Make me believe in you
Honestly for real; one thing true
Take me in, in your arms
Wandering alone seems so far
Let me know that you’ve made it as far as forever
Let me know that you hear when I cry if you can
You’re far away from me
You’re far away from me
You’re far away from me
Come a little closer
Just a little
Let me know heaven sees
Shines on life our memories
Make me feel all that you are
Angel child or a radiant star
‘Cause I know that we’ll meet up again…
-“Far Away” by Chantal Kreviazuk
"Joey, if you're going to refuse to date anyone here on this campus, you should really save the souls of all the poor freshmen with aspiring hopes and dreams and stop dressing so fine," Steve throws his arm around Joey's shoulders with a smile, taking a seat next to her on the wooden bench. Joey looks down at her jeans and plain white t-shirt and rolls her eyes.
"Please, Steve," Joey shakes her head. "Save your wit for other women, you're far from charming me off of my feet." She twists from his hold, but gives him a friendly smile, showing him she's not meaning to sound mean. Steve just shrugs.
"Yeah, let's see if you feel that way when I'm not around. When I'm off with some other fine chick having the time of my life, and you have to sit in the background all jealous and shit. We'll see who's laughing then," he jibes back, but respectfully moving away from her a little. Joey goes back to writing in the leather bound notebook that she always carries with her, but never lets anyone see. Steve looks at her quizzically. “Do you write down your plots to take over the world in there? Is that why it’s so top secret?”
“No, actually this is where I chronicle how many innocent people I kill when I turn into a vampire at night and stalk the campus. I keep a running tally of them all on the inside cover and write accounts of the most interesting fights. One time another vampire tried to attack me, not knowing of my own little secret. Boy, that was a mess. We called a truce and went our separate ways. Professor Garrett is surprisingly easy to get along with once he knows you’re on the same side.”
“Ah, so that’s how you’ve been getting good grades in his class for so long!” Steve exclaims, slapping the side of his head as if he should’ve known it all along. “But all jokes aside, you little barrel of monkeys, what are you really writing about in there? You say it’s not a journal, but in a way it is. You say you’re not writing a book, but it could be a book if you wanted it to be. Trying to figure it out from clues like that is like trying to remember all the names of different bounty hunters in Star Wars.”
“Well, that’s not really so hard. I mean, to start off with you automatically can name Boba Fett, who we all know is the badass bounty hunter of the entire universe, and then-“
“Okay, okay. Bad example, you can stop now because I know you can probably name them all just because it’s the simile I chose to employ.”
“What can I say, I try,” Joey smirks back, glancing over her friend’s shoulder. She gasps a little, surprised.
“What’s wrong?” Steve asks, glancing over his shoulder. All he sees is two guys walking into the library down the walkway and a girl exiting one of the dorm buildings across the way. The main square of the campus was always pretty barren around 11:30 in the morning. Joey squints, then shakes her head.
“Nothing. I just thought I saw someone I used to know in high school, but it must’ve been someone that looked like him.” Joey shakes her head again, shaking off the feeling that had gripped hold of her heart and twisted it tightly. Pacey is in California, far away, not in Boston. It was the third time in the past few months that some random guy in the distance would remind her of him, suddenly opening up the locked vault in which she hid away his memory. Steve watches as Joey falls into deep thought, her beautiful face taking on an expression which he had witnessed only once before in his life. They had been out with the group, and with the aid of more than a couple of beers, the conversation about the stupid ways they’d all lost their virginity had taken center stage. Off-handedly, Steve had made a joke about how Joey probably lost it in the back seat of some car, thinking that that would be the only place in the world where Joey Potter would never sink to. And then the look had come. It stayed there for a few moments, then was gone again, followed by a long sip of a random someone’s beer and a fake smile.
“So, what were we talking about before?” Joey asks, abruptly returning to previously planned programming.
“Your little book there, Missy,” he replies with an overdone southern drawl. “Me an’ the boys been a-wonderin’ whats you got in that there notebook, ‘cause it be damn intrigue-in’ to us curious minds, ya know what I mean?”
“Well, Billy Bob Joe, you just gonna have to get used to disappointmen’, ‘cause you ain’t gonna see one damn thing that be written in this book, ya got that, boy?’ Joey retorts, standing up and slyly smiling at him as her last words twang.
