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Copyright 2002 Frank Downey. All rights reserved. Permission for any use
other than personal must be requested from the author. Do not repost.

This is adult material. If you're not one, begone.


Like this? More of my stuff is at


Josh joined Kylie and Tomasz for lunch. Meredith had a meeting with one
of her professors, leading her to joke with Josh that morning about having
to "spill all the details" by himself.

"So, how was the weekend?" Tomasz asked.

"Must have been eventful. mom told me all about your appearance on the
Lisa Kelley show," Kylie giggled.

"Yeah. Boy, she's a bitch. Anyhow, outside of that, it was fun. Even
Lisa Kelley was kinda fun, because I got to watch her squirm."

"Didja meet all kinds of stars?" Tomasz asked.

"A few. You guys will be happy to know that Tim Hicks is that nice of a
guy. I really liked him."

"Cool," said Tomasz.

"We sat, at the party, with Christian Houle and Lara Dumont, and they
are great, too. Christian knows as much about baseball as I do," Josh

"Now that is saying something," Kylie giggled.

"Did you get to do any exploring? Meredith show you around?" Tomasz

"Yeah, we went to Disneyland. She took me to a couple of her favorite
restaurants. Oh, and that party? It was at Dan Aufberg's house, you know,
the director and producer?" Tomasz nodded. "He produced her film. Anyhow,
guys, you should see this house!"

"A mansion, eh?" Kylie asked.

"Just calling it a mere mansion seems inadequate," Josh giggled. "I
liked Dan, too. He's larger than life, so the house suits him."

"Any bad spots?" Kylie asked, knowing his fears.

"Not too many. She got recognized a few times, but not too bad. The
worst was going into the premiere, with all the flashbulbs and the crowd,
but even that wasn't too bad." He grinned. "Someone yelled out 'nice dress
Meredith' as we were walking in, and then someone else yelled out 'nice
date, Meredith.'"

"Knowing you, you blushed bright red," Kylie said, laughing.


"What did Meredith do?" Tomasz asked.

"Grabbed my arm and yelled 'Mine!'"

Tomasz and Kylie collapsed in laughter. "Good for her!" Kylie said.
"So, you went to the Land of Oz and came back the same old Josh, intact.

"Well, not quite. Not completely intact. I did lose something on the

"What?" Kylie asked. "Your fear of Meredith's lifestyle?"

"No, that was already gone."

"So what did you lose?" Kylie asked.

"Um, my virginity," Josh said softly.

"What?" Kylie said, not quite believing what she thought she heard.

"Meredith and I made love this weekend." He grinned at them.
"Repeatedly, in fact."

"Wow," Tomasz said. "You've been going out, what, two months? I am

"It took you guys a month, tops," Josh pointed out.

"Well, that's us," Kylie said. "You are usually so slow and deliberate
about things like this."

"And wasn't Meredith a virgin, too?" Tomasz asked.

"Yeah, she was. It just felt right. She asked first, I was going to
say no?" Josh laughed.

" She started it?" Kylie said, amazed.

"Yeah. But I said Those Three Words first-and I said them before we had
sex-so it's even."

Kylie gasped. "You told her you loved her?"


"Oh my God, the world has stopped spinning on its axis," Kylie teased.
"You actually got those words to pass over your lips? To a girl?"

"I love her, guys. I really do. I told you all along that I wasn't
aloof, I wasn't gay, I wasn't a cold fish-I just hadn't met the right girl yet. Well, now I have."

"Good for you," Kylie said. "So, how was it?" she asked impishly.


"That's always the best kind," Tomasz laughed.


Kylie and Meredith were hanging out after school. They had gone to the
library, to do some studying, and decided to go to the local coffee shop on
the way home.

"So," Kylie began after they sat down with their coffee, "I hear you and
Josh did the nasty over the weekend."

"Yeah," Meredith laughed. "He told me he was going to tell you guys."

"How was it?"


"Close enough. He said mind-blowing." Meredith laughed at that. "He
also said he had a good time hobnobbing with your Hollywood pals."

"Yeah, he did. Look, you know Josh. He's been apprehensive about this
from the beginning. I was hoping that taking him out there would help put
him at ease."

"So, you intended to jump his bones?"

"NO!" Meredith laughed. "Well, maybe a little, but that's not what I
meant by putting him at ease. I meant seeing my life, meeting some of my

"I do think that helped." Kylie took a deep breath. "Look, Meredith,
I'm not going to lie. Josh is like my brother. I worry about him. I
worried forever that he never seemed to be able to find the right girl.
Now I worry that he found her-and it's not going to work out."

