Long Hot Summer By Kevin Williamson



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Chapter 1: Summer Plans

THE CAPESIDE CONNECTION SCENE 14

SCENE 14. EXTERIOR. THE CREEK. DAY.

The frightened GIRL runs towards the dock. The KILLER follows her. He is wearing a long black coat and a wide hat. The hat covers the top part of his face.

The GIRL has to escape, but she is trapped on the wooden dock now. And the KILLER is getting closer.

The pretty teenager is the only person who knows everything about the gang of criminals – the Capeside Connection. If they kill her now, nobody will ever know the truth. She has to escape! But how?

The GIRL looks around her. She sees the row – boat which is tied to the end of the dock. This is the only boat that she can see. If she can get away in it, the KILLER won’t be able to follow her. But she needs a pair of oars to row the boat. She sees a pair of oars lying on the dock. She grabs them and she runs. She jumps into the little boat and she unties the rope that holds it to the dock. She puts the oars onto the sides of the boat and the ends of the oars into the creek and rows away from the dock. She pulls hard on the handles of the oars.

The KILLER lifts his gun and shoots at her. The bullets strike the water around the boat, but they don’t hit the GIRL.

As she gets further from the shore, the GIRL shouts to the KILLER.

GIRL (shouting):

“Why does your boss hire killers who can’t shoot straight?”

“That’s great!” Dawson Leery called out. “OK, we can stop now!”

Dawson was holding his video camera up to his face. He was still looking through the viewfinder of the camera as he shouted. He was still looking at his friend Joey Potter as she rowed the boat out into the creek. Then he pushed a button on the camera, and the scene in the viewfinder faded to darkness.

“That was great,” he said. “Let’s -” but he didn’t finish the sentence. He took a step backwards and fell off the side of the dock, into the creek!

When the young man’s head came up out of the water a few seconds later, he heard laughter around him. He pushed his wet blond hair away from his eyes. Joey was laughing. And Pacey Witter was laughing too. Pacey, “The Killer,” was standing at the end of the dock. As he laughed, he was throwing the toy gun into the air and catching it.

“That was excellent, Dawson! How did you do that?” Pacey called to his friend. “You should be in the movies!”

Another of Pacey’s jokes! Pacey always made jokes. Movies were Dawson’s biggest interest in life. His mother worked at the local TV station – she was a news presenter there. And his father was an architect – he designed hotels and stores. But Dawson had always wanted to be a movie director. His favorite director was Steven Spielberg. Dawson took film classes at school. During vacations and on weekends, he worked at a video rental store in Capeside. He worked there because the owner let him take movies home every night. And this year, he had started making his own movies.

Pacey worked at the store too, but he didn’t let movies fill his whole life. Only Dawson did that!

Dawson swam to the side of the dock and he passed the video camera up to Pacey. By now, Joey had rowed the boat back to the dock. Suddenly she stopped laughing.

“Do we have to act that scene again?” she asked.

“No, it’s OK,” Dawson replied. “This camera is waterproof. The film won’t be damaged. And that was the last scene in the movie, my friends. The Capeside Connection is finished!”

“Great!” shouted Pacey. “Now we can start our summer vacation!” And he jumped into the creek next to Dawson.

“Don’t sit there in that boat, Joey,” Dawson said to the girl with the lovely long, thick brown hair. “You’re too dry. It’s time to get wet now!”

“I’m OK here. I like being dry,” Joey answered.

Dawson looked at Pacey. The two boys smiled. They were good friends. They’d been good friends for a long time. Now they understood each other without speaking. Suddenly they both grabbed one end of the little rowboat and lifted it. Joey held the sides of the boat. “No! No!” she screamed. A moment later, she was in the water beside them.

“This is a war!” she shouted. “You two behave like little kids. When are you going to grow up?”

But they were all fifteen years old. There was plenty of time for them to grow up. And it was summertime in the beautiful little town of Capeside. A moment later, the three of them were splashing each other with water and pushing each other’s heads under the surface.

“Aren’t you making your movie today?” asked a voice. “Nobody told me about swimming in the creek.”

The voice came from the end of the dock. The three friends looked up. Jen Lindley was standing there, smiling at them.

“Oh, why did she come?” Joey asked quietly.

“Don’t say that,” Dawson said to her. He spoke quietly too. “Please be nice to Jen.”

Joey always tried to be nice to Jen, but it wasn’t easy for her. Jen was fifteen too, but she was a girl who had lived in New York City nearly all her life. She seemed much older than the three friends who had always lived in Capeside. That made Joey feel bad.

Earlier in the year, Jen had arrived in the little town by the sea. She had made some bad friends in New York and had gotten into trouble. So she had come to stay in Capeside with her grandparents. And when Dawson had first seen the beautiful blond girl from the city, he had fallen in love with her. That was finished now, Joey knew that. But she couldn’t really like Jen.

Joey had always loved Dawson. They were best friends. When they were young, she had loved him like a brother. But now she was fifteen, and she had started to love him in a different way. Her love had changed. It was stronger. She no longer loved Dawson like a brother. And earlier this year she had finally understood something about him. Dawson still loved Joey as a friend. She was like a sister to him. He didn’t love her in the same way that she loved him.

The three teenagers in the creek had stopped splashing water on each other. They had stopped laughing. Dawson looked at Jen and he looked at Joey. Life was so difficult sometimes!

For a while, Dawson and Jen had been really close. He had loved her. She was the first girl that he had fallen in love with. But now Jen was just his friend. And Joey had always been Dawson’s friend. She had spent a lot of time in his house, from the time when they were young children. She had often stayed in his room at night when they were younger. They had slept in the same bed – just as friends. But now Joey wanted something else. She wanted Dawson to love her as a woman, not as a sister. Joey wanted him to love her like he had loved Jen. And he remembered an evening, a few weeks before, when he had kissed Joey. For a moment, everything had changed. What did he really want?

Pacey looked at the other three. He wanted to end the silence. “Take off all your clothes, Jen,” he said. “Jump in here with us.”

Pacey always said crazy things at the wrong times.

“Thank you, Pacey, but I’ll keep my clothes on,” Jen said. She laughed.

“That’s a new idea for her,” said Joey quietly. As soon as she had said it, she was sorry.

Dawson put his hand on Joey’s head and pushed her under the water.

A moment later, her head came up again. She spat water from her mouth.

“What’s your problem, Dawson?” she asked angrily.

Dawson Leery didn’t answer. He didn’t know what his problem was.

Later that afternoon, the four young friends were on the wooden dock by the creek.

They had been there for several hours, enjoying the hot sun. Joey looked at her watch. It was nearly four o’clock. She was surprised. The afternoon had passed quickly.

