out. I had to tell him I how I felt even though he would probably think I meant it as just friends. In my heart I'd know it was real love. Only I would know, and off course my mother. Ever knowledgeable.
"I love you, too, Dawson," I said. He smiled to himself and kissed the top of my head.
"Always," he said, "and forever."
Back to Vlada's Stories | Back to Fan Fiction | Back to the Main Page|
This page has been visited times.