"Why wouldn't it work out?"

"You're from another world," Kylie pointed out. "We don't talk about it
much, but we all know it."

"Kylie, where am I?"

"What do you mean?"

"What world am I in right now?"

"His. But are you visiting, or staying?"

"I'm staying," Meredith said firmly. "Now, I plan to visit the other
world occasionally, but I'm going to live in this one."

"I hope so."

"I'm doing a movie this summer. Josh knows. He's not thrilled, but he
understands that is what I do. I'm just only going to do it occasionally.
The movie is done, and I come back here."

"What about after? What about college?" Kylie persisted.

"We've talked about that. All my college choices are in the Northeast.
All of his are, too. I think the furthest we'd be away is if he went to
Cornell and I went to Yale, and that's still not too far. Both of our
first choice is Columbia, as a matter of fact."

"That's good," Kylie said. "Look, I know I'm being a pest, but Josh
means the world to me." She took a deep breath. "He went to bed with you.
I don't know if you realize what that meant to him. He's not a normal guy
in that way. He wasn't about to give his virginity to just anyone."

"I know," Meredith said. "Um, look, what you have to understand is, it
meant as much to me. It was my virginity, too, and who I gave it too meant
just as much to me." Meredith dropped her voice. "Josh doesn't know this.
After we were done-well, we did it twice in a row, but after the second
time-he got up to go to the bathroom. While he was gone, I cried. And not
in pain, either."

"Wow," Kylie said.

"It wasn't just sex to me. I know it wasn't to Josh, either." She
smirked. "Not that the sex itself isn't fantastic, mind you!"

"But of course," Kylie laughed. "Josh told us that your hormones have
gone berserk since the first time."

"Yeah, I admit it," Meredith grinned. "I didn't even know I had
hormones. I think they were sleeping. Josh woke them up in a big way,"
she laughed.

"Yeah, you woke his up, too," Kylie giggled. "Meredith, I'm glad we had
this talk. You made me feel better about things."

"Josh is lucky to have such a good friend," Meredith said. "Good thing
you have Tomasz or I'd be jealous!"

"No need. Josh and I love each other, but we don't do a thing for each
other's hormones!"


The rest of December passed quickly. Josh, Kylie and Tomasz, the
Saturday before Christmas, took Meredith skiing for the first time. She
fell a lot, but had a ball. "We're definitely going to have to do this
again," she told them.

Before they knew it, it was Christmas Eve.

It was traditional for Josh's parents to host an open house on Christmas
Eve. They started at like four in the afternoon, and people traipsed in
until midnight. Most of the town made it. They had piles of food and
drink, and Christmas carols playing. It was always a great time.

Some of the food was catered, but some was made by Maureen Wallingford.
Meredith had been there all day, along with Josh and Hannah, helping out.

"Anything else, Mrs. Wallingford?" Meredith asked after finishing
making a pile of meatballs.

"Nope. You've done enough, dear. Any more and you'll be too tired to
enjoy the party. Josh, get her out of the kitchen so you two can relax for
a bit!'

"Your wish is my command, mother dear," he laughed. ""My room,
freckle-face. I got the refreshments." He grabbed a couple of cokes from
the fridge.

"Yes sir," Meredith mock-saluted.

"No kissing up there!" Hannah proclaimed.

"Yes, ma'am. No kissing." Meredith said. "We'll save that for under
the mistletoe. Right in the middle of the party. So you can watch."

"UGH!" Hannah proclaimed.

"Will you two get out of here?" Maureen laughed. "I still have cookies
to finish!"

They went, giggling, upstairs to his room. Josh closed the door behind
him, and put the sodas on a table. Meredith immediately wrapped herself
around him, and assaulted his lips with hers.

"Hey!" Josh said, breaking free. "You heard what Hannah said, no

"Oh, poo." Meredith mock-pouted. She sat on Josh's bed.

"She didn't say no groping, though," Josh leered, sitting next to her.
"Of course, she's ten years old, she probably doesn't know what groping

"Uh-uh. I don't get to kiss, you don't get to grope," Meredith teased.

"You're forgetting, sweetie, that you like when I grope."

"Details, details."

"Ah, screw it. Hannah's not here. C'mere, freckle-face." She laughed,
and wrapped her arms around him as they kissed. "Unfortunately," Josh said
after they broke, "this is not the time or place for serious groping."

"Sad, but true."

