Calmer of the Storm: Uh…hey…hehe…it's been a while, eh? Well…I know this is not an update, but it's something I needed to get out of my system. I do promise, though, that I will finish A Stitch in Time. I have not forgotten about it. I've got some ideas for the next chapter and whatnot…so we're all good.

And this story will not really have a happy ending, at least, not in the way that most people would like. Obviously it's been tweaked a little to fit the characters involved, but I think it's a pretty real story. Just be warned about the angst, for there will be much of it. Not a lot of fluff, either…which is rather different of me, lol. So hate it, love it, I don't care! It's just for my own personal gain to write this, really.

Oh, and there is some very blatant spiritual content in here. If you don't like it, I don't care. Just don't read it.

PS I do not own digimon or its characters.

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My name is Yagami Hikari. I have an older brother who has gone away to university. I live with my mom and my dad, and our pet cat. I am nineteen years old, and I just finished my own first year at college. I'm a pretty average girl, I guess. I work at the corner store down the street as a cashier, and sometimes at a summer camp. I hang out with my friends, and I worried a bit about the changes university was to bring me. I like to watch chick flicks, and I like to read. A lot. I'm not really athletic, but I do like to dance. And right now, I come out of my summer vacation with much to think about.

This is my story.

It all started roughly two years ago. I was a senior in high school, and I felt like I was on top of the world. Things could not be going better for me. I had lots of close friends (both human and non), due to our other worldly experiences, and I seemed to be going in the direction I wanted to be in. I wasn't exactly one of the popular kids, but that has always been okay with me. This so called 'popular' crowd has never really been something that I've ever wanted to get mixed up in. But neither was I a social outcast. People in general liked me, and I liked people in general. My life was simple, and all was well.

But in the back of my mind, there was this little thing that had been plaguing me for a while now, I suppose. It was something that I had always known was there, but it seemed to have just snuck up on me out of no where. Like a jack-in-the-box. You know it's coming, but it always scares the living daylights out of you when the stupid thing comes flying out of the box. It's a thing called feelings.

You see, I had this friend. Well, not just any friend, but a close one. And it was a close friend that just happened to be a boy. When I was younger we seemed to have hit it off quite well; we were the same age, and our brothers were too. Both of us were thrust into situations that had forced us to grow up and mature far more quickly than any other child. We saw things that no adult should ever have to see, and we went through things that would have taken the weak hearted. But we lived through it, and it made us stronger people. However, that didn't seem to change the fact that we were still just kids. And as time wore on, we eventually became teenagers.

Now, everyone always said that we were perfect for each other. My friend Miyako was the worst for it, as she was the most outgoing of us all. Not to mention the fact that she was a hopeless romantic. Many times it had gotten rather awkward between a couple of us, with her blunt comments and everything. But usually it was just breezed through with a nervous laugh and another awkward comment. It didn't help that another of my close friends, Daisuke, seemed to have developed feelings for me. It wasn't that I didn't like him…he was just so much like a brother to me. Heck, he even looked like my brother. How am I supposed to date someone like that? And besides…I knew it was just puppy love. Not that I knew the meaning of that four letter word…I still don't. But that's not the point.

The point is, I didn't have feelings for him. However I seemed to have developed them for the one whom had stuck by my side through thick and thin. The one who had saved my life countless times; my other half. The one I leaned on in times of trouble.

Takaishi Takeru.

And, as it turns out, he had feelings for me, too. You see, he had never, ever dated. This was a big thing, because he seemed to have girls coming at him in every direction. Being captain of the basketball team typically made for a little more popularity than most. But the popularity never seemed to get to his head, like so many of the other guys. The younger girls seemed to really take to him, but that was just because he was such a gentleman. It was easy, with him, to misconstrue the signals he was giving off. What he was just doing to be polite, like holding doors and pulling out chairs and such, would be seen as signs of affection from many a girl. He would sacrifice time and sleep for strangers and people he barely knew, if only he could help them out. So it was easy to see why I was so reluctant to admit even to myself that I had any sort of feelings for him in that way. I didn't want to be just another of those girls.

But I remember the conversation so clearly…

"Hey, Kari?" he had said, in a rather reluctant tone. I had been standing at my locker, packing my bag for the weekend. My fortunate self had been assigned a mountain of homework, and I was convinced that I would not see the light of day until Monday morning when a fresh week of school was to begin. But the tone of his voice had caught be slightly off-guard, so I paid careful attention to what he was saying. He looked so much like a little boy, standing there as he was.