“I have to go to work,” she said, standing up. “You lazy people can stay here all day, but I can’t.”

Joey worked at The Ice House, a cafe in the town. The Potter family owned the cafe. Joey’s sister, Bessie, and her sister’s boyfriend, Bodie, worked there too. The three of them took care of the cafe. It was hard work and Joey had to be there soon. But first, she had to go home. She had to change her clothes before she went to work.

“Hey, we aren’t lazy,” Dawson said. “This summer, Pacey and I will have to work very hard at Screenplay Video.”

“You will have to work hard at Screenplay Video, Dawson,” Pacey said. “I don’t work at the store any more.”

Dawson looked up at his friend. “Why not?” he asked him.

“I have better things to do,” Pacey replied.

“What things?”

“Well – looking at beautiful women in swimsuits. Saving lovely girls from death. That kind of thing,” Pacey said lazily. “I’m going to learn to be a lifeguard.”

Jen started laughing.

“Why is that funny?” Pacey asked.

“Well – that’s what I’m going to do this summer too,” Jen replied. “Are you joining the lifeguarding course at the town pool tomorrow morning? The class starts at seven thirty in the morning. You knew that, didn’t you?”

“Yes, I know that,” Pacey replied. “Er, seven thirty at the pool? Does the class start as early as that? Er – OK. I’ll see you there, Jen.”

Dawson looked up at Joey.

“And I’ll see you on Friday, Joey,” he told her. “We’ll spend the day together at the beach.”

“OK. That will be fun,” she replied.

Joey jumped down into her rowboat. She lived on the other side of the creek. Rowing across the creek was her quickest way to get home. As she rowed, she was thinking.

“Jen is going to be busy with the lifeguarding course this vacation,” she said to herself. “That’s good! It’s going to be a long hot summer. If Jen isn’t with Dawson every day, maybe he’ll spend some more time with me. Maybe he’ll be my best friend again.”

Chapter 2: A New Girl in Town

That evening, Dawson was sitting by the side of the creek. He loved sitting outside in the evenings, while the sun went down in the sky. He was thinking. He was a little sad about Pacey leaving his job at the video store. Pacey was a good friend. And friendships with guys were so much easier than friendships with girls!

“Friendships with girls whose names begin with the letter ‘J’ are especially difficult,” he said to himself. “I need to find a new friend this summer.”

Dawson still had his video camera with him. He held it up to his face and he looked through the viewfinder. He looked at the houses next to the creek. He looked at Jen’s grandmother’s house, then he looked at the Barclays’ house. The Barclays lived two houses from Jen. They had two young babies who had been born at the same time – twins.

As Dawson watched, he heard a noise. It was the sound of a door opening and then closing. Someone was coming out of the Barclays’ house. A moment later, Dawson was looking at a girl. He could see her clearly in the camera’s viewfinder. She was about the same age as he was – or maybe a little older. Her red-blond hair was longer than Joey’s. And she was beautiful!

“Hey, there’s a new girl in town,” he thought. “Tomorrow, I’ll find out who she is. Maybe she’ll be my new friend.”

Early the next morning, Jen was looking out of the window of her bedroom. She saw Pacey coming towards the house. He was carrying two cups of hot coffee. Jen ran downstairs and joined him in the street.

“We’ll walk to the pool together,” Pacey said. “I got you some coffee.”

Jen drank some coffee from the cup.

“This is great,” she said. “It’s the kind of coffee I like best. How did you know that?”

“Well – Dawson told me,” Pacey said. He smiled. “Dawson used to talk about you all the time.”

“You remembered and I’m happy,” Jen said. “Thanks, Pacey. But I don’t want to talk about Dawson any more.”

“OK,” Pacey replied. “Let’s forget about him.”

As they walked towards the town pool, Jen was thinking about her life.

“I want a peaceful vacation this summer,” she told herself. “I don’t want any boyfriends. I don’t want to make anyone unhappy. I just want a peaceful, happy vacation.”

At the same time, Joey was saying goodbye to her sister. Bessie was going to work. This morning, Joey had to look after her sister’s baby son, Alexander.

Life was difficult for Joey and her sister. Their mother was dead and their father was in jail. Bessie and her boyfriend, Bodie, lived in the family house with Joey. They were good people and they tried to take care of Joey. But they all had to work hard. Some of the neighbors said unkind things about Bessie and Bodie and Alexander. They said unkind things because Bessie and Bodie weren’t married. And because Bodie was black. There weren’t many African-Americans in Capeside. Some of the older people there didn’t understand why Bessie and Bodie loved each other.

When Bessie left the house, Joey took Alexander out into the yard. After a few minutes, she heard someone calling her. Her eight-year-old neighbor came into the yard. Clarissa Cummings was a pretty little girl and she loved Joey.

“Joey, will you do something for me?” Clarissa asked. “My family and I are leaving town tomorrow. We’re going to Europe for our vacation. Will you take care of my pet when I’m away?”

“Oh, no!” Joey thought. “I’ll have to spend most of my summer vacation working at the cafe or taking care of Alexander. I can’t take care of a pet too.”

But before Joey could speak, Clarissa went on.

“His name is Howard,” she said. “He’s not an animal. He’s a virtual pet.”

Clarissa gave Howard to Joey. Howard was made of pink plastic and he looked like an egg. On the front of the egg there was a small video screen.

“Well – taking care of Howard won’t be difficult,” thought Joey.

Then Clarissa put a book into Joey’s other hand.

“That’s Howard’s manual – it tells you how to look after him,” the little girl said. “It’s very important. If you don’t read every page, you’ll do something wrong. If you do something wrong, Howard will die!”

At the pool, Pacey was not enjoying the lifeguarding class. When he’d first arrived, he’d looked around at the other students. There were some good-looking girls in the class. There was one with lovely red hair. There were two very pretty blond girls who were twins. Pacey wanted to make friends with all of the girls. And at first, he was happy because none of the other male students were very handsome.

But then the instructor had arrived. He was a handsome, middle-aged man. His body was suntanned and muscular. All the girls looked at him and smiled.

The instructor blew a whistle loudly.

“Listen to me!” he shouted. “My name is Tim. I’m going to teach you to be lifeguards. It will be hard work. You have to be serious about lifeguarding. Any boy who has joined the class to look at girls in swimsuits must leave. And any girl who has come here to find a boyfriend must leave too. We’re here to protect the people of Capeside and the visitors to the town. We’re here to save them from danger. Do you all understand?”

After that, all the students had to take a test. Each of them had to swim five hundred yards. Then each of them had to dive down to the bottom of the pool, pick up a heavy stone, and bring it to the instructor. Several people failed these tests. They had to leave the class immediately.