“Dang it, Velma, don’t make me get out that two barrel shot gun and knock some sense into that there thick head o’ yours!”
“You better watch yourself, Steve,” Joey remarks as she saunters away from him. “Some trucker named Bubba will hear you talking like that and assume he has found a kindred spirit. Next thing you know, you’re gonna be riding shotgun in a semi and drinking watered-down Miller’s Lite in some truck stop in Oklahoma.” Her laugh drifts back to him as she walks away, and Steve receives her joking advice with a small chuckle.
Joey Potter. He’d met her two days after she’d arrived in Boston, and had taken it upon himself to show her around campus. First semester with her there, he’d been in most of her classes. He considered her one of his good friends, but he always felt like there was a part of herself that she didn’t let people see, that she kept hidden away. In that book, maybe. He didn’t know. But something, or someone, had affected her in the past and she just wasn’t letting go. Steve McConnaugh knew that much, at least.
Whether he ever knew more than what he considered to be his own vague suspicions…well, that was up to Joey.
Pacey enters the library, Chris following shortly behind him.
“You told her to meet you here?” he asks, anxiously.
“You ask me one more question, Youngman, and I’m telling Rana right off the bat that she should stay away from you,” Pacey replies, stopping after he goes through the library gate, scanning the vast room for his lab partner.
“All right, all right. But she said she’d meet us, right?” Pacey responds with a look that could kill. Spotting Rana sitting across the room, Pacey turns to his roommate.
“You stay here, all right? I am going to go over there, tell her that you’re here, and we’ll do the whole introduction thing.” Chris nods. “Just…just don’t scratch yourself or something, will ya? The last thing I need is to try to promote a guy with habits one tiny step above those of gorillas.” With that warning, Pacey heads over.
“Hey, Rana,” he greets her with a charming smile, taking the seat next to her. She tucks her hair behind her ear and a smile spreads slowly, seductively across her face.
“Hi, Jay,” she murmurs, making her voice intentionally throaty. Pacey tries not to roll his eyes. He had never been one to disdain women, but women who threw themselves at men and thought they were being seductive and sly while doing it drove him absolutely crazy. It’s like they have no respect for themselves. “How are you?”
“I’m really good, how about you?”
“I’m great, especially since you called me,” she replies. “So tell me…we don’t even have any research assigned right now, why in the world am I in the library when there’s so many other places I’d rather be?” Like your bedroom, Rana thinks, watching intently as Jay Witter’s eyes shift slowly, their color almost shifting from green-gray to blue-gray before her eyes. His eyes were amazing.
“Actually, there’s kind of a reason that-“
“Would you like to maybe go out to lunch together or something?” Rana blurts out, seeing no point in wasting time before asking, setting her hand on his arm. “It’s almost noon, I figured it’s a bit too early to ask you to go out for drinks.”
Pacey gently takes her hand off of his arm, and she looks at him, confused.
“I’d like to, Rana, but see, there’s sort of a problem. The reason I called you today is that my room- my friend – Chris, has a crush on you and it would be just…it would be just really wrong for me to pursue a relationship with you,” Pacey lies. “I brought him with me…he’s waiting over there.” He gestures to the general area where Chris was supposed to be.
“Chris…I don’t know any guys named Chris who I haven’t already dated,” Rana states. “Does he go to this college?”
“Yeah…he’s been admiring you afar, ya know what I mean? I told him I’d introduce him to you. Would that be all right?” Pacey asks, praying to god to just let him introduce the two of them so he can get out of this horribly stupid situation.
“Um…yes, of course it’s okay, Jay. I mean, any friend of yours is a friend of mine,” Rana smiles, and Pacey stands up.
“Great, I’ll bring him over.” He leaves quickly. He didn’t know what it was about girls like Rana, but they just made him awkward and annoyed. It was probably because Joey was the exact opposite of girls like that, and would kill him if she ever knew he’d dated one. Joey. There he goes again, thinking about her. He sighs. Rana is probably a very nice girl, with a lot of positive qualities….but he’d rather that Chris was the one to find them rather then him. “Chris, man, you’ve got the go ahead. Let’s go.”
