Donna neatly placed the pile of papers into her pocketbook and left her small cubicle in the now deserted room. Ever since she had gotten a job with the local paper in San Diego she had thrown herself into story after story. She had worked there for nearly two years and now she was going to leave it all behind. Then again, she wasn't exactly a stranger to leaving the things she cared most about in life behind her.
Before she left the building to go into the garage she took one last look behind her to check whether or not she had left anything behind. She hadn't. She wondered if she would get another job as good as she had here. She had been a very respected journalist and all her co-workers had looked up to her. She hoped that it would be the same when she began working at another newspaper office in Point Place.
Point Place. Those two words continued to ring in her ears and she backed out of the garage and headed for home. It had been five years since she had been there, five years since she had seen Kelso, Fez, Jackie or...... Eric. She and Hyde had left all of it behind, bored with the slow paces of the lives they had been leading. She and Hyde had run away to chase their dreams without the pressure of having to depend on or be depended on by Eric or Jackie. They left their friends with only a note, not saying where they were going but only that they were leaving Point Place. And it had been fun for a while, seeing places they never thought they would see, working their way through college, getting jobs, working their way up the ladder in those jobs....... But it had only been five years before they realized what huge mistakes they had both had made.
Now they were going to return to Point Place. Donna was both excited and apprehensive. They had no idea what they were going to find when they got back. She wondered if she and Hyde were crazy to even bother trying to win back the people they had so carelessly thrown away over half a decade ago. But crazy or not, she still loved Eric and Hyde still loved Jackie. And no matter what they found when they returned to Point Place, they weren't going to let go of Jackie and Eric easily this time around.
Hyde threw the last of his things into his pick-up truck. He and Donna planned to leave early the next morning. The road trip from San Diego to Point Place would take around three days and they wanted to get there as soon as possible. He leaned against the truck and allowed himself to picture Jackie's face in his mind. He thought about her long dark hair, ivory skin and smooth, soft lips. God, he missed her. He had been such an idiot to give her up in the first place. And for what? What he and Donna had experienced...... it had been fun, it had been something new, but it wasn't enough. He should never have left Jackie in the first place, hell he needed her in his life. All he had to do was make her see that and everything would be perfect.
He went back inside his apartment, planning to get some sleep before the long day of driving he and Donna had ahead of him. But when he got inside he saw that his apartment was not empty as it was when he had went outside to load up the truck. Sitting on his couch was someone he hadn't seen in a long time and he was almost speechless when he saw his tall childhood friend.
"Kelso!" he exclaimed in amazement, "What are doing in my apartment?"
Kelso jumped off the couch and went over to give his old friend a hug, "Well Donna and I have been mailing each other off and on for a while. I was living in LA and when Donna mailed me about a week ago and told me you guys were gonna go back to Point Place I decided that I wanted to come too. I really miss the old gang."
"I know what you mean." Hyde muttered under his breath, "But why didn't Donna tell me that she was in touch with you?"
"Beats me," Kelso shrugged, "It wasn't like a big thing, you know, some birthday cards, Christmas cards, as long as I didn't tell Eric, Jackie or Fez where you guys were. She said you guys didn't want them to come chasing after you. But anyways, can I sleep here tonight?"
"Sure." Hyde responded, not really caring one way or another, "So, where is Donna?"
"Right here," Donna answered, "I was just going to the bathroom."
"I am so excited, man." Kelso said eagerly, grinning from ear to ear. It looked like although five years might have changed Kelso somewhat, deep down he was still the same enthusiastic, sweet person they had known a long time ago, "I love road trips. And then when we get back to Point Place we're gonna see Fez and Eric and Jackie and Laurie and-"
"Kelso, when exactly was the last time you talked to any of those people?" Hyde interrupted curiously.
"I don't know, maybe around two or three years ago. But who counts?" Kelso returned indifferently. Hyde and Donna exchanged nervous glances. They had obviously both been hoping that Kelso would be able to fill them in on what they should expect when they got back at least a little. However, it was clear that he knew nothing that they didn't, so they would just have to prepare themselves for whatever surprises awaited them.
"Only ten miles until we reach Point Place." Hyde announced as he stopped at a red light. Donna was sitting next to him in the front seat and Kelso was snoring in the back seat. As he waited for the light to turn green he watched as Donna turned the page in the photo album she had kept. He eyed the picture of Donna, Eric, Fez, Jackie, Kelso and him taken by Mrs. Forman right before they went off to the disco. Hyde finally drew his eyes away from Jackie's smiling face and stepped on the gas. Donna sighed wistfully as she traced Eric's face with her finger.
"Why did we ever leave them?" she said aloud, looking to Hyde for the answer.
Hyde could only think about it for a minute, "We were stupid." he replied finally, "Stupid and afraid."
"Afraid of what?" Donna asked in surprise.
"Afraid of settling down to be with the people we loved for the rest of our lives. Hyde turned to Donna, giving her a weak smile, "But I'm not afraid anymore."
"I'm not afraid either." Donna whispered, more to herself than to Hyde as she looked into Eric's pale blue eyes.