Disclaimer - You know the drill, I don't own him .. sadly.

A/N: I have the worst migraine right now. Man it's killing me. But anyways, please accept my apology for the long gap in my writing. I hate it when authors do that to me, and here I am doing it to you all! Well, I don't have that many readers anyways so I suppose no one would miss me. How sad. Forgive me for the ending of this chapter. It's sort of rushed due to the limited time I have on this computer. So please leave a review! It makes me feel so much better and hopefully could be the cure to this damn headache that has been attacking me for a while. Sorry for this long ass author's note, you can go read now.

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Turn Heartache Into Redemption

Chapter Two - A new Life, A new love

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By the way, the song in this chapter is 'Behind these hazel eyes' by Kelly Clarkson. Just in case anyone's curious .

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Kagome sighed as the fabric of her soft plush pillows curved under her touch. She was lying on her bed in the bedroom of her apartment, playing with a lock of her hair and humming the tune of a song that was playing on her radio softly in the background. It was funny how that song seemed to be in perfect accuracy with her feelings on a certain someone.

She felt her heart surge just at the thought of him. He had put her through so much pain and forced her to face an obstacle that was almost impossible for her to overcome, just thinking back to the day she got her heart torn out and ripped to pieces made her heart sore once again. How could she have thought she could escape the pain? He had made it inevitable, she had loved him too much.

Seems like just yesterday
You were a part of me
I used to stand so tall
I used to be so strong
Yours arms around me tight
Everything it felt so right
Unbreakable, like nothing could go wrong

Kagome let out a groan of protest, the song bringing a heavy amount of depression to weigh upon her and wishing someone would turn off the radio. She wanted to get up and throw her radio against the wall, but it was all the way across her room and she didn't have the energy to move from her comfortable spot, mixed in the covers of her bed. So she let the song play, listening to the words as it spoke to her through the speakers of her radio.

No I can't breathe, I can't sleep
I'm barely hanging on . .

Here I am
Once again
I'm torn into pieces
Can't deny it, can't pretend
Just thought you were the one
Broken up, deep inside
But you won't get to see the tears I cry
Behind these hazel eyes

It had been so long ago since the day it happened, but the pain was still fresh. Like it had just happened yesterday, although in reality it had probably been a few years. How could she have thought that even for a brief moment that he was the one for her, that he was her soul mate? He had proven everything she had ever believed in wrong in just one night.

She tried to forget him, she tried so very hard but he still remained there, buried deeply in the pit of her broken heart. She hated him for everything he was worth and for everything that he had did to her, he had made her afraid to love again, afraid to commit.

But luckily she had met Kouga, and he had helped her demolish the bitterness in her heart and taught her to love again. But was she really in love with him? She held up her left hand, glancing at the expensive diamond engagement ring tucked firmly unto her ring finger. The ring on her finger told her she was in love with him, she had agreed to marry him, but something didn't feel right.

When he had asked her to marry her just a few months earlier, the thought of InuYasha had entered her mind at that very moment, bringing tears to her misty blue eyes. Kouga had merely thought she was crying out of happiness and had looked at her with such love and devotion that squeezed the breath from her and made her feel extremely guilty.

She had always pictured InuYasha being the one to propose to her, somehow that image had sunk into her head and she was unable to get rid of it completely. That dream had died years ago, along with their relationship and still after so long the simplest things reminded her of him.

Whenever she looked at the sun, she pictured his golden pools glistening, staring at her the way he once had, with deep love and caring. Although she wasn't sure if the love and care was really there in the first place, maybe she had just imagined it. Whenever she saw couples gathering in the park, it reminded her of the times InuYasha had walked with her in the warm spring days, with nothing but the sun shining on their faces and their love to keep them together.

Now it seemed as if everything had switched roles and she had been thrown into a life without InuYasha and a life with Kouga. He was a sweet man, he knew how to make a woman feel loved and how to treat her good, but he lacked something. Something she couldn't quite put her finger on but she knew it was there, she could feel it whenever he kissed her or held her in his strong embrace. But what was it?

The song continued to play and Kagome could only stare up at the ceiling, half listening to the song and half asleep, lost in her own thoughts.

