It had been almost two years since I'd seen her. Two years since I'd left my apartment; two years since I'd let myself love; two years since I'd had my heart broken. I feared countless times that maybe I'd pinned my hopes on something that wasn't meant to be. Surely she would have looked for me by now. Surely she would have found my note by now. Of course, there was always the chance that she had found it and was merely refusing to contact me. But that thought made tears spring to my eyes and my chest ache, so I tried to ignore it as best as I could.

I clung to what little shreds of hope remained after that first year of being alone. The reasons I kept in mind were often rather juvenile; even I knew that. But it was all I had. And I refused to let that hope die yet. I couldn't count the times I'd stared at my locket – I'd kept it, of course – simply hoping, wishing for her again. Still, after two years... I was losing faith in the little redhead. It was difficult to remain optimistic about her when she hadn't called me a single time.

So when I got out of bed at one in the afternoon one Thursday, the last thing I was expecting was for that particular cell phone to ring. It had not, after all, rung once since I'd bought it. I was in the kitchen at the time, and I shocked myself by not falling to my knees at the sight of the familiar number. I did feel my throat constrict violently. Christ. Jesus-fucking-Christ. I panicked; I admit that much. I was certain that I'd spent some time rehearsing what to say to her; why couldn't I remember what I'd practiced?

I quickly pulled a bottle of vodka from the fridge, taking a gulp from it. The harsh burn snapped me out of my panic and I shakily answered the phone. For an instant, I couldn't think of a thing to say. Then I blurted out the first thing that came to mind. "Jessie, darlin', if I'd known that it would take you this long to find the note, I'd've given it to you in person."

For a long moment, there was no answer, and I wondered if she'd hung up. Then I heard a ragged intake of breath and a soft murmur of "Oh, god," in that voice I recalled so well. I bit my lip as if that would help to bite back the emotion that threatened to overwhelm my senses. "Rachel?" she whispered, sounding stunned.

"Yeah," I replied softly, hoarsely. Then I grinned widely. I wasn't sure why. "Yeah, it's me, Jessie. Been a while, huh?"

A/N: I'm still not actively updating this for another couple of weeks. But in the meantime; don't ya just love teasers? ;P Happy 2010!