Where Do We Go From Here

Song: Where Do We Go From Here? (Brian Littrell)

 

He stands in front of the mirror and stares at himself. He can no longer recognize the person he’s become.

He feels her hands at his throat. “Jesus, did you tie this thing yourself?” Carly grumbles as she unties the silk fabric and redoes the bow.

He brushes her hands away. “Lay off, Carly,” he says quietly. Jason Morgan is getting married today—it’s his second marriage and he still doesn’t love the woman he’s about to wed.

He and Courtney had come together in a time of mutual despair and grief. She’d been thrown by her husband’s betrayal and Jason was desperate to feel anything at time when nothing colored his bleak world.

He stares at himself in the mirror and he wonders when his life became this. When he’d lost sight of who he was and what he wanted. Was it the day Elizabeth Webber walked out of his penthouse and took the color with her?

Was it the day he kissed a woman he barely knew and didn’t even like all that much in the rain? When he married a woman he couldn’t stand and pretended to love her?

All of those days counted—but the day that mattered the most—the day he really realized how deep a hole he’d dug himself—

The day Elizabeth Webber walked out of his life forever.

She’d left town shortly after their goodbye and hadn’t left a forwarding address. She’d felt no need. Their goodbye was done and their time together had ended. He’d briefly flirted with the idea of trying to find her but what good would that do? So he could know exactly how happy she was?

I tried to pick the pieces up
And I can’t think of starting over

Carly sighs loudly. “Honestly, Jason. You could at least pretend you’re excited,” she says, rolling her eyes. “You’re getting married.”

“Carly,” Jason says. She ignores him and moves around to his back, looking at him over his shoulder in the mirror and straightening his tuxedo jacket. “Carly,” he says again. She meets his eyes in the mirror and frowns.

Had Jason always looked this sad?

“What?” she asks, shoving the thought to the deepest part of her mind.

“I don’t love her,” Jason says quietly. “You know that, don’t you?”

Carly shakes her head. “Jason, don’t be silly—”

“Carly. I don’t love her,” Jason says again. “I’m only marrying her because she’s pregnant.”

“That’s nonsense,” Carly murmurs. She steps in front of him to fasten his vest securely. “You dated her for nearly seven months. You have to feel something for her.”

“I care about her,” Jason admits. “But I’ll never love her.”

“You could learn to love her,” Carly says. She takes a step back and straightens lapels of his jacket.

“Carly, would you just stop being Sonny’s wife and Courtney’s sister-in-law and listen to me for a second?” he asks, not able to control the biting tone of his voice. Carly looks up at him, her eyes sad.

“I’m sorry,” she says softly. “I don’t mean to dismiss your feelings like that.”

“I know,” Jason replies. “But will you listen to me when I tell you that I don’t love Courtney and I never will?”

We used to share the stars above
I don’t wanna think it changed

“Jason, you can’t shut yourself away from the world,” Carly tells him. “I know it’s been a tough year, but you never gave Courtney a chance to win you over.” She gives him a small smile. “I’m not blind, you know. Sometimes I’d just rather pretend I don’t see things.”

She sighs and steps away from him, crossing to the bedroom door of his penthouse. She opens it and peeks down the hall to ensure no one is there. When she’s satisfied, she closes the door and turns to him. “It’s her, isn’t it?”

Jason’s brow creases in a frown. “What?”

“Elizabeth Webber.” For once, the scathing and insulting tone is absent from Carly’s voice when she speaks of the other woman. “It’s her you’ve loved all along and nothing will ever change that.”

Jason stares at her for a few moments before nodding. “I will always love Elizabeth.”

For the first time in forever, Carly doesn’t launch into an explanation about why Elizabeth was never right for him and why he’s better off without her. Instead she sighs. “Then why did you ever let her get away?”

“She wanted to go,” Jason replies simply. “And now she’s gone and I have no idea where she went. She doesn’t need me, Carly.” He lifts his shoulders in a simple shrug. “And Courtney does.”