I told you everything
Opened up and let you in
You made me feel alright
For once in my life
Now all that's left of me
Is what I pretend to be
So together but so broken up inside

Was she making the right decision? She knew she cared for Kouga deeply, but was it love? Perhaps she had rushed into things too quickly, they had only known each other for a little over a year. Maybe she could delay the wedding. There was something blocking her from Kouga, and whatever it was she had to overcome it. She was getting older, almost 24 and she wanted to settle down, if she didn't love him, then she at least wanted it to be with someone who loved her.

No I can't breathe, no I can't sleep
I'm barely hanging on

Here I am
Once again
I'm torn into pieces
Can't deny it, can't pretend
Just thought you were the on - -

Kagome was surprised to hear the radio had been turned off and someone had entered her room, sitting up quickly she glanced at the new figure who had just arrived and sighed in relief.

"Hey Kouga, home from work early?" Kagome asked softly, a warm smile decorated her face, adding in effect to the glitter in her dark blue eyes.

Kouga smiled back and took a seat on the bed next to her. "Yeah, they let me off early. My friend took over for me, said it was because I had been overworking myself recently and needed a break. I'm glad they did, gives me more time to spend with you." He explained as he moved closer to her, wrapping an arm around her shoulders and sinking his hand into a lock of her hair, sliding it between his fingers.

"That's great! I was getting lonely with you working all the time." Kagome said, sinking into his touch and resting her head unto his shoulder.

"Well, that's what I get for a doctor in training. At least it will benefit for us in the long run." Kouga sighed and breathed in the scent of his fiancee, her sweet scent somehow comforting and making him drowsy with sleep, it was only then that he realized how tired he was.

"You sound sleepy, rest here, I'll just be in the other room." Kagome whispered as she untangled herself from his cuddle and moved to stand up. His hand shot up and grabbed her wrist, freezing her on her attempt to leave the room.

"Mmm, don't go. You're so soft .. like a pillow." He mumbled, his grip on her loosening as he closed his eyes and shortly after fell into a deep sleep. She took his hand from her arm and placed it beside him on the bed, smiling gently at his peaceful slumbering figure and walking out of the door.

"Goodnight." She whispered, taking the doorknob in her hand and closing it as silently as she could.

She made her way down the hallway and into the kitchen, fishing through her refrigerator for something edible to eat. She crinkled her nose in disgust when she opened a container filled with what smelled like a rotting bowl of food and quickly threw it out, bowl and all.

She closed the refrigerator door and sighed, realizing it was time to go shopping for some well needed food. She was just about to search through the cabinets when she caught a bright red light shining in the corner of her eyes.

She turned her head and saw that it was just the answer machine, two unread messages making it blink repeatedly. She walked over to it and pressed the play button, waiting patiently for the messages to play.

- You have two new messages, first message -

"Hey Kagome, it's Sango. I was just calling to see how you were doing. I haven't talked to you in awhile since you live so far away and all. Call me back."

- End of message, second message -

"Kagome, it's your mother. Your little brother's birth-day is coming up. When are you going to come back to New York and visit him? I know you like living in California, but you know how much this means to your brother. At least stay for the summer, it's coming up you know. Well, call me back and we'll make plans. Love you. Bye."

- End of final message, no more messages -

Kagome let out a sigh of frustration. She had forgotten it was her brother's birth-day and now she had to call her mother and make plans about going back to New York. She had purposely moved as far away as she could while remaining within the United States borders, just so that she could start over with her life. What if she saw InuYasha again? The question alone sent panic to well up inside of her body.

"Calm down Kagome, it'll be okay, you can go to New York, say hi to everyone and then leave. If you see InuYasha, just ignore him, but I seriously doubt I'll seem him anyway." Kagome whispered words of assurance to herself out loud, running a hand through her wavy locks to calm herself down.

'Maybe I just won't go.' She thought idly.

'But what type of sister would I be if I didn't go to visit my brother on his birth-day AGAIN? Sending cards and a gift every year was beginning to seem like not enough. And then there's my mom, she still wants to see me, and I haven't spoken to Sango and the rest of my friends for a long time as well. Damn this is so difficult.' Kagome contemplated within her head, trying to decide on which option she should take.