"Yes?" I replied, trying my best to look casual. It's rather hard to do when one's heart is pounding like a drum.

"I was just wondering…if I could talk to you? Like…right now, alone?" He looked so sheepish…my heart just went out to him. But I eyed him carefully; we were pretty close friends. If he wanted to talk to me, he didn't have to ask so formally. So immediately I knew that something was up.

"Sure, just let me get my things. To the park?" The only response I got was a rather eager nod.

Our talk started as we walked off the school premises, and it was just on the trivial things, like the amount of homework that had been assigned. We complained about the teachers and even gossiped a little about other students. But such was the life of a teenager. I tried to be as comfortable as I could around him, but I could tell that he was straining for things a little, too. It was much easier for him to hide things, as he had been doing it for years. But he was acting very different...at least, to those who would know him well. To anyone walking by he would look quite normal.

When we finally hit the park, his pace seemed to slow down a little. So I followed suit, my stomach twisting into knots.

"Kari…I'm in a pickle." He said finally, after a few moments of silence.

I turned my head to look at him strangely, a confused look etched across my features. I wasn't sure what game he was trying to play. "Oh? And how did you get in this pickle?"

Then he smiled that smile that I had grown to love, and my heart skipped a beat. "Well, first it was a cucumber, but then it sat for a little-" He didn't get to finish, for I had punched him lightly in the arm.

A smile made its way across my own lips. "Okay, so how did you get into this cucumber?"

At this point his smile faltered a little, and he seemed once again like that innocent little boy. He took a deep breath. "A girl put me in it."

At this point, my heart was pounding again. I felt as if I had been kicked in the gut. Either this was going to be the best day of my life, or the worst day. I was struggling with how to respond to that. What was I supposed to say? Surely he could see everything on my face…it was probably evident to him now. People say guys don't get a clue about anything, but you can't hide anything from this one. You take one wrong step and he'll come running from a mile away to see if you're alright. If I blinked wrong he'd immediately assume my world was ending. It was just the way he was.

So, feeling that my ruse was busted, I didn't try so hard to act normal. "And how did that happen?" My voice was smaller…a little less certain than before.

He paused again, looking away from me and focusing on the ground that was passing beneath us. "There's this girl…she…she told me that she was in love with me, and that she has been for a while now. I just…I don't know what to say. I don't want to hurt her."

I felt my heart rejoice and get crushed at the same time. He looked so lost right now. He absolutely detested hurting people, and I knew this was weighing heavily on him. I wanted to help him, but I knew that I had to play my cards right. I wanted so desperately to know his true motives for talking me...surely it couldn't just be about this, right? He didn't just want another girl's perspective and opinion, so that he could turn the other one down best he could...right? But I couldn't be too certain. There had to be a way for me to find out for sure. People had said that he acted differently around me than other girls. Perhaps it was time to test that out a little.

"Well…do you like someone else? I mean, you could just tell her that…it would be a little easier to bear than to hear that you simply didn't like her like that." I said carefully. "But if you don't, I mean, don't lie about it." I added that onto the end, rather tactlessly.

Again he paused. "There is someone…" he said, and again my heart thundered in my chest. I swore he could hear it.

I swallowed hard. "Have you talked to her?"

He shook his head slowly. "No. I don't know if I should…I don't know if she feels the same way."

I could feel my heart breaking with every word. We were close friends…best friends, even. This wasn't that abnormal to be talking about, was it?

"Well, you'll never know if you don't talk to her." My voice was sounding just a tad stronger, but it was only because I had resolved that it would be better to be strong than to have him think that I thought this girl was me.

"So you think I should talk to her about it?" He stopped then, looking at me with questioning eyes. There was something else in there too, but I couldn't quite read it.

I nodded my head, doing my best to hold his gaze. This was clearly tearing him up inside, and I needed to be there for him. "Yes, very much so." Again my voice had lost its confidence, but I really didn't care. My heart was in pieces on the ground. What did it matter now? I realized then how much I had fallen for my friend, even though I had tried so hard not to. I guess these things are just inevitable.

He nodded, running in tongue over his teeth and averting his gaze. "Then we need to talk." His voice was so quiet; just barely above a whisper.

I was shocked. I mean, I couldn't move. Actually, I don't think there are any words in any language that can describe what exactly went through my body at that time. I swear my heart stopped beating altogether for a few moments. All I could do was stare at him, wide-eyed and mystified. My heart was pounding even louder now, I hadn't thought it could do that. Had I heard him correctly? He wanted to talk with me about that?