Carly sighs and looks away. She runs her finger along the mahogany dresser. “She lived here for only a month,” she says. “And I grew to respect her. Because I could see that she cared about you. The day I told her Sonny was dead, she was so worried about you, Jason. She couldn’t understand why you wouldn’t come home and why you never called. I knew. I knew why you were doing it. I didn’t agree but it wasn’t my place to judge you.”

She looks up and meets his eyes. “You couldn’t face her. And by the time you could, you’d convinced yourself you didn’t deserve her or her love. And you let her walk out. And you were surprised when she wouldn’t come back when you made half-ass attempts to get her back.”

She paused and studied him for a second. “Tell me, Jason, did you ever tell her that you were sorry for leaving her in this penthouse for days on end without word—without even a simple telephone call? Did you ever tell her how you felt?”

Jason shakes his head slowly. “No,” he tells her. “I never did.”

She nods, as if she expected his answer. “You have two choices, Jason.”

And now I gotta move on
I’ve gotta catch up to the world

“You can go downstairs and leave this building to go the church. You can wait down at the end of the aisle for Courtney. You can marry her and raise your child with her—a child, Jason, that I know you’ve wondered if it is even yours. You can do that and be miserable the rest of your life.”

She takes a deep breath. “I can’t believe I’m even suggesting this. Sonny would disown me,” she mutters under her breath. “Or you can get out of the monkey suit and decide what it is you want from your life. Do you want to be Sonny’s errand-boy the rest of your life? Do you want to live a life where you come home to a woman you don’t love and never will?”

“Or do you want to go and find out if there’s hope for your own happiness after all?” Carly finishes with a heavy sigh.

Jason looks down at his tuxedo-clad body. “Why are you doing this, Carly?” he asks.

She steps forward and touches his face. “Jason—I know I’m not always very grateful for what you’ve done for me and I guess we could chalk that up me being selfish.” She chuckles. “And we both know I might be the most selfish woman alive.”

Jason just shakes his head. “Carly—”

“No,” she says, holding up her hand. “Let me finish. You took care of my son—loved him like he was your own—simply because I asked you to. I know how much that decision wrecked your life, but Jason, trust me, Robin wasn’t right for you. I don’t know—maybe she was once upon a time. But—” She sighs. “You did it anyway. You did everything in your power to make sure I always had Michael—even when I betrayed your trust and slept with Sonny. Jason—you have been the best friend a girl could ask for and what have I given you lately? A lot of grief. I know I pushed you into this decision. Sonny and I both did, and I apologize. I know I never let up on Elizabeth and I’m sorry for that as well.” She gives him a sheepish smile. “In all honesty, I was afraid she’d take you from me. That she would replace me in your life.”

“Carly—”

“I know. I know, it was stupid and I should have known better. And I’m sorry, Jason. I’m so very sorry for all the pain I’ve caused you.”

He takes a step towards her and puts his hand on her shoulder. “Carly, I don’t hold any of that against you. I did this to myself. It’s my fault. Elizabeth walked away because I made her feel like she didn’t matter. And she stayed away because I wasn’t the person she cared about anymore.”

Even though I gave you my life
As wrong as it seems I know it’s right

“I look at myself in the mirror, Carly and I don’t recognize myself,” Jason says quietly. “I’ve lost myself. I married Brenda and I slept with Courtney. Two things I never would have done if I’d been thinking about it at all. I let Elizabeth walk out of my life for good without once telling her how I feel.”

“And how do you feel?” Carly asks tentatively, hoping for once Jason will be honest and answer question.

He steps away from him and runs his hands through his hair. He doesn’t answer at first and Carly deflates, disappointed. He won’t tell her—and why should he? Since when has she actually been a friend to him? Why should he tell her how he feels the first time she acts like one?

She’s startled when he begins to speak but listens closely. “I love her,” Jason admits. “I love her more than anything in my entire life. She’s such a wonderful person, Carly. I wish you’d given her a chance. She’s so loyal—she never lets anyone tell her what to do or who to see. You remember how she protected me that Christmas I spent at her studio.” Jason chuckles to himself, remembering. “My little attack dog.”

