[Prom - deck. Dawson walks over to where Gretchen is standing looking out at the water.]
Gretchen: Hey. How's Joey doing?
Dawson: Not so good. I'm sorry I took off back there.
Gretchen: Dawson, you don't need to explain. And it doesn't matter anyway because I know what I have to do. I've got to go on with my life. Go back to college, figure out who I am and what I want. This is not my place, not here and not with you. You're still chasing after Joey, I mean, literally and metaphorically.
Dawson: You--you told me to go to her. I thought you understood about our friendship.
Gretchen: I do. I do, and watching you chase her, it just made everything more clear. I mean, Dawson, there are so many loose ends, so much that the two of you haven't resolved... and as much as you think you're beyond the drama of high school and the prom, you're a part of it. You're smack in the middle of it and that's right where you should be. You're a senior in high school... and I'm not.
Dawson: Right, but that doesn't mean that this--us has to be over. Gretchen, I'm not ready for this to be over yet.
Gretchen: What we have is an impossible situation.
Dawson: I'm good at impossible situations.
Gretchen: I'm not. I'm just not. I'm sorry. (she kisses him and walks away)
Dawson stood there in shock. Did that just happen? He asked himself and put a hand up to his head, running it through his hair. Just like that it was over? It was so quick and she didn't even give him the chance to argue, to show her his point of view. "Some kick ass night." He muttered to himself and pushed his palm against the railing of the boat. It wasn't sadness that overcame Dawson but absolute anger. Suddenly he wanted to punch, kick, or kill something. He wanted to let out a scream loud enough for Gretchen to hear, loud enough to make her feel bad for what she just did.
But he knew she must be sad, she must be upset or angry too. But Dawson wouldn't think of that. Did she and Pacey conspire to break his and Joey's hearts that night? They couldn't have. It was just a coincidence. It wasn't fair and it wasn't right. Dawson loved her and she knew it. Where was all of this Joey bull coming from? Why wouldn't she take a chance and do something she wasn't quite sure she could? Dawson wanted to talk to her and ask for more of a reason. From what Dawson could see all he did was care about Gretchen. All he did was try to give her a relationship in which she wouldn't have to feel like she was being used, like she wasn't what he really wanted or just a temporary fill in, a safety net of sorts. He hadn't succeeded, obviously.
Dawson let out a groan and reached into the inner pocket of his jacket, taking out the condoms he had bought earlier. "So much for it feeling 'right.'" He mumbled and almost tossed the box into the ocean. He stopped mid way however. He let his head fall to the railing and another groan escape his throat. Just then he could see where Gretchen was coming from. Earlier that evening Joey had asked him if he was in love with Gretchen. He replied, "All I know is that it feels right." Dawson wanted to shoot himself for that. It feels right? It feels friggin' RIGHT? Dawson knew he was in love with Gretchen but why couldn't he admit that to Joey? What was holding him back? He felt like an idiot and like the worst boyfriend ever. All this time he assumed Gretchen knew how strongly he loved her, but of course he assumed wrong. She was stuck thinking that all he thought was that it felt "right," while she devoted herself selflessly to him. He proclaimed his love but his actions did the opposite. His actions proclaimed not his love for Gretchen, but for Joey instead. Dawson lifted his head and looked out at the water, letting a soft and emotionally tired breath of air escape from his mouth. "I guess I can't go back and change it," He thought.
* * *
Gretchen walked away quickly and clutched her bag tightly to stop her hands from shaking. She grabbed a glass of water and sat at a table, sipping the cool liquid in order to remove the flush from her cheeks. She felt like she was burning up. For some reason she didn't feel like she was going to cry though. She thought when this day came she would be too devastated to breathe, but no tears would even well upon the surface of her eyes. Maybe she was shocked, maybe she was relieved, but the sadness just wouldn't show itself. She just broke up with the man that she loved and she wasn't sad. For a moment she almost felt numb.
The boat was pulling into the harbor and Gretchen finished her water before heading towards the dock. She ran into Pacey on the way and the two stopped and just looked at each other. Pacey could only think of one reason why she was alone.
"You..." He voiced.
She nodded and began to walk towards the exit of the boat. The rest of the teenagers stood waiting for the ramp to be let down onto the dock and once it was they rushed down to their limousines. Gretchen and Pacey walked slowly and silently with each other down to the limo. Gretchen walked a few feet behind Pacey. He claimed his own seat in the back, Joey sat in the front next to the driver, and Jack, Tobey, Jen and Drue filled up the middle seat. The only place left for her to sit was near Dawson. Dawson glanced at her through the window but then looked away quickly. Gretchen took a seat as close to the door as possible. She looked at Dawson for only a moment before turning her head.
The driver started up the car and began to pull away from the docks.