He pats Chris on the back and turns to go back over to Rana’s table. Chris grins, his walk gaining an extra swagger to it. As he gets closer to the beautiful blonde, he plasters on his “Hi, I’m Chris, ain’t I sexy?” smile, thinking himself devastatingly handsome.
“Rana, this is Chris Youngman. Chris, this is Rana Morgan.”
“Nice to meet you,” Chris extends his hand, taking Rana’s thin, soft one in his grasp and kissing it lightly. She giggles.
“Nice to meet you too.” She gazes into his eyes. They weren’t like Jay’s, but…they were nice. Pacey stands by for a few more moments, waiting for the two of them to get into a conversation before fleeing the scene. It only took a few minutes before they were discussing the pros and cons of shopping at Abercrombie & Fitch rather than the Gap and American Eagle. Leaving such highly stimulating conversation behind, Pacey heads to the university’s cafeteria to grab a quick bite of lunch before it got too crowded.
Joey goes into her bedroom and puts her notebook back into her night table’s top drawer, tucking her favorite pen next to it. Sighing, she turns on her Tara Maclean CD and flops onto her bed, wondering how simply thinking she saw Pacey had rattled her nerves so badly.
Pacey J. Witter.
There never was anybody quite like him.
Probably why she couldn’t forget him, as much as she wanted to. Many times she had considered picking up the phone, calling his parents in Capeside, asking for the number to where he was in California. But there wasn’t exactly a guarantee that they would know. Dawson hadn’t heard from Pacey in almost two entire years, and it was likewise for her.
When she’d found out that Bessie had breast cancer, she’d returned home right away, and within a month had transferred everything to Boston College and been right by Bessie’s side through everything. It had set her back a bit in college, because she had to miss a lot of time, but she didn’t care. Dawson had come home at various intervals, visiting Bessie, keeping Joey company…his parents had called him the instant they found out, and he was back in Capeside before she had even gotten around to calling him. She was petrified, and Dawson by her side helped her a lot. But what she had really wanted was Pacey. Somehow she just kept wishing that he’d just show up, that somehow he’d hear about it like Dawson had. But he never came.
They’d caught the cancer really early. Bessie had been in remission for a couple of months now, but Joey had no plans of leaving. Once back in Massachusetts, she just didn’t feel like leaving again. She wanted to be near Bessie and Bodie and Alex; she’d lost her mother and father to death and to prison, and realized that the Potters needed to stick together, cause Bessie was all she had.
Sighing deeply, Joey rolls off her bed and begins digging through the boxes underneath it, searching for her photo album. She needed to see him, to see his face. Maybe his smile wasn’t as magical as she remembered. Maybe her mind had made his eyes seem more sparkling and mischievous over the years. Maybe his strong arms and comforting hands were merely built up in her imagination; maybe Pacey wasn’t as great as she remembered him to be. She flips to the opening page of the album and knows that she wasn’t fooling herself. Pacey Witter was everything and more.
The memories come washing over her in waves as she turns through the pages slowly, the familiar faces and places evoking emotions long since forgotten.
His boat…True Love. The picture they had taken of it when it was finally done. He’d painted his initials on it on the starboard side, very small. Then she’d done the same. It was theirs. A labor of the love that existed between them but could not be acknowledged. Even then, they didn’t discuss it openly; they both knew they were making the boat together as a symbol of how they felt, but never talked about that fact. They both just knew and went on with life as it had always been.
Senior prom. They’d gone together as friends. She’d hoped that that night would be the night for her and Pacey. It wasn’t. They’d arrived at the dance as friends, left as friends. Nothing had changed, except she had realized just how badly she wanted him and just how nice he looked in a tux. From that day forward little Joey Potter had a box of condoms sitting in her dresser drawer. Just in case. She ended up throwing the box out, never opened.
Graduation day. Her graduation party. Dawson’s party. Pacey hadn’t had one. His parents didn’t even come to the ceremony. She’d made hers a joint one, saying it was his as well, but it wasn’t the same. But in the pictures, he looked happy. His friends were his family; no wonder he couldn’t give up his friendship with Dawson for a relationship with her. Not that it was any different when it came to her and Dawson either.