When the class finished at twelve noon, Tim spoke to the students again.

“On the other days, we’ll work for much longer,” he told them. “And the work will be harder each day.”

Then he gave each of them a book. “This is your life- guarding manual,” he said. “Read the first chapter this afternoon. Tomorrow, I’ll give you a test on it.”

Dawson was bored at the video store. Pacey wasn’t there, and only a few customers had come to the store during the morning. Dawson had nobody to talk to, so he was reading. He looked up when he heard the door open.

The person who entered the shop was the lovely girl who he had seen the evening before. She had a baby carriage with her. The Barclays’ babies were lying inside it.

“Hi,” the girl said. Her voice was unusual. She didn’t speak with an American accent. “I want to rent a video for this evening.”

“Hi,” Dawson replied. “Are those the Barclays’ new twins?”

“Yes, that’s right,” the girl said. “I take care of them when the Barclays aren’t at home. I’m the children’s nanny. My name is Sheila Billingsley.”

“OK, Sheila. I’m Dawson Leery,” Dawson said. “Welcome to Capeside. You’re not American are you? Where are you from?”

“Thanks for the welcome, Dawson. I’m from Australia,” the girl said. “Now, for this evening I want to rent a film that’s fun. I don’t want a horror film, or a film that’s too serious. I want something to laugh at!”

“I’ll find you a good one,” Dawson told her. And he started to look through the shelves of videos.

But after a moment, one of the twins started to cry. Then the other one started to cry too.

“I’m sorry about this,” Sheila said. “I need to take these babies home and feed them. I’ll come back for the video later.”

“I’ve got a better idea,” Dawson said. “I’ll choose a movie for you and I’ll bring it to your house this evening. I’ll bring it when I finish work.”

A minute later, Dawson watched the girl leave the shop.

“Yes! She’s the answer to my problem,” he told himself. “Sheila is beautiful and she’s friendly. And her name doesn’t begin with a ‘J’. It’s going to be a great summer!”

That afternoon, Pacey was at home, trying to read the lifeguarding manual. It was a long book. There were a lot of things to learn. But Pacey didn’t want to stay in the house reading. The first chapter of the manual was about the kind of person a lifeguard must be. It was about the serious attitude that a lifeguard must have.

“I don’t need to learn this,” Pacey told himself. “This chapter won’t help me save anybody’s life. And it’s really boring. I’ll be good when we have to save people – I know that. I’ll be great at the pool tomorrow. All the girls will want me to rescue them!”

A few minutes later, he was outside in the yard, playing basketball with his brother.

When Dawson finished his work at Screenplay Video at six o’clock, he was feeling excited. Quickly he chose three movies for Sheila. He was going to pay the rental charge himself. But he wasn’t going to tell Sheila that.

When she opened the door of the Barclays’ house a few minutes later, he gave her the videos.

“Hi, Sheila. These are a gift from the store,” he said. “They’re a gift to welcome you to Capeside. You don’t have to pay the rental charge for them.”

Mr Barclay was standing behind Sheila. He invited Dawson into the house.

“My wife and I are going on trip for a week,” Mr Barclay said. “We’re going to leave soon. Sheila will stay here with the twins. Please stay as long as you want to this evening. I’m happy that Sheila has found a friend in Capeside already.”

Dawson sat next to Sheila while she fed the twins. When they started to cry, she sang to them.

“You’re really good with those kids,” Dawson told her. “You’re really great with them. Tell me something. Why did you decide to come to Capeside? Why did you choose this little town to work in?”

“Well, I really love kids,” the Australian girl replied. “When I saw an advertisement for this job in a newspaper, I had to come here.”

“But where did you see the advertisement?” Dawson asked. “Did you come here straight from Australia?”

“No,” Sheila replied. “I stayed in Boston for a while before I came here. I saw the advertisement in a newspaper there.”

“Boston is a great place,” Dawson said. “Did you have fun there?”

“Yes,” Sheila replied. Then she changed the subject quickly. “Hey, Dawson, will you stay and watch one of these films with me this evening?” she asked him. “I can’t go out again, and it will be good to talk to someone.”

“She doesn’t want to talk about Boston,” Dawson thought. “That’s OK.” He smiled at the pretty Australian.

“Yes, I’d really like to watch some movies with you,” he said. “Movies are great. Movies are my life. You’ll love the ones that I brought for you.”

The two young people watched one of movies. Then Sheila put the twins in their beds. Dawson helped her. After that they talked for a while. They talked about the movies that Dawson had made. Sheila was very interested. Dawson was sad when it was time to leave.

“She’s a great girl!” he told himself as he walked home. “She’s intelligent and beautiful. She’s easy to talk to. And she’s a great nanny. She’s wonderful with those little twins. I really want to know her better!”

Chapter 3: “He’s Gorgeous!”

It was Friday morning. Joey was sitting on the grass beside the beach, reading a magazine. She had a problem and she wasn’t happy. Her problem was lying next to her. Dawson was like a stranger this morning. The two of them had known each other all their lives. But today, Dawson was like somebody she had met for the first time – somebody who wasn’t really interested in her.

When Dawson had come to her house that morning, he’d played with her sister’s baby. But he hadn’t talked to Joey herself. When Alexander started to cry, Dawson had said something strange.

“Why don’t you sing to him?” Dawson had asked her. “That’s what a professional nanny does.”

“Why is he talking about professional nannies?” Joey had asked herself. “I’m not a nanny. I’m someone who tries to help her sister.”

But later, as they walked to the beach, she had started to understand. Dawson had talked all the time about a wonderful Australian girl. The girl was taking care of the Barclays’ twins. The girl would be great in a movie.

“Sheila’s voice is wonderful and her face is perfect,” he’d told his best friend. “And she’s so good with those twins. She’s only three years older than we are. But she knows everything about babies. You could learn a lot from her about taking care of babies. Then you could help Bessie more.”

Joey didn’t want to hear any more about Dawson’s new friend. She looked around her. She saw some teenagers putting up a net further along the beach. When they had fixed the net, they started a game of volleyball. They were guys and girls like Dawson and herself. But they were having fun!

“I’m going to watch the volleyball game,” she told Dawson quickly. She put Clarissa’s virtual pet on the ground next to him. “You can look after Howard for me, Dawson.”

Joey walked away along the beach. She sat down on the sand close to the people who were playing volleyball. She tried to think about the game, but she couldn’t forget Dawson’s words. She was often angry when Bessie asked her to take care of Alexander – that was true.

“Maybe I could help Bessie more,” she thought. “I could spend more time with Alexander. Then Bessie and Bodie could do more things together. But I must have a life too. And I don’t need an Australian to tell me about babies.”