"I don't think Hannah would ever spy, and I know mom wouldn't, but I
wouldn't want to take the chance."

"I'm so glad I don't have a little sister," Meredith giggled.
"Actually, that's not true, I always wanted one-but when it comes to
kissing and groping, I'm glad I don't have one."

"Yeah, and mom wonders why I spend so much time at your house."

"Does she?"

"Yeah. I actually told her half the truth-no little sisters." Meredith
giggled at that. "I didn't tell her that your mom knows what we're doing
and gives us privacy."

"That's probably a good thing," Meredith chuckled. "Um, does your mom know that we're, uh...."

"I haven't told her, but I get the impression that she strongly
suspects. That's a hard thing for a guy to talk to his mother about."

"What about your Dad?"

"Same thing. I think he suspects. He's made some of those 'I hope you
guys are being careful' noises, but I haven't admitted anything."

"Are they not liberal about such things?"

"No, they are, but....I think if they asked me, point-blank, I'd
probably admit it, but I'm not going to bring it up. Would you have
volunteered it to your mom if we hadn't been caught?"

"I don't know. Probably not. Although, if I knew she'd react the way
she did, I might have. But I couldn't have predicted that."

"Yeah. Are they coming, by the way?"

"My parents, tonight? Oh, yeah. They're looking forward to it."


"So am I," Meredith said. "It's so......Christmasy."

"We do it every year."

"It's great. This will be the first real Christmas I've had in along
time. Last year, we had Christmas dinner in a hotel in Florida, because I
was filming a movie. It sucked."

"Well, this year, you get homemade food, no hotel, no movie, lots of
snow, and the town of Lamawakka parading through my living room."

"Yup," she agreed happily.

"And a real Christmas dinner at your Mom's tomorrow."

"Yup. And the most wonderful guy in the world to share it with."

"Yeah, that's the best part," Josh agreed. "Unlike you, this is a
typical Christmas for me. It's a hell of a lot better with you here."

"You're so sweet. I love you."

"Love you too."

They chatted for a while, then went down to help Maureen set things up.
It didn't take long before people began to arrive.

Tomasz and Kylie arrived early, as they usually did. They, Josh, and
Meredith commandeered a couch, and settled into it, greeting people when
they came in and chatting, generally having a good time.

By seven PM the party was in full swing. The door opened, and Josh
looked up.

"Oh my God," he said. "Meri, look. It's Christian and Lara."

"What?" she said. "I invited them, but as a joke, I didn't think they'd
actually show up!"

"Cool. I'm glad you did, and I'm glad they came," Josh said. They got
up to greet them.

"I can't believe you guys actually came!" Meredith said, greeting them.

"We wanted to," Lara said.

"It's on our way," Christian told them. "We spent the last few days in
Montreal, where Lara's family lives. We're headed to New Jersey, where my
parents live. So, this was on the way. And we love the town, from making
the film last summer, so we thought we'd meet some of the people here."

"Plus, we wanted to see you guys," Lara grinned.

"It's great. Glad you're here," Josh said. He took their coats, and
led them over to where they were sitting, introducing them to Tomasz and

Maureen walked over. "Hey, Josh, I got more stuffed mushrooms coming
out." She looked at the newcomers curiously. "Hello."

"Mom, this is Christian Houle and Lara Dumont. Guys, this is my Mom."

"I knew I recognized you!" Maureen said. "Nice to meet you both."

"I hope you don't mind party-crashers," Lara said.

"It's an open house, everybody's a party-crasher," Maureen joked. "I
take it you're friends of Meredith's."

"Yeah, but we met Josh at the premiere, too," Christian said.

Just then, Josh looked up and saw his sister, across the room, looking
at them with her eyes bugging out. "Mom, is something wrong with Hannah?"

Maureen looked. "Oh, I think I know what's wrong. Whose poster does
she have on her closet door?"

"Oh that's right," Josh laughed. " His," he pointed at Christian.

"That's my Christian, breaker of little girl's hearts everywhere," Lara

"Yup, I'm the darling of the 8 to 14 set," Christian joked. "Then they
grow up, discover the hunk in math class, and stop going to my movies."
Everyone laughed at that..

"That's about right, she's 10," Josh told him.

"Who is she?" Christian asked.

"Hannah, my sister," Josh informed him.

"Let me handle this," Meredith told them. She got up and went over to

"Hey, Hannah, you OK?" she asked.

"Um....that.....that's Christian Houle!"

"Yes, it is," Meredith laughed. "Come on over and meet him."

