Friday, February 18, 2000

Two weeks and a day later, I sat at Evan's computer trying to finish my last job. The bell rang before I was done. On the sticky note, I wrote in black marker, "I'll finish Monday." I stood up and turned away from the desk. Evan stood behind me.

"Hi." He said, smiling. He'd actually smiled at me quite a few times since we'd broke up. It hurt more than not talking.

"Whenever you smile at me, I know that you still care. Because that's the smile you only gave to me." I almost whispered feeling the clouds rolling in fast and bringing tears with them.

"I do still care about you." He said.

"Of course." I rolled my eyes, causing a couple of tears to fall. "You just don't love me, but then again you probably never did. I loved you, maybe I still do, but I guess fell too hard, too fast, right? Well, I've learned my lesson, like you said I should."

"Kira—" Evan started.

"No, I have to go. I'm late—"

"You don't work tonight, it's Friday."

"I didn't say I was late for work, did I?" I pushed past him, got my bag, and made it out to my car before breaking down.

After a couple minutes of crying, I managed to drive to my house, where Jay's truck was in the driveway. I got out and he met me between the car and the truck.

"Have you been crying?" He asked.

"Yeah, I'm fine now, I think. Let's just go inside the house."

Inside we sat in the living room. He'd called the night before and said he'd like to talk. "Okay," he said now. "Tell me what's wrong."

"Evan and I broke up…two weeks ago." I said trying not to cry again.

Jay surprised me by hugging me, which was actually comforting. "Sorry." He pulled back.

"Didn't you know? You seemed more upset lately, like you noticed something was wrong." I said, confused.

"No, I've been upset because of us breaking up. I've noticed you seemed sad lately. Maybe you're realizing how I've felt."

"Yeah, I guess I know how much I hurt you now." Suddenly I thought about Evan's 'lesson' I was supposed to have learned from this. I hurt Jay the same way Evan had hurt me, I knew how he felt now.

"Why don't we go see a movie, a funny one? You need to laugh and so do I." Jay suggested, breaking into my thoughts.

I agreed and we left the house again.

A couple of hours later, Jay dropped me off at home. "Maybe tomorrow we can go see another movie or go out to eat, anything you want." He said as I got out of the truck.

"That sounds really great after the last couple of weeks." I smiled. "Call me tomorrow, okay?"

He nodded and we said goodbye. I got out of the truck and waved to Jay.

Inside, the house was still empty. I went up to my room and pushed the blinking button on the answering machine.

The message began with music. It took me a second to realize it was Limp Bizkit's 'A Lesson Learned.' After a second, the lyrics started.

This pain in my stomach won't go away

I assume this is punishment for all mistakes I've made

In a world where my actions speak louder than words

In a world where my actions speak louder than words

And I know more people than ever before

One lesson I've learned from it all

Fortune and fame are disguised as your friend 'cuz I'm lonelier now than I've ever been

'Cuz this pain in my stomach won't go away

I assume this is punishment for all the mistakes I've made

In a world where my actions speak louder than words

In a world where my actions speak louder than words

And I know more people than ever before

One lesson I've learned from it all

Fortune and fame are disguised as your friend 'cuz I'm lonelier than I've ever been

The song was short. When it ended, Evan replaced it. "Sometimes you must be hurt in order to grow, fail in order to know, and lose in order to gain, because some lessons can only be learned through pain. That's what I wanted you to learn, not the bad stuff. Remember that always and you'll learn lots, even if it hurts. I'm sorry both of us had to learn this together. I did love you and of course I still do, but we both have to move on and do the right thing in life. Please don't hate me, Kira; life's too short to stick to the bad things. Learn from them and move on. That's a lesson I wish I could teach everyone. Thanks for helping me learn it. And for your sake, help Jay give you a second chance, you both need it."

There was a click and the message was done.

I finally understood what he meant. I was glad to have learned this lesson and to have loved him and be loved by him. Maybe now I could move on and so could Jay. It was time he learned to let the bad things go and move on to better things.