At that moment, one of the female volleyball players ran over to her. The girl was breathing quickly.

“I’m tired,” the girl said. “Do you want to play in the game instead of me?”

“OK,” Joey replied. She got up and joined the other volleyball players.

“Maybe some fast exercise will be good for me,” Joey thought. “Maybe it will stop me thinking about my problems.”

Soon she was hitting the ball over the net with all her strength. She thought about Dawson Leery’s head in place of the ball! And soon, she was feeling better.

One of the players on the other side of the net was a handsome young guy. He had brown hair, blue eyes and a muscular, suntanned chest. He was wearing blue swim shorts with a bright yellow pattern – a pattern of flowers!

“He’s cute,” Joey said to herself. “The shorts are a little strange. But he’s really cute. In fact, he’s gorgeous!”

She looked again. And the handsome young guy was looking back at her and he was smiling.

When the game was finished, Joey walked back to the place where she had been lying with Dawson.

Dawson wasn’t there. He had gone to swim in the sea. Joey lay down on the grass and closed her eyes. A few minutes later, she was almost asleep. She could hear some people laughing and shouting but they weren’t very near her. Then she heard a sound that was right by her side. It was Howard. He was making a loud, high sound – BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!

Joey picked up the virtual pet and looked at its screen. There were some shapes on the screen, but Joey didn’t understand their message. One of the shapes looked like a duck, and it was flashing. It was there for a second. Then it was gone for a second. Then it was back. Howard was trying to tell her something. But what was he trying to tell her? She started pulling everything out of her bag. She had to find Howard’s manual.

The next moment, the cute young man from the volleyball game came over to her.

“Let me show you what to do,” he said. “That will be easier than looking in the manual.”

Joey gave him the toy. “He’s called Howard,” she told him.

“Ah,” he said. “A picture of a duck is flashing. That means that Howard has used the bathroom! You press this button. When you do that, you clean up the mess!”

The young man pressed one of the buttons on the toy and the beeping sound stopped. Then he smiled and gave Howard back to Joey.

“My name is Jeremy,” he said. “Jeremy Fields.”

“I’m Joey Potter,” Joey replied. “How do you know so much about virtual pets?”

“Well, my younger brother has five or six of them,” Jeremy said. “Sometimes I take care of them for him. Do you live in this town, or are you here for a vacation?”

“I live here. I was born here,” Joey told him. “But you must be a visitor.”

“That’s right,” said Jeremy. “I’m from New Hampshire.” Then he saw Dawson walking towards them. “I’d better go now,” he said. “Your boyfriend is coming back.”

Suddenly, Joey didn’t want Jeremy to walk out of her life.

“Oh, he’s not my boyfriend,” she said quickly. “He’s – he’s someone who I’ve known all my life. But he’s not my boyfriend. I don’t have a boyfriend right now.”

“Well, maybe you’d like to come to a movie with me tonight?” Jeremy said.

“Yes, I’d like that, Jeremy,” Joey replied. “I have to work this afternoon and evening, but I finish work at nine o’clock.”

“OK, that will be great!” said Jeremy. At that moment, Dawson arrived and sat down. Jeremy tried to be friendly with him, but Dawson was angry and unfriendly.

Jeremy started to leave.

“Where shall I meet you tonight?” he asked Joey.

She told him how to get to The Ice House.

“OK, I’ll see you there at nine,” he said. Then he walked back towards his friends.

“Who was the guy with the strange swim shorts?” Dawson asked Joey when they were alone.

“Jeremy Fields,” Joey said. She held up Clarissa’s virtual pet. “He’s nice. He helped me with this stupid toy.”

“You just met him half an hour ago,” said Dawson. “He’s a stranger. And you’re going out with him tonight? Are you crazy? Maybe he’s a murderer. Well, it’s your problem. I’m going to meet Sheila tonight.”

“Don’t worry about me, Dawson,” Joey said. “Jeremy is cute. And he won’t be a stranger for long!”

Chapter 4: At the Pool

Early that same Friday morning, Jen was waiting outside her house. She was waiting for Pacey. The two teenagers had decided to walk to the lifeguarding class together each morning.

When Pacey arrived, he had brought Jen a cup of coffee again.

Jen had not lived in Capeside for very long. Until now, she had only met Pacey with Dawson. Jen was seeing Pacey alone now. She was pleased about that. She wanted to know him better. She needed real friends.

For a few weeks, Jen had been Dawson’s girlfriend. Then their short relationship had ended. Dawson hadn’t found it easy to be her friend after that. And Joey still didn’t really like Jen, because Joey loved Dawson. Joey had been jealous about Dawson’s relationship with Jen.

As Pacey and Jen walked to the pool, Pacey made her laugh. He told jokes and he imitated the instructor’s way of speaking.

“If anyone here cannot be strong and angry, he or she can leave the class now! Anyone who is afraid to get wet, leave now!” Pacey shouted.

Jen laughed.

“Maybe Tim was in the army before he became a lifeguard instructor,” she said.

They arrived at the pool a few seconds before the class began. That was lucky, because Tim started to behave in the way that made them laugh.

Jen and Pacey tried not to laugh. Pacey did not succeed.

Tim looked at him angrily.

“If you have come here to laugh, you can leave the class now, Witter!” he shouted. “A lifeguard must be serious at all times!”

After that, Tim told them more about the course.

“When you’ve been in this class for a few weeks, you’ll take another course,” the instructor said. “That will be a course in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation – CPR. You’ll learn resuscitation. You’ll learn how to start someone’s heart and their breathing if they have stopped. If you pass that course, and if you pass all the tests in this course, you’ll get your lifeguarding certificates.”

He looked at Pacey.

“If you pass the tests!” Tim repeated.

“But the summer will be almost finished by that time,” Pacey said.

“Yes, that’s right,” said Tim. “For the rest of this summer, each of you will help one of the lifeguards who is already trained. Then next summer, you’ll be fully-trained lifeguards yourselves.”

Pacey was angry. His thoughts about giving mouth-to- mouth resuscitation to very beautiful girls in very small swimsuits disappeared.

But then he looked around the class at the other students. He looked at the pretty blond twins. He looked at the girl with lovely red hair.

“Well, perhaps this class is OK,” he told himself.

When the lessons stopped at lunchtime, Jen wanted to ask Pacey to share some lunch with her. But she saw him leave the pool with the blond twins.

“My motorcycle is being repaired,” he was telling the girls. “I usually go around on that. Two of my friends are film stars. They work in Hollywood and they have fast sports cars. But when my friends come here, we all ride motorcycles.”

