"Baby, Let me set you down
You look so troubled and I think I know
Just when you think you’ve come around
There you go.
Now I know the business of the heart
And it will get you anyway it can.
You need someone to walk with in the dark,
Well, I’m your man.
I go to the trouble like a magnet
That’s where I’ll be
Trouble is just a place to sing
It’s what you need."
- Trouble, Shawn Colvin
A small smile came across Joey’s face as she took notice to the brightly decorated gymnasium.
"See Jo, This is what a school dance looks like..." Pacey whispered teasingly.
"Yes..it’s...better than I ever dreamed," Joey mocked.
Dawson chuckled and followed them into the gym. He still didn’t know why he had agreed to go...or why Pace and Jo had wanted to go... together...linking arms..
"That’s just going to have to be one of the mysteries that will unravel tonight," He mumbled hoping he was right. A voice from behind him made Dawson snap out of his daydream.
"Dawson, It’s very discouraging to a girl, when a guy starts talking to himself."
Without needing to turn around Dawson knew who the walking insult provider was. Abby Morgan. To no surprise, that was who he landed face to face with when he did turn around.
"Get. Shoo. Scatter. Away. Be gone, will you..." Dawson demanded, giving Abby no attention as he looked around for Pacey and Joey.
"Who are you looking for Dawson? If you’re setting your peepers for Jen, you won’t have any luck. She had no interest left for a film-maker-wannabe."
"Abby do you have a brain defect or is it just hard for you with your lack of brain cells to acknowledge that I’m not interested in talking to you?"
Abby gave a shrug and walked away muttering words to herself as she scanned the room for her next victim. Dawson rolled his eyes at her, and walked back to the entrance they had all come in from. Was there really a reason for him to stay?
Dawson turned around, prepared for another battle with Abby. He turned around only to be face to face with one of the most intriguing females he had ever seen. Defiantly not Abby.
The girl was almost as tall as he was, hazel-brown eyes, and a soft auburn color of hair. "Yeah...I am."
"Oh," she said with a frown. "Can I ask why?"
"Well...uh," Dawson tried his best to give her a smile, and change the subject. If she was sticking around for awhile, maybe he would too. "So how come I’ve never seen you around here before?"
"I don’t live in Capeside, I’m just staying with my friend. Cassy Peterson. Maybe you know her?"
"I’ve heard of her. My name’s Dawson...Dawson Leery." He noticed that as he talked, she kept looking at his hands.
"Uh, Is there something wrong with my hands that I don’t know about?" Dawson asked, checking them over front and back a few times.
"Oh!" She replied startled, pulling her stare away from his hands back up to his face. "No, It’s just that I noticed your palms are sweaty, but you haven’t even had one dance."
"And how do you know that?"
"I’ve...I’ve been watching you since you came in."
Dawson turned a crimson red and looked away from the girl. He was flattered, but curious why she had picked him to talk to.
"I’m Melissa Fox."
"Nice to meet you Melissa."
She smiled and nodded, "Same to you, So are we going to just stand around and talk about dancing...or are we actually going to commit the crime?"
"As the daredevil I’m not, I say commit the crime."
She smiled and took his hand in her own. "Couldn’t have said it better myself."
Andrea McPhee sat quietly staring in the corner of the school gym, A.K.A the Spring Break Dance. It was nine days and counting from the day Pacey had broken up with her. And here she was, at one of the most populated dances that had ever happened in Capeside...with some of the finest guys she had ever seen --definitely out of towners who must have snuck in -- and she could only think of Pacey Witter.
Andie gave a quiet chuckle of disbelief as she watched Pacey and Joey dance to some slow song she had never heard of. Nine days! Nine days, and he had already found someone new. If she only had the nerve to walk up there and bitch them both out in front of all these people...
The way he hung on to her, the way he smiled when she talked...It was so unbelievably cruel and disgusting. Andie glanced away, holding back tears. She had that with Pacey once not long ago, they were almost the perfect couple. Almost. She let a tear trickle down her face, remembering when she used to believe of such a thing.
"So, Josephine. What exactly did we have planned for this evening?" Pacey asked, wrapping his arms around Joey’s stomach as they swayed side to side on the dance floor. They weren’t they only couple dancing, but in Joey’s eyes they might as well have been. It was amazing how fast things were going, she’d never imagined that she’d make it through a whole school dance..let alone be there with Pacey Witter, her childhood sparring partner.
She blinked out of her reverie and smiled, "Yeah?"
"What’d we have planned for tonight, for after the dance. I’m thinking...maybe the ruins. Just sit and talk for awhile...?"