Her bedroom door opens suddenly, and she looks up, startled.
“Hey, Jo. Whatcha doin’?” Heather inquires. Joey shuts her photo album.
“Just looking at some old pictures,” she says, trying to sound casual about it. Her wavering voice betrays her. “What are you up to?” Heather walks over to Joey, concerned.
“Yeah, just thinking about old times, you know? Digging through the old high school pictures.” Heather sets her hand on the album’s cover, silently asking permission to look. Joey nods. Heather opens it, interested in every single picture as she sees it.
“Well, I know that’s Dawson, but…”
“Nikki, Andie, Jack, Jen, Henry, Me, Pacey.” Joey says, pointing out each person. “Nikki was Dawson’s girlfriend, Andie and Jack are fraternal twins, Jen and Henry were boyfriend and girlfriend at the time, and me and Pacey were-“ Joey stops, her eyes jolting away from Heather’s. “We were really good friends.”
Heather doesn’t say anything, but Joey knows she had just given something away. Heather stops at the prom picture, admiring it openly.
“You looked gorgeous. You know I’m not one for fashion, but that dress is fabulous,” Heather nods in approval of Joey’s shimmering light blue gown. “Pacey doesn’t look so bad either. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that he is incredibly hot, Josephine.” Heather smiles, nudging Joey in the ribs. “But you two were only really good friends, so I doubt you noticed.” Heather waits for Joey to reply. She’d have been waiting a long time had she continued to wait. “So…you and Pacey were never a thing then?” Joey weighs the decision : to tell, or not to tell. She’d never told anyone.
She decided to go with the semi-abridged version.
“It was just too complicated, because of Dawson. We couldn’t get involved without alienating ourselves from him forever.”
“So you chose not to pursue it?” Heather asks, disbelieving. “Because of Dawson? Jo, I may be all for women’s empowerment and putting yourself before the guys, but come on…I can honestly say that I don’t know how long my moral stance would have held up to that guy, and I don’t even know what Pacey’s personality is like. I’m going by mere sexual appeal here. And you’re telling me that you could just set love, attraction, lust…all of that aside just to preserve your friendships with Dawson?” Joey nods then shakes her head.
“August of 2001. 2 in the morning on the side of the road, in the back seat of his family’s station wagon,” Joey rattles off the information as if she’s reading the tag line on the bottom of a scene for the X-Files. Detaching her emotions from it seemed to be the only way to get it out.
“I knew it!” Heather exclaims. Joey blushes despite herself. “So…then what happened?”
“Nothing. We just went on like it had never happened. Poof, gone, it vanished into thin air. We woke up the next morning together, looked at each other, got dressed, went home. He kissed me good-bye, and then we just filed it away in our memory and never talked about it again.” Joey shuts the photo album with a fake smile and a shrug. "It really wasn't a big deal. Things like that happen to people all the time."
"But not to you. You know that as well as I do. You’re not the type to just do it in the back seat of a car, Joey.’ Heather laughs lightly, just finding it a bit funny that Joey ever could have done that. She seemed so…not the type. Joey sighs, running her hands through her hair and putting the photo album back underneath her bed.
“It was a long time ago. It was different then. I was different then,” Joey stands up, trying to shake off the deep feeling of uneasiness that is growing in the pit of her stomach. “But it doesn’t matter now, right? That’s all in the past.” Joey walks out of her bedroom, just wanting to stop talking about it. Heather looks after her for a moment, knowing full well from the tone of Joey’s voice and the look in her eyes that Pacey was not forgotten in her mind or in her heart.
“Yeah…” she murmurs, getting up to follow Joey to the kitchen. “Sounds like it’s all in the past to me.”
“So, how did it go with Rana?” Pacey asks as Chris walks into their apartment, tossing his keys on the kitchen table. He gives Pacey a huge grin.
“I love you. Have I told you that lately? I love you.”
“I take it things went well then?” He doesn’t move from his position on the couch, too disinterested in what Chris actually has to say to act like he cares.
“Things went better than well, Jay. Much better than well. We’re going out tomorrow night. Out to O’Neill’s.”
“I thought they kicked you out of that place?”