She thought about her mother and her little brother waiting for her back in their small house in New York, she pictured her grandpa telling her more bizarre stories that she had already heard at least a billion times and her best friend Sango taking her out to have a night of fun. It was then that she realized how much she missed them.. all of them. It had been years and all Kagome could offer them was a simple phone call every once in a while or a letter in the mail when she had the time.

She let out a sigh of defeat and picked up her phone, punching in the numbers to her mother's house. She had made her decision, she would go visit them for a few weeks.

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"What do you mean you can't come with me?" Kagome inquired, her blue eyes wide with disappointment.

"Kagome, I'm sorry. My schedule is way too busy, work is demanding. I can't come right now. You'll be fine on your own won't you?" Kouga asked, exasperated.

"But, I really don't want to go by myself." Kagome whined, the thought of going to New York alone brought a cold and sad feeling to the pit of her stomach. She hated traveling alone.

Kouga sighed. "Kagome, look, I'll try to come maybe in a week or something okay? That's the best I can do..unless you want me to get fired."

"Of course I don't but.. Alright, I guess." She pouted, hating the thought of her possibly having to face InuYasha alone. But then again, her friends and family would be there to greet her. Wasn't that enough protection? No, she thought. She needed Kouga with her.

"I'm sorry, honey. Forgive me?" Kouga's voice had softened as he walked up to her, wrapping his arms around her from behind and enveloping her into a warm embrace. She gave in, holding his hands with her own and turning her head so she could place a chaste kiss on his lips.

"I'll forgive you.. on one condition." She replied, backing out of Kouga's arms, much to his dismay.

He frowned. "What?"

"You have to promise to call me at least once every day, just to let me know you're thinking about me when I'm gone." She answered softly.

"Ok, I promise. You know I'll be thinking about you every minute of every day when you're gone, I always miss you when we're apart." He assured her, bringing her into another embrace.

She smiled back at him and returned the embrace. "I'll miss you too. Well I have to start packing. Are you going to drive me to the airport on Friday?" She asked.

He thought for a moment before nodding his head and pulling out of their hug.

"Thanks Kouga." She smiled and turned towards her bedroom, pulling out bags for the trip. 'Gee.' She thought sarcastically. 'This is going to be fun.'

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InuYasha flipped through the channels of his T.V. from his spot on the couch, sipping on a can of ice cold beer. He had never felt so bored in his life and his body was aching from laying around the house all day.

Kikyo was no where in sight, she was probably out somewhere, with one of her little friends, not that he cared that much. She was always grinding his nerves, yelling at him for no reason and accusing him of cheating on her.

He had hardly been going outside for the past months, and she was normally stopping by his apartment, how the hell would he have been able to cheat on her?

"Crazy bitch." InuYasha muttered after taking another sip from his drink. He didn't know why he put up with her, he couldn't even understand why he was still with her .. Aside from the fact that she looked a little like Kagome. Okay, scratch that, A LOT like Kagome.

Even with the similarities, there were big differences. To him, Kikyo could never come even close in comparison to the level Kagome was in. They looked so alike, yet so different at the same time. Kikyo lacked Kagome's beautiful blue eyes and gorgeous smile, and their personalities were almost the exact opposite.

Kagome was always happy and cheerful, her very presence made him feel at ease and he couldn't help but smile when she was around. She was fun and caring and they were always laughing and having a fun time when they were together, or at least when they weren't having one of their playful arguments.

Kikyo on the other hand was often cold and uncaring. He had to admit, she was an attractive woman, but in a different way then Kagome was. Her personality didn't even come close to Kagome's either, he'd be lucky they went through one peaceful conversation with her without ripping his hair out in frustration.

He knew the only reason he kept Kikyo around was because she looked like Kagome, he knew it was wrong but he couldn't help it. He missed Kagome that much. Sometimes when he kissed Kikyo he could almost imagine it being Kagome's soft sweet lips, and when he held her it was almost like holding Kagome's perfect body. And when he fucked her, it was almost like ..

He cut off his thoughts abruptly, was he losing his sanity? Kagome was long gone, and she made it clear after years that she was never going to come back, no matter how long he waited for her. Even if he still kept the apartment they once shared together in hopes she would return and remain living with him, but he shook that thought away. He shared the apartment with Miroku now, not Kagome, not anymore and probably never again.