“Pacey doesn’t have a motorcycle,” Jen thought. “He’s a fool. He thinks, ‘These girls will only like me for the things that I own and the people who I know.’ That’s so stupid! People will like Pacey if he’s happy to be himself. But Pacey doesn’t understand that. He tries too hard to make people like him – especially girls.”

That morning, the class had been tested on the first chapter of the lifeguarding manual. Pacey had done badly on the test. Jen hadn’t understood why. The chapter had only taken twenty minutes to read and the test had been easy.

“Perhaps Pacey has only come to the class to meet girls,” she thought.

That afternoon, Joey felt happy as she worked at The Ice House. She smiled at all the customers in the cafe. She was really excited about her evening with Jeremy.

“I can’t take care of Alexander tonight,” she’d told her sister when she arrived at the cafe. “I’m going on a date. I’m going to a movie with a boy who I met at the beach.”

She’d been worried about telling her sister about the date. But Bessie wasn’t angry. She was happy for Joey and so was Bodie.

“He’s a lucky boy,” Bessie said. “What’s his name?”

“His name’s Jeremy,” Joey told her. “And he’s cute. You’ll meet him tonight. He’s going to meet me here when I finish work.”

That evening, Dawson visited Sheila Billingsley again at the Barclays’ house. This time, they watched some of the short movies that Dawson had made. Sheila was really interested in Dawson’s ideas about movies and he enjoyed talking to her. And soon, he wanted to kiss her. But he didn’t. There was a reason for this.

“I mustn’t be like Pacey,” he thought. “I must think before I do anything. I’ll wait until she’s ready to be kissed. I can’t do the wrong thing now.”

And there was another reason. As Dawson looked at

Sheila, he thought of Joey Potter. Did he want to kiss Sheila? Or did he really want to kiss Joey – the girl who had been his best friend all his life? A few months before, he had kissed Joey for the first time. It had been good then. But later Dawson felt unhappy about it. It had seemed wrong.

“I can’t do the wrong thing again,” he thought.

So he went on talking about his movies. Everything was OK until Sheila started talking about Joey. Joey was in all Dawson’s films, and Sheila was interested in the female star of his movies!

“She’s very pretty,” Sheila said.

“Well, she looks OK,” Dawson replied.

“Is she your girlfriend?” she asked.

“No, she’s a girl who I’ve known for a long time,” he said. He didn’t feel good when he said this. “But why are you asking me about Joey?”

“She looks at the camera in a special way in your films,” Sheila said. “Maybe she loves the man who’s holding the camera! Show me how you hold the camera, Dawson.”

Dawson was happy to show Sheila his camera. And he was happy to change the subject. He didn’t want to talk about Joey. He showed Sheila how to hold the camera. The two teenagers filmed each other and they laughed a lot. Then Dawson had an idea.

“I’d like to make a film about you,” he told Sheila. “A film about a day in the life of a nanny will be interesting. It will help me to learn about making that kind of film – a documentary film. I’ve never made a film about a real person. It will be good practice for me. Will you let me spend a day with you? I can do it any day.”

Sheila didn’t answer for a few moments. She looked a little worried. “OK,” she said at last. “But you can’t show the film to anyone else. It will only be practice for you.”

“OK,” said Dawson.

“Good. We’ll do it on Sunday,” Sheila told him. Then she smiled. “I feel relaxed with you, Dawson,” she said. “I only met you this week, but you’re already like a good friend.”

“I’m like a good friend to her,” Dawson thought. “But she doesn’t want me to be her boyfriend. That’s how I feel about Joey.”

He felt a little sad when he left the Barclays’ house and started to walk home.

Chapter 5: A Wonderful Idea

That evening, Joey finished work at The Ice House a little early. She went into the bathroom to change her clothes. When she came out, Jeremy Fields had already arrived. He was talking to Bessie and Bodie.

Jeremy was holding some flowers. They were beautiful red roses. He smiled as he gave them to Joey.

“They’re pretty,” Joey said.

“Yes, they are pretty,” Jeremy said. “They’re like you. You look very pretty tonight.”

A few minutes later, Joey and Jeremy were standing outside the movie theater, waiting to buy tickets. They were laughing and telling each other jokes. Joey was feeling happy and relaxed. When they entered the theater, Jeremy bought some chocolates and gave them to her.

“These are my favorite chocolates – the kind I like best,” she said. “How did you know that?”

“Your sister told me,” Jeremy replied. “I really liked Bessie. And I liked Bodie too. They’re great people!”

Joey was pleased. “A movie, a gorgeous boy, and my favorite chocolates,” she thought. “And he likes my family. What more could I want?”

When Dawson got home, he went to his bedroom. He put the video tape from his camera into his video machine. On his TV screen, he watched the scenes that he had shot of Sheila. Then he watched the tape again. While he was watching, his mother opened the door.

“I came to say goodnight,” she said. Then she saw the pictures on the screen. “Who’s that?” she asked.

Dawson told his mother about Sheila. Gale Leery worked for the local TV station. She was on television every day. She was a news presenter. Every evening, she sat in front of cameras in the TV studio and read the day’s news to the viewers. She also spoke about the short films that the station’s news reporters made. She introduced and explained all the short reports of the news program that were joined together. She was the news anchor person.

“Sheila is a pretty girl,” Mrs Leery said, looking again at Dawson’s film. “How old is she?”

“She’s eighteen,” Dawson said.

“And does she have a summer job with the Barclays until she goes to college?”

“Yes, that’s right.”

“That’s great, Dawson!” Mrs Leery said. “This month, the TV station is going to show some film reports about teenagers and their summer jobs. I’d really like to have a short report about Sheila.”

“That’s a wonderful idea, Mom!” Dawson said. “I’ll ask Sheila about it tomorrow. She’ll say yes – I’m sure about that. But I have a better idea. I’m going to make a documentary film about Sheila on Sunday. Why don’t you show my film on your program? My films are very cheap – my film about Sheila won’t cost you any money!”

“I’ll have to ask my boss at the TV station,” Mrs Leery said. “If he’s happy about it, I’m happy too.”

Joey was enjoying her evening. The movie wasn’t very good, but sitting next to Jeremy Fields was great!

Suddenly there was a loud noise and it was coming from Joey’s bag. BEEP – BEEP – BEEP!

Joey had forgotten about Howard.

“Be quiet!” some people shouted at her. “We can’t hear the movie!”

Joey put her hand into her bag. At last she found Clarissa’s virtual pet and pushed one of its buttons. The beeping noise stopped. But Joey could hear another sound – Jeremy was laughing quietly. Joey started to laugh too.

“Let’s go,” Jeremy whispered. “Let’s go before we make everybody angry.” They got up from their seats and left the theater.

Jeremy walked with Joey to her home. At her door, they stopped. Then Jeremy gave her a long, sweet, gentle kiss.