“They did not kick me out! I’d like to know how these rumors get started. I did nothing there to even set a rumor like that off.” Chris smiles. “But Paradise…well, that would a different story.”
“I don’t think I heard about that one,” Pacey glances at Chris, wondering how the heck one person managed to get kicked out of Paradise. That place was the most lenient in the entire area. Chris just smirks.
“Oh, well, I don’t exactly like to spread the information around,” Chris replies. “Let’s just say that I’m not allowed there again. Ever. And leave it at that, shall we?” He acts like he’s being all mysterious and macho by keeping it a secret, which makes Pacey rolls his eyes.
“Aren’t you the badass.” The phone rings, and Chris picks it up.
“Hello?” He pauses. “Yeah, I’ll go get him. Jay, it’s Tasha.” Pacey gets up and goes to the phone.
“Hey, Jay,” she greets him, her voice sad. She sounds on the verge of crying.
“Tasha, what’s wrong?” Pacey asks, concerned. Tasha is his best friend at the college – she sort of took the place of Jen. She is his confidante, his partner in the disdain and contempt of their peers – no one could throw off a sarcastic barb faster than Tasha. Except maybe Joey. Joey. She was the one thing that he had never told Tasha about. That memory was his alone.
“I broke up with Dave,” she tells him, her voice breaking.
“What? What happened?”
“I just…I couldn’t take it anymore. I know that he’s been sneaking around on me, I just couldn’t confront him about it and…I actually ran into the two of them on my lunch break. Carolyn, her name is. Can you believe that? I told him off right there.”
“Good for you, Tash. It’s about time you got rid of that jerk.” His reply earns a curious look from Chris.
“She dumped Dave?” he asks. “Hey Tasha, you need a rebound man – I’m available, babe!” Chris calls, and Tasha can’t help but laugh.
“God, Chris it the epitome of the hormonal idiot,” she mutters, but Pacey’s glad to hear her laugh.
“So, are you okay?”
“In some ways yes, in some ways no. I was with him for two years, Jay. It’s just so…I know I don’t want to be with him but I just feel weird not…” She sighs. “Do you know what I mean? He’s almost become a part of me and it feels like it’s missing now. Even if he was a god damn asshole.”
“There’s the Tasha I know and love,” Pacey grins. “Listen, let’s just forget about Dave. I’m taking you out to dinner tonight at some posh, overly priced French restaurant, okay? We can sit back, relax, and you can mope and I can remind you why you dumped him and how much better off you are without him at regular intervals throughout the evening. How does that sound to you?”
“Sounds good, Jay, but let’s just go to Snyder’s, okay? I am in no mood to get dressed up nicely tonight. I don’t think I could wear pajama pants and a sweatshirt to Jean Pierre’s,” Tasha replies, and Pacey nods into the phone.
“That’s more than fine by me, Tash. Whatever you want. Why don’t I swing by in an hour, all right? I’ll make sure to bring the standard supplies.” He knows Tasha’s smiling on the other end of the line now. Every time she and Dave fought or she was down, Pacey brought her what he called “the standard supplies” for a night of self-pity and depression. Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, chocolate, alcohol, sappy romantic movies; he’d come over with his big flannel blanket, plop her down on the couch, and reassure her that everything would be okay.
“All right, Jay. See you in an hour, kay?”
“Kay.” He hangs up, and turns around to find Chris shoveling leftover Chinese food into his face with abandon. Pacey stares at him, wondering how Chris possibly could be considered on the same level of evolution as the rest of the human race.
“What?” Chris asks, defensive when he sees the look on Pacey’s face.
“Nothing, man.” Pacey shakes his head, laughing lightly, and heads to his room to get ready for his afternoon.
Joey sits by herself at Snyder’s Bar & Grille, not really wanting to eat the sandwich that is sitting before her on the table. She doesn’t know why she bothered buying anything, she isn’t hungry.
Looking across the booth to the other empty side, Joey feels awkward. She’s the only person in the entire restaurant eating alone. Self-conscious, she digs a book out of her bag and begins reading, attempting to immerse herself in it.
Pacey and Tasha enter on the other side of the restaurant and are led to the booth behind Joey. Pacey sits down, picking up his menu and opening it up.