He could still remember the look on her face, the look of absolute pain and devastation. It had tugged at his heart, and that image had burned in his memory. He hated that he was unable to forget about her, even after years of separation. He knew he messed everything up, and at first he had blamed it all on Kikyo, but he soon realized it wasn't Kikyo's fault. He couldn't pin the blame on her, he was the one that had gotten himself drunk. He was the one who ..

He shook his head, trying to get rid of the memories that forever seemed to haunt him. It was nobody's fault but his own, he was the reason Kagome had left him, and the reason why his life had fallen apart.

He finished off his drink, crushing it tightly in his hand and throwing it in a random direction. He heard a smack as the can hit something solid and a hiss of pain. He turned around and fixed a surprised glance at Miroku who was now rubbing his head with a scowl on his face.

"Ow! You hit my eye!" Miroku yelled in pain, picking up the can and throwing it in the trash.

"Next time, actually aim for the garbage can instead of throwing your trash everywhere. This place is already enough of a wreck." Miroku muttered in annoyance, working around various objects and clothes and making his way unto the couch, seating himself next to InuYasha.

"You shouldn't have gotten in the way then." InuYasha replied, grabbing a bag of chips that sat on the coffee table in front of them and ripping it open.

"Yeah whatever. Hand me a chip." Miroku said, eyeing the bag of chips in InuYasha's hands.

InuYasha moved the bag farther away from Miroku and shot him a dirty look.

"No, these are mine. I got them first." He retorted and continued chopping down on some chips.

"But I bought them!" Miroku shouted, standing up from his spot on the couch and tackling Inuyasha for the bag.

"Get off of me Miroku! I told you, I got my hands on them first! They're mine!" InuYasha hissed, clutching unto his bag for dear life as Miroku tripped over his foot, smacking his head on the side of the couch.

"Mother effin son of a -" Miroku cursed, holding his damaged head and trying to snatch the bag of chips out of InuYasha's arms.

Suddenly a voice broke through their brawl, causing both boys to snap their heads towards the front door.

Sango stood at the entrance of the front door, looking at them incredulously. "Um .. Am I interrupting something? If you guys want, I could leave you two alone in private."

Both of the boys froze as they realized their compromising position. Miroku was leaning over InuYasha, his arms wrapped around him and aimed for the bag of chips that was held just out of reach, one of InuYasha's legs was on Miroku's lap, trying to kick him away and they were both squeezed against each other on the couch. They both jumped away from each other immediantly, in the process InuYasha began choking on the chip in his mouth, his eyes watering as he gagged on the chip that had lodged itself in his throat.

"Are you - " He coughed. "- fucking crazy?" InuYasha spat out, looking disgusted.

"I always had a feeling InuYasha was gay, but you're seriously mistaken if you think I am!" Miroku looked horrified at the thought and rushed over to where Sango was standing, tripping on a bump in the rug in his rush and nearly toppling into Sango. He didn't waste time, grabbing her bottom in his need to assure her that he was indeed straight.

Sango let out a scream of anger and smacked him with her purse. "Ok, I believe you!" She hissed, backing away from him angrily.

"I was just joking anyways, you hentai." Sango muttered as she made her way to the small love couch lying diagonal to the couch InuYasha was on.

"How did you get inside anyways?" InuYasha inquired suspiciously.

"Miroku gave me a spare key." Sango replied, dangling a key in her hand so InuYasha could see. His mouth formed an 'o' and he quickly shrugged it off.

"So why are you here?" He asked, looking at her curiously.

"Well, since you guys never seem to do anything, maybe we could all go hang out or something? After all, it is Friday." Sango suggested thoughtfully, looking at both of them for an answer.

"Of course. I would love too my dear Sango." Miroku smiled, his eyes twinkling merrily.

"Uh .. Right. What about you InuYasha? Do you want to come?" She asked, all eyes directed unto him.

"Nah. I think I'll just stay in for the day. Kikyo's coming over later, I got to be here when she comes or she'll be pissed at me." InuYasha explained.

"Oh." Sango sighed disappointedly and got up from her seat on the couch.