"Oh, I couldn't," Hannah said, looking down.

"Sure you can. Hannah, Christian's my friend. He and Lara are here
because I invited them, although I didn't expect them to come, I'm glad
they did. He's a really nice guy."

Hannah thought for a minute, and said, "OK". She let Meredith lead her
to where they were.

"Guys, this is Hannah, Josh's sister. Hannah, this is Christian Houle
and Lara Dumont."

"Hi," Hannah said shyly.

"Hi, Hannah, nice to meet you," Christian said happily. "Josh, here,
tells me you've seen some of my movies."

"Um, all of them, I think," Hannah managed to get out.

"Cool! What was your favorite?"

The conversation went on for a while, Christian drawing Hannah out and
getting her into a conversation about some of his movies. He told her
stories about making some of them. He had her spellbound.

After a while, Maureen yelled from the kitchen, "Hey, Hannah! Can I
have your help for a minute?"

"I have to go," Hannah said. "It was great to meet you."

"It was nice to meet you, too," Christian said, and leaned over and gave
her a kiss on the cheek. Hannah's eyes bugged out of her head, she
blushed, and she ran into the kitchen, grinning from ear to ear and
clutching her cheek.

Christian just laughed.

"Thanks, Christian," Josh said. "You made her night. Scratch that, you
made her year."

"She's a sweet kid," Christian said.

"Yeah, and maybe now she'll drop that whole 'kissing is gross' thing,"
Meredith teased, to laughter all around.


Christmas day was nice, and Tomasz threw a fine New Year's eve party.
The rest of January passed in a blur of school, skiing, and-for Josh and
Meredith-many quiet times together.

In a hurry, their first Valentine's Day as a couple arrived.

"So, what has Josh got planned for tonight?" Kylie asked Meredith as
they walked through the halls at school.

"He won't tell me. Says it's a surprise," Meredith giggled. "I'm glad
it's Friday, though. And my parents are going away for the weekend."

"Lucky dog."

"You know it." She felt her cel phone vibrate. "What is this? I have
an urgent message from Mike."


"My agent. Ah, well, this is my class. I'll get to my seat and see
what he wants, I still have a few minutes."

"See you later." Kylie continued down the hall, and Meredith walked into
her English class, sitting, as always, next to Josh halfway down the room.

"Hi, gorgeous," Josh greeted her.

"Hi, yourself. I've got an urgent message from Mike, so I have to call
him. This must be big, it's only 7 am in California." She hit a speed dial
on her phone. "Mike? Hi! What's so urgent?"

Josh watched her as her eyes got huge and her lip started trembling.
"You're kidding," she whispered. "You've got to be kidding. Oh my God."
She listened to the phone for a while, and then said, "Class is about to
start. I'll call you this afternoon. You're sure? Really? Oh my God."
She hung up the phone, stared into space for a while, and then SCREAMED.
Really, really, loud. The tears started immediately. The class turned to
look at her in shock.

"MISS FOWLER!" Mr. Donegal, their teacher, bellowed at her. She didn't
even hear him. Josh leaned over and said, "Honey, are you OK?" and she
barely heard him. She just sat in her seat, tears flowing, murmuring "I
don't believe it, I don't believe it, I don't believe it...," over and

"Miss Fowler," Mr. Donegal said, a bit softer this time, "is there a

This time she heard him. She looked over at Josh, who was watching her
with concern. She visibly tried to compose herself, but couldn't stop
crying. She flashed Josh a huge smile, and then blurted out, "I got

"Nominated?" Mr. Donegal asked.

"For an Oscar!" she bellowed. Josh looked at her in disbelief. She
managed to stop crying, and said, with a huge grin on her face, "My agent
just told me that it will be announced this afternoon that I have been
nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Supporting Actress category."

This time, Josh screamed. Meredith bounced out of her seat and wrapped
her arms around him, crying again, as the class applauded. Even Mr.
Donegal had to say, "That is fantastic. If you have to disrupt my class,
at least it's with good news like that!"

The word spread across the school like wildfire. Meredith spent most of
the day accepting congratulations with a shit-eating grin on her face.

When they left school, they drove together right to Meredith's house.
Marie was in the living room, watching TV.

"Hi honey. Hi Josh. They're showing the Oscar nominations."

"What have they shown so far?" Meredith asked, hiding a grin.

"Just best picture and best actor. Neither your film nor Tim got a


They watched the best actress and best supporting actor nomination.

"Hey, look, they got your pal Christian to announce the best supporting
actress," Marie said to Meredith.

