Love and other catastrophes
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Twelve: Yesterday, today and tomorrow

Joey sat at her desk staring out over the water, her chin cupped in her hand. The sun was beginning to set over the treetops and she gazed at the yellow and orange light as it warmed up the sky. The familiar bird calls and other creek noises did not disturb the silence that she savored. They were just noises of home. With a contented sigh she glanced over her desk, her eyes resting on the photographs she had strategically placed there. Her favorite was a double sided silver frame that had been her mother’s. On one side she saw three sunburned children grinning inanely at the camera. The ten year olds were the best of friends — a dark-haired girl with a blond and brown-headed boy on either side. She grinned back at them in the frame, enjoying their innocent, cheerful faces.

Glancing over to the opposing picture in the frame, she saw the same faces. Now they were older and wiser, a little more scarred and healed than they had once been. The blond boy was a man now, but the smile was still the same. Dressed in a tuxedo he was extremely handsome, if a little detached. He still had his arm around the dark-haired girl, a woman now. She looked the same but the smile she wore was different — changed somehow from the childish grin. She seemed happier now in her white gown, blissfully contented even though the innocence was gone. The brown-headed boy on her other side had grown up too, but he still wore an impish grin that had not changed from childhood. The only difference was his eyes which burned with a passion that ignited his entire visage. He, too, wore a tuxedo, but the tie and shirt were open at his neck.

Joey replaced the picture on her desk but the smile did not fade from her lips. She glanced around the room that lay in disarray, the walls half stripped, paint and wallpaper samples scattered all over the floor, the rest of the furniture draped with drip-cloths. She knew the rest of the house was in a similar state, but the chaotic abode was her own and she loved every inch of it. This room — her room — was her sanctuary. From the window she could see the familiar waters of her childhood, and inside she could unleash all of her memories, both hapy and painful. Glancing at a thick pile of papers on the desk, her thoughts were interrupted when she heard a car pull up outside.

Grinning with excitement despite herself, she lent out the window and saw Pacey slamming the car door shut. He threw down his medical bag and immediately began playing with their golden Labrador puppy, flinging away a chewed up E.T. doll that was his favorite toy.

"Go get it, Spielberg. Come on boy!" Pacey yelled, throwing the former collector’s item as far as he could. Joey jumped up with the stack of papers and quickly went downstairs to meet him. Smiling to herself, she remembered how annoyed Dawson had been when they christened his housewarming gift to them after his idol. ‘Sacrilegious,’ he had called it, but the name had stuck. She heard Spielberg barking madly as Pacey chased him around outside. Waiting for him in the kitchen, she carefully hid the bundle of paper from view.

"Honey, I’m home!" Pacey crowed as he crashed through the door. Dumping their mail on the coffee table, he went in search of Joey. "Harriet, where are you?"

"In here, Ozzie,’ she replied, waiting to plant a kiss on his cheek when he came through the kitchen door.

"What a day, June," he sighed tiredly, collapsing for effect in a chair.

"Oh, hard day at the office, Ward?" Joey said sympathetically, playing the part of the dutiful wife. "You just put your feet up while I fix you a drink. Supper will be on the table in a moment."

Pacey grinned and grabbed her as she flitted past him, pulling her into his lap. "Please don’t tell me you cooked?" he asked with mock horror. "I wondered what that smell was."

"Ha ha. Why break with tradition? Get to work, slave boy," she ordered, then kissed him deeply.

"Yes, ma’am," Pacey smirked, kissing her back more passionately. After several moments Joey turned her face away and he moaned with disappointment.

"I meant on dinner," she whispered seductively, pulling herself from his lap.

Pacey watched her saunter over to the other side of the kitchen with a sly smile on his face. Jolting himself back to reality, he jumped up and started pulling ingredients from the fridge.

"How’d it go today?" Joey asked properly.

"Well, Mrs McBride had a boy, ten pounds seven ounces," he reported, chopping up some vegetables.

"God, how many does that make? Ten?"

"Nine. I didn’t like to tell her this is only the fifth baby I’ve delivered. Doesn’t help when patients have more experience than the doctor." He grabbed a saucepan from the cupboard and glanced at her watching him work. "What about you, how was your day?"

"Oh, you know…" she replied lightly. But the mischievous tone of her voice was not lost on Pacey and he looked around at her suspiciously.

"What have you been up to? Not more wallpaper trials in the bedroom?" he groaned. They had been trying to renovate the old house for so long he was beginning to think they’d never get it finished.

"Nnnnope," Joey said, her eyes twinkling. Pacey put the knife down and walked towards her slowly, needling her to tell him.

"What are up to, Jo?"

"Nnnnothing," she replied, deliberately taunting him.

"Tell me, Josephine." Pacey closed in on her in mock threat, his eyes dancing. He stood pressed up against her, their gazes locked.

"Here," she said finally, pushing the sheaf of paper into his hands.

Pacey frowned and looked at the huge stack. Glancing down at Joey he saw her watching him expectantly. Pulling off the front sheet, he saw the typed words ‘Love, and Other Catastrophes by Joey Potter.’

"You finished it?" he breathed in surprise.

"This afternoon. I want you to read it."

"Jo, you’ve been writing this book for a year and you haven’t let me see a word of it."

"Well, it wasn’t finished then. Now I want to know what you think."

Pacey ran his fingers over the title page, his eyes shining with pride. Joey saw the look and was reminded once again why she loved him so much.

"I couldn’t use Joey Witter of course, that would have given away the ending," she smiled.

Pacey ran his hand over her check. "I feel it only fair to warn you, I’m gonna love the ending."

"I’m counting on it." Joey pulled his face down to hers to seal the promise.


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