"You never seem to be able to hang out anymore InuYasha.. Well, come on then Miroku. Let's go watch a movie or something." Sango said as she made her way towards the door.

"Are you absolutelysure InuYasha? The offer is still up.. after all I don't want to be left alone with the pervert." Sango asked hopefully, ignoring Miroku's fake hurt look. InuYasha shook his head.

"It's ok, I'm fine chilling here. You guys go screw each other or whatever the hell you guys do when you're alone." InuYasha muttered, causing a grin to appear on Miroku's face.

"That sounds like the perfect idea Sango, what do you say? Shall we?"

Sango fixed a cold glare at both of the boys and slapped Miroku's wandering hand away.

"Movie or nothing at all." She responded sharply, and Miroku sighed in rejection and followed her obediently out of the door.

"Later man." Miroku said before closing the door shut behind them and walking out.

InuYasha was left alone in his apartment with nothing to do. It was getting late, the sun was already seeping deeper into the clouds, preparing to be swallowed by the ground and hidden once more, signifying another boring Friday night.

He knew Kikyo wasn't coming tonight, he had just made that up so they would leave him, she said something about hanging out with a few of her friends, for a girl's night out or whatever. He didn't have the energy to remember, and he didn't really care.

He snook a glance at the clock and it read seven-thirty. He sighed, lifting himself from his seat on the couch and noticed he had created a big dent from lying on it all day. He shrugged and left to go change into a better outfit. He decided to go for a walk, maybe hang out at the diner down the street. Anything to keep his legs moving. He really needed to get a job. He hadn't had one since he was last fired when he was working at a fast food shop, he had gotten fired for being late all the time.

It didn't matter, he was still in college, plenty of time to find a job in the future. He didn't want to worry about it yet. Besides, Kagome always wanted him to go to medical school, so he could become a doctor. But she wasn't around anymore, and he had lost his motivation. 'You really don't know what you have until it's gone.' He thought as he grabbed his keys and made his way out of his apartment.

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It was about four o'clock when she got to New York. Her flight had taken longer then she had expected but she was happy to get off of the seat she had been sitting on for the whole ride. Her neck was aching from where it was bent in an odd angle when she slept, laying her head on the window next to her.

She stretched her aching limbs, cracking her head to the side so she could return the feeling back in her neck. After she had achieved her bags she hitched a ride on a cab and was now standing before her old house, the house she had spent her youth years in.

It still seemed warm and welcoming, just like it always had been and she could already smell her mother's fabulous cooking from where she stood. She took a deep breath and knocked on the door, waiting silently for someone to answer it.

She saw her mother's warm smile as she answered the door and the next thing she knew she was being crushed into a deathly tight embrace, as her mother squeezed her and stopped the oxygen from entering her lungs.

"Ok - " She coughed. "Mom, I get it. I missed you too."

Her mother finally released her, a beaming smile on her face as she paused to examine Kagome closely. Her eyes traced her up and down and once she was finished she smiled at her brightly.

"Kagome, you've gotten more beautiful! Look at my little girl, all grown up and -" She gasped.

"Engaged!" She screeched, plucking Kagome's left hand, bringing it to her face and staring at the ring on her finger in shock.

"Kagome! You're engaged!" Her mother shouted loudly in astonishment, the loud sound earning the attention of her grandfather and younger brother who came rushing towards the front door.

"What's going on!" Kagome heard her grandfather shout as he held a broom in his hand for protection, glancing around the area.

"Kagome's here!" Souta shouted excitedly, running around his mother and jumping up to give his sister a warm embrace. "Welcome home sis!"

Kagome smiled nervously, returning Souta's embrace half-heartedly as her mother sent her a sharp stare, stern and demanding, the look that scared Kagome half to death.

"Kagome?" Her grandfather asked, bewilderment spread across his face as he examined her closely.

"It is you! I haven't seen you in so long- "

"Hold on Just a minute." Kagome's mother interrupted, staring at Kagome sternly.

"Yeah? " Kagome winced at the sharp tone in her mother's voice and stared up at her nervously.

"Why didn't you tell me that .. You got engaged! That is such wonderful news!" Her mother's cold stare vanished and was replaced with a bright smile as she tugged Kagome forward and into another hug.

