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Disclaimer: Characters and concept belong to Kevin Williamson and WB.

Note: Set after the second last episode of season 4, this series deals with schoolyard violence and a character death. It alternates between Joey and Pacey's points of view.


Everything was silent. Nothing moved. It was eerie. I looked around slowly, seeing the people around me, knowing they were there and who there were, but I didn't really see them. My surroundings were a blur, like a camera out of focus. I blinked a few times, and it felt as if it was in slow motion. I forced my mind to catch up to the present moment, to try and work out why everything was so strange. I looked down and saw the graduation certificate in my hand, the once crisp parchment now soft from my warm grip.

I had been on stage giving a speech and then Principal Paskin gave me this certificate, that much I remember. After that… that's when I get confused. I know we all grouped together for the official graduation photograph. Parents scrambled behind the photographer to get the same shot as a memento, something to remember the day by. Gale Leery was there, smiling proudly as she withdrew the camera from her face. I thought about my mom and the letter she had written me. I imagined her by Gale's side, just as proud of me.

The ceremony was over. People were already making plans for the graduation party that night. I hugged my friends, knowing that our time together was precious now and would eventually run out. Andie would go back to Florence, Dawson to Los Angeles, Jack, Jen and I would be leaving for Boston.

I hugged them now, not wanting to dwell on our parting. I laughed and joked with them, and tried not to think about the one who was missing, the one I most wished was there. Instead I smiled bravely and didn't let them see the pain I felt. I looked for Bessie in the crowd, and waved when I saw Alexander perched high on Bodie's shoulders, holding his arms out to me. The sight only made my heart feel heavy.

Then came the noise of the car backfiring. I can remember it now. A car backfired, at least that's what it had sounded like. Once, twice, then again and again. Suddenly everyone around me was diving to the ground. People were screaming. I felt someone pull my arm forcefully, wrenching me down. Without understanding why, I found myself staring at the school yard grass, my eyes focused on the bright green blades. I remember that smell - the freshly cut grass - as if I was lying there right now.

The car stopped backfiring, but the screaming did not. It was getting louder. I lifted my head high enough to see Jen a few feet away, slumped forward and staring at her hands. Jen was the one screaming. I crawled forward then, a frown creasing my brow, to see what she was looking at. That's when I saw the blood. Jen's hands were covered in it. She held them out from her body and screamed and screamed.

I looked down again. Suddenly there was silence. I didn't hear Jen anymore… I didn't want to. I stared blankly at the grass instead, the graduation certificate crushed in my hand.

Nothing moved.

Everything was silent. Including me.

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