Disclaimer: None of the characters of the film belong to me.
Synopsis: Josie waits for her 'penguin' to kiss her at the State ball game, only to find that he doesn't turn up. Five years later she's invited to the prom reunion, will she meet him again? And if she does how will her heart react?
A/N: Hi everyone, and thanks for reading. I will be getting to the story of the new prom shortly so please bear with me. I hope you're all enjoying it so far. I know its not my best work but I watched the movie again last night to gain some inspiration so I hope it pays off.
Josie woke early on Monday morning. She had wanted to write her last piece and make sure it had been finally edited before she sent it over to Gus, enabling him to only read through and print it. There were things she had wanted to do and for that she felt she needed an early start.
She had made a morning appointment with her hairdresser, followed by a couple of hours with the beautician to do her nails and make her up for a magazine interview and cover shoot. She again considered that it might all be in vain as there was absolutely no indication that they would even run the feature seeing as the book hadn't even hit the shelves yet. However, they had called her and she had no option but to do as they bid. Besides a bit of pampering never hurt anyone.
It certainly made up for the rough weekend she'd had. Saturday had seen her make her way over to the Salem Ice Rink, after an advertisement on the school website had caught her eye. There was to be a charity hockey match between the students and faculty, and knowing Sam's love for ice hockey realised that he would probably never miss the opportunity to play.
When she entered the ice rink, along with the throng of crowds, she took a seat opposite the team boxes feeling sure that she would go unnoticed, at least for the time being. Who knew what would happen once her book hit the shelves of virtually every bookshop and stand throughout America let alone the English speaking World?
As the two teams flooded out onto the rink she scoured the taller half looking for anyone that would ultimately be familiar to her. A shout of his name, from somewhere to her left, indicated him to her as he turned around to face the young woman and wave at her. Josie's heart somersaulted in her chest, her breathing quickened and her eyes took in all that they were allowed to before he skated off the ice and into the box.
He was skating as often as coach would allow, and as he was easily one of the best players the coach had then that meant that Josie could enjoy watching his athleticism and prowess with a mixture of delight and jealousy. Jealousy directed toward a dark haired woman that continuely called out his and another man's name. Another man's name? She diverted her attention momentarily toward her, yes she was definitely directing her calls to more than one of the team. Josie smiled, relaxed back into her seat and continued to watch and enjoy the game.
As they neared the end of play she noticed Sam taking charge, hustling with the other guys trying to get them to play harder, faster, better in order that they could actually get the two points they needed to win the game. She thought him fearless as he retook the ice and floated as gracefully as any figure skater, seemingly toward her. She grinned, fancying that his smiles were for her as play resumed and the faculty managed to do what they had set out to, win the game and keep their pride.
As the crowd filed out, she held back. If she waited then maybe she would catch him, have the pleasure of speaking with him again, understand what it was that had kept him away from her that fateful night that in her mind still only felt like yesterday. She hurt from seeing him again, from being so close to him but it was like a dull ache now, the kind that never goes away.
She found a spot near the entrance awaiting his appearance until she overheard a conversation between a couple of the parents. They mentioned another exit, one that all the players were using and so she followed them, holding back to find a view point. She watched as a few began filing out, parents commiserating students, faculty being congratulated for a fight well fought. Then he appeared, his sandy blonde hair still a little wet from the shower he'd obviously had. She took a few steps forward, maybe she could take this as the opportunity to go up to him and ask him about his conversation with Anita. She stopped again. Looked down. She was being stupid. There was no way that he would want to see her now, was there? It had been two months since he'd been into the city.
She looked up again, her feet now firmly rooted to the spot as she took in the sight before her, she was still a little far away to hear the conversation but she knew that that dark haired woman meant more to Sam than just a casual acquaintance. There was no disguising the pleasure in his face as he held onto her, his arms firmly clasped around her body. Josie watched in horror as he kissed the top of her raven head, the chatter so easy between them as if they'd known each other for ages.