“I don’t know why you bother pretending to look, Jay,” Tasha says with a smile. “You know what you’re going to get.”
“Well, you never know, something else could catch my eye,” he replies. Tasha shoots him a knowing look. He sets the menu back down, defeated.
“Oh, like you’re not going to get a grilled chicken Caesar salad, Tasha. You’re just as predictable as I am.”
“Yeah, but I don’t sit there looking at the menu pretending that I’m not boring. I at least have the courage to admit it to myself.”
“Getting a cheeseburger every time we come here does not make me boring,” Pacey retorts. “They just have good burgers. I don’t think that’s a crime.” Tasha just shakes her head, pretending to be sad.
“I just don’t know what we’re going to do with you, Jay.”
“I know, I’m just unsalvageable.”
Joey sets down her book, hearing the voices behind her. Her heart was beating loud and fast. Whoever is sitting behind her, his voice is exactly like Pacey’s. She resists the urge to turn around and look, knowing she’ll feel incredibly stupid when she realizes that he’s not Pacey. Which he wouldn’t be. And then she’d not only feel stupid but disappointed, which was a feeling she wasn’t quite ready to own up to yet. Because more than anything in the world…she did want to see him.
“Can I have my check please?” Joey catches the waitress as she passes by. The waitress looks at Joey’s untouched food quizzically, but doesn’t say anything.
“Okay. Did you want be to pack that up for you?” She gestures toward Joey’s meal. Joey shakes her head no.
“No thanks, that’s okay.” The waitress takes the plate away and goes to go retrieve Joey’s bill. Joey sticks her book back in her bag, not able to concentrate on it. She listens as the couple behind her orders their food. The guy sounded exactly like him. It was eerie. Joey gives in and glances behind her, but sees that the girl is the one sitting across the table; the guy is sitting directly behind her and there was no way for her to look at him. The waitress returns promptly with Joey’s check, and Joey quickly pays, eager to leave.
Tossing the tip on the table before the waitress even walks away, Joey gets up and slings her bag over her shoulder.
“So then I said to him that he didn’t deserve someone like me. He deserves someone who will treat him just as badly as he has treated me and that I hope one day he’d realize what an idiot he’s been and what he’s lost.”
Pacey looks at Tasha, and is about to respond to her statement when he sees the woman in the booth ahead of them get up to leave. His breath catches in his throat. She looked exactly like Joey. His eyes fixate on her as she walks away, his mind racing.
“Jay? Are you listening to me?” Tasha peers at Pacey, confused. He never had zoned out on her before. Pacey nods his head, coming back to reality.
“What? Oh, sorry, Tasha.” He says, his eyes still gazing right past his friend and at the woman who is walking out of the bar. Tasha follows his gaze and smiles lightly.
“Wow, she must have caught your eye really badly, Jay. I’ve never seen you react that way to anyone,” she nudges his leg under the table, grinning. Pacey doesn’t respond. “Jay?”
“You okay? You’re really pale,” she looks at him with concern, her mood turning serious. Pacey tries to force himself back to normality, and pushes a smile at Tasha tightly. No way it could have been Joey Potter. He’d just been thinking about her too much as of late; his mind was playing tricks on him. Joey Potter was miles away at NYU.
“I’m fine. Sorry. I didn’t mean to tune out there. What were you saying about telling Dave he didn’t deserve you?” Tasha eyes him for a moment, wondering what just went on. She glances toward the door where the woman had exited, then back at Pacey.
“Are you sure you’re okay?”
“Yes, of course,” Pacey tries to regain his standard jovial attitude. The last thing he wants to discuss right now is Joey.
“Was that woman someone you know or something?”
“What woman?” Pacey asks, taking the “whatever do you mean” route and doing it with a blank, innocent expression.
“The one who practically put you into another time zone, Jay, I think you know who I’m talking about,” Tasha glares at him, letting him know that he better fess up or bear the consequences.
“She just looked like someone I used to know, that’s all. Startled me for a minute,” Pacey replies off-handedly. “No big deal. Now let’s put the spotlight back on you, okay?” he winks. “You’re the one with the broken heart here.”
“I’m beginning to think it never worked to begin with.”
