I'm here without you baby,
But you're still on my lonely mind
Years had passed since they'd seen each other, but through it all,
they still knew they loved each other. People came, and people went,
but none of there were right for either of them.
Jessie had done everything she could to forget about Katie, except
break her promise of wearing the necklace. She had had many
boyfriends, which she tried to use to forget Katie, but nothing
worked. It was a huge step for her to decide to go home and see her
family. She hadn't been back since left for Australia all those
So here she was, five years later, sitting on a plane, heading back
to the one place she never thought she'd ever want to go again. She
was nervous... she looked forward to seeing everyone, but somewhere
in the back of her mind, she wondered... maybe even hoped a little
that she'd see Katie. It was strange, she had tried for so long to
forget Katie, and now she might actually be looking forward to
seeing her. 'Of course I am.' she thought. Katie was someone she
always looked forward to seeing, no matter what.
'I'm getting ahead of myself,' she reasoned 'I don't even know where
Katie lives or anything.'
She exited the plane and went over to find the nearest pay phone.
She dialed a familiar number and waited for them to pick up.
"Hello?" The voice cracked over the phone.
"Jessie, honey, is that you?"
"Well! How have you been?" Her mother questioned, sounding pleased.
"Pretty good. I've got a surprise for you."
There was a pause on the other end. " Umm...hello?"
"Yes, dear, I'm here... You're home? As in *here* home?"
Jessie smiled. "Yes, as in *here* home. I'm at the airport right
now. I'm gonna go get a rental car, then I'll be over in a bit. I
just wanted to call and let you know!"
Jessie navigated down the familiar streets to her mother's house.
When she pulled up front, she turned off the car and stared at the
house. 'So many years, so many memories.' she thought. She made her
way out of the car and up the sidewalk to the front door. She paused
for a second before knocking. In a matter of seconds the door was
opened, and she was greeted with a warm, and very tight, hug.
"Baby, it's soo good to see you!" Her mom said as she let go of her
long enough to get a good look. "Jessie, you look great!" Jessie
grinned and thanked her mom.
"You look good too! Where's Henry?" Karen smiled
"He's out at the store, to get some food for you."
"Aww, he's so sweet!" Karen nodded.
"Come in, come in, tell me about your life." And so that's what she
A short while later Henry came home, and they all caught up
together. It was getting late, so Jessie decided that she was tired
enough to turn in, so she did. She made her way up the stairs and
into her room. It was the same now, as when she left it. The solar
system that her dad made was still hanging in the corner, the big
teddy bear was sitting in his chair next to the bed. All was well
and good, and it was like she had been transported back in time, to
simpler days, care free days. Days with Katie. She reached down and
felt the half heart around her neck and sighed. She unpacked what
she would need for the next few days, got her pajama's on, and
crawled into bed.
The next morning, she awoke to the smells of coffee and eggs. She
stretched and forced herself out of bed. She sleepily made her way
down the stairs and into the kitchen where she was greeted by Henry
cooking over the stove, and her mother looking on, with love in her
eyes. It was such a wonderful sight. It was good to see her mother
so happy, because she remembered back to days before Henry, when her
mother was always sad and depressed.
Jessie went over and sat down at the table and ate as soon as Henry
placed the food in front of her. Karen asked what she had in mind
for the day, and Jessie thought for a moment before she answered.
"I think I want to go visit some people. I'm thinking Grace, Eli,
and maybe even stop by Booklovers to see how that's going, and
visit Judy." Karen nodded.
"You better get stared then, you have a long day in front of you!"
Jessie grinned and nodded her head in agreement.
Her visit to Grace had been great. She hadn't realized how much she
had actually missed her until they were sitting around talking.
Grace hadn't found that special someone yet, though Jessie had
always thought Grace and Eli would make such a wonderful couple if
they ever got around to hooking up, so Grace told Jessie all about
her latest boyfriends.
In turn Jessie told her about her life back in New York and all the
wonderful things happening there. Grace had a small smile etched
across her face the whole time, like she was keeping something from
her, but Jessie couldn't tell what it was.
