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New Year's Resolutions
Dressed in a black, sequined pantsuit, Jo walked into the Warner New Year's Eve bash on the arm of her friend, Josh Barron. During her years at Eastland, and then Langley, Jo had always attended the annual extravaganza along with Tootie and Natalie, mainly because Blair would have never forgiven them had they not shown up year after year.
Since graduation, Jo had only spoken to Blair on a few occasions, and the subject of her not attending the gala the last five years was never brought up, but that didn't seem to deter Blair from sending her old friend an invitation every year anyway. Jo often wondered if it was out of pity since Blair seemed more upset about her divorce from Rick than she did.
Smiling, Jo couldn't wait to see the expression on Blair's face when she realized Jo had actually shown up this year, but it would have to wait until later as there were other pressing matters at the moment. Glancing around, Josh whispered, "I don't see her. What if she's not here?"
Jo quickly scanned the room and grinned when she spotted the woman in question. Nodding toward the bar area, she softly replied, "Look over to your left. She's sitting on the stool at the far end." Josh immediately whipped his head around and grinned when he spotted his former girlfriend
Nervously straightening his jacket, he asked, "Do I look okay? What if she won't speak to me?"
Patting her friend on the shoulder, Jo said, "You look fine. Just apologize and be sincere. She won't be able to turn you down when you look at her with those puppy dog eyes of yours."
"Okay, I'm going to do it." Turning to walk away, Josh stopped and asked, "What about you? I feel bad about leaving you to fend for yourself for the rest of the evening."
Gesturing toward the other side of the massive room, Jo replied, "Don't worry about me. I'm going to go over and watch the football game on the television. I'll try to sneak away when it's over."
"Who's playing?" Josh asked, glancing over at the big screen.
"Oh no, you get your ass over to Terri and apologize for being a jerk. You're just lucky that I was able to get you in the door. Now, the rest is up to you. Besides, it's just the Copper Bowl with Arizona and North Carolina, not exactly the stuff dreams are made of," Jo supplied, grateful that it wasn't the granddaddy of them all, the Rose Bowl; otherwise, she'd have to physically push Josh to the other side of the room.
Taking a deep breath, Josh said, "Okay, wish me luck." Turning, he started for the other side of the room as his good friend wished him well. Satisfied that Josh was not going to chicken out, Jo moved over to the television to stake out a good seat.
Jo caught sight of Blair a few times during the night, but Blair never looked her way and had no idea that she was in attendance, so the brunette took advantage of watching the blonde as she greeted different party goers. She was still as gorgeous as ever, but Jo noted that when she smiled, it never reached her eyes. Blair had a smile that could light up a room, but not tonight, something was definitely wrong with her old friend.
The game was as unexciting as Jo expected, but she'd kept herself busy, arguing with one of the other guys who was watching the game with her. The idiot actually thought Michigan was going to defeat Southern Cal in tomorrow's game, and the debate continued long after the Copper Bowl was over. By the time, Jo realized that it was nearing midnight; the guy had decided that Jo would be his New Year's Eve kiss.
Quickly excusing herself to visit the ladies room, Jo made sure he wasn't watching when she ducked outside onto the balcony. Stepping up to the railing, she looked out over the city and smiled when she saw that many of the Christmas decorations were still lit, but she almost fell over the side when a voice came from the shadows.
"Hello, Jo," Blair greeted from the table hidden in the corner of the small balcony area.
Squinting in the darkness, Jo questioned, "Blair? Is that you?" She slowly walked over to the outlined figure, and as she got closer, there was no doubt in her mind that her princess was indeed right in front of her.
Taking the seat next to her old roommate, Jo asked, "What are you doing out here?"
"I could ask you the same thing," Blair answered, lifting her eyebrow in question.
Hesitating, Jo replied, "Well, I brought a friend of mine who was trying to rekindle his relationship with one of your friends, Terri Jordan. I guess he must have been successful since I haven't seen him all night. Anyway, I thought about leaving, but you always got so mad when I tried to sneak away before midnight when I used to come to these parties, so I guess the old cliché must be true, old habits really are hard to break. Now, what's your story?"
"Actually, it's the same as yours, only I wasn't aware that my husband had rekindled an old romance, but I am truly grateful to have finally learned the truth," Blair explained as she looked out at the skyline.
Reaching over, Jo took her friend's hand and offered, "I'm sorry, Blair. What are you going to do?" Unconsciously, Jo began to slowly rub her thumb over the back of Blair's hand, and the blonde looked down at their joined hands, mesmerized by both the movement and the warm feelings it elicited. In fact, Jo was the only person she'd ever felt this connection with. Her touch always made her feel safe, comfortable, and loved. It was like that song said; it was just like coming home.
The sounds from the suddenly loud partygoers inside made its way onto the quiet balcony as they began to count down to midnight; 10...Blair looked up at Jo, and Jo looked back at Blair 7 Jo squeezed Blair's hand 5 slowly the two friends leaned toward each other 3 Jo cupped Blair's face 1 contact was made Happy New Year!!!
Jo deepened the kiss amid the horns and whistles being tooted and blown, and the two women reluctantly pulled away from each other when the doors to the balcony slowly slid open. Jo sighed in relief when Josh stuck his head outside.
"Hey, Jo, Terri and I are leaving. Do you need me to drop you off anywhere?"
"Um," Jo started to reply, but she was quickly cut off by Blair.
"I'll make sure Jo gets home safely," the blonde offered, squeezing the hand she was still holding.
Josh glanced down at the joined hands and smiled. "Okay, I'll talk to you later, Jo." Winking, he turned and closed the door behind him.
"Blair? I need to ask you something, and I need you to be honest," Jo requested, looking the blonde directly in the eye. Blair returned the gaze and nodded for Jo to continue.
"First, I want you to know that whatever your answer may be, I'll still consider you to be my friend, but I need to know if that kiss meant anything to you or if it was just two old friends kissing each other to ring in the New Year?"
Smiling, Blair replied, "How about if I tell you what my New Year's resolution is going to be instead?" Now, it was Jo's turn to nod in hopes that Blair's answer would be what she was desperately wishing for.
"I've decided not to worry about what anyone else thinks anymore and to put my happiness first for a change," Blair answered, leaving Jo to wonder if the blonde was trying to let her down gently, but before she could ask for clarification, Blair leaned forward and kissed her again, ending all doubts as to how Blair truly felt.
Smiling against the soft, sweet lips, Jo made a New Year's resolution of her own. She was going to spend the rest of her life making her princess happy.
So, 1990 was truly the beginning of a new decade, but in this case, it was also a decade of new beginnings.
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