"You mean you're not mad? I was going to tell you sooner.. like when I got here." Kagome rushed to explain but was hushed by her mother.

"It's alright dear, we have plenty of time for you to discuss the details after dinner, first let's get you settled." Her mother said as she led her into her old room up the stairs, helping her carry her bags.

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Kagome had explained all the details to her, she had told everyone what was new in her life over dinner and she had wished Souta a happy birth-day. Now everyone wanted to meet Kouga, she couldn't blame them for wanting to meet the man she was to be marrying, but how would she explain to them that he was too busy for him to come down here?

She brushed away her thoughts as she sat down on her old bed, It was around seven o'clock and she had nothing better to do but listen to music and stare at the ceiling. She felt so young, being in her old bedroom that she had spent her teenager years in.

The room hadn't changed that much, the only thing that was different was that it was more clean then it usually was and it looked like it hadn't been touched in years. In a way, it felt good to be back home, but the familiar pang in her chest clenched her happiness when she realized just how long she had been away.

"Maybe I should .. go outside or something. Freshen up my memory of this place." She voiced her thoughts, reaching for her purse and making her way down the stairs. She noticed her mother was in the kitchen talking to her grandfather and her little brother was playing a video game. She notified them that she would be spending the night out and they immediantly agreed, telling her to have fun and to come back home whenever she wanted too.

She exited the house, deciding to take a stroll around the block to clear her mind. She felt a stab of pain just by looking at her old town. Everywhere she looked, she remembered places that she had spent with InuYasha and suddenly the pain came flowing back to her. Renewed, like the feeling of an old scar reopening. It was bad enough that he had broken her heart but now he was wrecking her mind!

She began to speed up her pace, trying to think of something to do to get her mind off of him. She rounded a corner and found herself staring at an old coffee shop. It was the one that her mother used to take her too on every Sunday morning, just to converse and have a drink.

It had been a long time since she had gone there, and before she could think otherwise, she was at the entrance of the door, pulling it open and stepping inside. The sound of a bell jingling reached her ears once she had stepped inside and she stopped to look around.

The place was small and only consisted of a few tables scattered along the shop. A small counter for ordering drinks was placed at the left side of the room and the counters were decorated with marble tiles. Above them, clinging unto the ceiling was a large menu, and she quickly scanned it before ordering a medium sized cappuccino.

She took her drink and began walking to the back of the room, finding an unoccupied table and taking a seat. She stared at the drink in her hand, twirling the liquid in circles with her straw as she let thoughts take over her mind. A voice in front of her caught her attention as she looked up, the voice sounded awfully familiar.

"Shit!" The man cursed, bending down to pick up his cell phone that he had dropped. It was then that she noticed the long silver hair flow down his shoulders as he picked up his phone and placed it back in his pocket. He seemed to have sensed her stare, because before she knew it he had turned around, probably to yell at her for staring, and she was looking into a pair of liquid golden pools, those same eyes that had haunted her dreams and she felt her heart skip a beat.

The scowl that was on his face was quickly wiped off, his golden pools widening in astonishment and the look on his face softening. Kagome's hands had all of a sudden grown weak as she clutched unto her drink for support, but she barely noticed when it slid out of her fingers and landed with a 'thud' unto the floor. Her heart was racing by now, her mind was screaming at her, telling her to leave but her body would not cooperate.

For a few moments neither of them made any attempt to move, until InuYasha had cleared his throat and spoke to her in a weak yet unsure voice.

"Kagome?" That was the only thing he was able to say before his throat became clogged and he was forced to shut it once more.

Kagome could feel her whole world falling again, falling out of her reach and into those golden pools once again and she was powerless to stop it. Life just seemed to be punishing her today ..

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A/N: This chapter somehow sounded better in my head. Oh well. I was originally going to make Kagome live in Japan and then move to America, but then I realized I'm not familiar with how things work in Japan, so I'm just going to use New York and California instead. And Kouga is an intern, studying to be a doctor and as for InuYasha, he's just .. well I'll figure something out for him. As for now he'll just be a bum, lol. Anyways, please leave a review. See you guys next time.