Save The Best For Last


Lyrics from 'Save The Best For Last' by Vanessa Williams


I never thought it was possible…that he could love me. Like I love him.

But he did. He does.

Dawson Leery loves me, Joey Potter.

I guess it's true what they say: your first love is important…but your last is what matters.


Sometimes the snow comes down in June.
Sometimes the sun goes 'round the moon.
I see the passion in your eyes;
sometimes it's all a big surprise.


When he looked at me today, the passion in his eyes took my breath away. He told me he loved me, that he thought he always had, but just never realized it.

To say it was a surprise to hear those words tumble from his lips would be an understatement. It was like seeing snow come down in June, or the sun going around the moon – absolutely, utterly unexpected.

And impossible.

But definitely not unwanted. I had loved Dawson for so long I couldn't remember a time when I didn't love him.

Oh, sure, the romantic part of the love hadn't always been there. But from the first moment we met over ten years ago, I loved Dawson, completely, totally, fiercely, with all my heart. He was my best friend, my brother, my confidante, my family…

My first love…

My last love…


'Cause there was a time when all I did was wish
you'd tell me this was love.
It's not the way I hoped, or how I planned
but somehow it's enough.


There was a time in my life that all I wished for was for Dawson to tell me he loved me. Adolescent dreams of true love bit the dust when Jen Lindley arrived in Capeside.

But even though he started fawning all over her, spending a large chunk of the time he used to spend with me with her; and even when he was with me, he could hardly talk about anything but her…

I was still his best friend. And that would never change. No matter what.

From the moment I met Jen Lindley, I knew she and Dawson would never work. Call it intuition, call it jealous hope, call it being his best friend, and knowing Dawson better than anyone else in the whole world…

I knew, that no matter how much Dawson wanted it to work – and he wanted it badly – it wouldn't.

And I'd be there to pick up the pieces.

It's not what I wanted – to be his fallback girl, always there when things go wrong to help him through it – but it's enough.

It'll have to be.

Because, no matter how many Jen Lindleys there are in the future…I will always be his best friend.

And that will never change.

No matter what.


But now we're standing face-to-face.
Isn't this world a crazy place?
Just when I thought our chance had passed
you go and save the best for last.


Standing there face-to-face with him, in his room, listening as he poured his heart out to me…

I was stunned.

Dawson Leery, whom I had loved first with the innocent emotions of a young child, then with the growing feelings of a young girl, and now with the full-blown passion of a young woman…who I had lusted after, and yearned for, for so long…

Loves me back?

Damn, this world is a crazy place. Just when I thought our chance had passed, Dawson goes and does this. Declares his love for me in a babble of half-formed yet genuine sentences, unfinished thoughts and ideas.

Just like him to jump into this – telling me how he feels – without thinking things through first. Without preparing some sort of 'declaration of love' speech. The element of surprise…

I thought Jen held his heart, even now, three months after they'd broken up and become quote-unquote 'friends'.

How was I to know that she didn't hold it – but I do?


All of the nights you came to me
when some silly girl had set you free.
I wondered how you'd make it through.
I wondered what was wrong with you.


Three months ago, when he told me that he thought he could've loved Jen…my heart almost broke.

What was wrong with him? Couldn't he see how it was tearing me up inside to see him, hear him, practically pine for her?

But I could hear how heartbroken he was when they broke up, and so I played the part of the supportive best friend.

The supportive best friend who was secretly in love with him.

The supportive best friend who was secretly in love with him and whose heart ached as I listened to him pour out his own.

At times I wasn't sure that anything I could do could help him make it through their break-up. I listened as he talked about nothing but Jen, I talked about anything but Jen as he listened, I argued with him about everything including Jen, I joked with him about everything but Jen – nothing seemed able to pull him out of his funk.

In a fit of desperation-induced whimsy one night, I even contemplated throwing myself at him so he could forget her in pursuit of me.

Yeah, right. Dawson may have been a romantic, but that was a bit too Prime Time TV for him. He'd take 'Titanic' over 'Sex and the City' any day.

For that matter…so would I. Even if the ending really sucked.

True love never dies and all that…but honestly, who in their right mind would believe that you could love one person and wait your whole life for them…while spending all your time with someone else?

Not me. I loved Dawson, I wanted Dawson…and I wasn't about to go looking for someone else.