Before I spoke again I realized that a good minute or so had passed. "So what does that mean?" I asked, my voice even softer than his had been.

He rolled his eyes and threw his arms. "It means I just about had a heart attack!" He said, a ghost of a smile appearing on his lips. Over exaggerating, and making a joke about everything. It was how he coped.

I couldn't help but smile. "Sorry."

So thus began our relationship. At first, it was everything I ever wanted. He was perfect…no, beyond that. There were no words to describe him. He did everything right. He paid close attention to details, the kind that made your heart flutter. And I knew he was sincere. It was a good four months into the relationship before he even kissed me. And it wasn't like it was anything more than a simple one. He respected me for who I was.

When he told me he loved me, I found myself drawing back a little. I'd never had a boyfriend before, and I found it all rather frightening. Love was such a huge thing to me…maybe not to some, but to me it was. I mean, I didn't even know what that was, and yet he was so sure that he loved me. To me, love meant commitment. I mean, it's not a ring or anything, but it's pretty darn close, in my mind. I guess I just wasn't sure. I knew that I wanted to be with him, I just didn't know what love was. I think I may have hurt him a little when I told him that I couldn't tell him I loved him right away, but I assured him that I would tell him the second I figured it out.

And I did. It was when he first kissed me. Not that it was anything really special…actually, he was quite bad at it, now that I think about it. And the kiss lasted perhaps a second, if that. I still didn't know what love was, but I was certain that it was what I was feeling for him.

Time passed and things happened, we were both happy. Everyone was happy for us, and kept asking whether they were going to be invited to the wedding. Some people threatened death if they weren't. It wasn't so bad for me, because I found that I could see myself spending the rest of my life with him. He seemed so perfect. Things just couldn't get any better.

If only I had known just how right I had been.

It was almost eight months into it, and we were pretty serious, I suppose. Mostly because our relationship was not based at all on the physical, like so many are today. We really believed that we loved each other.

I remember coming home from visiting relatives one weekend. I hadn't heard anything at all from him, and I was getting a little worried. So, because of my female nature, I have to admit that I did get a little upset with him. I went out with a couple of my friends, who knew I had been away. Obviously they didn't know that my boyfriend and I had not been in communication.

"I still can't believe he did that…I mean, he's so lucky that he even got away with what happened." It was Miyako who had spoken, and I just gave her a quizzical look.

"Who?"

The three other girls I was with looked at me like I was absolutely insane.

"Uh…your boyfriend? Takeru? Or have you forgotten about him already?" Miyako again. Always the blunt one.

The look on my face told all of them that I really had absolutely no idea what was going on.

Miyako leaned back into her chair, for we were at a restaurant for dinner. "So you really don't know…well, I guess someone has to tell you."

I prepared for the worst.

"Takeru was helping his mom with some stuff on the roof, and he decided that he didn't need help with the ladder. Well, so much for that, because the ladder fell beneath him. So down comes Takeru, crashing onto the driveway, something like twenty feet. His mom wasn't home, so he was on his own for a good couple of hours. Didn't have a phone, either. He got away with a broken leg."

At this point I was in shock. My boyfriend had just fallen from a ladder. Was that not cause to worry? Why hadn't he called me? Didn't he think I would want to see him? That I wouldn't be worried? I knew we hadn't been spending a lot of time together as of late, but he was very busy and so was I. I knew he wasn't cheating on me or anything, because he just wasn't that kind of guy. But still I felt betrayed, and my stupid mind resolved that I wasn't going to go see him. He would have to come and find me. Or at least, give me a call or something. He was locked in his room, after all. I justified it with the fact that our parents weren't comfortable with us being alone together in each other's houses (not that we would ever do anything...but we both knew it would be in our best interests to respect our parents' wishes), and I knew his mom had gone away on business just this morning. A lame excuse, I now regret it, but it was what I had used in my irrational anger towards him.

He didn't come to school that Monday, and I found myself an emotional wreck. I mean, I was a basket case. Miyako and I skipped a half day of school to talk it out. I vented, finding myself in tears most of the time. I felt like he wasn't spending enough time with me…that his work was more important. We had discussed the issue before, Takeru and I, and it seemed all worked through. But in these passed months things didn't seem to be going so good on the communications side of things.

So after our little chat, I resolved to call him. We were going to work it out, and all was going to be fine. We would go back to our happy lives again.