After spending a couple hours with Grace, she made her way over to
Eli's apartment. He had started to get his act back together, and
had just finished his bachelors degree in music, so now he was
trying to figure out what to do with that. He was musically gifted,
and though his band broke up after he moved, he didn't think he
would have much trouble getting one together. He also worked a part
time job at a music store to help pay for rent. Everything was
otherwise fine by him, he didn't have a girlfriend, because he spent
too much time working on everything else. Jess was glad to see him,
he was a sight for sore eyes. Though they hadn't been extremely
close while they were growing up, they still loved each other very
After a slight pause in the conversation, Jessie decided to ask the
question that had been nagging her for so long.
"Have you heard anything about Katie Singer, where she is and what
Eli thought for a moment. "Actually, yeah, I have. Funny you should
ask. I remember Grace saying something about her coming home for
Christmas this year. I think she actually saw her a couple of days
ago." Jessie's heart leapt, though she tried not to show her
excitement. 'So that's what Grace was smiling about the whole time I
was over there, eh? The little sneak' she though. A small grin crept
across Eli's face.
"You two were more than friends, weren't you?" Jessie's eyes got
really big, and her jaw dropped.
"How did... did you..." Jessie stuttered. "Wha... was it really
that obvious?" Eli smirked and folded his arms across his chest.
"Jess, when you spend that much time around a hot girl like Katie,
whether you're a girl or not, you're bound to fall for her. And
besides the fact that you two were attached at the hip, it was like
you and she had a connection, and when you stared into each other's
eyes... well, lets just say you could feel the love radiating off
you two." Jessie blushed deep crimson. He continued. "And when you
saw her enter the room or something, I could see your eyes light up,
like they never had before, and I could tell. You were in love."
"So... you're ok with that? That I was... am in love with a girl?"
Eli smiled, and leaned his chair back.
"Well, I'm not too happy about the fact that a seriously hot girl
was... or still is off the market, but other than that, I think
it's great." He joked. "Besides, it's not like you can choose who
you fall in love with." A far away look came into his eyes, and
Jessie smiled. She knew what... or who he was thinking of.
"Go for it." She stated. Eli looked at her strangely.
"What do you mean?" Jessie grinned knowingly.
"You and Grace. Go for it. You both want it, I know that, so just do
it. Ask her out. Date her. Invite me to the wedding in a couple of
years." She joked. He raised an eyebrow at her and gave her a 'yeah
right' look and she grinned.
"But seriously, ask her out, I can almost guarantee she won't say
Jessie left Eli's house a short time later and headed over to
Booklovers. She was a bit excited about seeing Judy, after all, she
was one of her mother's closest friends [Sorry if that isn't right,
I'm not exactly sure how Judy actually fits into the O&A
plot, 'cause I only got to see one episode]. She got out of her
rented car and walked up the familiar sidewalk and into the store.
It hadn't changed much in the five years that she was gone, the rows
of books were the same and the scent of coffee still lingered in the
air. Jessie made her way around the books and chairs over to the
register where Judy was helping a customer.
"Thank you, Mrs. Gordon, you have a good day now!" The woman nodded,
turned around and left.
"Hey Judy." Judy looked up at her, and it took her a second to
realize who she was.
"Jessie? Oh my god! What are you doing here?" She said as she
reached over the counter to give her a hug. Jessie smiled and
explained that she was home for the holidays and was just going
around visiting people. They talked for several more minutes before
another customer came up, and Judy had to help them.
Jessie wandered through the bookshelves, running her hands along the
familiar rows. She wasn't paying attention where she was going when
someone rammed into her at full speed, and the other person's books
went flying everywhere.
"I'm so sorry!" The girl said as she began to bend down to pick up
"No, totally my fault, I wasn't looking where..." Jessie stopped in
dead sentence. The girl looked directly at her, and right then
Jessie recognized her.
"Katie..." She breathed her eyes wide, and her heart beating a
thousand miles an hour.