Little did I know, that I wasn't the one with divided affections…


'Cause how could you give your love to someone else
and share your dreams with me?
Sometimes the very thing you're looking for
is the one thing you can't see…


I always wondered how he couldn't see it. He thought he was in love with Jen – well, actually, he thought he could fall in love with Jen; he wanted to, anyway… – but I was the one he talked to about everything important. His hopes for his parents' marriage, his dreams about becoming a famous film director and following in Steven Spielberg's footsteps… I knew it all.

Jen didn't. Maybe because she didn't care enough to ask, or because Dawson didn't care enough to volunteer… But they never talked about anything important.

True, you could just say there's stuff you can talk about with your best friend that you can't talk about with your girlfriend, but…I remember the one needlepoint sampler Betsy ever managed to finish. It said 'Happiness is being married to your best friend.'

If he couldn't be friends with Jen, then whatever made him think a romantic relationship between them could work?

Ah, the folly of youth. Dawson's always been a kid at heart; he never had to grow up too fast.

I should envy him for that – but his life right now is in turmoil, what with his Mom cheating on his Dad, so I suppose it happens to everyone, sooner or later.

And I've never been a vengeful person.

Anyway, back to Dawson's 'folly' – I've been right in front of him for so long…and I've never been more than his 'best friend, Joey Potter'.

Guess the old saying about not seeing the forest for the trees is true.

Little did I know that one day, he'd get lost in the forest and go looking for something familiar…me.

And he'd hang onto me.


But now we're standing face-to-face.
Isn't this world a crazy place?
Just when I thought our chance had passed
you go and save the best for last.

Sometimes the very thing you're looking for
is the one thing you can't see…


"I see you, you know," he said from out of nowhere.

"You see me?" Joey asked, confused. One minute they'd been sitting down to watch Jurassic Park for the umpteenth time, the next Dawson was talking in riddles.

Not that that was out of the ordinary, or anything…

"All the time," he admitted, voice ragged. "Everywhere I look, everywhere I go, everywhere I want to go…you're there."

"I don't understand," Joey said slowly.

But she thought she did. I want to be right… she thought, heart yearning for it to be true. Please, don't let me be wrong.

"I want you with me, Joey. Always," Dawson said passionately. "I…I love you." The last three words were so heartfelt that they seemed as if they had been ripped by force from the depths of his very soul.

Joey was stunned into immobility, riveted to the floor as she heard Dawson's words. Her thoughts whirled around in her head, almost unable to comprehend what she was hearing.

With those inexplicable words Dawson had voiced, it was like a torrent of raging emotions had been released from the young man. "I think I always have, I just never saw it before. You were always my best friend, and I didn't look beyond that…until a few days ago," Dawson rambled. "I should have, I should have seen it sooner – you've always been there for me, Joey, and I never wanted to lose you. I thought it was just that I didn't want to lose your friendship, but it was more."

"More?" Joey asked, voice faint. He…loves me? she thought in hopeful disbelief.

"It's not that I just didn't want to lose you as a friend…I didn't want to lose you, Joey," Dawson said, voice low.

Her logical train of thought finally hopping back on its metaphorical track, Joey said, "You never will, Dawson. I promise."

"You do?" Dawson asked hesitantly, fidgeting slightly.

It was only then that she thought to wonder what Dawson was thinking. He'd declared his love for her, but though she knew she'd been pining for him for years…

He had no clue of her feelings for him. And she had yet to say anything that would reassure him that his advances weren't unwanted.

"I promise, Dawson, you won't," Joey said soothingly. "I love you, too." A smile broke out on her face, answered by an equally wide grin on Dawson's own.

Dawson Leery loves me, Joey Potter, she thought gleefully. Her glee turned to sun-bright passion as he tentatively reached out and pulled her close into the circle of his strong arms. Her breath caught in her throat as he leaned down and touched his lips to hers, gentle as a summer wind.

She felt like she was drowning in him; it was too much and not enough all at once. Too much emotion she could finally unleash; not enough contact with Dawson… To have everything she'd ever wanted literally in arms' reach.

I guess it's true what they say: your first love is important…but your last is what matters.


Sometimes the snow comes down in June.
Sometimes the sun goes round the moon.
Just when I thought our chance had passed
you go and save the best for last.

You went and saved the best for last, yeah.


THE END