That night I called him, asking first how he was doing. I had briefly seen him passing through the hallways at school, as he was getting his homework. We had a quick chat before he had to talk with the teachers, and that was all we got. For some reason, as the conversation progressed I had this feeling of dread welling up inside of me. In the pit of my stomach, something told me that there was something wrong. Something very, very wrong.

We danced around the topic, but I knew it was coming. He was breaking up with me.

"Kar…it's been coming for months…" He had said. "I could see it in your eyes today; you weren't happy."

I could feel the tears coming on, spilling out over my cheeks. "I called you because I wanted to fix this…"

I heard him take a deep breath on the other line. I tried to sound like I was fine, but I knew that he knew I was crying. My voice was shaky. "I know…I just…it's not working."

I almost laughed. "Talk about irony…I call to fix it and you break up with me."

He didn't quite know what to say to that. I have a feeling I hurt him quite a bit with that comment.

I don't know how it happened, but our conversation progressed from the fact that he was breaking up with me to why he was.

Now, there is something you should know about him. Takeru never, ever shows his emotions. To anyone. Barely even to me. Happiness and all that is fine and good, but anything other than that he's completely emotionless. He's lost so much in his life that I recall him telling me once that he thought himself emotionally dead. I don't know why the warning flags didn't go up there…maybe I thought I could save him.

"I can't…I can't do this anymore. I'm not going to become like him. I'm not leaving a family behind." I could hear his own voice breaking. He was beginning to cry. I don't even think he remembers the last time he cried. "I know what it's like…I can't do that to you."

"But you don't know…you can't know the future. You aren't your father!" I was pleading with him now, begging him not to give up. I wanted him to try again. I knew we could do it; we were strong people.

"Yes, I do! I know what's coming, and I won't hurt you like that. We're both going away to school soon…it will…just be better this way."

"But I love you…" I sounded pathetic, I'm sure.

"And I love you too. It's why I have to do this."

I couldn't believe he was feeding me that line. After all the good things I had thought about him…he goes and says that.

"No…please…you don't know what this is going to do to me…"

"You're strong, Kari. One of the strongest people I know."

No, he didn't know. He didn't know what it would do to me. He didn't know that it would take me nine months to get over him. Nine months of struggling with the biggest changes of my life. I'm a person who does not handle change very well, and it was all hitting me at once. My self-esteem plummeted; I never seriously contemplated suicide, but every once and a while a thought would sneak in. I thought about not eating…about just maybe throwing up that food. Or running until my legs fell off. It would be better than all of this.

I tried for three hours to hang on, begging him to try one more time. Telling him we could make it work, and him contradicting everything.

"Kari, I'm not getting married. I'll never be in another relationship again." That hurt more than anything.

He was so afraid of becoming the man his father had…leaving his mother so abruptly. Tearing apart their small family; his older brother Matt seemed to be handling it a bit better, but not much. He was a little more expressive than Takeru, but then again, he was a musician. Music was a good way to express yourself. Takeru never really found the means to deal with everything.

In the end, I was so exhausted and I had run out of tears. For ten minutes I sat there and listened to him sob and swear at himself, which was another big thing because he never swore. I remember hanging up on him, being in a complete daze. I had to tell my parents, and then my friends.

But through all of it, I could not hate him. He hadn't cheated on me; he hadn't fallen out of love with me. He's a hard guy to hate, I found, but still I longed to do it. But I did learn that Takeru was not as perfect as I once thought him. He's a nice guy, but he's painted himself as perfect for everyone else. It's something he's felt he's needed to live up to, to make up for the mistakes his father made. But I saw his faults…I saw the looks he gave me that made me feel like a real and complete idiot. Like I wanted to just die right then and there beneath his gaze. When he would unknowingly point out my flaws…that would hurt a lot too. And he had this sort of condescending way about him…I know he didn't do it on purpose, but it was still there.

The next nine months were the darkest of my life. I will not go through the details, for that would take forever. Perhaps another time. But through that was a time of such brokenness that I had never known before, and then after that a kind of healing. As a Christian I knew I had God to rely on, but it was so hard in these times. Why would He forget about me? But in the end, I realized that it was all just a part of the healing process. I see the person I have become; the person that God had intended me to be through all of this. It's a much better person than before.

But still, there is a piece of me that longs for that kind of companionship again. Every time I watch a romance movie my heart twists and I long to have what the main character does. I long to be held; to be kissed and hugged. I just want someone to talk to. I want to let down all my guards and just be myself. I don't want to have to defend myself in his presence, whoever he may be.