Carly gives him a brief smile as he continues, “I was lost when we first became friends. Robin and Michael were gone. You and Sonny were at each other’s throats. I was living in world that was black. But Elizabeth—one night she was at Jake’s, trying to drown the pain of losing Lucky by finding something that hurt worse.” He looked up, his eyes swollen and red. “And she brought color to my life. She painted me a picture of what it felt like to ride my bike. She loved going on that thing—used to beg me to let her drive. When we’d go around the turns, she’d scream for me to go faster. I’ve never met anyone else who loves to ride as much as I do, but Elizabeth said it made her feel free.”

Carly’s eyes mist with tears as Jason pours his heart out to her. How has she managed to ignore what Elizabeth did for Jason? How much she means to him? Has she been that blind—that ignorant—that scared of losing her place in his life that she’d refused to see how happy he was around her?

“She’s so small,” Jason murmurs. “I feel like I’m ten times bigger than I am when I’m around her. Her hands fit into mine so neatly and her head fits right underneath my chin.”

He looks up at her and meets her eyes. “I love her so much, Carly, that it hurts to breathe knowing she’s in another town—living somewhere else and that she doesn’t know how much I care—how much I needed her.”

But is there a trace that I can go away
To escape the love that I will forever know

“You can’t marry Courtney,” Carly tells him. She shakes her head sadly. “I know she’s pregnant—but marriage isn’t the answer. You don’t love her Jason and you can’t sentence yourselves to a loveless marriage. You both deserve more.”

“She’s pregnant, Carly and Sonny—”

“Oh, fuck Sonny,” Carly retorts. “Are you Sonny’s errand boy or are you Jason Morgan? You can’t be both.”

“Carly—”

“Don’t get me wrong. I adore Sonny. He’s my life. But he’s been pushing this marriage since the second he found out Courtney was pregnant. And you and I both know she’s been seeing AJ once in a while. And as your best friend, I won’t allow you do this.”

Jason cracks a ghost of a smile. “You won’t allow me?” he repeats, a little amused.

“Look, Jase, you can be in this kid’s life without marrying Courtney,” Carly says. “If we’re really lucky, Jase, we get to find true love once in a lifetime. You never let me give up on Sonny. And as much as this pains me, I’m not letting you give up on Elizabeth.”

“We said goodbye,” Jason argues.

“Yeah? And you can say hello when you find her.”

Where can we go from here
All I know is that I love you still

Jason shakes his head. “That’s not the way it is between the two of us,” he tells her. “When I first left town, she refused to say goodbye. She said it was too final. And we haven’t said goodbye ever since.” He takes a deep breath. “But when she came to give me the painting a few weeks ago—she said it. She said we had to do it because that’s the way it had to be.”

“Well, yeah—and at the time you were going to marry Courtney,” Carly says. “I’d say goodbye too. Marriage—is such a final blow to any relationship. I know that sounds really weird but you know what I mean. I’m sure Elizabeth felt that whatever the two of you shared or should have shared or whatever—that it was in the past and since you were getting married, it would have to stay in the past. So maybe she needed the closure.”

Jason looks away. “Maybe.”

“Jason. I know you like to let people live their own lives—and really—that’s a very admirable quality—but sometimes—people need to feel that they matter. That they’re worth fighting for.” Carly pauses. “Elizabeth fought so hard for you all the time. I know she made mistakes—but you have, too. Everyone does. It’s a part of life. Don’t you think that a love as strong as what you feel for her—don’t you think that’s worth fighting for?”

“What if she doesn’t feel the same?” Jason asks, a little nervously. “What if I throw this all away and she doesn’t love me?”

“And what if you don’t throw this all away and she does?” Carly asks. “You’ve never been worried about what ifs, don’t start now.”

Jason looks at her and frowns. “And how am I supposed to break the news to Sonny and Courtney?”

