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~ "Perfect" By Smashing Pumpkins ~
I'm worried sick about you. It's been two weeks since I last wrote, and yet I haven't gotten a letter from you in that time. I can't help but let my mind wander to these horrible places. These dark corners where my worst dreams come true. I hope my last letter has not driven you away. I want this just as much as you do. I want our friendship back more than I've ever wanted something in my life. More than when I wanted and earned to kiss you all those times I could have, but was too afraid to. I was only trying to be honest and tell you what I saw in your letter, I hope you know that.
I've always felt my job on this earth has been to protect you from hurt; to keep you happy because I want it be. When your mother died, I was there. When your father went to prison, I was the one whose shoulder had a cramp for the rest of the week. I feel I need your heart at peace and that is why when you cry or look sad, I feel like I have failed you and me. When I hear how lonely you are with Adam, I feel I have to change that. I have to make you happy again and tell you the honest truth no matter how harsh. I know when you're elated and laughing, you'll appreciate it. I always have your best interest at heart.
Doesn't sound true, I admit, considering our past. I never meant to hurt you, ever. I didn't know what was happening around me, Joey. I was confused, I felt like I was losing you more and more every minute. You were drawing away, so far away, I couldn't reach out to you. I wanted to so badly, you were near, but the inches between our hands were miles that pushed us farther apart. We couldn't go five minutes without getting into an argument those last few months. We were content for years, from our last year of high school to those last moths of college, but then everything started to erupt. I didn't know how to fix it, I had forgotten how because we hadn't had a fight so big since junior year. I don't know if that's a bad thing or good.
We were happy for so long, but we both forgot how to handle a situation in which we were not. I felt like there was a million thoughts floating around in my head. I just wanted to forget our problems; my problems. I wasn't me; I would have never done what I did if I was. Please believe me. I know I promised I would let everything go in writing this, but I can't. Everything I am and have is at stake in this.
Please, just write back if you're reading this, Joey. If not, please make sure this gets to Josephine Potter, whoever is reading this. I can't breathe in, breathe out until I know you are in one peace, may it be emotionally or physically. Throughout everything I still care. I care so much; I can't work on my movie. I guess my creative force is connected to my heart. Let me know you still care too. Write back, please.
"Isn't that the sweetest thing you've ever heard? He's like this big over protective watchdog." Joey said as she finished reading the letter to Mrs. Milne.
"Indeed it is. He obviously cares about you very deeply," she replied from her porch chair besides Joey. The old lady picked up her lemonade from a nearby table and sipped her drink. Joey smiled to herself. He cares, she though, maybe he cares…. No, stop it, she told herself mentally.
"I've just been so busy lately, that I haven't had time to write a word to him."
"I understand, dear, there is no need to explain yourself to me. You've been through a lot."
"There so much I want to tell him. I want him to completely know me again. I know we'll always have this link and that there's nobody else on this earth who knows me better, but there's so much he's missed in the last five years of my life. So much has happened in the last five years that has made me and shaped me."
"You have forever to let him know you again. You have the simplicity of being young and having your whole life ahead of you to be his friend…or more."
"You know," she said starring off into space, "I've never felt like my life has been simple, but the rare times I've felt content with it, have been with Dawson."
"But it wasn't always content with Dawson, was it?"
"Oh no! We've definitely had a wild and bumpy ride," she replied placing her drink on the table.
"If you don't mind me asking, what exactly happened?"
"Well…um…you know, I'd rather not talk about it," she replied fiddling with the straw of her drink.
"I understand, that was none of my business."
Suddenly the space between the two was dead silent. Joey felt she could tell Mrs. Milne anything to a certain extent. That extent had just been reached. A cool breeze passed through the quiet air. Dawn was soon approaching as the afternoon sky swirled around enchanted by diverse colors. The street was quiet seeing as how children were at daycare while their parents went to tall skyscraper offices to make money during this time. It has seemed as if the whole neighborhood was silenced.
"It's very personal," Joey finally spoke, "and painful."
"It's alright, dear. I completely understand," she said refilling her glass. "But don't let the pain overtake. If you want Dawson, but it's the hurt that is scaring you and keeping you from having him, don't let it control you. It isn't worth it."
"Spoken from experience, I assume."
"I had a Dawson of my own, my husband. Back in the days when I was a teenager, parents were a lot stricter than they are now. One day at school I had forgotten my notes. The teacher called on me to answer a question from the chapter. I panicked; everything was in my notes. Suddenly this angelic voice from behind whispered in my ear, 'yes.' That was my answer too when he asked me to go to the Valentine's day dance with him the next day and later when he asked me to marry him, but it wasn't all yes's."
"Insert conflict," Joey budded in. "Dramatic tension rises."
"His parents were Catholic and my family was Jewish," Mrs. Milne continued. "My parents were not too religious and therefore didn't have a problem with us dating, but his parents were another story. They forbid him to see me. He later told me that they threatened him, telling him they would have nothing to do with him if he didn't apply. They would disown him. Two weeks before graduation he broke up with me stating that he didn't think it was a good idea for us to be together. I knew it was his family that thought so, not him. I went to college here in Los Angeles, he moved to New York and we never spoke or saw of each other for three and a half years. Senior year of college one day there was a ring at my door."
"Insert hero who has come back to woe his damsel," Joey said.
"It was none other than him. He told me that he was awful without me and letting his parents' rule over his heart was the biggest mistake he ever made. I still loved him too, but I couldn't go back to him. I was afraid that he would subsume to his parents again. I couldn't take getting my heart broken again. It took a year of pleading and ridiculous romantic gestures for me to finally see he never meant to hurt me and he never would be the little gullible boy he was. I didn't want to spend the rest of my life wondering what if… and second-guessing myself. We married six months later and lived sickeningly happily ever after until his death 10 years ago. Autopsy reported it was caused by natural circumstances. I guess it was just his time then."
"I'm so sorry," Joey said speechless. "It sounds like you had an incredible love."
"We did. I know I would have regretted it if I didn't follow my heart and forgive him. I admit, the heart has a mind of it's own and some of the things it causes a person to do, the brain cannot even begin to comprehend, but you can never…"
"Go wrong if you follow your heart," Joey finished.
"Awww, your learning," she said putting down her drink. "Never, Joey."
"I have to be going," Joey said abruptly standing up. "Jen and Pacey are dragging me to a night club. They say I'm fun deprived."
"Well considering you've been spending all the afternoons this week with me, I'd say I have to agree with them," she replied smiling.
"It's just I wanted to spend some quality time together before I move. I'll miss not being able to walk across the lawn every time I have an emotional overload."
"You'll be fine and you're always welcome to visit anytime."
"Speaking of visiting, remember we're watching all of Dawson's movies tomorrow. I'll be here bright and early," she said grabbing her purse.
"Don't you have a job at a prestigious newspaper?" Mrs. Milne joked.
"Yes I do," Joey stated, "one that keeps me busy 24 hours a day. I deserve a break, don't you think so?"
"Oh, of course, you're the most hard working journalist I know."
"I'm the only journalist you know," she said putting on her sunglasses.
"We'll I wouldn't miss a day of movies with my favorite ex-neighbor for anything."
"Goodbye, Mrs. Milne," Joey said giving her a hug.
"Bye, dear," she said wrapping her arms around Joey in a tight hug and then whispering into her ear, "Those sunglasses don't conceal anything. He's what you want. I see it in your eyes, even through those sunglasses."
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