“Goodnight, Joey,” he said.

Chapter 6: Pacey’s Mistake

The next morning, Pacey brought Jen a cup of coffee and they walked together towards the town pool.

“Pacey, why did you tell lies to the twins?” Jen asked him. “You told them lies about a motorcycle – you don’t have a motorcycle. And you told them lies about your friends who are film stars – you don’t know any film stars.”

“I want to make friends with girls,” Pacey told her. “I want them to like me. Girls like boys who ride motorcycles. And they like boys who know people in Hollywood.”

“Pacey, you have to be yourself,” Jen said. “You mustn’t try to be someone different. Girls will like you if you are happy to be Pacey Witter. You need to feel good about yourself.”

“I’m unlucky in my relationships with girls,” Pacey replied. “So I don’t want to be myself. I want to be someone different. I want to be anybody who isn’t me!”

“Girls will like you, Pacey,” Jen said kindly. “You’re a fine person. You are kind, intelligent and funny. I’ve enjoyed talking to you this week. I’ve enjoyed your jokes. I’ve enjoyed going to the lifeguarding class with you. I’ve enjoyed being your friend.”

When Joey woke that morning, her first thought was about Jeremy. She thought about his soft gentle kiss.

Joey got out of bed and went into the kitchen. Her sister was sitting there. She was holding her baby and she was looking terribly tired.

“Hi, Joey. Alexander didn’t have a good night,” Bessie said. “I didn’t sleep much.”

Joey felt sorry for Bessie. But she didn’t want to stay in this house now. Here, the baby was the center of everybody’s world. Joey wanted to be free. She wanted to be somewhere far away. And she wanted to be alone there with Jeremy Fields. She wanted to be alone with him for the rest of her life.

Later that morning, at the pool, Tim the lifeguard instructor, told everyone to get into the water.

“Everyone must swim the length of the pool twenty times!” he shouted. “I’ll be back soon!” Then he left the pool.

All the students started to swim laps of the pool – along and back, twenty times.

After a few minutes, Pacey climbed up out of the water. He walked around the edge of the pool. He imitated Tim’s voice. He pretended to be Tim. Most of the students laughed at his jokes. The blond twins laughed most of all. But Jen looked worried and angry.

Suddenly, Pacey heard a voice behind him. And he felt a strong hand touching his back. Tim had returned!

“Why aren’t you swimming, Witter?” he said.

Pacey didn’t reply. Tim pushed him hard and he fell into the water with a SPLASH!

“OK, everybody get out of the water now. We’re going to talk about saving people’s lives,” Tim said. “Not you, Witter. You stay where you are. You have to swim one hundred laps in the pool. Maybe you don’t need to listen to me. Maybe you already know everything about saving lives. We’ll find out about that tomorrow!”

Pacey didn’t get any lunch that day. He was swimming laps in the town pool.

In the evening, Pacey met Dawson and they decided to go to The Ice House together.

Pacey hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast and he was hungry. Dawson was hungry too.

Joey was working at the cafe. She smiled and waved at them when they sat down. She brought them glasses of ice-cold water. She looked happy.

“I’ll come back in a few minutes,” she said. “You can order your food then.”

She went away and the two boys started to talk. Dawson wasn’t happy.

“It’s a fine hot summer in beautiful Capeside,” he said to Pacey. “But am I enjoying it? No. I am not enjoying it. I have to work all day. I have to stay in the video store all day while you are outside swimming and talking to beautiful girls!”

“The lifeguarding class isn’t much fun,” Pacey said. “There are beautiful girls there – that’s true. But the instructor is a maniac – he’s always shouting at me. And Jen is angry with me. She’s angry because I tried to make friends with some of the other girls. I talked to two beautiful blond sisters – they’re twins. Jen was really unhappy about that.”

“Why does Jen care about it?” Dawson asked.

“I don’t know,” Pacey replied. Then he had an idea. “Maybe she’s jealous,” he said. “Maybe she’s in love with me. Maybe that’s why she hates me talking to other girls.”

Pacey was pleased with this idea. Jen had enjoyed being friends with him – she’d told him that.

“Yes,” he said to himself. “Jen is in love with me! She doesn’t want me to talk with other girls. She wants to be my girlfriend. Why didn’t I guess that before?”

He was pleased and he didn’t see Dawson’s face. Now Dawson was looking angrily at him. But before Dawson could speak, Jen came into the cafe.

“Great, here’s my girlfriend,” Pacey said.

Jen stopped to talk to Joey for a few moments. Joey was happy and friendly and Jen was surprised. Joey wasn’t friendly with her most days. Joey had hated her when Jen had been Dawson’s girlfriend for a few weeks.

“Why has Joey changed?” Jen asked herself.

Then she waved at Dawson and Pacey and she came over to their table. She sat down.

“Hi, Jen,” Pacey said. “I’m sorry. I made you jealous today.”

Jen started to laugh. Then she saw Pacey’s face. He wasn’t joking!

“You made me jealous. What are you talking about, Pacey?” she asked.

“It’s OK, Jen, it’s OK. I know your big secret,” Pacey replied. “You’re in love with me. I’m pleased. That makes me feel good about myself. But I’m not ready to have one serious girlfriend. I need to meet lots of girls.”

Jen stood up quickly. She picked up Dawson’s glass and threw the water in Pacey’s face.

“You’re a fool, Pacey,” she said loudly. “I’m not in love with you. I could never be in love with you!” Then she walked out of the cafe.

Dawson laughed for several minutes. “Well, you were wrong about Jen,” he said, when he stopped laughing. “She isn’t jealous of the blond twins at the pool. Is she in love with you? I don’t think so, Pacey!”

Pacey was angry. Everyone in the cafe had heard Jen’s words. Everybody was looking at him. He got up and walked out.

A moment later, Joey came to the table where Dawson was now sitting alone. She smiled happily at him.

“Nobody wants to sit with you this evening,” she said. “What have you done?”

“I haven’t done anything,” Dawson replied. “Everyone else is crazy. Why are you so happy tonight, Joey?”

“Well, I went to a movie with Jeremy last night,” she said. “I had a wonderful time. Can I tell you about it? We’re good friends, aren’t we? We aren’t in love with each other – you always tell me that. So you won’t be jealous if I tell you about Jeremy. I listened to you talking about Sheila for hours yesterday.”

She was right – Dawson knew that.

“OK,” he said. “Tell me about Jeremy.”

He listened while she talked. But soon he began to feel very sad. He didn’t want to hear any more about Joey and her new boyfriend.

He stood up.

“Joey, I’m really not interested in your boyfriend,” he said. “And I don’t want any food tonight. I’m not hungry any more.”