Sometimes we do things against our will
I know I cry lonely tears

Carly laughs. “You leave that to me, Jase. I think you’ve got some searching to do.”

Jason kisses her on the forehead. “Thanks, Carly. For being a friend.”

“Well—I figured you were due,” she replies. “After everything you’ve done for me, it’s about time I returned the favor.” She gives a little shove towards the closet. “Now, go change and do what it is you have to do to find Elizabeth. I’ll go take care of the Corinthos siblings.”

Carly steps out of the room and heads down the steps. She knows that she’s just encouraged Jason to run away on his wedding day and find the girl she never quite approved of.

She also knows that Jason deserves to be as happy as she is and as much as it pains her to say it—the happiest she’s ever seen Jason is around Elizabeth.

And if Elizabeth can invoke feelings like that in a man like Jason—

Well she couldn’t be all that bad, right?

Where can we go from here
Why, why do I cry inside
When love is gone away

Jason is halfway packed when Benny calls him back. He hadn’t expected it so soon and was a little surprised when Benny reeled off Elizabeth’s address so easily.

Apparently, Elizabeth had registered to vote a week before and there she was. Elizabeth Webber. 245 Cedar Drive, Apt 121. Tallahassee, Florida.

Jason tells Benny to book him a flight before he can change his mind. He’s sure that if he thinks about the decision he’s made long enough—he’ll get back into that tuxedo and marry Courtney.

It’s altogether possible, he realizes, that Elizabeth will slam the door in his face.

But it’s a possibility Jason needs to take. He needs to know that they’re completely over.

He needs to tell Elizabeth that he loves her so—just so she has all the facts before she tells him goodbye again.

Maybe once he does that—he could be okay with their goodbye.

And how, How can I carry on
When I know all the love is gone

Carly enters the church and spots Sonny in the hall outside the bridal chamber. He frowns seeing her there alone.

“Where’s Jason?” he demands.

“Somewhere finding Elizabeth,” Carly answers flippantly. “I hope he does, too.”

Sonny’s eyes narrow and he takes a step towards his wife. “Explain. Now.”

She shrugs. “Nothing to explain. Jason doesn’t love your sister. He loves Elizabeth and until he puts that chapter to rest for good, he’ll never move on.”

“He and Elizabeth put that to rest a long time ago,” Sonny replies. “He got my sister pregnant—he needs to marry her.”

“Sonny, this is not the 1950s and Jason does not answer to you in matters of the heart,” Carly retorts. “And as much as I hate it, Elizabeth and Jason will never be over. She makes him happy, Sonny. And I know you realize it.”

“Carly—” Sonny begins heatedly.

“Drop it,” Carly says, sharply. “Jason has sacrificed everything for you. Don’t ask him to give up the one person he loves more than anything else in the world. Don’t you dare ask him to turn his back on his heart.”

Sonny sighs and looks away. “He loves her that much?”

“He loves her almost as much as I love you,” Carly answers. She heads to the bridal door. “I need to tell Courtney.”

Where can I go to get away
From the pain of loving you

Courtney is standing in the middle of the room, wearing a poufy white dress and staring at herself in the mirror.

“Jason’s not coming,” Carly says bluntly.

Courtney turns, her blue eyes a little startled. “What? What do you mean he’s not coming?”

Carly walks forward until they’re separated by only a few feet of space. “He’s not marrying you. He’s left town to find someone.”

Courtney sighs and looks away. “He went after Elizabeth, didn’t he?”

Carly frowns. “How did you know that?” she asks.

Courtney gives her sister-in-law a nasty look. “Who else would Jason abandon me and our child for?”

“Oh, don’t give me that boo-hoo woe-is-me crap. I invented it,” Carly snaps. “You’re not even sure Jason’s the father.”

Courtney pales. “He’s probably the father,” she whispers faintly.

Probably ain’t good enough,” Carly replies. “Don’t worry—Jason will always provide for his child. He just doesn’t have to marry the mother.” She heads to the door. “Sorry it has to be this way.”

“No you’re not,” Courtney calls after her.