"And, the nominees are," Christian was saying on the TV, "Andrea Radach
for Twisting in the Wind."

"She was good in that," Meredith said.

"Ellen Briar for Sight Unseen."

"That was brilliant," commented Meredith. "She'll probably win."

Suddenly, Christian looked at the teleprompter and lit up with a smile.
"All right! Sorry, folks, but this is a pal and co-star. Meredith Fowler
for Garret's Gift!"

Marie looked at the screen in utter disbelief. And then she looked at
Meredith and Josh, grinning at her like Cheshire cats. "You knew!"

"Yeah," Meredith admitted. "Mike must have gotten a heads-up, because
he called me this morning."

"Oh, honey," Marie said, wrapping Meredith in a bear hug, "I am so proud
of you!"

"Thanks, Mom."

"This is just fantastic. We need to call your father," Marie said.

"No, Mom, I want to tell him in person."

"I can see that. You going to go tell him now?"

"In a minute. I'm parched. Josh, want a drink?"

"Sure." Meredith walked into the kitchen to fetch them.

"So, Josh, what do you think?" Marie asked him.

"It's fantastic, isn't it? You should have seen her. She called Mike
back right before English, and she sat in the classroom screaming and
crying. It took the poor teacher ten minutes to get order back."

"I can imagine," Marie grinned.

"Me, I think it's great." Meredith walked back in with the sodas.
"Thank you, sweetie. As I was saying, I love it. I watch the Oscars every
year, I love them, this year is going to be particularly special."

"Yeah, because you're going to be watching it from the first twenty
rows," Meredith grinned at him.

"I am?"

"What, you thought I wasn't going to take you? You, love, are my
permanent escort. If I'm nominated for an Oscar, you're damn right you're
going to be there. I need somebody's shoulder to cry on when Ellen Briar

"Do you think you have a chance?" Marie asked her.

"No way. I was flabbergasted to be nominated." Just then, her cell
phone rang. "Hello?"

Even Marie and Josh heard the bellowing coming out of the cel phone
speaker. "I TOLD YOU! Did I tell you? I told you! See what you get for
doubting your all-knowing mentor? I told you!"

Meredith broke out in laughter. "Hi, Tim."

"Congratulations," Tim Hicks said into the phone. "You deserved this.
I'm thrilled. You're carrying the ball, you know, it's the only nomination
the film got."

"Wow. So, Mister Prognosticator, am I going to win?"

"Nah. Either Ellen Briar or Christine Shane will. But enjoy it

Meredith laughed. "I plan to!"

They polished off their sodas and went to Meredith's father's office in
Albany. After sharing the happy news with him, they went to Josh's house.

"Hi kids," Maureen Wallingford greeted them. Eric, who ran his
pediatric practice out of an office attached to the house, was also there,
having seen his last patient for the day.

"Hi Mom, Dad. Hi squirt," he said as Hannah entered the room.

"We need to talk to you," Meredith said. "I want to kidnap your son for
another road trip," she laughed.

"Where to this time, and when?" Eric asked.

"LA again, end of March. The Academy Awards."

"Oh, wow!" Maureen said. "That's so cool! Of course Josh can go with
you to that. Can you get him in, though?"

"Well, yeah," Meredith told them. "People who are nominated can bring
anyone they want, within reason."

Eric and Maureen looked at each other. "Nominated?" Eric asked.

"For best supporting actress," Meredith beamed.

"WOW!" Hannah screamed, and there were more congratulatory hugs all
around. While Meredith happily recounted the events of the day, Josh went
around to a table and poked through the mail.

"Oh, yeah, there's something in there for you," Maureen told him. Josh
found it, and opened it, and read it. He looked up with a dazed smile on
his face.

"What's up, sweetie?" Meredith asked him.

"It's just a good day all around, it seems," Josh said, beaming. "I
sent some of my stuff to this publisher. They publish periodically a book
called The Anthology of young American Poetry. They accepted three of my
pieces to put in the next edition."

"That's fantastic!" Meredith enthused. Josh's parents agreed, and even
Hannah said, "Nice going, bro."

"Oh, now can I admit how bad I wanted this?" Josh laughed.

"Be my guest" Eric said.

"It's not quite an academy award nomination......," Josh began.

"Sweetie?" Meredith grabbed his face and looked in his eyes. "Yes it

"I love you," he said, making Hannah gag. "But you must admit they
didn't announce this on TV!"

"OK, you're right," Meredith conceded, "but you should be just as proud
of yourself."