I think about you baby,
And I dream about you all the time
Katie had been home for two days now. She'd made the rounds and
visited all the people she used to hang out with that were still
around. It was nice to catch up with them. She had even seen Grace
right after she got back, when she went to the grocery store to pick
up some stuff to eat, because her parents never kept the kitchen
stocked with the kind of food that she liked. Her relationship had
been strained with them ever since she had come out to them so many
years before. They had always wondered what they had done wrong, and
why their daughter was like this. They blamed themselves for the way
she was, even though she tried to convince them otherwise. Her
mother was still in a little denial, so Katie would never bring home
a girlfriend when she came home for the holidays to be considerate.
Not that she ever had a girlfriend that she would have consitered
serious enough to bring home for the holidays or anything. Her so
called 'girlfriends' consisted mostly of one night stands.
She had made her way over to Booklovers to pick up a couple of
books, which would be the last of her Christmas shopping. While she
was there, she began to look at books, and because she had developed
a love to read over the last couple years, she soon found herself
with a pile of books to buy. She some how managed to twist her arm
in the right direction to be able to see her watch. She was late, as
usual. She was suppose to go and get a hair cut in less than ten
minutes, so she took off. She was looking in the opposite direction
for a moment so she didn't see the girl walking slowly in front of
her. She rammed into the poor girl at full speed, and her books fell
all over the ground.
"I'm so sorry." She said as she began to bend down to pick up the
books. Before she did though, she heard a familiar voice.
"Katie..." the girl breathed. Katie looked up at her, and her eyes
grew large when she realized who was in front of her.
"Jessie?" Katie managed to get out. She opened her mouth to say
something else, but no words came. So she closed it. She opened and
closed her mouth several more times before she finally gave up on
being able to form a complete sentence.
Jessie was standing in front of her, much like she had been in the
dream. 'This meeting wasn't chance' Katie thought. 'It's fate for us
to be together.'
They were both just standing there, neither of them moving, just
staring at the other, taking in everything about each other. Katie
couldn't stand it any more so she took a step forward and enveloped
Jessie in a warm, and very tight hug. She felt as the tears sprung
to her eyes.
"I missed you so much." She said, tears threatened to fall. Jessie
pulled away, tears forming in her eyes.
"I missed you too." Katie put her hand on Jessie's cheek, memorizing
the feel of Jessie's skin on her hand. She ever so carefully
caressed the soft skin with her thumb, burning the touch into her
memory forever. Jessie closed her eyes, trying to suppress her
emotions, while melting into Katie's touch. Katie moved her thumb
across Jessie's velvet flesh, and down across her lips. Jessie
didn't move, so Katie leaned down and gently brushed her own lips
against Jessie's. She pulled away, so as to see how Jessie would
respond. Jessie just stood there, eyes closed and lips slightly
parted, in a dream-like state. A couple of moments later, she
reopened her eyes, and they grew wide as she stared at Katie.
In that moment, Jessie made a decision.
She had always wondered what she would do if she ever saw Katie
again, but she never thought she'd do what she did... She reached up
and put her hand around the back of Katie's neck, then pulled her
down and kissed her... hard. She put everything into the kiss. All
the emotions that had built up inside her over the years. Through
that kiss she told Katie how much she really missed her and how much
she loved her. She conveyed so many things with that one kiss, but
most of all, that she was no longer ashamed of who she was, and of
Katie. At last, she didn't care what people thought, her friends,
her family... her parents. She no longer cared what anyone
though... except Katie. She had lived long enough away from Katie
that she knew she wanted ... needed Katie in her life.
And for the first time in a long while, she was happy.
I'm here without you baby,
But you're still with me in my dreams,
And tonight girl, it's only you and me.
Katie stood there in shock. Complete and utter shock. She had never,
in a million years expected Jessie to be the one to kiss her, and in
public of all places. Not only in public, but in a store they used
to frequently visit, in which people still knew who they were.
Katie's eyes were wide with surprise when Jessie pulled back. She
smiled at Katie, the same smile that was able to melt her years ago
still had the same effect on her. It turned her to putty in Jessie's
hands. Jessie's arms were still around her neck, and she slid her
arms around Jessie's waist as she recovered.