Carly turns and cocks her head to the side. “No. You’re right. I’m not.”

She shuts the door quietly behind her and goes to think about that little realization for a while.

Tell me where
Where can we go from here
All I know is that I love you still

When Elizabeth opens the door the next morning, she wonders if the early morning sun is playing tricks on her. Because she knows that Jason cannot possible be standing in front of her.

He doesn’t say anything, he just looks for her for a while and finally, just when she thinks she can’t handle the silence, he speaks. “I came to tell you something.”

She sighs and looks away. “Jason—we said everything that needed to be said before I left.” Elizabeth frowns suddenly. “Yesterday was your wedding day.”

He shakes his head slowly. “I couldn’t do it. I don’t love her.”

She nibbles on her lower lip as if trying to gage his answer and what it means in regards to her. “But she’s pregnant,” Elizabeth says finally.

“And I don’t have to marry her to be a part of the baby’s life,”Jason said. “Elizabeth—”

“Why are you making this so hard?” she whispers. “I thought we agreed that this was for the best.”

“No,” Jason tells her. “I never wanted to say goodbye. But you wanted to, so I did it. Because I’d do anything for you.”

“Jason—”

“Just let me say what I came here to say and if you—if you still don’t want anything to do with me—all right. I’ll have to accept that. But I refuse to let you go and not tell you.”

“All right,” Elizabeth says, almost sure that there’s nothing Jason can say to fix this—to make her change her mind.

He doesn’t speak at first—takes a deep breath and closes his eyes as if whatever he’s going to say is so mind-boggling and important that he needs to gather his strength. “I love you.”

Sometimes we do things against our will
I know I cry lonely tears

Her hand, still wrapped around the brass doorknob of her apartment door, tightens. She holds on to the door frame with the other hand so that he can’t see how much she is trembling.

Her lips parted and her tongue darted out to moisten her suddenly dry lips. “Jason—”

“I never should have said goodbye without telling you that,” Jason tells her. “I’ve spent far too much time letting you walk away and not telling you how I felt. I didn’t fight for us and I was wrong. I should have let you know how much I loved you and how much you mattered to me and how the rest of my world is different when you’re not there.”

Despite herself and her best judgment, Elizabeth’s eyes soften. “Jason, you can’t just walk in here, tell me you love me and expect to make it all better.”

“I know that,” Jason replies. “I can’t take a magic wand and pretend that the last nine or so months didn’t happen. I can’t go back to September and take back the things I did and I’m sorry. I wish I could. But I can’t change what’s happened.” He takes a deep breath. “But I can change the future. And I can tell you how much I love you and I can tell you how much you matter to me and the rest of my world is different without you.”

“What do you want from me?” Elizabeth asks, quietly. She knows she shouldn’t give in—they’ve said goodbye, a word that between them was supposed to be final—no going back.

And maybe they can’t. Maybe they can’t take that goodbye back. Maybe it was okay to have said it and meant it.

“I want a chance,” Jason tells her. “I’m not asking for anything more concrete than that—just a chance.”

Because sometimes you had to let things go in order to find out how much you really needed them in your life—and how much you were really needed in theirs.

You had to let things go so that they could come back to you.

“All right,” Elizabeth tells him. “Let’s try this again.” He steps forward, unable to contain his smile, but she holds a hand up. “But we have a lot of work to do before this is all okay, Jason. You hurt me. And I hurt you. And we can’t keep doing it over and over again.”

He holds out his hand and Elizabeth studies it. She walked away from it once and regretted it the rest of her life. A few weeks ago, she took it and went with him on a final ride so she could say goodbye.

She’s not sure what she’s agreeing to if she takes it. Going back to Port Charles, staying here? Going somewhere else?

Does it matter?

She slips her small hand in his and gives him a tremulous smile. Maybe—

Maybe one day it will be okay again.

There was only one way to find out.

Where can we go from here
Oooh

Comments

  • sweet!

    According to vicki on January 20, 2016
  • love it

    According to Debbie on August 27, 2016