Quickly, he left the cafe.

Chapter 7: Has Pacey Learned

His Lessons?

The next morning, Dawson took his video camera to the beach. He was going to meet Sheila there. Today, he was going to make his documentary about Sheila’s life as a nanny.

Sheila was waiting for him. Dawson asked her lots of questions. He filmed her as she answered his questions.

“Do you miss Australia?” he asked.

“I miss lots of things about my country,” she told him. “But there are some things that I don’t miss. It isn’t a perfect place.”

“Did you come to the U.S. alone?” he asked.

“Oh, yes,” she replied. “Australians are great travelers. We often travel around the world alone.”

But when Dawson asked Sheila about her time in Boston, she changed the subject.

“Why won’t she talk about Boston?” Dawson asked himself. “What happened to her there?”

Dawson looked through the viewfinder of his camera again.

“I’ll take some shots of the beach,” he told Sheila. “Then I’ll use those shots between the shots of you talking.”

He pointed the camera at some of the groups of people who were near the beach. Suddenly, he saw Joey’s face in the viewfinder…

Joey was sitting with Jeremy Fields. They were looking at each other very seriously. Then they were kissing!

“That’s terrible!” Dawson shouted. “They’re kissing on the beach, in front of all these people!”

“Who are kissing?” Sheila asked. “Where are they? And what’s wrong with kissing, Dawson?” She laughed and she took the camera from him.

A moment later she was looking through the viewfinder.

“Oh, it’s the girl who’s in all your films,” she said. “It’s the girl who isn’t your girlfriend. It’s Joey.”

She laughed and laughed.

“What’s funny?” Dawson said.

“You’re funny,” Sheila replied. “You’re jealous. Joey kissed someone who isn’t you. And you’re angry about it.”

“You’re wrong!” he said quickly. And he grabbed Sheila’s shoulders and kissed her on the lips. He kissed her for a long time. But he didn’t feel excited. He didn’t feel anything.

“Well, that was a good try, Dawson,” Sheila said gently. “But you need Joey, not me.”

After that, they talked about other things, and Dawson shot some more film. But when he told her about his idea for the television report, she surprised him. He wanted Sheila to be very pleased about the idea. But she wasn’t pleased.

They talked about his mother and her job as an anchor person at the TV station. But Sheila refused to be in the film report. She was very angry about the idea.

“This film is practice for you, Dawson,” she said. “We agreed about that. Nobody else must see it!”

Then she got up and left the beach.

That Sunday morning, Pacey didn’t meet Jen before the lifeguarding class. She didn’t get her coffee. She felt unhappy.

“Why did Pacey behave so stupidly?” she asked herself. “He’s a fool. I wanted to be friends with him. But now he won’t talk to me, because I don’t want him as my boyfriend. And now he won’t even try to be a good student. He won’t learn to be a good lifeguard.”

When she arrived at the pool, Pacey was already there. He was talking to the twins. He didn’t wave to Jen, and he didn’t talk to her.

Pacey swam slowly that morning. He only swam half as far as the other students. Jen didn’t speak to him. But she was angry. Good lifeguards had to be strong swimmers – she understood that. Tim wasn’t the nicest person in the whole world – he wasn’t perfect. But he was right about the things that the students needed to learn. He made the students work hard. They needed to learn the right things to do. If someone was drowning, there wasn’t time to read a manual. A lifeguard had to know what to do. Pacey wasn’t interested in learning the right things. He didn’t really listen to Tim’s words. He stood by the pool and he smiled at the twins.

“It is difficult to save a person who is in trouble in the water,” Tim told the students that morning. “A drowning person will not help you to save them. If they’re conscious, a drowning person is frightened. They will try to fight you. Then you will both drown. You mustn’t get too close to someone who is in trouble in the water. You must not try to grab them. If they’re conscious, you mustn’t try to touch them. You must always take a life buoy when you go to help someone in the water.” He pointed at the orange floats which were hanging from the walls, all around the pool.

“When you reach the person who is in trouble, push the life buoy to them,” he continued. “Let them grab the life buoy. Then bring them to the beach by pulling the life buoy. Do you all understand?”

Jen had been writing down everything that Tim said. Pacey had written nothing. He wasn’t interested.

“Do you understand, Witter?” Tim asked.

“Yes, I understand,” Pacey replied.

But Tim didn’t believe him – Jen could see that.

After lunch, Tim spoke to the class again.

“You’ve all read about lifeguarding in your manuals,” he said. “And you’ve all listened to me talking about lifeguarding. This afternoon, we’re going to practice lifeguarding.”

“I’ll get into the pool and I’ll pretend to be in trouble,” he continued. “Then one of you will jump into the water and rescue me. Who’s going to save my life?”

He looked around the group of students.

“Witter,” he said. “You can rescue me. Remember everything that you’ve read and heard.”

Suddenly, the instructor jumped into the water. He swam to the middle of the pool and he stopped there. He moved his legs slowly up and down – he was “treading water.”

Pacey jumped into the pool and swam towards the instructor. But Tim told him to go back to the side of the pool. When they had both climbed out, Tim spoke to the class.

“What did Witter do wrong?” he asked them.

“You weren’t in trouble,” one of the twins said. “You were treading water. You were fine. You didn’t need help.”

“That’s right,” Tim said. “Witter behaved stupidly. He didn’t look and think before he jumped.”

Everybody laughed.

“OK, Witter, we’ll try it again,” the instructor said.

Tim got back into the pool and swam around for a minute. Then he started to wave his arms and kick his legs wildly.

Pacey jumped into the pool and swam towards Tim. He tried to grab the instructor’s arms. But Tim kicked more wildly and he pushed Pacey away. Finally, Pacey swam to the side of the pool and climbed out.

“Well, you didn’t want to be saved,” he said angrily to Tim.

“Witter hasn’t listened to anything that I said,” Tim told the class. “And he hasn’t understood anything that he read. Now Miss Lindley will try to rescue me. Maybe she has understood.”

Tim jumped back into the pool. When he started to kick his legs and wave his arms, Jen ran to a life buoy. She took the life buoy from the wail and she jumped into the pool with it. She swam to Tim and pushed the life buoy toward him. Tim grabbed it and he stopped kicking. Slowly, Jen pulled the life buoy and the instructor to the side of the pool.

“That was very good,” said Tim, when he had climbed out of the pool. “Miss Lindley did everything correctly. She will be a very fine lifeguard.”

Everyone in the class cheered and clapped their hands.

“Now, Miss Lindley,” Tim went on. “If I had been unconscious, what would you have done?”

Jen told him the answer.

