I had to wonder how much trauma one person could take on before they broke for good.

"All I want is to be there for her and she won't let me." Selfishly, I needed her to be there for me, too. In the midst of all of this mayhem, I was still ripe with pain over Heather and nothing sounded better to me than having Kat all to myself for just a few days to help lessen the pain.

"Do you think there will come a time where you'll just kind of, let her do her and you do you if things don't get better?"

Also known as, how long will this go on before you end your own misery?

"I'm not giving up on her." I cut my stare up to Ryan's across the kitchen. "She needs time and I know that. I'll give her as much time as she needs to come back to me."

Ryan nodded in silence, but I could see in his expression he had more to say.

"What about that guy she was with? She tell you anymore about him?"

My grip around the base of my beer tightened on its own as did every muscle in my neck. If there was one thing I didn't need him to bring up...

"Again, not much." Any time his name came up around Kat, she froze. Her eyes welled with tears, her body tensed, and she shut down completely. Or as was a couple days ago, runs away crying and cuts off most communication.

"I gave her his stuff," I admitted. Wasn't sure now how grand of an idea that was after all now.

Ryan piqued a curious eyebrow at me. "Yeah?"

"Yeah. That's actually what sent her inside crying." I sighed, remembering how broken she looked as she realized whose stuff was in the box.

I'd been there when she found her mother dead and I'd been there when this Blake died in front of her. For someone she'd known for only five weeks, his death shook her completely off her hinges. Though in that room, in that moment, I couldn't focus on anything else but Heather laying in front of me with a hole in her chest, I couldn't miss hearing Kat's cries cut through it all...

And they were haunting.

"There was a journal in the box of his stuff and I uh, I went through some of it."

"What was in it?"

I tapped my pointer finger against the slick base of my beer, watching the water slide down the bottle and dampen my skin. "Mostly poems. Random writings. He was pretty skilled with a pen."

"Did you read any of them?" Ryan's curiosity was building by the second; I could hear it in the notes of his voice.

"Most of them were dated from before Kat was there." I had to stop myself, pushing down the bile rising in my throat as I remembered his words on the page that had branded themselves into my brain.

"There was only one dated from the time Kat was there. It was the last poem in there... and the first one she turned to when she found it."

I remembered when I read it a couple days ago and the jealousy that raced down my spine as I made the connections.

"What was it about?"

I threw back a quick swig of my beer before answering him. "Love. Unrequited love."

Ryan leaned himself back from the counter, nodding slowly. "So he was in love with her."

"Seems that way." You love someone, you'd die for them, right?

"But that doesn't mean she felt the same about him," Ryan countered. "You said the poem was about unrequited love so that kind of proves that she didn't, right?"

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