It was then that he looked up and his eyes found Josie's, piercing through to her very core. She shuddered, losing her confidence rapidly. She turned on her heel and ran, thanking herself for putting on the lace up boots with no heel. It took very little time to get to her car but it seemed to take an age to open it and get in as she fumbled for her keys around the bottom of her bag and after dropping them twice onto the tarmac she managed to click the switch for the central locking and get in. She found her dark glasses in the pocket of her door and put them on, hoping that they would give her some sort of disguise should she drive past him.
As she turned the corner she saw him wandering up the aisle towards her. He stopped and waited, intently looking through the window at her as she passed him. She kept stock straight, even as she passed, although a quick look in her rear view mirror enabled her to see him shouting her name and asking her to stop. She drove on, unnerved by her reaction to his being with another woman, was it ever going to stop?
And it hadn't got much better then, tears flooded her eyes and she had to pull over several times in order to calm herself before feeling that she was actually up to the drive.
She called her brother but he was out, probably with the new female gym teacher that had recently arrived at South Glen South High. She tried Aldys, but no luck there either. One of the girls in Aldys' house suggesting that Josie try her cell phone, as she was 'out with that guy from her old school again'. There wasn't even any point trying one of the girls, it was Saturday, there was no way any of them would be home.
There was only one person left to try that she had ever trusted, and Josie hadn't quite forgiven her yet. But she needed to speak to someone and Anita would have to do. She punched in the speed dial and let the phone ring. "Hello?"
"Yes!" She snapped.
Josie sighed. "I need to talk to someone."
"You'd best come round then."
"Is Gus there?"
"No, he went out for a beer with some of the guys from work."
"Good," she whimpered, her emotions brimming over from everything that had happened. "Anita, I'm sorry. It's no good, I'm just going to go home. Don't worry about it."
"Josie wait. Listen, I know what I've done is absolutely reprehensible and I am so sorry but I am still you're friend, even if you don't think I am. I love you as if you were my own sister and maybe I should've thought about what you would've wanted but I honestly thought I was doing the best thing for you by sending him away."
"I know," Josie uttered miserably. "And after what I saw tonight you probably had good reason."
There was a short silence, "why? What happened?"
"Can I come around?"
"Of course you can, where are you?"
"I'm just on my way back from Salem?"
"What were you doing there? No don't tell me now, I'll see you when you get here."
After driving the last 10 miles in a dreamlike state, Josie pulled up outside of Anita's and she gently pulled her fragile body from behind the steering wheel. Gradually, she made her way up the path only to be greeted by Anita as she ran from the house and down the path to meet her. A steadying arm went around Josie's shoulders, virtually dragging her through the front door and into the warmth of the living room. "Josie, forgive me for saying this, but you look like shit. What on earth has happened?"
She allowed Anita to tend to her, pulling her from her coat and scarf. She felt the boots come off her feet and then her gloves before Anita's hands cocooned hers, one by one, in order to breathe some life back into the icicles that represented her fingers. "I feel like shit."
Startled by the outburst, Anita ran off into the kitchen bringing back with her two large mugs of creamy, sweet coffee. Josie gladly took one from Anita and wrapped her hands around the ceramic. Bringing the mug to her lips she drank heartily, sensing the trail of hot liquid as it flushed down her throat. "I saw him."
"Him?" Anita questioned, knowing what the answer would be but hoping that it would be different just the same.
"Sam, Anita. I saw Sam. When I got the truth from you the other day about his coming over to the office those few months back I thought that maybe I could hope that he would want me. I suppose I took comfort in it a little. So, after finding out where he worked and that there was to be a charity ice hockey match this evening, I went over there hoping that we could at least meet up as friends and talk."
"So what happened?" Anita asked, anticipating the worst. Josie began to relate her story to her, she told Anita of how happy she'd been watching him, the jealousy toward the girl with the dark hair, the game and how close it was. Then the tears welled and fell again as she then told of how she'd seen him, his arms around the girl, kissing her head and after when he'd seen her and followed her into the car park. "Josie, you didn't even stay to find anything out?"