Chapter 8: Summertime Sadness

Dawson was unhappy that afternoon. He had a problem – he knew that. Sheila had been right. He was jealous. He had been angry when he saw Jeremy Fields kissing Joey. He didn’t want anyone else to kiss Joey.

“I was trying to start a relationship with Sheila, but I was really running away from Joey,” he told himself. “Joey is my best friend and I don’t want Jeremy to kiss her. I want to kiss her. I love her. But can I be in love with someone who is my best friend?”

He asked his father about this.

“Yes,” Mitch Leery told him. “Your mother has always been my best friend. And I love her!”

Dawson phoned Joey’s house. But no one answered the phone. Dawson left a message on the answering machine.

“Joey, I’m sorry,” he said. “I was unkind to you last night at the cafe. I want to talk to you. Will you meet me tomorrow morning? We can go for a ride on our bikes. Please come to my house at eight o’clock.”

Later, when Joey heard the message, she was pleased. She wanted to see Dawson. She’d always loved him. But she’d been too busy to think about him for two days. She’d only thought about Jeremy. Did she love Jeremy?

“Yes, I do love him,” she told herself. “I love Jeremy. Maybe I’m not in love with Dawson any more.”

She phoned Dawson’s number and left a message for him. She agreed to meet him the next morning.

That evening, Joey didn’t have to work at The Ice House. She was going on a date with Jeremy. They were going to eat at Romano’s, the best restaurant in Capeside.

Joey put on her prettiest dress. It was short and pale blue. She picked up Howard from the table by her bed. She smiled.

“When Clarissa returns from vacation, I’ll thank her,” she told herself. “If Clarissa hadn’t given me her virtual pet, Jeremy wouldn’t have spoken to me.”

Joey still cared about Dawson, but she wasn’t in love with him any more. She loved Jeremy. She wanted to see Jeremy often. He was handsome and exciting. He made her feel good about herself.

“He’ll stay in Capeside for the whole summer,” she told herself. “People always stay here for the whole summer. It will be great!”

She was feeling very happy when she met Jeremy at Romano’s. They sat at a table and they ordered their food. They talked quietly. There was a band playing music in one corner of the restaurant. Later Joey and Jeremy would be able to dance together.

“Joey,” said Jeremy. “Tomorrow, I have to go home. I have to return to New Hampshire. I’ll be sad. I’ve really liked meeting you. I’ve never known a girl like you before.”

Joey was shocked by this news.

“B-but didn’t you come to Capeside for the whole summer?” she said. “I wanted to be with you for the whole vacation.”

Jeremy held her hand. He looked at the table. His face was sad.

Then a waiter brought their food, but they weren’t hungry any more.

After a few minutes, Jeremy stood up.

“I’ll be back soon,” he said.

He walked over to the corner of the room where the band was sitting and he spoke to the leader. Then he spoke to everyone in the restaurant.

“Ladies and gentlemen, the band is going to play a song,” he said. “This song is for Joey. Joey is the girl who I love.” He looked straight at her. “Joey,” he said. “We can’t be together this summer. I’m really sorry about that. But there will be other summers. We’ll be together again one day.”

Jeremy sat down with Joey and the band started to play. The song was George Gershwin’s “Summertime”.

Joey’s mother had loved that song. As she remembered her mother, tears ran down Joey’s face. But she started to feel better. Jeremy was gorgeous. But he was a good, kind person too. And she would always remember this summer – she knew that!

Chapter 8: Summertime Sadness

Dawson was unhappy that afternoon. He had a problem – he knew that. Sheila had been right. He was jealous. He had been angry when he saw Jeremy Fields kissing Joey. He didn’t want anyone else to kiss Joey.

“I was trying to start a relationship with Sheila, but I was really running away from Joey,” he told himself. “Joey is my best friend and I don’t want Jeremy to kiss her. I want to kiss her. I love her. But can I be in love with someone who is my best friend?”

He asked his father about this.

“Yes,” Mitch Leery told him. “Your mother has always been my best friend. And I love her!”

Dawson phoned Joey’s house. But no one answered the phone. Dawson left a message on the answering machine.

“Joey, I’m sorry,” he said. “I was unkind to you last night at the cafe. I want to talk to you. Will you meet me tomorrow morning? We can go for a ride on our bikes. Please come to my house at eight o’clock.”

Later, when Joey heard the message, she was pleased. She wanted to see Dawson. She’d always loved him. But she’d been too busy to think about him for two days. She’d only thought about Jeremy. Did she love Jeremy?

“Yes, I do love him,” she told herself. “I love Jeremy. Maybe I’m not in love with Dawson any more.”

She phoned Dawson’s number and left a message for him. She agreed to meet him the next morning.

That evening, Joey didn’t have to work at The Ice House. She was going on a date with Jeremy. They were going to eat at Romano’s, the best restaurant in Capeside.

Joey put on her prettiest dress. It was short and pale blue. She picked up Howard from the table by her bed. She smiled.

“When Clarissa returns from vacation, I’ll thank her,” she told herself. “If Clarissa hadn’t given me her virtual pet, Jeremy wouldn’t have spoken to me.”

Joey still cared about Dawson, but she wasn’t in love with him any more. She loved Jeremy. She wanted to see Jeremy often. He was handsome and exciting. He made her feel good about herself.

“He’ll stay in Capeside for the whole summer,” she told herself. “People always stay here for the whole summer. It will be great!”

She was feeling very happy when she met Jeremy at Romano’s. They sat at a table and they ordered their food. They talked quietly. There was a band playing music in one corner of the restaurant. Later Joey and Jeremy would be able to dance together.

“Joey,” said Jeremy. “Tomorrow, I have to go home. I have to return to New Hampshire. I’ll be sad. I’ve really liked meeting you. I’ve never known a girl like you before.”

Joey was shocked by this news.

“B-but didn’t you come to Capeside for the whole summer?” she said. “I wanted to be with you for the whole vacation.”

Jeremy held her hand. He looked at the table. His face was sad.

Then a waiter brought their food, but they weren’t hungry any more.

After a few minutes, Jeremy stood up.

“I’ll be back soon,” he said.

He walked over to the corner of the room where the band was sitting and he spoke to the leader. Then he spoke to everyone in the restaurant.

“Ladies and gentlemen, the band is going to play a song,” he said. “This song is for Joey. Joey is the girl who I love.” He looked straight at her. “Joey,” he said. “We can’t be together this summer. I’m really sorry about that. But there will be other summers. We’ll be together again one day.”

Jeremy sat down with Joey and the band started to play. The song was George Gershwin’s “Summertime”.

Joey’s mother had loved that song. As she remembered her mother, tears ran down Joey’s face. But she started to feel better. Jeremy was gorgeous. But he was a good, kind person too. And she would always remember this summer – she knew that!




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