"Surprised?" Katie nodded her head vigorously as Jessie looked a bit
"Me too, to be honest. Do you want to get out of here, I want to
talk to you, but I don't think here is the best place... somewhere
quieter would be nice." Katie nodded her head and took Jessie's hand
"Wanna go back to my parent's place? They won't be home for a couple
more hours." Jessie nodded, and Katie led her out the door. They
only lived a couple of blocks away from where they were, so they
decided to go ahead and walk from where they were.
They walked inside, and Katie took Jessie's coat and motioned for
her to sit on the sofa. She hung up their coats, and went to join
her. Jessie turned and looked at her thoughtfully before she spoke.
"I realized some thing... several things actually." She said,
continuing their conversation.
"What?" Katie asked and Jessie took a deep breath and looked Katie
right in the eye.
"I realized that I made a huge mistake long ago, by leaving. I
shouldn't have, and it would have saved both of us a lot of grief.
It would have saved me wondering for the last five years what would
have happened if I hadn't left, if I'd stayed here with you."
"Me too." Katie quickly interjected, and Jessie readjusted her focus
to the wall.
"I knew I shouldn't have left, but I was scared. I was scared of
what people would think about me, about us. I was ashamed of who I
was." Katie looked on in understanding.
"So, what changed?" Jessie looked back at Katie.
"I've spent the last five years of my life missing you. I don't want
to live without you anymore. And now I don't really care what anyone
else thinks. After all these years, I still know one thing."
"What?" Katie breathed, and Jessie's eyes twinkled.
"I still love you." Katie broke out in in a huge smile.
"I love you too, Jessie." And with that, Katie leaned down and
captured Jessie's lips with her own, and they shared a sweet kiss.
When they pulled away because the need for air was great, Katie
rested her forehead against Jessie's, looked into her sparkling blue
eyes, and smiled.
"I've waited for this moment for so long, to have you back in my
arms. I just can't believe it." Katie said, and while she said it,
her tone changed, to more serious.
"But Jessie, I want you to promise me something." She said as she
pulled back to look Jessie right in the eye. Jessie nodded for her
"Promise me that you won't leave again, that you won't run away.
That you'll talk to me and we can talk things through. Together. I
don't want you to feel like you can't. And please, no more rash
decisions, like moving to a foreign country, ok?" She added with a
"But seriously, don't run from me, ok? We can work this out if we
want to. For better or for worse, richer and poorer, and all that
stuff. Please, just promise me that we'll talk." Jessie looked up at
"I want this to work, Katie. More than anything I've ever wanted
before. I'm happy now, being with you, and I don't want that to
change. Ever. So, yes, I promise. And this time, I'm not leaving.
Ever again." And she sealed it with a kiss.
When they drew away, Katie remembered something. She looked at
Jessie's neck, for any trace of the gold necklace that she had given
her all those years ago. Jessie looked at her quizzically, then
looked down at her neck before she realized what Katie was looking
for. She smiled, and pulled it out from underneath her shirt.
The smile on Katie's face could not be described. It was huge.
Bigger than huge. It was by far the biggest smile that Katie had
ever shown. She pulled her own necklace out from under her shirt,
and together they put the halves together to make the heart, and the
"Forever?" Jessie asked.
"Forever." Katie confirmed.
~*~3 weeks later~*~
Jessie and Katie walked down the street through the freshly fallen
snow. Jessie took Katie's hand and looked into Katie's eyes and
tilted her head.
"What do you think tomorrow will be like?" Katie thought for a
"I don't really know" She said, as she turned to look at
Jessie. "But I do know one thing."
"What's that?" Jessie asked, and Katie grinned.
"That we" She paused for a moment and squeezed Jessie's hand. "Will
be together." Katie said seriously.
"I know something too then." Jessie said as she stopped and turned
to face Katie.
"Then tomorrow will be a good day." And with that, she leaned up and
kissed Katie, first delicately, then with more passion. Right then
they shared one of the sweetest, yet most intense kisses ever.
As they kissed, the sun began to set and the snow began to fall,
while the rest of the world faded away, leaving them standing
together. And everything was perfect, like it should be.