Aki- Sorry about all the mistakes in the first verision of this story. Somehow I uploaded the unedited verision because when i read it on my computer verses the one on the site most of the mistakes were already fixed.


Do You Remember?

I knew. I knew I'd see you again someday. I just didn't know it was going to be like this. I always assumed it would be at some fancy society party, or waiting for a cab outside a hotel, or in an airplane. Not here. Not at my best friend's rehearsal diner where she's the bride and you're the groom and I'm the single bridesmaid watching you stare into each other's eyes.

You come over to talk to me, but you are not really talking. No, you are just throwing out the mandatory questions and answers that you would give one of Rory's relatives you hadn't even met before. Do you even remember me, because I remember you. I remember us, Tristan.

I remember us being five years old in kindergarten, best friends. Both of our parents encouraged it. Maybe they were already dreaming of wedding bells for us, I don't know. I remember second grade when you wouldn't get near me because I was a girl and I had cooties. I remember third grade when you gave me a flower, a kiss on the cheek, and told me I was you girlfriend. That lasted about a week, but I took to heart. You were my first boyfriend. You remember, Tristan? Do you?

You ask me what I am doing now and I tell you of graduate school and studying to be a doctor and you nod appraisingly. I ask about you. Took over the family business. Like I couldn't see that coming, note the sarcasm. (Did you remember your fourth grade dreams of becoming a professional dodge ball player?) But I wanted to know. I hadn't heard from you since you had been shipped off to military school junior year and just disappeared. You were good at disappearing.

I recall fifth grade, sitting next to you at your mother's funeral service. You had always been close to her. After then was when the 'discipline problems' started. You got sent way to a strict all boys middle school and I never heard from you once over all three years. It was like I didn't even matter anymore. It was those years, when you weren't here to keep me sane from my parents' fighting and my mother's nagging that I became the wound up psycho I am now and was throughout my high school years.

Freshman year of high school came and we were back together, except we never once talked to each other unless it was out of necessity of a school project, where usually I did all the talking and all the work. You were a different boy then the one who would make me spend all day scouring your perfect lawn for dandelions for your mother or the boy who would stay on the phone all night with me when I couldn't get to sleep because my parents' shouts were too loud. Different from the boy who cried silently and held my hand at your mother's viewing. I still loved you though. You had been my best friend; you had been my boyfriend, no matter how naive that sounds.

Then sophomore year came along with her. Rory Gilmore. Your next prey. She was everything I wasn't. She was beautiful like I wasn't, brown hair, blue-eyes, a baby doll face and the perfect body to match. She was smart, but not obsessed. She was her own person, but not obtrusive about it. She was confident. And she didn't want to get within an arm's length of you. And you fell, fell hard for her. For her you would change your playboy ways. I could see it your eyes back then and I can see it now. I wanted to be that girl for you so badly. That was one of the many reasons I hated Rory (or at least tried to).

I thought maybe I did become that girl the day you asked me out on a date. I was so nervous, but it was a great day. It was the first time and the only time we ever talked about 'back then.' You even kissed me goodnight. I was in paradise. But the day after you told me we were better as 'just friends,' not that we ever became that. And that Rory had set us up. It was a pity date. I hated it.

The year after you were gone within the first few months of school. I do not know what twist of fate caused you and Gilmore to meet again after so many absent years but it must be the fate that never looks kindly upon me. The fate that kept me from Harvard, that took Asher from me. Oh, after you I had a life. There was Jaimie, and Asher, and Doyle and I loved ever single one of them in turn, but not the same way I loved you. Not the same innocent first crush kind of love. Not the chasing each other around during recess in fourth grade kind of love. Not the words 'best friends forever' carved into the tree trunk kind of love. No matter what stupid thing you did next in high school unconditional affection type of love.

Did you ever realize I cared that much about you?

Do you know that you broke my heart?

Do you know I would take you back, right here, right now if you wanted me to?

Did you ever feel the same thing about me that I felt almost everyday since we met about you?

These are the questions I don't dare ask you. That I, the shameless Paris Geller, lacks the never to ask. I don't even dare ask if you remember what 'us' was like. If you remember the pinkie promises, the elementary school valentines, and the swears to always be friends for forever and eternity?

You have to go now, they are all calling for a toast. Rory's calling to you from across the room. You stare at me a second longer than necessary, maybe soaking in the fact that I am quieter and meeker than the girl I was in high school, like that other girl I was in my childhood.

You kiss me ever so lightly on my check before leaving. And I think that just maybe you do remember.

Before your speech you kiss Rory on the mouth, so tenderly, passionately. I wish you kissed me like that.

Maybe you do remember, but I doubt it.