“Oh, come on, don’t say that. I’m sure that there is some guy out there just waiting for you to come along and give new meaning to his life. Obviously, Dave wasn’t him. And he’s a moron for not realizing how great you are. But someday you will find a guy who will realize it and then it’ll be happily ever after. And ol’ bachelor Uncle Jay can come over on weekends and spoil your kids rotten.”
“Or it could be the reverse, and you’ll marry some blonde supermodel and have a beautiful house in Beverly Hills and spinster Aunt Natasha will be the one coming over with candy and presents to make your children love me more than any of their natural relatives.”
“I don’t see that scenario happening anytime soon, or ever,” Pacey remarks, stirring his drink with his straw and watching the ice whirl around in a dark sea of Pepsi. A shadow passes over his face, his thoughts passing by Joey’s memory once more. Tasha sees it and comfortingly sets her hand over his.
“Don’t worry, Jay. Just because you haven’t found her yet doesn’t mean you won’t.”
Pacey sighs. What if he’d already found her and let her go?
Joey enters the apartment with a groan, kicking her shoes off and tossing her bag and jacket onto the floor. Rana, who is sitting in the living room with clothes scattered all around on the furniture, looks up as Joey comes in and gives her a brilliant white smile.
“Joey! Good! You’re home. You have such better fashion sense than Heather.” Heather, who is sitting on the couch half-buried by American Eagle sundresses, smirks.
“Yes, Jo, you’re so much more Joan Rivers than I’ll ever be. Please help Heather pick out an outfit for a date tomorrow. I simply can’t do it.” Her voice is dripping with sweetened sarcasm. Joey shoots Heather a harsh glare as Heather stands up, heading to her bedroom. Just like Heather to weasel her way out of things by dumping them on Joey.
Joey smiles tightly at Rana, and slowly heads into the living room.
“You have a date tomorrow, huh? With Jay?”
“No. Turns out Jay has a roommate who has totally been crushing on me – and he’s a real cutie! Can you believe my luck? I mean, he’s not as hot as Jay, but I like him a lot more. He says more interesting stuff. He knows every single piece or gossip going around on campus, you should hear the stuff that I found out about Robin Thomas! You would not believe what she did at the Phi Beta Capa party last weekend!”
“I haven’t heard about it, but I’m sure I’d believe it. This Chris sounds like a real winner.”
Joey’s sarcasm flies right over Rana’s head.
“I know! And you know what he told me about Jay? He says that Jay doesn’t date, can you believe that?”
“A 21 year old guy who doesn’t date, Rana?” Joey is disbelieving. “Such a thing doesn’t exist.”
“Well, I guess Jay just doesn’t. But I don’t mind, you know? I doubt a guy who doesn’t date is any good at kissing or in bed or things like that. Which I just know Chris is going to be good at. Ever sense that about someone? You just look at them and know that they would make your knees turn to mush the second they kissed you? I get that sense about him.”
“Well I guess that’s a good sign then. Maybe the fact Jay didn’t want to go out was a hidden blessing.”
“Oh, Jay wanted to go out with me. He just couldn’t because Chris likes me.”
“Oh. Right,” Joey replies. Rana holds up two dresses.
“Do I look better in yellow or blue?”
“I think you should wear the blue.” Not that it mattered. Rana was one of those annoying people who could look good in about absolutely anything. Rana holds the blue dress up to herself and looks down at it.
“Yes, I think you’re right. I think this dress is sexy. Chris will love it.”
“I’m sure he will,” Joey mumbles, going to the kitchen to pour herself a glass of milk.
“Hey, you know what?”
“What?” Joey asks, not expecting much.
“We should set you up with Jay. Since the both of you have no love lives for no apparent reason, maybe you and him could hook up.” Joey almost chokes on her drink.
“Rana, do not set me up with anyone. Anyone. I am not going on a blind date.”
“Oh, come on, Joey. It could be fun. We could double date!” Rana giggles, and Joey has to stop herself from puking.
“I’m serious. Do not even consider setting me up,” Joey warns her roommate harshly. Rana just grins.
“I’m talking to Chris about it, Joey,” Rana says as she heads to her bedroom to try on her outfit.
“Rana-“ But her bedroom door shuts, and Joey finds herself protesting in vain.
prologue | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5