It's weird when a part of you is surprised to hear something and the other part of you totally expects it. Like, I was surprised when Bessie gave me the letter from my mom. I mean, with the letter my emotions ranged from happy to sad to excited to scared to lonely to touched to surprised... but at graduation... and after... well that surprised me too.
I knew I'd hear my name and Dawson's and Jen's and Jack's and Andie's... but Pacey's - I don't know what I was expecting. I wasn't surprised that he wasn't there but a part of me was surprised that he'd graduated and wasn't there. And then I realized that if I was surprised to hear Pacey's name, maybe I didn't have enough faith in him. I didn't really realize that until yesterday, when I was standing on stage.
I was surprised when Andie and Doug told me he was gone. But not completely. In a way I knew when we spoke at the party that it was goodbye. But as always, I didn't want to face that because wherever Pacey is... a piece of my heart is with him. And if I'm able to let Pacey go, I'll be really surprised. It's hard when a part of you is telling you to move on and the other part can't stop thinking about Pacey and how last summer we were spending every night together on the "True Love."
Today I got my first taste of what lies ahead for the next three months: Jen, Jack, Dawson and I all sitting around, doing absolutely nothing. And it felt great. It felt like old times. Things are so worry-free when we're all together. All that matters is the "now." We were sitting around by the creek, playing "would you rather..." Dawson won with "Would you rather watch Mr. Kasdan have sex with Ms. Jacobs? Or shave Principal Peskin clean?" What's great about these silly games is that when you're playing, you think of nothing else. There's no room to. You don't think about high school. You don't think about college. Old boyfriends. Nothing. Right this minute, I think if someone asked "Would you rather stay in Capeside all your life, but always have your friends around. Or, take a gamble and move forward with your life, and risk never seeing your friends again," I'd probably pick the former. But it's not really a choice, is it?
Well, today I officially cleaned out all the remnants of my locker. It's over. Capeside High is but a distant memory. It's kinda sad. This could possibly be the last summer I ever spend in this town. I spent most of my teens, secretly counting the days until I made it out of this town. And now that I'm on the cusp, I can't stop thinking of all the memorable summers I had here. It's the little things that stick out. Having rowboat races down the creek with Dawson. Sitting on the dock with Dawson, scratching the mosquito bites on our legs. Seeing movies at the Rialto. Making "Sea Creature of the Deep." Watching movies in Dawson's bedroom. Actually, for the third year in a row, I can't believe it - but it looks like I'm not gonna see Dawson in the summer. He's going to USC for a summer program, starting school early essentially. I can't even figure out how I feel about that. I know I should be glad he's going... glad for him, I mean... but... I kind of had imagined we actually would spend the summer together.
After 10th grade Dawson went to Philadelphia and we weren't speaking, and then last year I took off after Mitch and Gale's wedding for Pacey's dock. I thought leaving Dawson on the dock was one of the most difficult decisions I'd ever had to make - who knew this year would be full of difficult decisions? Is this what really life is like?
Anyway, I feel like asking him to stay. But I couldn't do that. Not after last summer. Who knows, maybe I'll head off early to Worthington. Get to know the campus. Learn the lay of the land... Then again, maybe I won't. One final summer in this town is actually sounds pretty nice.
The reality of Pacey having left is starting to sink in. I haven't heard from him in over three days. Even though we hardly talked the last few weeks, at least the possibility existed that at any time during the day, I could run into him. But now he's probably somewhere between Grand Cayman and St. Barts. And I'm sure I'm the last thing on his mind. Actually - that's probably not true. If I know Pacey, he's got a lot on his mind... I hope he's starting to figure things out. I mean, that's what we're all just trying to do, right? I hope he's ok though. I wish I didn't care as much.
I put away my graduation speech in the same lockbox with my mother's letter. It's amazing how she knew exactly what I'd be going through at this point in my life. She knew I'd choose to head off to college. She knew I'd be worried about losing my childhood friends. It also made me think a lot about Bessie. To think I will soon be the age Bessie was when she had Alexander. I remember she seemed so old to me. Her life compared to mine seemed like a universe away . Only a few weeks ago, I thought I might have actually had her beat. Joey Potter, preggo at 18. I always had her to turn to if I ever needed advice, but Bessie didn't have anyone. Maybe that's why she decided to have a family of her own so soon. She sacrificed a lot, just to make sure I had a proper upbringing. I think I she may have had it even tougher than me. In fact, she may be the toughest person I know. I think I'll go tell her that.
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