They will laugh about it years later, when they're grown up. When Dawson and his latest model fiancée turn up at her and Pacey's wedding, they will remember those angst-ridden teenage days when she was the Juliet to Dawson's Romeo, the Scarlet O'Hara to Dawson's Rhett Butler, when they considered their little class room drama to be the biggest star-crossed romance ever.
They will laugh about it, roll their eyes and shake their heads. "I was so stupid," Dawson will say to them – but mostly to Pacey, who will smile that disarming smile of his and tell him, "Hey! We were just kids."
And she will dance with Dawson, realizing in his arms that what the two of them share could never have been anything but friendship. She will tell him as much; and he'll agree. "Though, you have to admit, that one night wasn't so bad."
She will blush; and he'll tease her about it for the next two hours. Mercilessly. As only a best friend can.
He will leave early, because he'll have to be back in the studio the next day. When they say goodbye, he will tell her that no one could possibly be as right for her as Pacey. He will hug bride and groom; and they will walk him to his car and wave when he drives off. And then, they will go back inside and dance, and she will tell Pacey that she is so happy that they came out of this like that, that she still has both of them in her life.
"Honestly, there was a time when I didn't think either of you would ever speak to me again," she will say. And Pacey will smile and tell her, "I suppose there was a time when you hoped you'd never even see either of us again."
And they will laugh about it.
But she doesn't know that now. She is just a seventeen-year-old girl staring at an empty wall; and the future is an undiscovered country. The present is full of obstacles and dilemmas, which might seem minor when she looks back one day – but right now, they are larger than life; and this fall-out feels like the end of the world.
If she knew at seventeen when she will know at twenty-nine, she would realize that there's no need to worry about this; that things will be fine. But the road ahead is as blank as the wall in front of her, the one she keeps staring at so hard that she sometimes thinks something has to materialize on it purely by force of will.
"I will always hate Dawson for doing this to me. For making me decide," she writes into her diary.
Truth is, she won't. She will forgive him rather quickly. And in a couple of years, she will read these lines and silently thank him for pushing her to the decision she knows that was right.
Now, though, she hates him. Hates Pacey for putting her in this position. Hates herself for being too weak to do anything about it. And the future is too far away to matter.