The following summer, a year after the break-up, I worked at a summer camp where he ended up also, ironically in a position of authority over me. Go figure. But at this point, I was perfectly okay with that. I was over him, for I had realized that I really hadn't known what love was. Perhaps I had not really loved him, and he was not truly the one for me. But still…when we all hung out as staff, there was that part of me that wondered…what if? What if we were still dating? How would he act differently around me now? Would I be sitting beside him, holding his hand? The little things like that.

The summer seemed to go by without a hitch. Well, there was one, but I wasn't really involved with that one. That was a relief, for the summer before that I had been in the middle of it all…Daisuke had felt that it was time to move in again, and since he and Takeru were such good friends, Takeru got offended because I was his ex…a huge mess and a long story. But I can say that it was all resolved in the end.

It was at the end that the feelings seemed to flare up again. And not really the feelings for him…just…I don't even know how to describe it. It was after we had finished work, and I was just about to head off to second year…in fact, it was only a few days ago. It was just the two of us, and we were over at the fast food joint not far from her house.

"So how do you feel about Takeru dating that girl?" she asked me, rather casually.

My eyes filled with confusion, and I felt my heart begin to pound involuntarily in my chest. "What do you mean?" I asked, carefully.

"Like…are you okay with that? I mean, I know it's been a while, but…"

"I wasn't even aware that he was dating anyone…" My heart pounded louder, even though I really didn't know why.

"Oh…"

"But I mean, I'm fine with it. Whatever…it's his life."

And that was the end of that topic.

But, of course, the topic was not near finished in my own mind. I have this problem with brooding over things far too much, and I was doing it again. I went home that night, flopping onto my bed. Most of my stuff was in boxes, all ready for me to head off to school the next day. My head was spinning.

I felt confused. Betrayed…lied to. I mean, it wasn't as if I felt anything for him; I was completely over him. In fact, I had resolved that I had never loved him in the first place. I had just thought I had. But all the talk about never getting married….never being in another relationship…it all came back. I mean, I knew it had been over a year since he broke up with me, but he never was the kind of guy to do things quickly. He had not dated anyone in so long, and this just seemed all so fast.

But maybe it only hurts so much because I have not yet found someone to be like that with again. I always wanted the first guy I dated to be the man I would marry…and obviously that isn't happening. There is a part of me now that just wants to let loose and not care; why not join the crowd? I was young and there are lots of guys to try out…but most guys don't see me like that. And it would be so much better just to wait…as much as I hate that. But still…why did he have to find someone before me? And things were just going great, too. I just found out about a dancing scholarship that I had received, and I was up on cloud nine. And then this happens. I remember being frustrated with God, and wondering why He would do this to me. Why is it that, just when everything is finally good again, something has to ruin it? Yes…more tests and trials…but those are no fun. I'm sick of those. I just want to be with the one I'm supposed to be with. No more heartache…I can't take this pain anymore.

So it is here that I sit, looking out the window at a foreign city. I haven't seen Takeru in a couple weeks, and I really don't care to ever see him again. I know that won't ever happen, but you can't have everything. A part of me wants him to get dumped this time…but I know that's selfish. I feel bad for thinking like that. But is it so unnatural to do that? It's just so confusing…I wish it would all go away. I wish I had never gotten tangled up with him. Even if it was all just so I became a better person…couldn't God have worked on me another way? I should think so. But I know it was not the hand I had been dealt.

I suppose I'm just supposed to let this all pass. I mean, in a few years, what will this matter? I'll forget most of the things he said to me. I'll probably even lose touch with him. But still…there was always that part of me that wished he had never gotten over me. That he was secretly wanting me back; regretting all the hurt he had caused me. But I know now that it's just not the case. He was probably through with me in a couple of weeks. So why can't I get over it so quickly? Why was I hard-wired in such a way?

These are all questions that really have no answers. I know I'm not the first…nor the last…to experience these things, but that doesn't fix it. Neither does the fact that it will all be nothing to me in a few years. This is the here and now…this is what I'm feeling. So how is a girl like me supposed to deal with it? I'm just Yagami Hikari, second year student at the university in Hong Kong. Sister to a stupid older brother, daughter to a couple of silly parents. Friend to a bunch of insane people, and nothing to the boy that was once my everything.

That is my story.

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Calmer of the Storm: So…yeah. Kinda crappy, lol, but I don't really care. I don't really write for other people, anways. So if you hated it, I don't care to hear about it. Thanks!