"I couldn't. I was so shocked by his being with that other girl that I just couldn't stop myself running away. And once I'd started I couldn't stop."
"But that girl could've been someone else's girlfriend."
"He was a little too familiar for that."
"Not if she was his sister or another relative, Josie?"
"Rob is never that way with me."
"That's not a bad thing," Anita hesitated, "especially considering that he told some of the guys at high school that he slept with you."
"He did what?"
"He was trying to make you sound cool."
Josie giggled, "oh!" She bit her lip. "Do you really think she could've been related to him?"
"Why not? It's not as if you know anything about his home life, is it? The pair of you never really got that far."
Josie covered her face with her hands, "stupid, stupid. How could I be so God damn stupid, Anita. I've done it again, I've let him slip through my fingers once more." She sighed, "what am I going to do?"
Anita shrugged her shoulders, "you're asking me after the mistake I made?"
"Anita, you're still one of my best friends, despite that, and to be honest I've always thought you to be sensible of what I should or shouldn't do. I love you, Anita," she hugged her friend, "I'm sorry for before. I understand why you did it and I forgive you." Tears rolled down over her cheeks.
Anita started crying as well, "thank you Josie, you don't know what it means to me to know that and I promise that if Sam Coulson ever asks me to pass a message on to you in future then I'll do it, regardless of what I think about it."
"I don't think that will happen, somehow."
"Josie, if he was calling your name and wanting you to stop then he'll want to try and contact you. Perhaps you should call him."
"Perhaps." Josie intimated.
"Hmm." Anita pulled away. "I know what that means. That means you won't."
"No, on this occasion it means I might."
Anita nodded her head, "ok, whatever. You should take the chance."
"And looked what happened last time?"
"Only because he wasn't aware of what you were expecting of him. What we were all expecting of him."
"You believe him then?"
"After what you've told me tonight, yes. I think that there has just been a series of incidents that have deigned to keep you two apart. You're both hurting. And I think that when you, in particular, do decide to go and do something about it you allow your courage to falter when you should be standing up against it and fighting for what you believe in."
"You're right, I'll phone him tomorrow." And that's exactly what she did do, leaving it to a decent time to phone on a Sunday morning. At precisely nine am, and before she had time to think about it too much and allow her courage to falter again she picked up her cell phone and called him. But it wasn't Sam that answered, it was a woman and from the tone of the voice it was the same woman that she had seen him kiss the night before. 'But you may have the wrong number,' her mind argued. "Hi," Josie said at length, "is Sam there?"
"Yes, I'll just get him," said the female voice on the other end.
Within seconds he was there, "hello?" His gentle voice ran through her body and tingled at every nerve ending. "Hello?" He asked again, and then much softer, "Josie?"
That was enough, she couldn't handle it any longer. Defiantly she hit the 'end call' button and switched it off. How could he? After only showing up at her office two months previously how could he now so easily forget her and take up with someone else. Unless he'd never been sincere, but that just wasn't possible, for Sam was a true gentleman with absolute sincerity. He must have just assumed that she was no longer interested and decided to start again.
For the rest of that day Josie hibernated. Both Rob and Aldys returned her calls from the previous evening but she was in no mood to go over old ground. After several hours of weighing up all the possibilities and the inevitable upset that each one caused she finally gave way to the day and from exhaustion rather than need, fell asleep. On waking, she finally resolved that she would make a new start herself, Sam Coulson was no longer on the agenda.
After her appointments that Monday morning she decided to make sure that he would never be able to contact her again, especially considering the amount of missed calls that she had received from him over the course of twenty four hours.
She also conveyed her news to Anita, who sighed heavily. "And for God's sake, if he should turn up at the office again, please don't tell him anything. I think its best that we both make a clean break. And this time, I don't want to know either Anita, is that understood?"
"Perfectly," Anita's heart weighed heavily for her friend and thought the move disasterous but instead of giving a voice to her opinions she let it die along with Sam's memory. If this was what Josie wanted, then this was what she would get.
