Disclaimer: If anyone is wondering... I don't own Harvest Moon. If I did, I'd put in more cutscenes.
Rick took his glasses off rubbing his tired eyes before he went back to staring at the General Store, the most important person in the world to him was inside that store, just through the front door. Karen, the one person that helped him stay sane all these years. He knew he would of lost it without her. Between trying to keep his little sister from getting hurt to taking care of his dying mother and trying to run a successful business, it was just too much. Karen had always been there though, helping him, telling him everything would be okay. She had a special place in Rick's heart, a place he knew no one else could ever fill. They had a special bond and he had thought she felt the same way about him, being lovers for years and being in love for as long as he could remember. Ever since they were kids it just always seemed meant to be, destiny if you believe in such things. Nothing was ever going to break them apart... or at least he'd like to think that. Now it felt as if someone was messing with fate, he knew he was losing her.
Rick turned his head towards the bench in front of the store. This bench, it was their bench. For years, everyday at 8AM he would meet Karen here and they would sit, talk, laugh... and tell each other how much they loved one another. So many memories that simple little bench held. He sighed as he walked closer to the bench and knelt down next to it, remembering. Closing his eyes he placed his hand on top of it, feeling the surface of the old chapped wood. Kneeling lower he tilted his head to search the bottom of the bench until he found what he was looking for, he couldn't help but feel himself smile at the sight of it. There, through the old, peeling, red paint was a scratched in heart with the names Rick and Karen inside. They were supposed to be together forever.
Taking a deep breath he sat down taking his place on their bench. He was a little early and Karen wouldn't come outside for awhile. The cool breeze coming from this autumn day made Rick shiver, if it was because he was actually cold or because he was thinking about what had kept him up all night last night... he'd never know. He dug his hand in his pocket and pulled out a folded piece of paper, his efforts of staying up all night were all right here, in his hand. Everything was in this letter, he knew he wouldn't have been able to talk to her about this without starting an argument and he didn't want to argue. Approaching this the wrong way could possibly mean losing her forever and he didn't even want to think about that, so he figured writing this would be the best way to go. Rick unfolded the paper and held it out in front of him, his eyes scanning through it for the millionth time. He frowned looking at how messy his handwriting was, Karen had always told him he should work on it.
Starting this letter has to be the hardest thing I've ever done, I don't know what to say. There's so much to say, I don't know how I can fit everything onto this small piece of paper. I hope you know that I love you, I just have to make sure you know that...
Do you remember when we were kids? How we used to be obsessed with playing house? We used to pretend that we were married and my baby sister was our child. You still kind of watch over Popuri like a mother you know, she'd probably be lost without you never being there to talk about all those girl things with her, we both know Mom never could've done what you've done for her. I don't think I've ever told you thanks for being there, did I? Well, Thank you Karen. But do you remember that one day when you asked me to marry you? I do, I remember your words and that whole little conversation as if we had it yesterday, you used to still call me Ricky then. You don't call me that anymore, is it because I yelled at you that one day? Because I actually didn't mind it, I miss it now... but yeah, the day you asked me to marry you. I remember that day like... well I already said yesterday didn't I?
"We will really be married one day, right Ricky? For real? Because I love you and Mommy said when you love someone lots and they love you lots back, they get married!"
"You love me lots?"
"Do you love me lots Ricky?"
"Yes, Popuri says I love you more then her."
And then you gave me the biggest smile I have ever seen Karen. Your eyes lit up like I've never seen, you have such beautiful emerald eyes you know. But remember what you did next? You pulled out that blue feather you made! That little piece of paper you cut out of a piece of paper but you had to color it green instead of blue because you couldn't find your blue crayon when you made it. You gave that to me and asked me to marry you! I still have that feather, It's in my dresser drawer. I knew then that we would be together forever, I love you so much Karen. You don't love me like that anymore though, do you?
I saw you last night on the beach with Jack. I honestly don't even know what to say to that. I'll tell you at first I was, I felt, I don't even know how to describe it. I've never been good with words but you know that because you've constantly reminded me all the years I've known you. I'm trying my best here to try and describe what I felt when I saw you with him. I, it was like, everything got really quiet. I couldn't hear anything around me. I felt cold and numb from the breeze but at the same time I had this heat forming and burning in my chest. I was just shocked I guess. Oh, but then I got mad. I've never felt so enraged, never felt so much hate and I thought I've used all the bad feelings I had inside me on Kai. He's just going to hurt my little sister one day and I don't want her to have to go through that pain, this pain. This pain that I'm going through right now. I felt so much hatred towards you and Jack at that moment, more hatred then I ever felt towards Kai, I didn't think that was possible. I was wrong. I wanted to kill something. I don't know how I managed not to storm over to the two of you and try my best to knock Jack out.