Air rushed into Joey’s lungs as she opened her mouth. Should she tell him yes? The truth...she wanted to go. She wanted to be with Pacey. But, Andie. Jo had seen Andie staring at her and Pacey from a distance. She was surprised Andie had decided to come in the first place...Joey knew that she herself wouldn’t have if that were her situation. Andie had strength, wits, and most of all...she had Pacey’s heart.
"Uhm...Hold on a second Pace."
Joey gently moved Pacey aside and walked to where Andie was seated, nervously she pulled out a chair and sat down. Andie had her head down on the table, and shook constantly from crying. Joey opened her mouth to speak, but didn’t quite know how to start the conversation. She smiled softly and looked back at Pacey who had been watching her from the moment she left his grasp. There was still time to get up and go back to him, Andie would never have to know she came over here to give him back.
In her own way, that was what Joey was trying to do.
The slow song faded into another one.
"I have no confidence
and I can’t see why I should.
But I could do most anything for you
and you know I would.
I try too hard,
and then I give up way too easily.
I’m the runner up inside of you
and you’re the winner inside of me."
"Oh God..." Andie mumbled quietly to herself, her arms were still crossed on the table with her head lying on them. She still hadn’t acknowledged Joey. But Jo could sense something about the song was hitting Andie in the heart. She closed her eyes for a moment, gathered courage and began to speak to Andie. "Andie, are you ok...?"
"Lose your way,
and I will follow.
Here today, and here tomorrow.
But my freedom I know,
I’ll never let you go."
Andie lifted her reddened face, tears were still falling down from her eyes. She looked at Joey and cocked her head suspiciously like a lost puppy. She cleared her throat and blinked away tears. "I will be," The tension between the two friends had grown so much over the past week that Andie didn’t know what else to say. She looked towards the dance floor. "How’s Pacey?"
Jo looked down at the table and traced her finger along a crack. "Look, I know,...I know I’m not quite the person you would like to talk to right now...But Andie I really need to ask you something."
"I still wish on an evening star,
and I suppose I always will."
"Do you still love him, the way he loves you?"
Andie looked shocked, "He doesn’t love me Jo, He broke up with me so he could be with you. He thinks I’m some...psychotic freak who deserves to live in a rubber room."
"No Andie, I can tell...When he broke up with you, he lost something. Something he can’t find in me..."
"Every child loses something,
a whole life can’t fulfill.
And when you cry,
I feel the sky burst open in my veins".
"I mean..." Jo stopped to take in a breath. "He doesn’t talk to me the way he did to you. When we came in to the dance Andie, he looked around for you. You must not have been here yet because his smile turned to a frown and looked back to the entrance."
Andie shook her head and chuckled. "That doesn’t mean he loves me Jo, it means he wants to make me jealous by being seen with you."
"I don’t believe that."
"Well, you should."
"Lose your way,
and I will follow.
Here today, here tomorrow.
But my freedom I know,
I’ll never let you go".
"You know what Jo, I really don’t..." Andie started to stutter as she saw Pacey approaching them. "I can’t talk about this right now." She thought of running away, what would stop her? Certainly not Pacey, or Joey. Would they think she was too afraid to face both of them...together. Would he sit by Jo and put his arm around her...Andie closed her eyes briefly. Trying to let everything sink in. No one noticed the song slowly change once more...
"Show me the meaning of being lonely
So many words for the broken heart
It's hard to see in a crimson love
So hard to breathe
Walk with me, and maybe
Nights of light so soon become
Wild and free I could feel the sun
Your every wish will be done"
"Andie. Jo what’s going on?"
Joey looked helplessly from her boyfriend to his ex. Finally she took in a deep breath and told them both what they needed to hear. "Pacey, I can’t see you anymore."
"Show me the meaning of being lonely
Is this the feeling I need to walk with
Tell me why I can't be there where you are
There's something missing in my heart"
"So you’ve lived here all your life? Wow..what a shame. You know there’s a lot of girls who have been looking for guys like you. Next time I see one, I ’ll have to recommend Capeside."
Dawson smiled at Melissa, "Highly doubtable that they would even know where it is." Melissa smiled and continued on with the conversation.
"So then, you’d know pretty much everyone here, and what goes on?"
He nodded, trying to follow where she was going with these questions. "Almost everyone, why?"
Melissa let her hands slide a little farther around Dawson’s waist. "I’m just a curious person, I guess."
"You like to explore too ..I’m guessing." Dawson retaliated, feeling her hands now move slowly up and down his back. He watched her eyes grow a little wider at the shock of his abrupt confrontation and smiled as she placed her hands back to where they had normally been. "Sorry, I’m just used to city boys...who move fast...er, Faster. You know?"
"No, but I’ll take your word for it."
Melissa grinned, maybe Capeside wasn’t as bad as she thought it was. It couldn’t be that bad if it had guys like Dawson Leery in it.