Josie decided that she would enjoy her day the best way that she could. She did her interview, posed for the photographs as directed by the photographer and she saw her publisher, who introduced her to one of his friends, Simon, and a literary agent to boot. She was on the cusp of her new career and she was going to damn well enjoy it. It was about the only thing in her life that was left to enjoy anyway.
"So, Josie," her new agent asked, "how does it feel to be famous?"
"Give it chance Simon!" The smile she gave him warm but shy. "The book has only been out two weeks."
"Yes, but with the coverage you've had from the American press with more to follow, you're name is going to be on the lips of every intelligent romantic person in this country." His British accent lilted over the words, "and who knows, if what Cris tells me is true, then you're book is going to not only top the charts here but also in Britain, Australia and New Zealand. And then the world will be on its knees, bowing to your every whim."
Her eyebrows arched, "hardly!"
"The public will love you, you'll be up there with Mother Teresa and Princess Di. I have one question though? Have you honestly never been kissed?"
"Is it so unfathomable to you, Simon that I have chosen to keep well away from love and romance?"
"How honest do you want my answer to be?"
"Josie, you are one of the most beautiful women that I have ever had the pleasure to know," he simpered, "I find it horrifyingly devastating that you have never experienced that kind of joy."
"Yes, joy. When you kiss someone for the first time, the expectation you feel, the butterflies in your stomach, the fervour, the heat, the passion that wells. It all adds up to a joy that we all experience from a first kiss and then from the wanting of feeling it again. I fully intend to make sure that you experience this before you die."
"Oh, yeah. And who exactly is going to deliver this kiss to me?"
"I'm hoping that you will allow," he stopped, trying to gauge what her reaction would be to him, "... allow me to be your first."
"Simon, I'm very flattered but ..."
"What?" He asked incredulously.
"... you're my agent. I do not intend to share my kiss with a man that has the means to break me if he so chooses to."
"Josie, you are going to be my star writer. Why would I ever consider severing ties with the woman who has the means to make me very rich? I might ask," he continued, "what it is that makes me so unappealing to you?"
'You're not Sam Coulson,' her mind cried out, she shook her head to clear it. "Simon, it's not you, I'm just not interested. My heart has been severely hacked to pieces by two men and I just don't think I could last a third time."
"And the man in your book, the one you waited for at the ball game?"
"He stands even less chance," she heard herself say, although she didn't quite believe herself. "If he ever decided to walk back into my life then I could only ever consider him a friend, I will never ever consider him boyfriend material again." She smiled, but it was forced.
A man wearing headphones indicated that it was time for her to go on. "Ok, let's do this," she smoothed down her skirt and her hair, as her face was quickly checked by the make-up girl and walked onto set to rapturous applause. There were definite drawbacks to being famous and having to explain yourself in front of a studio audience, whilst millions of others watched you from their homes, was definitely one of them but if this was going to sell her book then what choice did she have?
From the sidelines Simon fiddled with the handkerchief in his jacket pocket. If there was one thing he was going to make sure of it was that he was going get Josie Gellar into his bed. He realised it might take a little time and that he was going to have to spend some money in order to get her, but that was nothing compared to what she was going to do for him. He was going to make millions from her; he would have her, make her his own and then drop her after he'd had the best books and years out of her.
He walked out of the studio before taking the phone from his pocket and dialling the all too familiar number. "Hello Geordie, its Simon ... roses? You read my mind ... Where are they going? ... Room 1274, Renaissance Hotel ... yes that's right ... Many thanks ... It's a pleasure doing business with you." He looked up at the hoarding on the side of the building, "Oh, Pacey, by the time I've finished with her she is going to be more famous than you, but perhaps with a bit more notoriety." The wide grin that then plastered his face would've put the Cheshire Cat to shame had they ever been seen side by side, but as he sauntered back onto the set to await Josie's return to him after her interview, it steadily withered to the most genuine smile he could muster.