Disclaimer: Though I've been playing with them for twenty chapters now, none of these characters belong to me...
Standing in their place on the cliffs of Crystal Cove State Beach, Ryan summarized Marissa's statements.
"She's not wrong," he concluded. "I love you guys like family, but..."
After a long pause, Summer stepped away from Ryan.
"I thought maybe the three of us, together, could be the same as Seth was. But we can't. No one can replace Seth. Not even people as amazing as you guys."
"I guess, if it's any consolation, no one can replace us either," Anna offered awkwardly. Summer nodded.
"You guys are my best friends in the world," Summer insisted. "No one can ever understand how much you mean to me. We've helped each other through a horrible time. But now... I think we need to stand on our own."
Ryan kissed Summer's cheek and then Anna's. He watched the two girls leave separately, thinking fondly of both of them.
Ryan realized there was someone else in the world for him. Not Anna, or Summer, or even Marissa. There was someone Seth hadn't touched, someone who could look at Ryan without searching for Seth. There was someone in the world that Ryan could love freely without feeling guilty about taking something of Seth's.
It had taken awhile, but Ryan had finally figured out the lesson in Seth's death. There is a difference between knowing what's been lost and being lost. Ryan, Anna, and Summer were well on their way to being found.
A/N: I suppose I should be sadder about this ending. But I stopped writing this awhile ago, so for me the end was really a few months ago. As always, thank you so much for reading, and reviewing.
There could be a sequel to this story. I haven't made up my mind. Let me know if a sequel is something you'd be interested in, or if you'd rather see Knowing What's Been Lost as a standalone.