Somehow I was magically frozen to the spot though and I couldn't bring myself to move, and I slowly managed to calm myself down, I'm not sure how but... God, Karen. I know that kiss you shared with him was small and looked so innocent but, it hurt me so much. And.. I couldn't help but notice... I noticed how happy you were with him. You've never smiled like that when you were with me. Never gave me those eyes you were giving him, even the way you leaned up against him placing your head on his shoulder... you love him. I thought you loved me, I was wrong. Your love for him is completely different then the love you've showed me. All these years, all the times we were together, you were just settling weren't you? I'm sorry Karen. I'm sorry you weren't as happy as I thought you were. I know before when you mentioned that maybe we should stop seeing each other I yelled at you saying we were meant to be, I understand that I was wrong now and I'm sorry. I don't think I could say sorry enough times to show you how very sorry I really am. Karen... I'm letting you go. I just don't want to lose you, you're so special to me. I'd die if we weren't still friends. That's why I'm writing this, I know if I tried to explain we'd just end up arguing and I don't want that.
I... can't say I'm going to be okay. At least not right now, I will try to be happy for you and Jack though. I don't really know him that well but he does seem like a nice guy, good looking too. I can see why you like him. If you guys ever get married and have kids, at least you'll know you two will have beautiful children, I know how you always wanted to have beautiful kids. And lets face it, you might not have gotten that with me. I'm not the most handsome guy around, I know. But Karen, I just hope you know that if you ever need anything, I'll be there. I'm really trying here to not have bad feelings for either of you. I love you. It might take me a little longer to completely be okay with Jack, if I'll even ever be but... I know you'll be happy with him, it's best this way. I don't know how to tell Popuri or my Mom. They've always felt like you were part of the family, I guess those feelings won't ever change but.. I can't say that I don't wish that one day you would be part of the family. Writing this letter hurts. Can you believe I've actually been trying to write this for hours? I'm trying to make it sound perfect but, I don't think that's going to happen. I guess I should just end this before I say something I regret and ruin the point of writing this letter which is to not argue and still have good feelings towards each other.
I love you Karen, with all the love my heart can give,
I'm sorry if that sounds cheesy,
"What do you have there Rick?" Rick looked up from the letter to see the very person it was for. Karen looked stunning as her blonde streaked hair blew in the breezy autumn air. She was wearing her famous purple vest that everyone in town identified her with. He smiled remembering how he had told her he didn't like it when she first wore it. In return she had told him she'd be wearing it everyday, because Rick apparently had no fashion sense and if he thought it was ugly... of course it must be a gorgeous piece of clothing, especially on her. Karen, she was his whole life. It was hard to think of a day in his life when she hadn't been around. He stared at her and watched as she slowly started to frown looking down at him. She held her arms in a way that would make some people think she was cold, but Rick knew she only did that when she was nervous, or maybe uncomfortable with something. "What are you holding in your hands Rick?" She asked again about the paper in his hands, her voice seeming softer then usual.
"It's a..." Rick turned his gaze from Karen back to the letter in his hands. He could feel the breeze blow through his hair as he scanned the letter through for the millionth and one time. He could feel her eyes burning through him, the tension between the two of them rising. Rick shook his head looking back up at Karen. Her emerald eyes glistened as she stared back at him. Slowly, as Karen watched him, she started getting an uneasy feeling in her stomach. She started to understand, realizing that... Rick must of seen what she had been doing with Jack last night. That had to be it, they never normally acted this distant from each other. He knew. "Karen..." She flinched at the sound of him saying her name but just continued to stare at him tentatively as he took in one of the deepest breaths she had ever seen anyone take. "You're my best friend." Rick watched as a tear slowly started to slide down her face and felt his insides burn. She even looked beautiful when she cried.
"Just a friend, Rick?" She said with her voice faltering. Rick shook his head feeling his glasses fall a little down his nose.
"No, you're my best friend." The two remained silent as they stared at each other, they didn't need words. Rick was finally letting her go, no matter how much it hurt. Karen never thought before how much this moment would hurt her, him finally letting her go. All these days and nights Karen had been wishing for this moment, wishing he would understand, wishing she could tell him about her feelings for Jack, wishing that they could still have a happy ending between the three of them. It hurt finally letting the first love she ever had in her life go... yet at the same time, she felt relieved. Everything was going to be okay. Rick looked back down at his letter before he slowly started to crumple it up, slowly he was realizing how much the words on that paper weren't needed. He blinked as he felt the corners of his eyes burn and shook his head again, he promised himself before he wouldn't cry. He tossed the letter and it landed somewhere off to the right of their bench as he felt Karen's sudden embrace.
"We'll still meet here every morning, right?" Karen nodded as she dug her face into his shoulder. Neither of them knew how long they were sitting there, holding each other on that breezy autumn day. All they knew was that they were still going to be friends, friends who would always have a special love for each other, best friends. Karen squeezed Rick tighter as another cool breeze blew over them and whispered in his ear.
"Thank you Ricky."