"Yeah. I am."



They landed in LA on a Wednesday. The Academy Awards would be that
Sunday night. Since Meredith's parents knew all about their relationship,
they ditched the pretense and shared a hotel suite. "I need him with me,
to keep me sane," Meredith joked to her mother.

Meredith had the usual round of interviews, although Josh didn't get
dragged into any this time. Meredith, however, when asked about him, made
sure to mention the publication of his poetry proudly. Vanity Fair
magazine even asked to see some, and ended up printing a funny one Josh had
written for Meredith, entitled 'Freckle-Face', as an accompaniment to
Meredith's interview.

And the parties! Every night, it seemed there were pre-Oscar parties.
Josh tried very hard not to get overwhelmed, and mostly succeeded.
Meredith met one of her competitors, Ellen Briar, at one. Ellen Briar was
an actress that Meredith had always admired, but never met. She impressed
the older actress with her grace and class.

Finally, it was time for the ceremony.

Meredith got into a stunning black dress that again made Josh weak in
the knees, much to Meredith's delight. Another limo ride, and they entered
into paparazzi hell.

"I haven't been photographed this much in my life," Josh joked.

After enduring the photo-fest, they found their seats. Meredith's
parents were behind them. Tim Hicks, who had been nominated for Director
of the Year for a different film, sat next to them, with his wife. Dan
Aufberg, the producer of the film, was right in front.

"Do you have a speech ready?' Josh asked Meredith.

"Nah, what's the point? I have no chance. Even Tim says so," she

"You should always have a speech, though," Tim told her.

"Ah, if lightning strikes, I'll just wing it."

They sat through some of the other awards, and a few production numbers.
Best Supporting Actress was actually fairly early in the show, so they
didn't have to wait long.

Meredith grabbed Josh's hand, but was at ease and not expecting to win.
"If I thought I had a chance, I'd be more nervous," she said to Josh and
Tim with a laugh. "I hope Ellen Briar wins, actually. Unless, of course,
lightning does strike."

Lightning struck.

"And the Oscar goes to," intoned veteran actor Don Jones, "Meredith

Her jaw dropped to the floor. Her eyes got all wide. "I won? I won?"
she squeaked in a disbelieving tone. Josh, Tim, Dan, and her parents were
jumping around and yelling-and Meredith could scarcely believe it.

"Honey, you need to get up there," Josh whispered to her with a smile.

Recovering herself just a bit, she gave Josh's hand a squeeze and then
walked up to the stage, slightly dazed. She was presented with the Oscar,
and took a couple of seconds to visibly compose herself.

"Forgive me, I'm stunned," she said.

She took a deep breath.

"I don't have anything prepared, because I didn't think I had a chance,
but I know what I want to say," Meredith began.

"Everybody's got a laundry list. Thanks to the Academy, thanks to my
agent, thanks to Dan Aufberg, the producer and Bill Singleman, the
director. Thanks to the cast and crew, especially my buddy Christian Houle,
who was a delight to work with, and Tim Hicks, from whom I have learned
more about acting than I will ever repay.

"However, that's not the important part. I want to dedicate this award
to three people. First, my parents. They have supported me and loved me
throughout my whole career. They have walked the fine line between
guidance and freedom better than I thought it could be done. They have
supported my choices, and stepped in to make the hard choices themselves
when they thought I needed it. They've always been right. mom and Dad, I
love you."

"One of the hard choices they made was to move me out of Hollywood and
to Lamawakka, New York. They did this because they thought I was too
caught up in acting and had lost touch with Meredith the person. The
problem was, at that point, I wasn't sure who Meredith the person was. I
was lucky enough to meet a guy who kept digging and digging until he
revealed the real Meredith. And then he fell in love with her. Which is a
good thing, because she fell in love with him."

"We all get jaded after a while, being here. One of the neat things
about him is he's not jaded, and can come with me to an event like this
and, with his outsider's eyes, looks upon it all with wonder-and his
perspective grounds me. He's my rock, he's my anchor. And, because I have
him in my life, this award"-she held up the Oscar-"is less important, but
more special. It's less important because he made me realize that there is
more to me than being an actress, and I needed to find that. But, it's
more special, because I can see it through his eyes, and see what an
accomplishment it is, and see how proud he is of me. Which makes me proud
of myself.

"This wouldn't have meant nearly as much to me if he hadn't been sitting
there, holding my hand, when they called my name."

"I love you, Josh."

"Thank you."

She left the stage to thunderous applause.


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